OT: Bad writing

lpuszcz at uoft02.utoledo.edu lpuszcz at uoft02.utoledo.edu
Fri May 4 16:21:35 EDT 2001

Someone sent this list of some winners of the  Bulwer Lytton contest (run
by the English Department of San Jose State University), wherein one
writes only the first line of a bad novel. I don't know how recent these
are (I don't think they've had this year's contest yet), but some of them
were so funny I wanted to pass them on.  Plus the first one has the name
Throckmorton, which immediately reminded me of Throgmorton the cat (yay!
I managed a DWJ mention on an OT post!!)

10) "As a scientist, Throckmorton knew that if he were ever to break wind   
in the echo chamber he would never hear the end of it."                     
9) "Just beyond the Narrows the river widens."                              
8) "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 description."                                                               
7) "Andre, a simple peasant, had only one thing on his mind as he crept     
along the East wall: 'Andre creep...  Andre creep...                        
Andre creep.'"                                                              

6) "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."

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

4) "Stanley looked quite bored and somewhat detached, but then penguins
often do."

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

2) "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."


1)"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 frog's deception, screaming madly, "You

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