By Jim Gottstein, author of The Zyprexa Papers
Writer’s Digest called “It was a dark and stormy night” “the literary posterchild for bad story starters.” Wikipedia says, “It was a dark and stormy night” is an often-mocked and parodied phrase considered to represent “the archetypal example of a florid, melodramatic style of fiction writing.” The entire first sentence is:
It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents – except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness. ~ 1830 Novel, Paul Clifford, by Edward Bulwer-Lytton
However, I think “It was a dark and stormy night” is a great opening phrase and the whole sentence is marvelous. I therefore decided to play with it for the opening line in my non-fiction book, The Zyprexa Papers. I didn’t expect anyone would get it until I pointed it out and that seems to be true. Showing a marked-up version of Snoopy writing the line replacing the phrase in the first paragraph of my book is a parody of the Snoopy cartoon, and was the best way I could figure out to illustrate what I had done.
There is another hidden gem in the book, but only the hardcover edition. The hardcover edition includes a bibliography and index and there is one index entry I think is worth the price of the hardcover edition if the extra cost is not an issue. It brings a smile to my lips every time I think about it. I am not going to tell you what that is, of course. You can leave a comment below if you think you know what it is. Of course, you will need to get the book first. <grin>
I am very grateful to Samizdat Health Writer’s Cooperative for publishing the hardcover edition. Their mission is to publish health-related books that other publishers won’t touch because the message is outside of current medical industry dogma.
I have set up an order page for signed copies of both the hardcover and paperback editions.
The Zyprexa Papers, Hardcover edition
Publish Date: June 1, 2021
Buy: The Zyprexa Papers on Amazon.com
Author: Jim Gottstein
Publisher: Samizdat Health Writer’s Co-operative Inc.