Friday, September 15, 2006


Breathtaking Achievement #106

This morning a patron returned The Last Days of Pompeii, a tome by that prince of purple prose, Edward Bulwer-Lytton, whose opening lines, "It was a dark and stormy night," were the starting point for Snoopy's attempts at the great American novel in Peanuts.

The sudden appearance of Lytton reminded me that I hadn't checked this year's results for the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction contest, the competition to write "the first sentence of the worst novel never written." It's sponsored by the Department of English and Comparative Literature at San Jose State University and is an unending source of fiendish delight for me. Reading the entries from the annual Bulwer-Lytton is a pleasure akin to getting stoned and watching The Blob or The Kathryn Kuhlman Gospel Hour on television in my misspent youth.

The fictional and stylistic accomplishment of this year's grand champion is staggering:

Detective Bart Lasiter was in his office studying the light from his one small window falling on his super burrito when the door swung open to reveal a woman whose body said you've had your last burrito for a while, whose face said angels did exist, and whose eyes said she could make you dig your own grave and lick the shovel clean.

Jim Guigli
Carmichael, CA

Well! If I can write something that atrocious in the coming years, my life will not have been in vain!

Check out this year's winners at

LMAO! No kidding!
God, how I love this annual competition.
Here's one of my faves:

"She wasn't really my type, a hard-looking but untalented reporter from the local cat box liner, but the first second that the third-rate representative of the fourth estate cracked open a new fifth of old Scotch, my sixth sense said seventh heaven was as close as an eighth note from Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, so, nervous as a tenth grader drowning in eleventh-hour cramming for a physics exam, I swept her into my longing arms, and, humming "The Twelfth of Never," I got lucky on Friday the thirteenth.

--Wm. W. "Buddy" Ocheltree, Port Townsend, Washington (1993 Winner)
Whoo! A true classic!
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

The Blog-O-Cuss Meter - Do you cuss a lot in your blog or website?