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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About Eighties Kids

Founded in 2016, Eighties Kids 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.

With the site also growing beyond its original remit, the Eighties Kids team now covers not just trivia from the 80s and 90s, but pop culture of all decades that’s of interest to children of the 80s, 90s and beyond. From shocking and obscure fact posts on your favourite movies and bands, to quizzes on classic TV shows and film franchises, to picture galleries on celebrities from past and present, Eighties Kids is here to take you down memory lane, test your knowledge of classic pop culture and maybe even occasionally blow your mind.

How to Play

Eighties Kids quizzes are easy to play, if not always so easy to beat. Beneath each question is a set of four possible answers, with only one of them being the right one. Click on the correct answer, and your choice will light up green. Click on the wrong one, and your choice will be highlighted in red, while the correct answer will be highlighted green.

Answering a question, correctly or otherwise, will allow you to progress to the next one; just scroll down and you’ll see another question light up and become playable. Keep in mind though: all correct and incorrect answers will be tallied for a final score, which will be revealed to you only once you’ve answered each and every question in the quiz. Play down the page to the end to find out just how knowledgeable you are in your chosen subject.