Questions tagged [identification-request]

Questions asking for identification of a story, book, or author, based on descriptive details provided within the question. Please be thorough and provide ALL of the details that you can remember when using this tag. (For questions seeking the original source of a known quote, use the [quote-source] tag instead.)

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1answer
36 views

Thriller novel where the main character escapes an underground complex explosion by running up the stairs really fast

I don't remember exactly when I read this, I think at least ten years ago, almost certainly more than five years ago. I don't remember what was being investigated in the story, but the protagonist is ...
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24 views

Short story about a wealthy man bringing his new wife to his childhood home, from when he was poor, which is in the mountains/wilderness

I'm looking for a short story that I think I listened to as an audiobook, in a collection with other stories, in the early 2000s, checked out from a library in Ashland, KY. I was reminded of this when ...
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1answer
425 views

Short story about secret spy betrayed at a secret party, boss got stuck in trap while looking for files

I think I read it five or six years ago from a collection of novels written by one writer. A man is a spy in a secret illegal organization, one day he took part in a secret party, but he had been ...
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1answer
51 views

Stone age fiction with “summers” instead of “years”

The series is fiction, and has multiple books. The cover I had of the third book has fire and an animal along with the protagonist, I think. The protagonist is a person so it cancels out any books ...
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58 views

Looking for a phantasmagoric novel encountered many years ago

Following advice by Rand al'Thor I am reposting here my old question, asked and closed six years ago at the SciFi & Fantasy SE site. Now this is going to be really tough since I remember very ...
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1answer
68 views

In what story of Régnier does a man commit suicide without understanding the reason?

In the suicide note of Ryūnosuke Akutagawa, he talks about a story by Régnier: No one has yet written candidly of the mental state of one who is to commit suicide. This may be due to the self-...
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1answer
94 views

Book about a prisoner who was forced to take a medication while strapped down, which granted him enhanced vision

Here's everything I remember, some things more vivid than others. The story starts with the protagonist outside of this prison/facility. Within the story the prison/facility is seen as normal from ...
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1answer
73 views

Fantasy series where magic is connected to astronomical objects

I am looking for a series. It may be 5 books, but I am not totally sure on that. I read the book roughly 15 years ago and believe it was somewhat new at that time. The story itself is wrapped around a ...
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39 views

Original Poems from Notes from the City of the Sun

I am interested in finding the original Chinese poems used in Notes from the City of the Sun by Bonnie S. McDougall. I know the poems are from Bei Dao, and, according to this webpage, the poems used ...
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1answer
149 views

Everyone keeps diaries due to regular, town-wide amnesia

I would have read this English YA novel in the late 2010s, though I'm not sure how old it was at that point. It was picked up from a local library in the Western United States. I am 50% sure there was ...
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28 views

Book about a boy and girl who are great baseball players

I have pretty limited information about this book, but here goes: I read it approximately 6-7 years ago. The language of publication was English. I found it while browsing in a book store where it ...
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92 views

Audiobook about 19th century New York immigrant obsessed with photography and a red-headed woman

Back in the early 1990's my father got an audiobook from the library about a German or European immigrant in 19th century New York (I think it mentioned the main male protagonist seeing the Statue of ...
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85 views

80s? Infected Man trapped in an Office tower with people trying to kill him

This was a paperback, probably from the 80s. The cover may have had the exterior view of an office tower (~20 floors) with a man suspended on a rope swinging outside. The protagonist goes to his ...
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21 views

1960s? Young race car driver series (Young Adult)

In the late 60s or early 70s I read a series of books (3 at least) about a young race car driver (probably 18-20 in the first book). They were hardback books from a library, so could be 5-10 years ...
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1answer
324 views

Children's book about an island that sinks beneath the ocean

There is a children's book published in the early 1980s which was about a pair of islands. On one island the people were rich and valued money above all else, and on the other island the people were ...
4
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1answer
32 views

Small hardback with illustrations about an inventive boy and the houses he makes for his friends

I read this one as a child, in the mid 1980s, in a book about the dimensions of a coffee table book, but only about 20-30 pages long. The main character is a young boy, with two parents and at least ...
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1answer
920 views

A detective story about money printing

I probably read this 3-5 years ago. It is a story about a man that wants to reveal a money printing factory, he does it because his brother died (I guess) while trying to reveal that money printing. I ...
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47 views

Native American story about a mailman

Almost a decade ago I borrowed a book from my school library, which held the tale of a young Native American (if I remember correctly) boy who wanted to become the fastest one from his village, for ...
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1answer
940 views

Short story about a detective and criminal who disguise themselves and interact while in pursuit

I read a short story around 1996 in the US. I think it was part of a 5th grade reader book (kind of a compilation of short stories at the appropriate reading level). I remember thinking the story was ...
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1answer
403 views

Short story in Russian about time travel and changing the history of WW2

I remember when I was a child (probably about 40 years ago), I read some story in a Russian book (I think its original language was Russian). The story is as follows: a man read some documentary book ...
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1answer
60 views

Which story referenced the parable of Custer’s last stand?

I’m trying to figure out where I first came across this “parable of Little Big Horn”. I think (but I’m not 100% sure) that this was a story told by a narrator at the beginning of a novel. The gist of ...
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1answer
1k views

Short story in which notorious safe-cracker retires but has to use old tools to save girl's life

I remember reading a short story, many years ago, about a notorious safe-cracker in the old west, who managed to accrue a nice fortune by utilizing his skills. I cannot remember the title or author, ...
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98 views

Who wrote, and what is the name of, this famous essay on criticism?

Written between 1400 AD and 1900, the long prose essay--a translation into English from Latin or French--has a terse title, something like "On Criticism" or "On the Art of Criticism&...
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42 views

Book that tracked the life of two objects over centuries

Many years ago I read a rather interesting book that tracked the life of two physical objects (a whip and a crown perhaps) over several centuries. The book was given to me as a child by my father, who ...
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1answer
87 views

A man is in court because a company wants his prostheses back

I forgot the title of the short story. It is about a man who is in court because of his prostheses. If I remember correctly he was a famous motorbiker. A company wants all his prostheses back, because ...
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1answer
82 views

Poem-parody about O'Hare airport, written as though it were the Odyssey

I'm trying to find a poem that I'm relatively certainly was published in The New Yorker. I think I read it around 10 years ago, but definitely a margin of error of a couple of years on either side of ...
3
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1answer
60 views

Short British horror story about a selective, helmet-like memory eraser

I am trying to identify a short story originally published in the 1970s in a British horror anthology. It concerns the invention of a selective memory eraser, and the story concludes with everyone in ...
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38 views

Looking for the source of a quote about women “giving birth in the field” and then “extracting the afterbirth with their big toe”

I know this is sort of vague, but the details seem esoteric enough to potentially be findable, and I'm having no luck finding it myself. This was either from a piece of fiction, or from an ...
3
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0answers
37 views

Looking for an elegy poem about a flower the narrator cared for (at the cost of enjoying life), which died and left him devastated

I'm looking for an elegy-style poem in which the narrator recounts ignoring the beautiful flowers around them, instead attending to a single flower that had yet to bloom. They thought this one flower ...
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48 views

What's the title of the short story about wife accidentally eating all of her husbands food so she cooked “something” instead?

I am not actually sure if this is a story I have watched, or read, or both. Certainly I have watched it as I have pictures on my mind. Anyway, the plot is: The wife is (I guess) abused by her husband. ...
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0answers
40 views

Boy fooled a newspaper-boy to tell the other villagers of a marriage

I was once solving a test passage on Khan Academy last year. It contained a story of a boy who fooled a newspaper-boy to tell all the other residents of a village that a man was marrying a woman. It ...
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1answer
358 views

Fantasy novel with a skilled female assassin enrolling in a contest

I read this novel somewhere around 2010 (2006-2016, can't be much more precise than that). It was in English, probably an American writer. It might have been the first in a series, probably for young ...
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51 views

Mad Magazine comic strip about the philosopher Aristotle being a “damn foreigner”

After the unexpected success I had with my previous identification question regarding a Mad cartoon by Dave Berg, I feel emboldened to ask another. I remember very few details, but it's something like ...
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1answer
80 views

Mad Magazine comic strip about a boy pondering over existence (and “I think, therefore I am”)

I'm trying to find a comic strip that originally appeared in Mad and was reprinted in a paperback collection of material from that magazine. I read it in the paperback collection. The strip shows a ...
13
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1answer
448 views

Identify a book about a boy who has hypnotic powers

I remember this book fairly well. I'll try to provide what I remember about all points. Cover The cover was predominantly blue, with spirals across the whole thing. I think it had a person on it. ...
3
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0answers
50 views

Looking for a children's book about a boy who drifts to a mysterious island on an inflatable tube after being washed out to sea

The story based in Britain is, as far as I can remember, about a boy who falls asleep on an inflatable tube at sea while on a family holiday to the beach. He then drifts to a mysterious island whose ...
4
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1answer
316 views

Book where all the characters are named after chess pieces

I remember reading this book maybe 8-10 years ago. It was set in a school and all the characters were named after chess pieces. There was a teacher called Mr Bishop maybe and someone’s nickname might ...
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2answers
254 views

Roald Dahl short story - wife kills drunkard husband by spiking his drink

I am trying to remember the name of a short story by Roald Dahl, about a man who systematically got drunk at home every Saturday night. His wife kills him, I think by putting something in his drink. ...
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2answers
3k views

What literary work is being referred to in this limerick in which “The earth, like an orange, is blue”?

In the blog post Famous Poems Rewritten as Limericks on LanguageHat.com (2 April 2018), a certain Trond Engen posted the following limerick: The earth, like an orange, is blue. Your love and your ...
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2answers
9k views

Did Gaiman and Pratchett troll an interviewer who thought they were religious fanatics?

TVTropes says: In real life: Gaiman and Pratchett did a radio interview when the book came out, and slowly realized that the interviewer wasn't aware that the book was fictional, and thought they ...
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52 views

Story about a military agent sent in to kill or retrieve a female spy from behind enemy lines

The story is about a military agent with an incident in his military record (Something about a hostage situation if I remember correctly) that indicates he's soft and is not fine with mindlessly ...
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4answers
4k views

In what Chinese fairy tale does a painter disappear into his own painting?

The online description of Rüdiger Safranski's book Wieviel Wahrheit braucht der Mensch? begins with the following sentence: In einem berühmten chinesischen Märchen verschwindet der Maler in seinem ...
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235 views

What is this mid-20th century British adventure novel?

I’d like help finding a novel I loved as a child. The points I can remember: It was set and written in mid-20th century England, perhaps the 1950s. Perhaps aimed at schoolchildren of the time - a ...
1
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1answer
65 views

Book about a single-mother family, children go to a hollow tree

I’m looking for a book I read a few years ago. It featured a family with a single mother and three or so children who run away due to financial issues I think. The eldest of the children takes them to ...
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0answers
124 views

Girl in a marshy village setting whose friend is small with big feet

I remember three things about a book I read as a child. The cover was blue-green, and had either stars, fireflies, or some other kind of orbs of light on it. I don't remember the title, and all of ...
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0answers
52 views

Book with stories continued on later pages with at least one misleading illustration due to the split involving a skeleton falling out of a closet

I read this somewhere in the late 1980s to the early 1990s as a library book in Ashland, KY. Most of my memories of the book are pretty fragmentary. It was an English hardback, probably less than 100 ...
3
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0answers
53 views

Adventure / Mystery book with a cool old lady and her house with automated amusements

I read this in the early 2000s, I think. It was a paperback, with the main characters being a set of kids, at least three of them, with both boys and girls in the group. I don't remember the main part ...
4
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0answers
54 views

Book with unicorn protagonist who plays music

It's been a long time, so my memory of the details is fuzzy. But I remember reading a book in which unicorns were the main characters; this is not a book about humans befriending unicorns in our world,...
2
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1answer
106 views

Book about a girl who was rich and moves in with a family where she learns how to bake and make silk

I'm looking for a book that is about a girl who seems to have been rich at one time and has to move in with a family where she learns how to do chores and baking from scratch and making silk out of ...
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1answer
1k views

Pre-2010 book: “Jaws” in a library

I read a book a while back (probably just before 2010) that I'm trying to find again. It's set in a somewhat surreal library, and I recall that the story line was very strongly based on Jaws, with ...

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