Cryptic Book Title Meanings Quiz Stats

Quiz Updated Sep 15, 2016

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Explanation of Title Title % Correct
This book was named for a true-life notorious albino sperm whaleMoby-Dick; or, The Whale
86.5%
This novel's title may be a scrambling of the year in which Orwell wrote it; he originally favored 'The Last Man in Europe'1984
85.5%
Though it focuses more on the Greeks, this Homeric epic gets its title from its setting of Ilium (aka Troy)The Iliad
80.6%
Joseph Heller's novel is titled in reference to a fictional military stipulation that satirizes the absurdity of war; the number was supposed to be 18 but Mila-18 took it firstCatch-22
79.7%
This J. K. Rowling title takes its name from Severus Snape's lineage and mother's maiden nameHarry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
79.6%
The title of this Bradbury classic comes from the temperature he was told was the auto-ignition point of paper, though there is debate about whether it's correctFahrenheit 451
78.1%
Nothing to do with sinking boats, this Richard Adams novel about a group of intrepid rabbits takes its title from the real-life hill upon which it is setWatership Down
74.9%
Margaret Mitchell's Pulitzer Prize winning smash takes its title from a poem by Edward Dowson, and the romantic idea that the antebellum South is forever lostGone with the Wind
71.7%
The title references one of the fruits the desperate Okies are picking, but was actually coined by the author's wife from a line in the Battle Hymn of the RepublicThe Grapes of Wrath
69.8%
The heroine in this Thomas Harris thriller has nightmares of sheep being slaughtered. The villain claims she wishes to rescue a victim in order to stop the dreamsThe Silence of the Lambs
68.3%
Explanation of Title Title % Correct
This oddly titled Grisham novel really is about a short piece of legal writing concerning Louisiana birds central to the book's plotThe Pelican Brief
62.6%
Forever destined to be confused with a similarly titled H.G. Wells novel, this masterwork by Ellison features no ghostly presences but rather a more figurative transparencyInvisible Man
59.2%
Tom Clancy's novel about Colombian drug dealers takes its title from the idea that the government can regulate free speech if it presents a...Clear and Present Danger
53.3%
Ayn Rand wanted to title her novel of man's ego and architecture 'Mainspring,' but it had been recently used, so she found the current title in a thesaurusThe Fountainhead
52.2%
The title of Faulkner's magnum opus is adapted from Macbeth's Act V soliloquy: 'Life...is a tale told by an idiot, full of [the] ______ ___ [the] _____'The Sound and the Fury
50.9%
Hemingway mulled over a few titles, including 'Fiesta,' which was used in the UK, but settled instead for this biblical quote that illustrates man's ephemeralnessThe Sun Also Rises
36.3%
David Foster Wallace's postmodern novel draws its title from a line in Hamlet in which (poor) Yorick is eulogizedInfinite Jest
31%
Cormac McCarthy's anti-western's sanguine title is not explained; it could be a reference to the sunset, the violence of westward settlement in North America, or a quote from ByronBlood Meridian, or The Evening Redness in the West
23.4%
Carson McCullers took the title of her debut novel from a poem by William Sharp; its ring of isolation and melancholy fits the novel wellThe Heart Is a Lonely Hunter
20%
An auctioneer's peddling of a specific group of goods gives Thomas Pynchon's novella its cryptic titleThe Crying of Lot 49
18.2%

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