Okay, so the title of this post is a little melodramatic, but I like to use every opportunity available to sound like the Comic Book Guy from the Simpsons. Realistically, the worst book ever would have to be Mein Kampf. There’s another terrible book (I can’t remember the name offhand) written by a scarcely known philosopher that argued–somehow using the tenets of existentialism–that women had no souls, or being; that they were non-beings. So those books and whatever books inspired in the Klan would have to be the worst books ever.
What I’m writing about here though is the worst book that I have ever read. Earlier, I wrote of how much I disliked The Humbling, but The Humbling was Ulysses or Anna Karenina compared to my choice for the worst book I’ve read. The book’s full title was Star Wars: The New Jedi Order: Vector Prime. The title’s as stiff and clunky as the book.
I know what you’re probably thinking: it was a Star Wars book, so what do you expect? False. Sometimes genre novels are fun, even ones that are part of giant franchises. Sometimes after feeling burnt out from reading classics antiquated or contemporary, I like to take a break and read something light and fun and not requiring extraneous thought like a Star Wars book. In some cases, I find ones with swift uses of language and tight plotting, like the SW books by Max Lucendo or Kevin J. Anderson.
That’s not at all what I got from Vector Prime by R. A. Salvatore. Instead what I got was a morbidly upsetting read. I first heard about the book several years ago when it made a full page article in The Oregonian’s (The Pacific NW’s primary newspaper) Arts & Cultural section. It’s fame came not from its quality but from its plot. In the book (get ready for this) Chewbacca dies.
After growing up watching Star Wars on repeat some mornings, I’d come to think of Chewie as a personal friend just about. Imagine hearing that your personal friend died, and only hearing it by reading it in the paper. For a while, I avoided this book like the plague, until I sat down and read it only recently after enough time passed.
Not only does Chewbacca die, but his life is wasted for the sake of this terrible book. It’s basically like his life was flushed down the drain. This isn’t bathroom reading–it’s a toilet.
Its tone barely fits in with other SW books. Its pacing never amounts to any suspense. It features several chapters where a Jedi is strapped to a table and tortured for far too long. If that’s what I’m looking for, I’d watch Saw or Hostel or something (and I hate those types of movies), not turn to a series known for its high adventure and swashbuckling sci-fi finales.
I later found out the decision was made to kill him because SW authors were having a hard time coming up for stuff for him to do in every book. That’s no reason to kill a character. I’ll stop ranting now because I realize this is a whole lot nerdier than most of my posts. If you’re into nerdy stuff though, check out my comic books page.
For these reasons and more, I’m naming this book the worst book I’ve ever read.
What’s the worst book you’ve ever read the whole way through? Please write your example and experience in the comment box.