Find the answers to all tl;dr games and one-sentence stories gathered in one convenient place!
Here’s how the game works: I’ve taken a bunch of relatively well-known stories, all centered around the same theme, and whittled their plotlines down to a one-sentence summary. Your goal is to see how many you can match up with their original titles and authors.
Stephen King Challenge
- A woman gets accused of murdering her boss; she didn’t do it, but she actually is guilty of murder because she killed her child-molesting husband during an eclipse. = Dolores Claiborne
- A death-row inmate with low intelligence and a special healing power is not guilty but gets fried anyway. = The Green Mile
- A banker-turned-jailbird uses his financial skills to his advantage in prison as a way to kill time while he builds an escape tunnel in his cell. = “Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption”
- A little boy with psychic abilities has to figure out how to deal with a massively haunted hotel that’s causing his father to go homicidally insane. = The Shining
- Pranking the weird girl by making her the high school prom queen backfires in a big way. = Carrie
- An epidemic of turning into a vampire sweeps through a small town, and Patient Zero lives in the creepy murder house on top of the hill. = ‘Salem’s Lot
- A writer gets injured, and a fan with a crazed obsession nurses him back to health, but won’t allow him to leave until he writes a deceased character back to life. = Misery
- The government tries to find a little girl born with the power of pyrokinesis as a result of their experiments on her parents, while she and her father work to stay one step ahead of their agents. = Firestarter
- The dog is trying to kill everyone. = Cujo
- The car is trying to kill everyone. = Christine
- A battered wife finds the courage to leave her husband, who pursues her across the country and into the dark fantasy dreamscape of a painting she found at a pawn shop. = Rose Madder (slightly obscure, but I include it because it’s such a brilliant book about domestic violence.)
- The graveyard makes pets come back to life, just like before except more evil, so a grief-stricken dad buries his dead child there and gets the predictable result. = Pet Sematery
- A gypsy curse causes a wealthy fat cat to waste away no matter how much he eats. = Thinner
- A kid learns how to be a Nazi from a neighbour who was an actual Nazi. = “Apt Pupil”
- A high school teacher travels back in time to try and prevent the assassination of a president. = 11/22/63
The Original One-Sentence Story Challenge
- A creepy traveling carnival comes to town and captures people by promising to make their fantasies come true. = Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury.
- A man and his adoptive father both fall in love with the same pretty girl, but they’ve got no chance because son is misshapen-looking and father is a creepy priest. = The Hunchback of Notre-Dame by Victor Hugo
- A little girl comes to love her adopted brother very much, but she marries somebody else with more wealth and status, and it turns out to have been a bad idea. = Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
- An abused and impoverished child grows up to be a governess who falls in love with her employer, eventually leaves his employ, but ultimately comes back to care for and marry him. – Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
- Three witches predict a certain lord will become a king, and he decides to hurry their prophecy along by killing the reigning monarch, but he and his wife are plagued by supernatural visions after committing the murder. – Macbeth by William Shakespeare, with extra kudos to any commenter who pointed out that this is not specifically a novel, but rather a play.
- A woman becomes a priestess of her pagan Celtic religion at a time when Christianity is encroaching and her (half) brother, the king, is fighting to keep the kingdom intact. = The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley (set apart from all other Arthurian novels by the focus on the pagan Celtic priestess and the conflict between Christianity and older religions)
- A very timid young man with a comfortable lifestyle discovers his own bravery by taking a long journey, fighting a dragon, and finding a magical ring. = The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
- A woman becomes pregnant after wanting children for a long time, but she soon learns that her new neighbours are in a satanic cult and the baby is demonic. = Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin
- An extremely smart little girl who can move objects with her mind uses her special powers to punish dull-witted, mean, and dishonest grown-ups for their bad behaviour and mistreatment of others. = Matilda by Roald Dahl
- A red-haired orphan moves in with a brother and sister to help around the house, and though originally they wanted a boy, she soon wins them over with her personality, charm, and competence, despite various mishaps. = Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery