The Contenders' Opening Lines

June 30, 1996

You don't know about me without you have read a book by the name of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, but that ain't no matter.

4 "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn," Mark Twain

Late in the afternoon of a chilly day in February, two gentlemen were sitting alone over their wine, in a well-furnished dining parlor, in the town of P-, Kentucky.

:. "Uncle Tom's Cabin," Harriet Beecher Stowe

On a brilliant day in May, in the year 1868, a gentleman was reclining at his ease on the great circular divan which at that period occupied the centre of the Salon Carre', in the Museum of the Louvre.

"The American,"

Henry James

In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I've been turning over in my head ever since.

"The Great Gatsby,"

# F. Scott Fitzgerald

The towers of Zenith aspired above the morning mist; austere towers of steel and cement and limestone, sturdy as cliffs and delicate as silver rods.

"Babbitt,"

Sinclair Lewis

I am an invisible man.

"Invisible Man,"

Ralph Ellison

To the red country and part of the gray country of Oklahoma, the last rains came gently, and they did not cut the scarred earth.

5) "The Grapes of Wrath," John Steinbeck

I first heard of Antonia on what seemed to me an interminable journey across the great midland plain of North America

"My Antonia,"

Willa Cather

If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you'll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don't feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth.

"The Catcher in the Rye," J. D. Salinger

Pub date: 06/30/96

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