"Iconic" book titles

__________ for Dummies.

Interestingly, both “Ten Little Niggers” as well as “And Then There Were None”.

The Bible, in the sense that even nonreligious trades often have a “bible” of their common rules and practices.

The Three Musketeers

It wasn’t exactly a book, at least not originally, but the title of The Odyssey became a word used to describe a long journey or period of wandering, either literal or metaphorical.

A few of Nietzsche’s titles became fairly well-known phrases, such as Beyond Good and Evil and Human, All Too Human, although I’m not sure if the latter was original to him.

If we count cases where the title is the name of a character, there’s Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn, Madame Bovary, and Romeo and Juliet. Freud’s interest in Greek drama resulted in complexes being named after the characters Oedipus and Electra, both of whom had plays named after them, so maybe that counts too.

There have been several books with this title, but the phrase became famous because of its use in the film All the President’s Men. AFAIK this is where the catchphrase originated, I don’t believe it was inspired by any previous book. It isn’t even in the original book All the President’s Men, the line was added by screenwriter William Goldman.

The former was already a well-known phrase decades before the novel was written. It was taken from the song better known as “Ten Little Indians”. According to Wikipedia the “Indians” version was the original, with “Ten Little Niggers” being an alternate version developed for use in a blackface minstrel show.

I can’t believe no one’s mentioned The Great Gatsby, but, well… Gatsby.

The Sound and the Fury (also lifted from Shakespeare, of course).


Oh, I want to play, but all the good ones are gone. How about:

“We have met the enemy and he is us!”

(Originally from a poster for Earth Day 1970 drawn by Walt Kelly, but later used as a title for a collection of his Pogo comics, so it kind of fits the topic.)

These aren’t great examples, but I think they fit:

**Lord of the Flies **when describing a situation of “everyone for themselves chaos.”

**Moby Dick **when describing someone’s singular obsession.

not to mention The Decline and Fall of ____