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Clearly, there's no accounting for taste.

Of the 74 books that I've rated five stars on Goodreads, 35 have an average user rating of four or lower; interesting to note how widely my opinion often varies from the average reader. Below are the 35 books, with the average rating in parentheses.

Jonathan Swift, Gulliver's Travels (3.50)
Aleksandar Hemon, The Lazarus Project (3.55)
Sinclair Lewis, Babbitt (3.59)
Art Spiegelman, In the Shadow of No Towers (3.65)
Upton Sinclair, The Jungle (3.67)
William Trevor, The Story of Lucy Gault (3.68)
Sinclair Lewis, Main Street (3.71)
John Dos Passos, Manhattan Transfer (3.71)
James Meek, The People's act of Love (3.72)
Franz Kafka, The Metamorphosis (3.72)
Per Petterson, Out Stealing Horses (3.76)
Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man (3.79)
Ian McEwan, Atonement (3.81)
Stephen Elliott, Happy Baby (3.82)
Herman Melville, Bartleby the Scrivener (3.84)
William Trevor, A Bit on the Side (3.84)
Par Lagerkvist, Barabbas (3.84)
John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath (3.85)
James Joyce, Dubliners (3.86)
Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild (3.86)
Jack London, To Build a Fire (3.89)
Alexandr Solzhenitsyn, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich (3.91)
Kent Haruf, Plainsong (3.91)
Knut Hamsun, Pan (3.92)
O.E. Rolvaag, Giants in the Earth (3.92)
Cormac McCarthy, The Road (3.93)
Nelson Algren, The Man With the Golden Arm (3.93)
W.P. Kinsella, Shoeless Joe (3.94)
Nick Hornby, High Fidelity (3.94)
Joseph Heller, Catch-22 (3.96)
William Maxwell, So Long, See You Tomorrow (3.97)
Hjalmar Soderberg, Doctor Glas (3.97)
Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five (3.98)
George Selden, The Cricket in Times Square (3.99)
J.F. Powers, Morte D'Urban (3.99)

October 17, 2013 in Books | Permalink


I sometimes like reading Amazon one-star reviews for great books. You can find kids from a high-school class ripping on, say, Kafka’s Metamorphosis.

Posted by: Michael Leddy at Oct 18, 2013 10:34:21 AM

"Dude turns into a bug? That would, like, never happen."

Posted by: Pete at Oct 18, 2013 4:53:05 PM