Worst Novel Of All Time!

What is the worst piece of fiction that you’ve ever had the misfortune of reading?

  1. No self or vanity published works.
  2. You can’t just disagree with the author’s viewpoint-it actually has to be so bad that someone who agrees with the author would still want to flush it down the toilet.
  3. It has to be fiction.

As far as ‘popular fiction’ goes, I’ve never been able to get more than 10 pages into any book by John Grisham. His books are simply awful…

Well, I am very selective about what I read, so I don’t see that many bad books.

However, Congo by Crichton (sp?) was pretty awful.

Do you have to have finished it? I generally stop reading novels that really, really suck.

Once, however, I was stuck in a line at the Department of Motor Vehicles with nothing to read but a James Patterson thriller novel. I can’t remember the title…one of those dippy nursery-rhyme things. It had been published about a year and a half after Thomas Harris’s SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, which means that Patterson and his publisher had had just enough time to rip off Harris and to do a crummy job of it.

I’ve never tried to read Grishham, Clancy, or Cornwell. Why go asking for trouble?

One of the worst I’ve ever read was The Secret History by Donna Tartt. Simply horrid - boring, contrived, any more holes in the plot and the thing would have been invisible. It received many critical accolades and was supposedly optioned for a movie, so I forced myself to keep reading until I got to the good part. Alas, I never found it. If you ever come across this dreck, don’t waste your money.

I’m tempted to say “Catcher in the Rye,” due its being a pendatic and overbearing piece of crap.

The book “Hannibal” was just horrible


I just finished reading “Ladder of Years”, and despite its glowing reviews, I hated it. I don’t know why, but I kept thinking that it was going to get better at some point–Never happened…

Wow, I love this novel. I mean, I’ve read it almost ten times now, and her writing is a major influence on my own.

You’re the first person I’ve encountered who’s hated it. I’ve met quite a few people who feel as passionately about it as I do, but never anyone who disliked it as much as you.

I can’t wait for her next novel, which is supposedly due out this fall…

I thought The Secret History was super.

Truly awful: Message in a Bottle by Nicholas Sparks. I cannot emphasize enough how truly hideous this book is.

The Shipping News by E. Annie Proulx (I believe). Pulitzer Prize be dammned, grim, dull an overly long. blech hack spit

Anything by L. Ron Hubbard. Please trust me on this. There is nothing that can exist on this planet that can possibly be worth less than this man’s idiotic, self-absorbed drivel. I’m not talking about his “religious” stuff, just his so-called serious science fiction. It’s so damn BAD!! In an elongated pique of masochism, I actually read his 10-volume collection of sputum, Mission Earth. It was like staring at a car wreck on the freeway. You know you don’t want to experience this stuff, but you have to look to see just how bad it gets. Mercifully, it was written on about a third-grade reading level, and had big print, so I didn’t suffer too much. There was not a single person in the book I actually liked or wanted to succeed. I just wanted it to end. Oh, it was bad. What really topped it off was his big essay at the beginning about what satire was and how it worked. After reading that, I was expecting some insightful, meaningful social commentary. Nope. It made “Big Brother” look like Socrates. His “satire” was about as subtle as a rhinocerous horn up the backside. I kept wanting to scream, “OK! I get it already! People are bad!!” Mainly, though, I just wanted to scream. I cannot accurately describe the badness of this man’s effluvium. Language fails me, though that obviously never slowed him down. Profanity would help some, but I could never come close to communicating the pain, the horror, of being exposed to this. Amnesty International should get involved in destroying this man’s books.

Now I’m going to have nightmares that I’m rereading this.

Oh, and I hear that the book Battlefield Earth was far worse.

‘Hannibal’ was a piece o’ crap! I’ve heard that that all their gonna use for the film is the name. Not suprising, because the story was dull.

I am pleased to see JosephFinn say he hated ‘Catcher in the Rye’, because I thought I was the only one. It was, without a doubt, the most boring, pointless book I ever read. I couldn’t even finish it.

There is an Australian fantasy author called Sara Douglass, who was unfeasibly popular in this part of the world with her first series.

So I bought book one, Battleaxe, to check it out.

It is fucking terrible! I mean it is horrendously awful!!!

I couldn’t believe how goddamned pitiful it was! I got to about page 15 before I gave up. Yes, page fifteen, of a 600 page book, I kid ye not!

Imagine a story that, on one page sets up a wonderful premise full of potential and scope, then on the very next page destroys the whole setup with a crappy giveaway explanation and breakdown. Then imagine she redeems herself by continuing to develop intriguing characters and ideas full of mystery and wonder, then totally ruining it on the next page by revealing and explaining every single secret and mystery in clear concise detail.

She is a stupid waste of humanity.

No wonder her second series bombed.

If you’ll allow “classic” literature, I think the one of the worst has to be Ty-pee by Herman Melville. Any book that makes the same author’s Moby Dick exciting has to be one of the all-time lows.

With more recent novels, I think the worst I’ve read is Chesapeake by James Michener. I foolishly chose this for a book review in high school. It actually starts off well for the first 100 pages, but then it goes on…and on…and on…and on… The paperback version I read was 1084 pages long. It’s not that long novels are necessarily bad, but Michener keeps introducing more and more new characters, and killing off old ones, so that by the time you’ve finished you can’t remember what happened in the beginning. And his prose is so dull, you don’t care either.

I must second that nomination for for L Ron the Mo-Ron’s 10 volume mess. Pure and utter garbage. Worthless. Pointless. Meaningless. A waste of time and money. Fortunately,I haven’t seen it in stores in awhile, so I doubt it’ll infect anyone else.

If ever there was an argument for censorship, he and his works and a good example.

Aside from the genre fiction you expect to be bad (i.e. almost any sci-fi series or romance novel), the worst I have read recently was “The Beach”. What a whiny, boring, self-indulgent piece of crap! Because a friend who loved it loaned it to me, I managed to get about 2/3’s of the way through it before I couldn’t take any more.

For me, it’s a tie between The Chamber by John Grisham and The Regulators by Stephen King. Mind you, when I read crap fiction I have pretty low expectations, but both of these books were so bad that I physically threw them across the room and then put them into the trash. (Normally, I give unwanted books to the local library, but I couldn’t bear the thought of some innocent soul reading these.)

The Chamber is probably the worst of the two, considering the fact that it’s anti-death penalty, as am I, but it’s so preachy and irritating that it makes you want to disagree with it, just on general principle.

JDeMobray: I can’t believe you didn’t like The Shipping News! I thought it was one of the best books I’d read in a long time.

For me it was Vox by Nicholson Baker. A book that builds up and never pays off. The ending was mediocre. What pissed me off the most is that it was built up with good reviews.

What has surprised me thus far in people castigating books is that no one has brought up Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann. A book, which I don’t think deserves its reputation of being crap, but is usually referred to as such.

High-end—Like many others, I could NOT get through “Ulysses.” Tried, I really did. And I love Dickens but for some reason can’t plough through “The Pickwick Papers,” which everyone else seems to adore. Too twee and precious for me.

Low-end—A friend in Romance Publishing gave me a Harlequin Romance once; I thought maybe I’d write one and earn some freelance cash. I got through, I think, ONE chapter before chucking it out the window.