This month, The Classics Club asks: What is your favorite opening sentence from a classic novel (and why?)
This is a tough question for me to answer because there are just too many great opening sentences to choose from! Through much pain-staking deliberation, I finally settled upon A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgress:
"There was me, that is
Alex, and my three droogs, that is Pete, Georgie and Dim and we sat in
the Korova milkbar trying to make up our rassoodocks what to do with the
The playful tone and unusual vernacular should immediately strike the reader. The use of slang (droogs, rassoodocks) can be understood through context but this opening sentence is so incongruous with the typical use of language found in English literary works that it has the mesmerizing effect to instantly captivate the reader. Why is the narrator speaking like this and what exactly is a Korova milkbar? By eschewing with lengthy explanations or purple prose, Burgress wastes no time and launches the reader directly into the story, which creates a strong sense of curiosity and fascination. I have yet to come across many opening sentences as unique and intriguing as this one that instantly hooks the reader.