Pop Quiz: Summer Reading.

There’s a story that Salman Rushdie was once asked by some friends what Hamlet would have been called if it were a Robert Ludlum novel. Rushdie immediately came up with The Elsinore Vacillation. He then turned Macbeth into The Dunsinane Reforestation, The Merchant of Venice into The Rialto Sanction and Othello became The Kerchief Implication.





That inspired this less than erudite pop quiz: Robert Ludlum novel or episode of The Big Bang Theory?

  1. The Barbarian Sublimation
  2. The Hades Factor
  3. The Holcroft Covenant
  4. The Luminous Fish Effect
  5. The Shiksa Indeterminacy
  6. The Matarese Circle
  7. The Tangerine Factor
  8. The Sigma Protocol
  9. The Lazarus Vendetta
  10. The Griffin Equivalency
  11. The Financial Permeability
  12. The Arctic Event
  13. The Van Allen Belts
  14. The Dumpling Paradox
  15. The White Asparagus Triangulation
  16. The Scorpio Illusion
  17. The Icarus Agenda
  18. The Codpiece Topology
  19. The Killer Robot Instability
  20. The Cornhusker Vortex
  21. The Aquitaine Progression
  22. The Bus Pants Utilization
  23. The Thespian Catalyst
  24. The Apocalypse Watch
  25. The Pirate Solution


23-25: You used to use your tablet for reading. Now you mostly use it for watching TV.

20-23: You’ve watched all the Jason Bourne movies.

15-20: You plan to spend your summer vacation reading but mostly just watch TV.

10-15: And so the bartender tells Shakespeare, “You can’t come in here. You’re bard!”

5-10: Hello fellow English major.

1-5: So you got the Shakespeare jokes but are wondering about this “Big Bang Theory” and who this Ludlum guy is.

Facebook Comments


  1. Ann Koplow

    Hello, fellow English Major! I prefer Conan Doyle, so how about “The Adventure of the Missing Answer Key”?

    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      Thank you for spotting that! I’ve fixed it now. Some people may find this a tough quiz, but I don’t want to make it tougher than necessary by hiding the answers.

  2. Kristine @MumRevised

    I thought they were all Big Bang. Turn off the TV… I know, I know.

  3. Arionis

    23 out of 25. Good thing I have a new kindle only for reading coming today. In my defense, BBT, is my favorite sitcom, so I just used the process of elimination for the Ludlum’s.

    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      That was sneaky and underhanded and sounds like the sort of thing Wollowitz would do. I like it.

  4. mydangblog

    Apparently I’ve watched way too much Big Bang Theory! Excellent quiz!

    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      I’m glad you liked it. And I’m pretty sure the show is more educational than any of Ludlum’s novels.

  5. Jay

    I just love you. Your mind is so delightfully twisted.

    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      Thank you so much. That’s the nicest compliment I’ve gotten in a long time.

  6. Red

    I started listing the BBT episodes, then realized you had an answer key.
    Maybe I’ve had too much wine.

    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      Is there such a thing as too much wine? Actually when I first put this up I forgot to include the answer key until Ann Koplow very helpfully pointed out its absence. And I try to make the answer keys hard to read, although they might be clearer after some wine.


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