Taking a break from the usual reviews, I’ve pulled together another quick quiz. The name of the game is simple enough: Can you guess the book from the closing line?
For some reason the quiz code doesn’t work very well in Reader, and it makes it tricky to understand – its a lot easier (and lots more fun!) if you do it on the actual Baking Thad Books Site.
Let me know how you get on in the comments!
Let’s jump right in…
1. “It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known.”
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
Good work – give yourself 1 point and a pat on the back. This one also has one of the best opening lines in literature – “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”. Everything in between is hard going though if I’m honest.
Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding
Nope. I can’t imagine what Bridget could have done to deserve an ending like this!
The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger
Nope. This one it ain’t. The Devil may wear Prada, but she doesn’t do far better things than she has ever done.
2. “The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which”
Animal Farm by George Orwell
Well done! George Orwell’s allegory on the Russian Revolution is brilliant – once you’ve read it, you’ll never forget it.
The House at Pooh Corner by A.A. Milne
Nope. If I’m honest, I was just trying to trick you here, by giving you an example with other animals in it.
The Sheep-Pig by Dick King Smith
You didn’t fall for my ruse did you? No, it’s not this, I just picked another example with ‘pig’ in the title!
3. “I never saw any of them again — except the cops. No way has yet been invented to say goodbye to them.”
The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler
Give yourself a pat on the back for this one. It’s the perfect end to a a detective noir novel isn’t it? Especially one with Philip Marlowe in it. You just know he’ll be back for more shady dealings after this.
L.A. Confidential by James Ellroy
This one is also a classic, but the famous last words don’t belong to Ellroy’s novel about three cops sucked into the seedy L.A. underworld whilst investigating a crime.
The Godfather by Mario Puzo
This one seems like a perfect fit doesn’t it? But no, these famous last words aren’t from Mario Puzo’s classic.
4. “I got to light out for the Territory ahead of the rest, because Aunt Sally she’s going to adopt me and sivilize me and I can’t stand it. I been there before.”
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
Good work if you got this one. It’s a real heart-breaker isn’t it? Huck Finn is maybe one of the greatest characters in literature, and Mark Twain one of the best writers. Yep, everything abut this book is brilliant.
Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry
Larry McMurty’s book is about some retired Texas Rangers cattle-herding their way to Montana – which could almost work with this quote couldn’t it? But no, it isn’t it.
True Grit by Charles Portis
Nope. In True Grit, 14 year-old Mattie tracks down her father’s killer with Marshal Rooster Cogburn – which is a story that feels like it should fit with the quote doesn’t it? But it’s not. On the other hand, Rooster Cogburn is the best name for a cowboy you, me, or anyone in the world has ever heard.
5. “Now what the hell ya suppose is eatin’ them two guys?”
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
Another pat on the back if you got this one. It’s one of the most emotional endings in literature from Steinbeck. If you’ve not read it, I’d hop to it. You won’t regret it.
Calvin and Hobbes, by Bill Waterson
Not even close. I just threw in this famous duo because, well, it’s Calvin and Hobbes – and who needs an excuse, right?
The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
Not this time I’m afraid. I like the idea of Peregrin Took saying it about Samwise and Frodo. But he doesn’t. Try again!
6. “Tomorrow, I’ll think of some way to get him back. After all, tomorrow is another day.”
Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
Yep, Scarlett O’Hara’s famous last words. Hard to believe Margaret Mitchell’s book has been around since 1937 isn’t it?
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Not this one I’m afraid. The last line here is, “He would be there all night, and he would be there when Jem waked up in the morning.” Which is just as good, but not right.
Moby Dick by Herman Melville
This line belongs to another American classic. The last lines of Moby DIck are amazing though – there’s no mercy for the crew here: “On the second day, a sail drew near, nearer, and picked me up at last. It was the devious-cruising Rachel, that in her retracing search after her missing children, only found another orphan”
7. “For though he was master of the world, he was not quite sure what to do next. But he would think of something.”
2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke
Congratulations if you go this one – probably the toughest so far
I, Robot by Isaac Asimov
Nopety-nope. Asimov’s novel is famous for the three laws of robotics. It’s probably one of my favourite sci-fi novels though – if you’re after a short-ish readable sci-fi book, then this is the one I’d recommend.
Do Android’s Dream of Electric Sheep? By Philip K. Dick
Not quite right here. I din’t really rate this book though – it was just about OK for my money.
8. “It’s funny. Don’t tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody.”
Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
Well done. This also has one of the best opening lines: “If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like… and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don’t feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth.”
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
Better luck next time. Catch-22 has a kind of cartoon ending where it all goes a bit slapstick. It finishes up with this, “The knife came down, missing him by inches, and he took off”.
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
It is not John Steinbeck – though this one is a belter.
9. “A way a lone a last a loved a long the”
Finnegan’s Wake by James Joyce
Well done. One of the weirdest books in history has one of the weirdest closing lines in history. The opening line of the novel actually continues from it, so it reads, “A way a lone a last a loved a long the… riverrun, past Eve and Adam’s, from swerve of shore to bend of bay, brings us by a commodius vicus of recirculation back to Howth Castle and Environs”. The idea is that you start the book again, and read it in a perpetual loop. Like I said, weird, right?
Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace
Not this time I’m afraid – a half finished sentence seems like just the kind of trick he’d pull though, doesn’t it?
Slaughterhouse 5 by Kurt Vonnegut
It doesn’t belong here – still, if you’ve got time I’d check out Vonnegut’s classic. It is brilliant.
10. “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past”
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Probably the most famous closing line in all of literature – it perfectly brings everything about the book together, whilst preparing the reader to put the book down and go outside. Beautiful.
American Pastoral by Philip Roth
Nopety-nope – the ending of American Pastoral is far bleaker. Defintiely worth reading though.
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon
You’ve fallen at the final hurdle here! Never mind – this is still one of the best books in the world. Give it a go anyway and cheer yourself up!
So how did you get on? Let me know how you get on in the comments
Any that you didn’t know? Are there any that you absolutely love? Are there any better ones that I missed out?
If you’re after some more quizzes, then why not try one of these: