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Literary Trivia

May 23, 2014

Identify each novel or short story that begins with the following sentence:

1. Call me Ishmael.

2. Nothing to be done.

3. It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.

4. It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.

5. Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show.

6. It was Wang Lung’s marriage day.

7. It was love at first sight.

8. To the red country and part of the gray country of Oklahoma, the last rains came gently, and they did not cut the scarred earth.

9. She was one of those pretty, charming ladies, born, as if through an error of destiny, into a family of clerks.

10. As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams, he found himself transformed into a giant insect.

11. When he was nearly thirteen, my brother Jem got his arm badly broken at the elbow.

12. It was a dark and stormy night…

13. “Christmas won’t be Christmas without any presents,” grumbled Jo, lying on the rug.

14. When Mrs. Frederick C. Little’s second son arrived, everybody noticed that he was not much bigger than a mouse.

15. One thing was certain, that the white kitten had had nothing to do with it—it was the black kitten’s fault entirely.

16. Once upon a time and a very good time it was there was a moocow coming down along the road and this moocow that was coming down along the road met a nicens little boy named baby tuckoo…

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13 Comments leave one →
  1. May 23, 2014 8:34 am

    1. Moby Dick

    2. Waiting for Godot, isn’t it? neither a novel nor short story, though, so maybe there’s something else that starts this way too?

    3. Pride and Prejudice

    4. 1984

    5. David Copperfield (I am incapable of typing this title without thinking of this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UEMF02gg9N8)

    6.The Good Earth

    7. ?

    8. Grapes of Wrath

    9. ?

    10. Metamorphosis

    11. To Kill a Mockingbird

    12. Paul Clifford

    13. Little Women

    14. Stuart Little

    15. Alice Through the Looking Glass

    16. Finnegan’s Wake

    • May 27, 2014 9:22 am

      Oops. I forgot to say I took this from the Lederer and Gilleland Literary Trivia, complete with instructions, and they overlooked the fact that Waiting for Godot is a play!

  2. May 23, 2014 8:57 am

    That’s a lot of titles to come up with!

    1. Easy: Moby Dick
    2. Waiting for Godot
    3. Easy: Pride & Prejudice
    4. 1984
    5. David Copperfield
    6. no idea
    7. no idea
    8. Grapes of Wrath
    9. The Necklace (one of my favorites)
    10. The Metamorphosis (Ah Kafka…my friend)
    11. To Kill a Mockingbird
    12. no idea
    13. Little Women (Jo gave that away even though I haven’t read this)
    14. Stuart Little
    15. no idea
    16. Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man

    • May 27, 2014 9:22 am

      I was going for more chances means more people would know some.

  3. May 23, 2014 6:25 pm

    I read this post this morning before work and got depressed because I knew so few. And then I thought I’d come here and tell you that tonight.

  4. May 24, 2014 1:14 am

    I might have gotten #12 if you they had just given the entire sentence.

  5. May 24, 2014 1:15 am

    edj3–Feel not depressed; I only knew four (and two of them were from books I have never read).

    • May 27, 2014 9:30 am

      edj3—the person saying that to you is one of my favorite professors from Hendrix!

  6. K D permalink
    May 24, 2014 7:30 pm

    I knew
    a slew
    but there was
    someone else who
    knew
    more than my few.

    1, 3, 4, 8, 10, 11, 13, 14

    (These are the ones I knew on the 23rd, when you posted them.)

  7. May 27, 2014 9:25 am

    1. Moby-Dick, Melville
    2. Waiting for Godot, Beckett
    3. Pride and Prejudice, Austen
    4. Nineteen Eight-Four, Orwell
    5. David Copperfield, Dickens
    6. The Good Earth, Buck
    7. Catch-22, Heller
    8. The Grapes of Wrath, Steinbeck
    9. The Necklace, de Maupassant
    10. The Metamorphosis, Kafka
    11. To Kill a Mockingbird, Lee
    12. Paul Clifford, Bulwer-Lytton
    13. Little Women, Alcott
    14. Stuart Little, White
    15. Through the Looking Glass, Carroll
    16. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Joyce

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