And now, from our Department of Non Poetic License, here is

Subject: Bad opening lines
Source: Christa C Louise < >

The Edward Bulwar Lytton prize is awarded every year to the author of the
worst possible opening line of a book. This has been so successful that
Penguin now publishes five books-worth of entries. Some recent winners:

"As a scientist, Throckmorton knew that if he were ever to break wind in
the sound chamber he would never hear the end of it."

"Just beyond the Narrows the river widens."

"With a curvaceous figure that Venus would have envied, a tanned
unblemished oval face framed with lustrous thick brown hair, deep
azure-blue eyes fringed with long black lashes, perfect teeth that vied for
competition, and a small straight nose, Marilee had a beauty that defied

"Andre, a simple peasant, had only one thing on his mind as he crept along
the east wall: "Andre creep . . . Andre creep . . .Andre creep."

"Stanislaus Smedley, a man always on the cutting edge of narcissism, was
about to give his body and soul to a back-alley sex-change surgeon--to
become the woman he loved."

"Although Sarah had an abnormal fear of mice, it did not keep her from
seeking out a living at a local pet store."

"Stanley looked quite bored and somewhat detached, but then penguins often

"Like an overripe beefsteak tomato rimmed with cottage cheese, the
corpulent remains of Santa Claus lay dead on the hotel floor."

"Mike Hardware was the kind of private eye who didn't know the meaning of
the word "fear," a man who could laugh in the face of danger and spit in
the eye of death--in short, a moron with suicidal tendencies.


"The sun oozed over the horizon, shoved aside darkness, crept along the
greensward, and, with sickly fingers, pushed through the castle window,
revealing the pillaged princess, hand at throat, crown asunder, gaping in
frenzied horror at the sated, sodden amphibian lying beside her,
disbelieving the magnitude of the toad's deception, screaming madly, "You


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