VERSED THING WE READ IN 2009; Writers' Verdicts on Books to AVOID

The Mirror (London, England), December 15, 2009 | Go to article overview

VERSED THING WE READ IN 2009; Writers' Verdicts on Books to AVOID


WHAT was the worst thing you read in 2009? Our brilliant team of Mirror writers and experts reveal the book they wished they'd never picked up this year...

TONY PARSONS

I HAVE read and loved a lot of Stephen King books, but Duma Key stunk to high Heaven. It reads like a very rough first draft and is an insult to the intelligence of anyone who has an IQ higher than their shoe size.

PAUL ROUTLEDGE

I REALLY disliked Patricia Highsmith's The Talented Mr Ripley. It is intricately plotted, but everybody in it - particularly the murdering b****** "hero" Tom is nasty, not credible and without any redeeming social graces.

KEVIN MAGUIRE

JOSEPH Conrad's The Secret Agent, about an anarchist in London at the turn of the last century. A waste of space. The best I can say is I got 256 pages for pounds 2.

Unconvincing characters and a plot as lame as a three-legged sheep weren't a joy.

BRIAN READE

JANE Austen's Pride and Prejudice.

A collection of castrated, one-dimensional, tight-britched bores on horses who get gossiped about and eventually trapped by bitches in bonnets.

It's like a Regency version of Hello! magazine.

SUE CARROLL

A WEEK In December by Sebastian Faulks. Though witty, with some laugh out loud moments, it was like a Chinese meal, satis-fying for a while but leaving you hungry for more. As a vehicle for a TV drama it may do better.

OLIVER HOLT

THE Humbling by Philip Roth was embarrassingly bad. Roth's getting old and his other explorations of the ageing process, Everyman and Exit Ghost, were brilliant. But the supposedly erotic episodes here read like soft porn for pensioners.

JIM SHELLEY

ALICE in Wonderland. Alice is intensely irritating - a bratty princess. And the plot consists of endless episodes in which Alice shrinks, grows, shrinks, grows...

The Queen of Hearts was right - "Off with her head" indeed.

POLLY HUDSON

ANT and Dec's autobiography actually made me dislike the most popular TV presenting duo this country has ever seen. That's how dull it is.

I was expecting wild gossip and shocking revelations of what took place as they met some of the most famous people in the world.

The only possible way you could enjoy this book is if each purchase came with a free time machine. …

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