Monday, September 20, 2010

Is there such thing as "so bad it's good" books?

I love terrible movies. I have no idea why, but excessive cheese, bad acting, and convoluted plots make me smile like a kid on Christmas. Think: "Chopper Chicks in Zombie Town," "Night of The Demons" the "Subspecies" franchise, "Puppet Master," Hell, anything by Full Moon Entertainment, "Napoleon Dynamite," etc.

But are there gems like this in the literary world? At first I'd like to think so. A lot of my favorite romance novels have the corniest titles and trashiest covers I've ever seen. i.e. "Silken Savage." But the author created a beautiful story and put in a lot of heavy research. Really, she portrays the Cheyenne culture and history as it really was with none of the sugar-coating that most "Native American romance" authors ever dare.

And then there's Virginia Henley with her gratuitous purple prose and sometimes stomach-churning terms for male and female anatomy. But still she manages to give you a worthy history lesson that your school teachers only wish to teach and intermingles it with bawdy humor and heartrending love stories.

Dan Brown has so many literary faux pas in his work that there are blogs and websites dedicated to his foibles. But he still spins a good yarn.

So my ultimate opinion is: though a book can have endearing faults, the whole cannot be terrible and still be loved. On the other hand, I would love a counter-argument. And on Wednesday, my best friend and I will roar with laughter as we watch "The Apple" and "Monsturd,"


  1. I think I beg to differ with you on this one, Brooklyn. Think about the Twilight saga. In my personal opinion, the book itself was terrible, but yet, some how or another, Stephenie Meyer still manages to capture us. Eventhough I can not stand how she writes, and sometimes her simplicity absolutely bugs the heck out of me, something about the series kept me wanting more. I felt like in some weird way or another, I could relate to some of the characters, and more often than I would like to admit, I did find myself crying right to the very end.

  2. I suppose that is a good point, and the "sparkly"feature does help with the excessive cheese factor.
    Still, I tried but I could not get into those books. I struggled through the first one, then lost a bet and had to fight to stay awake through the next one.

  3. There are definitely books worthy of MST3K type satire. UW and I will sometimes read through a book and just comment repeatedly on what we find. A lot of it isn't good enough for a post, but on a whole, it's like making fun of a cheesy movie (which we LOVE to do).
    For instance, the book "Bushwhacked Bride" of the infamous "Billy/Bobby/Dumpling" quote, is like that. There aren't so much little bad lines, but the whole is terrible enough to pan.
    As for Twilight -- I was urged repeatedly to read the books, and I did, all 4 of them. I even read the online excerpt of Midnight Sun. I didn't think they were as terrible as some people found them to be, but I also didn't find them particularly good. There's actually very little that I could honestly make fun of. The writing was poor and very basic (it's like Futurama: "you can't just have your characters SAY what they feel! That makes me ANGRY!"), but it's not the worst thing I've ever read. So that wouldn't really qualify as "bad" in a cheesy sense to me (just not good in the general sense). Whereas "Pirate" by Fabio is a laugh a minute read, completely unintentionally.