Quiz: Can You Match The Classic Novel To Its Opening Line?

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Carina Pereira

Staff Writer

Carina Pereira, born in ‘87, in Portugal. Moved to Belgium in 2011, and to Rotterdam, The Netherlands, in 2019. Avid reader, changing interests as the mods strikes. Whiles away the time by improvising stand-up routines she’ll never get to perform. Books are a life-long affair, audiobooks a life-changing discovery of adulthood. Selling books by day, writer by night. Contact

Classical novels: it seems people either love or hate them.

Some think they are must-read staples, others see them as pieces of literature that should be treated as any other books out there, but the truth is, whatever opinions people have on them, they never go by unnoticed. And there is certainly one thing that we can all agree on: because they are widely known, they are often spoken about in pop culture.

Because I am not usually a reader of classics, this often gives me a tremendous feeling of FOMO; I don’t like not feeling included, and not reading the classics means very often I feel left out of a joke most people are in on. On the other hand, classic readers always seem to find so many interesting things in them, funny things, too!

Now, on to the quiz: are you a fan of classics? Or are you involved enough in the current pop culture surrounding classics to think you would be able to recognise — or guess — the first lines of each of the classic books I picked up for you?

We will put that to the test!

Click on the quiz and come back later for the results, which you can find below the quiz.

Ready for the results?

1. ​”May Liza, how come you’re so restless and uneasy? You must be restless in your mind.” Jubilee by Margaret Walker

2. “3 May. Bistritz. Left Munich at 8:35 P.M., on 1st May, arriving at Vienna early next morning.” Dracula by Bram Stocker

3. “Here is the house. It is green and white. It has a red door. It is very pretty.” The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

4. “It was the last letter in Irene Redfield’s little pile of morning mail.” Passing by Nella Larsen

5. “I stand at the window of this great house in the south of France as night falls, the night which is leading me to the most terrible morning of my life.” Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin

6. “You must go back with me to the Autumn of 1827.” The Tenant Of Wildfell Hall by Anne Brontë

7. “In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since.” The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitgerald

8. “The snow in the mountains was melting and Bunny had been dead for several weeks before we came to understand the gravity of our situation.” The Secret History by Donna Tartt

9. “On the 24th of February, 1810, the look-out at Notre-Dame de la Garde signalled the three-master, the Pharaon from Smyrna, Trieste, and Naples.” The Count Of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

10. “It was inevitable: the scent of bitter almonds always reminded him of the fate of unrequited love.” Love In The Time Of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez

11. “Barrabás came to us by sea, the child Clara wrote in her delicate calligraphy.” The House Of Spirits by Isabel Allende

12. “The family of Dashwood had long been settled in Sussex.” Sense And Sensibility by Jane Austen

13. “Memory has a reputation for being compassionately inaccurate.” Through The Ivory Gate by Rita Dove

If this quiz instills in you a need for more classic readings, and you want to keep a diverse bookshelf, here you can find 100 must-read classics by authors of colour. For more light-hearted classics, check out this post, and here are 8 classic books we consider to be overrated, and what you can read instead.