Discussions & Memes

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’d Gladly Throw in the Ocean

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday choice of topic from Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl is, for me at least, a rather negative one given what one reader likes another my hate, and vice versa. So to talk about books we’d love to throw across the room, set fire to, or drown in the ocean is all down to personal choice.

That said, however, there are a few books I have read in my lifetime that were so badly edited, that I would have gladly burned at the stake. But that is the fault of a number of people involved in the writing, editing, and production process of bringing a book to market. So many people could be blamed for errors and mistakes, whether in print or back in the early days of indie publishing, in ebooks, that at one time were riddled with errors (not so much these days).

So, books that annoyed me for one reason or another are listed here because of really stilted prose, no characterisation, unbelievable characters, excruciating bad dialogue, or plot holes big enough to drive the Death Star through:

  • THE WHISPERER by Donato Carrisi
  • SWORN TO SILENCE Linda Castello
  • SANCTUS by Simon Toyne
  • THE RED POLE OF MACAU by Ian Hamilton
  • MY SISTER’S GRAVE by Robert Dugoni
  • HER EVERY FEAR by Peter Swanson
  • THE FOURTH COURIER by Timothy Jay Smith
  • THE CUTAWAY by Christina Kovac

And there you have it, my personal choices that others may have enjoyed, happy to ignore the things that I found annoying. And you, what books would you chose to toss in the ocean, if any?

8 comments on “Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’d Gladly Throw in the Ocean

  1. Avatar

    Oh no, from all the books you could have chosen there’s actually one I read from your list and quite liked. I enjoy Robert Dugoni’s series (some more than others though, I have 3, 4 and 5 star ratings) so I read My Sister’s Grave and it was one in the middle for me. Was it the plot or the writing that put you off? I have quite a few popular authors/books that I gave a low score too though that others might find bizarre: We Were Liars by E. Lockhart, Blue Monday by Nicci French, Sister by Rosamund Lupton, Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas, The Collector by Nora Roberts… you wouldn’t think so maybe but I could go on…

    • Alex

      For me it was a combination of bad plotting, contrivance, cardboard cut out characters and dull dialogue. But as always, that’s my personal opinion, others may think otherwise. Like I said, we all like and dislike different things, and what annoys one might not necessarily annoy another.

      A lot of why we don’t like a book can be subjective, but in the case of my choices, it was mostly dues to lax editing and poor writing.

  2. Avatar

    I really appreciate how you detailed what makes a book so bad for you as a reader—and that you highlight how it’s really a group effort when something doesn’t work. Plot holes big for me. I’m a pretty forgiving reader, but every once in a while a plot hole forms that’s so massive … well, you really COULD drive the Death Star through it!

    • Alex

      Thanks, Christopher. I wanted readers of my post to know why I had chosen these 10 books in particular. As reading is such a personal and subject thing to begin with. It’s difficult to be critical, except where it’s mistakes that could have been fixed before publication like these.

      Yeah, in crime fiction, large plot holes are pretty much unforgivable! 😉

    • Alex

      It’s good to know what we’ll put up with and what we won’t especially if you are going to write reviews. I think it’s only fair that readers know why a book works, or doesn’t for a reviewer.

  3. Avatar

    I read MY SISTER’S GRAVE and thought it was okay. It’s been awhile so I don’t actually remember much about the story, but according to the review I wrote I didn’t hate it. Funny how we all react differently to different books, isn’t it? That’s what makes reading book blogs so fun – all the differing opinions!

    Happy TTT!


    • Alex

      It’s true, I read this one quite some time ago, but the fact that the title stuck in my brain reminds me I didn’t enjoy it for whatever reasons. And yes, it’s interesting to see how we react differently to the same book, and can take away different things from a read.

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