August 25, 2006

Famous Firsts

The Guardian has an essay today about famous first lines in novels. It reminds me of a book I was recently given: It Was a Dark and Stormy Night — The Best (?) from the Bulwer-Lytton Contest, which compiles the most ridiculous opening sentences from the worst novels never written (compiled by Scott Rice and dating back to 1984, strangely.)

I will share a smattering of my favorites:

You name it, I've seen it — the depths, the pits, the bottom; Vic Steele's the name, and proctology's my game. -- William J. O'Malley, S.J.

"Aw, hell," groaned the contessa, who, up to that point had shown no interest in the conversation. -- T. Manning Powers

I was a fifty-four year old male virgin, but I'm all right now. -- Arden Ohl

Dick Straith may have been captain of the football team but why, he thought, should that stop him from wearing his sister's tube top. -- Scott Davis Jones

The rain splattered down on the tables of the cafe like raisins dropped by uncaring gods. -- Patricia A. Folkerth

For more on the Bulwer-Lytton contest for atrocious opening sentences (and the winners from this year), click here. -- Amy

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