By October 15, 2011 3 Comments Read More →

Misheard First Lines

Here’s a little fun for your weekend. Below are ten famous first lines from novels, but in each case, the line has been garbled in translation. For each of the ten lines, see if you can identify the novel from which it comes and how it was misheard. I’ll post answers next week.

1. Many years ago, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendia was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to Disney on Ice.

2. It was a pleasure to burn marshmallows.

3. Mother fried today.

4. In the town, there were two mutes and they were always talking.

5. It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of wine.

6. They choose the white girl first.

7. Someone must have slathered buttered on Josef K., for one morning, without having truly done anything wrong, he was digested.

8. You don’t know about me, without you have read a book by the name of ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,’ but that ain’t no matter.

9. Bob Marley was dead, to begin with.

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



About the Author:

Neil Hollands is an Adult Services Librarian at Williamsburg Regional Library in Virginia, where he specializes in readers’ advisory and collection development. He is the author of Read On . . . Fantasy Fiction (2007) and Fellowship in a Ring: a Guide for Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Groups (2009).

3 Comments on "Misheard First Lines"

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  1.' CarolK says:

    What fun! Except you’re making me feel not very well read or is it just my hearing. I only recognize 2. I could google but promise not to peek. I’ll keep thinking. I just might come up with a few more.

  2.' laura says:

    I get all but 6 and 9, although I’m sort of guessing on 7.

  3.' Morten says:

    Number 7 is that “The Trial” by Kafka?

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