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kottke.org posts about Bulwer-Lytton

The best bad first lines of 2010

posted by Jason Kottke   Jun 30, 2010

The winners of the 2010 Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest have been announced.

An international literary parody contest, the competition honors the memory (if not the reputation) of Victorian novelist Edward George Earl Bulwer-Lytton (1803-1873). The goal of the contest is childishly simple: entrants are challenged to submit bad opening sentences to imaginary novels.

The winner is a little too obviously horrible for my taste, but I did like the runner-up in the detective category:

As Holmes, who had a nose for danger, quietly fingered the bloody knife and eyed the various body parts strewn along the dark, deserted highway, he placed his ear to the ground and, with his heart in his throat, silently mouthed to his companion, “Arm yourself, Watson, there is an evil hand afoot ahead.

Heady stuff.

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