It’s good that this was in the Guardian, as that rag itself has an air of the Bulwer-Lytton about it, do you not think?


To be precise, it is meant to be opening lines of bad books but it’s shifted to include just bad metaphors or similes, bad analogies perhaps – I’m not sure even the supposedly good writers today know the distinction.

These are some which might come under the Bulwyer-Lytton heading:

1. When she tried to sing, it sounded like a walrus giving birth to farm equipment.

2. Her eyes twinkled like the moustache of a man with a cold.

3. She was like a magnet: attractive from the back, repulsive from the front.

Those are good entries to the canon.  Incidentally, these are some of the winners:


A key factor in the awards is that they are deliberate attempts at bad writing and two nights ago, I had an attempt myself. In discussing why I could never marry a certain girl, I opined that we’d be like a washing machine wracking itself to bits when the drum went askew.

I mean, that is so appalling, so forced, so suffused with its own smug cleverness, then realizing it did not quite cover it, thus being extended, that I’d submit it might be a worthy entrant.

So obviously this evening, I’m going to ask you worthy folk if you yourselves can come up with some appalling ones, worthy of inclusion.

[H/T Chuckles]

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16 comments for “Bulwer-Lytton

  1. The Blocked Dwarf
    September 12, 2018 at 18:20

    Off the top of my head and wasn’t quite the opening line, nor an analogy, but “In short, the proposal set out in this White Paper would honour the result of the referendum.”

  2. dearieme
    September 12, 2018 at 22:28

    She was rather a shrew; a shrew of an elephantine shape, with the patience of a rhinoceros, the wisdom of a gibbon, and the trustworthiness of a scorpion – and yet he loved her with every fibre of his being.

    • September 13, 2018 at 04:23

      Sufficiently appalling. That’s Edward Gibbon is it?

  3. robbo
    September 13, 2018 at 05:27

    Her apple phone was a bit of a lemon!

  4. robbo
    September 13, 2018 at 05:50

    The Rocket was a Submarine with Altitude!

  5. robbo
    September 13, 2018 at 06:20

    She caught his eye! She was a crap Angler!

  6. September 13, 2018 at 06:48

    Great to see us getting into this thing.

    The beauty of this game is that one’s own entries can be total c*** and that makes them fine entries.

    There’s another nice game coming up at 6 p.m. today.

  7. September 13, 2018 at 17:32

    It was dark and stormy, the rain sheeted and the wind howled, the enemy was at the gate and the horse was dead. There was always the Irish Wolf Hound. But the even the peasants could not send a Knight out on a dog like that.

  8. The Blocked Dwarf
    September 13, 2018 at 18:00

    Again not really a BL but definitely a crap first line: “North of the River, South of the border and hell of a ways east of Eden”.

    [The ‘river’ is the Thames, the ‘border’ Watford Gap].

  9. robbo
    September 13, 2018 at 20:30

    Definition of a Hymen…. a virgin greeting

    • The Blocked Dwarf
      September 13, 2018 at 20:37

      That’s almost on a painful pun par (check out the alliteration on me , dudes!) with ‘Definition of a hormone…when you don’t pay her!’

  10. robbo
    September 13, 2018 at 20:34

    My wife suggested we take woodwork classes….. but i couldnt joiner

  11. robbo
    September 13, 2018 at 20:36

    Haemorrhoids….. inflation bottoming out!

  12. September 13, 2018 at 20:39

    What have we unleashed here?

  13. robbo
    September 13, 2018 at 21:24

    She was has welcoming has a dog with no tail!

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