First Lines Fridays – 19th March 2021

Hey everyone!

It is time for this week’s First Lines Fridays post!


First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

The first lines of today’s chosen book are:

Wars came early to Shanghai, overtaking each other like the tides that raced up the Yangtze and returned to this gaudy city all the coffins cast adrift from the funeral piers of the Chinese Bund.
Jim had begun to dream of wars. At night the same silent films seemed to flicker against the wall of his bedroom in Amherst Avenue, and transformed his sleeping mind into a deserted newsreel theatre.


And the book is…

Empire of the Sun by J.G. Ballard


GoodReads Synopsis:

The classic, award-winning novel, made famous by Steven Spielberg’s film, tells of a young boy’s struggle to survive World War II in China.

Jim is separated from his parents in a world at war. To survive, he must find a deep strength greater than all the events that surround him.

Shanghai, 1941 — a city aflame from the fateful torch of Pearl Harbor. In streets full of chaos and corpses, a young British boy searches in vain for his parents. Imprisoned in a Japanese concentration camp, he is witness to the fierce white flash of Nagasaki, as the bomb bellows the end of the war…and the dawn of a blighted world.

Ballard’s enduring novel of war and deprivation, internment camps and death marches, and starvation and survival is an honest coming-of-age tale set in a world thrown utterly out of joint.


I bought a gorgeous copy of Empire of the Sun (the same as the one pictured above) from Folio Society, during their sale, and I am so excited to read it. I am planning to have it on my April TBR.


Have you read this book?
If yes, what did you think of it?

Let me know in the comments!

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