The Worst Books of All Time

What do you think are the worst books ever written; the ones you least enjoyed reading.

Please respect everyone's opinions, even if you think their opinion is downright stupid.
1

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3.56 avg rating — 3,469,105 ratings
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2

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3.70 avg rating — 1,047,249 ratings
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3

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3.52 avg rating — 1,117,330 ratings
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4

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3.70 avg rating — 1,097,671 ratings
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5

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3.68 avg rating — 1,334,943 ratings
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6

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3.50 avg rating — 7,964 ratings
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7

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3.59 avg rating — 2,050 ratings
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8

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3.88 avg rating — 90,434 ratings
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9

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2.52 avg rating — 654 ratings
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10

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3.76 avg rating — 1,436,782 ratings
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11

by
3.32 avg rating — 254 ratings
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12

by
3.71 avg rating — 375,741 ratings
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13

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4.37 avg rating — 21,580 ratings
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14

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4.02 avg rating — 444 ratings
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15

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3.23 avg rating — 1,515 ratings
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16

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3.77 avg rating — 3,692 ratings
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17

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3.59 avg rating — 221,032 ratings
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18

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3.67 avg rating — 105,258 ratings
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19

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3.51 avg rating — 150,848 ratings
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20

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3.44 avg rating — 1,258 ratings
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21

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3.48 avg rating — 1,093,350 ratings
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22

by
3.34 avg rating — 37,825 ratings
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23

by
3.92 avg rating — 886,865 ratings
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24

by
3.43 avg rating — 985 ratings
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25

by
3.73 avg rating — 5,120 ratings
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26

by
4.27 avg rating — 4,691 ratings
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27

by
3.78 avg rating — 1,887,229 ratings
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28

by
3.64 avg rating — 362,174 ratings
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29

by
2.84 avg rating — 134 ratings
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30

by
3.60 avg rating — 524,511 ratings
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31

by
3.84 avg rating — 1,763,514 ratings
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32

by
3.79 avg rating — 12,757 ratings
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33

by
4.44 avg rating — 785 ratings
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34

by
2.16 avg rating — 161 ratings
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35

by
3.86 avg rating — 337,151 ratings
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36

by
3.19 avg rating — 68,934 ratings
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37

by
3.19 avg rating — 1,193 ratings
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38

by
3.88 avg rating — 575,340 ratings
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39

by
3.87 avg rating — 153,724 ratings
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40

by
4.12 avg rating — 1,256,775 ratings
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41

by
3.96 avg rating — 1,032,476 ratings
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42

by
4.24 avg rating — 2,903,046 ratings
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43

by
3.25 avg rating — 180 ratings
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44

by
3.41 avg rating — 1,244 ratings
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45

by
3.81 avg rating — 173,640 ratings
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46

by
3.74 avg rating — 164,876 ratings
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47

by
3.40 avg rating — 268,213 ratings
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48

by
3.82 avg rating — 6,085 ratings
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49

by
3.84 avg rating — 727,407 ratings
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50

by
3.63 avg rating — 1,485,941 ratings
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51

by
3.74 avg rating — 367,584 ratings
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52

by
3.93 avg rating — 26,673 ratings
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53

by
3.53 avg rating — 75,077 ratings
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54

by
3.97 avg rating — 371,558 ratings
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55

by
3.65 avg rating — 253,096 ratings
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56

by
3.73 avg rating — 682,280 ratings
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57

by
3.75 avg rating — 136,543 ratings
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58

by
3.59 avg rating — 188,377 ratings
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59

by
3.37 avg rating — 126,722 ratings
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60

by
3.38 avg rating — 12,995 ratings
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61

by
3.90 avg rating — 569,979 ratings
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62

by
3.55 avg rating — 42,736 ratings
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63

by
3.50 avg rating — 495,393 ratings
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64

by
3.26 avg rating — 108,494 ratings
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65

by
4.04 avg rating — 43,491 ratings
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66

by
3.81 avg rating — 96,780 ratings
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67

by
3.67 avg rating — 268,419 ratings
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68

by
3.51 avg rating — 463 ratings
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69

by
4.08 avg rating — 101 ratings
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70

by
3.79 avg rating — 1,169,705 ratings
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71

by
4.15 avg rating — 420,112 ratings
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72

by
4.17 avg rating — 464,654 ratings
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73

by
3.78 avg rating — 340,669 ratings
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74

by
3.48 avg rating — 71,910 ratings
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75

by
3.61 avg rating — 96,023 ratings
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76

by
3.57 avg rating — 390,634 ratings
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77

by
3.44 avg rating — 28,564 ratings
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78

by
4.12 avg rating — 1,790,146 ratings
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79

by
4.09 avg rating — 1,163,240 ratings
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80

by
4.06 avg rating — 1,302,843 ratings
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81

by
4.14 avg rating — 5,613 ratings
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82

by
3.97 avg rating — 515,342 ratings
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83

by
3.86 avg rating — 253,096 ratings
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84

by
3.88 avg rating — 465,966 ratings
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85

by
3.99 avg rating — 10,214 ratings
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86

by
4.04 avg rating — 569,452 ratings
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87

by
3.60 avg rating — 40,721 ratings
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88

by
3.81 avg rating — 94,285 ratings
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89

by
3.27 avg rating — 99,592 ratings
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90

by
3.73 avg rating — 76,506 ratings
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91

by
3.79 avg rating — 920,536 ratings
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92

by
3.53 avg rating — 123,055 ratings
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93

by
3.38 avg rating — 311,812 ratings
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94

by
4.12 avg rating — 1,081,706 ratings
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95

by
3.95 avg rating — 946,164 ratings
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96

by
3.89 avg rating — 209,487 ratings
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97

by
3.99 avg rating — 253,686 ratings
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98

by
3.68 avg rating — 55,998 ratings
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99

by
3.21 avg rating — 27,329 ratings
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100

by
4.02 avg rating — 1,176,981 ratings
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flag this list (?)
6,284 books · 17,289 voters · list created May 20th, 2008 by Michael Economy (votes) .
138 likes · 
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


Michael 485 books
273 friends
Elizabeth 1699 books
1156 friends
Otis 854 books
1852 friends
The Crimson Fucker 421 books
205 friends
Rena 157 books
61 friends
Cynthia 3281 books
251 friends
Ruth 2449 books
320 friends
Suziqoregon 937 books
87 friends

More voters…


Comments (showing 1-50 of 2,546) (2546 new)


message 1: by Jason (new)

Jason um...
the grapes of wrath?...
absalom! absalom!...?
WUTHERING HEIGHTS!?!?...

i don't understand...


JG (The Introverted Reader) Anyone else notice how many of these were probably required reading for high school English classes? Coincidence? I know 3 of the 7 I voted on were required reading for me.


message 3: by S.G (last edited Jun 25, 2008 08:28AM) (new)

S.G I'm with Jason and Lisa, with no standards for rating a book on GR, (Imp. the biggest drawback on GR at present). These lists are pure hype with no base and make no sense.

The easy to find category POPULAR of the total ratings make a whole lot more sense. There I think the truth of how GR members feel about the books they read lays.


message 4: by Wifey (last edited Jun 25, 2008 08:35AM) (new)

Wifey To Lisa-
I read it. I'm a conservative and a Texan, which puts me pretty far right, but I have enough sense to fact check the footnotes. It appears that Ann's readership and her publishers do not.


message 5: by Darcy (new)

Darcy a lot of the books are some of my favorite books of all time and I think this list is a bunch of crap. Twilight for one is a wonderful book and I loved it so much I read the series twice. A great and terrible beauty is another great book and the series, while it takes some time to get into, is totally worth readin in the end. And are you seriously telling me that the grapes of wrath and pride and prejudice are 2 of the worst books ever written? Whoever made this list may have a couple things right but the rest of the list is complete shit. Thats just my opinion but coming from someone who has a passion for reading and doesn't do it just becuase my teacher or proffessor told me to I think I might know what I'm talking about.


message 6: by David (new)

David "Smart guy" knocks big sellers, Oprah's book club, en vogue lit, and even Pynchon, Fitzgerald, Faulkner and Golding. What an incoherent, silly list. I regret having bothered to read it.


message 7: by Suzanne (new)

Suzanne Some of my very favorites are on this list...but it is a free country. This is art, and like all forms of artistic expression, beauty can be in the eye of the beholder.


message 8: by Amanda (new)

Amanda It's perfectly okay to not like any book you want, but I defend my assertion that The Bridges of Madison County is the worst book ever printed. It was so bad I wanted to smack the author for allowing trees to be cut down to make paper to print his execreble excuse for a book. The story was crap, the writing was crap. That there are people out there who thought this was ROMANTIC is astounding to me. IT WAS GARBAGE.


message 9: by Patty (new)

Patty I love the diversity of people. Some of these books I thought were okay, some I disliked but can't say they were the worst ever written and some I actually liked a lot. It's what makes a list like this work, different opinions, different life events that influence those opinions. It's great!


message 10: by Sharon Faith (new)

Sharon Faith The list was just opinion. Every one has their lists of favorites. I like a lot of the books on this list, but some of them are real crap. Funny how a lot of them were required reading in school...and that may be why they were disliked. Honestly, Tess of the D'Urbervilles was PAINFUL reading in 9th grade, as was the 'classic' Of Mice and Men. My memories of those books are not fond ones.
Each has their own opinion, and the list is interesting. Many of the "Oprah" books are on this list, which is amusing to me. There have only been about 3 books on her "bookclub" that are really worth a read to me. I often wonder if Oprah actually reads the books before choosing them. A large majority of her choices are CRAP. But again, we all have different tastes.


JG (The Introverted Reader) It sounds like some people think this is one person's list. It's not. One person started the list and then the rest of us voted for the books we hate. The higher we place the book on our own mini lists and the more votes a book gets, the higher a book is placed on the main list. If you're unhappy with some of the choices other people have made for this list, go add the books to other more positive lists. It's all pretty democratic. If you look closely, a lot of books show up on both the "Worst books of all time" list and the "Best books ever" lists. Everyone's entitled to his or her own opinion.


message 12: by Jacek (new)

Jacek Brzezowski Ender's Game and Dune on this list? This list looks soooo not convincing.


message 13: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth This list is AWFUL! Some of the greatest books on earth ever written are on that list, everyone may be entitled to their own opinion, but some people's opinions are inconceivably, WRONG.

The people who added some of those books have a warped sense of what good writing is.


message 14: by Galia (last edited Jul 02, 2008 06:33PM) (new)

Galia definitely this list is the worst idea of what is bad!


message 15: by Lisa (new)

Lisa I'm not sure how some of these books could ever be picked as the worst books ever. And it is totally a specific political edge here, none of the horrible liberal/democrat books seem to be listed.


message 16: by Laura (last edited Jul 05, 2008 08:31PM) (new)

Laura In point of fact, Lisa, several of the so-called "liberal/democrat" books are listed. Of course, I think you listed most of them yourself (maybe that tells you something?), but they are listed.

I'm curious, btw: Could you explain the basis for your opinion that An Inconvenient Truth is one of the worst books ever written? I'm really curious about the reasoning supporting that view. Is it because you think that book is scientifically unsound, or because of something else?


message 17: by [deleted user] (new)

Wow, these are the worst books of all time? Seriously?



message 18: by Eliza (new)

Eliza The da vinci code is probably one of the worst books.
no one has ever read it. only bragged about how good it was "because tom hanks was in the movie, and tom hanks did forrest gump, so that has to mean it's good, because forrest couldn't do stupid movies after that."
puhhlease. a book based on a supposed "non fiction" story and the chances of that ever happening are slim to none.


but i do have to say the great gatsby is probably the best book i've ever read. so obviously the creator of this list is blind to literary genius.

maybe someone should create a dumbest persons list of the 20th century. because the creator would definitely rank between a politician and a priest.


message 19: by Laura (new)

Laura Eliza, there is no "creator" of the list. Many people have added books to the list -- anyone can do so and many people have. So the list has a "creator" only in the same sense that, say, the Empire State Building had a construction worker.

For reasons unclear to me, this fact seems to be hard for many people to grasp. Maybe someone can explain it to me?


message 20: by Garrett (new)

Garrett What is up with this list, it's complete bogus, it needs revamping, somethings not right here...you get the picture goodreads.


message 21: by Michael (new)

Michael Economy the question is not: how many of my favorite books are on the list?

its more: how many books that i voted on are other peoples favorites?


i do think its awesome how like 80% of the books on there are required school reading


message 22: by AJ (new)

AJ People generally don't think things through (myself included). I really liked your "empire building / construction worker analogy. A similar explanation ought to be posted by the Listopia logo.
It's pretty interesting that people naturally want to blame a "creator".


message 23: by Jeremy (new)

Jeremy This list should be called: "Books I had to read in high school but didn't like at the time."

The Great Gatsby? Really? Catcher in the Rye? It like people just thought of books they'd heard of and listed them.


message 24: by Kellyjean (new)

Kellyjean So almost all of my favorite books are on this list :) Next time I need to find a good book, I'm going to check out this list :)


message 25: by Theresa (new)

Theresa I'm new here so I don't know how this list works, but I have to disagree with most of the choices.

Of course, I tried to counter the "bad list" vote by pressing the "vote" button thinking that it would give me a choice of clicking "yes" this deserves to be here, or "no" these people are crazy and it should not be on this list. Ooops!

I guess that's not what that button is for :-/


JG (The Introverted Reader) Theresa, I'm pretty sure that if you click where it now say "voted", you can undo your vote.

If you want to counteract the votes a book received on this list, go vote for that book on another list like "Best Books Ever" or something appropriate like that.


message 27: by Linda (new)

Linda I just find it hilarious that some of the books on this list are ALSO on the BEST Books List. Just goes to show that it's a matter of taste. Come on people - the BIBLE??? Even if you don't believe what is written there, the literary and historical value alone excludes it from a list of bad books!


message 28: by Kara (new)

Kara It amazing that some of these books are also considered timeless classics...maybe these books were a little over over people's heads in high school. Trust me, they are much better (and understandable) as an adult!!


message 29: by Aparna (new)

Aparna This is unfair.....
No Danielle Steele OR RL Stine or the "Silhoutte" series!! :-p

According to me, half these books seem to be here as a "challenge" to vote against good, enriching books.... and people who HAVE voted on this list would probably be those who think it "radical" to oppose solid, fundamental writing skills. (I exclude Theresa :-) )



message 30: by Tams (last edited Jul 29, 2008 06:24AM) (new)

Tams I'm totally agreeing with Kellyjean. But maybe that is just because I love to read a book and think of how dumb some people must be to be afraid of another person's imagination. I mean come on people. Are you really afraid of free thought? Truthfully, I'm surprised that none of Anne Rice's "Beauty" series, or something along those lines is on here. Then it could truly read like a list of my favorites! Pathetic.


message 31: by Marla (new)

Marla this is a joke, right? most of these books are great. i hope all goodreads members vote so we can get some perspective, for god's sake.


message 32: by Maggie (new)

Maggie People are clearly voting against books out of spite, or out of some misguided attempt to claim their own unconventional/nonconformist taste. Just because you didn't like reading classic novels in school doesn't mean they are the worst books of all time.

I totally agree with Jeremy's comment below: this list should be renamed "books I was forced to read but was too immature/busy/stupid to understand or enjoy"


message 33: by Dimitra (new)

Dimitra The Da Vinci Code?

Seriously... are there really that many Catholic extremists out here?

I do agree with some of the choices like "Go Ask Alice" for example (I never really understood that one), but "A Child Called 'It'? "American Psyco? Heck... even The Giving Tree!


message 34: by Jason (new)

Jason checked in on this list for the second time and it still makes about as much sense as the best books list...

i really don't understand who is doing the voting for these books...
and i certainly don't understand the reasoning behind them...
it's really very disappointing...something like this should be taken seriously...


message 35: by Nikki (new)

Nikki "It amazing that some of these books are also considered timeless classics...maybe these books were a little over over people's heads in high school. Trust me, they are much better (and understandable) as an adult!"

...No, dear, I'm voting based on whether I liked the books. Sorry if that stings, but to my tastes, Pride and Prejudice sucked. It's not like the book is over my head, I just don't like it.

P.S. I read a lot of classics when I was eleven and loved them. Quit being patronising, hmmmmm?


message 36: by Nikki (new)

Nikki I think people are voting based on whether they liked the books, not on their perceived literary/historical value in educated circles. There's nothing wrong with that, as long as people realise that -- just as there's nothing wrong with someone giving a book only one star because they personally didn't get on with it.


message 37: by Jason (new)

Jason Clearly, some users are defining a bad book as one in which its characters suffer tragedy and/or die. Perhaps these books may qualify for a "saddest books ever" award instead.


message 38: by Laura (new)

Laura Dimitra, you really don't understand why "A Child Called It" is on the list? What's not to understand?


message 39: by Jonas (new)

Jonas This list is all over the place. Really lame.

If you look at the people who voted for some of the 'good ones' you'll notice that they voted it "1 out of 1" their worst book ever. Obviously, they had a bad emotional reaction to it or something and decided to lash out by posting it here. That's too bad, because I would have hoped that this list would reflect the good taste of us bibliophiles (that includes all of us) and be comprised of the truly tacky and horrible. Like Anne Coulter's books, for example.



message 40: by Heather (new)

Heather What are some of you people smoking? Some of my favorite books (and Best Sellers!) are on this list. Tough crowd!


message 41: by Nikki (new)

Nikki I've said it before and I'll say it again... just because you like something doesn't mean everyone does. And just because something's a classic or a bestseller doesn't mean you have to like it.


message 42: by Carol (new)

Carol I'm sorry, but I just don't get this list. How can we take a 'worst book' list seriously that has Catcher in the Rye, One Hundred Years of Solitude and The Scarlet Letter on it? I mean, really! I understand that some people hate Harry Potter, and I don't have a problem with that, but just because you happen to not like a book that is a classic, doesn't mean that it is a bad book. Honestly - Don Quixiote?? There is a reason that it has been read for CENTURIES.


message 43: by Brittany (new)

Brittany Warren I may be a kid, but I have read a few books on this list. And most of them were pretty good. I mean, 'The Giving Tree?' That's a childhood classic! How is THAT the worst book ever?


message 44: by Michael (new)

Michael Kucharski I don't know if this book was ever actually published by Llewellyn; I was originally commissioned to do the cover illustration. So I go to read the original manuscript. Years later it still sticks in my mind as the worst written and poorest ploted book with bad prose and terrible dialogue and charactered developement that I have ever read.


message 45: by Kristin (new)

Kristin Pride and Prejudice? The Great Gatsby? The Grapes of Wrath?

all classics and some of the books here are on the Modern Library Top 100 which proves that your list is stupid and uninformed. What a waste of time.


message 46: by Debbie (new)

Debbie Lazar Agreed that including time-proven classics on a list of "worst books ever" just makes Goodreads look ignorant and illiterate. Clearly many of these books are NOT the worst books ever or people wouldn't have enjoyed them through the decades and centuries. However, A Million Little Pieces got my vote - I couldn't even finish it. Aside from the fact that the author made a lot of it up, I'm sick of drug addicts and criminals thinking their stories contribute anything at all to the world.


message 47: by Kelsey (last edited Jul 30, 2008 06:01PM) (new)

Kelsey Either you people are crazed psycho-maniacs, or this list was made by some egotistical, conceited, not well read person who reads only during a small portion of the day. I, however, read at least three hours a day and some of my favorite books appear on this list. My Sisters Keeper? The Five People You Meet In Heaven? Harry Potter? Anne Frank? Tuesdays With Morrie? The Giving Tree? Twilight? And that's only off the first page! I think maybe some people are judging books on whether or not they liked them. Instead, we should judge them on whether or not they are a good piece of writing, and whether or not they are destined to be a classic, like we learned about in my Honors English class, taught by the most wonderful English teacher in the world, Mrs. Bartholow. So please, try to not be opinionated, and only judge the writing.


message 48: by Karen (new)

Karen I am finding it hard to vote on alot of that list as I really haven't read alot so I am going to base alot of it on the stuff i have read and reallywasn't impressed with.


message 49: by Terri (new)

Terri I have to admit that I have read a lot of these books, and even though some, Like Pride& Prejudice and Catcher in the Rye, I didnt care much for, I didnt think they were the WOrst books of all time. Only one on the list (Paortrait of a Killer) qualified as that to me. And in fact, a large number of the books on the list I absolutely loved.


message 50: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Perhaps I'm being a bit silly, but isn't "of all time" rather broad? I mean, I get it if the list's title is the "worst of 2008/2007/1960/insert year here" or the "worst romance novel" or even "the worst Western classic," but "of all time?" That's going a little too far.

Also - Wow, some of these comments are harsh. :/ Some people might hate a book, some people might love it, but there's no need for personal attacks.


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