This game is very simple: you try to guess what book the given first lines are from. The one to guess the correct book first will be the next to post their own, which everyone else will then try to guess, and so on. If it seems like no one gets it right, you can give additional hints.

I'll start with a modern classic:
When he was nearly thirteen my brother Jem got his arm badly broken at the elbow. When it healed, and Jem's fears of never being able to play football were assuaged, he was seldom self-conscious about his injury. His left arm was somewhat shorter than his right; when he stood or walked, the back of his hand was at right-angles to his body, his thumb parallel to his thigh.

Start guessing, folks! :)

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Replies to This Discussion

To Kill a Mockingbird, right?

Trouble is, I know too many really great opening lines to books not a lot of other people would guess.
Jem gave it away: To Kill a Mockingbird.
Yep, you're both right, but Stephen was first. So go ahead, Stephen, and pick a new one!
I know it was pretty easy, but I didn't wanna start off with something impossible so as not to discourage everyone right away.
Thanks, Calla. I'll go with one of my favorite all-time openings, even though I don't really expect anyone to get it. It's just something I love to share:

My mother was an Arab, which would make me part Arab except that my father was an Arab, too. But already I digress.

Let me know if you need any clues. I'll even start you with a hint: it's from a lesser-known work by a best-selling author.
Lost me. Someone else may have better luck. Wait, is it okay to google it? Or do we have to know it? :)
It's Calla's game, so I guess she sets the rules.
Well, it's not exactly "my" game, I just happened to bring it here :) I got the idea from another forum, and I'm not sure what the exact rules should be. It might be hard to find modern writers' texts via Google due to copyright issues, so Google away if no one seems to know it otherwise? Does that sound alright?
Unless they were quoted in a review. I googled it, but nothing came up.
Let me put people out of their misery. The book is called Which Way To Mecca, Jack? by William Peter Blatty, author of The Exorcist. The book is a semi-autobiographical account of his younger years, particularly as an employee of the USIA library in Lebanon. (I say "semi-autobiographical" because (a) he was still a young man when he wrote it, and (b) he changed some names/facts. I doubt the head of the library was really named Dewey Decimal.) I just like telling people about that great opening, and I highly recommend the book if you can find it.

Meanwhile, an easier test:

Once upon a time there was a Martian named Valentine Michael Smith.
I didn't know Blatty was an Arab. I like listening to him read The Exorcist. He's great at it. Not everyone can read out loud and do a good job of it.

Is this line from The Martian Chronicles, by Ray Bradbury?
Nope, not Martian Chronicles. But you're in the right ball park.

Both Blatty's parents were Lebanese-Americans. Before The Exorcist he wrote some hysterically funny books: John Goldfarb, Please Come Home (made into a movie that wasn't nearly as funny as the book), I, Billy Shakespeare and Twinkle, Twinkle, Killer Kane (later redone as The Ninth Configuration).
Stranger in a Strange Land by Heinlein




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