Write an opening that would stop you buying a book

BAYLOR

There Are Always new Things to Learn.
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In a land far, far away, both in distance and time, there once stood a house on a hill. This house was large and strong with several bold, cloud-piercing towers and was very, very old. Despite its age it stood untainted by any sign of decay and was thought to be indestructible. Until it was, utterly and completely, with everything in it. It was done in a single moment by a small person, a girl, who named herself Tanja and the next day Sylvia or Gertrude or anything else that came to mind, because she did not remember her true name. Only that she came from a land far, far away, both in distance and time.



Make your choice. Was this written by
a - comedian
b - wise guy
c - other

An admirer of Edward Bulwer Lytton ?;)
 

AnRoinnUltra

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In a land far, far away, both in distance and time, there once stood a house on a hill. This house was large and strong with several bold, cloud-piercing towers and was very, very old. Despite its age it stood untainted by any sign of decay and was thought to be indestructible. Until it was, utterly and completely, with everything in it. It was done in a single moment by a small person, a girl, who named herself Tanja and the next day Sylvia or Gertrude or anything else that came to mind, because she did not remember her true name. Only that she came from a land far, far away, both in distance and time.



Make your choice. Was this written by
a - comedian
b - wise guy
c - other
c - other
Seems like a straight up story intro -and a good one to my eye. Plenty of mystery to drive the thing on. I'd keep going;)
 

Fiberglass Cyborg

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The first light of dawn spilled like cheap wine across Kardashevia, greatest city in the Multiverse. It glinted through the crystal penthouses of the Helium Quarter, and painted with a warm orange glow the regimented hexagonal courtyards of the Hive districts, where the first yellow-furred gardeners were already hard at work, feeding the greatest city in the Multiverse. It heated the patchwork of tin roofs that covered Dagon Market, where human and kappa traders bustled about their business unaware of the pervasive reek of fish from everywhere in the Multiverse that surrounded them. The suburbs of Dronetown in the east, home to billions of stockbrokers and their slaves, already stood in full daylight even as the blood-drinkers of Spiketown, in the west, caroused under the setting moon. And there were places the sun did not reach. In the countless layers of the Undercity, a vast city in its own right, the sharp-toothed, crest-haired Mo'Locks were oblivious to the coming of day. The monolithic towers of the Shylords remained swaddled in their dusty cocoons of mammothspider silk. And then there was that /other/ city, that stood at right angles to Kardashevia - who knows what light shone down, or sideways, upon those appalling sentiences? Elephant-bird-drawn carriages rattled along the street in the shade of the nuclear monorail. Black smoke rose in a pall over the docks, where the Scrutineers were eliminating with extreme predjudice yet another outbreak of the Gnawing Plague. In the slums of Bogarttown, a shantytown the size of any normal city, mutated elvish children polished boots or begged for shells, huddling for warmth against the vast network of steam-pipes that linked all the reeking industries of the vastest city in the Multiverse to the vast, Hellbeast-fueled forge that lay beneath the vertiginous towers of The Spline.

That morning, in the most impossibly huge city any universe has ever known, Bobu Fokushein yawned and stretched as he peered out of the window.

[TL:DR: The trend was cute to start with, but nowadays any time I see an SF/Fantasy book title with the word "City" in it, my eyes glaze over. Particularly if it's coupled with "greatest" in the blurb.]
 

Fiberglass Cyborg

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^....I'm very tempted to actually use this now. If the world is already a parody of third-rate Mieville knock-offs, surely even I can't get too perfectionist about stories set in it?
 

Christine Wheelwright

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The first light of dawn spilled like cheap wine across Kardashevia, greatest city in the Multiverse. It glinted through the crystal penthouses of the Helium Quarter, and painted with a warm orange glow the regimented hexagonal courtyards of the Hive districts, where the first yellow-furred gardeners were already hard at work, feeding the greatest city in the Multiverse. It heated the patchwork of tin roofs that covered Dagon Market, where human and kappa traders bustled about their business unaware of the pervasive reek of fish from everywhere in the Multiverse that surrounded them. The suburbs of Dronetown in the east, home to billions of stockbrokers and their slaves, already stood in full daylight even as the blood-drinkers of Spiketown, in the west, caroused under the setting moon. And there were places the sun did not reach. In the countless layers of the Undercity, a vast city in its own right, the sharp-toothed, crest-haired Mo'Locks were oblivious to the coming of day. The monolithic towers of the Shylords remained swaddled in their dusty cocoons of mammothspider silk. And then there was that /other/ city, that stood at right angles to Kardashevia - who knows what light shone down, or sideways, upon those appalling sentiences? Elephant-bird-drawn carriages rattled along the street in the shade of the nuclear monorail. Black smoke rose in a pall over the docks, where the Scrutineers were eliminating with extreme predjudice yet another outbreak of the Gnawing Plague. In the slums of Bogarttown, a shantytown the size of any normal city, mutated elvish children polished boots or begged for shells, huddling for warmth against the vast network of steam-pipes that linked all the reeking industries of the vastest city in the Multiverse to the vast, Hellbeast-fueled forge that lay beneath the vertiginous towers of The Spline.

That morning, in the most impossibly huge city any universe has ever known, Bobu Fokushein yawned and stretched as he peered out of the window.

[TL:DR: The trend was cute to start with, but nowadays any time I see an SF/Fantasy book title with the word "City" in it, my eyes glaze over. Particularly if it's coupled with "greatest" in the blurb.]

This is a great entry. It contains crap metaphors and similes, which are a hallmark of badly written novels. "The first light of dawn spilled like cheap wine..." Uh? Such nonsense is remarkably common in very popular novels like one I just rejected after reading the preview; Nevernight by Jay Kristoff. "They'd stood entwined on the bridge of whispers, a purple blush pressing against the curves of the sky." What was a purple blush? The entwined lovers? The bridge? And why purple? And this is just the eighth sentence of the book!
 

comradeogilvy

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Axo sharpened his broadsword on the stone sharpening wheel. His sweat glistened body... (I close the book and set it back on the shelf, but I should have known from the coverart.)
 

AE35Unit

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This is a great entry. It contains crap metaphors and similes, which are a hallmark of badly written novels. "The first light of dawn spilled like cheap wine..." Uh? Such nonsense is remarkably common in very popular novels like one I just rejected after reading the preview; Nevernight by Jay Kristoff. "They'd stood entwined on the bridge of whispers, a purple blush pressing against the curves of the sky." What was a purple blush? The entwined lovers? The bridge? And why purple? And this is just the eighth sentence of the book!
Sounds ok to me... I've read a lot worse
 

JunkMonkey

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Another real one:

Not the first page but the blurb on the back. It was SO bad I bought the book. I remember buying it. It cost me a quid in Poundland in the Meadowhall shopping Centre in Sheffield. I don't remember reading it. I don't even remember what it is called. I do remember my daughter telling me it was terrible.
Bad-Blurb-1.jpg
 

chrispenycate

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Biblophile

Stop me from buying a book? Nothing except for poverty (and poverty is a variety of nothing) had managed that. Since I had absorbed the use of phonetic text. Stop me reading that particular book, occasionally Rarely would I pick up an ancient leather-clad, handwritten ledger and dive into its desiccated contents, or the private life of a footballer, but these were personal tastes, and beside, Miss Dunstant, proprietor of our local bookshop, would never offer them for me.

Doubtless, if I were reliant on a prison library I would be less exigent in my demands, perchance perusing a politicians (ghost written) biography as slightly preferable to the text on the side of a cornflakes packet, but nothing is less certain in this life. Ln a prison for me, they'd probably leave the 'mute' switch off the television.
 

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