Let's play a game, Groupthink!

Inspired by this fun post over on the Odeck, what is the absolute worst book you've ever read?

Let's keep it to novels - I'm sure we've all read some truly awful textbooks in our time (though if you have a particularly ridiculous excerpt from a textbook you were required to read, I'm sure we'd love to hear about it!). If you must include non-fiction, that's fine, but any weird self-published $.99 Kindle books that are far too focused on 'throbbing members' definitely do not count.

I will start. I had just graduated high school, and was on my way to a prestigious East Coast university in the fall. Life was very exciting! My parents had decided that I was to acquire and work a 'minimum wage' (so I was actually earning $18 an hour. As a busser. great idea, poor execution, parentals!) job, but I got to do whatever with the rest of my time, including read all the things. Every year, they have everyone in the freshman class get the same book and read it, and then have discussion groups and a talk by the author. Sounds great, right?

Well, we were assigned the book Knots, by Nuruddin Farah. Now, he is a brilliant writer. There is no doubt about that. Previous books of his got fantastic reviews, and so we were all hopeful that this would be just as good.

Advertisement

It, unfortunately, did not live up to our expectations. I'm not even sure I can pinpoint for you exactly what was so bad about it, but everyone I talked to in my class absolutely hated it. We are talking about a couple thousand of very bright, worldly, engaged, and open minds here! Everyone thought that the premise of the book would be awesome - a young woman whose family fled Somalia returns to try and reclaim her house and heritage. But it was just... it was so bad, you guys. So bad.

There were maybe a dozen of us or so who actually finished, that's how awful it was. It was universally panned in discussion. I'm honestly not even sure how the talk went, because I just straight up didn't go. Those of us who finished, did so out of pure spite and determination.

Advertisement

So, that's the worst book *I've* ever read. Your turn, dear internet buddies!