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The Eye of Argon

2.70  ·  Rating details ·  404 ratings  ·  175 reviews
This is not a hoax. Jim Theis was a real person, who wrote The Eye of Argon in all seriousness as a teenager, and published it in a fanzine, Osfan in 1970. But the story did not pass into the oblivion that awaits most amateur fiction. Instead, a miracle happened, and transcribed and photocopied texts began to circulate in science fiction circles, gaining a wide and incredu ...more
Paperback, 74 pages
Published September 5th 2000 by Wildside Press (first published 1970)
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☘Misericordia☘ ~ The Serendipity Aegis ~  ⚡ϟ⚡ϟ⚡⛈ ✺❂❤❣
That story went over like... like... like a story that doesn't go over very well. And it's contagiously hilarious! It bit me, for crissake! Someone, put me out of my misery, quick! NB! I started reading it knowing just what it is and it didn't disappoint. If anything, it overdelivered and overdelivered and went on ovedelivering on so many levels, I can't even count them all... It's so bad it can and should be used for laugh therapy sessions for geeks (just like yours truly).

Ultra, ULTRA, U
Dec 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I read the whole thing with my organs of sight.
Dec 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing

For my last finished book of 2017, and my 300th book read this year, I wanted to finish with a bang. A masterpiece of literary goodness.

This book is named "The Worst Fantasy Book of All Time" and rightly so. It is amazingly bad. So bad that as I read it aloud to my daughter this evening, I had to keep stopping to catch my breath and wipe the tears from my face from laughing so hard.

Read it free online here.
Dec 06, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy-fiction
For as long as I can remember, it has always been an ambition of mine to find an artifact whose existence is denied by many: the Worst Book Ever Written. I have spent countless hours going through libraries and charity bookshops in search of it and today, I'm glad to say that I finally found it. I give you ''The Eye of Argon'': a work of transcendent, dizzying, sublime badness. I'll pick two sentences at random to give you an idea of the quality:

(This is after the main character Grignr the Barba
Mar 14, 2013 rated it did not like it
Prefer an "engrossed titan" who ignores "the queries of an inquisitive female, pulling her towards him and crushing her sagging nipples to his yearning chest"?

Want your narrator's consciousness to return "in stygmatic pools as his mind gradually cleared of the cobwebs cluttering its inner recesses, yet the stygian cloud of charcoal ebony remained"?

Obsessed with "expertly chisled forms of grotesque gargoyles that graced the oblique rim protruberating the length of the grim orifice of death, stari
☙ nemo ❧
May 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
5 stars for the same reason My Immortal got five stars; that is, creating something so incredibly horrific is a talent in itself.
EA Solinas
Apr 30, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fantasy
"The Eye of Argon" is a legendary piece of fiction. It may look like just another lame "Conan the Barbarian" ripoff...

... but it isn't. This is the Holy Grail of wretched fantasy, the Excalibur of excrescent writing, the purest form of terrible writing that makes Edward Bulwer-Lytton look like Shakespeare. Jim Theis' legendary novella butchers the English language and wallows in the blood -- and I defy anyone to read this story in one sitting without experiencing fatal brain meltage.

It is the
Feb 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
This is quite possibly the best book I have ever read, in my whole life, ever. The description is second to none, the tone is witty and entertaining, the characters are deep and unforgettable, the story is gripping and gratifying, and the gore...oh, the gore. This book goes to the depths of what it means to be a human being and challenges you to question your very existence. Once I picked up this book and started reading, I couldn't put it down until I had devoured every last succulent word. I d ...more
Rev. Nyarkoleptek
Jan 27, 2009 rated it really liked it
Reading this is like watching a parade of clowns being run down by penguins piloting unicyles. Epic fail that all others are judged against.
Ben De Bono
So, so awful that it goes full circle and becomes amazing. I hope you like adjectives!
Feb 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
Normally, I fall for literature with well-developed characters, a cracking plot, an imaginative or imaginatively depicted setting, and a writing style that is seamless and natural, yet unique.

In The Eye of Argon, the only thing developed about the characters are their breasts and muscles. The plot is not so much cracking as cracked. The setting is imaginatively named, if not imaginative. And the writing style... well, it ain't natural, but it sure is unique.

In short, it's the worst piece of wri
Peter Tillman
Aug 07, 2017 rated it liked it
"At the foot of the heathen diety a slender, pale faced female, naked but for a golden, jeweled harness enshrouding her huge outcropping breasts, supporting long silver laces which extended to her thigh, stood before the pearl white field with noticable shivers traveling up and down the length of her exquisitely molded body."
"The man upon the throne had a naked wench seated at each of his arms, and a trusted advisor seated in back of him. At each cornwr of the chamber a guard stood at attenti
Steve Dilks
May 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I first came across reference to this novella in a Dave Langford article in SFX magazine when I was standing in Tesco a few years ago. From that day on I was intrigued. Being a massive fan of sword-&-sorcery I just knew had to track this book down. Eventually I came across it online and, in all excitement, prepared myself. I was not disappointed. Gloriously bad prosed fun, full of relentless action and carnage that, regardless of intention or not, does the genre a mighty service by giving it a r ...more
May 10, 2011 rated it liked it
I mean, how do you rate The Eye of Argon? Do you give it five stars for being SO BAD that it made you laugh so hard your kidneys hurt, or do you give it only the none stars it deserves for its "quality" level? I compromised. Which, unfortunately, makes the thing look readable. It really isn't.

Do not read this unless you have a strong stomach for bad writing and don't mind misogyny, flat characterization, an utter lack of plot, and just mammoth narrative leaps in general. Yes, it *does* read lik
no, I'm not really finished. for obvious reasons. I read some and couldn't stop coughing since I tried to swallow an entire coke down my windpipe I was laughing so hard...

and that was on page 2. I gave up.
This is the most entertaining story I've ever had the pleasure of reading. My face hurts from laughing so hard, and for so long, that tears rolled down my cheeks and I discovered muscles that I didn't even know I had 😂😂😂😂 Pure gold.

It made me sad to learn that the author was emotionally devastated by the knowledge that people were mocking his story. I wish he could have seen it the way that I see it.

You see, I wrote some godawful cheesy stuff when I was a teenager, too (and when I was an adult
Mar 03, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fantasy, 1970s
We've all seen movies that are "so bad it's good." I never thought a book could accomplish that same level of horrible wonderfulness, until I read this work. I fell into the dilemma everyone else had in what rating to give it. On one hand, it is just worst book ever in the world. The worst writing ever. The worst typos ever. The worst use of a thesaurus ever. I am convinced that people who are learning to write should read this work at some point in order to learn what NOT to do. But on the othe ...more
Jan 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Rating is 300% ironic bc this is awful as fuck. But yeah read the thing it's hilarious
Dec 14, 2017 rated it it was ok
I was expecting worse, to be honest. Yeah, the writing is terrible, but after a while you kinda get used to it and then the more significant crime is just how boring the story is, especially the part where Grignr is stuck in the dungeon. Still, I don't think I've ever laughed so much during a book. The damsel in distress character was particularly bad. It was like the author saw one of those old movie posters where the women are sprawled on the ground clutching the legs of the hero, then he tran ...more
Jun 29, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2019-read
Eye. Can’t. Even.

Definitely so bad it’s good. Helps if you consume with alcohol.
Eric Woods
Oct 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is the greatest story I have ever read. Not because it’s good – it most certainly is not – but because it pushes through bad to terrible to execrable to emerge on the other side gloriously, hilariously awful. It is the Andy Dufrane of books. It crawled through a mile of shit to make something amazing. It is the literary equivalent of The Room. The words are in English but you aren’t sure whether the author understood them or was some kind of alien attempting to write human literature. The E ...more
Taylor Green
Apr 13, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fantasy
What abject horror is contained within these pages! The atrocities of prose, punctuation, hyphenation...words fail me to describe what is proclaimed as a major candidate for "the Worst Story Ever Written." If I were rating this book based on "intentionally horrendous committing of literary atrocities," this story would have gotten five stars. When the spellings and repetitions, misuses and hyphenations have you questioning even the "correct" words you come across and mispronouncing actual words, ...more
I am unable or unwilling to give a star rating to this book. I know that it is no work of intentional triumph, but I have never enjoyed any sentences as much as these two calamities from The Eye Of Argon:

* Consciousness returned to Grignr in stygmatic pools as his mind gradually cleared of the cobwebs cluttering its inner recesses, yet the stygian cloud of charcoal ebony remained. An incompatible shield of blackness, enhanced by the bleak abscense of sound.

* "Aye! The ways of our civilization ar
Jan 19, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dafuk
I DNF, but did finish. The novel is terrible, the essays funny. It's more a joke piece for me now but I can't focus on it properly. So to dafuk shelf with you for later reading. 1 star is joke rating. The book can't be judged by mortal constraints.

Eyeing a slender female crouched alone at a nearby bench, Grignr advanced wishing to wholesomely occupy his time. The flickering torches cast weird shafts of luminescence dancing over the half naked harlot of his choice, her stringy orchid twines of ha
Daniel R.
Apr 24, 2012 rated it liked it
The Eye of Argon is infamous for both its big ambitions and many shortcomings. It is also a fine way to spend an hour. Not reading it at home alone, no no no. The book is so godawful, I would not wish such an experience on my worst enemy. It becomes entertaining when a group of con goers sit around in a circle and try to read it aloud AS WRITTEN. That is, every mistake must be incorporated into the reading or else your turn is done and the next reader gives it a go. That experience, filled with ...more
Herman Gigglethorpe
Jun 19, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: snark-material
This makes Christopher Paolini (who's already so bad that he's good) look like a genius in comparison! At least the Inheritance Cycle was readable. This just has impenetrable descriptions, no ending, and "MRIFK!" as an interjection.

Look up the MST for this story online, since there's no way you can take this without help.

Obviously Jim Theis is just a penname for Prostetnic Vogon Jeltz.
Oct 11, 2009 rated it did not like it
It would be misleading to list this book as anything but dreadful, but it is dreadful in such an entertaining way that it almost deserves to be rated awesome. It is the magnificence of bad. Ferrett read it to me in the car driving back from Massachusetts and I laughed so hard that I almost drove off the road.
Feb 14, 2014 added it
Shelves: fantasy
A breathtaking masterwork of whimsicorically astounding beauty. My orb-shaped organs of sight could not believe their good fortune when I began reading this epic tale. We follow Grignr, the constantly bounding, rippling, barbarian slut through many a limb removal and rat crushing. I laughed bustily and uproariously throughout?
Aug 21, 2009 rated it did not like it

Never before have I encountered such a pure and abysmal vortex of suck.

I read the MST3Ked version, which is quite entertaining, and the only reason I could stand to read this without losing my will to breathe.
Jul 11, 2014 rated it it was ok
This is the "Plan 9 from Outer Space" of books. Its terrible writing is legendary and really must be read to be believed.

I give it two stars because it is so hilariously bad.

Edit: Read it for a second time. Still gloriously awful.
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Looking into The Eye 1 26 Apr 14, 2011 09:50AM  

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James F. Theis (pronounced "Tice") was born August 9, 1953 and died March 26, 2002. He published The Eye of Argon in a fanzine in 1970 at age 16. He did not write any more fiction, but did gain a degree in journalism. His hobbies included collecting books, comics, and German swords; he also collected, traded, and sold tapes of radio programs of the 1930s, '40s, and '50s under the business-name "Th ...more

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