Monday, February 1, 2010

Worst Book Ever? Quite Possibly...

Let me start this post off with a disclaimer: I am easy to please. Okay. I'll let you get all those perverted thoughts out of your head right now. Take your time. I'll be here. ... ... ... All done? Good. What I meant by that is this: When it comes to books, I like everything. Seriously. Most likely, if I read it, I'll find SOMETHING good to say about it or some redeeming quality.

Let me tell you something. When I finished reading THE MYSTERIOUS FLAME OF QUEEN LOANA by UMBERTO ECO, I threw the book across the room. No, seriously. Threw it. It was worse than Jurassic Park 3. I treat my books with dignity and respect without fail, but y'all? I threw it across the room.

"Why did you hate it so much?" you might ask.

Well, on its surface, it seemed like a good premise. A guy owns an antique book shop. He has a stroke. He loses his memory. He goes back to his boyhood home to try and jog his memory, sifting through a whole attic of books and comics from his childhood. And the dust jacket said something about those things taking on a life of their own. Uh-huh.

Dusty attic, possibility for adventure, a book about books. It can't fail!

Oh...but it did.

What I got was pages and pages and pages about Italy before and during WWII, about the comics of the day, the newspapers, the music, etc. I kept waiting for it to get better. I kept waiting for SOMETHING TO HAPPEN. He worried about his blood pressure. He made a phone call. He discovered a chapel hidden in his boyhood home that was full of old writings of his. NOT EVEN THAT WAS EXCITING!

No, no.

And then he finds Shakespeare's long lost First Folio. "Ah," I thought to myself, "Here's where things get interesting."

Then the section is over, and in the next section of the book he's in a coma or dead or something He doesn't even know. We live through 150 pages of his memories coming back. We get to see where pieces of his findings gain relevance. We get to read over and over again about his obsession with some girl in his life whose face he can't remember. And just when he's about to see her in his dream/coma/whatever?

Spoiler alert.

HE DIES! End of book.

I slammed it shut and threw it across the room. It never got any better. I just kept reading because I thought, "Well, it's going to get interesting here shortly. He's going to find something." And when he does, hundreds and hundreds of pages later, he goes into a coma. And then when he's about to find something there...HE DIES!

Seriously. Worst. Book. Ever.

Has anyone else read it? Did I miss something?

Someone reviewed it on Amazon and said, " The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana was not only a very accessible book but, more importantly, it was at once both immensely enjoyable and thought-provoking. "

Qua? Have you ever left the house before? I mean...really...



Argent said...

Wow! Thanks for the heads-up. I adored Name of the Rose then bought the Island of Yeserday or something by Mr Eco and was bored rigid. Hey ho!

Viewtiful_Justin said...

Well, maybe I'll read Name of the Rose, then. I didn't figure EVERYTHING he wrote was least I hoped that was true.

Introvert, Introvert spread your wings and soar. said...

That's pretty terrible. You know there's something wrong when you actually feel as though you've wasted time after reading a book instead of feeling thrilled with yourself for doing so.

Best Regards,

Emily said...

Oh. Royal suckage. Sorry, man. Thanks for the heads up!

Viewtiful_Justin said...

No problem.

Argent said...

You should definitely give The Name of the Rose a try - it was made into a film with Sean Correny and Christian Slater years ago. The book is a really good medieval whodunnit. One of my all-time faves.

Greg said...

That one was on my reading list because I enjoyed The Name of the Rose and Foucault's Pedulum. I think I may have to pass on this one. Thanks for the review!