Follow TV Tropes

There are subjectives, and then there are these. While you may believe a work fits here, and you might be right, people tend to have rather vocal, differing opinions about this subject.
Please keep these off of the work's page.


Horrible / Literature

Go To

"Get away from the book by any means you can. Or, if you've been unfortunate enough to pay money for it already, fling it against the wall. It'll make a really satisfying thwack! when it hits. Just make sure no pets or toddlers are in the way."
Smart Bitches, Trashy Books on "Top Ten Signs You're Reading A Very Bad Romance Novel" ( link)

There are some books you pick up and read, then put down and never pick up again. Others, after you've read them, find themselves hurled against a wall pretty damned quick. This is a tribute to those "fallen heroes".


Important Notes:

  1. Merely being offensive in its subject matter is not sufficient. Hard as it is to imagine at times, there is a market for all types of deviancy, no matter how small a niche it is. It has to fail to appeal even to that niche to qualify as this.

  2. This page is not for horrible individual chapters of otherwise good books. For those, see DethroningMoment.Literature.

Examples (more-or-less in alphabetical order):

    open/close all folders 

    Authors and Publishers 
  • Alphascript Publishing and Betascript Publishing have published over 300,000 books. Sounds pretty interesting, until you realize that all of them are just a bunch of Wikipedia articles. "High Quality Content by WIKIPEDIA Articles!", the cover of each book states. It gets worse, though. The title of each book is a complete lie. For example, why does Giving Circles have a Wikipedia article on the United Kingdom in it? While the Wikipedia article on "Giving Circles" is in the book, it only takes up one page of the 108-page book. The covers are epic failures, such as the book on the Fieseler Fi 167 showing a C-130, and another on the 1867 Canadian Election showing the United States flag. The editors don't check the articles to make sure they're accurate, which means that vandalism could end up in the books. The books are often only 40-50 pages long, yet cost up to $100 — for Wikipedia articles that you can get on the internet for free. Many of the books are "Temporarily out of stock" on Amazon. How can something can be "out of stock" when it's printed on demand? Flu Press is a similar offender, even offering these so-called books on eBay.
  • Denise Brown Ellis:
    • In 2010, she wrote The Adventures of the Teen Archaeologists: (Book 1) The Land of the Moepek. Full of Mary Sues, dull conversations that have nothing to do with the plot, and lots of grammar errors.
    • ANTIGUA: The Land of Fairies Wizards and Heroes is just as bad. It is most notable for featuring at least as many exclamation marks as it does full stops. The excerpt available on Amazon is So Bad, It's Good, but the novelty wears thin before long. It also purports to be a teen novel, but reads like a book made for preschoolers. Worse, the author blatantly advertised her book in review sections and insulted people who tried to give her advice. And there's an unironic, genuine 4 Star review that was blatantly written by the author or somebody close to her.
  • Books LLC's Wikipedia Source series might be an even worse example of published Wikipedia articles than the aforementioned Alphascript and Betascript Publishing. In addition to possessing all their flaws, the books' content seems to have been randomly selected by an automated algorithm, leading to verbal diarrhea such as "Gremlin Interactive Games: Loaded, Fragile Allegiance, Jungle Strike, Top Gear 3000, Harlequin, Body Harvest, Utopia: The Creation of a Nation" and incoherent descriptions. The presentation also has the barest minimum effort put into it, with most of the covers just having words in a basic font on it, like this..
  • Dario Ford published two books on Amazon, Skywalker and 'NDRANGHETA. They are poorly-written and barely-edited works that desperately try to emulate Terry Pratchett and Tom Clancy respectively, without any of the intelligence, charm, and style. His books probably would have gone unnoticed...had he not tried to claim that Pratchett and Clancy co-wrote these books. Neither of them wrote a single word for either of Ford's books, and Ford's attempts to capitalize off of their Author Existence Failure with half-assed stories is a disgusting joke.
  • While Robert Stanek has written some passable-to-good nonfiction books, his "bestselling fantasy novels" are more famous for their low quality and the ludicrously unethical tactics he used to promote them (including the use of Sock Puppets to pose as fans) than their actual content:
    • His main series, the Ruin Mist Chronicles, is full of typos, clichés, stilted dialogue, bad Purple Prose, flat characters who are uninteresting at best and unlikable at worst, and writing so awkward that it makes the bland plot downright incomprehensible.
    • The "children's versions" of Ruin Mist are no better. Instead of actually rewriting the books into something kid-friendly, Stanek just split each of them in two and called it a day. Of course, he doesn't tell you this.
    • The Dark Path is supposedly a retelling of the Ruin Mist Chronicles from a different point of view. In reality, it's mostly content that was copied and pasted from the original series. The order of the scenes has been changed a bit, which just makes the plot even more confusing than it already was. Dark Path also contains several errors that were absent from Ruin Mist, which suggests that it was just an early draft published for a quick buck.
    • The Dark Path also got split in half and released as two separate books. Again, Stanek won't tell you that.
  • Nancy Stouffer is a writer who gained infamy in 2000 after claiming that her 1984 books The Legend of Rah and the Muggles and Larry Potter and his Best Friend Lilly provided the inspiration for J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter series, using flimsy comparisons between the two books (such that the fact that they both contained "characters in tights" and "wooden doors" among other things) to try to bolster her case. From that, one could be forgiven for getting the impression that she's a paranoid narcissist with no concept or understanding of tropes, coincidences, or context. The case was notable partly because of the Frivolous Lawsuit (which Stouffer lost comprehensively) and partly because those books were unspeakably awful, especially the former.
    • The Legend of Rah and the Muggles has so many blunders that a full list of them would at least double the size of this page, so here are a few handy plot breakdowns should you wish to subject yourself to them anyway. Once news from the lawsuit started spreading, a small-time publisher tried to cash in on No Such Thing as Bad Publicity and did a small printing run; said publisher quickly went bankrupt. To give a quick summary, the story can't decide what it wants to be at all. It starts with two baby twins who are sent from a post-apocalyptic wasteland by their mother who is never brought up again. The twins are rescued by friendly talking sea animals with speech impediments(!) and "spooners of the deep" (which are never explained what they are; even going to the included glossary says they're... "spooners of the deep"). When they get to the land of the titular Muggles, which are grotesquely almost-infantile creatures mutated by radiation, they bring the sun back after a nuclear winter. Somehow. Throw in wild inconsistencies about the Muggles themselves — such as one character who keeps changing ages, ridiculous elements such as a "lemonade lake", and the antagonist, one of the twins who is Always Second Best, gets sick from keeping his hideout in a ridiculously-irradiated tree, and at the end, it turns out that he and his minions are literally scared of their own shadows. Rah doesn't care about his brother at all, the plot focusing on keeping him down instead of trying to redeem him. And to top it all off, it ends by suddenly turning into a fable about where stars come from! Which is it? Dark apocalyptic drama? Sickeningly sweet fantasy? A child's ghost story? A fable? It's as if nothing whatsoever about the story was planned out in advance.
    • Larry Potter and his Best Friend Lilly fares no better. It has no real story other than "Larry Potter has a lot of friends", which is well below the standards of children's literature. The illustrations are even worse than her other book, with the two titular protagonists looking nothing like human beings at all.
  • Gloria Tesch is a teenage writer that rose to infamy thanks to her self-published Maradonia Saga, which was backed by her own Stage Dad with an army of lawyers and sock puppet accounts ready to silence anyone who tried to speak out against it. She was promoted as "the world's youngest novelist" even though other people younger than her (even before her) have already written works that were not only of better quality, but also traditionally published. Her "saga" is supposedly a series of six/eight/nine/ten books (she just can't make up her mind, but insists it's a trilogy), but only five of them were actually released.note  Every book is a 700 page Doorstopper, each ridden with awful formatting, a plot knee deep in Mary Sues, callous sociopathic protagonists, and a confusing story that plagiarizes ideas from other, far more credible works. For some reason she thought this dreck was good enough to deserve a movie adaptation - see Live-Action Films G-M for more info. Sporks of the entire series can be found here; expect such exciting things as a talking grasshopper, Apollyon and the Club of Evil (that sings Mother Earth songs and has a water park), the salsa dance, and more! This Kiwi Farms thread has a lot of discussion on the Tesch family's antics, including poorly-made music videos starring Gloria, as well as scams involving the movie's production.
  • Nigel Tomm is an "absurdist artist" who has acquired many detractors for his narcissistic and pretentious attitude. His works, in multiple media, aren't much better:

    Standalone examples 
  • 101 WACKY Computer Jokes by J.B. and J.C. Stamper is one of the worst joke books ever made, and that is saying something. Every single "joke" is a cheap, nonsensical pun based loosely around some computing term: "What did the prisoner do when he got a computer? He ESCAPED!" Get it? Because there's a key called the ESCAPE key! And then there's "The Presidents of the Computed States of America," which is nothing but the names of US presidents turned into computer puns. This terrible joke is made even worse by the fact that they not only came up with puns for just five presidents, but gave each one his own page, leaving the rest of the page blank, without even an illustration. Seanbaby tore into this book in the third part of this Cracked article.
  • 500 Manga Creatures by Yishan Li might have been a decent clipart/how to draw book...if you like blatantly plagiarized Pokémon and Digimon artwork. Just by looking at the cover, you can see what are clearly supposed to be Caterpie, Dragonair, Hoothoot, Oddish, Latias, Angewomon and Mummymon, as well as (for some reason) Artemis and a catgirl centaur stolen from a Deviantart gallery. Pretty much all of the reviews for it on Amazon point out how a good 90% of the artwork is blatantly ripped off from official Pokemon art.
  • Alfie's Home (1993) is an attack on homosexuals thinly disguised as a story about a boy who was molested by his Creepy Uncle. There are holes in both the plot and the logic. The drawings look like drunken Schoolhouse Rock concept sketches, seem to defy all perspective, and could have been done in MS Paint. Even worse, it plugs therapy based on a scientific theory that had been discredited decades earlier, and the boy's uncle pulls a Karma Houdini. And it was aimed at toddlers?
  • All politics aside, A.J. Weberman's America's Most Dangerous Nazi is a bias-ridden, hateful piece of non-fiction that borders on libel and has no reason to exist beyond politician-bashing. Not even the covers (either of them) can resist Godwinning, by means of Photoshop. Rather than even make an attempt at neutrality or objectivity, the book resorts to slamming Ron Paul and his supporters with cheap insults, picking the worst of the latter and representing them as the whole, even going as far to slamming non-supporters such as Glenn Greenwald with these insults just because they said a few good things about Paul. Every argument presented here is completely one-sided and transparent, foreswearing any attempts at fairness in favor of getting the message across. Allegedly, Weberman found himself on the receiving end of several libel lawsuits as a result of this book's release. If it were better known, it would qualify as a case of Unwanted Assistance for Ron Paul's detractors and whatever legitimate criticisms they may have.
  • The Baldur's Gate novelizations by Phillip Athans are a prime example of how not to adapt a video game into book form. The storyline is little more than a seemingly unending series of fight scenes with characters being killed off as quickly as they are introduced, not even touching upon the themes of the series and leaving out all of the intrigue and story present in the original games. Blatant character defilement abounds, with Jaheria, a tough, strong woman in the games, being reduced to a little more than a Damsel in Distress who exists to have sex with the main character. Her Nice Guy husband Khalid becomes a Jerk Ass Domestic Abuser for no reason whatsoever, and Imoen is turned from a plucky, cheerful girl to a depressed victim of the main character’s bullying who, for no reason other than Fanservice, has a pointless lesbian sex scene. The main character, Abdel Adrian, is an unlikable and uninteresting Jerk Ass who does little beyond fighting and having sex with various women and shows almost none of the interesting traits of the player character in the games, and yet is somehow fawned over and praised by almost everyone else in the story. The result was an adaptation entirely reviled by the fan base. It received near unanimous bashing on both Amazon and Goodreads and Wizards of the Coast themselves made the novels Canon Discontinuity. Even the writer of the final book, Drew Karpyshyn, lamented that there was little he could do to please fans after the mess made by the first two books.
  • Blood: The Last Vampire: Night of the Beasts by Mamoru Oshii is a continuation of the anime film Blood: The Last Vampire, which stars a vampire hunter named Saya fighting monsters. Given that the film involved a lot of blood, monster-hunting, and gory action, you'd think the book would be more of the same. Instead, the novel is less of a story about vampire-hunting and more of a clumsy collection of essays that fail to form any semblance of a coherent narrative. Rather than focus on Saya, the story focuses on a bland male student who goes from location to location listening to people have philosophical discussions and debates on increasingly uninteresting topics such as body disposal, the hunter hypothesis, and religious conspiracies. Saya, meanwhile, briefly appears only three times in the entire book and barely interacts with the protagonist, if at all. The novel is such an ill-conceived mess that one can only feel sorry for the translator who had to translate Oshii's incoherent and incredibly dull ramblings.
  • The award for "most useless martial arts manual of all time" could easily go to The Book of the Ninja. A "ninja manual" that includes "deadly fighting secrets", only to tell the reader to exercise caution to not kill people with them, this poor excuse for a book is horribly put together (photos were basically xeroxed onto the pages, the "About the Author" page has a picture of the author, but then goes into a tangent about who ninjas were, etc.) and contains one of the most laughable "fighting techniques" in history. The photos have nothing to do with the moves they're talking about, looking more like vague limb flailing at best. This video does a pretty good job of tearing it apart.
  • Robert Newcomb's Chronicles of Blood and Stone series was billed as the next big epic fantasy series by its publisher, Del Rey, and given all sorts of heaping praise by reviewers who were clearly both bribed into giving a positive review and incapable of reading the books themselves. The first in the series, The Fifth Sorceress, presents all women as either stupid and complacent or horrendously, disgustingly evil and corrupt; it's essentially a series of one Deus ex Machina after another, and suggests that pregnancies last for somewhere between 24 hours and six months. Frighteningly, the sequel is several dozen times worse in every possible way. However, the Chronicles were tame compared to the second trilogy written by Newcomb, The Destinies of Blood and Stone. The final book, ''Rise of the Blood Royal', includes a huge Cliché Storm that makes Hurricane Katrina look like a breezy Spring morning.
  • Collectables: Guitars: Makes, Models, Stars is, even as a bargain bin picture book, not really worth the paper it's printed on. The book itself is very minimal in terms of information and doesn't show any full pictures of the instruments. The more you see incorrect dates of even more modern guitars supposedly being created in 1955, the more you realize that they just didn't care. Take a look at a review of it here.
  • While the Danganronpa fandom may divide on practically every matter, practically everyonenote  agrees that Danganronpa Togami, a three-part Light Novel series, is utter garbage. To describe the story is rather pointless, as whatever narrative is present is filtered through a massive Random Events Plot that takes so many Shocking Swerves to become incomprehensible. The books are full of plot holes and nonsensical developments, some of them plot breaking (a good example is when two characters are able to somehow drive to the Czech Republic from Hokkaido). There are Loads and Loads of Characters, with the characters from the main series being heavily OOC, and the original ones being extremely one-note and unlikable (the intended Tragic Villain goes way too far over the Moral Event Horizon to be sympathetic, and the primary protagonist is probably meant to be The Woobie but instead comes off as a sycophantic Author Avatar). The story is filled with tons of references to literature and obscure history, most of which interrupt the story and make it come off as intensely pretentious, especially the story interrupts itself mid-climax to brag about how good the author is. Oh, and if you came in wanting to read about Byakuya Togami, you don't even get that, as he spends the vast majority of the story Out of Focus.
  • Das Reich Artam, an Alternate History set in a victorious Nazi Germany which even exists more than a hundred years later. If you think this could become problematic, you're right — while not stating it outright, the author seems to have a bit too much sympathy for the Nazis and not too much for their democratic successors who wreck the Reich, so the Germans in the settled East (formerly Russia) are the only upright ones left. Add some soft porn for "controversy" and a scene about developing Newspeak copied almost word-by-word from Nineteen Eighty-Four, and you've got a stinker for the ages.
  • Diary of a Lonely Demon, written by Jon David, is a classic example of what happens when a Marty-Stu meets Misogyny. In a nutshell, the story revolves around one Jasper Davis, a wangsty self-insert that blames everything that's wrong with his life on evil women. Jasper then runs into Morgalla Smythe, a demon girl that apparently turned Christian thanks to her new-found boyfriend. All of a sudden, demons show up and it's up to Jasper and Morgalla to stop them. Ultimately an Author Tract on how women are wrong and how Jon is right, the author sets up a plethora of flat characters, adds a dash of blatant racism, sexism and other offenses, and caps it all off with a metric shit ton of grammatical errors and plot holes. Include the fact that many passages are often copied from other works, and that the author suffers from an inability to take constructive criticism properly, and the book just keeps getting worse.
  • In the wake of Dragon Ball Z's monumental success, a lot of guidebooks were released to the general market — some of them good, some of them... not so much. Dragon Ball Z: An Unauthorized Guide, by the mother-son team of Lois and Danny Gresh, is the most absolutely worthless of the lot. A lot of the "jokes" are about Piccolo yelling "Feh! Feh!" followed by Japanese swearing, the section on DBZ roleplaying devolves into a pointless example session involving global warming and styrofoam (!), and the chapter on the DBZ games mentions importing titles... only to completely handwave the fact that most U.S. consoles can't play Japanese games without modding the console. Even worse, several of the high reviews on are from "A Customer", and it's pretty obvious that the entire book was marketed towards the younger potential fanbase who hadn't even seen the show, as opposed to those who had (and thus knew better than to go anywhere near this dreck with a 10-foot pole). If you want to learn more, here is a review from the writer of the much better Dragon Ball Culture books.
    • As a guide, it fails miserably on several levels. On the one hand, it only gives little more than the most basic trivia regarding the characters, episodes, etc. of the series. Now, this wouldn't be so bad given it is supposed to be geared towards people new to the show. But, it never really goes too far beyond that. It doesn't go extremely in-depth about the franchise, but it also doesn't really explain anything about the show's mythos or whatnot either. To make matters worse, the book tends to go on pointless tangents about completely unrelated things. In fact, you're more likely to learn pointless trivia on nearly everything else (including that Arachibutyrophobia is the fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of one's mouth. No, seriously, that's actually mentioned in the book) than you are about the Dragonball franchise. This turns the book from simply being lacking in any in-depth information on DBZ into a confusing mess.
  • Dragons: Lexicon Triumvirate sounds cool in theory: it features dragons, cyborgs, firearms and computers! Unfortunately, the author (whose personal views won't be discussed here) ruined it with poor writing. The plot is incoherent, the characters are one-dimensional and the clunky prose is full of thesaurus abuse. The author tried to make the main character seem intelligent by having him recite, learn and muse over scientific facts, but failed because (1) they tend to be high or lower school physics — not exactly very impressive, and (2) sometimes he can't even get that right (and this is supposed to be sci-fi!). While the book has a 3-star rating on Amazon, its 5-star reviews are either joke reviews or from suspected Sock Puppet accounts.
  • Empress Theresa may be quite possibly the most notorious case of authorial narcissism in literature history. A Doorstopper at over 400 pages, the book is an incomprehensible mishmash of flat and uninteresting characters, a non-existent story, plot holes big enough to drive a truck through, a number of story elements that simply make no sense, an overly long amount of time dedicated to ogling an underage girl's body, bad pacing, bad grammar and much, much more. What really puts it here though is its writer Norman Boutin, an insane case of Small Name, Big Ego and Can't Take Criticism who, when not outright attempting to censor complaints, goes on insane diatribes as he attempts to argue the book is the greatest in human history. Down the Rabbit Hole's Fredrick Knudsen did an episode detailing the depths of Boutin's narcissism, and then devoted an entire livestream just to tearing the book itself apart.
  • Firefly by Piers Anthony. The Xanth author still has his fans despite his overall sleazy reputation, but even they won't defend this 1990 standalone horror offering. The plot deals with four people who must stop a mysterious, man-eating monster that lures its prey with sex pheromones before slurping out their innards, leaving nothing but skin and bones behind. Sounds intriguing enough, but it's bogged down by several things, including but not limited to: a bizarre romantic subplot between impotent caretaker Geode and neglected housewife Jade, childish and sophomoric writing choices (for example: during the climax, Geode gets anally tentacle-raped by the Firefly and the narration conveys this with the word "cornholing") and a tacked-on Green Aesop to explain the Firefly's origin.

    With all this in mind, the book could have very easily counted as So Bad, It's Good... but one thing pushes it well and truly into Horrible territory: the pedophilia. To elaborate, there is a solid, ten-page, extremely graphic sequence of a five-year-old girl having sex with a grown man (which, in-story, Jade is telling to Geode in an attempt to give him an erection.) This is framed as a courtroom scene in which the defense attorney justifies the child rapist's behavior by claiming that they were "lovers in the truest sense", and that the little girl's family should be on trial for neglecting her! Yes, this is actually in the book. Yes, this actually got published. Thankfully it's now out of print, like most of Piers' other non-Xanth works. Here's a more in-depth review by YouTuber David Popovich.
  • Two of several Friday the 13th books released in a deal between New Line Cinema and publisher Black Flame:
    • Friday the 13th: Hell Lake, a Black Flame book, is a Doorstopper with pacing problems that completely derails Jason's character. The author uses stereotypes about him and ignores earlier canon in the process. Jason now hates sex so much, he'll drop what he's doing to kill some rapists and their victim. He now can literally teleport; just thinking about him apparently summons him. At one point, he appears to materialize from a television. Through an unexplained mental bond, he befriends the secondary villain. He has henchmen following him around a few times. He flays a guy and wears his skin and clothing as a disguise. (Ed Gein taught him how to in Hell. Yes, that's canon.) He screams in pain and throws tantrums when he's hurt, and in one sequence he mows dozens down with a machine gun. Most of the characters, who are from the backwoods New Jersey town of Crystal Lake, talk like stereotypical Upper Class Twits (even the jocks!) and insult people by calling them "fool". And the author keeps referring Camp Crystal Lake as Lake Blood instead of using the correct nickname Camp Blood.
    • Jason X: Death Moon is also horrific. Half the time, it feels like the vaguely pretentious nonsensical ramblings of a stoner, due to the author constantly going going off on weird rants unrelated to anything. Various concepts (Teknopriests? are introduced but never explained, and the story's unreadable half the time due to the fact that you can't tell what the fuck is going on.
  • The official strategy guide for Final Fantasy IX is universally hailed as the worst strategy guide of all time. Likely due to Executive Meddling from Squaresoft, the guide consisted of extremely short, little-detail sections that asked the reader to visit Square's PlayOnline website for the actual information. There was also a misprint during one of the Disc 2 boss fights, Lani, whose strategy inexplicably was copy and pasted with one of the first mini-bosses in Disc 1. The website had the actual strategy to defeat her. Given that this was in 2000, most people didn't have access to the internet, and those who did would be better off visiting GameFAQs anyway. When Prima did a 2015 omnibus re-release for the VII, VIII and IX guides, it got a complete overhaul.
  • Ghost Hunting 2.0: Breaking New Ground is a book by Chris Bores (better known as The Irate Gamer) that's supposedly about new methods of ghost hunting that he developed, but in actuality is just another testament to his already famously massive ego. The book is plagued with spelling, grammar, and formatting errors, which Bores openly defends as being intentional. Most of the "facts" presented are self-contradicting and have little to no evidence, sourcing, or reasoning other than his own word that the experts are wrong and he is right. The majority of the tools and texts he brings up, which he claims no one else uses, have been thoroughly debunked as useless by professional ghost hunters (including peanut butter baits and the Tibetan Book of the Dead, which is an extremely poorly translated Buddhist self-help guide). He spends half of the book making references to things like Batman and Scooby-Doo. He repeatedly brags about how he was at one point the 55th most subscribed person on YouTube, conveniently leaving out the fact that it was for his video game review show. And by the end, he declares that he has created a new branch of psychology. On top of all of this, the book has a 3-star rating on Amazon due to the actual critiques being counterbalanced by a flood of 5-star reviews written by the author's own spambots and defensive Irate Gamer fans who admit to not having read it.
  • Hamster Huey and the Gooey Kablooie, a lazy Defictionalization of the Calvin and Hobbes bedtime story and a good reason why Bill Watterson never discussed the plot in the strip. The story itself is unimaginative, it may have been published for a quick buck and the illustrations are crude. The "author" (Mabel Barr) shares its name with the in-universe version (Mabel Syrup) and it's only eight pages long with a good chunk of the last an order form. To put it in perspective, buying it at the selling price of $20.95 translates to more than $3 a page with shipping! All of its positive Amazon reviews are from the author's hometown.
  • Clifford Bowyer's deservedly obscure Imperium Saga could rival The Eye of Argon for sheer bad writing. But it gets worse by having the characters toss around the Idiot Ball every five seconds. The first book in the series alone provides the following highlights:
    • "Legendary" Warlord Braksis sets an invading three-headed "tragon" on fire and watches it demolish a town in its death throes, then afterward decides it was a bad idea... but people praise him for the destruction of their city.
    • Heroic groups of five fight off hordes of 50 or more without a single injury. Seriously.
    • There are so many races that it's hard to believe that the planet's ecology is intact. There's a reference to a "non-human troll", as if a fantasy creature could be both human and troll.
    • A sex scene that uses "raging inferno" five times in three pages.
  • Jokes for Minecrafters: Booby Traps, Bombs, Boo-Boos, and More by Michele, Jordon, and Steven Hollow is a book that is notorious for being very bad. It includes terrible jokes, terrible illustrations, and more. The first chapter is "Booby Traps and Bombs". Considering Minecraft doesn't have bombs; it has TNT and creepers. It's pretty bad there's a whole chapter like this. Many of the jokes seem like unintentional Anti-Humor (example: What do you call a creeper with a bomb in his hands? Doesn't matter; he will be blown to smithereens!). The book also includes tongue twisters (some of which are so irrelevant you began to wonder if the authors have even played Minecraft), a section for limericks, poems, and haikus (An example of a haiku is "Did you hear that sound? Oh no, a ticking time bomb! Last sound was kaboom!" (time bombs are something not found in the game, mind you). Some of this poetry also leaks into other chapters, such as a haiku which doesn't even follow the 5-7-5 meter. The book contains riddles, which is more just like Minecraft trivia, terrible puns, a chapter called "Boo-Boos Made By Noobs" (a joke found in this chapter is "Did you hear about the player who was so freaked out that when she was attacked by a few mobs she forgot to use her sword? What a noob".), a chapter stating things that might tell you you're a noob, a chapter of "Sayings We'd Like To See in Minecraft" which is Filler at its finest, among others. Not much else to note, but there is a joke in there which is eerily similar to a popular dead baby joke (What's funnier than a baby zombie pigman? A baby zombie pigman dressed up as Notch"). And an inexplicable amount of jokes that use "He was destroyed!" or some slight variation thereof as a punchline. In general, it's a failure of a book with a bunch of statements passed off as "jokes" that even the smallest of kids would never find entertaining. Check it out here. Or listen to the fine folks over at Soot House take the piss out of it here.
  • Mass Effect: Deception, a tie-in book released in the months leading up to Mass Effect 3. Notably, it was also the first novel not written by the series' head writer, Drew Karpyshyn. It was supposed to be a sidestory featuring the continuing adventures of Gillian Grayson; it wound up gaining the hatred of fans for its tactless treatment of homosexuality and autism, a list of research errors longer than IMDB's "Goofs" page for Battlefield Earth, and its overall absence of anything resembling consistency or continuity. Not that it fared any better among non-fans—long, drawn out chapters (often expository and redundant) were a common occurrence. Proofreading, however... was not, to say the very least. Publisher Del Rey openly apologized for (and promised to radically rewrite, though it never happened) the book.
  • The James Murphy translation of Mein Kampf took what was something already derided as being overly long and hideously thick in its original form and somehow made it worse. The writing style was changed drastically, alterations and expansions were blatant and hackneyed, and spelling and grammar were all over the place. The book resembles a bad fanfic of the original; its clunky, dull, flowery prose results at least partially from the author's habit of looking up the words he didn't know in a German-English dictionary and picking the first definition he saw. Worse, it was submitted incomplete when Murphy changed his mind about the Nazis and fled Germany, meaning the press had to finish translation. Perhaps fortunately, the few copies that the Nazi press produced were lost until 2008, effectively destroying any chance for this abomination to become anything more than a bizarre curiosity.
  • Mermaid's Kiss And Siren's Song, a poorly disguised Final Fantasy VII fanfic published on Amazon. All the character are thinly-veiled Expies and one-dimensional, there's Rouge Angles of Satin everywhere, and... you know what? The reviews speak for themselves.
  • Mission Earth, a decalogy note  by L. Ron Hubbard. Weighing in at nearly 4,000 pages, this was Hubbard's idea of clever Sci-Fi satire. The story moves at an incredibly-slow pace and showcases every sexual perversion you could think of and then some. Rampant misogyny abounds. The story's nothing more than a thinly-veiled pamphlet for Scientology and keeps hitting the reader over the head with its messages against psychology and psychiatry. Here's a highly-detailed overview.
  • Mortal Kombat: Deception was a fine game, but its official strategy guide from BradyGames was almost unreadable. To start with, apparently nobody proofread the damn thing, as typos litter almost every page resulting in colossal examples like, "Dairou will appears, kills the guards and sets you free." Only a few of the game's Fatalities are given, along with one or two of the suicide moves; it seems the author forgot that half the reason anyone plays Mortal Kombat at all is just for the finishing moves. Ghostly Liu Kang appears as a secret character in the game - this was even revealed in certain previews for the game - but the guide goes to a clumsy effort to hide him by including his movelist & suggested strategy while omitting his name & those of his fighting styles & moves. There aren't even any screenshots in this section; indeed, there really aren't any pictures at all. Clearly, the Konquest section was based on an early build; many items are nowhere near where they're said to be, and it goes by a coordinate grid system that clearly changed in development. Even worse, this section is organized by realm, so since you have to go back & forth between realms in the game, you have to flip back & forth between sections in this strategy guide. Furthermore, the Krypt - where the hell is it? At least BradyGames went to the effort to acknowledge its existence in the previous game's strategy guide even though it was still left to you to find out what was in each koffin and how much it kost, but here there isn't even a section for you to write this data in at all. There isn't even a chapter of any kind for the Krypt, one of the biggest aspects of the game. The book also includes a useless Kombat Kodex that was meant to be used online, though apparently whatever they were planning to do with it never happened. One "nifty" extra is a fold-out at the end of the book that has character bios on it. It would be kinda cool... if all of them were in fact right: Half of Kobra's is missing and Noob/Smoke's last half is replaced with that of Havik's. Also included is a preview of the comic book series that was never released. The unfinished concept art you see of it in this guide? That's literally all that exists of it. You are holding the entire series, such as it is, in one hand with this guide. Finally, as a strategy guide for a fighting game its usefulness is already pretty limited - it's one of those genres where you would do best to come up with your own strategy rather than trying to read & memorize someone else's ideas for what to do with such-and-such character, but as if individual character strategies weren't enough there's also a section describing each arena in great detail so you know exactly what to look for when it comes to stage traps & fatalities. One section, describing the Courtyard, even admits there's nothing to say about it. Tellingly, 12 out of the 13 reviews posted to Amazon are only one star (the other is a two-star review).
  • "Nerd Porn Auteur" by Ernest Cline. To call it poetry would be a crime against language, for not a single line scans in any way. Every single line has a different number of syllables from the ones before or after it, and no attention is paid to the natural rhythm of speech, so it definitely isn't free verse, either. The only way it could be passed off as a poem is because of the nonstandard line breaks. If that were not bad enough, the entire poem is just a "Nice Guy" complaining about girls sleeping with jocks instead of people like him, and, despite claiming to dislike the objectification of women, does so himself, without any self-awareness. Not to mention that "nerd porn" almost certainly exists already— this is the Internet, after all. Every single comment on the linked page states that it has no scansion and barely deserves to be called poetry at all.
    • "Nerd Porn Auteur" is also included in a poetry collection, titled The Importance of Being Ernest. (No, not that one.) All of it fails at being poetry and is more like blog posts or short stories with random line breaks inserted, and range in subject matter from the Airwolf TV show to having Nostradamus as a roommate to cunnilingus (yes, really). None are great, but "Nerd Porn Auteur" is definitely the worst of the lot.
  • No Touching by Aileen Deng. Let's put it this way — the Asexual Visibility and Education Network, who were responsible for its very commissioning, would kindly like to forget it ever existed. The book was published to promote awareness about Asexuality and debunk some of the most common myths, but the writer is incredibly ignorant of the theme and can't convey correctly what little she gets right, giving us instead a cliché storm that makes you want to scream to the protagonist "Stop Being Stereotypical!". What little enjoyable stuff this tome has is ruined by the unpolished writing and inconsistent characterization. Elizabeth the Gray's review goes into more detail. For a long time this book had a 3-star average on Amazon. Elizabeth and a pair of reviewers gave it one star each note , and two people who haven't reviewed anything else on the site gave it four and five stars. Not to mention, the aforementioned four-star review almost immediately attacks Elizabeth's review. Way to be discreet.
  • Org's Odyssey by Duke Otterland. The whole plot is a Cliché Storm of a fantasy novel about Org of Otterland, a hero born from the daughter of a god who must save Anglia from evil. The beginning explains how the Anthropians came to be, but it comes off as Purple Prose. Moreover, the battles are unfair — the good guys outnumber the evildoers 7 to 1. See the reviews here. More recently, it's become the replacement read for The Eye of Argon at AnthroCon, which started the two-hour session with four readers and ended with over 30. It's figured there's enough fresh material for almost a decade.
  • Glenn Beck's The Overton Window is called one of the worst works of literature ever written. The LA Times said it was less a train-wreck than "a lurching, low-speed derailment halfway out of the station". The Washington Post concurs. Here's a Cracked article about it.
    • How terrible is Beck's prose? Here's an excerpt from the novel:
      "these liberated chestnut curls framed a handsome face made twice as radiant by the mysteries surely waiting just behind those light green eyes."
    • The book is even worse than previously thought established. It turns out The Overton Window is a blatant retread of the 2005 thriller Circumference of Darkness. Overton was even ghostwritten by Circumference writer Jack Henderson. The only difference is that the names are swapped, and the bad guys in Overton are left-wing lunatics instead of right-wing lunatics.
  • The Doctor Who New Adventures story The Pit by Neil Penswick is commonly regarded as the worst Doctor Who novel of all time, not least because of the tedious nature of the story, which is written entirely in Beige Prose to boot. The Doctor is completely useless and does virtually nothing throughout — which to be fair was part of a larger New Adventures Story Arc, but is taken WAY overboard in this novel — and Bernice Summerfield acts completely out of character, coming across as cold-hearted and irritable. Legendary poet William Blake appears as one of the main characters, but is completely wasted and just spends most of his time complaining about the situation he's in. Worst of all, the whole thing ends up being one giant "Shaggy Dog" Story, making it even more infuriating to have to sit through the bland and confusing storyline. Fortunately, you don't have to read through the whole thing; this prologue (originally published in Doctor Who Magazine) illustrates its main problems well enough.
  • Of all the books meant to warn people about the dangers of Pokémon, none are as bad as Phil Arms' book Pokemon and Harry Potter: A Fatal Attraction. Despite what the title says, Harry Potter only gets one chapter in the entire book, which tries (and fails) to equate Pokemon with New Age beliefs, but stumbles into Critical Research Failure (i.e. not realizing that Digimon and Pokemon are made by two different companies, failing to understand that Mewtwo had perfectly good reasons to blow up the lab note , ignoring the fact that you don't actually kill, maim, or steal anyone or anything in the game... and that's just three random errors he made), Rouge Angles of Satin ("J.K. Rawlings"? "Zobat"?), over-reliance on forums and websites already critical of Pokemon, and a note where he outright states he doesn't actually play or read the things he's attacking. Reviews can be found on Amazon here, with an average of 1.8 (with most of the 5-star reviews being troll reviews).
  • Reaper's Creek by Greg Jackson, better known as Onision, in his third foray into literature. While his first two books were bad, this is on a whole new level. The premise is about a boy named Daniel who gets abducted by aliens and is given powers. It starts off decently enough by having his power just be to be able to sense dead bodies, but as the story progresses, he's given New Powers as the Plot Demands to the point of becoming more powerful than God. That's not even an exaggeration. The climax actually has him fighting God. Nearly all challenges he faces are resolved instantly, and anything resembling real adversity comes off as artificial. Daniel is a borderline Sociopathic Hero who goes against his own moral code in the blink-of-an-eye, such as when he went after a serial killer and killed both him and his accomplices (including one who was blackmailed into doing it). Another instance was when he changed his girlfriend simply because he was bored with how she was. Speaking of the girlfriend, there's a graphic sex scene between them. The kicker? The girlfriend was 16, and Daniel was 12. The Squick goes further when there's a timeskip and they're still together, even though he's only 14 and she's 18. There are various grammar and spelling errors, but the most notable instance is during some scenes where Daniel is referred to as "Greg." Not only was he meant to be a self-insert, but Onision neglected to change his name. Out of all of Onision's books, this has the worst reviews, with 1 Star on Amazon, a 1.1 on Good Reads, 1/5 on Apple, and 1% on Google. This book is so bad, Krimson Rogue did a two hour rant on it and dubbed it worse than his known Berserk Button, Twilight.
  • Rise of the Zombies is free on Google Books, but even then you'll want your money back. The book is a pathetic two pages long, and they're the two stupidest pages ever; a father and son are out fishing, when zombie Blackbeard hauls himself onto the boat and eats them. In the space of a sentence, the zombies kill every single person on a nearby island. The president nukes the island, but the zombies somehow learn to fly planes and escape, and (again in just one sentence) kill all life on Earth. Out of nowhere, "Alien's [sic] from the planet Xenan" turn up and blow up Earth. It has to be seen to be believed. Another story by the same author has global warming cause Earth to lose its gravity.
  • The Robot by Paul E. Watson is a self-described "wildly improbable male teen fantasy" in which two awkward high school friends— Gabe, a science-loving geek and Dover, a Casanova Wannabe —discover a Robot Girl named T.R.I.N.A. in the secret laboratory in Gabe's father's basement. They mistakenly activate the robot when trying to have sex with it (yes, really), and T.R.I.N.A. escapes. Gabe and Dover then set out on a quest to foil an assassination plot against Dr. Phil with the help of government agents. Yes, that's the plot. The characters— especially Gabe and Dover —are insufferably unlikeable and stereotypical. The dialogue mainly consists of tired clichés and crass sex jokes. There's a subplot where Gabe tries to connect with his father... which falls flat because the father is extremely mean-spirited all throughout the novel, and the payoff is unsatisfactory (at the end of the story, despite everything that has happened, Gabe's father still grounds his son). Every chapter begins with an inspirational quote, including one about trying new things from Groucho Marx, but the events taking place in the chapters themselves don't live up to them. note  Ridiculously enough, the book is intended for 12-year-olds.
  • The Sacred Seven by Amy Stout is a deservedly obscure fantasy "epic" which is nevertheless only novella-length. The plot's a Cliché Storm in which a Big Bad Evil Sorcerer is trying to take over the world and playing MacGuffin Gotta Catch Them All. The attempts at "originality" are things like forest dwarves and the Big Bad being a female elf leading a troll army instead of the traditional orc army. But what makes this book special is that it has over two dozen point-of-view characters over its meager pagecount in a large font. Most pages have at least one POV switch, which can be to a character in a completely different geographic location having completely different adventures. As you might expect, none of the Loads and Loads of Characters have much of a detectable personality. The whole thing reads like an internet round robin written by a bunch of teenagers.
  • Victoria Foyt's vanity-published book Save The Pearls: Revealing Eden claims to be "the next Hunger Games" with its premise of an apocalyptic world where white people ("Pearls") are the minority, and black people ("Coals") are the "privileged" majority. That doesn't change the fact that it's just a whiny racist fantasizing about a world where her views are easily justified. It's almost unfair to say the implications are unfortunate, as that would imply a subtlety this book completely lacks. Ridiculous lengths and liberties (particularly with its use of science to explain why black people are at an advantage) are taken in a transparent and ineffective attempt make the white characters (and whites as a whole) more sympathetic. That, and the book as a whole is ham-handed and devoid of any real effort. The book is currently rated 1 1/2 stars on Amazon (and just keeps on going down), with there being strong evidence that the handful of positive reviews were faked. A major part of the premise is that the main character has to use paint to disguise herself as a "Coal". The result of this? A promotional video where the actress playing her part is done up in Black Face. Talk about horrid ideas...
  • The first published book of the Chilean author Francisca Solar, La Septima M ("The Seventh M"), a YA/Paranormal detective novel about the investigation of a series of strange suicides in Southern Chile. The main characters are an impossibly beautiful and talented young forensic woman (whom the author calls a "Thanatologist" in one of the worst cases of Separated by a Common Language in the Spanish language) who has an Ambiguous Disorder and takes medication with vaguely defined and inconsistent effects; a detective with No Sense of Humor whose investigative capacities are more of a Informed Ability, and a obnoxious photographer who was intended as a Plucky Comic Relief but comes as The Scrappy instead. The location reeks of Chile is Naziland, every bad police procedural cliché is played straight, the "mystery" is practically ripped off an X-Files filler episode, some of the very tense situations happen in Hanna-Barbera cartoon style (including what may be the worst attempt on playing the Scooby-Dooby Doors for drama), Plot Holes abound, and the Idiot Ball is played like a volleyball match. All the former and the very purple and pretentious writing would make the book hilarious in other circumstances, but here they dogpile to slog the text and infuriate the reader. A sequel (named "El Hada de las Cadenas", "The Faerie of Chains") was eventually written and published, but the editorial decided to release it on digital only...however, Chile is a region where the purchase of digital content isn't very widespread, and eventually it was forgotten.
  • A book that would've barely been a blip if not for the internet — Janine Cross' Touched By Venom (nicknamed The "Venom Cock" Book). "Dragonriders of Pern, Gor, and Clan of the Cave Bear get thrown into a blender and topped off with extra helpings of pain and suffering (and sex with dragons)" is the closest one can come up with as a thumbnail sketch for the plot. To the author's credit, she creates a Crapsack World and never tries to pretend it's anything but. No Writer on Board here. And the two sequels are markedly improved (not good, mind you, but not Horrible) and explain many of the baffling plot points in Venom - like why a society that worships dragons as divine would use them as pack animals, routinely amputate their wings, and eat their eggs as a staple food. The problem here, aside from this book not standing alone, is that Cross takes From Bad to Worse to ludicrous degrees: the Dragon Temple screws Zarq's serf enclave out of all their worldly possessions on a technicality? Sell Zarq's sister into sex slavery to buy food and supplies. Mom schemes to get her back? Scheme backfires, resulting in Dad's execution and Mom and Zarq's banishment. (Did we mention Mom's pregnant, and they're kicked out immediately after she gives birth to a son she's not even allowed to hold?) They find refuge in a convent that houses old dragons? Just in time for Mom to drop dead! Then Zarq has to undergo "circumcision" to be considered "clean and holy". The nuns hold fertility rites with the old dragons. And all that occurs in the first half of the book. (And yes, it does get worse — the damage finally spreads to those around Zarq.)
  • To Train Up A Child, published in 1994, is a parent's guide based on the controversial "Pearl Method" taught by pastor Michael Pearl. Called "a Child abuse manual" by some, this book, among other things, says beating your kids is ok, recommends pulling a newborn's hair if they bite while breastfeeding, lists the best places and what to hit your kids with to avoid leaving bruises, setting a trap for your child and then punishing them for falling for it, and claims if you don't do these things you don't really love your kids. The book was lambasted for its heavy religious meddling, and because the method it teaches has been proven to have caused child deaths. Rachel Oates dissects this book in two parts. In part 2 she is clearly on the verge of tears.


Example of: