The Worst Book Ever

There’s usually a lot of talk about the issue of best books ever read, but how about the opposite? I believe we all have at least one book that, no matter how hard you try, you just can’t enjoy. You might try again later, but never succeed in reading further than halfway, or you might struggle your way through just to admit that you’ve just wasted a whole lot of precious time you could have used for something better.

For me, the worst book ever has to be The Scarlet Letter.
I mean, there has been books that I’ve tried to read but have not been able to, just because I get so utterly bored in the middle, or because they have descriptions of trolls eating guinea pigs that creep me out, but all of those I could put away whenever I wished to do so. The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, was the main literary piece of my North American Literature and Culture 1 -course, on the first year of University, so unfortunately I had to suffer it ’till the end.
The reason why the novel was so painful for me is that the idea can basically be summarized in very few words, and thus, to make a whole book out of that (instead of, say, short story, which might still be readable), makes the whole thing so slow and boring. And for some reason, the way it was written made it horribly dry, as well.
Basically The Scarlet Letter is a story of a woman, who is supposedly married, but hasn’t seen her husband in a good while, and who has an affair with someone, and gets pregnant. The setting is a little village of first settlers in America, so for religious reasons the woman is now doomed to live in solitude and to raise that devil of a girl on her own, in poverty and isolation. The dilemma is that no one knows who the father is, except for the reader, who has to suffer from the constant complaining of a priest who’s basically dying of the pain of the sin burning in his chest. And then the husband comes back but no one knows who he is and there’s more pain and suffering and horribleness. And then they all die, except for the little girl, Pearl.

What’s the worst book you’ve ever read? Why?




6 thoughts on “The Worst Book Ever

    1. I agree. I don’t usually like to read any ‘classics’ because I have the idea that they are all incredibly boring. Luckily I’ve had to open up my mind a little since I’ve read Frankenstein and Wuthering Heights.

  1. I started reading this book years ago because it had an intriguing concept. But that was about it, the story was so dull and boring that I can’t even remember what happens in it.

    The worst book I ever read has to be The Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce. It was incredibly boring and difficult to read, definitely not worth the time and effort.

    1. I have quite a few of those books as well, that you sort of just forget after a while. Although this happens to me even with good books… I haven’t had a chance to read any Joyce so far. I think we were supposed to, for a Literature class, but the teacher chose something else instead.

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