Not What I Expected: Books That Fell Short

One of the great pleasures in life is settling down in a comfortable seat with a book that you have been looking forward to reading.  More often than not, you have chosen well and an enjoyable reading experience results.  But every once in a while a book does not live up to the expectations engendered by glowing reviews or tremendous word of mouth.   This can leave you feeling disappointed and irritated, sometimes even a little bit angry.  Our staff shares some of the books that fell short:

Night Strangers by Chris Bohjalian

After he crashes his plane into Lake Champlain, killing most of the passengers, Chip Linton moves into a new home with his wife and twin daughters and soon finds himself being haunted by the dead passengers, all while his wife wonders why the strange herbalist denizens of the town have taken such an interest in her daughters.

“I was very disappointed.  For me his books are always gripping…real page turners.  I always find something worth speaking about, but this just left me saying ‘what the heck?’  Hope he gets back to what he does best.” – Rosemarie, senior library clerk.

Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind

The books follow the protagonists Richard Cypher, Kahlan Amnell and Zeddicus Zu’l Zorander on their quest to defeat oppressors who seek to control the world and those who wish to unleash evil upon the world of the living.

“I’d heard a lot of good things about this series, but finally started reading it after it’s tv incarnation, Legend of the Seeker, began airing.  The tv series had great characters and a moving plot, but the books were incredibly disappointing.  If I’m going to invest in reading a series that’s 10+ books, 700+ pages per book, it has to be really well written.  If this is your style, I recommend The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan instead.” -Megan, Reference Librarian

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not.  It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.  Behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose.  Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love…

“The hype for this book was enormous and I expected a wonderful read.  I found the story very disappointing.” – Evelyn, Librarian Trainee.

The Passage by Justin Cronin

Rendered a latest test subject in a covert government experiment, abandoned six-year-old Amy is rescued by an FBI agent who hides them in the Oregon hills, from which she emerges a century later to save the human race from a terrifying virus.

“I found this 700+ page book to be boring, mainly due to the fact that I never came to care about even one of the large cast of characters.  What kept me reading was that buzz about the book: it had to get better…but it never did!” – Sonia, Readers’ Services Librarian

– posted by Sonia, Readers’ Services

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2 thoughts on “Not What I Expected: Books That Fell Short”

  1. I wholeheartedly second Sonia as re: The Passage. When I finished reading the book, I had to fight the urge to throw it in the trash in protest of all the hours I’d wasted hoping that the excitement would start on the next page.

    And then to discover it’s the beginning of a trilogy? Forget about it!

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