worst books ever

The Bottom of the Barrel: The 8 Worst Books Ever

Reading books improves your vocabulary and conversational skills, allowing you to articulate issues more clearly and professionally. But for this to happen, you have to read the right books.

Therefore, you need to know how to differentiate between good books and bad books. This article offers you a list of the eight worst books ever as cited by different reputable critics in various media sources.

What Makes a Book Good or Bad?


When it comes to choosing what to read, we all have our preferences. What may be good for you could be bad for someone else. Therefore, there isn’t an absolute principle to define what is a good or bad book; it depends on what interests you. However, there are several aspects of a book that determine if it’s a good read or not. Here are some of the things that make a book good or bad.

  • Plot

The readability of a book is largely determined by how the author structures the plot. A god plot also keeps the reader hooked from the first page to the last. Many readers don’t want flashy plots, so just make everything flow together and flawlessly.

Readers hate it when an author tries to play the red light, green light game with them. You should ease into the story naturally, allowing your readers to understand every bit of the story. A good plot shouldn’t reveal everything right away. Instead, it should create the element of suspense, without playing with the mind of the reader.

  • Characters

Characters are among the most significant elements of a book. In any case, you can’t tell a story without characters. Therefore, interesting characters will make a book more fascinating. If the characters are boring and dry, they put off the reader regardless of how great the plot is.

Don’t forget that some readers are more character-driven and want to have a direct connection with characters. So, if a book doesn’t allow the reader to connect with the characters on some level, it may be considered a bad book. A good book allows you to follow your favorite characters and see them grow, make mistakes, conquer, and remind you of your own business.

  • World Creation

If a book can make you forget where you are, then it’s a good book. Also, a good book should take you wherever the action is taking place. For instance, if it is about space or some hidden place far away from civilization, you should feel like you are right there.

A good book should provide the same feeling you experience when you are dreaming about stepping off a steep staircase. You wake up when you are just about to step off the stairs. And sometimes you will think you have woken up when you actually are still dreaming about waking up. So, if a book doesn’t help you get lost, probably it’s not a good one.

  • Writing

A book with so many grammatical errors and spelling mistakes is a quick turn-off. It displays incompetence and a lack of professionalism. A good book should make you feel like you are listening to a great song with sweet lyrics. If a book is written well, you will be motivated to read it again and again.

8 Worst Books Ever Written

Here is a list of the worst books ever written. The list is based on the public and critical opinions of some respected book reviewers and authors.

1. The Twilight Saga (Stephanie Meyer)


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Released annually from 2005 through 2008, this book is a series of vampire-themed romance novels, two companion novels, and one novella, authored by American writer Stephenie Meyer. It is considered one of the worst book series ever. It tells the story of the teenage years of Bella as she falls in love with a 104-year-old vampire, Edward, and finds herself in a world she never thought existed.

Immediately after its first release, many readers didn’t know who to support between Edward and Bella. The book also divided critics and communities around the world, with teenage girls (its target demographic) not wanting to put it down while everyone else was trying to put it down. Even after inspiring a successful movie franchise, this book series is still not popular. Many adult book reviewers disapproved of Meyer’s writing, underdeveloped characters, and poor storyline.

2. 50 Shades of Grey Series (E.L. James)

50 Shades of Grey

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Some people consider this book as almost pornographic filth. Although it starts as a fan-fiction piece, this erotic-thriller series follows a deepening relationship between Anastasia and Christian (the eponymous Mr. Grey), as he introduces her to erotic practices and roleplaying involving bondage, restraint, dominance and submission, sadomasochism, and other related acts.

Although this book was very successful, especially due to frustrated housewives, topping the best sellers list around the world and inspiring a semi-successful movie series, it was heavily criticized by the literary world, together with members of the BDSM community, who detested the representation of BDSM and dominatrixes.

Some female readers claimed that the book left their inner goddesses shocked by the writing style, the wording, and the book’s overall shoddiness. Other critics claim that if this book ever had a plot, a story, or at least some erotica vibe, they were lost in a sea of poorly chosen words.

3. Mein Kampf (Adolf Hitler)

Mein Kampf

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Written in 1925 in Landsberg Prison, this book has been described by many authors and reviewers as “the evilest book in history.” Its title alone fills some readers with all kinds of emotions, mainly hatred, and sadness. Mein Kampf, which stands for “My Struggle”, was written by the malevolent dictator while in prison in 1923.

In this book, Hitler postulates a dangerous Jewish conspiracy to gain world leadership and details the evils of Marxism, communism, parliamentary democracy, and the need for Germans to seize Lebensraum (“living space”) from the Slavic people to the east. The book also tries to explain and excuse Hitler’s anti-Semitic opinions and political philosophies. In 1933, when he rose to power, the sales of this book reached 1.2 million Reich marks, which is currently equal to 5.5 million USD.

Despite the sickening and evil propaganda pushed in this book, it was among the most popular books in Germany, especially during Hitler’s time as Chancellor. Its ideology led to the Second World War, the Holocaust, and tens of millions of deaths. Since the defeat of Nazism in 1945, many countries, especially in Europe banned the publication of this book.

However, some countries that had banned it have started to publish it with full academic introductions and annotations by historians. But many still consider it one of the worst books ever written. Its style doesn’t matter in this case, but its message does.

4. The Da Vinci Code (Dan Brown)

Da Vinci Code

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The basis for this book sounds intriguing: a secret is uncovered that will change the face of Christianity forever. However, the author was unable to transfer this idea onto paper, even with all the creativity. Many critics claim that this book lacks everything apart from an interesting story. From chapters that are too short to a somewhat lackluster and amateurish writing style, this book is a major disappointment.

However, the book’s marketing and public relations team did an incredible job of coming up with smart marketing strategies to help it sell. The book is also littered with historical and religious inaccuracies that appear to have been included just to help it fit the narrative. Although this book doesn’t have the best plot, characters, atmosphere, and dialogue, it can be a light weekend read when you don’t want to stress your brain with heavy literature.

5. The Eye of Argon (Jim Theis)

Eye of Argon

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This 1970 novella registers the daring escapades of Grignr the barbarian. It was authored and released by a 16-year-old author. Since then, the book has become very popular in the sci-fi/fantasy literary world. However, this book comes nowhere near the works of Robert E. Howard, who independently invented the sword & sorcery sub-genre with his legendary Conan the Barbarian star or the newer YA fantasy books.

Critics have termed this book as the worst book ever, especially due to its poor purveyor of prose with a creepy gift. The author has also been criticized for choosing the wrong word and misapplying it. This criticism hit the author hard, forcing him to swear never to write again.

6. The Lair of the White Worm (Bram Stoker)

Lair of the White Worm

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Bram Stoker, who wrote the 19th-century gothic horror masterpiece Dracula and almost single-handedly created the vampire genre, is a celebrated author. However, he has been widely criticized for interfering with established ideas, like vampires, the Gothic literary genre, Transylvania, and Lady Carmilla in his book “The Lair of the White Worm.”

Some reviewers claim that he used a clumsy style of writing and a simple Gothic horror story as the plot. This book narrates how ancient evil; a senseless hypnotist, hell-bent on emotionally crushing the girl he loves; a huge kite elevated to rid the land of a strange plague of birds, and which receives extraordinary commands along with its string. Some critics summed it up by declaring that the central premise was great but poorly executed.

7. Moon People (Dale M. Courtney)

Moon People

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This book tells the story of David Braymer as he moves from being a high school teacher to first science officer aboard Lunar Base Module 1, through fantastical space battles. He also encounters different alien lifeforms. However, this ‘novel’ appears to have so many problems. For instance, it has a poorly constructed story, hollow characters, and terrible grammar. Here are a few examples:

• “fill” instead of feeling
• “know” instead of now
• “taking” instead of taken
• “observatory”
• “he don’t really need me”
• “you to boss”
• “in stead”
• “when she seen Dave come in”
• “bomb barding”
• “were first going to Mars”

It looks like the writer didn’t have an editor or a publishing house. Or, if he did, they never bothered to read the manuscript before releasing the book to the world, not even a simple spell-check.

8. Irene Iddesleigh (Amanda McKittrick Ros)

Irene Iddesleigh

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Amanda McKittrick Ros is commonly referred to as the best worst writer in the history of literature. In this book, she delivers her work of genius, in what many reviewers consider to be the worst book ever. This book talks about Irene’s journey through many intense situations, including love interests, uncertain decisions, incarceration, escape, won and lost fortunes, and many awful deaths.

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