I've just finished reading the worst-written book I've ever read. Granted, there have been other books I didn't like and didn't bother to finish, but this time the bad writing is what kept me reading. Each groan-provoking grammatical error, misused word, or ill-written phrase spurred me on to find another one that might be even worse, essentially turning a reading experience into a contest. Winning my vote as the funniest sentence in the whole book was this one: "K-----n stopped walking suddenly as did her breathing." Bwahahaha!
There were more misplaced commas and apostrophes in this book than I've ever seen in any other. The correct usage of there/their/they're was a crapshoot. The author's attempt at dialect missed the mark. "Don't chya"? No, I don't. He used gimmicks. Many different paragraphs in the book contained consecutive sentences in which the main character wanted to, thought about, considered, or expected to do something that she did not then go ahead and do. For example, a passage might read (paraphrasing here): "K------n wanted to ..." do whatever. "She did not. She wanted to ..." do something else. "She did not. She wanted to tell him ..." such and such. "She did not." Ho hum.
I suspect that the author had been advised at some point in his life to add more details to his writing in order to bring it to life and help the reader visualize the action. He did that mainly by telling us which hand K-----n used to touch her brow and which balled-up fist the angry man smacked into the palm of which other hand. The book contained so many right and left descriptors that I was not surprised (but was tickled) when I read this one: "S----n affectionately patted her on the rounded bottom of her right butt-cheek ..."
This was a cheap, self-published e-book and I got what I paid for. I can't complain about wasting my money. The fact is that I've bought a lot of inexpensive, self-published books in the last couple of years and have been pleasantly surprised by most of them. Self-publishing is a great way for new authors to get their work in front of readers who might enjoy it and be willing to pay more for future works by the same writers. I wholly support the self-publishing concept.
I also support the concept of kindness, so I'm not going to tell you the title of the book I've written about here or the name of its author. I will tell you that the book has four-and-a-half stars on Amazon.com and that I wish I'd bothered to balance out the five-star reviews I read before I ordered it with the one-star reviews I didn't read until today. I've tried not to put anything in this post that might lead the author here through a Google search. Who am I to disparage his work on my piddling little blog? I'd no more tell him his book stinks than I'd tell him his baby is ugly.
He tried, by golly. He has guts. He put his name on his work and he put it out there, which is way more than I can say for myself. I've certainly never written a book. I've never thought I could, never even tried. But now that I've read his book? Heh. Let's just say that the bar has been lowered. I'm thinking maybe I could do it after all.
Don't hold your breath, though.