BTT – Worst Book read

WOW — this is quite the popular meme today! The Thursday question of the week is:

“What’s the worst ‘best’ book you’ve ever read — the one everyone says is so great, but you can’t figure out why?”

I must admit that I experience uncomfortable feelings answering questions like this. First of all, I empathize with the author. I simply cannot imagine how much time, talent, blood, sweat and tears it must take to give birth to a novel – only to hear some “amateur” rate it as a “worst” book ever read. I apparently to do not have the tough skin (not to mention the talent) to become a professional writer. Secondly, I tend to take responsibility for the poor rating – especially if it is a book that several others have found “great” (my husband claims that I am a guilt-sucking fool). I just can’t help it: I feel as though I must not be literary enough to appreciate all the subtleties of the writing. I HATE feeling stupid.

BUT…having said that…the first book that popped into my head when I read this question was Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. I have read and heard countless accolades for this series. I even noticed that there is an Outlander reading challenge taking place in anticipation of the newest release in the series this September. I am absolutely in awe of an author who can write thousands of pages (I think each book is no less than 600 pages and there are – so far – 6 books in the series) on a given topic. I really, really, really wanted to like this book – even though I knew the genre (time travel romance) was not my cup of tea. I managed to read about 350 pages of it, and then I allowed myself to put it away. It was absolute torture for me and I decided that time is simply too short to spend reading books for “fun” that are not fun.

I do want to make one point: I did enjoy the author’s writing style and I believe she has tremendous talent for developing detailed characters. My dislike of the book has nothing to do with her talent, but rather everything to do with the subject matter.

I am sure there are many of you in cyberland who totally disagree with my selection. I would welcome comments from those of you who love this work. Please help me understand its broad appeal. And, if there is perhaps one single soul who shares my same sentiments, I wouldn’t mind hearing that I am not alone.


  • Shelley

    I actually agree with you. I only made it halfway. I wanted to enjoy the history and romance of it, but there were certain things that bothered me enough to stop. I do still think that someday I may finish it. We’ll see!

  • Emily

    I really love this series and couldn’t put Outlander down when I first read it, but if it’s just not your cup of tea, then that’s that! But, I just saw in another post that you finished Life of Pi and liked it, while that’s one of the ones on my “worst of the best” list!

  • DeSeRt RoSe

    Although I had some reservation on this book but I enjoyed it very mucha nd consider it a favorite.. but I have not read the second book because I really need to be in the mood to read something that long AND romantic 🙂

  • avisannschild

    I read this book and enjoyed it to a point, although there were a couple of mistakes in it that really bugged me. But then I tried to read the next one in the series and just couldn’t get into it, so in the end I gave away all the books I’d bought from the series (four or five of them).

  • Kim

    This is one of those love it or leave it books. I love them for the pure fun, they’re grown up Twilight books. I read all of the ones published in July, 2002, it’s amazing I got anything else done. I know several people who are in love with the books just as much as I am and a similar number of people who just don’t get it. Having said all that, she needs an editor, badly.

  • Anonymous

    I didn’t like Outlander either. I actually signed up for the Outlander challenge this year, because I’d heard so much about these books and wanted to try them, but after 200 pages of the first one I gave up. Why waste time on a book that just isn’t doing it for you? No thanks.

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