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It Was a Dark and Stormy Night: The Best (?)…

It Was a Dark and Stormy Night: The Best (?) from the Bulwer-Lytton… (edition 1984)

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276661,875 (3.85)8
Title:It Was a Dark and Stormy Night: The Best (?) from the Bulwer-Lytton Contest
Info:Penguin USA (P) (1984), Paperback
Collections:Your library

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It Was a Dark and Stormy Night by Scott Rice



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» See also 8 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
I loved this book, even though it made me seek out Bulwer-Lytton himself. Much to my combined amusement and dismay. ( )
  satyridae | Apr 5, 2013 |
Not exactly a laugh-a-thon, but good for a few snickers (especially the "Vile Puns" section). Many of the entries are brilliant in the manner of "someone impersonating a drunk on ice skates," as the introduction's metaphor goes. It offers good exercise for writers like me. I attempted to parse what made each entry a bad opening line. I'm not sure I've passed, since some of these false starts had genuine hooks to them, I thought (how did someone drown in their sleep? I want to know.) I think some of the entries are more subtle, where perhaps the sentences themselves aren't bad but suggest the (non-existent) novel to follow would be bad by implication. I won't go hunting for more in this series, but one was fun to read. ( )
  Cecrow | Jan 11, 2011 |
Over time, I've become less and less of a fan of the Bulwer-Lytton Contest and more of a fan of the "little Lytton" one.

The main issue I had is that, absent any limit, the openings tend to go on and on, often giving off the feeling that the author is just trying far too hard. Put a bunch of them together in one volume, and the problem becomes unavoidable.

Ultimately good for the occasional chuckle, but primarily tedious otherwise. ( )
1 vote g026r | Aug 20, 2010 |
This selection from the best (if that is the word) entries to the first of what became an annual bad-writing contest: a challenge "to compose the worst possible opening sentence for an imaginary novel" is crammed with snippets of entertaining monstrosities. I will not cite them here: the book entirely deserves your attention. ( )
  TheoClarke | Jun 19, 2009 |
The ultimate in badness. Laugh-out-loud funny collection of "opening sentences from the worst novels never written." This is a best-of from the annual Bulwer-Lytton contest to find the worst possible first lines. One of my favorite short ones: "The dark can be scary, thought Todd, if you're young, impressionable, intoxicated, out of gas, naked, and are forced to sit on vinyl seats."

Or how about: "Just beyond the Narrows the river widens." ( )
2 vote MerryMary | Jul 17, 2008 |
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The Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest is an annual event whereby entrants are invited to compose the worst opening sentence to the worst possible novel. Attracting around 10,000 entries, the competition is a tongue-in-cheek celebration of bad fiction and and this title collects the worst it has to offer.… (more)

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