"Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the Western Spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun."
Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
“As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect."
Franz Kafka, The Metamorphosis and Other Stories.
“Mr and Mrs Dursley, of number four Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much.”
JK Rowling, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.
“Ships at a distance have every man’s wish on board.”
Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God.
"Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the riverbank, and of having nothing to do: once or twice she had peeped into the book her sister was reading, but it had no pictures or conversations in it, 'and what is the use of a book', thought Alice, 'without pictures or conversation?"
Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
“All children, except one, grow up.”
JM Barrie, Peter Pan.
“Not every 13-year-old girl is accused of murder, brought to trial, and found guilty.”
Avi, True confessions of Charlotte Doyle.
"It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen."
George Orwell, 1984.
"There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it."
C. S. Lewis, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.
"Novalee Nation, seventeen, seven months pregnant, thirty-seven pounds overweight - and superstitious about sevens - shifted uncomfortably in the seat of the old Plymouth and ran her hands down the curve of her belly.”
Billie Letts, Where the Heart Is.
"If you are interested in stories with happy endings, you would be better off reading some other book."
Lemony Snicket, Daniel Handler, A Series of Unfortunate Events.
"It was the day my grandmother exploded."
Iain Banks, The Crow Road.
"If you're going to read this, don't bother."
Chuck Palahniuk, Choke.
"For a long time, I went to bed early."
Marcel Proust, Swann's Way from In Search Of Lost Time.
"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."
“Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, inventor of the cornflake and peanut butter, not to mention caramel-cereal coffee, Bromose, Nuttolene and some seventy-five other gastronomically correct foods, paused to level his gaze on the heavyset women in front of him.”
T. Coraghessan Boyle, The Road to Wellville.
“All this happened, more or less.”
Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five.
"Conventions, like clichés, have a way of surviving their own usefulness."
Jane Rule, Desert of the Heart.
"The beginning is simple to mark."
Ian McEwan, Enduring Love.
"Marley was dead, to begin with."
Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol.
"If you were going to give a gold medal to the least delightful person on Earth, you would have to give that medal to a person named Carmelita Spats, and if you didn’t give it to her, Carmelita Spats was the sort of person who would snatch it from your hands anyway."
Lemony Snicket, The Austere Academy.
"Ours is essentially a tragic age, so we refuse to take it tragically."
D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley's Lover.
"Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home and happy disposition, seemed to unite some of the best blessings of existence; and had lived nearly twenty-one years in the world with very little to distress or vex her."
Jane Austen, Emma.
"I will not drink more than fourteen alcohol units a week."
Helen Fielding, Bridget Jonses’ Diary.
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”
Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities.
“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.”
Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice.
"All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way."
Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina.
“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."
JD Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye.