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Book quiz: can you recognize these classic last lines?

Our previous book quiz, which tested your knowledge of first lines in novels, yielded some very high scores. But how well do you know last lines?

Though a book’s opening lines may determine whether or not you take the book home at all, it’s as likely to be the last lines that stick in your memory long after you set the book down: they may tidily tie up events, or make you question instantly if there is a sequel, or see you muttering “Thank goodness that’s over!”, or even leave you hanging hopelessly from the edge of the proverbial cliff.

There’s no question that writing a work’s last lines, just like its first lines, is often a matter of much weight and consideration for the author. Take our interactive quiz to see if you can recognize these classic conclusions.

Can you recognize these classic last lines?

Game Over

Take up the bodies. Such a sight as this / Becomes the field but here shows much amiss. / Go, bid the soldiers shoot.
A Hamlet by William Shakespeare
B Macbeth by William Shakespeare
C Love’s Labour’s Lost by William Shakespeare
D King Lear by William Shakespeare
Now small fowls flew screaming over the yet yawning gulf, a sullen white surf beat against its steep sides; then all collapsed, and the great shroud of the sea rolled on as it rolled five thousand years ago.
A Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift
B Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
C Moby Dick by Herman Melville
D Trout Fishing In America by Richard Brautigan
The offing was barred by a black bank of clouds, and the tranquil waterway leading to the uttermost ends of the earth flowed sombre under an overcast sky—seemed to lead into the heart of an immense darkness.
A Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez
B Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
C A Passage to India by E. M. Forster
D Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe
Failing to fetch me at first keep encouraged, / Missing me one place search another, / I stop somewhere waiting for you.
A The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T. S. Eliot
B Song of Myself by Walt Whitman
C The Poet’s Vow by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
D Mending Wall by Robert Frost
He was withered, wrinkled, and loathsome of visage. It was not till they had examined the rings that they recognized who it was.
A The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
B The Turn of the Screw by Henry James
C The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allan Poe
D David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
At least on the edge of my town, among the garbage and the sunflowers of my town, it’s much, much, much too late.
A A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
B The Color Purple by Alice Walker
C The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
D White Teeth by Zadie Smith
She looked up and across the barn, and her lips came together and smiled mysteriously.
A Absalom, Absalom! by William Faulkner
B Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham
C Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D. H. Lawrence
D The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
Ahead was a mounted policeman in khaki directing traffic. He raised his baton. The car slowed suddenly pressing Brett against me. “Yes,” I said. “Isn’t it pretty to think so?”
A Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald
B Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
C The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
D Ham on Rye by Charles Bukowski
Death, thou shalt die.
A The Passionate Shepherd to his Love by Christopher Marlowe
B Il Penseroso by John Milton
C Holy Sonnet X by John Donne
D When I have fears that I may cease to be by John Keats
But, in spite of these deficiencies, the wishes, the hopes, the confidence, the predictions of the small band of true friends who witnessed the ceremony, were fully answered in the perfect happiness of the union.
A Villette by Charlotte Brontë
B Emma by Jane Austen
C Middlemarch by George Eliot
D Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

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