Why all this love for execrable? Because I’ve been thinking about bad books lately, ones so terrible you have to conclude that the author’s great-grandfather must have transgressed the burial place of Egyptian royalty, earning their undying wrath and dooming his descendants’ literary endeavors for the rest of time. But where do you go to complain if said book happens to be an award-winning bestseller? Cynthia Crossen of The Wall Street Journal suggests an old standby -- Amazon.com reader-review therapy. Excerpts:
Generally, I don't write about books I didn't enjoy. Why waste your time telling you not to read something? But I've read my share of books that disappointed me, and an astounding (to me) number of them have been darlings of the literary-industrial complex. Sometimes I think it's an elaborate practical joke by critics and judges on us ordinary readers. …Read the whole thing.
Amazon therapy brought me back from the edge when I was being driven crazy by Alice Sebold's novel, The Lovely Bones. This was one of the few books I have ever started, hated, thrown away, watched it climb the bestseller lists, picked it up again, hated it again. But everywhere I went, I saw that pale blue cover, and I was tormented by self-doubt. Amazon readers rode to my rescue.
(Picture: CC 2007 by chrisjohnbeckett)