Posted by: Mish | March 19, 2009

the Worst “Best” Book

It’s rare that I end up merely skimming a book or not finishing it. Although I usually got through or, at most, enjoyed the assigned reading in high school, Moby Dick and the Grapes of Wrath were two I just couldn’t. Maybe it was because of my age or perhaps my attentions were focused on other books. While in college, working on the production about the sharecropping Okies made the story more palatable so John Steinbeck’s novel is possibly worth a revisit, or maybe I’ll read the condensed version via script. A fisherman friend of mine reads Herman Melville’s acclaimed novel semi-annually. Now that I’m older, can undestand the novel’s themes better, and can relate more with Ahab perhaps I’d like Moby Dick. Or maybe the hook, instead of getting a trout, will snag on a rock-fish. I think it might be worth a shot anyway, can’t catch if you don’t cast.

As an aside, trout season opens on April Fool’s Day and the gag is that the raging rapids and floating chunks of ice make it difficult to cast effectively and provide more hiding spots for the tricksters. My fishing friend told me where to find salmon, but the area is currently blocked off due to possible flooding. By the time access is allowed they’ll probably be long gone.

Anyway, back to books. Although I liked them all right, in my humble opinion, the Alchemist and Stephen King’s writing seem over rated. I don’t quite understand the hype surrounding Paulo Coehlo’s simplistic story about following one’s dreams and think there are better inspirational reads. In fairness to King and his fans, I’ve only read part of the Dark Tower series, the Little Sisters of Eluria, but I really wasn’t that impressed. The novella started out slowly and I found King to be rather long winded. Whether I’ll read more of either author, I don’t know. I think I’m more inclined to read the whopper of a tale about a whale.

So as Booking Through Thursday asks this week:

btt2“What’s the worst ‘best’ book you’ve ever read — the one everyone says is so great, but you can’t figure out why?”



  1. I agree that Moby Dick deserves a place on this kind of list. I forgot to add it to my own because it’s been so long since I’ve read it and because I’ve mostly blocked out the experience :). But those chapters on cetalogy were excruciating!

  2. I’ve never read Moby Dick. Reading some of these memes gives me sense that I shouldn’t. :p

    I’ve only read Carrie by Stephen King and couldn’t understand how everyone loved it. Sometimes when people over hype an author, you expect a little too much from the book and when you realize that it’s okay, you’re left disappointed.

    ~ Popin

  3. Julie, thanks for the heads up.

    Popin, I sense that Moby Dick is one that’s really split between the lovers and the loathers. I agree about the hype sometimes leading to disappointment.

  4. well it depend on one’s taste…. Stephen king is my favorite writer in spite of many bad things people said about him.

    he is the greatest horror writer I’ve ever read and I’m trying to get my hand on all of his works

  5. It truly does. The BTT question really shows how one person’s trash is another person’s treasure.

    I liked “Little Sisters of Eluria” story-wise and once it got going the writing was fine. I’d kind of like to try one of King’s horrors just to see if it’s any better than the fantasy bit I read. I have a friend I can borrow King from if I end up doing so.

  6. Totally agree with that one!

    I havent read that one coz it’s kinda hard to find a complete King books here in my country but I’m Trying.

    About the hype Poppin mention on earlier comment, I agree 100%…I read The Remains of the day because peolpe said it was great and ended up reading only 1/3 of it…such a boring book.

    I’ve checked BTT, it’s a great community of readers…I would love to join it

  7. I read it in Legends: Short Novels by the Masters of Modern Fantasy. It’s a nice little anthology.

    Remains of the Day has been sitting on my shelf for awhile. I think it was something my cousin pawned off on me. I’d only started hearing about it a couple weeks ago, but what I’ve heard doesn’t give me a good impression.

    You’re more than welcome to join. You can even start with this week’s question.

  8. I Will 🙂
    Its nice talking to you

  9. Likewise, thanks.

    I checked out your photography. I particularly like the turtle oreo, “reach for the sky” set, chicken family, the plant, and the gecko. I’ve never seen one with that type of colouring before, beautiful.

  10. thanks 🙂

    btw how could you grow up in Japan?? Uruyamashii….

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