First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines? If you want to make your own post, feel free to use or edit the banner above, and follow the rules below:
- Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
- Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
- Finally… reveal the book!
Feel free to comment below or tag me in the post, so I can check it out and share it on Twitter.
Once upon a time in Westphalia, in the castle of Monsieur the Baron von Thunder-ten-tronckh, there lived a young boy on whom nature had bestowed the gentlest of dispositions.
Read on to find out which book this extract is from…
Candide by Voltaire
Brought up in the household of a German Baron, Candide is an open-minded young man whose tutor, Pangloss, has instilled in him the belief, inspired by Leibniz, that ‘all is for the best in this, the best of all possible worlds’. But when his love for the Baron’s rosy-cheeked daughter is discovered, Candide is cast out to make his own fortune. As he and his various companions roam over the world, an outrageous series of disasters befall them – earthquakes, syphilis, a brush with the Inquisition, murder – sorely testing the young hero’s optimism.
I thought I would share the first lines of one of the most bizarre adventures I have ever read. It has been several years since I read Candide but it still stands out in my memory, seeming to flow from one crazy scene to another. I can’t say I would recommend it for everyone, though it is considered a true classic.
Check out the First Lines Fridays archive for more posts!