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From Edward George Bulwer-Lytton's, "It was a dark and stormy night," to the immortal beginning of Charles Dickens's "A Tale of Two Cities" — "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times" — the opening of a novel provides a chance for an author to make a powerful first impression on the reader.

In honor of National Read a Book Day, September 6, here's a look at the first sentence — and only the first sentence — of some of the greatest stories ever written. See how many you recognize.

Question
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"In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I've been turning over in my mind ever since."

A. "The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby," by Charles Dickens

B. "The Great Gatsby," by F. Scott Fitzgerald

C. "Our Town," by Thornton Wilder

D. "To Kill a Mockingbird," by Harper Lee

Answer

B. "The Great Gatsby," by F. Scott Fitzgerald

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

A. "1984," by George Orwell

B. "Fahrenheit 451," by Ray Bradbury

C. "Battlefield Earth," by L. Ron Hubbard

D. "Catch-22," by Joseph Heller

Answer

A. "1984," by George Orwell

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"The boy with the fair hair lowered himself down the last few feet of rock and began to pick his way toward the lagoon."

A. "Lord of the Flies," by William Golding

B. "Oliver Twist," by Charles Dickens

C. "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer," by Mark Twain

D. "Little Lord Fauntleroy," by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Answer

A. "Lord of the Flies," by William Golding

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"Once on a dark winter's day, when the yellow fog hung so thick and heavy in the streets of London that the lamps were lighted and the shop windows blazed with gas as they do at night, an odd-looking little girl sat in a cab with her father and was driven rather slowly through the big thoroughfares."

A. "Anne of Green Gables," by Lucy Maud Montgomery

B. "Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm," by Rebecca Rowena Randall

C. "A Little Princess," by Francis Hodgson Burnett

D. "Eight Cousins," by Louisa May Alcott

Answer

C. "A Little Princess," by Francis Hodgson Burnett

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"There was no possibility of taking a walk that day."

A. "Rebecca," by Daphne du Maurier

B. "Jane Eyre," by Charlotte Bronte

C. "Mansfield Park," by Jane Austen

D. "The Romance of the Forest," by Ann Radcliffe

Answer

B. "Jane Eyre," by Charlotte Bronte

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"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife."

A. "Middlemarch," by George Eliot (Mary Anne Evans)

B. "Wives and Daughters," by Elizabeth Gaskell

C. "Pride and Prejudice," by Jane Austen

D. "Agnes Grey," by Anne Bronte

Answer

C. "Pride and Prejudice," by Jane Austen

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"He lay flat on the brown, pine-needled floor of the forest, his chin on his folded arms, and high overhead the wind blew in the tops of the pine trees."

A. "Gulliver's Travels," by Jonathan Swift

B. "The Deerslayer," by James Fenimore Cooper

C. "The Wind in the Willows," by Kenneth Grahame

D. "For Whom the Bell Tolls," by Ernest Hemingway

Answer

D. "For Whom the Bell Tolls," by Ernest Hemingway

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"Call me Ishmael."

A. "The Catcher in the Rye," by J.D. Salinger

B. "Moby Dick," by Herman Melville

C. "The Grapes of Wrath," by John Steinbeck

D. "Bleak House," by Charles Dickens

Answer

B. "Moby Dick," by Herman Melville

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"Well, Prince, so Genoa and Lucca are now just family estates of the Buonapartes."

A. "The Count of Monte Cristo," by Alexandre Dumas

B. "Vanity Fair," by William Makepeace Thackeray

C. "Daniel Deronda," by George Eliot (Mary Anne Evans)

D. "War and Peace," by Leo Tolstoy

Answer

D. "War and Peace," by Leo Tolstoy

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"Two households, both alike in dignity, in fair Verona, where we lay our scene, from ancient grudge break to new mutiny, where civil blood makes civil hands unclean."

A. "The Two Gentlemen of Verona," By William Shakespeare

B. "Romeo and Juliet," by William Shakespeare

C. "Love's Labour's Lost," by William Shakespeare

D. "The Winter's Tale," by William Shakespeare

Answer

B. "Romeo and Juliet," by William Shakespeare

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"A throng of bearded men, in sad-coloured garments and grey steeple-crowned hats, inter-mixed with women, some wearing hoods, and others bareheaded, were assembled in front of a wooden edifice, the door of which was heavily timbered with oak, and studded with iron spikes."

A. "The Red Badge of Courage," by Stephen Crane

B. "The Scarlet Pimpernel," by Baroness Emmuska Orczy

C. "A Study in Scarlet," by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

D. "The Scarlet Letter," by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Answer

D. "The Scarlet Letter," by Nathaniel Hawthorne

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"Mr. Sherlock Holmes, who was usually very late in the mornings, save upon those not infrequent occasions when he was up all night, was seated at the breakfast table."

A. "A Scandal in Bohemia," by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

B. "The Hound of the Baskervilles," by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

C. "The Final Problem," by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

D. The Sign of the Four," by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Answer

B. "The Hound of the Baskervilles," by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

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"1801. — I have just returned from a visit to my landlord—the solitary neighbour that I shall be troubled with."

A. "The Woman in White," by Wilkie Collins

B. "The Mysteries of Udolpho," by Ann Radcliffe

C. "Wuthering Heights," by Emily Bronte

D. "Vanity Fair," by William Makepeace Thackeray

Answer

C. "Wuthering Heights," by Emily Bronte

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"3 May. Bistritz.--Left Munich at 8:35 P.M., on 1st May, arriving at Vienna early next morning; should have arrived at 6:46, but train was an hour late."

A. "Dracula," by Bram Stoker

B. "Lord Hornblower," by C.S. Forester

C. "The Black Tulip," by Alexandre Dumas

D. "Anna Karenina," by Leo Tolstoy

Answer

A. "Dracula," by Bram Stoker

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"Since Aramis's singular transformation into a confessor of the order, Baisemeaux was no longer the same man."

A. "The Three Musketeers," by Alexandre Dumas

B. "Twenty Years After," by Alexandre Dumas

C. "The Vicomte de Bragelonne," by Alexandre Dumas

D. "The Man in the Iron Mask," by Alexandre Dumas

Answer

D. "The Man in the Iron Mask," by Alexandre Dumas

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"I am by birth a Genevese, and my family is one of the most distinguished of that republic."

A. "Northanger Abbey," by Jane Austen

B. "The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby," by Charles Dickens

C. "Frankenstein," by Mary Shelley

D. "A Study in Scarlet," by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Answer

C. "Frankenstein," by Mary Shelley

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"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."

A. "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer," by Mark Twain

B. "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn," by Mark Twain

C. "A Horse's Tale," by Mark Twain

D. "Pudd'nhead Wilson," by Mark Twain

Answer

B. "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn," by Mark Twain

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"A few miles south of Soledad, the Salinas River drops in close to the hillside bank and runs deep and green."

A. "The Grapes of Wrath," by John Steinbeck

B. "Brave New World," by Aldous Huxley

C. "Of Mice and Men," by John Steinbeck

D. "Robinson Crusoe," by Daniel Defoe

Answer

C. "Of Mice and Men," by John Steinbeck

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"It was seven o'clock of a very warm evening in the Seeonee hills when Father Wolf woke up from his day's rest, scratched himself, yawned, and spread out his paws one after the other to get rid of the sleepy feeling in their tips."

A. "The Jungle Book," by Rudyard Kipling

B. "The Call of the Wild," by Jack London

C. "Watership Down," by Richard Adams

D. "Animal Farm," by George Orwell

Answer

A. "The Jungle Book," by Rudyard Kipling

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"My father's family name being Pirrip, and my Christian name Philip, my infant tongue could make of both names nothing longer or more explicit than Pip."

A. "Great Expectations," by Charles Dickens

B. "The Pickwick Papers," by Charles Dickens

C. "Oliver Twist," by Charles Dickens

D. "Our Mutual Friend," by Charles Dickens

Answer

A. "Great Expectations," by Charles Dickens

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"He was an old man who fished alone in a skiff in the Gulf Stream and he had gone eighty-four days now without taking a fish."

A. "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea," by Jules Verne

B. "Silas Marner," by George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans)

C. "Our Mutual Friend," by Charles Dickens

D. "The Old Man and the Sea," by Ernest Hemingway

Answer

D. "The Old Man and the Sea," by Ernest Hemingway

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"When Mr. Bilbo Baggins of Bag End announced that he would shortly be celebrating his eleventy-first birthday with a party of special magnificence, there was much talk and excitement in Hobbiton."

A. "The Hobbit," by J.R.R. Tolkein

B. "The Fellowship of the Ring," by J.R.R. Tolkein

C. "Bilbo's Last Song," by J.R.R. Tolkein

D. "The History of Middle-earth," compiled by Christopher Tolkein

Answer

B. "The Fellowship of the Ring," by J.R.R. Tolkein

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"On the first Monday of the month of April, 1625, the market town of Meung, in which the author of Romance of the Rose was born, appeared to be in as perfect a state of revolution as if the Huguenots had just made a second La Rochelle of it."

A. "The Canterbury Tales," by Geoffrey Chaucer

B. "The Three Musketeers," by Alexandre Dumas

C. "Ivanhoe," by Walter Scott

D. "Treasure Island," by Robert Louis Stevenson

Answer

B. "The Three Musketeers," by Alexandre Dumas

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"I was born in the year 1632, in the city of York, of a good family, though not of that country, my father being a foreigner of Bremen, who settled first at Hull."

A. "Robinson Crusoe," by Daniel Defoe

B. "The Swiss Family Robinson," by Johann David Wyss

C. "The Deerslayer," by James Fenimore Cooper

D. "The Importance of Being Earnest," by Oscar Wilde

Answer

A. "Robinson Crusoe," by Daniel Defoe

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"Christmas won't be Christmas without any presents," grumbled Jo, lying on the rug.

A. "Jo's Boys," by Louisa May Alcott

B. "Mansfield Park," by Jane Austen

C. "Anne of Avonlea," by Lucy Maud Montgomery

D. "Little Women," by Louisa May Alcott

Answer

D. "Little Women," by Louisa May Alcott

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"The studio was filled with the rich odour of roses, and when the light summer wind stirred amidst the trees of the garden, there came through the open door the heavy scent of the lilac, or the more delicate perfume of the pink-flowering thorn."

A. "Emma," by Jane Austen

B. "Lorna Doone," by Richard Doddridge Blackmore

C. "The Picture of Dorian Gray," by Oscar Wilde

D. "North and South," by Elizabeth Gaskell

Answer

C. "The Picture of Dorian Gray," by Oscar Wilde

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"It was a feature peculiar to the colonial wars of North America, that the toils and dangers of the wilderness were to be encountered before the adverse hosts could meet."

A. "The American," by Henry James

B. "The Call of the Wild," by Jack London

C. "David Copperfield," by Charles Dickens

D. "Last of the Mohicans," by James Fenimore Cooper

Answer

D. "Last of the Mohicans," by James Fenimore Cooper

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"Late in the afternoon of a chilly day in February, two gentlemen were sitting alone over their wine, in a well-furnished dining parlor, in the town of P-----, in Kentucky."

A. "Gone with the Wind," by Margaret Mitchell

B. "The House of Mirth," by Edith Wharton

C. "Uncle Tom's Cabin," by Harriet Beecher Stowe

D. "Black Beauty," by Anna Sewell

Answer

C. "Uncle Tom's Cabin," by Harriet Beecher Stowe

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"Mrs. Rachel Lynde lived just where the Avonlea main road dipped down into a little hollow, fringed with alders and ladies' eardrops and traversed by a brook that had its source away back in the woods of the old Cuthbert place; it was reputed to be an intricate, headlong brook in its earlier course through those woods, with dark secrets of pool and cascade; but by the time it reached Lynde's Hollow it was a quiet, well-conducted little stream, for not even a brook could run past Mrs. Rachel Lynde's door without due regard for decency and decorum; it probably was conscious that Mrs. Rachel was sitting at her window, keeping a sharp eye on everything that passed, from brooks and children up, and that if she noticed anything odd or out of place she would never rest until she had ferreted out the whys and wherefores thereof."

A. "Anne of Green Gables," by Lucy Maud Montgomery

B. "Anne of Avonlea," by Lucy Maud Montgomery

C. "Anne of the Island," by Lucy Maud Montgomery

C. "Anne's House of Dreams," by Lucy Maud Montgomery

Answer

A. "Anne of Green Gables," by Lucy Maud Montgomery

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"In 1815, M. Charles-Francois-Bienvenu Myriel was Bishop of D---- He was an old man of about seventy-five years of age; he had occupied the see of D---- since 1806."

A. "Les Miserables," by Victor Hugo

B. "The Count of Monte Cristo," by Alexandre Dumas

C. "Bleak House," by Charles Dickens

D. "Madame Bovary," by Gustave Flaubert

Answer

A. "Les Miserables," by Victor Hugo