Tuesday, December 01, 2009

First Lines

OK, I've added a clue to the last one

I haven't done a meme since my first post so thought I'd try this one stolen from A little bit of babbling about nothing. Basically the idea is I pick ten of my favourite books or series and then copy out the first lines. Then you (dear reader) can make guesses as to what they are. I suspect my readership will have encountered many of these before so no googling and away you go.

  1. Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita mi ritrovai per una selva oscura, che la diritta via era smarrita. Dante's Inferno, guessed by Mike
  2. The late twentieth century has witnessed a scientific gold rush of astonishing proportions: the headlong and furious haste to commercialize genetic engineering. Jurassic Park (I couldn't resist), guessed by Mike
  3. Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the western spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun. Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy, guessed by Sarah
  4. Idle reader: Without my swearing to it, you can believe that I would like this book, the child of my understanding, to be the most beautiful, the most brilliant, and the most discreet that anyone could imagine. [Clue: windmills]
  5. On 24 May 1863, which was a Sunday, my uncle, Professor Lidenbrock, came rushing back towards his little house, No. 19 Konigstrasse, one of the oldest streets in the old quarter of Hamburg. Journey To The Centre Of The Earth, guessed by Carlos
  6. They put the behemoths in the hold along with the rhinos, the hippos and the elephants. A History Of The World In 10 1/2 Chapters, guessed by Sarda
  7. It was 7 minutes after midnight. The dog was lying in the grass in the middle of the lawn in front of Mrs Shears' house. The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night, guessed by Sarah
  8. It seems increasingly likely that I really will undertake the expedition that has been preoccupying my imagination now for some days. Remains Of The Day, guessed by Sarah (covertly) and Jenny (via Facebook)
  9. The escalator strained slowly upward. In an old station like this what else would you expect? Night Watch, guessed by Rachel
  10. 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. Huck Finn (OK, major clue in this one, but not as easy as the opening line from Lolita I almost included), guessed by Sarah


Sarah said...

Wow! I actually know some of these.
3. Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

7. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime by Mark Haddon

10. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain.

Mike Keesey said...

Skipping those already gotten:

1) Dante's Inferno?? semi-wild guess

2) Jurassic Park, I think.

Malacoda said...

Well done! You're both right. 5 to go...

sarah.joomun said...

I also know 8 but only because someone else chose that line.

Malacoda said...

I thought you might. At least two others you know I've read because I remember discussing them in your company!

Carlos said...

Is 5 "Journey to the Centre of the Earth" by Jules Verne?

Malacoda said...


Sarda Sahney said...

6. They put the behemoths in the hold along with the rhinos, the hippos and the elephants.

History of the world in 10 1/2 chapters.

Malacoda said...

Yep! Only two left although I doubt anyone will get number 9.

Rachel said...

Is number 9 from Night Watch? It's the only series of Russian books I can think of that have been made into movies!

Malacoda said...

Yes! Well done.

Rachel said...

Wa-hey! And I've neither read the books or seen the films!

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Currently I am founding member, president elect and entire membership of SWEMP (the Society of Wonky-Eyed Macroevolutionary Palaeobiologists). In my spare time I get paid to do research on very dead organisms and think about the really big questions in life, such as: What is the ultimate nature of reality? Why is there no room for free will in science? and What are the implications of having a wardrobe that consists entirely of hotpants?