This Might Be the Worst Thing I’ve Ever Read

Blowhard, Esq. writes:

Sometimes, you come across something so jaw-droppingly bad that the ridiculous awfulness must be shared. This is the first page of The Adventures of Lucky Pierre by Robert Coover:

Me, if I continue any further.

BTW, the author is a graduate of the University of Chicago and a literature professor at Brown.

(H/T to ghostinmarble who naively purchased this at the recommendation of a bookstore clerk and is currently plotting her revenge.)

About Blowhard, Esq.

Amateur, dilettante, wannabe.
This entry was posted in Books Publishing and Writing, Education and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

29 Responses to This Might Be the Worst Thing I’ve Ever Read

  1. Handle says:



  2. Fabrizio del Wrongo says:

    You had me at “unisonously.”


  3. Fabrizio del Wrongo says:

    I love a writer who knows how to ply his fricatives.


  4. Fabrizio del Wrongo says:

    “Implications of tangible paraboloids amid the soft anguish.”

    That’s the best evocation of the need-to-take-shit sensation I’ve ever read.


  5. Enzo Nakamura says:

    The passage is much funnier in Italian.


  6. Callowman says:

    I found this powerfully resistant to being read. The first sentence defeated me three times.


  7. Atypical Neurotic says:

    Ever since Ernest Hemingway gave English prose a long-overdue airing-out, there is no excuse for anyone to write like this except as a parody. There is nothing wrong with waxing lyrical, but before you sit down at your keyboard, read Isak Dinesen’s short stories to see how it is done (and the Baroness wasn’t even a native speaker of English).


    • Blowhard, Esq. says:

      Waxing lyrical is one thing, masturbating with a thesaurus is quite another.


      • Atypical Neurotic says:

        Reminds me of the episode of MASH, when Radar enrolls in a correspondence course for writers, and narrates the episode with log entries in ludicrously purple prose, which culminates in relating an attempt by Corporal Klinger to secure a Section 8 discharge by feigning a suicide attempt. Wearing his usual frock, Klinger douses himself with what people are supposed to think is gasoline, what he thinks is water, but really is gasoline (someone pulled a switcheroo on him). “He left with his nonchalantness not too nifty”, was Radar’s log entry, whereupon Colonel Potter breaks in the narration and commands him to stop. I’d rather read Radar.


      • Blowhard, Esq. says:

        I watched that show religiously as a kid and totally remember that episode.


  8. Shelley says:

    currently plying my own fricatives.
    how many have died here? or left to find a weapon to shoot the author?


  9. dearieme says:

    I misread the first word as “Cactus” and so doubtless misinterpreted the rest. Though who could tell?


  10. Blowhard, Esq. says:

    You guys, it gets better. Here’s page 2. Do we make this our first UR Book Club selection?

    iwasborngood points out that the terrible writing could be intentional. Transgressive, postmodern fiction and all that. If so, that makes it worse, right?


  11. Gary Reams says:

    It was probably a dark and stormy night when he started writing it.


  12. Maule Driver says:

    There are at least a half dozen words there that are now dead to me.


  13. Pingback: Daily Linkage – November 26, 2012 | The Second Estate

  14. Alan says:

    A postmodern English class would doubtless plumb unforeseen depths of meaning in that abyss.


  15. NotClauswitz says:

    Good Lord! That’s a party of flagellant self-indulgence rarely seen outside of Academe.


  16. IT’S A GAG. He’s pulling our leg. Don’t be taken in…


  17. Faze says:

    I like it. It’s musical; there’s rhythm; the consonants sing. You don’t think an author like Coover would compose something as baroquely pretentious as this without a big shit-eating grin on his face, do you? I don’t how the rest of the book goes, but the man is having fun here.


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