How well do you know your Booker opening lines?

In the week that the 2014 Man Booker Prize was announced, see if you can match these opening lines to their Booker winning novels

The duchess of Cornwall speaks at the awards dinner for the 2014 Man Booker Prize at the Guildhall in London, on Tuesday. Photograph: Reuters

The duchess of Cornwall speaks at the awards dinner for the 2014 Man Booker Prize at the Guildhall in London, on Tuesday. Photograph: Reuters

 

THE OPENING LINES

1. “He should have seen it coming.”

2. “Two former lovers of Molly Lane stood waiting outside the crematorium chapel with their backs to the February chill.”

3. “I remember, in no particular order:
- a shiny inner wrist;
- steam rising from a wet sink as a hot frying pan is laughingly tossed into it;
- gouts of sperm circling a plughole, before being sluiced down the full length of a tall house;
- a river rushing nonsensically upstream, its wave and wash lit by half a dozen chasing torchbeams;
- another river, broad and grey, the direction of its flow disguised by a stiff wind exciting the surface;
- bathwater long gone cold behind a locked door.”

4. “I would like to write down what happened in my grandmother’s house the summer I was eight or nine, but I am not sure if it really did happen.”

5. “Peter Crowther’s book on the election was already in the shops.”

6. “It’s hot as hell in Martirio, but the papers on the porch are icy with the news.”

7. “May in Ayemenem is a hot, brooding month.”

8. “For a man of his age, fifty-two, divorced, he has, to his mind, solved the problem of sex very well.”

9. “In the beginning there was a river.”

10. “Ten days after the war ended, my sister Laura drove a car off a bridge.”

11. “They departed, the gods, on the day of the strange tide.”

12. “I was born in the city of Bombay . . . once upon a time.”

13. “In this country in Africa there was a president and there was also a king.”

14. “The father of the principal protagonist of this book was called Umberto.”

15. “It seems increasingly likely that I really will undertake the expedition that has been preoccupying my imagination now for some days.”

 

The titles to choose from are: The Gathering, G, The Finkler Question, The Sea, Disgrace, The Sense of an Ending, Amsterdam, In a Free State, Midnight’s Children, The Remains of the Day, The God of Small Things, The Blind Assassin, Vernon God Little, The Line of Beauty and The Famished Road

 

ANSWERS

 

1. The Finkler Question, Howard Jacobson (2010 winner)

2. Amsterdam, Ian McEwan (1998 winner)

3. The Sense of an Ending, Julian Barnes (2011 winner)

4. The Gathering, Anne Enright (2007 winner)

5. The Line of Beauty, Alan Hollinghurst (2004 winner)

6. Vernon God Little, DBC Pierre (2003 winner)

7. The God of Small Things, Arundhati Roy (1997 winner)

8. Disgrace, JM Coetzee (1999 winner)

9. The Famished Road, Ben Okri (1991 winner)

10. The Blind Assassin, Margaret Atwood (2000 winner)

11. The Sea, John Banville (2005 winner)

12. Midnight’s Children, Salman Rushdie (1981 winner)

13. In a Free State, VS Naipaul (1971 winner)

14. G, John Berger (1972 winner)

15. The Remains of the Day, Kazuo Ishiguro (1989 winner)

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