Thursday, June 5, 2008

book quiz (part 2)

Pencils down. Check your own papers. Be honest.

1. Elie Wiesel
There's a funny story about this. One of the many inane things we have to do for curriculum is to list specific texts we use to meet certain benchmarks, so we write them in and someone somewhere types them onto an official copy. We were double-checking that official copy one day when we saw the following: "Catcher--Salinger, Mockingbird--Lee, Night Weasel--???" Evidently she was not familiar with the book. So now we in the BFHS English department call ourselves the Royal Order of the Night Weasels. And Brian does a spot-on weasel impression. It's pretty impressive.

2. c (Holes)
palindrome (PAL in drome) n.: a word or group of words that reads the same forward and backward (i.e. Stanley Yelnats)

3. The Color Purple
Great line.

4. High Fidelity, About A Boy, Fever Pitch (incidentally this last one has been done twice--once as a British movie about soccer with Colin Firth and once as an American movie about baseball with Jimmy Fallon)
Word on the street is that Johnny Depp is set to star in the next one, an adaptation of Hornby's A Long Way Down, which would be great. I also want them to do How To Be Good. Soon.

5. b (To Kill a Mockingbird and In Cold Blood)
Harper Lee and Truman Capote were buds. Check out the movie Capote if you don't believe me.

6. Bridge of Sighs
...and no I haven't read it yet. Get off my back.

7. What You Will
Significant controversy over this question. My sister-in-law, a doctor of English (don't laugh), says that this is incorrect--Henry VIII also has an alternate title (All Is True). However, my Folger copy says that this is the only one, and Stacy's buddy Stephen Greenblatt is quoted on Wikipedia (I know, I know) as saying "this is the only one of Shakespeare's plays to receive [a subtitle] (although some editors place The Merchant of Venice's alternate title, The Jew of Venice, as a subtitle)." Hmmm...

8. Death of a Salesman
This allusion comes up a lot in Seinfeld actually.

9. d (Shel Silverstein)
Smith, I can't believe they didn't ask you if you'd read The Giving Tree somewhere on an adoption application--seems like it should be a deal-breaker to me. I'm glad that you're at least familiar with it now.

10. a (V. V. Ganeshananthan)
C. C. Sabathia pitches for the Indians. J. J. Abrams wrote Armageddon. H. H. Holmes was one of America's worst serial killers. V. V. Ganeshananthan (a.k.a. Sugi) is one of Stacy's good friends from grad school, and she wrote Love Marriage, about which you can expect a blog entry once I've read the last 40 pages.

11. d (Animal Farm)
One of the great last lines that I've read.

12. The Body and Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption
You can decide for yourself if you get credit for saying Stand By Me and The Shawshank Redemption, but if you haven't seen either of those movies, you should stop reading this right now and go rent them.

13. a (Chuck Palahniuk)
Crazy book. Crazy guy.

14. Of Mice and Men
Easily the saddest book I've ever read. Also, one of the best. Five stars on my GoodReads page.

15. e. e. cummings
For an interesting take on the poem, listen to Kris Delmhorst's song, "Pretty How Town." If you can find it somewhere. I've got a copy.

16. Joseph Heller...Pianosa...Yossarian
Part 2 gave my smarty-pants wife and her smarty-pants sister trouble. It's a fictional island off the coast if Italy. I love this book.

17. b (The Catcher in the Rye)
If you thought I was going to go through an entire book quiz without mentioning Catch-22 and The Catcher in the Rye, then you're crazy.

18. Nick Carraway
And so we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past...

19. A
After reading the book, one of my students, who was a big Hester Prynne fan, suggested that the letter actually stood for "awesome."

20. Alonso Quixano
Did you say Don Quixote? I mean, I did italicize the word "real." That was a hint. I guess it's up to you whether you get credit for it. Seems cheap to me.

So how'd you do? Much worse than on the pop culture quiz, right? Well, to quote McLovin, "Read a (expletive) book for once."

Later gators.

No comments: