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Questions tagged [identification-request]

Questions asking for identification of a literary work (story, novel, poem, play, etc) 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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12 votes
1 answer
2k views

Short story where people are handicapped in the name of fairness and equality

I remember part of a story, maybe a short story. In it, people are handicapped in different ways depending on what they're good at. People that are really strong have weights attached to them. ...
DForck42's user avatar
  • 1,823
12 votes
1 answer
2k views

Short story about paranoid parents whose baby dies in the barbed wire set up to protect it

My daughter told me that she had to read a short story (about two pages long) about an overprotective couple that were so paranoid that something might harm their baby that they put up all kinds of ...
user2708817's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
131 views

Lawyer sacrifices life for his activist friend by taking his place in prison

I read this story a long time ago in one of our class readings. It keeps coming back to my mind but none of my Internet searches return a story except for news articles. I do not know even if this is ...
Shashank Sabniveesu's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
8k views

Book about a runaway kid who lives in a hollow tree

I found a survival-story chapter book in the library. I read the book, and loved it. Now I've moved, and the library is hours away and I can't remember the name of the book. I remember the following ...
Radvylf Programs's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
115 views

A book from the 80s/90s with a stage magician and a couple women

I'm sorry but my memory is quite spotty on this but I'm obsessed with trying to remember this book. I don't remember the author or title at all. I barely remember a few things. the main character was ...
Mindxing's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
106 views

A children's book with a rhyme naming cities in western England

I remember a few details about three children's books I read in elementary school in the USA, presumably borrowed from the school library instead of the local library, because I remember them in ...
M. A. Golding's user avatar
18 votes
4 answers
5k 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 ...
Tsundoku's user avatar
  • 45.1k
15 votes
1 answer
2k views

1960s kids book with "invisible" dust which people think improves everything but doesn't actually exist

In the 1960s, my grammar school (grades 1-8) encouraged us to buy cheap kids books; they had lists and we checked off what we wanted and paid for them. They were cheap; these were not new releases, ...
Daniel's user avatar
  • 255
15 votes
1 answer
336 views

The name of a poem about a poet being happy that someone has forgotten the title of their poem

I read this poem in a collection and now I can't find it. It starts with the poet talking about how they were approached by someone who had loved one of their poems. But the reader could not remember ...
KittenWithAWhip's user avatar
12 votes
1 answer
235 views

Teenager in orphanage or prison

I am looking for a story that was part of a Reader's Digest anthology. I read in the very early 1990s as a German translation, but I am pretty sure, the story is from the USA (and was probably written ...
Arsak's user avatar
  • 327
11 votes
0 answers
295 views

'Classical' horror short story in which overwork is linked to a supernatural demon

Having just had an exceptionally busy week, I've been trying to recall the details of a relevant short story whose name escapes me. I have the feeling it was a fairly old, 'classical' horror story - ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
  • 73.6k
10 votes
1 answer
301 views

Looking for an O.Henry story where a young man from the country working in the city marries a socialite and then goes for a visit to his home

The young man in the question takes his bride to his home in the countryside to meet his family. The author describes the following scene in exquisite detail:- It's night and the entire family is ...
goluhaque's user avatar
  • 203
8 votes
1 answer
267 views

Looking for story where a woman calls for help by pretending to be ordering meat over the phone or something

Sounds like Roald Dahl or Edgar Allan Poe, but I could be wrong. It's NOT Lamb to the Slaughter. The woman in the story is in danger somehow by a man in her house, and she manages to call for help ...
Mary P's user avatar
  • 301
7 votes
1 answer
376 views

Did Julian Huxley write a poem about an axolotl, and if so, what was it?

Julian Huxley was an avid science populariser, researched into the metamorphosis of axolotls, and wrote poetry. I'm pretty sure that these interests were combined in a poem I once came across, ...
Phil van Kleur's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
205 views

Novel about teenagers committing suicide

I read this novel about 3 years ago on the train, having borrowed it from a co-passenger. I couldn't read the whole book and I'd like to complete it now. When did you read the story, and how old was ...
A J's user avatar
  • 491
6 votes
1 answer
371 views

Parody of 'Consider the ant'

This half-remembered poem, from what I can recall, was written by someone who worked for the New Statesman or the Spectator in the 1970s. The opening part is: They say consider the ant O thou ...
Kit-Ginevra's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
837 views

Short story about a young boy living in South Africa during Apartheid [duplicate]

I believe I read this story in my AP Literature textbook, but can't recall the name. It's about a young boy living in South Africa during Apartheid who is ironically killed by the fence surrounding ...
user avatar
5 votes
0 answers
226 views

Looking for the name of a book with Bruegel's Tower of Babel as the front cover

I'm looking for the name of a book I read three years ago (although it was published in the early 2000s maybe) about a boy who leaves his village and goes to a large city. The cover art is a corner of ...
Samuel's user avatar
  • 51
5 votes
1 answer
138 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 ...
verbose's user avatar
  • 28.8k
5 votes
1 answer
158 views

Does anyone recognise this poem - from my mum (90)?

Once upon a summer in the hills by the river Was a deep green forest where the wild things grow. There were paths as ...?....? There were ...?...?...? And a thousand little spaces where the ...
Wilbur's user avatar
  • 53
5 votes
1 answer
154 views

Retelling of Odysseus story with humour and anachronisms (audiobook)

I heard this in audio form, probably on a cassette or maybe CD, borrowed from a public library in England in the early noughties (2001-2006). I don't know how old it was, or whether or not it was an ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
  • 73.6k
4 votes
1 answer
138 views

Which thriller featured "a machine-gun attack in Park Lane"?

In ‘Aristotle on Detective Fiction’, a lecture delivered on 5 March 1935, Dorothy L. Sayers described a book of which the ancient philosopher would not have approved: Yet he [Aristotle] was no ...
Gareth Rees's user avatar
  • 57.9k
4 votes
1 answer
136 views

Identification of a Maupassant short story where a young man is upset by the past infidelities of his mistress

In a short story by Maupassant, a young man is upset by the past infidelities of his mistress, a rather paradoxical situation since he came much later after the infidelities (and somehow benefited ...
Bazin's user avatar
  • 187
4 votes
0 answers
89 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 ...
verbose's user avatar
  • 28.8k
4 votes
1 answer
130 views

Robin Hood tale, belladonna and a modern frame story

In the early 2000s, I heard an audiobook version of a coherent retelling of the classic Robin Hood story. There was a frame story set in the modern world, a boy (I think) staying with his grandmother (...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
  • 73.6k
4 votes
1 answer
398 views

Very large World War 3 novel: US vs China, main characters include new US president and younger US soldier

For a good while I've been trying to recall a book I read about 15 years ago. What I remember: The Novel was based around a modern day (at the time) global war scenario, with the main battles taking ...
NotADog's user avatar
  • 179
3 votes
1 answer
1k views

Children's book about a stuffed dog and stuffed cat who eat each other when their owner leaves

I read this book a long time ago about a stuffed cat and a stuffed dog who get hungry when their owner leaves and eat each other: they rip each other apart until they are each just a rag. They looked ...
360Genius's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
90 views

A childen's book with a rhyme about a badger's home

I remember a few details about three children's books I read in elementary school in the USA, presumably borrowed from the school library instead of the local library, because I remember them in ...
M. A. Golding's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
102 views

Name of Play about a Nazi-occupied (Nordic?) Village Population of Which Underestimated by Occupiers

So, I remember watching this television play probably adopted from a more famous original opus about a Nazi-occupied village somewhere in Europe (I don't recall where exactly, but perhaps the story ...
Neutrino's user avatar
  • 151
3 votes
1 answer
283 views

Female detective, former police. Dark and troubled past involving violently killing a house of criminals who were holding her hostage and abusing her

In relation to Story involving Islamic terrorists planning an attack on a stadium, I mentioned a contemporaneous series to the book I am seeking there, but couldn't recall the title. From my ...
Sean Duggan's user avatar
  • 10.7k
2 votes
1 answer
71 views

Swift's Great Mystery

In his best known book, History of Shit, Dominique Laporte mentions "Swift's Great Mystery" when listing pertinent literature (pp. 100-101): The Biblioteca Scatalogica furnishes an impressive list ...
Chubby Chef's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
190 views

Story involving Islamic terrorists planning an attack on a stadium

This is going to be a bit of a longshot, I suspect. I started reading a book in the 2010 timeframe (probably around 2015ish) that was, I think, at least the second book in the series. It started with ...
Sean Duggan's user avatar
  • 10.7k
1 vote
0 answers
43 views

Short story - Man transports a dead dog to a field, but gets accused of murder with the blood in his van considered to be evidence

I think I read this in an anthology, probably in the 1980s or 1990s, possibly one of the Alfred Hitchcock anthologies. At the beginning, a man is transporting a dead dog to a field to bury it. I'm not ...
Sean Duggan's user avatar
  • 10.7k