The CLUNKERS of 2017

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The CLUNKERS of 2017

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Dec 28, 2017, 12:13pm

For the 12th year in a row, here's the place to post your "clunkers" of the year: the books you just couldn't get through, the ones you threw across the room, or the books you finished but really disliked. Go ahead, tell us how you really feel! :-)

Post one or several and tell us why it gets your vote as a clunker.

Worst of 2006

Worst of 2007

Worst of 2008

Worst of 2009

Worst of 2010

Worst of 2011

Worst of 2012

Worst of 2013

Worst of 2014

Worst of 2015

Worst of 2016

Remember, one reader's clunker is another reader's treasure!

Dec 28, 2017, 1:13pm

Heather, the Totality by Matthew Weiner
Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough

Edited: Dec 28, 2017, 7:03pm

The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell
I loved Mitchell's Cloud Atlas but I had a really hard time getting through this book.

All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders
This book was also all over the place for me and I had a hard time following the plot line. I notice this was someone else's clunker last year.

Dec 28, 2017, 8:02pm

Knausgaard's Autumn was a stunning disappointment as it was the first of four season books
and so was as anticipated as the weird and strangely compelling first book in his My Struggle series.

This one was boring, cloying, and more cringe boring - I barely read the first chapter, then skimmed a bit looking for ANY
of his previous sometimes noble insights. Nada.

Dec 29, 2017, 12:31pm

I did not enjoy The Spy: A Novel of Mata Hari by Paulo Coelho because it felt more like the author was trying to fill in a timeline than share a story.

My other clunker was Losing Battles by Eudora Welty. I think it would have made a better short story.

Dec 29, 2017, 6:55pm

Glass Houses by Louise Penny. Despite the glowing reviews and having enjoyed other entries in the series, I ran out of gas for this one. Struggled to finish it and was happy when I did.

Dec 29, 2017, 9:52pm

Charlatan. A book I expected to like based on my interests and the friend who recommended it to me. I technically finished it, but about half way through started a pretty extensive skim. In fact now that I think about it, I'm not even certain I did finish it. I think it was roughly half read, quarter skimmed, quarter skipped.

Dec 31, 2017, 9:50am

My only huge "stinker" of the year: The Rifle by Gary Paulsen

Gary Paulsen is an excellent storyteller, and I have read a number of his books about nature and survival. As I started reading The Rifle, I was entranced with his descriptions of early America, and the tale of a gunsmith determined to make the best rifle he could. It wasn't until I got about halfway through this small book before I started seeing some indication that this was not just a tale of a man and a rifle, but I continued reading to the end.

I cannot and will not recommend this book, because, unfortunately, the author turns it into a heavy-handed political statement, and ruins the enjoyment of the first part. What a shame.

Jan 1, 2018, 12:38am

The Great Zoo of China by Matthew Reilly is one of the worst books I've ever read. A complete rip-off of Jurassic Park, the constant unreal violence and ridiculous coincidences made this book unreadable.

I found White Noise by Don Delillo to be pretentious crap, Fear by Dirk Kurbjuweit full of too often-tried tropes, Rubyfruit Jungle by Rita Mae Brown dull as ditchwater, and My Life among the Serial Killers by Helen Morrison disappointingly tame.

Feb 12, 2018, 1:17am

ahef1963: I agree with you about The Great Zoo Of China. It was reading this book a couple of months ago that made me decide I was no longer a Matthew Reilly fan.

Also I have to mention my disappointment with Terry Brooks' The Sword Of Shannara - after years of meaning to get around to trying some of his work, I found it a real struggle to get through.