Posted by: Matt | December 21, 2007

Worst Books Read in 2007

I thought I’d start at the bottom and move up with my end of year posts.  I read 8 books this year that I gave a rating under 3.0, I chose that as the cutoff because a book with a rating under 3.0 I consider to be “not worth the time”, or “terrible”.  So here they are, the books I wish I’d never met, in order beginning with the worst (drum roll please):

  1. Nine by Andrzej Strasiuk (rating: 1.0) – I’ve seen a few complimentary reviews, they must have read a different book, I absolutely despised this book and would have put it down after a few pages had I not agreed to write a review
  2. Strange Skies by Matt Marinovich (rating: 2.0) – Absolutely despicable main character, saw good reviews of this too which just made me shake my head
  3. Being Dead by Jim Crace (rating: 2.0) – I read this because Jim Crace seemed to be popular on the blogs at one point this year, I can only say I won’t be reading any more of his work
  4. HARM by Brian W. Aldiss (rating: 2.5) – One of the most disappointing sci-fi books I’ve read
  5. House of the Deaf by Lamar Herrin (rating: 2.5) – Defined by its mystically bad dialogue
  6. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro (rating: 2.5) – Completely disappointed by its avoidance of important issues
  7. The Intuitionist by Colson Whitehead (rating: 2.5) – Didn’t provoke much of a reaction from me which might be more damning than if it had annoyed me
  8. The Sound of Butterflies by Rachael King (rating: 2.75) – A debut novel, took strange irrelevant departures at times

I guess 8 books out of 73 isn’t too bad.  Of course, since I only choose books I think I will like it stands to reason that this list would be small.  And actually, 5 of the books on this list were novels I volunteered to read for certain websites or publishers.

Next up: The Best Books Published in 2007

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Responses

  1. Hmmm….I didn’t have that reaction over Never Let Me Go. I was a little put off by the “sparseness” of the writing. And it was very without feeling. But I enjoyed it because it was so different. Didn’t love it. But didn’t hate it either.

    I think that is the only one off this list I’ve read.

  2. Ho ho ho! I want to wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. I’ve been traveling through Southeast Asia and am now arriving in Hong Kong to be with my family. I haven’t kept up with reading blogs. But I’ll take a peek whenever I have a chance. I have read 3 books by Maugham and have completed the Armchair Traveler Challenge. Yay!

    As for the worst book, I’m not keen on Never Let Me Go. It was a bit of a disappointment consider that I have enjoyed all of his previous books. It is disjointed, beats around the bush too much.

  3. Stephanie – Well, this is probably not the list from which you want to have read many books. 😉

    Matt – I’m still wondering if I should read some of his other novels… Thanks for the holiday wishes! Sounds like your having a wonderful trip!

  4. Matt, from your list I’ve only read “Being Dead” and I realize that the subject matter of that one is a huge turn-off to many readers. I’m pleased to say that I’ve successfully avoided the others on your list. 🙂

  5. I was disappointed, too, with Never Let Me Go, though I rated it 3.5. Though I like Ishiguro’s writing style, I was not happy with the resolution (or lack thereof) of this novel.

  6. Sam – “Being Dead” was probably my first real dislike of the year. I’m not sure why I read the whole thing, just didn’t appeal to me. I think I was hoping for an ending that would make it worthwhile.

    3m – I’m still thinking maybe I should read another of his novels, but I don’t know which one.

  7. “mystically bad dialogue” ! Uh oh. It’s hard to come back from that. Enjoyed your list! even if you didn’t enjoy the reading.

  8. I listened to Never Let Me Go and I’d rate it a 5. The language and characterization was beautiful. It was one of my favorite books I read in 2005. Now I wonder if the excellent narration had a lot to do regarding my enjoyment. I got a number of my audio book friends to try it and they loved it too. If you ever get a chance to hear the book, you might try it as an experiment to see if audio changes your experience of the book.


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