A literary challenge: GAME ON!

magnifying glass

As Monsieur Poirot would say, it is time to employ the little gray cells to solve this mystery! Image courtesy of altankoman, Morguefile.

A few weeks ago, I wandered down the various paths of the WordPress Reader section and encountered a fun blogger, Halley Gentil. Halley’s blog is about the adventures of being an American living abroad and if you like travel, books or art, I recommend going over to her blog and paying a visit. You’ll enjoy it.

Halley posed an interesting art challenge on her blog. She showed three small images of famous paintings and asked readers to identify the paintings. I got the first two (it turns out that Halley and I are both Team Botticelli!) but the third stumped me.

Inspired by Halley’s example, I’m doing the same in today’s post. I have four literary samples for you to guess; see if you can get the book and the author’s name before you Google. Your clues: One is from a classic author, another is a mystery writer and the other two are modern novelists.

(Disclaimer: None of the quotes below is intended to offend, although one of them might be interpreted that way.)

Go for it! Bonus points if you can name the character without resorting to Google.

1) I am in a counting-house, and I look about me.

2) People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that’s what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is your mirror, the person who shows you everything that’s holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life. A true soul mate is probably the most important person you’ll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake.

3) I inherited my brother’s life. Inherited his desk, his business, his gadgets, his enemies, his horses and his mistress. I inherited my brother’s life, and it nearly killed me. (Editor’s note: Best opening introduction to a book, EVER!)

4) We’re southerners. We admire little else more than we admire our family lunatics. A good southern family props up its crazies and puts them on display in the front parlor along with the best china.

Good luck. Here’s some “Murdoch Mysteries” music to get you started.



Filed under Writing

15 responses to “A literary challenge: GAME ON!

  1. That 3rd one IS the best opening intro. ever! Got some ideas, but will ponder and return.
    (and will check out the blog. thanks)

  2. No freaking clue! But I love all the lines! You will have a big reveal, right?

  3. I’m waiting for the answers to be revealed! What a fun game!

    Thank you so much for mentioning me. 🙂

  4. Don’t know any of them, tho the first smacks of Dickens. Never read David Copperfield, but would guess this…maybe. Maybe Great Expectations.

    • You are correct! The first one is Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. The speaker is Herbert Pocket, after Pip comes into his fortune and both Pip and Herbert become friends with each other as adults.

      One down, three to go….

  5. Looks like you stumped us and intrigued us at the same time. Masterfully done!

  6. Fantastic quotes! I don’t read most modern fiction, so I’m rather out of luck on identification! But your nod to Murdoch makes me smile 🙂 (my sister is on a mystery shows kick–trying to finish all the murdoch seasons before we leave for college!)

    • Isn’t it a great show? I saw on YouTube that they got the Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, to appear on an episode. He plays a desk officer who fails to recognize the show’s fictitious Prime Minister when he comes into the police station. Too funny.

  7. SO – I cheated and looked them up. I thought the first one was Dickens, but the others totally eluded me. Now I know why. I don’t read these authors. Still, I am sure some of your readers do, so I will keep my guilty knowledge to myself. Obviously the idea intrigued me! PS – Love Murdoch!

    • I figured that somebody would Google them! The reveal is coming soon — I’m hoping that somebody will still comment on the other three.

      My audience is both male and female, so I picked books that I felt would be read by each group.

      And the mystery continues…


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