Opening Sentences A-Z

  • A boy ran down a hill path screaming. This Census-Taker
  • According to family legend, Ferguson’s Grandfather departed on foot from his native city of Minsk with one hundred rubles sewn into the lining of his jacket, traveled west to Hamburg through Warsaw and Berlin, and then booked passage on a ship called the Empress of China, which crossed the Atlantic in rough winter storms and sailed into New York Harbor on the first day of the twentieth century. 4 3 2 1 
  • A certain feeling comes from throwing your good life away, and it is one part rapture. Flight Behaviour
  • A few drivers had slowed to look up at the side of the coach as it circled the roundabout. A Natural
  • A few miles south of Soledad, the Salinas River drops in close to the hillside bank and runs deep and green. Of Mice and Men
  • Alan Clay woke up in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. A Hologram for the King
  • All this happened, more or less. Slaughterhouse-Five
  • And so when I began to go on evening walks last fall, I found Morningside Heights an easy place from which to set out into the city. Open City
  • An old man is standing on the after-deck of a ship. Monsieur Linh and His Child
  • Antelopes have 10x vision, you said. Dept. Of Speculation
  • An unassuming young man was travelling, in midsummer, from his native city of Hamburg to Davos-Platz in the Canton of the Grisons, on a three weeks’ visit. The Magic Mountain
  • Aragorn sped up on the hill. The Two Towers
  • Are you awake?  The Counselor
  • A school of blackfish is in Seyrvágs Fjord – two or three hundred small whales, swimming silently round in little groups, and longing to be back in the broad ocean again, for this is not the way they intended to go. The Old Man and His Sons
  • As he stepped out of the station the Investigator was met by a fine rain mingled with wet, slushy snow. The Investigation
  • As he we weakened, Moran became afraid of his daughters.
     Amongst Women
  • A squat grey building of only thirty-four storeys. Brave New World
  • At first it looked like low-lying ribbons of cloud just floating there, but then the clouds would be blown a little bit to the right and next to the left. The Guest Cat
  • At half-past seven in the morning, carrying the laundry she had ironed the night before, Yvette came down the drive on her way to the house. Never Mind
  • A thick drizzle from the sky, like a curtain’s sudden sweeping. Fates And Furies
  • At seven fifteen a.m., his bedroom slightly colder than the vacuum of space, Joshua Joseph Spork wears a longish leather coat and a pair of his father’s golfing socks. Angelmaker
  • Aurélie Renard was standing on the west side of the small square. This Is Life
  • A very wise old lady – her name was Martha Gellhorn: look her up – once told me that you can only really love one war. Toploader
  • A young man, young but not very young, sits in an anteroom somewhere, some wing or other, in the Palace of Versailles. Pure
  • Beech Street, rue des Hêtres, was for the most part lined with maples. The Peculiar Life of a Lonely Postman
  • Been walking and walking through this band of pine trees. The Miner
  • Before you hear any words, you can feel the panic. Relativity
  • Biggs ran in bursts down the street, wanting to move quickly but without attracting attention. Black Moon
  • Billy Gray was my best friend and I fell in love with his mother. Ancient Light
  • Dr. Learmont, newly appointed general practitioner for the districts of West Masedown and New Eliry, rocks and jolts on the front seat of a trap as it descends the lightly sloping path of Versoie House. C
  • D’yeh do the Facebook thing? The Guts
  • Early on a Sunday, after first mass at Clonegal, my father, instead of taking me home, drives deep into Wexford towards the coast where my mother’s people came from. Foster
  • Even when he reached Kamakura and the Engakuji Temple, Kikuji did not know whether or not he would go to the tea ceremony. Thousand Cranes
  • Everybody wants to own the end of the world. Zero K
  • Ezra, Nails, Harri, Justy. List Of The Lost
  • First, I’ll tell about the robbery our parents committed.  Canada
  • For almost a year now, he has been taking photographs of abandoned things. Sunset Park
  • From two thousand feet, where Claudette Sanders was taking a flying lesson, the town of Chester’s Mill gleamed in the morning light like something freshly made and just set down. Under the Dome
  • Futh stands on the ferry deck, holding on to the cold railings with his soft hands. The Lighthouse
  • Gabčík – that’s his name – really did exist. HHhH
  • Galen waited under the fig tree for his mother. Dirt
  • George Washington Crosby began to hallucinate eight days before he died. Tinkers
  • “Go on,” Cressner said again. Night Shift
  • He belongs to an increasingly rare breed of sophisticated, literary publishers. Dublinesque
  • He came on a November day, a cold wind blowing, the fields soaked with rain. Secrecy
  • He came to our place one Sunday in November 189-. The Lost Estate (Le Grand Meaulnes)
  • He dreamed he was sleeping, and Child was driving. Hawthorn & Child
  • He swiftly signed the papers in the stuffy office air…It felt just like the wedding…(a perfunctory affair). The Rime of the Modern Mariner
  • He was just seventeen when he came to Portmantle, a runaway like the rest of us, except there was a harrowed quality about this boy that we had not seen before in any of the newcomers. The Ecliptic
  • Hi! A Tale for the Time Being
  • His face was as pitted as the moon. The Orchardist
  • His full name was Mr Harutsuna Matsumoto, but I called him ‘Sensei’. Strange Weather in Tokyo
  • I am doomed to remember a boy with a wrecked voice—not because of his voice, or because he was the smallest person I ever knew, or even because he was the instrument of my mother’s death, but because he is the reason I believe in God; I am a Christian because of Owen Meaney. A Prayer For Owen Meany
  • I am hours from giving birth, from the event I thought would never happen to me, and R has gone ups mountain. The End We Start From
  • I am my own barometer, he said as they stood peering at the barometer. The Foxes Come at Night
  • I am sitting, alone, in my shared office at the university. First Novel
  • I fling open my bedroom curtains, and there’s the thirsty sky and the wide river full of ships and boats and stuff, but I’m already thinking of Vinny’s chocolatey eyes, shampoo down Vinny’s back, beads of sweat on Vinny’s shoulders, and Vinny’s sly laugh, and by now my heart’s going mental and, God, I wish I was waking up at Vinny’s place in Peacock Street and not in my own stupid bedroom. The Bone Clocks
  • If on a sunny day you climb the steep path leading up from the little wooden bridge still referred to around here as ‘the Bridge of Hesitation’, you will not have to walk far before the roof of my house becomes visible between the tops of two gingko trees. An Artist of the Floating World
  • I had a car, but on most days in that fall of 1973 I walked to Joyland from Mrs. Shoplaw’s Beachside Accommodations in the town of Heaven’s Bay. Joyland
  • I had been mistaken for him so many times that when he died it was as if part of myself had died too. Mistaken
  • I headed down the townland of Ballintra in a force 8 to light the fire towards the beginning of August. Long Time, No See
  • I know that some of you reading this are convinced humans are a myth, but I am here to state that they do actually exist. The Humans
  • I like it when I can be done with something. The Faster I Walk The Smaller I Am
  • I’m an experiment. The Panopitcon
  • I’m dead, Makina said to herself when everything lurched: a man with a cane crossing the street, a dull groan suddenly surged through the asphalt, the man stood still as if waiting for someone to repeat the question and then the earth opened up beneath his feet: it swallowed the man, and with him a car and a dog, all the oxygen around and even the screams of the passers-by. Signs Preceding The End Of The World
  • I’m in Lynwood, South Central, somewhere off Atlantic and Olanda, putting tinfoil over trays of uneaten beans at some little kid’s birthday party when I get told to go home early and prolly not come back to work tomorrow. All Involved
  • “I’m not sure if it’s a blessing or a curse,” Helena said. Tigers in Red Weather
  • In Control’s dreams it is early morning, the sky deep blue with just a twinge of light. Authority
  • In my earliest memory, my grandfather is bald as a stone and he takes me to see the tigers. The Tiger’s Wife
  • In the broad spaces of the streets near the square, Matthew stood and watched for the secrets which the rain reveals. Horses
  • In the church on Ardmair Street, the Blessed Virgin has a Western European face – she is chubby and big jawed. The Closet Of Savage Mementos
  • In the early hours of one September morning in 2008, there appeared on the doorstep of our home in South Kensington a brown-skinned man, haggard and gaunt, the ridges of his cheekbones set above an unkempt beard. In The Light Of What We Know
  • In the kitchen, he poured another drink and looked at the bedroom suite in his front yard. What We Talk About When We Talk About Love
  • In the shade of the house, in the sunshine on the river bank by the boats, in the shade of the sallow wood and fig tree, Siddhartha, the handsome Brahmin’s son, grew up with his friend Govinda. Siddhartha
  • In the summer of 1917 Robert Grainier took part in an attempt on the life of a Chinese laborer caught, or anyway accused of, stealing from the company stores of the Spokane International Railway in Idaho Panhandle. Train Dreams
  • I remember, in no particular order: – a shiny inner wrist; – steam rising from a wet sink as a hot frying pan is laughingly tossed into it; – gouts of sperm circling a plughole, before being sluiced down the full length of a tall house; – a river rushing nonsensically upstream, its wave and wash lit by half a dozen chasing torchbeams; – another river, broad and grey, the direction of its flow disguised by a stiff wind exciting the surface; – bathwater long gone cold behind a locked door. The Sense of an Ending
  • Isaac’s mother was dead five years but he hadn’t stopped thinking about her. American Rust
  • I saw Hitler at a time when the Reichstag was little more than a burnt, skeletal silhouette of its former self and the Brandenburg Gate obstructed passage rather than granted it. Book of Clouds
  • “I saw you!” The Forensic Records Society
  • Isserley always drove straight past a hitch-hiker when she first saw him, to give herself time to size him up. Under The Skin
  • It began the usual way, in the bathroom of the Lassimo Hotel.A Visit from the Goon Squad
  • It had been years since Tom’s son had spent so long at home. Solace
  • It had certainly been a wild end to the autumn. The Loney
  • It had rained hard through the night and now the water raced and swirled, overflowing the ditch in front of my building. Sunset City
  • It happens like this. In a Strange Room
  • It happened in the middle of wartime, on a station platform as flat and dusty as the endless plain surrounding it. The Noise Of Time
  • It is a simple matter. Number9dream
  • ‘It looks impossible to get out,’ he says. The Boy Who Stole Attila’s Horse
  • It rains on Cavan, Monaghan; rains on the hills and the lakes and the roads; rains on the houses and the farms and the fences between them; on the ditches and the fields, on the breathing land; rains on the whole strange shape of it. The Long Falling
  • It should be sufficient to say that I am Juan Pablo Castel the painter who killed Maria Iribarne. The Tunnel
  • It’s funny: It isn’t the fire that kills you, it’s the smoke. Hope: A Tragedy
  • It’s the middle of December, and everything is frozen over. The Apartment
  • It took me a long time and most of the world to learn what I know about love and fate and the choices we make, but the heart of it came to me in an instant, while I was chained to a wall and being tortured. Shantaram
  • It was a queer, sultry summer, the summer they electrocuted the Rosenbergs, and I didn’t know what I was doing in New York. The Bell Jar
  •  It was a Friday night, about nine weeks into the project. Kiss Me First
  • It was a little before nine o’clock, the sun was setting into a bank of smoky violet cloud and I had lost my way. The Small Hand
  • It was Christmas Eve and Professor Andersen had a Christmas tree in the living room. Professor Andersen’s Night
  • It was Friday evening, half an hour before the light struck, and she was attempting to open a package with a carving knife. The Illumination
  • It was late in the evening, after dinner and Debby, before Harry got a chance to open the paper. Intermission
  • It was three o’clock on Saturday afternoon, the end of a typically long week, and Richard Anger – the owner of the last little bookshop in town – was waiting for a cab to take him to the airport. Books
  • I used to love listening to stories about faraway places. Pinball, 1973
  • I, Valdimar Haraldsson, was in my twenty-seventh year when I embarked on the publication of a small journal devoted to my chief preoccupation, the link between fish consumption and the superiority of the Nordic race. The Whispering Muse
  • I was born with the gift of rain, an ancient soothsayer in an even more ancient temple once told me. The Gift Of Rain
  • “I was going to say something,” he said. The Book Of Strange New Things
  • I was no stranger to the flash of lightning; I was no stranger to the thunderbolt. The Zone of Interest
  • I was on my way home from the hunt.  From the Mouth of the Whale
  • I was sitting outside the Commodore’s mansion, waiting for my brother Charlie to come out with news of the job.  The Sisters Brothers
  • I was six years old when I watched the gun go into Dad’s mouth. A Mad and Wonderful Thing
  • I was strong and he was not, so it was me went to war to defend the Republic. Neverhome
  • I was 37 then, strapped in my seat as the huge 747 plunged through dense cloud cover on approach to Hamburg Airport. Norwegian Wood
  • ‘I wonder if you would mind not smoking, Mr. Ushikawa,’ the shorter man said. 1Q84 (Book 3)
  • Jimmy Luntz had never been to war, but this was the sensation, he was sure of that – eighteen guys in a room, Rob, the director, sending them out – eighteen guys shoulder to shoulder, moving out on the orders of their leader to do what they’ve been training day and night to do. Nobody Move
  • John Jacob Ford’s morning began at 3:03 with a call from Paul Geezler, Advisor to the Division Chief, Europe, for HOSCO International.  The Kills
  • June 1 Rome-New York Dearest Diary, Today I’ve made a major decision: I am never going to die. Super Sad True Love Story
  • Just out of reach, just beyond you: the rush and froth of the surf, the sharp smell of the sea, the crisscrossing shape of the gulls, their sudden, jarring cries. Acceptance
  • Late in May 2001, about ten days after I saw him for the last time, Mats Sigfridsson was hauled out of Malangen Sound, a few miles down the coast from here. A Summer of Drowning
  • Late in the winter of my seventeenth year, my mother decided I was depressed, presumably because I never left the house, spent quite a lot of time in bed, read the same book over and over, ate infrequently, and devoted quite a bit of my abundant free time to thinking about death. The Fault In Our Stars
  • Later, as he sat on his balcony eating the dog, Dr. Robert Laing reflected on the unusual events that had taken place within this huge apartment building the previous three months. High_Rise
  • Leroy Kervin opened his eyes to see a woman in a blue-and-white-starred bikini holding a pneumatic drill. The Free
  • Linda liked the way her brother’s driveway felt beneath her feet.  Ten Stories About Smoking
  • Listen A Brief History Of Seven Killings
  • Nettie Russell died in the spring, and left her grandson, Todd, an old Ford Fairline and a Maxwell House coffee jar with two thousand dollars in it, a fair sum of money in 1973. Knockemstiff
  • News reached the church in Rome. Silence
  • Nikki is all to hell. Young God
  • ‘No! I don’t want the mangosteen.’ The Windup Girl
  • Now the sunrise. All That’s Left To Tell
  • Of all my memories, of all my life’s innumerable sensations, the most onerous was that of the single murder I had committed. The Spectre of Alexander Wolf
  • Of all the folktales collected by the authors in the Autonomous Kurdish Region during 1998-99, the following modification of the Thomas-Bredon Cluster 14b (On the Inadvisibility of Geronticide) [Narr. Ukbar Kishkiev /male /c.75 yrs /farmer /Guurjev Valley /1999 /trans. Avril Bredon and Bruno Thomas from Kurdish] illustrates best how an archetypal wisdom-narrative (one found in cultures as diametric as West Greenland Inuit [La Pointe & Cheng 1928], the Solomon Islands [Daphne Ng 1966] and Central African Republic [Coupland-Weir 1989]) can be mutated by the host-culture’s folkways, topography and belief-hierarchies:Here’s a story I had from my wrinkled old aunt, who used to tell it as she worked on her loom, click-clacketty, click-clacketty, click-clacketty. The Siphoners
  • On a February morning in the year 1933 Andreas Egger lifted the dying goatherd Johannes Kalischka, known to all the valley dwellers as Horned Hannes, off his sodden and rather sour-smelling pallet to carry him down to the village along the three-kilometre mountain path that lay buried beneath a thick layer of snow. A Whole Life
  • Once Boshell finally killed his neighbor he couldn’t seem to quit killing him. The Outlaw Album
  • One. The Watch
  • One by one our skies go black. The Familiar Volume 1
  • One Sunday morning, at the end of the twentieth century, on Brick Lane market in London, a computer programmer called Chris Davison found an odd little thing. The Countenance Divine
  • On our wedding day I was forty-six, she was eighteen. Lincoln In The Bardo
  • On Saturdays, when inspection was over and passes were issued in the Orderly Rooms, there was a stampede of escape down every company street in Camp Pickett, Virginia. A Special Providence
  • On the boat we were mostly virgins. The Buddha in the Attic
  • On the second day of December in a year when a Georgia peanut farmer was doing business in the White House, one of Colorado’s great resort hotels burned to the ground. Doctor Sleep
  • Patrick pretended to sleep, hoping the seat next to him would remain empty, but he soon heard a briefcase sliding into the overhead compartment. Bad News
  • Patrick woke up knowing he had dreamed but unable to remember the contents of his dream. Some Hope
  • Pereira maintains he met him one summer’s day. Pereira Maintains
  • Pippin looked out from the shelter of Gandalf’s cloak. The Return Of the King
  • ‘Please state your name for the record.’ The Devil I Know
  • Stuart Ransom, professional golfer, is drunkenly reeling off an interminable series of stats about the women’s game in Korea (or the Ladies Game, as he is determined to have it): ‘Don’t scowl at me, beautiful…!’ – directed, with his trademark Yorkshire twinkle, at Jen, who lounges, sullenly, behind the hotel bar. The Yips
  • ‘Surprised to see me?’ said Nicholas Pratt, planting his walking stick on the crematorium carpet and fixing Patrick with a look of aimless defiance, a habit no longer useful but too late to change. At Last
  • Ten days after the war ended, my sister Laura drove a car off a bridge.   The Blind Assassin
  • That summer I would ride my bike over the bridge, lock it up in front of one of the bars on Orchard Street and drift through the city on foot, recording. White Tears
  • The afternoon before I left London for New York – Rachel had flown out six weeks previously – I was in my cubicle at work, boxing up my possessions, when a senior vice president at the bank, an Englishman in his fifties, came to wish me well. Netherland
  • The baby boy wriggled in his arms, a warm, wet mass, softer than a goat and hairier than a rabbit kit. Bright’s Passage
  • The boy with fair hair lowered himself down the last few feet of rock and began to pick his way towards the lagoon. Lord Of The Flies
  • The cable car pulled away, carrying one last load of tourists up into the warm dusk. Blue Light Yokohama
  • The comet’s tail spread across the dawn, a red slash that bled above the crags of Dragonstone like a wound in the pink and purple sky. A Clash of Kings
  • The cop flicked his cigarette to the dirt-and-gravel road in front of the house, and touched back his hat over his hairline as the social worker drove up in a dusty Toyota Corolla. Fourth Of July Creek
  • The cottage sat at the edge of the lough. TransAtlantic
  • The daily recital of the rosary was over. The Leopard
  • The day was grey and bitter cold, and the dogs would not take the scent. A Storm of Swords: Steel and Snow
  • The dying actress arrived in his village the only way one could come directly – in a boat that motored into the cove, lurched past the rock jetty, and bumped against the end of the pier. Beautiful Ruins
  • The eleventh apartment had only one closet, but it did have a sliding glass door that opened onto a small balcony, from which he could see a man sitting across the way, outdoors in only a T-shirt and shorts even though it was October, smoking. A Little Life
  • The first case of polio that summer came early in June, right after Memorial Day, in a poor Italian neighborhood crosstown from where we lived. Nemesis
  • The first time Nakajima stayed over, I dreamed of my dead mom.  The Lake
  • The future is just more of the past waiting to happen. The Longest Memory
  • The morning express bloated with passengers slowed to a crawl, then lurched forward suddenly, as though to resume full speed.  A Fine Balance
  • The mountains tower above life and death and these houses huddling together on the Spit. Heaven and Hell
  • The mouth is a weird place. To Rise Again At A Decent Hour
  • The news about Walter Berglund wasn’t picked up locally -he and Patty had moved away to Washington two years earlier and meant nothing to St. Paul now- but the urban gentry of Ramsey Hill were not so loyal to their city as not to read the New York Times. Freedom
  • There was once, in the city of Kahani in the land of Alfibay, a boy named Luka who had two pets, a bear named Dog and a dog named Bear, which meant that whenever he called out ‘Dog!’ the bear waddled up amiably on his hind legs, and when he shouted ‘Bear!’ the dog bounded towards him wagging his tail. Luka and the Fire of Life
  • The Rua it was named because of its rusty colour when it gnashed and roared in flood, pouring through the valley’s slopes to finally consummate with the sea at the mouth of Ballo harbour. Shall We Gather At The River
  • The second cataclysm began in my eleventh life, in 1996. The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August
  • The sign had appeared overnight. When the Emperor Was Divine
  • The small, female oblong stood in the shadows beyond the doorway. Harmless Like You
  • The snow in the mountains was melting and Bunny had been dead for several weeks before we came to understand the gravity of our situation. The Secret History
  • The taxi’s radio was tuned to a classical FM broadcast. 1Q84 (Book 1 and Book 2)
  • The tower, which was not supposed to be there, plunges into the earth in a place just before the black pine forest begins to give way to swamp and then the reeds and wind-gnarled trees of the marsh flats. Annihilation
  • The town takes its name from the river. The Little Red Chairs
  • The truck’s government tag always tipped them off before his Kansas accent could. The Cove
  • The twelve men congregated in the smoking room of the Crown Hotel gave the impression of a party accidentally met. The Luminaries
  • The very first contact between Detective Chief Inspector Maigret and the dead man with whom he was to spend several weeks in the most puzzling intimacy was on 27 June 1930 in circumstances that were mundane, difficult and unforgettable all at the same time. The Late Monsieur Gallet
  • The vision of a tall-masted ship, at sail on the ocean, came to Deeti on an otherwise ordinary day, but she knew instantly that the apparition was a sign of destiny for she had never seen such a vessel before, not even in a dream: how could she have, living as she did in northern Bihar, four hundred miles from the coast? Sea of Poppies
  • The wagon and team came jouncing and creaking around the foot of the hill and up the dry creek bed, but the portly man in the black broad-brimmed hat and the dark suit didn’t know that. Little Sister Death
  • The war in Zagreb began over a pack of cigarettes. Girl At War
  • The war tried to kill us in the spring. The Yellow Birds
  • The world had gone quiet around me. Letters to Emma Bowlcut
  • They appear more often now, both of them, and on every visit they seem more impatient with me and with the world. The Testament of Mary
  • They arrive on the snow during the last endless day of summer. The Comet Seekers
  • They gathered in the car park before dawn and waited to be told what to do. Reservoir 13
  • They had rung the iron gong outside and it was still echoing, at first for real in the courtyard, and then, for a longer time, inside our heads. A Meal In Winter
  • They said I must die. Burial Rites
  • This is how it appears to me now, as I look back, without perhaps fully adhering to the chronology of events. Butterflies In November
  • this is my book and i am writing it by my own hand. The Colour of Milk
  • This is the story of a happy marriage but before you throw up and turn the page let me say that it will end with my face pressed hard into the cold metal of the Volvo’s bonnet, my hands cuffed behind my back, and my rights droned into my ear – this will occur in the car park of a big-box retail unit on the Naas Road in Dublin.  Dark Lies the Island
  • This strange new feeling of mine, obsessing me by its sweet languor, is such that I am reluctant to dignify it with the fine, solemn name of ‘sadness’. Bonjour Tristesse
  • Those who know me will be surprised to learn that I was a great talker as a child. We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves
  • Thursday 7th November – Beyond the Indian hamlet, upon a forlorn strand, I happened on a trail of recent footprints. Cloud Atlas
  • Today again Mataichi scooped the tiny fish one by one into a shallow bowl and examined them carefully under a magnifying glass. A Riot of Goldfish
  • Today a rare sun of spring. The Ginger Man
  • Today I’m five. Room
  • Today, in the newspaper, a photograph of tribesmen in the Amazon rainforest. A Line Made By Walking
  • Twice a year they come here, to her home-place. Nude
  • Welcome. The Facility
  • We’ll say this all began just outside of Chicago, in late summer on a residential street dead-ending in a wall. Lamb
  • “We should start back,” Gared urged as the woods began to grow dark around them. A Game of Thrones
  • We wanted more. We The Animals
  • We were going out to dinner. The Dinner
  • What actually woke him was the unearthly sound itself – a mournful shatter of frozen midnight falling to earth to pierce his heart and lodge there forever, never to move, never to melt – but he, being who he was, assumed it was his bladder. The Crane Wife
  • Whatever Mum’s saying’s drowned out by the grimy roar of the bus pulling away, revealing a pub called The Fox and Hounds. Slade House
  • Whatever’s wrong with us is coming in off that river. City of Bohane
  • What follows is a record of where Meadow and I have been since our disappearance. Schroder
  • ‘What’s it going to be then, eh?’ A Clockwork Orange
  • When I was a kid, I often messed this up. The Thief
  • When conversation at school turned to the Russo-Japanese War, Kiyoaki Matsugae asked his closest friend, Shigekuni Honda, how much he could remember about it. Spring Snow
  • When Kitty Finch took her hand off the steering wheel and told him she loved him, he no longer knew if she was threatening him or having a conversation. Swimming Home
  • When Mr. Bilbo Baggins of Bag End announced that he would shortly be celebrating his eleventy-first birthday with a party of special magnificence, there was much talk and excitement in Hobbiton. The Fellowship Of The Ring
  • When Patricia was six years old, she found a wounded bird. All The Birds In The Sky
  • When that Cold War relic Sir David Hampshire had approached him about becoming Chair of the Elysian Prize committee, Malcolm Craig asked for twenty-four hours to consider the offer. Lost For Words
  • While I was still in Amsterdam I dreamed about my mother for the first time in years. The Goldfinch 
  • Who was blowing on the nape of my neck? Ghostwritten
  • Why at the beginning of things is there always light? The Narrow Road to the Deep North
  • Why had they pretended to kill him when he was born? Mother’s Milk
  • William Stoner entered the University of Missouri as a freshman in the year 1910, at the age of nineteen. Stoner 
  • You are about to begin reading Italo Calvino’s new novel, If on a winter’s night a traveler. If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller
  • You would have searched a long time for the sort of winding lane or tranquil meadow for which England later became celebrated. The Buried Giant
  • You would not think someone so afflicted would or could be cheerful, not prone to melancholy or the miseries. Miss Jane