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Best. Review. Of Worst. Book. Ever.
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Craig Johnson had two best friends, two caring parents, a hot girlfriend, and a nice truck--not bad for a twenty-year-old...
Thus begins the back-cover enticement of Aaron Rayburn's The Shadow of God, a $33.50 tome that also boasts such noxious nuggets as...

  • "The lamp's glow was very weak compared to the blue glow emancipating from the basement." (Yes, you read that right: emancipating.)
  • "Of all the things to think, he never thought he'd think that."
  • "Already, he knew he wouldn't be able to do it. In fact, he KNEW he wouldn't."

At the time of this writing, The Shadow of God is only the 614,853rd-best selling book on Amazon (where for some reason, it is suggested that the book's purchasers add Electrolux vacuum cleaner bags to their carts as well.)

But a review of said book by one Charles Moore could very well find a place in my personal Top 10 Most Fun Reads Ever.

The thing is, despite -- or perhaps because of -- Mr. Moore's warnings that this is the worst book ever written...I really, really want to read it. But before I plunk down more than thirty bucks, I need to know -- is The Shadow of God truly the worst book ever written, or are there even fouler volumes of published poo out there? (Hey, with so many good books out there, why should I waste time on only the 2nd, 3rd or even 23rd worst book ever written?)

I'm not talking trite subject matter or characters that fail to leap from the page, either -- I'm talking the full-on, headdesk-inducing, more-self-publishing-money-than-sense, make-all-English-teachers-in-the-world-shudder-simultaneously-with-dread kind of author.

Any suggestions that top this one?

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21 Comments

Jsut tkae all teh psots fmro tihs seti adn bnid tehm.....

said Trailwaze on June 17, 2008 12:56 PM.

I don't know about that, Trailwaze...we definitely TALK about a lot of dumb shit on this site, but weer no dummys.

That being said, I think a nice leathery (or bacon?) scented binding of some of YBNBY's nuggets WOULD definitely class up my coffee table...

said Jeem on June 17, 2008 1:17 PM.

Hell Yeah! Bacon with just a hint of scotch (for class). It could be bound in a YBNBY t-shirt! I am totally on board with that. You could grab untapped market segments at the Barns & Noble.

I agree the average intelligence quotient of the posters is higher than myspace, but there are some real gems buried in all the inspired discourse about trivial nothings....

said Trailwaze on June 17, 2008 1:36 PM.

Maybe printed in a soft paper, roll format... hmmm... more useful... lol

said Leonardo Carvalho on June 17, 2008 2:42 PM.

Btw, this review turned me curious about this book too...

said Leonardo Carvalho on June 17, 2008 2:46 PM.

I think the captions on icanhascheezburger.com are better written than this book.

said Bigus Dickus on June 17, 2008 3:54 PM.

Leonardo: great idea on the soft paper roll format. YBNBY is pretty much perfect bathroom reading material, methinks...but I'm way too afraid of dropping my laptop or iPhone in the john, so your idea is perfect.

Bigus: Yeah...and those are written by cats!

said Jeem on June 17, 2008 4:01 PM.

I don't want to be churlish (Ha! Not much anyhow...) but surely this author, this Aaron Rayburn, is no better than say Dan Brown or J K Rowling, both of whom have all the story telling ability of wet socks.
With a decent editor to take care of the grammatical goofs and malapropisms, I'm sure Rayburn's masterpiece would be gracing airline carry-ons across the world...
Does it have
a/ small children ata school for magic, or
b/ a conspiracy by secret elements in the Vatican..?

No - don't worry, we'll just edit something in...

said munky_g on June 17, 2008 4:40 PM.

Fact:

Mass media feeds us shit and tells us it is caviar. From print to broadcast media to the internet, there is a ton of junk being greedily consumed every minute. It is up to the citizens of the world to pick our entertainers. But hey, redneck transvestites who eat cats live on Springer is considered timely and wholesome entertainment.

Truth:

You are what you eat should be turned to you are what you consume. We all have a choice and reason behind what we watch and read. If you like horrid B movies or daytime soaps it is your choice. Personally, I like to set the bar a little higher.

Of course, mucking about in the gutters of the world is a lot of fun, you meet the most interesting people.......

said Trailwaze on June 17, 2008 4:54 PM.

You might like this one I wrote a while back. It has space baboons.

http://www.amazon.com/review/R23VPEA6KZ8MII/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm

said cazart on June 17, 2008 5:21 PM.

LOL Nice going Cazart.

This says it all about that book...

127 used & new available from $0.01

I prefer to trap myself on a plane with booze and Wired Magazine.

Although sneaking on the booze is getting to be quite a challenge.....

said Trailwaze on June 17, 2008 5:29 PM.

Ha, good one, cazart. You kinda have to wonder about the wisdom of an author having a word like "Godforsaken" in the title, though, huh -- why give your critics any more arrows than they already have? (I tried to apply similar logic to the producers of the film "Gone in 60 Seconds" but they didn't listen.)

Trailwaze: I have not seen the redneck-transvestites-who-eat-cats episode yet...you have a link? (Oh, and about that last one...have you tried filling your travel size mouthwash bottles with hooch yet? The only thing is, if you're going on a weekend trip and bringing 22 travel-size bottles of Scope, you'd better have DAMN good breath to pull it off...)

said Jeem on June 17, 2008 6:05 PM.

I think Scotch on the breath is appealing....

I just need Scotch scented Scope. We could market it to teetotalers trying to fit in at the bar.... (Interested in new Scope product testing Johnny?)

said Trailwaze on June 17, 2008 6:12 PM.

don't fret jeem its on amazon at $18.86, a steal!

some dude even gave it this "review":
fast-paced! A horrifyingly good read! It's about time someone claimed Stephen King's throne!!

said etantao on June 17, 2008 8:40 PM.

Hahahahahahaha. Seriously, though..... HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!

said shadow_74 on June 17, 2008 8:49 PM.

Serious entertainment.

said shadow_74 on June 17, 2008 8:53 PM.

I'm usually a big fan of YBNBY, so it's a shame to see you needlessly pick on some poor self-publishing writer here, simply because he doesn't have access to the same kind of expensive editors and proofreaders an author on a major press has. It's mean, petty and unnecessarily cruel of you, and makes you look like a bully; you're usually better than that, and it's hard for me to understand why you've debased yourself so much in this particular case. Please go back to the goofy pop-culture posts that make me like this site so much, and leave the earnest yet bad self-publishing writers alone. --Jason Pettus, Chicago Center for Literature and Photography

said Jason Pettus on June 18, 2008 9:58 AM.

I'm usually a big fan of YBNBY, so it's a shame to see you needlessly pick on some poor self-publishing writer here, simply because he doesn't have access to the same kind of expensive editors and proofreaders an author on a major press has. It's mean, petty and unnecessarily cruel of you, and makes you look like a bully; you're usually better than that, and it's hard for me to understand why you've debased yourself so much in this particular case. Please go back to the goofy pop-culture posts that make me like this site so much, and leave the earnest yet bad self-publishing writers alone. --Jason Pettus, Chicago Center for Literature and Photography

said Jason Pettus on June 18, 2008 9:59 AM.

Jason: point taken, and to be fair, I have not actually read Mr. Rayburn's book -- a friend forwarded me that review of the book, it cracked me up, and I figured I'd share it. But putting aside the argument that someone who doesn't know the difference between "emanate" and "emancipate" probably needs more literary coaching than just some "expensive editors and proofreaders," hey, I'm giving the guy free publicity for his book. If you feel THAT bad for him, now you know exactly where you can go to make him feel $33.50 better.

said Jeem on June 18, 2008 10:25 AM.

I hate to seem naïve here, but being a poor self-publishing writer doesn't mean shouldn't have a decent grasp of the English language, especially if your resumé says "Writer".

But I'd be more than willing to offer Mr. Rayburn a tenure as our YBNBY Book Reviewer, as long as he works for the same "nothing" that the rest of us work for.

said Scaramouch on June 18, 2008 1:25 PM.

Granite Mountain by K. H. Sampson is pretty bad as well. I've taken to underlining the worst parts and writing comments in the margins to keep my sanity while reading.

said M on June 23, 2008 1:56 PM.
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