11 July 2007

The Worst Book EVER

I had perhaps the most distasteful reading experience of my life quite recently. I only share it here so as to warn my friends against making the same painful mistake I did. After I read the last line I gaped at the book, said "Gah!", and threw it across the room as if it were burning my hands. It was that bad. If you know me at all then you know I have read a lot of damn books in my life, and this takes the cake as the biggest waste of a few hours of my life. The romance novel Sweet Temptation was far superior! I was tricked into buying this book. It's by a French author, which to me usually translates to literary magnificence. Not only that, but Milan Kundera himself spoke highly of the author in a quote on the back of the book! As I read it I just kept hoping it would get better around the next corner. There were minuscule instances of decent writing, but they were overshadowed by the horrible, corny, self righteous political bullshit on 98% of the pages.

I wish I could blame the translator, but I'm sadly certain it was the author who birthed such a literary travesty. It's like he had an idea (it was an interesting idea!), hacked at the idea for a few months, and shitted this out when he couldn't really figure out where to go with it. Maybe he was under pressure from his publisher? This was his tenth book, and the first translated into English, which is unfortunate for the author (and readers) because even if his prior works are magical they will probably not be translated at this point due to the horrendous first taste he's given us. Thank god I picked up another book (coincidentally by another French author- I can hardly put this one down) at the same time which I immediately started reading to get the bad taste out of my mouth. So please, for your own good, avoid
The Little Girl And the Cigarette by Benoit Duteurtre. Instead, pick up The Possibility of an Island by Michel Houellebecq.

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