Through Mary, Seat of Wisdom,
Note: this is all personal opinion so please don’t take everything I say as infallible and not subject to more analysis.
Everyone who knows me knows that I’m writing a book and in order to do that, I read a lot of books from A Song of Ice and Fire to Harry Potter, from The Pillars of the Earth to Stephen King. The thing is, these books are excellent and when you finish reading a good book, you must get something out of it. its like visiting a garden, where you’ll usually pick up a flower or some fruit to enjoy to remind you of that visit and sometimes, if you propose to your girlfriend or have a date with your wife there, you’ll pick up something even better and more lasting than a bunch of flowers.
Likewise, a book should have a point of existing; there must be a why to reading a book. Max Keele said: “In fact, that is my single personal demand from a story: That it add up to something. That it shock me, scare me, unnerve me, make me think, or cry, or vomit. Something.”
Now no single (good) book exists just to give one point as all have numerous points they may give. Pillars of the Earth for example had alot of sad moments which made us rethink our position to our fellow men and delved so deeply into medieval and Church life it can make even atheists rethink their position about the Church. Harry Potter is an excellent series all around and though it wasn’t made particularly to make people saints, ti had several strong characters and gave us a very well constructed world into which we could escape to. It made us sad and it entertained us and because of that, it is a masterpiece.
Then there are books which you get nothing good out of. Its like visiting an ugly garden and instead of grabbing some flowers, you accidently grab a rabbit by the ears who attacks you. Worse, the rabbit has rabies. These are books which are either so boring, so uninteresting, leave so little impact on the world or their readers that when you finish them, you ask yourself if watching TV or reading another book would have been a lesser waste of time than that. Its a very bad sign if while reading a book you don’t immerse yourself in the story and instead think of doing the dishes and taking out the trash. These are books you want to throw against a wall and if the book is extra bad, you’ll want to burn it and send the author to jail for his crimes against humanity!
The Da Vinci Code and really, all of Dan Browns book are this way. While they are supposed to be quick reads and not life changers, even such books should be well thought out. Instead of giving us an exciting and suspenseful thriller, Dan Brown relies on cheap scares, bad cliffhangers which instead of having you say ‘what happens next? What happens next?!’ because you care for whats happening, they leave you asking ‘What the hell is the cliffhanger? What is going on?’ because you don’t know whats going on, bad prose which should be used on commercials instead of a book and such idiotic historical inaccuracy that his books that instead of reading them because they’re good, you read them to make fun of Dan Brown himself.
Recently, I’ve read a fantasy Trilogy which was so bad it honestly left me feeling empty. Even though I prefer reading in English MUCH more than in Maltese which is my native tongue ironically, I don’t mind and feel lucky that none of you can read it as it truly is bad. Its called The Fiddien Trilogy. I’ll speak more about it later on but first, I want to hear if othe rpeople ever read a book which was so bad they wanted to throw it against a wall. Please be caustic!