In my study I have a great collection of books of fine literature and pop fiction alike. Looks like Posling the Poltergeist has broken into my study and pulled another one of his practical "jokes".

It appears that Posling has scrambled up all of the letters and characters in my books! Some are only mildly scrambled, and others are much worse.

Fortunately, the scramblings were only done sentence by sentence. Listed below are the opening sentences for various books.

Can you help me reconstruct each of the sentences and identify the books?

Book 1:

allC me Ismhae.l

Book 2:

I twsa abright cl odad iyAn prli, dnat ehclco swekre rtsiikg nthtrinee.

Book 3:

nIa hl oiheteng rodnu th erlieaevd o hbib.t

Book 4:

oyf u eIrlly a awtt nroahe atobiu t,thieft strh gyi' nuollbprlo ay bnatwoktn owis wrhe e I warnbso,ad wnatm oyh lu slcyihohd aosw dlike,a ndh mow ya epns rewtercc uoi pndeda abl lferoetyhha ed me a,danl tlht Davaid opCpreefdkli do irnf pact ,bud oIt' enfe k llie igiogn ntio i ,fty uownao tk o nwtehtr ut.th

Book 5:

Ma. rMn.rdr sus Delo,fnyburuf em,o rPirv eDev tri eweurr, poot sdhayt att h eye erwe pfetrcnyoarl m,kt lao vnheyu rum.y ch

Book 6:

ts Ip we aasa luoberut .nr

Book 7:

F raoiut n then uhcadrte bacwkrsaeto f tehnuf ahbosnailend fhoee t sew etrpsrln imaar oef th Gaaxlylsia em s alulngr erda dleyeswl uo.n

Book 8:

sa Iw tebto shefi ,m tiewtts tesah wsto ofrsteatmi wt ,isae heg fo iwsd ,omtws a egtifhef oo hlaosis i ,aewntetss e chpfo o l hbfe ieta ih,eewcts ophf indu rco iwyl atei,te sats hosenof ,Lgiiht tweaths sea s foo nasDnes rks,ahti wrstep iog noph ,wt ifashet tenw eor s idaf,rw e hpedeate irvyhi enegfbo ,su e ardtniwgohh enbrfews o,ee ur we iol rga gnldc taoeien t, veeHwreew aollg ignreidt eto ctwhe anhy r -i str,h thoeiepro w ssdf or alatie ekp htenersp ,redthoa osi oem t sft ioissieant uioiertthiess ntsd no isit ebnrigeic,dv eegf or ordooofrvei il t,n eh respuadliteo vegfer eorcmsa iloynopn.

Book 9:

fmaegpl,tactl ,Smpn rBuirc l uamltok obMhaw yn utarhieieet foa drhm ailrse nho lgaray.on or esoabrh crr a cldewzidaas


  • Each sentence is the first sentence of a book. The amount of each letter/character in each scrambled sentence is the same as in the original sentence (unless I made a mistake -- nevertheless, it should be close).
  • Each book can be done as an independent puzzle. Try as many as you can -- even if you can only figure out one book, you are still encouraged to post an answer.
  • Computer/programming aid might be helpful, but I think all of these are doable by a clever person
  • Post the unscrambled sentence and the corresponding book title for each book you solve.

2 Answers 2


Whew! Your books are:


Moby Dick (Call me Ishmael)


1984 (It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.)


The Hobbit (In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.)


Catcher in the Rye (If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don’t feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth.)


Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's (or Philosopher's) Stone (Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much.)


Fahrenheit 451 (It was a pleasure to burn)


Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the western spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun.) — thanks @ffao


A Tale of Two Cities (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.)


Ulysses (Stately, plump Buck Mulligan came from the stairhead, bearing a bowl of lather on which a mirror and a razor lay crossed.)

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I would check your answer for number four. You have only guessed two of the words in it, not the name of the book. $\endgroup$
    – paste
    Commented May 11, 2016 at 0:43
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @scholtes and paste - yeah that's on hold for the moment $\endgroup$ Commented May 11, 2016 at 0:45
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @scholtes OK, changed - I'm doing all this visually at the moment - there's a zero percent chance I'll get all these without some kind of assistance. $\endgroup$ Commented May 11, 2016 at 0:50
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @question_asker That's no excuse for getting my favorite book from my teenage years wrong ;) $\endgroup$
    – paste
    Commented May 11, 2016 at 1:17
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @scholtes I'll never reveal my secrets! OK well basically it was a combination of eyeballing and then checking hunches. Also, the capital letters gave me a headstart on some of them. $\endgroup$ Commented May 12, 2016 at 22:37

Book 2:

1984: It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.


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