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Famous First Lines: Test Your Literary Knowledge

abstract:  Are you a literary snob?  Take this Quiz And Find Out. Here is the very first line at the beginning of ten classic novels. See how many you can match up.

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  • article:

    July 18, 2010

    Famous First Lines

    1. Call me Ishmael
    2. Marley was dead, to begin with.
    3. All children, except one, grow up.
    4. For a long time I used to go to bed early.
    5. Alice was beginning to tire of sitting by her sister on the bank.
    6. Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.
    7. Miss Brooke had that kind of beauty which seems to be thrown into relief by poor dress.
    8. It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.
    9. Stately, plump Buck Mulligan came from the stairhead, bearing a bowl of lather on which a mirror and razor lay crossed.
    10. When he was thirteen, my brother Jem got his arm badly broken at the elbow.
    11. In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since.
    12. Ours is essentially a tragic age, so we refuse to take it tragically.
    13. It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.
    14. As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams, he found himself transformed into a giant insect.
    15. Mother died today.  


    List of Authors


    • A)   James Joyce, Ulysses
    • B)   Herman Melville, Moby Dick
    • C)   Jane Austen, Pride and Predjudice
    • D)   Marcel Proust, Swann’s Way
    • E)   Charles Dickens, Christmas Carol
    • F)   George Eliot, MiddleMarch
    • G)   Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
    • H)   F. Scott Fitzgerald, Great Gatsby           
    • I)    Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird
    • J)    Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina
    • K)   D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley’s Lover
    • L)   George Orwell, 1984
    • M)  Albert Camus, The Stranger
    • N)   Franz Kafka, Metamorphosis
    • O)   J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan




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