One of my favourite annual competitions is the Bulwer Lytton fiction contest, which awards writers the dubious prize of writing the worst book openings by category. The 2010 award winners are in!
Personally, I think the runner-up should have won:
Through the verdant plains of North Umbria walked Waylon Ogglethorpe and, as he walked, the clouds whispered his name, the birds of the air sang his praises, and the beasts of the fields from smallest to greatest said, "There goes the most noble among men" — in other words, a typical stroll for a schizophrenic ventriloquist with delusions of grandeur.
All are worthy of a raspberry.