The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

7 June 2003

Trees kill themselves in shame

The Roman Catholic bishops of Illinois have declared that the Left Behind novels by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins are seriously anti-Catholic, suggesting their flocks should spurn these big-selling Tales of the Last Days.

Peppermint Patty offers a more compelling reason for avoiding these books: they suck.


My 7th Grade son can write better fiction than this. It's painful to read this stuff, it reads like the crap I used to write when I was 12: awkward, unnatural, pretentious, lacking any true ring of authentic speech or thought.

Don't hold back, Patty. How do you really feel?


What shocks me profoundly is the obscene amount of money [LaHaye and Jenkins] are making off of the worst written books in the history of literature, and this includes The Bridges of Madison County, which runs a close second.

Having survived L. Ron Hubbard's Mission Earth series — ten volumes of steadily-increasing horribleness — I'm inclined to drop Madison County to third, or twelfth, or something, but clearly Left Behind is in august company. Fortunately, August comes but once a year.

Posted at 11:09 AM to Almost Yogurt

TrackBacks if any:

What I can't believe is that you managed to read even one L. Ron Hubbard novel. I mean --- for starters, the man's name. L. Ron. Is that a Porn Star Name or what?

Posted by: Andrea Harris at 11:55 PM on 7 June 2003

And don't forget his financier brother, N. Ron.

In my younger days (I almost said "when I was your age"), I had more tolerance for this sort of thing.

Posted by: CGHill at 8:00 AM on 8 June 2003

I think I got through two of the Mission Earth books. Another one that runs right alongside it is the Shannara series. What dreck.

Posted by: Patty at 9:32 AM on 8 June 2003

One of the reasons I don't read as much as I used to is, when I'm book-shopping I always ask myself, "Would reading this book be more or less enjoyable than sitting on a stinking bus next to a druggie rant and rave about how the Kennedys are space aliens and 9/11 was all special effects?"

Almost always, the druggie wins. All too often, it's no contest.

Posted by: McGehee at 12:48 PM on 8 June 2003

The first Shannara book is kind of special in its way, though it is a complete ripoff of the Tolkien genre, mixed very oddly (and awkwardly) with post-apocalyptic scifi. And the writing is of the sort of badness that screams My!First!Book! But Brooks did have a raw descriptive ability (I am not sure if that is the correct phrase but it sounds cool). I am not sure why I like it -- it might be the Hildebrandt illustrations. Or maybe the fact that the cranky dwarf was a great character. I will admit absolutely no interest in reading the rest of the series, though.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at 5:20 PM on 8 June 2003

Hey, Soltan Gris is my hero, if only because of his name.

Posted by: Morham at 7:55 PM on 8 June 2003

This from a man who used to sign things "Ben Dectin"? Sheesh. :)

Posted by: CGHill at 9:28 PM on 8 June 2003