Once Upon a Time. . .Happily Ever After

Once Upon a Time...Happily Ever After. This is probably the best known Beginning and Ending sentence pair in literary fiction. Here is a collection of more beginning and ending sentence pairs, starting with the ALL TIME classic from Charles Dickens.

Charles Dickens

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way -- in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only."

"It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known."

- Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

John Berendt

"He was tall, about fifty, with darkly handsome, almost sinister features: a neatly trimmed mustache, hair turning silver at the temples, and eyes so black they were like the tinted windows of a sleek limousine -- he could see out, but you couldn't see in."

"Every nuance and quirk of personality achieved greater brilliance in that lush enclosure than would have been possible anywhere else in the world."

- John Berendt, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

Daphne du Maurier

"Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again."
"And the ashes blew towards us with the salt wind from the sea."

- Daphne du Maurier, Rebecca

Carrie Fisher

"The Chinese have a curse, 'May you live in interesting Times.'"

"The baby tide had come in, leaving her barren beach of a body stewn with one perfect baby shell. Cora put her ear to it and heard her whole life roar."

- Carrie Fisher, Delusions of Grandma

More literary sounds located in the Sound Library.

John Grisham

"My decision to become a lawyer was irrevocably sealed when I realized my father hated the legal profession."

"I vow never to return."

- John Grisham, The Rainmaker

Robert Travers

"The mine whistles were tooting midnight as I drove down Main Street hill."

"'Yes, Parn,' I said, again stepping on the gas, and as we fled down the steep hill the soaring words of William Blake came surging back to me, so Saxonly muscular and bleeding: 'The pure soul shall mount on native wings, disdaining little sport, and cut a path into the heaven of glory, leaving a track of light for men to wonder at.'"

- Robert Travers, Anatomy of a Murder


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