I was recently a guest at Karen Cioffi – Writing for Children where I blogged about first lines in books for children. Previously I’d written a post about Best First Lines in Novels. Talking about first lines made me wonder if there were any lists for the best last lines in novels. I’m happy to say I found several.
The following are some of my favorites. I selected them because they were fun, famous or sounded like a good first line making me want to read the book.
"It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known." A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
He loved Big Brother. – 1984 by George Orwell
I don’t hate it he thought, panting in the cold air, the iron New England dark; I don’t. I don’t! I don’t hate it! I don’t hate it! - Absalom, Absalom! By William Faulkner
It was the nightmare of real things, the fallen wonder of the world. The Names by Don DeLille
Go, my book, and help destroy the world as it is. Continental Drift by Russell Banks
YOU HAVE FALLEN INTO ART – RETURN TO LIFE – Willie Masters’ Lonesome Wife by William H. Gass
The knife came down, missing him by inches, and he took off. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
P.S. Sorry I forgot to give you the mayonnaise. Trout Fishing in America by Richard Brautigan
“Terminal.” The End of the Road by John Barth
He waited for someone to tell him who to be next. The Open Curtain by Brian Evenson
This is the difference between this and that. A Novel of Thank You by Gertrude Stein
So I mean listen I got this neat idea hey, you listening? Hey? You listening…? J R by William Gaddis
I lingered round them, under that benign sky; watched the moths fluttering among the heath, and hare-bells; listened to the soft wind breathing through the grass; and wondered how anyone could ever imagine unquiet slumbers, for the sleepers in that quiet earth. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
I have to toss in one from a children’s book.
But wherever they go, and whatever happens to them on the way, in that enchanted place on the top of the Forest, a little boy and his Bear will always be playing. The House at Pooh Corner, A.A. Milne
If you’d like to read more last lines, Best Last Line from Famous Books at docstoc.com lists lines from 100 books and lastlines at saidwhat.com are two of the best sources I found.
Does your novel have a great last line? If so, I’d love to hear it. Do you have a favorite last line from a novel you’ve read? Would a good last line make you want to read a novel you haven't read before?
I hope you can stop by next Monday (5/10) when guest blogger L. Diane Wolfe will be talking about types of burnout (writer burnout, promoting burnout), how to avoid and how to deal with it. Diane is an accomplished speaker and author. Her books are Overcoming Obstacles with Spunk! and The Circle of Friends series. The fifth book in the series, Heather was recently released, so I have a feeling this is a topic Diane has been dealing with lately. To find out more about Diane, visit Spunk on a Stick blog and website and come back next week.
Thanks for stopping by today.
Tags: James Bryce, first lines, last lines , Faulkner, Wuthering Heights, Orwell, Dickens, Gaddis, L. Diane Wolfe,