When Hyped Books Disappoint
You must have read a hyped book and thought, huh?
Popular books are popular for a reason – It’s because they’re good and worth reading.
But what happens when you read a hyped and popular book and feel differently.
I think, the disappointment you feel after reading a hyped book that has not met your expectations is 10 times worse than any other disappointment. Right?
Today, I have a few of my bibliophile friends share about the hyped-up books that they were disappointed with.
Popular books aren’t always what they are promoted as! Ask any bibliophile and they would know. In my experience, many excellent books are left behind because they don’t have a smooth-talking publicist to advertise and create a hype about them. The Oath of The Vayuputras by Amish Tripathi from The Shiva Trilogy, is one such book that I felt was really all advertising, as the third book was a bit meh. Amish really got lost in the mythology and it ensured that I did not pick The Ram Chandra Series. But since I did enjoy the Shiva Trilogy, I am waiting for what he comes up with next. Disappointment is definite as is anger when I find a book that doesn’t live up to the hype and the fawning reviews. I usually don’t read the author again; I also make my opinion and review quite clear on the reasons for not liking the book. Usually a book fails to impress due to a writer becoming obsessed with their own writing instead of the story they are trying to share. A strong story is what keep the reader interested in the book. It is very rare I would read a new book by an author if the last one was not up to its hype.
I read A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth last year. It already came with a lot of hype and I was expecting a spectacular experience, investing time in about 1400 odd pages! But it left me underwhelmed. Everything was in too much detail. I had read somewhere that when you write something, you must question if everything you have written was indispensable to the narrative. I believe, this book could have been a much shorter one and as effective. Also, the central theme of the book did not appeal to me.
The book Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts garnered rave reviews from everyone and so I picked it up. It is a few days of my life that I will never get back. The book was sheer waste of time and in my opinion clearly hyped up. The self-aggrandizing cringe worthy writing in the book made me wonder why everyone loved the book. I was not able to finish the humongous 900-page book and completed it by skipping a lot of pages. The stereotypical characters in the book are laughable. The prose is bad and the main character is despicable that I sort of never connected with the book.
The last overly hyped book I read that turned out to be a major disappointment was The 5 AM Club by Robin Sharma.
I was really looking forward to this one because I had heard many great things about the book and the author. Moreover, the topic of the book addressed a personal problem area. So I had every reason to believe this book was a perfect fit for me. But I couldn’t have been more wrong. Because this book, on many levels, was what you’d call an unmitigated disaster.
I had expected a pretty straightforward book with actionable tips and solid advice. But this one was the exact opposite of that – in so many ways!
For starters, Mr. Sharma chose to make his case through the means of a fictional story. Which by the way, is clearly not his forte, because it was a terrible story, that stood out for what it truly was – an awkward and ineffective plot device.
And if that wasn’t bad enough, the actual content (in this case, advice shared by a business mogul – part of the fictional story) was preceded by lots of long winded foreshadowing / marketing of the advice, and followed by exhausting self praise of the insight shared. So much so that it felt like the author was STILL selling the book in the book!
Which is why, I’d say if you are looking for a way to get up early, and make the most of your mornings, there are enough free resources online (posts & videos) that you can (and probably must) turn to. Skip this book, because even though it does have some actionable tips & advice for getting up in the morning, and joining the 5 am club, wading through all the crap to get to the content is certainly not a productive use of your morning or any other time of day.
When you see a book on all the best-selling lists and everyone you meet can sing nothing but high praises of a book, you expect it to great. For me one such book was The City of Bones by Cassandra Claire.
After finishing Harry Potter and Bartimaeus trilogy there was gaping hole in my heart for a brilliant YA fantasy series and everyone and all the lists said that The Mortal Instrument Series was the perfect cure. So, I went into the book with high expectations. Since page 1 I found it hard to get into the book but being someone who doesn’t like to DNF a book and also after hearing everyone praise it, I decided to go ahead with it. But the more I got into it, the more disappointed I felt. The first and the biggest problem I had with the book was it felt very similar to Harry Potter. The villain Valentine seemed like a bad rip-off of Lord Voldemort. I couldn’t help but draw parallels between these both characters and their ideologies. Valentines obsession with keeping the world pure came off as something very similar to Voldemort’s ‘pure-blood’ fancy. ‘The Circle’ reminded me of ‘Death Eaters’ and a character named Luke seemed like a mash up between Lupin and Sirius. I couldn’t connect to any characters in the book, didn’t find the story interesting and found it way too predictable and had major problems with the writing and the editing. I am told that the series does get better and I should give it another go but I was so disappointed with this book that I haven’t dared pick up any other works by this author.
Over to you…
Which hyped book truly disappointed you and why?