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And then the murders began.


Game time! The internet is always up to no good and we are not above jumping into the fray when it comes to literary nonsense. Lately there have been a lot of posts swirling about online with folks adding “And then the murders began.” as the second line to famous books. In some cases, this is an improvement to the original texts. We couldn’t resist, and thought we’d share a few of our favorites here.

“It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen. And then the murders began.” —George Orwell, 1984

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair. And then the murders began.” —Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities 

“The Miss Lonelyhearts of the New York Post-Dispatch (Are you in trouble?—Do-you-need-advice?—Write-to-Miss-Lonelyhearts-and-she-will-help-you) sat at his desk and stared at a piece of white cardboard. And then the murders began.” —Nathanael West, Miss Lonelyhearts 

“Someone must have slandered Josef K., for one morning, without having done anything truly wrong, he was arrested. And then the murders began.” —Franz Kafka, The Trial

“Once upon a time and a very good time it was there was a moocow coming down along the road and this moocow that was coming down along the road met a nicens little boy named baby tuckoo.  And then the murders began.”—James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man 

“Mother died today.  And then the murders began.” —Albert Camus, The Stranger 

“Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself. And then the murders began.”—Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway 

“For a long time, I went to bed early. And then the murders began.”—Marcel Proust, Swann’s Way

“He was an old man who fished alone in a skiff in the Gulf Stream and he had gone eighty-four days now without taking a fish. And then the murders began.”—Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea

Children’s lit works too!

“Where’s Papa going with that axe?” said Fern to her mother as they were setting the table for breakfast. And then the murders began” –E.B. White, Charlotte’s Web

“The sun did not shine, it was too wet to play, so we sat in the house all that cold, cold wet day.  And then the murders began.” — Dr. Seuss, The Cat in the Hat

“In an old house in Paris that was covered with vines lived twelve little girls in two straight lines. And then the murders began.” –Ludwig Bemelmans, Madeline

“The Mole had been working very hard all the morning, spring-cleaning his little home.And then the murders began.”– Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows

“When Mary Lennox was sent to Misselthwaite Manor to live with her uncle everybody said she was the most disagreeable-looking child ever seen. And then the murders began.”– Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden

“‘Christmas won’t be Christmas without any presents,’ grumbled Jo, lying on the rug. And then the murders began.”– Louisa May Alcott,  Little Women

“The night Max wore his wolf suit and made mischief of one kind and another his mother called him ‘WILD THING!’ and Max said ‘I’LL EAT YOU UP!’ so he was sent to bed without eating anything.And then the murders began.”– Maurice Sendak, Where The Wild Things Are

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