Thursday, October 22, 2009

Worst Book Ever, Huh?

I ran across a Google ad in my gmail today.
It claimed that The Cat's Meow: The Annotated Version by David Parker is "The Worst Novel Ever" and "So bad it'll make you cry".
Here's one review:
"Why is David Parker so hard on himself? The Cat's Meow isn't a bad novel, really. Which is not to say that his annotations, in which he mercilessly derides himself for poor plotting and writing choices, aren't hilarious. They are...
I probably won't check it out, but it does look kind of neat. I might check it out if I can get it for a couple of bucks used at a used book store or thrift shop.
Here's the Amazon page.

I would posit, however, that the worst novel ever, intended to be the worst novel ever and written by a number of good authors plus a computer was Atlanta Nights, authored pseudonamously by Travis Tea. 
Here's a quote from the Wikipedia entry:
"Atlanta Nights is a collaborative novel created by a group of science fiction and fantasy authors, with the express purpose of producing a bad piece of work of unpublishable quality to test whether publishing firm PublishAmerica would still accept it.[1] It was accepted, but after the hoax was revealed, the publisher withdrew its offer.[2]

The primary purpose of the exercise was to test PublishAmerica's claims to be a "traditional publisher" which would only accept high-quality manuscripts. Critics have long claimed that PublishAmerica is actually a vanity press which pays no special attention to the sales potential of the books they publish since most of their revenue comes from the authors rather than book buyers. PublishAmerica had previously made some highly derogatory public remarks about science fiction and fantasy writers, because many of their critics came from those communities; those derogatory remarks have influenced the decision to make such a public test of PublishAmerica's claims."
Wiki article here.

That really doesn't do it justice.
A sample does it better justice:
"Richard didn't have as sweet a personality as Andrew but then few men did but he was very well-built. He had the shoulders of a water buffalo and the waist of a ferret. He was reddened by his many sporting activities which he managed to keep up within addition to his busy job as a stock broker, and that reminded Irene of safari hunters and virile construction workers which contracted quite sexily to his suit-and-tie demeanor. Irene was considering coming onto him but he was older than Henry was when he died even though he hadn't died of natural causes but he was dead and Richard would die too someday. . . ."
— from Chapter 25 of Atlanta Nights"

Here's the author's website where you can discuss the book, order it, or buy neat merchandise.
Humorously, while most books can be had used for less than a dollar, this book currently doesn't sell for less than $6.90 used on Amazon. Go figure.

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