The Faber Quiz 2017

2017 has been a terrific year in books. Why? Because books. While the world seems to have gone potty, books continue to be made from paper and filled with words and pictures. Unless they’re ebooks of course, in which case they are made of pixels and plastic and annoy everyone else on the bus because they can’t see what you’re reading.

To celebrate books (because books) we’ve put together The Faber Quiz 2017. There are five rounds: QI Facts; book covers; archive mischief; first lines; and who said what?

What do you win? Nothing. Just a warm sense of smugness to keep you going when the heating goes off, or perhaps some equally warm blushes if it doesn’t go quite so well. Do share with your friends and family, in an effort to show them how much more you love books than they could possibly imagine.


Round 1: The fiendish QI Facts quiz


A ________ can filter 50 gallons of water a day.

Beijing has three million _______ that are looked after by robot nannies.

Starfish have ______ on the tips of their arms.

15% of the air on the New York subway contains _____________.

Paul McGuigan, the original bassist in Oasis, quit the band by _____.

Netflix’s biggest competitor is _______.

In 2016, a gorilla escaped at London Zoo and drank five litres of _______________.

1,400 wrens weigh as much as one __________.

The world’s fastest ___________ travels at 47 mph.

The most murderous mammals are ____________.


Round 2: 2017 Faber Book Cover Quiz


Identify this book cover

Identify this book cover

Identify this book cover

Identify this book cover

Identify this book cover

Identify this book cover

Identify this book cover

Identify this book cover

Identifty this book cover


Round 3: The Faber Archive Quiz


Faber and Faber’s first bestseller was…?

What is the name of Ted Hughes's sequel to The Iron Man?

Which of T. S. Eliot’s Practical Cats was the Mystery Cat?

In which PD James novel do her two detectives, Adam Dalgliesh and Cordelia Gray, first meet?

What are the names of the characters who live in dustbins in Samuel Beckett’s Endgame?

What is the name of the first of the three Paul Auster novels collected together as the New York Trilogy?

Which famous female artist is one of the main characters of Barbara Kingsolver’s The Lacuna?

Which Banana Yoshimoto novel was made into both a Japanese TV movie in 1989 and a film in 1997?

What is the name of the central character from Louise Doughty's 2013 novel Apple Tree Yard?

In which city can you find a statue of Philip Larkin?


Round 4: Identify these first lines


'I do not know much about gods; but I think that the river'

‘My name is Kathy H’

‘Exactly three months before the killing at Martingale Mrs Maxie gave a dinner party.’

‘The town takes its name from the river.’

‘There’s a feather on my pillow.’

‘Every day from nine to five I sit at my desk facing the door of the office and type up other people’s dreams.’

'It was a dream I had last week.'

‘The morning express bloated with passengers slowed to a crawl, then lurched forward suddenly, as though to resume full speed.’

‘My name is Karim Amir, and I am an Englishman born and bred, almost.’

‘In Paris we eat brains every night.’


Round 5: Who said what?


‘I’m not a writer, I’m a ghost writer for the cows.’

‘After Brexit, if people had voted out, I wouldn’t give them a selfie’

‘We’ve got all those people called ‘theatre makers’ – God help us, what a word! – coming in and doing director’s theatre where you camp up classic plays and you cut them and you prune them around.’

‘The strangest thing was ignoring Ground Zero. Most of my on-the-spot research for writing ------ ---- required me to walk round and round the hole in the ground where the World Trade Centre had stood, paying it no attention.’

‘I started to receive calls back to back, and each time we were trying to establish if it was a hoax or if it was fake news, or what it was. And then it started to become more and more certain. By the time the BBC called I started to take it seriously.’

‘I wanted to keep a strong thread between the internal life and the physical life in order to avoid it just becoming pornography. I think I’ve managed that, although I have possibly spent too much time thinking about sex...’

‘My son instructed me in the magic of gay life’

'I started the book at 66, which is the year my father dropped dead of a heart attack. And once I passed that boundary, I began to live in a very creepy world. I’ve settled into it now, but early on, there was a thought of sudden death in my head.'

‘I also really like writing in busy noisy places like cafes and trains – it focuses me somehow.’

'I don’t like acceptance. It makes me think I've done something wrong.'


How did you do, brave quizzer?

35+: Lord of the Flies

There are no flies on you when it comes to your book knowledge. An impressive achievement. Almost worrying. Treat yourself to another book at once to celebrate.

25–34: The Less Deceived

Well done, you know your Larkin from your larking about. And the best thing about Christmas is you can spend it with your loved ones – your book collection, of course.

15–24: Travesties

Well, it could have been worse. The quiz could have automatically shared the score with your friends. Console yourself with some extra strong tea, a mince pie and some lovely books.

14 or fewer: The Waste Land

Oh dear. Did you enter this quiz hoping it was going to be entirely questions about Emmerdale TV tie-ins and colouring in? There’s only one thing for it. Treat yourself to some improving books and let’s never speak of this again.