A Celebration of
Great Opening Lines
in World Literature

Launched: January 1, 2022

This website is dedicated to the memory of John O. Huston (1945-2022)

Accolades & Acknowledgments


An absolutely marvelous—and hugely entertaining—literary omnium-gatherum.

PERSONAL NOTE: When Buckley, one of my favorite writers and a master of the great opening line, submitted this blurb, I was thrilled, but I confess that I had no clue what omnium-gatherum meant. The dictionary defines it this way: “A collection containing a variety of miscellaneous things."

With GreatOpeningLines.com, Dr. Mardy Grothe continues to thrive and rule in the world of words. His latest effort is a brilliant case study of literary first impressions. Take the time to explore this remarkable literary resource. It is akin to visiting a wing in the Literature Hall of Fame, and Dr. Mardy is its caretaker, commissioner, and chief advocate.

An amazing new contribution to the literary world—endlessly fascinating, deeply thought-provoking, and, for the aspiring writer, highly inspirational.

Dr Mardy Grothe's “Great Opening Lines” website is a fascinating and inspiring collection, and wonderfully collated. The opening of any novel is so important, and there are some real gems here. One click and you’ll be hooked.

After my very first visit to GreatOpeningLines.com, my first thought was, "Oh my gosh!" I just spent an hour on the A’s, with far, far more delicious hours to go. I love it! But what about the laundry? And the vacuuming? And the grocery-shopping? Never mind. After all, what is important in life?”

PERSONAL NOTE: A former high school English teacher, Kendall is a longtime subscriber to my weekly e-newsletter. When it comes to aging effectively, she is one of my personal heroes. Margie has also worked as an ESL teacher, radio advertising copy writer, and parent educator in a family literacy program. She is a lifelong chorister, ukulele band member, traveler and hiker (the Inca Trail, and more), sailor, community theater actor, jazzercizer, happy homemaker, mother, grandmother, and great grandmother. I’ve never had a communication from her that didn’t warm my heart.

With this marvelous new website, Dr. Mardy Grothe provides further evidence that he may well be the greatest language hunter gatherer of all time! His collections of metaphors, oxymorons, aphorisms, chiasmi, and other wordiful exhibits—including this colossal collection of great literary openers—are the epitome of language and learning dressed up to have fun

GreatOpeningLines.com is a brilliant and fascinating literary site. It will soon become every freelance writer's guilty pleasure. Thank you for sharing it so nicely.

Addictively browseable, and guaranteed to add new titles to your to-read list!

There aren’t enough words to describe the wonders in GreatOpeningLines.com. The entire collection is mesmerizing, from all of the usual suspects to scores of writers I know nothing about, and others I should have read but haven’t—yet. Dr. Mardy’s annotations alone are worth the price of admission. What am I saying? The site is free (and ad-free as well!). This amazing website is a true joy—educational, addictive, kind of mind-blowing, really. Bet you can’t read just one.

Lots of people collect quotations, but no one curates them with as much erudition and care as Dr. Mardy Grothe. Now he turns his attention to great opening lines, and his new website is an idea whose time has finally come. It is also an extraordinary resource for readers and writers alike. His selections and occasional commentary reflect a perfect combination of taste, wisdom, and humor. For writers trying to craft those crucial opening words, GreatOpeningLines.com is just what the doctor ordered.

Mardy Grothe's books and websites are the wonders of the quotation world. Time and time again he has produced resources that are both addictively fascinating and highly educational. GreatOpeningLines.com is another tour de force by the master. Grothe has a genius for selecting the best opening lines and enhancing them with wonderful commentary.


“Best Opening Lines: Another Magnetic Mardy Grothe Project,” by John Busbee for The Culture Buzz (March 25, 2022): Read More >

“This Day in Quotes” website (Jan. 3, 2022): Read More >


GreatOpeningLines.com is pretty much the effort of a single individual—yours truly—and the contents of the site have resulted from many thousands of hours of reading and research on my part. The site would not exist, though, without the financial support of a number of generous individuals who have become Site Sponsors. Their names will remain unknown to the public, but each one of them has earned a special place in my heart. You should also know that it is because of the Sponsors that your visits to the site will never be marred by the appearance of annoying pop-up ads and other commercial distractions.

I also wish to acknowledge that my efforts have been aided by countless people who’ve nominated new entries, suggested new authors and books, provided invaluable research assistance, pointed out typos and other errors, and, in ways too numerous to detail here, encouraged and supported my efforts. Most are subscribers to my weekly e-newsletter (“Dr. Mardy’s Quotes of the Week”), and I hasten to add that I also consider them friends. They include:

Mark Alcamo, Esteban A. “Steve” Aguilar, Jack Altschuler, Karé Anderson, Wayne Applebaum, Steve Arbury, Nick Arden, Portia Asher, Herman Axelrod, David Bercik, Carl Bowers, Katherine Bowes, Susan Boyce, Mike Boyd, Jim Bursick, Arlene Carol, Beth Carpenter, Jacqueline Cathcart, Steve Claybeck, Blayney Claymore, Jack Cergol, Connie Clausen, Susan Cogley, Faye Cone, Anne Cook, Laura Davis, Bob Deis, Chris Deibert, Mary DeVerter, Stephen Doyle, Gail Dufresne, Linnda Durre, Barbara Dvorozniak, Ted Dyer, David Evans, Ron Fleisher, Susan Frank, Nancy Gates-Meyer, Elizabeth Girvan, Boris Glikman, Nancy Greer, Joe Grubb, Tasha Halpert, Marolyn Hamilton, Don Hanson, Kelly Hardy, Bernadette Harris, Dan Hart, David Hartson, Don Hauptman, Walter Hermans, Dave Hill, Ben Hinson, Coe Huddleston, Julayne Hughes, John O. Huston, Alison Ince, Elizabeth Jackson-D’Ambrisi, Jeff Jacoby, Gary Jaron, Ed Kant, Margaret Kendall, Derm Keohane, Kirby Kilpatrick, Ranganathan Kuppanna, Mike Lawson, Ethel Lee-Miller, Echo Lewis, Michaele, Lockhart, Becky Lower, Frank Madore, Rosalie Maggio (R.I.P.), Larry Maples, John Marquart, Marv Marshall, Tim McCarthy, Barbara McNichol, David Meggyesy, Peter Mehren, Stephen Blake Mettee, Sollace Mitchell, Randall Moore, Ken Mortara, Cherie Mulder, Sharon Mullins, John Nagy, Julie Harris Neiger, Lindsay F. Nielson, Mary Nelson, Richard Nordquist, Maria F. Nusbaum, Phillip Ogle, Peter Olsson, Karen Packard, Michael Paesler, Christopher Palmer, Ted Pease, Louis Phillips, Sherilyn Purtz, R. R. Raymond, William Readdy, Carolanne Reynolds, Wes Reynolds, Sheila Richards, Katherine Robinson, Stephen Rockower, Jonathan Rose, Jerry Rosenthal, Mark Rubinstein, Don Ruhl, Steve Selwyn, Laurence Shames, Felice Shilliaci, Barbara Shuman, Phil Silverman, Terry Smildsin, David Snapper, C. P. Sobelman, Keerthy Sunder, Shirlie Sweet, Kecia Talbot, Scott Talbot, Greg Tamblyn, Patrick Thomas, Karl Tischler, Mike Torch, Alta van Zyl, Dennis Vargo, Mike Wagner, Sam Walker, Bill Wallace, David Wallace, Glenn Waring, Cheryl Watsey, Bruce Watson, Art Wills, Irene Wittig, David Wogahn, Jerry Yanoff, and Scott Ziegler.

If you have provided me with some assistance in the past and your name is not on this list, please forgive me for the oversight, and please let me know so that I can properly acknowledge your contribution to my efforts.