1. J. J. Griffing says:

    Along with “There once was a boy named Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it,” (Voyage of the Dawn Treader, by C. S. Lewis) and “The building was on fire, but it wasn’t my fault,” (Summer Knight, I think, by Jim Butcher), Charles Williams’ opening line in War in Heaven is among literature’s best.

    “The telephone was ringing frantically, but nobody was there to answer it but the corpse.” Or something like that. Sure beats “It is a truth universally acknowledged, …” by Jane Austin (P&P) or Lewis’ own “Marriage was ordained, thirdly, …” in THS.

What say you?