I write this sitting in the kitchen sink. That is, my feet are in it; the rest of me is on the draining board, which I have padded with our dog's blanket and the tea cosy.
I think I first read I Capture the Castle when I was about sixteen; reading it again 45 years later, I realise that I was far too young to appreciate its wit and charm the first time around. I had often wondered why it appears on so many lists of favourites and all time greats. Now I know.
I will refrain from writing a review of a book that everyone has read. However, if you haven't read it since you were very young, I recommend that you do so again. Perhaps we should re-visit all of that supposed Young Adult Fiction.
Instead of a review, I thought I might use that famous opening line as a challenge to find other memorable first lines. I'll start with a couple of my favourites and invite you to add to the list.
I cannot imagine any author making a more stunning entrance than Franz Kafka in Metamorphosis:
As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect.
Jane Austen certainly knew how to catch the attention of her readers and choosing just one memorable opening is difficult. I settle for this from Pride and Prejudice:
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife. However little known the feelings or views of such a man may be on his first entering a neighbourhood, this truth is so well fixed in the minds of the surrounding families, that he is considered as the rightful property of some one or other of their daughters.
And I must have one Dickens novel in my list. Great Expectations offers a choice of endings but the opening lines are always the same:
My father's family name being Pirrip, and my Christian name Philip, my infant tongue could make of both names nothing longer or more explicit than Pip. So, I called myself Pip, and came to be called Pip.
I look forward to reading your favourites.