Day 07 – Most underrated book
This post is part of a month-long series of pre-dated posts running while I am on holiday. Feel free to comment, I’ll get back to you when I return!
Please note that any “reviews” I write here are simply my own opinion and that I am not doing any objective, informative reviews for this challenge. If there are any spoilers in a post, I will indicate it at the top.
I draw the book covers straight from Goodreads and you can click on the images to go to the book’s page on there.
This was probably the most difficult topic for me. It had me stumped for the longest time, because I simply could not think what to write about. I went ahead and wrote the other posts, leaving this one blank. In the meantime, I’ve been racking my brains, trying to think of anything that I could write about. An overrated book? Ho yus, I can think of several. But underrated? I was not quite sure that I’ve met a book yet that stuck with me as underrated. Well, there were books that I thought were better than most people seemed to rate them, but still… usually I could accept their point of view as well and I did not think that a book was actually underrated, or under-appreciated, as such. Else, it was a book like… The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. I wish that this book received more attention from fandoms and so on, but I can hardly call it underrated when it is often considered the fantasy book of the century, or whatever else these awards are called these days.
So… I was thinking and thinking what I could write about. Then I read Agatha Christie’s Passenger to Frankfurt. Before I started, I saw that it received rather low ratings on Goodreads and that most people severely criticise it, instead of praise it. When I began to read, I was wondering whether I had found my candidate for an underrated book. I have not yet read an Agatha Christie book that I did not enjoy, so I thought that there was a pretty good chance that I would. Then I read it, and… oh well, I found it rather “meh-ish”. I didn’t think it was quite as bad as some people make it out and there were bits that I rather enjoyed, but it ended on a sort of deus ex machina and I didn’t like that much. So when I was finished, I still hadn’t found an underrated book.
Then, when I was in the library the other day, I spotted an extremely worn copy of Magic Kingdom For Sale/Sold! by Terry Brooks. I may have written an entire post on his Shannara-series a few days ago, but I haven’t read any of his non-Shannara work. Because I haven’t been able to find any. Except for his Shannara-series and his Word and the Void-series (now part of Shannara), I haven’t been able to locate his other works. I knew of their existence only because of the lists in the front of each of his books. Well, I snatched that book up in the library and started to read it.
And… it was good. It has very realistically portrayed characters. It has good character development. As always, I loved the descriptions of Brooks’s invented world. Also, it was really great to read early descriptions of what would become the demons of the Forbidding as featured prominently in The Elfstones of Shannara and the High Druid of Shannara-trilogy. That is really what it felt like. In my opinion, anyway. This was a whole different series and a whole different world, but it still felt familiar, in a way, as if I was reading the author’s early notes and could then compare it to what he would develop in his later books. Perhaps it was just because I was so interested in the Forbidding, Jarka Ruus and the Straken in the latest trilogy, but I really enjoyed it. So I finished Magic Kingdom For Sale/Sold! and I decided that I would want to read the others in the Landover-series. If I can find them that is. As I was thinking about how scarce they seem to be, I suddenly realised that I think this book is underrated. It is maybe not as good as Terry Brooks gets, but it has definitely been overshadowed by the larger series. It doesn’t get the attention it deserves in my opinion.
Finally, I found an underrated book. Ha! It was a hard mission, but I am glad I found it. I like it and I’ll read it again if I get a chance. Of course, it has to go back to the library, but that will hopefully not swallow it whole. It seems to be scarce enough as it is and that copy is foxed, beared and dragoned as Terry Pratchett calls it. Maybe I have not found a book that is actually underrated by one and all (except me, of course ), but at least I managed to find a forgotten book. An overshadowed book. A nice book that I wish received more attention.
Tomorrow I’ll write about an overrated book. Prepare yourselves!