best opening/closing lines

Here, a list of the best novel opening lines and a list of the best novel closing lines.  (note: second list is a PDF and, naturally, contains spoilers)

I like how William Gaddis invariably tells you the theme of his giant novels within the first few words (This is also the case with The Recognitions, although that book doesn’t appear on the opening lines list).

–Jon W.

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About sonorareview

Founded in 1980, Sonora Review is the oldest student-run literary journal in the country. From start to finish, each issue is put together solely by graduate students in the Creative Writing Department at the University of Arizona. All staff members volunteer their time. Former staff members include Antonya Nelson, Robert Boswell, Richard Russo, Tony Hoagland, and David Foster Wallace. Work originally printed in the Sonora Review has appeared in Best of the West and Best American Poetry, and has won O.Henry Awards and Pushcart Prizes. Sonora Review maintains a congenial relationship with the Department of English while safeguarding the editors' complete aesthetic and managerial control. You can contact Sonora Review via email at: Or by mail at: Sonora Review Department of English University of Arizona Tucson, AZ 85721

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