aefenglommung (aefenglommung) wrote,

Literary Quiz

Great Opening Lines

Each book and each author is worth one point.

Grading Scale
36-40 Doctor of Humane Letters
31-35 Literary Maven
26-30 Educated Barfly
21-25 Printer's Devil
0-20 Right Tackle

1 “First of all, it was October, a rare month for boys.”

2 “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”

3 “Last night I dreamt we were at Manderly again.”

4 “Someone must have been spreading lies about Joseph K, for without having done anything wrong he was arrested one morning.”

5 "Call me Ishmael."

6 "In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit."

7 "Arma virumque cano."

8 "Marley was dead, to begin with."

9 "Midway this way of life we're bound upon,
I woke to find myself in a a dark wood,
Where the right road was wholly lost and gone."

10 "Hwæt! we Gar-Dena in geardagum
þeod-cyninga þrym gefrunon,
hu ða æðelingas ellen fremedon."

11 "Whan that Aprill with his shoures soote
the droghte of March hath perced to the roote . . ."

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

13 "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times."

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

15 "All Gaul is divided in three parts."

16 "I have no intention of explaining how the correspondence which I now offer to the public fell into my hands."

17 "O, for a Muse of fire, that would ascend
The brightest heaven of invention,
A kingdom for a stage, princes to act
And monarchs to behold the swelling scene!"

18 "You don't know about me, without you have read a book by the name of 'The Adventures of Tom Sawyer,' but that ain't no matter."

19 "There was a man named Lessingham dwelt in an old low house in Wastdale, set in a gray old garden where yew-trees flourished that had seen Vikings in Copeland in their seedling time."

20 "On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays it was Court Hand and Summulae Logicales, while the rest of the week it was the Organon, Repetition, and Astrology."

Credit to jadeejf for original idea.


1. Something Wicked This Way Comes, Ray Bradbury
2. Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy
3. Rebecca, Daphne Du Maurier
4. The Trial, Franz Kafka
5. Moby-Dick, Herman Melville
6. The Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkien
7. The Aeneid, Vergil
8. A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens
9. The Divine Comedy, Dante Alighieri
10. Beowulf, Anonymous
11. The Canterbury Tales, Geoffrey Chaucer
12. 1984, George Orwell
13. A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens
14. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
15. The Gallic Wars (or, Caesar's Commentaries), Julius Caesar
16. The Screwtape Letters, C.S. Lewis
17. Henry V, William Shakespeare
18. Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain
19. The Worm Ouroboros, E.R. Eddison
20. The Once and Future King (or, The Sword in the Stone), T.H. White

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