This game is very simple: you try to guess what book the given first lines are from. The one to guess the correct book first will be the next to post their own, which everyone else will then try to guess, and so on. If it seems like no one gets it right, you can give additional hints.

I'll start with a modern classic:
When he was nearly thirteen my brother Jem got his arm badly broken at the elbow. When it healed, and Jem's fears of never being able to play football were assuaged, he was seldom self-conscious about his injury. His left arm was somewhat shorter than his right; when he stood or walked, the back of his hand was at right-angles to his body, his thumb parallel to his thigh.

Start guessing, folks! :)

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Replies to This Discussion

Right you are :) We had to read it for high school English, and I found it to be one of the more memorable set books.
Anyway, your turn!
This one is up Stephen's alley, but I bet many of us have read it.

Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the Western Spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun.
Okay, I'm not real confident here, but is it The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy?
Correct. I hoped that the capitalized "Galaxy" as well as the deprecating phrasing would give it away. (Also, Dallas, thanks for reminding me to pull my copy of Heart of Darkness down to re-read sometime soon).

Your turn
Okay, this one might be a little harder: The extensive wars wherewith Louis XIV was burdened during his reign, while draining the State’s treasury and exhausting the substance of the people, none the less contained the secret that led to the prosperity of a swarm of those bloodsuckers who are always on the watch for public calamities, which, instead of appeasing, they promote or invent so as, precisely, to be able to profit from them the more advantageously. The end of this so very sublime reign was perhaps one of the periods in the history of the French Empire when one saw the emergence of the greatest number of these mysterious fortunes whose origins are as obscure as the lust and debauchery that accompany them. It was toward the close of this period, and not long before the Regent sought, by means of the famous tribunal which goes under the name of the Chambre de Justice, to flush this multitude of traffickers, that four of them conceived the idea for the singular revels whereof we are going to give an account. One must not suppose that it was exclusively the low-born and vulgar sort which did this swindling; gentlemen of the highest note led the pack. The Duc de Blangis and his brother the Bishop of X***, each of whom had thuswise amassed immense fortunes, are in themselves solid proof that, like the others, the nobility neglected no opportunities to take this road to wealth. These two illustrious figures, through their pleasures and business closely associated with the celebrated Durcet and the Président de Curval, were the first to hit upon the debauch we propose to chronicle, and having communicated the scheme to their two friends, all four agreed to assume the major roles in these unusual orgies.
I'm only looking for partial credit and will transfer same to whoever gets the complete answer, but I'm thinking the author is Marquis de Sade. Having NEVER gotten around to reading any, I read some about him a while back when some blogger was going on and on about Justine.
I think you need to give more hints, we're all stumped.
Hint: Title indicates it takes place over a 4 month period.
I had to google this, but Newbie Atheist gets most of the credit: it is indeed Marquis de Sade, The 120 Days of Sodom.
Correct Calla. Your Turn.
Alright, something more modern again this time:

In the hospital of the orphanage - the boys' division at St. Cloud's, Maine - two nurses were in charge of naming the new babies and checking that their little penises were healing from the obligatory circumcision. In those days (in 192-), all boys born at St. Cloud's were circumcised because the orphanage physician had experienced some difficulty in treating uncircumcised soldiers, for this and for that, in World War I.
Calla, I guess you're going to have to give us a hint. I think everyone is stumped.

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