• 2000: No 3626


    Competition No 3626

    We want the first lines of a well-known novel that would destroy it: “Once upon a time there were four little rabbits – Flopsy, Mopsy, Cotton-tail and Peter – and very delicious they were too.”


    D Dumaurier, Rebecca

    Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again; I must stop eating cheese for supper.


    J Austen, Pride and Prejudice

    It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife, unless, like Charles Bingley, he is a well-known gay activist.


    A Camus, The Outsider

    Mother died today. Or, maybe, yesterday. She’s left me half a million, so I’m moving somewhere cooler.


    J Joyce,  A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

    Once upon a time and a very good time it was there was a moocow coming down along the road and the moocow was a moobull which gored baby tuckoo…


    V Woolf, To the Lighthouse

    ‘Yes, of course, if it’s fine tomorrow,’ said Mrs Ramsay. ‘Don’t want go boring lighthouse,’ screamed James. ‘Want go Disneyland.’


    G Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four

    It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen as the electronically tagged Winston Smith was arrested and instantly executed.


    L Carroll,  Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

    Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the bank, and of having nothing to do: so she went home to play with her Pokemon cards.


    F Kafka, Metamorphosis

    As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic squashed insect.


    A Conan Doyle, The Hound of the Baskervilles

    Mr Sherlock Holmes, who was usually very late in the mornings, save upon those not infrequent occasions when he was up all night, was seated at the breakfast table and greeted me with the news that Sir Charles Baskerville had been at the LSD again.


    The Book of Genesis

    In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was waste and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and God said: ‘I can’t be arsed to fix the lighting.’


    C Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

    It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Or whatever.


    J Joyce, Finnegans wake

    riverrun, past Eve and Adam’s, from swerve of shore to bend of bay (ohfucknotagain).


    F Kafka, The Trial

    Someone must have been telling lies about Joseph K., for without having done anything wrong he was arrested one fine morning, but fortunately he could afford a good lawyer.


    DH Lawrence, Lady Chatterley’s lover

    Ours is essentially a tragic age, so we refuse to take it tragically. Hence after two months on Viagra, Clifford Chatterley was quite his old self.