Friday, August 15, 2008

Read any bad book openings lately?

The 2008 Bulwer Lytton Fiction Contest has announced its winners, and as promised here it is. The contest, run by a professor at San Jose State's English and Comparative Literature Department, is in the spirit of the nineteenth century novelist Edward Bulwer Lytton who is best known for his famous first line that begins "It was a dark and stormy night ..." The professor seeks to find the worst opening sentences to novels of many genres.

This is year's overall winner: Theirs was a New York love, a checkered taxi ride burning rubber, and like the city their passion was open 24/7, steam rising from their bodies like slick streets exhaling warm, moist, white breath through manhole covers stamped "Forged by DeLaney Bros., Piscataway, N.J."

There are dozens of other gems, in nearly every genre, with good puns and vile, and some defying description. For a good read of some very funny bad reads go to the Bulwer Lytton Fiction Contest website. Compare them with the books you're reading now. Click on "comments" and tell us if you see anything as bad opening a book you've checked out from the library.

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