7. The worst book you’ve read in the last year.
This is hard. I’m going to follow the same rules I used yesterday and stick to books I’ve read in 2013 but I have two contenders, both of which I’ve written about before.
1. Which will come as no surprise to followers of this blog: Love in the Time of Cholera (Gabriel Garcia Marquez). Cholera is the story of the love between Florentino Ariza and Fermina Daza told in flashbacks. Covering 50 years we follow the two of them through their lives until they are reunited after the death of Fermina Daza’s husband. The issue I have with the book is that Florentino Ariza is an entirely objectionable character who after pledging to keep himself pure for Fermina Daza, proceeds to sleep with just about every woman he comes across in 40 years or more. The morals displayed in the book are so loose you could fit a large elephant through them and I was frankly outraged by some of the goings-on and continually disgusted by Florentino Ariza’s blatant disregard for anyone other than himself. Not to mention the ridiculous things he does – at one point he makes himself sick eating flowers because they smell like Fermina Daza. I mean what the actual…?
Having said that the book itself isn’t badly written and the sections that centre on Fermina Daza were more enjoyable as I found her to be much more sympathetic and I could take more of an interest in her life.
So it has good and (mostly) bad parts to it.
2. Lend Me Your Ears (Boris Johnson). This is a book I’d been looking forward to but ultimately failed to finish. It’s actually a collection of newspaper articles rather than a story with a coherent narrative. I tried really hard to persevere with it but the fact is that my interest in politics is rather on the small side and the years covered were a bit early for me to have a deep enough understanding of what was going on. What would have been really great is if the articles had been interspersed with some actual information about the events, making it more of a political history rather than a “look what I wrote mummy!”
So I’m not sure which should win the title of worst book of 2013 since they were both bad for different reasons. Love in the Time of Cholera would probably win if I absolutely had to pick but having said that I do enjoy talking (ranting) about it so it’s still had a positive effect on my life!