Writing a successful book is complicated! Even with hours (and years) of work, a book may not turn out exactly right. Art is very subjective, after all. For this reason, many artists and authors experience great failures throughout their career. This is true even for the most famous and successful writers of our time.
These failed books are due to arrogance, lack of editing, disease, old age, and drug use. Some of them may have been doomed from the start. To look on the bright side, all of these authors achieved enormous success, writing some of the most famous books of the last few centuries. However, that is not the focus of this article! Instead, we’ll take a look together at the biggest failures of ten famous writers. Read on to find out how these attempts at epic tales ended up being epic fails.
Related: Top 10 Classic Books That Are Unreadable
10 Stephen King: The Tommy Knockers
One of the most famous novelists of our time, Stephen King, is known for carrie, pet graveyard, He, the glow, Misery, The green Mile, The Mist, and many, many more. He is often referred to as the King of Horror, although many of his stories also include science fiction elements.
the tommyknockers it’s part science fiction, part horror, and is widely considered his worst work. It was released in 1987 as his 22nd novel and the 17th written under his own name, instead of his pen name Richard Bachman. This book is widely considered absurd by critics. The basic premise involves a spaceship buried under a small town. The city is slowly corrupted by the wreckage of the ship, with the citizens’ kitchen appliances eventually turning against them.
King himself reportedly called it “a horrible book” and was on cocaine throughout the writing process. Over a little over a year, King published four novels. Fortunately for fans of the horror genre, it seems he learned from his mistakes, as he’s written many classic (and well-received) books since then.
9 Tom Wolfe: I’m Charlotte Simmons
The next book on our list is by author Tom Wolfe (not to be confused with Thomas Wolfe). Tom Wolfe is best known for his two novels, The right thing and A man in its entirety. Both were celebrated by readers and critics alike.
I am Charlotte Simmons It was an award winning book! However, it was not for the right reasons. I am Charlotte Simmons won the Literary Critics’ Bad Sex Award. Wolfe published this book in 2004 when she was 74 years old. That’s not unusual, but what made it unusual is that the main character of him (Charlotte Simmons) was an 18-year-old woman. In the novel, Charlotte is starting college and the story focuses primarily on her sexuality and her experiences with it.
I am Charlotte Simmons it seemed out of place and was not well received at the time, nor has it aged well. Clearly, this novel was Wolfe’s biggest failure as a writer.
8 Kurt Vonnegut: Antics
You know a book isn’t up to scratch when the author himself says so. Kurt Vonnegut is a well known and respected novelist. Antics it was his eighth novel, published in 1976. Not only did critics and readers not enjoy the book, but even Vonnegut was not a fan. He rated his books in 1981 palm sunday and gave Antics one D”. He said that “it can be a very bad book. Everyone else writes lousy books, so why shouldn’t I? Critics had no kinder words for the book. The New York Times he compared it to “a bowl of air”.
The book is the story of two severely disabled twins. The twins, Wilbur and Eliza, suddenly gain extraordinary intelligence when they touch their heads. In general, the novel is written about community and strangers, but the message doesn’t get through. Instead, the novel is seen as clumsy, confusing, and possibly even slick.
Vonnegut wrote many successful books before and after Anticsincluding Slaughterhouse-Five, Breakfast of Champions, cat’s cradleand A man without a country. I guess they can’t all be classic!
7 David Foster Wallace: The broom of the system
David Foster Wallace is an iconic writer in many ways, particularly for his most famous novel, infinite frivolity. However, his first novel, the system broom, didn’t necessarily hit the mark. In general, the book is about language, identity and meaning. It was released in 1987 when David Foster Wallace was just 24 years old. The novel is said to be confusing and convoluted. Maybe I was a bit ambitious for his first job.
The system broom takes place in 1990. It includes various storylines, such as the disappearance of the protagonist’s grandmother (along with 25 other people) from a nursing home, a jealous boyfriend named Rick Vigorous, and a pet parrot named Vlad the Empaler, who has started saying very unusual things in unusual ways.
The novel was not a critical or commercial success as might be expected. David Foster Wallace went on to have a very successful writing career, which includes infinite frivolity, consider lobsterand the pale kingbefore his untimely death in 2008 at just 46 years old.
6 Agatha Christie – Elephants can remember
According to her website, Agatha Christie is the best-selling novelist of all time, second only to Shakespeare and the Bible. She wrote more than 60 detective novels and more than 80 books in total. With that amount of production, not everyone can be perfect.
elephants can remember it is often cited as Christie’s greatest failure as a writer. Like most of his work, elephants can remember It’s a police novel. It features Hercule Poirot and Ariadne Oliver, recurring characters from his novels. Tellingly, this is the last novel to feature either character. Critics and reviewers were generally not fans of this work, citing inconsistencies within the text.
A 2009 study examined Christie’s novels, looking at word repetition and vocabulary (among other factors) that she wrote between the ages of 28 and 82. Ultimately, a University of Toronto study he concluded that Christie might have had Alzheimer’s disease when he wrote the novel near the end of his life. Looking back, the title may have been a clue to the fading memory of her. Fortunately, she wrote many other classics for us to enjoy.
5 Jane Austen: Northanger Abbey
The next book on our list is by another icon of women’s literature, Jane Austen. However, unlike elephants can remember, Northanger Abbey it was written by Austen when she was very young, around the age of 23. Northanger Abbey differs from Austen’s most famous works, pride and prejudice, emma, mansfield parkand Sense and Sensibility.
Apparently, Northanger Abbey it was intended to be a parody of gothic novels. As those novels are not commonly known today, the book largely misses the mark. Perhaps because it was written when the author was very young, Northanger Abbey it is considered somewhat indulgent and the characters are hard to identify with.
Fortunately for all of us, Jane Austen grew significantly as a writer and wrote some extremely influential books.
4 Bram Stoker: The Den of the White Worm
Bram Stoker may not be a familiar name to you. However, the most famous book by him is also one of the most famous of all time, dracula. He wrote (obviously) many other books, but none of them received even a fraction of the attention paid to dracula.
Many of the books on our list are the author’s early works. However, this one The lair of the white worm, was Stoker’s last. The book was published in 1911, and Stoker died of a series of strokes just a year later. It is widely theorized that Stoker suffered from illness during his later years. Although he was not diagnosed, it is commonly believed that Stoker had syphilis, which led to mental illness. This may explain some of the problems with the book.
The lair of the white worm takes many of the same plot points as dracula. There is a brave young protagonist who discovers a nearby legendary monster pretending to be human. Unlike dracula, The lair of the white worm reveals the identity of the monster at the beginning of the story.
With a plot that is both confusing and derivative, it’s easy to see why so many people think Stoker was suffering from syphilis at the time. Stoker’s publisher reportedly even had entire sections rewritten by ghostwriters, along with large edits.
3 Philip Pullman: The Haunted Storm
Phillip Pullman is best known for the his dark materials trilogy. The three books in the series are The Golden Compass, the amber spyglassand the subtle knife. The trilogy was a huge success, and there was even a movie about it. The Golden Compass, and there’s an HBO show that covers the entire trilogy. However, it was not an instant success.
his first novel, the haunted storm, was published in 1972 when Pullman was just 25 years old. The general plot follows the violence in a small town, which divides the community. It contains many spiritual themes and was not well liked, not even by the author himself. Pullman has reportedly requested that his biggest flop never be republished. Pullman has published more than 30 novels, all more successful than the first.
2 Thomas Harris: Carl Mora
You may not know or remember the name of Thomas Harris. However, the most famous character of him is still very well known. Thomas Harris is the creator of the character Hannibal Lecter. He has written four books on Lecter, Red Dragon, The silence of the lambs, Hannibaland Hannibal’s uprising. While not all of them have been praised, they have certainly been commercial successes.
Harris departed from his best-known character to write another novel, honey dwells, in 2019, ten years after his last Lecter book. the villain in honey dwells (Hans-Peter Schneider) has several traits, including a propensity to liquidate his enemies. Still, the character did not appeal to readers or critics the way Lecter did. Perhaps it would be better for everyone if Harris continued to tell Lecter stories.
1 JK Rowling: The occasional vacancy
JK Rowling is perhaps the best known author in the world. she is known for her Harry Potter seven-book series and follow-up novels, fantastic beasts and where to find them, Quidditch Through the Ages, The Tales of Beedle the Bardand Harry Potter and the cursed child. More than ten films have been made based on her writing and the lore surrounding it.
However, in 2012 Rowling published a book that contained no dragons, broomsticks, or magic. Was called The unexpected vacancy and is generally seen as Rowling’s biggest failure. In a grand outing of the beloved Harry Potter series, The unexpected vacancy is a murder mystery, complete with sexual encounters and violence. Critics (and the public) were generally not fans of the book.
Many claim that it is too long, boring and boring. With the unprecedented success of the Harry Potter series, it’s easy to see why fans were disappointed, but it’s also easy to see why Rowling wanted to branch out and write something intended for an adult audience. Too bad it didn’t work.
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