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Following is a list of the 100 best first lines from novels, as decided by the American Book Review, a nonprofit journal published at the Unit for Contemporary Literature at Illinois State University: 1. Call me Ishmael. - Herman Melville, Moby-Dick (1851)
[Editor's Note: Read Clare Asquith's article on the story behind Shadowplay, .] In recent decades the "personal is political" lit crit crowd has read William Shakespeare as everything from Transgressive and Queer to an apologist for Colonialism; from Puritan to Atheist, from regicide to monarchist, from philo-Semite to anti-Semite to Semite. Everyone, it seems, has joined in the "Shakespeare-and-us" game.