**The Bone People** by Keri Hulme.
I've had pretty good luck reading Booker Winners so far, but wow, this was a stinking pile of self-insert, wish-fulfillment Mary Sue-ism dressed up in the purple prose of a writer who wants to appear 'literary.'
The main character is literally a more _perfect_ version of the author, even down to her appearance and sexuality. The main character's name is also nearly identical to the author's - Kerewin Holmes, but everyone calls her Kere. So not only is Keri Hulme - I mean Kerewin - an amazing artist who lives in a castle on a beach and is someone whom everyone adores despite her being as unpleasant as a toilet brush... it's revealed half way through the book that she is a ninja.
Out of nowhere the author drops that Kerewin lived in Japan and was trained by martial arts masters. So now Perfect Kerewin is a martial arts master who effortlessly takes down a grown man twice her size who does physical, hard labour every day.
Shockingly, the Mary Sue Self-Insert isn't even the _main_ reason that I despised this book.
I felt physically ill reading this book because the author and her self-insert and fucking every other character in the book _actively condones child abuse._
I just can't even with the Booker panel that chose this book as a winner.
I checked over the shortlist for 1985 to see who else was nominated and I'm shocked that they chose _this_ over Doris Lessing, Iris Murdoch, and Peter Carey.
I know I'm gonna get heat from this, but the worst book I read last year was "the subtle art of not giving a fuck". People are raving about it, but it's very repetitive and full of information I already knew. The message is "don't worry about shit you can't control" except with the word fuck in every sentence. It was the equivalent of clickbate imo.
>It's ham-fistedly delivered nostalgia porn written from the perspective of the worst possible stereotype of a reddit neckbeard.
I stopped reading when he pwned I-R0k by showing him to be a poser who doesn't really know 80's trivia like he's pretending to. The scene literally has a round of applause as the nerd vanquishes the cocky poser. It's like a horrible tumblr post.
Belinda Blinked by Rocky Flintstone. As made famous by the (highly recommended) podcast "My Dad Wrote a Porno". Hilariously terrible.
Would you believe that his second book, *Armada*, is actually many times worse than RPO? It was shockingly bad, and essentially a straight ripoff of the movie "The Last Starfighter".
I hated **Furiously Happy, by Jenny Lawson** so much I had to stop reading it.
Artemis. The protagonist was a woman. "Great", I thought, considering there aren't many sci-fi books with female leads. What became of this character is some whiney 20something that acted like a 15 year old boy. Almost every interracial with another character they make reference to how much sex she has. At one point a character wants her to try out a new gadget of his: a reusable condom. This reusable condom has NOTHING to do with the story. They make reference to it a couple times but it's ultimately completely pointless. Andy Weir really nailed the awkward stereotypical software engineer cliché in himself in writing this one.
Artemis - While not necessarily a terrible book, it was definitely the worst one I read.
100% with you on this one, OP. Ready Player One takes the cake. What started as such a promising idea became repetitive and painful for the remainder of the book. Also, I really don't think the author is a very good writer. At all. He had a good idea, did his best to execute it, and failed. He just so happened to lure a lot of nostalgia fans into the mix, and they ate it all up.
Now, all that said, I really do think it has more promise as a movie. The concept was great in my book, although highly improbable when you think some sort of 16 (18?) year old kid consumed so many years worth of media and just so happened to CONVENIENTLY RECALL IT ANY TIME HE NEEDED IT. Christ. That part still gets me. I can't even remember the opening theme song to some shows, but this kid is citing the season and episode number, along with the most mundane of interactions between characters. I'm a huge fan of Wayne's World, and can likely recite every line, but if you put me into the movie, I'm going to totally mess it up.
Before reading the content of your post I was going to comment **Ready Player One**. That’s so funny. I wholly agree.
Me Before You. Worst piece of romance trash since the Fifty Shades bullshitery.
The Shipyard Girls, which is weirdly the highest rated (by others) on my Goodreads Year in books. Its set in WW2 in the north of England and its about a group of young women who become welders in a shipyard.
Great I thought a feminist book about manual labour, self worth and proving you can do anything. Ha it's a shitty romance where everyone knows everyone else in a city and everyone just happens to fall in love and become great friends.
*Fifty Shades* would be too easy of an answer, so I'll go with *Cracking the Jewish Code* by Perry Stone. I found it in a thrift store, and being Jewish myself, I wanted to know how much he knew.
The idea seemed simple enough: you know how the Jews are inordinately rich, powerful, resilient, and attractive, right? Well what if I told you that instead of being the work of a secret cabal, it's because they follow the rules that Moses laid down in the Old Testament?
Seriously though, it's a sort of self-help book for Christians that basically says, "You know that book we talk about? You should read it, there's some good ideas in there." But then it gets into weird stuff like numerology, using the power of prayer to improve your fertility, and how God ended the Cold War.
Cyberstorm. It screams "give me a movie deal", looking more like a novelization of a movie than a novel per se. But it's not bad overall, I had luck with my last year picks.
Hannibal Rising by Thomas Harris. I wasn't a big fan of previous three Hannibal books, they were just OK in my opinion, by that one was extremely bad and boring.
American gods. I just couldn’t like the book. I felt like the idea behind it was fantastic, but then it just ended up being boring. If you liked the book then good on you, it was the first book I ever bought that I didn’t like, followed by the moon is a harsh mistress.
It’s a little known fact that Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote a biography of Franklin Pierce, to be released for the latter’s presidential campaign.
I decided to give it a go last year, and holy shit. I think it might be one of the worst books ever written.
The Magicians by Lev Grossman. I know it's really popular, and this is probably gong to sound harsh, but wow, what a load of drivel. Zero character development, zero likeable characters, zero plot development... it's like Grossman decided he was going to start writing a story with absolutely no forethought, a general grasp of what might attract fantasy readers, and just started rambling. Then kept rambling. Maybe introduce a character here or with a potential interesting storyline- oh nevermind, that's not actually going anywhere. I kept going, waiting for something interesting to happen that had a consequence later on, but nothing every materialized. His attempt at a climax was predictable and pointless. So unsatisfying; I can't believe it had enough of a following to create a tv series. Different strokes for different folks I know, but I just don't understand how anyone could come away from that feeling like it was, "a more adult version of Hogwarts," which is a review that enticed me to buy it. I realize comparing it to Harry Potter isn't fair, but IMO it is just a waste of words in it's own right. But that's just, like, my opinion dude.
Edit: I just want to add that the biggest disappointment is the wasted potential. There were some good ideas in there, they just weren't fleshed out... at all. I think that's why I kept going despite the constant disappointment- I wanted to like it. Maybe I'll attempt the tv show because several of you have said that it translates much better on screen, but honestly it left such a sour taste that it might take me awhile to attempt it; so scared of being burned again.
Just finished Ready Player One myself and boy howdy did it not live up to the hype.
I mostly enjoyed the first two thirds of the book, but the third act, and anything to do with the romance was not good. Dull, predictable, and it felt like the main character was never in any real danger.
Lovecraft Country. I didn't hate it per se, but I don't think it was worth the time.
Agreed. I'm a 90s kid so I went into RPO with no nostalgia lenses. I honestly thought it was fucking terrible. Making references just because is the worst kind of writing. And the argument thing, all they needed was to hand him a crisp $100% bill and it would have been perfect r/thathappened material.