Thursday, June 10, 2010

Hey! What's Your Favorite Line of All Time?

So, when I think about all the books I've read, certain lines, phrases come into mind--words that have always stuck with me. Some have touched my heart, others have made me laugh out loud and some were just so darn bizarre I couldn't get the words out of my head!

One of my most favorite lines of all time is from The Meaning of Night, by Michael Cox. I loved this book so much, but what really captured me was the first line of the book. It's so matter-of-fact and by the by, it surprised me to say the least, because who isn't a little hungry after offing someone? “After killing the red-haired man, I took myself off to Quinn's for an oyster supper.” Enough said, Mr. Cox, please tell me more! I highly recommend this book, by the way--brilliant!

Currently, I'm reading The Somnambulist, by Jonathan Barnes and absolutely LOVING it. I can't get enough. It was the first line that got me with this book! "Be warned. This book has no literary merit whatsoever." All I can say is, SOLD! At least he's telling us the book has no literary merit, honesty counts for something, doesn't it? And by the way, Mr. Barnes totally lied. This book is full of all types of merit! I'm addicted to it!

Okay, so I suppose I like first lines! Anyway, what is your favorite or most memorable line from a book you've ever read? If you don't have one, what's a favorite line from something YOU'VE written?

xoxo -- Hilary


  1. Frankly, I don't give a damn. -- Rhett Butler to Scarlett O'Hara. Gone with the Wind.

  2. Oh, this is actually quite easy for me.

    In C.S. Friedman's 2nd book of the Coldfire Trilogy, When True Night Falls, there is a paragraph where the main character Damien enters a church of his faith. He is astounded by the vastness and beauty of the place, and the last line of the paragraph has stuck with me for almost 20 years now. Forgive my paraphrasing, though, because I don't have the book handy to quote directly!

    "In this place, one could believe that there was a God. In here, one could believe that they could commune with Him."

    Incredibly poignant, especially in light of the plot that comes through during the second book (about corruption within the church, etc). LOVE that trilogy.

  3. Colson Whitehead, my current favorite contemporary writer, has a line (well, technically it's two...) in his novel "Sag Harbor" that I absolutely love.

    Quick backstory: Whitehead deals with racial issues a bit in his stories. His protagonist in this one is an adolescent black male who goes through "rites of passage" and whatnot during a summer vacation at the family's beach house. (Yesh, I really oversimplified that...)

    "What did he look like? Senior partner in the law firm of Cracker, Cracker & Cracker."

    I don't know if that is "racist" or not, but I'm a white dude who isn't the least bit offended. Well, I suppose that's obvious if I consider it to be one of my favorite lines. :)

  4. Anonymous6/10/2010

    How did it come to this? --Lord of the Rings

  5. T.D. That is very profound, as I'm sure most people never get a chance to feel that way--beautiful quote.

    J.M. It sounds like the line makes perfect sense with the story, not to mention it's pretty darn funny! ;) I will have to read Sag Harbor now, sounds like something I would like.

    Laura, sometimes the simplest of lines are the most telling. I love that line too.

    xoxo -- Hilary

  6. I know it's so cliche now, but "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times . . ." That's so what raising children is like! ;)

  7. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (AWESOME NOVEL)

    Favorite line (there are so many):

    Juliet said, “I sometimes think I prefer suitors in books rather than right in front of me. How awful, backward, cowardly, and mentally warped that will be if it turns out to be true.”

    Mmm hmm. I hear ya, Juliet. I hear ya.

  8. Anonymous6/10/2010

    "I leaned around in the seat and gave him a big smile ... admiring the shape of his skull."

    HST, Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas.

    Hello :)

  9. Janet, I could not agree more! Great choice and I think it's one of those classics, that could never be a cliché!

    Karen, sing it sister! That's a great quote and totally true!

    Jonas, you and me would get along well on the "I love creepy" scale! I LOVE that quote! ;)

    xoxo -- Hilary

  10. Hee hee. There are just too many good lines! As a teen I did like... and everything was practically perfect. (kind of cheesy)

  11. More than one's not fair, but here goes--
    "Who is John Galt?" -- Atlas Shrugged

    "God pouring into God, if you know what i mean." --Salinger, i think Raise High the Roofbeams

    "I am pleased to say that i have never seen a spade." -- The Importance of Being Ernest

  12. What fun! Okay, I can't think right now of a sentence from a book, but what about a movie? In the new Alice in Wonderland the Mad Hatter asks, "When is a raven like a writing desk?" I don't think I'll ever forget that. Oh and another was said by Alice's father, "Can you think of six impossibilities before breakfast?"

  13. I'm not getting this exactly right, but I love, "You're the new shiny thing," from Twilight.

  14. This is a deeply MEAN question, Hilary. I mean, seriously. -_- Would it be cliche to quote Harry Potter?
    Probably, but oh well. Those books are my childhood. Now the problem is if I quoted everything in every book, I would have a several thousand page comment . . . Hmm. I like this one.
    "It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends."
    It's cliche, but it also totally describes high school. :P

  15. Anonymous6/16/2010

    i'm interested to read what you think of The Somnambulist when you finish it. i, too, thought it had a great start.

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