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How well do you know your classic opening lines?

Do you know these classic opening lines?

Opening lines are an important part of any piece of literature. A writer has to grab the attention of the reader with that first line or run the risk of them putting the book down. While that might sound a little alarmist, there is no doubt that a punchy opening line lingers in the memory – and that is surely essential for any great book.

Or is it? How many classic novels have truly memorable opening lines, and how many have ones that have barely registered? You may instantly know that “Someone must have traduced Joseph K., for without having done anything wrong he was arrested one fine morning” is the first line of Kafka’s The Trial, or this may be news to you.

Take our interactive quiz to see how many openers from novels in our Oxford World’s Classics series you recognize.

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