Quiz: Guess the Book From Its Opening Line

Quiz: Guess the Book From Its Opening Line

By: Alia Hoyt

Some books come out hot right out of the gate with iconic openers. How many of these literary works can you correctly guess based only on the opening line?

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Question 1 of 10

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness…”

The Charles Dickens classic is often quoted, but many people don’t know where it came from. This opening line also goes down as one of the longest, because it continues quite a while before the inevitable period.

Question 2 of 10

“Call me Ishmael.”

“The Old Man and the Sea”

The 1851 classic by Herman Melville boasts perhaps one of the most famous opening lines of all time. Also, one of the most famous whales.

Question 3 of 10

“You better not never tell nobody but God. It’d kill your mammy.”

“You Can’t Keep a Good Woman Down”

“Their Eyes Were Watching God”

The character of Celie took those words seriously, as the novel by Alice Walker includes many letters to God about her life.

Question 4 of 10

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

Considered by some to be the greatest novel of the 20th century, this line from George Orwell’s “1984” sets the reader up for a whole lot of confusion, chaos and uncertainty.

Question 5 of 10

“If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don’t feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth.”

This 1951 classic by J.D. Salinger is banned in many libraries for profanity, alcohol and drug abuse, sexual content and violence. Because, you know, TV doesn’t have any of those things.

Question 6 of 10

“In the late summer of that year we lived in a house in a village that looked across the river and the plain to the mountains.”

The 1929 classic and third novel by tortured writer Ernest Hemingway includes a lot of details that border on autobiographical. This realistic wartime account details the Lost Generation, or the boys who turned into men during World War I.

“For Whom the Bell Tolls”

Question 7 of 10

“There was no possibility of taking a walk that day.”

Charlotte Bronte’s beloved novel takes place at Thornfield Hall, where Jane works as a governess. Bronte used weather regularly throughout the novel to indicate Jane’s moods.

Question 8 of 10

“Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the Western Spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun.”

“The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”

Less literary and more hilarious, the 1979 story by Douglas Adams begs the question of the meaning of “life, the universe, and everything.” There’s also a robot named Marvin, which is cool.

Question 9 of 10

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

Originally titled “First Impressions,” Jane Austen’s 1797 novel chronicles the experiences of fictional feminist-before-it-was-cool Elizabeth Bennet.

Question 10 of 10

“There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it.”

“The Voyage of the Dawn Treader”

The odious Eustace was a main character in this sequel to “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” by C.S. Lewis.

“Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets”

You scored:


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Written by Alia Hoyt

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