Thursday, January 11, 2007

Crack of Death - Sharla Tann

Roberto’s mother’s name was La Madre and she was in fact an evil woman and she was only pretending to be friendly.

“This girl is perfect for our needs,” she mumbled sinisterly to Emilio when Nancy was not looking. “You must put the Crack of death in her suitcase when she isnot looking.” Mother plucked a hair out of the mole growing on her chin, and hawked into a silver bowl held out to her by an old crone at her side.

“No mother, we will exchange her suitcase before she gets on the plane,” mumbled Emilio evilly to his mother, out of the side of his mouth.

“Yes, that’s a clever idea”, hissed La Madre, who was in reality the head of a big criminal drug gang. All of them were evil and sinister, which Nancy did not realise. She was only thinking of how friendly and nice everyone was, and how much she enjoyed this big happy family. And everyone was eating and dancing all day long, to exotic Latin tunes. And they weren’t even Roberto’s brothers and sisters, which Nancy also did not realise, they were all evil gang members. But they were all pretending tenancy and so they smiled at her cunningly, and pretended to be kind to her, but in reality they were planning to lead her to her destruction.

Billed as the "second worst book in the world", this atrocity was penned by various authors from Absolute Write as a sting operation against PublishAmerica. In case you haven't heard of them, they are a vanity press masquerading as a genuine publishing house, who claim to have genuine editorial standards when actually they'll just publish any old crap. And this is crap of the first order, an absolute masterpiece of crap. It's rare to find anything really deserving the epithet of "so bad it's good", but this work of genius is certainly worth reading - something that PublishAmerica's "editorial" department clearly failed to do.


Ringing the doorbell out of good manners because even though he is a cold bloody killer and drugs barren, he’s looking for the drugs which Nancy smuggled into the country after he hid them in her suitcases, he still has good manners and cerulean blue eyes which twinkle as a man comes to the door.

Apart from all the spelling errors (even the chapter numbers are sometimes spelt wrong) and word misuse, we also have terrible continuity errors where the heroine's name sometimes changes, and her arrival at Heathrow happens about five times in successive chapters. There are jarring viewpoint shifts, and the tense changes from past to present and back within a single sentence; it even jumps between first and third person. There's text-speak, and smilies, and - my personal favourite - huge chunks of exposition dumped in the middle of each scene. The undercover cop lists the web address where she topped up her Oyster card, and tells us why it's better than buying individual tickets; the standoff at Beachy Head includes some tourist-board spiel about the height of the cliffs in metres and feet. The quotes I've posted here may not be the best, but there was so much glorious awfulness to choose from.


All in all, this has all the hallmarks of a book that should never, ever have seen the light of day, and is glowing proof that PublishAmerica are a bunch of dirty scam artists for offering a "contract" on this tripe. Nobody but a vanity press would publish something this bad. Luckily, the authors have done just that via genuine vanity press Lulu.com, so the world can experience the joys of Nancy's run-in with the evil Columbian drug barrens. It's only £1.50 for the e-book, and there's much more than £1.50 worth of entertainment here. I'm not sure I'd dare to track down the worst book in the world, though...


?/10 - I'd give it 10 for sheer dreadfulness, but oh, my eyes! You can check out the official website here

2 Comments:

Blogger Race said...

That is delightfully dreadfull!

It takes real talent to write that poorly. :p

2:07 pm  
Blogger Bob Lock said...

Hi Alice,
You've got to love the tongue-in-cheek author's name too, hehe.

This reminds me a little of Poetry.com. Every now and then I get an invite from them to say that one of my poems has won something or other and I should attend their next prize giving ceremony. No purchase required etc but tickets cost the earth...

12:20 am  

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