54 great opening lines: 42

I have just returned from a visit to my landlord – the solitary neighbour that I shall be troubled with.

Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë

*****

A joyless book.  I recently read it a second time in search of at least one happy moment but found none.  Flicking through the book today, I came across passage after passage of violent thoughts.  Take these three:
* ‘Wretched inmates!’ I ejaculated, mentally, ‘you deserve perpetual isolation from your species for your churlish inhospitality.’
* He dashed his head against the knotted trunk; and, lifting up his eyes, howled, not like a man, but like a savage beast getting goaded to death with knives and spears.
* The charge exploded, and the knife, in springing back, closed into its owner’s wrist. Heathcliff pulled it away by main force, slitting up the flesh as it passed on, and thrust it dripping into his pocket.

(The first line actually begins with the date 1801, but my WordPress theme formed a large block letter of the first character which made the date look ridiculous.)

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Author: Trish

Literary translator, French to English. Family history amateur.