The First Sentence of Every Novel Should Be…

I’ve said it before: Michael Ondaatje is one of the great writers of our time. However, his novels go all over the place and are definitely not for everyone. (If you want to know more about reading Ondaatje, click here)

I am currently reading a book of his called In The Skin of a Lion.

It is there I came upon the following sentence:

The first sentence of every novel should be: “Trust me, this will take time but there is order here, very faint, very human.”

I checked; none of his novels start like that, but those words should be written as a warning at the start of every Ondaatje book.

2 thoughts on “The First Sentence of Every Novel Should Be…”

  1. Sounds like great advice. My advice? Don’t try to encapsulate the whole book/ hook the reader/ give away the book’s secrets in the first line. Let the reader work for their prize.


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