The 27 best opening lines in books, from Rebecca to The Great Gatsby

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Prepare to read the most fascinating article of your life.

The first sentence of any piece of writing is arguably the most important – both in terms of hooking the reader in and of doing justice to the body of work that it is introducing.

Our attempt, here, is perhaps a little on-the-nose and definitely overestimates the quality of the copy that follows but, hey, it caught your attention and demonstrated our point.

From Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca and J R R Tolkien’s The Hobbit, to Toni Morrison’s Beloved and F Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, here are the 27 best opening lines in books…

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