Ann Parker here, every other Thursday at the LadyKillers. Often, I don't identify a "favorite first line" until I've read the LAST line in a book. I'm a big fan of beginnings and endings that "resonate," that somehow connect, bringing the story full circle in some way.
Here's a couple pairings that resonate for me.
--- From John Updike's Terrorist:
Opening: Devils, Ahmad thinks. These devils seek to take away my God.
Closing: These devils, Ahmad thinks, have taken away my God.
I think that is probably pretty obvious, but it certainly completes the journey of the book.
---Second, one of my favorite authors of all times, Martin Cruz Smith, from December 6:
Opening: Five Samurai crept forward with a scuffle of sandals, eyes lit like opals by a late setting sun. A bloody haze flooded the alley, turning street banners red, soaking drab wooden shops and houses in a crimson wash.
Closing: Then his hearing cleared and the clamor of the street was overwhelming—the martial delirium of a loudspeaker, the chatter of clogs running after a cascade of lanterns—and in one step Harry was swept along by the bright, irresistible stream. ~December 6, Martin Cruz Smith
There's the sense of sound: scuffling sandals, chattering clogs... and look at all the words having to do with running water (streams always make me think of the inexorable forward movement of time): flodded, soaking, wash, running, swept along, stream... Absolutely lovely.
I absolutely love it when a writer takes as much care with the finishing words as with the opening words.
Do you have any favorite first/last pairings? If so, please share!