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The 50 Best First Sentences in Fiction

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Gotta get your lede right.

“A screaming comes across the sky.”

—Thomas Pynchon, Gravity’s Rainbow

“Kublai Khan does not necessarily believe everything Marco Polo says when he describes the cities visited on his expeditions, but the emperor of the Tartars does continue listening to the young Venetian with greater attention and curiosity than he shows any other messenger or explorer of his.”

—Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities

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