Can You Name These Books From Their First Lines?

Let Our Expert Quiz Confirm It For You

You only get one chance to make a first impression - and when it comes to the undertaking of a novel, that first sentence is all-important. If an author doesn't nail those first few words, the whole novel can feel a bit off-kilter, which is why writers have obsessed over their first words for hundreds of years.

In fact, it's become something of a cliché, with an aspiring writer in Albert Camus' The Plague constantly writing and rewriting the first line of his novel without ever progressing. Occasionally, a novel-opener can feel tedious and overworked, an obvious product of constant change, or a horse designed by a committee of competing impulses and fears, if you will.

Not so for the iconic first lines in this quiz. Within the vast canon of literature, these first lines have risen to the top. Truly, this is the tone-setting cream of the literary crop. Some of these lines are so famous that they've been reused and parodied in other novels, even making their way into TV and film. Sometimes they end up eclipsing the novel itself - you might not have read every novel on this list, but chances are you'll know how they begin.

Of course, that's no substitute for reading the whole novel yourself. Oftentimes, it's only on finishing reading something that you realise just how deeply powerful and foreboding that first line was; it can become an integral part of how a work of literature stays with you over the course of years and even a lifetime.

Are you ready, bookworms? Then let's begin.
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Founded in 2016, Go Social started small. Beginning as a blog posting on 80s and 90s life as well as the movies, music and television of the era, Eighties Kids has in a short space of time exploded in scope and ambition. Operating out of Eighties Kids HQ in sunny Ilkley, in the North of England, today a growing team of writers produces original content day in and day out for one of the best new nostalgia sites on the web.

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