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
35 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
50 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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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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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
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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0answers
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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0answers
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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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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0answers
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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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
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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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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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
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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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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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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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 ...
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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. ...
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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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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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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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 ...
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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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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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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 ...
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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,...
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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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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 ...
7
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1answer
256 views

Swedish novel from 2013 on a researcher in the isolated Pårte observatory in the Sarek Mountains, Sweden

I'm looking for a Swedish literary novel, published 2013, set in the Pårtetjåkko observatory in the Sarek mountains in Sweden. In the book, the (fictional) main character is alone in the remote ...
7
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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 ...
2
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1answer
87 views

Lily of the valley used for murder (Agatha Christie)

I am looking for a novel by Agatha Christie in which she describes a murder with the water of Convallaria majalis (lily of the valley). Does anyone know the title?
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0answers
46 views

Tragedy About Bear Whose Mom Died

Trigger warning: story deals with death, depression, graphic abuse of animals. I haven't been able to find this short story. I don't recall if I heard it as part of a podcast or read it online. I came ...
4
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1answer
102 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 ...
2
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1answer
98 views

Which Maupassant short stories are set during the Franco-Prussian War of 1870?

I read somewhere that Maupassant wrote ten short stories on the 1870 war between France and Prussia. I know "Boule de suif", "Deux amis", "Un duel", "Madame Sauvage&...
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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
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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1answer
44 views

What is the Persian story that Rabindranath Tagore summarises in a letter from June 1894?

In Glimpses of Bengal, a selection of Rabindranath Tagore's letters included in The Definitive Tagore (Rupa Publications, 2017), Tagore summarises the following story (letter from 24 June 1894): ...
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1answer
51 views

King on a Boat Ride Hears a Sound, Oarsman vs. Advisor Efficiency in Determining

I remember a story about a king riding in a boat. It was in English. His oarsman is complaining about rowing, and all the hard work he is doing. They get to where they are going, get ready to go to ...
3
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1answer
70 views

Journalist travels to Germany to research a WWII woman, someone named Miriam is involved

I'm really hoping my meager description will be enough to ID this book. It was a pretty small book located in the nonfiction section of my local public library, in the US. I read it during 2015/2016, ...
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0answers
39 views

Incerto by Nassim Nicholas Taleb - What is the Sixth Book?

Some search results show Amazon displaying Incerto by Nassim Nicholas Taleb as a six book series. However, following the links indicates that Incerto is now a five book series. I believe I have seen ...
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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 ...
2
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0answers
54 views

What is this children's/young adult book with an abandoned house and a scarab beetle?

This is a young adult/children's book read some time around 2004, in English. Unfortunately no recollection of the cover. Remembered details are: a boy is on vacation, or perhaps has moved, in a hot, ...
7
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1answer
58 views

Identify a children's story about a little girl who collected items, had a monster in the basement, and solved a dog-napping mystery!

I read this children's book about 5 years ago, it was a small, charming little book. It probably was published in the past 10 years. It was in Afrikaans, but I'm fairly certain it was a translation ...
1
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1answer
29 views

Murder thriller short story where a starlet kills her former agent and husband, who compulsively winks in a “sleazy” manner

I may have read this in an Alfred Hitchcock anthology somewhere in the mid 1990s. An up and coming starlet is about to head off on her honeymoon with her new beau when her ex-husband and former agent ...
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0answers
44 views

Short story, 19th century: French country priest and devil exchange subjectivities

I am looking for a 19th century short story. I thought it was written by Guy de Maupassant, but didn't find it. A French country priest starts having vivid dreams that he is a diabolical courtier in ...
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0answers
24 views

I'm looking for a certain haiku about kusarigama in Japanese

The haiku I'm looking for is probably of an anonymous author. I got a hint on a Japanese message board that it's maybe Musashi's one and I should find it in Eiji Yoshikawa's famous novel, but it's not ...
10
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1answer
140 views

Sci-fi short story about not getting into cars with strangers

I read this story in English in the 2000s (although it was probably much older), in a collection or anthology of several short stories by different authors; I think the collections may have been ...

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