Thursday, 22 April 2010

Top Ten Picks: Worst books you've ever read

Ah now heres a topic to get peoples opinions, the lastest topic on Random Ramblings is top ten worst books you've ever read. We apologise now if your beloved favourite is here amongst our worst books, its only our opinion you know ;)

Firstly from Chris....

Resident Evil: The Umbrella Conspiracy by S.D Perry

I have read three books in the 'Resident Evil' series, none of which I enjoyed. As far as I am concerned they are all as dreadful as each other but I'm only allowed to name one...

This book is terrible in every conceivable sense of the word; Poorly written, full of crass, foul language and spelling mistakes. The characters are, without exception, two dimensional, unbelievable and boring. The storyline is utterly laughable.

All in all a terrible waste of paper and the most regrettable literary purchases I have ever made.

Falling for Icarus by Rory Maclean

This book is written by a man who suffered a nervous breakdown after the death of his mother. He decides (seemingly out of the blue) to uproot his family, move to Cyprus and build a flying machine.

He is not a mechanic or an engineer, in fact he doesn't seem to have a clue. He drags his poor wife along with him and doesn't care one jot how she feels about the whole thing.

The story bored me stiff. It was written in the sort of roundabout incoherent manner you would expect from a person who has suffered a breakdown. The book didn't inspire me. It annoyed me a great deal. The man didn't need a flying machine. He needed a psychiatrist.

Vampires by Konstantinos

I reviewed this book here on the blog a month ago and you can read the review here. The book tries to convince the reader that Vampires are real. This is not done in any believable sense. The author makes numerous assertions but cannot produce one scrap of solid, reliable evidence. A poor read.

Slaughterhouse 5 by Kurt Vonnegut

This book has earned the dubious accolade as the worst book I have ever read (cue the trumpets!)
It makes me hot under the collar just thinking about how much I hate this book. The story is very strange; it begins with a soldier serving as a private in WW2 who is captured and becomes a POW later in the story he is kidnapped by aliens and forced to mate with a stripper. I did say it was strange.

The phrase 'So it goes' is written every time someone or something dies in the book. This phrase appears 116 times in total (bear in mind the book is only 150 pages long) by the end it infuriated me so much I wanted to burn the book.

Vonnegut also writes about the fire bombing of Dresden as if he is an authority on the subject when he is anything but. His figures are completely incorrect and clearly made up on the spot without any kind of research. I nearly burst a blood vessel when I read this line;

“Billy had seen the greatest massacre in European history, which was the fire-bombing of Dresden. So it goes"

No, Mr Vonnegut I am sure the greatest massacre in European history was the Nazis murdering six million Jewish people in extermination camps, not a bombing raid that killed 24,000 people (not 135,000 as you wrote in the book)

A terrible, terrible book not fit to serve as a draft excluder.

The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

Awful teenage rubbish which bored me to tears. Once again this was reviewed here fairly recently. The main character is a soppy mare who I really had no sympathy with. In fact, I wanted the zombies to make a meal out of her. She obsesses over a boy in her village whilst everyone she knows and loves is eaten alive. Tasteless 'popular' fiction.

And from Jess....

Human Traces by Sebastian Faulks

I really really wanted to like this book. I received this book from Chris one Christmas morning and since I had enjoyed some of his other books like Bird Song Chris had gotten me a signed special edition. But I have never been able to finish Human Traces, it reads very slow and goes on and on about the human condition. I still have it but doubt I'll ever finish it.

Lord of the Flies by William Golding

A load of boys stranded on a desert island eventually succumbing to mans more primitive nature. This should have been the best read ever, but why did I feel so bored reading it?

Great Apes by Will Self

Again another great idea, a man wakes after a drug/drink filled night and find he has turned into an ape, as has everyone else in the world. He is shortly moved into an asylum because he 'thinks' he is human. Most of this book is filled with chimps having sex – seriously.

Breaking dawn by Stephanie Meyer

Firstly I'm sorry for jumping on the twilight hating bandwagon. Renesmee, every time I read that name I had to stop and wonder who would name their child that, WHO. That aside we have the big promised battle at the end only to find they can sort it all out with a nice conversation, Bella's father being totally OK with Jacob being a werewolf and her being a vampire, and the love shack of Bella and Edward deep in the forest. I'm sorry if your a fan - please don't hate me.

Lady Chatterley's Lover by D.H Lawrence

I don't know why but I can never finish this, its not a terrible book or anything but I just cant seem to get past page 100.


  1. Aw man I remember reading Great Apes and being absolutely terrified of it! LOL! Youre so right about The Lord of the Flies - it has the potential and all but to me it fell short. Im also glad to see someone agrees with me with the whole 'renesmee' thing. Oh and was an extrenely gory/crazy birth scene necessary? haha

  2. I guess I haven't wasted too much time as I have only read one on your list. Betcha can't guess which one :) Two of them were on my library book club list, but I didn't read them.

  3. I have only read The Lord of the Flies and Breaking Dawn, and I agree with you on both! I could not finish The Lord of the Flies, and Breaking Dawn didn't do it for me at all.

  4. I think Lady Chatterly had a lot of shock value when first written-now it just seems to repeat itself a lot!-I found your blog via the book blogger hop and am now a follower

  5. What interesting choices - I think I may have to pinch your idea and post on this very subject as Ive just read a book that would certainly be included - a debut novel by Ali Shaw, The Girl With Glass Feet, what utter rubbish.

  6. I totally agree with you on Breaking Dawn...Then I remember that it part of a series written by a mormon woman (not that there is anything wrong with being a mormon) who I think was trying to "sugar coat" things for the teenage reader. Dropping by from the blog hop!

  7. Hi Guys, just found your site via the book blogger hop and found this an interesting post. I read all 7 Resident Evil novels and there is one (I forget which exactly) where the main character is about to be killed by a giant alligator only for a mysterious person to appear and throw her a rifle. That mysterious person is never mentioned again...just shows up, throws the rifle and disappears! Definitely the most ridiculous random act I've ever read in a book.
    I agree on Lord of the Flies but it is a book that most of us were forced to read in school and that creates a lot of hate for it.
    Liked your list...I have a 'Hall of Shame' on my site where I induct the worst books I've ever read. Hope you can stop by and check it out.

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  9. Jillian - I forgot about the birth scene, thanks for reminding me!

    Kim- is it breaking dawn?

    mel - to be honest I though lady Chatterleys lover was quite racey by todays standards let alone what the reception must have been like at the time of publication!

    Petty - thats really funny as girl with the glass fett was mentioned on Gaskellas blog as one of her best reads.

    Jamie & Marc - hi, welcome I will definately be checking your blogs out later. Thanks for dropping by.

  10. I haven't read most of those books you've featured...and I guess it's a blessing!

    I'm hopping on by via Book Blogger Hop.

  11. @ Marc

    Thanks for your comments re Resident Evil, when I first saw that you'd read all seven of them I thought you were going to tell me how great they are! lol

    I just had a look at your hall of shame page on your blog. Your review of Depraved had me and the Mrs in stitches! lol It sounds bloody awful

  12. It makes me sad that you didn't love Slaughterhouse 5. It's not my favourite of Vonnegut's, but I absolutely love it.

    I've not read the Will Self one you mentioned, but my experience of his stuff is almost always a great idea, done in a what that i hate. So I'm on your page there.

    Came here via the book blog hop :)

  13. Human Traces sounds like a book I would enjoy. Thanks for mentioning it.

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  15. I completely agree about Lord of the Flies--it's a great idea for a story, but I, too, was completely bored by it.

  16. *sniff* You've got two favourites of mine (Slaughterhouse-Five and Lady Chatterley) on the list :P

  17. I haven't read many of these. I agree about Breaking Dawn. I also just finished The Forest of Hands and Teeth. I wouldn't say it's one of the worst books I've ever read (I've read much, much worse), but I kind of felt the same way as you did; it might've made things more interesting if Mary had gotten eaten.

  18. I had to read Lord of the Flies in school and really hated it. Perhaps I'd appreciate it more now, but I really doubt it. I think that it has been vastly overrated. I was so glad to see that I'm not alone in feeling that way.

  19. Ben - it was Chris that hated slaughterhouse 5 but I thought it was ok, not great but certainly not the worst. Thats the only book of Vonnegut's that I've read - just out of interest which one do you think is his best?

    Diane - if your interested in the evolution of psychiatry then Id recommend Human Traces but large parts of it does read like a psychiatry textbook.

    Zara & La Coccinelle - I really thought lord of the flies would be great so maybe thats why I was so disappointed, Id be interested in watching the film.

    Nymeth - thats always the way with these lists, I honestly didnt think Lady Chatterley was a bad book but I cant seem to get past page 100.

  20. Vonnegut's best? It's honestly hard to tell. But I'd say Bluebeard or Hocus Pocus from memory. Or maybe Timequake. For a bit of everything he does, try Slapstick, which I reviewed on my blog last week.And yes, that is a shameless plug :)

  21. Ok Ben well I promise to read one of those and review it before the month of June, maybe Vonnegut can win me over yet.

  22. Hmm...Thank you for the headsup. I do have two books on the pile. Slaughterhouse 5 just sounds weird. My book club read it during the month that I was absent. I didn't read it on my own. The Lord of the Flies is a wildly popular selection for secondary school here---except I never read it. The whole premise of stranded boys just doesn't intrigue me.

  23. OMG, I am SO with you on Slaughterhouse Five - I hated that book so much I couldn't even finish it. It annoyed me to know end!!! Thanks for the affirmation (I practically got hate mail when I wrote a negative post on the book!)

  24. @ Wendy

    I'm so pleased to read i'm not the only person who hated that book!

    I found loads of people had 'So it goes' tattooed onto them in tribute of the book which is why I picked it up in the first place. I really wish I hadn't bothered!