Friday, July 15, 2011

The Worst Book I've Ever Read

I have torn myself away from the usual wedding preparations and evening's diversions to bring you a book rant.

I just finished reading a horrid book. I bought it a couple months ago at "Value Village" for $3. The cover was green and there was a dragon on the front, I figured I'd lose nothing in buying it. I was wrong.
The story was hard to follow and he (the author) jumped all over the place without warning or explanation.
Finally, at the end I thought it would all make sense. It didn't. I endured confusion, foul language and inappropriate scenes only to find I'd wasted all those reading hours. The main character was depraved and I could not connect with her on any level at all.

Now I can say with absolute certainty that "The Iron Dragon's Daughter" by Michael Swanwick is the worst book I've ever read and I (who love books with a passion) can actually say I hate it.
I usually try very hard to find the best in every book I've read; this one I cannot. The only credit I can give him is the idea of an iron dragon but even that idea's potential was ruined.
It annoys me further that Swanwick wrote it as homage to J.R.R. Tolkien, he the first and greatest of fantasy writers. The book also received three awards. Perhaps they were applauding his ability to disgust, shock and leave readers unsatisfied? "Look at the reaction he invoked! Let's award it!"
Part of writing is about making the reader react to what they are reading but just because someone accomplishes it by shock and twisted, corrupt ideas doesn't mean they have accomplished a high form of writing.

The one good thing I got out of the book was a clear picture of what kind of writer I do not want to be.