Worst Book Ever

Happy Monday, y’all!  Since many good working folks the world around equate Mondays with all kinds of badness, I reckon I’ll allow my cranky side to rear its ugly head today.  There’s this awful, stinking pile of poo I recently read that I’d like to alert you to so you can avoid it at all costs.  “Do tell,” you say?  Okeydokey then, I will.

God Players

The God Players by Phil Valentine.  I rated it 1 of 5 stars on Goodreads and shelved it there as 21st-century, American, fiction, homophobic, propaganda, & toilet paper.  If you’d like to read the synopsis, click the linked title above.

This is the worst book I’ve ever read, and Valentine is a horrible writer. I’m not kiddin’, folks. How bad is it? My policy, because there’re far more books than there is time to read them, when I come across a bad or mediocre book, is to give it 10, 50, or, in some cases, 100 pages before I make the decision to close it and add it to my “did not finish” shelf. The God Players is so bad that I couldn’t quit reading it. I had to read it through to the end to see if it stayed consistently bad or kept getting worse and worse. This book doesn’t deserve the designation of “novel”. It is pure, unadulterated, white American male conservative evangelical christian homophobic propaganda.

When I finished this book in April, I mentioned in a blog post that I couldn’t wait to savage it here and on my Blog. I was going to write my first lengthy review in a long time and offer a thoroughly critical deconstruction of its awful, completely predictable plot and nasty, despicable characters. I couldn’t wait to cite quote after quote after quote of Valentine’s bad writing from its pages.

But my ire has cooled, and I have much better things to do with my time than waste it on proving my point so thoroughly. Consider: It was published in December 2015 and has only garnered 30 ratings and 8 reviews on Goodreads (mine makes those numbers 31 & 9), one of which is the author’s. Until mine, every rating was 4 or 5 stars. That tells me that the only people who bothered to share their thoughts about it there before me are probably either family, friends of Valentine’s, longtime listeners & fans of his radio talk show, or some combination of the 3.

The God Players is so revolting that it caused me to create 3 new Goodreads shelves: ‘homophobic’, ‘propaganda’, and ‘toilet paper’. If I hadn’t borrowed it from my awesome Nashville Public Library, I would’ve kept the book and used it to wipe my ass ’til I’d flushed every last page.

Seriously, folks. Don’t take my word for it. You wanna see how horrible it is? Read it for yourself. Goodreads editors, if you’re listening, I ask that you create a new list, “Most Shameful Books of the 21st Century”, and make The God Players the very first entry.

Here’s a pic to show you all exactly how I feel about this book:


If y’all wanna see how truly bad a book can be, read this one.  It won’t exactly be a breeze, but it’ll be eye-opening and informative.  Whatever you do, though, don’t spread the word too much.  If ever a book deserved to be consigned to the mists of history, bless me, it’s this one!

–via Word of the Day Challenge for 6/17/19, “Equal
–via Ragtag Daily Prompt for 6/17/19, “Breeze
–via Fandango’s One Word Challenge for 6/17/19, “Mist

21 thoughts on “Worst Book Ever

  1. I think if you had actually reviewed the book, it have formed a better understanding as to what might make this a terrible read. All you actually did was go on a tantrum of some sort without explaining anything.
    What I read ABOUT the book is that 1. It’s fiction. Secondly, in this fiction, a scientist discovers a gene that links to homosexuality. This though fiction would support the ” born this way” stance of many so not seeing the as t problem. Then the scientist is able to change this gene in utero thus changing sexuality prior to birth. A gay rights group challenges this to stop the scientist “from playing God” and is JOINED by evangelicals to fight it together. You can see why I’m confused about what you are ranting about?
    Thirdly, I think you should practice the “tolerance, peace, understanding blah blah” that you seem to accuse others of not having. It appears you lack it……1. What exactly is wrong with being a white man? Who exactly is in control of being born one? You appear to be one yourself? Are you proposing that darker complicated men are in some way better because of the color of their skin or that goodness or value is determined by skin color? Are you therefore racist? Or is racism perfectly ok for some but not others? You seem like you want to be free to be an atheist without giving others the same freedom to believe as they wish. This is the problem I have with people who speak the rhetoric that you do…..you’re hypocrites. You want for yourself what you are unwilling to give to others. You preach peace, kindness, acceptance and in the same breath think nothing of disparaging others unlike yourself. Brilliant.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Laura, I hope you’re doing well today. Thank you for your comments. I suspected this post would get under your skin and that you wouldn’t hesitate to let me know what you thought about it. Doesn’t it feel good to rant every now & then? Which is exactly what my post is, as clearly indicated by being categorized as a “Rant” rather than as a “Review”.

      It appears you’re laboring under some misapprehensions of who I am and what I’m about, so I’ll attempt to clear those up.

      Nothing’s wrong with being a white man or with being a conservative evangelical christian for that matter. I am a white man, and although I was raised in the Catholic church, I have been a member of only Southern Baptist churches for the last 26 years because that’s where The Boss is comfortable, and I reckon that any god or gods who may exist don’t much care where I worship.

      As a white American male and a longtime member of the conservative evangelical christian community, I consider it not just my right and my privilege but also my duty to call out what I consider to be the occasional failings of my various groups and seek to change them from within those groups. What you perceive to be bigotry and racism on my part are instead my poor efforts to try to change the thinking of some within my group.

      Never have I proposed, nor will I ever propose, that “darker complicated men are in some way better because of the color of their skin” any more than I would propose that “goodness or value is determined by skin color.” Both of those statements are racist, and I don’t adhere to either tenet.

      What I have grown tired of and sometimes rail against are certain attitudes common to so many people in my white American conservative evangelical christian community and their efforts to deny everyone else’s right to live as they choose. I don’t deny anyone the right to live as and believe what they choose, so long as their doing so seeks to harms no one else. I am willing, heck, eager to grant to others that which I want for myself so long as those others are willing to grant the same to other others.

      Nowhere in my rant did I call the author anything other than a horrible writer; nowhere did I advocate that he be punished, harmed, or even shamed. I called his book exactly what I perceive it to be; a despicable work of propaganda that should classified as shameful and hence to be forgotten.

      As for the label of hypocrite, I can own that, as long as you’re willing to grant that, from time to time, we are all guilty of hypocrisy. After all, every one of us is a flawed and imperfect being, are we not?

      Without getting into the details that would constitute a review, I’ll simply say that the synopsis you cited above utterly misrepresents the theme & intent of the book, the outcome of which is never in doubt.

      Finally, I’m not an atheist: I’m agnostic. I suspect that there are no gods, but I don’t presume to know.

      I hope you and your family are well and thriving, Laura, and again, I thank you for your comments. I hope you have a great day.

      Take care, be well, and happy blogging!


      Liked by 2 people

      1. Denny,
        Now thos would be an excellent post!
        “I don’t deny anyone the right to live as and believe what they choose, so long as their doing so seeks to harms no one else. I am willing, heck, eager to grant to others that which I want for myself so long as those others are willing to grant the same to other others.”
        Perfectly stated. I think the problem is mostly that others arent content to just live their lives but rather want to insist that others approve or believe the same. We lose sight that others dont have to, nor need to as long as our personal ways, thoughts, beliefs don’t infringe upon others. It’s perfectly fine to disagree, to have opposing views, to do things differently….and it’s important to understand that we can do that and remain respectful and caring toward one another despite our differences.
        Very good response. Well thought, written and related, I appreciate so much, your thoughtfulness.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thank you, Laura. I found it interesting that, on the same day I replied to you and of course completely independently of any influence I might’ve brought to bear, two other Bloggers I follow made posts that were in the same spirit and tone as my sentiment you stated would make a good post. That’s one of the main reasons I love WordPress. There’s such great variety of different but like-minded individuals expressing their opinions here every day.


      3. It’s such a great example that everyone could benefit from. While widely and wildly different in every way imaginable, we come together. We agree, disagree and agree to disagree, yet we choose community… caring over strife, support over anger, to build up over tearing down, encouragement and a commitment to respect, honor and accept one another. It’s a beautiful thing.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Laura, if you’re interested in getting into my head to learn part of what drives my ire against the attitudes I mentioned above, and if you have some free time, look up stories on: Kim Davis, the former County Clerk for Rowan County, KY; Craig Northcott, TN’s District Attorney for the 14th judicial district Craig Northcott; and TN’s Knox County Sheriff’s Detective Grayson Fritts. They are all public servants whose conservative evangelical christian beliefs motivated them to deny legal rights and/or utter hate speech against (and even call for execution of) members of the LGBTQ+ community.

        Even if their way of thinking and their privately-held beliefs cannot be changed, people must not be allowed to abuse their public offices by using them to perpetrate discrimination, and such people must be held to account for doing so.


      5. Wow, that’s fascinating and I definitely will look into these. I definately would though be exact in who I was directing my toward. Blanket statements are so unfair in any situation. Have you written specifically about these people and their extremism? If so, send a link. I’d love to read them. Calling for execution of? Outrageous! And anything but Christian if they claim to be. Wowza

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Now I’m curious. They sometimes say the worst review is no review. You put the energy to finish it, that says something. I’ll have to see what it’s about.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, I hear you. It sometimes, ok, always, gives me pause for thought when I come across someone of that ilk, since I can’t wrap my mind around any of it. It always leaves me with my mouth hanging open in shock. You have a great day too! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m going to read it …to se if it’s true. Well, I never read yet the ‘worst ever’ book in my life, but I disliked some, of course. Maybe you are just tired from reading. Take a break, week or two.
    And the author got 30 ratings and 8 reviews, wow, he is my hero. 😜💃

    Liked by 1 person

  4. There are MANY areas in which Scientists ‘play God’ and, in my opinion, go too far. This is just one more.
    If this book makes people realize that there are far more modern Mengeles than we care to think then that’s a good thing. I think we all need to wake up a lot more to the horrors being perpetrated under our own noses. The subject of this book is reprehensible but if it makes you uncomfortable enough to rant then honestly, that’s a good thing! We all need to be a lot more uncomfortable!
    We need to question a whole lot more, every single one of us is far too complacent about the horrors being perpetrated in labs every single day.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You’re hilarious :)) “toilet paper” hah!

    Is it possible to give a book rating within the realm of how bad it is among the other bad books? ( like -1 to -5)

    Liked by 1 person

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