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Book Openings

Book Openings

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:

5) "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."

4) "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."

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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