Thursday, July 25, 2013

The first sentences of Stephen King

The author Stephen King "spends 'months and even years' writing opening sentences" for his books, according to this article on The Atlantic.

Maybe so! Here are the first sentences from 35 of his books. Judge for yourself.

"Jack Torrance thought: Officious little prick."
-- The Shining

During the days after they left the Green Palace that wasn't Oz after all -- but which was now the tomb of the unpleasant fellow Roland's ka-tet had known as the Tick-Tock Man -- the boy Jake began to range farther and farther ahead of Roland, Eddie and Susannah.
-- The Wind Through the Keyhole

An old blue Ford pulled into the guarded parking lot that morning, looking like a small, tired dog after a hard run.
-- The Long Walk

The terror, which would not end for another twenty-eight years -- if it ever did end -- began, so far as I know or can tell, with a boat made from a sheet of newspaper floating down a gutter swollen with rain.
-- It

Hapscomb's Texaco sat on Number 93 just north of Arnette, a pissant four-street burg about 110 miles from Houston.
-- The Stand

To Whom It May Concern: My name is Wilfred Leland James, and this is my confession.
-- Full Dark, No Stars

He kept doing things without letting himself think about them.
-- Roadwork

Almost everyone thought the man and the boy were father and son.
-- Salem's Lot

News item from the Westover (Me.) weekly Enterprise, August 19, 1966: RAIN OF STONES REPORTED
-- Carrie

There's a guy like me in every state and federal prison in America, I guess -- I'm the guy who can get it for you.
-- Different Seasons

My name is Edgar Freemantle.
-- Duma Key

Once, in a kingdom called Delain, there was a King with two sons.
--The Eyes of the Dragon

Umber whunnn / yerrrnnn umber whunnn / fayunnnn / These sounds: even in the haze.
-- Misery

"Oh! Oh, Jesus! Gross!"
-- Desperation

The event that came to be known as The Pulse began at 3:30 p.m., eastern standard time [sic], on the afternoon of October 1.
-- Cell

The world had teeth and it could bite you with them anytime it wanted.
-- The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon

"Oh my God!" my friend Arnie Cunningham cried out suddenly.
-- Christine

The two things Sarah remembered about that night later were his run of luck at the Wheel of Fortune and the mask.
-- The Dead Zone

George was somewhere in the dark.
-- Blaze

She was squinting at the thermometer in the white light coming through the window.
-- The Running Man

Louis Creed, who had lost his father at three and who had never known a grandfather, never expected to find a father as he entered his middle age, but that was exactly what happened.
-- Pet Sematary

It was fourteen years of hell, all told, but she hardly knew it.
-- Rose Madder

"Daddy, I'm tired," the little girl in the red pants and the green blouse said fretfully.
-- Firestarter

Once upon a time, not so long ago, a monster came to the small town of Castle Rock, Maine.
-- Cujo

From the East Oregonian, June 25th, 1947 -- FIRE CONTROL OFFICER SPOTS 'FLYING SAUCERS'
-- Dreamcatcher

Dear Bones, How good it was to step into the cold, draughty hall here at Chapelwaite, every bone in an ache from that abominable coach, in need of instant relief from my distended bladder -- and to see a letter addressed in your own inimitable scrawl propped on the obscene little cherry-wood table beside the door!
-- Night Shift

On a very hot day in August of 1994, my wife told me she was going down to the Derry Rite Aid to pick up a refill on her sinus medicine prescription -- this is stuff you can buy over the counter these days, I believe.
-- Bag of Bones

Bobby Garfield's father had been one of those fellows who start losing their hair in their twenties and are completely bald by the age of forty-five or so.
-- Hearts in Atlantis

To the public eye, the spouses of well-known writers are all but invisible, and no one knew it better than Lisey Landon.
-- Lisey's Story

People's lives -- their real lives, as opposed to their simple physical existences -- begin at different times.
-- The Dark Half

Jessie could hear the back door banging lightly, randomly, in the October breeze blowing around the house.
-- Gerald's Game

For want of a nail the kingdom was lost -- that's how the catechism goes when you boil it down.
-- The Tommyknockers

Brian Engle rolled the American Pride L1011 to a stop at Gate 22 and flicked off the FASTEN SEATBELT light at exactly 10:14 p.m.
-- The Langoliers

"Thinner," the old Gypsy man with the rotting nose whispers to William Halleck as Halleck and his wife, Heidi, came out of the courthouse.
-- Thinner

What did you ask, Andy Bissette?
-- Dolores Claiborne

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