DAY 8: Most Underrated Book.

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Yay, I love this question! There are so many great underrated books out there that aren’t as well known simply because they didn’t get the major advertising behind them. Your book can be the best thing since the invention of the printing press, but unless people know it exists, it’s not going to do well. There are a few specific books that spring to mind for this post that I haven’t assigned for other days of the 30 Day Book Challenge, so once more unto the breach dear friends…!

The first novel that popped into my head and knew I had to mention was The Dream Merchant by Isabel Hoving. Keeping in mind that I read this a very long time ago and it was an involved plot, allow me to direct you to the Goodreads blurb:

The Dream Merchant by Isabel Hoving

Josh Cope is a bit of a dreamer… who sometimes steals things. Otherwise, he’s just your average boy. So why is an international corporation calling him in the middle of the night, insisting that he come and work for them? Why would they be so convinced that Josh is the key to conquering their new market — the past? Drawn into this astonishing, whirlwind adventure, Josh soon finds himself in the middle of a nightmare, caught in a place between dreams and reality. For Josh and his friends to find their way back, they must follow a trail that takes them right into the very heart of the human imagination — and to the furthest ends of time itself.

Hmm, it doesn’t exactly make you jump to read the book does it? I’ve been looking around the internet trying to find more information to help jog my memory but there doesn’t seem to be much, probably because it was translated from Dutch to English.
This massive book (I’m going to estimate it has somewhere around 600-800 pages) first caught my attention in the school library with its mysterious cover. As a fantasy fan I couldn’t resist its calling for long and soon checked it out. I remember being enthralled by it. The story was so unusual, innovative and complex although at times confusing. I vaguely recall that it followed a boy recruited to work for a massive company that was in the business of dreams. They used children to go in and out of them to sell objects like salesmen (I think) until something went wrong on one mission and some children got stuck there. They start to question whether the intentions of the company are entirely good, chaos breaks out, time gets warped, disaster strikes, but will they ever make it out of the mysterious dream world to get back home? I know sounds completely random (probably because I can’t remember the details) but it was amazing, believe me. 🙂

Not only was the story unpredictable, but I had absolutely no idea how it was going to conclude. I remember thinking it had similar aspects to Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials series, the first book of which was adapted into a film renamed The Golden Compass. Of course, because I read The Dream Merchant a while back it is possible that it is not as great as I remember it. I hope I can reread it again at some point!

Being by Kevin BrooksThe second most underrated book that comes to mind is Being by Kevin Brooks. I’m not the biggest fan of science fiction thrillers like these normally, but Kevin Brooks is a pretty gifted author yet doesn’t seem to get much of the limelight. I’ve read several of his books now but this was the first one I discovered that led me to pursue his further works. The story follows a teen named Robert who wakes up in the middle of open surgery and discovers he has all sorts of wires and metal in his stomach. Panicking he gets away and goes on the run wondering what the hell he is and whether he is even human.
The book is far from perfect like many others, but it’s fast paced, action packed and keeps you guessing for most of the way through. Brooks has a very distinct style, he’s outspoken, cynical and not afraid to shine a light on the more gritty sides of life. He’s one of those authors that isn’t for everyone as his books can verge on the uncomfortable side. He often leaves his stories somewhat open ended too which could frustrate some readers, but I have yet to find another author quite like him. The Brutal Art by Jesse Kellerman

The last underrated book I want to tell you guys about is The Brutal Art by Jesse Kellerman (also known as The Genius in some countries). Weirdly enough, I first found out about this novel because it was being praised by multiple book websites online, yet no one seems to know about it! I’m not normally a thriller or mystery kind of fan but this book is far better than your average paperback thriller. The writing is sophisticated with some great imagery. It follows an art dealer who gets mixed up with an artist that may be responsible for some brutal crimes. To find out more you can check out my recent review of the book here from last year! 🙂

Have you ever read an underrated book that is either unknown or slated regularly only to discover how fantastic it is? I love discovering less mainstream or under-appreciated books! 🙂

What’s the 30 Day Book Challenge you ask? Click here and find out.

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P.S. My blog just told me at 3 minutes to 3am yesterday, or well, today technically I guess, that I have reached 1337 blog likes!!!
I’m not sure why they picked such a random number as a blog milestone but WOWZAS, thank you so much everybody! 🙂 You’re amazing for reading and I find it almost surreal that you haven’t gotten bored of me yet, I must be good at talking nonsense! 😀

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Image Sources:
Header banner: My own, please do not reuse.
Book Cover The Dream Merchant: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1443200.The_Dream_Merchant
Book Cover Being by Kevin Brooks: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/3106403-being Book Cover The Brutal Art by Jesse Kellerman: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/4884082-the-brutal-art
Blog Milestone: My own print screen.

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33 thoughts on “DAY 8: Most Underrated Book.

  1. I have to say, I’m loving this feature – it’s nice checking in each day to see what you’re talking about – and you always throw up things that make me think ‘ooh I want to read that’ 🙂

    I’ll definitely be trying it for myself in a few months, when I have some time to go for it properly!

  2. The Dream Merchant sounds soooo good! It’s funny because when I was reading the blurb that described the book it made me think of Phillip Pullman’s His Dark Materials series, and then you mentioned it! 🙂 Congrats on your blogging milestone, that’s really awesome!

    • Yay! So glad you think so, I wasn’t sure if I was making it sound desirable or not…it’s quite hard to describe something you can’t remember very well, but I thought it was fab when I first read it. I gave it 5 stars. 🙂
      Ooh, great minds think alike. 😉
      Thank you, it was a cool surprise!
      Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone

  3. “Being” is somewhere on my TBR. It sounds like something I’d write! And I’ll be digging around for The Dream Merchant, it sounds like a blast.

    Most under-rated writer I’ve found is Australian author John Marsden – “Tomorrow when the war began”, but oddly only in the UK; the rest of the world seems to have caught on.

    “Unwind” by Neal Shusterman is superb, quality writing that everyone should read.

    “Day of the Triffids” and the writing of John Wyndham – he’s brilliant, even more amazing that the writing was done in the 50s.

    “The Chrysalids” by John Wyndham (Of Day of The Triffids fame) – better than Triffids, and I think it’s the best book he wrote.

    • Haha it does! I think you might like it and that’s why (I think) I recommended it to you on Goodreads. The Dream Merchant was a real adventure, it had everything you could want from an epic fantasy novel!

      It is odd in the 21st century how we still don’t necessarily get much crossover with authors from other countries in terms of popularity. It seem most authors that reach big success are from the UK or America, that’s why it’s so rare when you get someone like Stieg Larsson. Maybe we need to broaden our horizons. 😛

      I will definitely look into Unwind, The Chrysalids and Day of the Triffids (I think my dad mentioned he read that at school once!) they sound interesting. 🙂

    • Unwind is on my Kindle waiting TBR – I’m pretty sure I bought it off the back of your review, so nice to see you still think it’s noteworthy. Just need to get reading now! 🙂

  4. I’m loving this blog post – certainly wanna try the first book, sounds really intriguing!
    I’ve read Kevin Brook’s Candy – if you havent read that one of his i encourage you to read. It was a few years ago but i remember it being brilliant!

    Rachel

    • Thank you so much. 🙂 The first book is the one out of the other three I would recommend the most, there was something so unusual about it, I couldn’t put it down when I read it!

      I do own Kevin Brook’s, Candy actually, but keep bypassing it for other newer shiny books, thanks for the encouragement to pick it up!

      Happy reading. 🙂

      • OMG!!!!!! I finished Book 2 of Wicca :). I am so addicted just like you said I would be, and I finally ordered the real books LOL! It’s freaking me out because I’m trying to figure out who is good and who is bad. I don’t want to trust anyone at this point, and I’m so worried for Morgan! You’re such an awesome bad influence on me Becky :).

      • LOL! I just spotted that you’d finished it on Goodreads! Those books are SO FREAKIN’ ADDICTIVE. 😀 Haha, bet you can’t wait to start on the third, I know that second book leaves it on a bit on a cliff hanger!

        That’s a great point actually, another of the reasons I love the books so much is you really don’t know who to trust half the time, it’s a crazy roller coaster!

        Heheee, I love being a bad influence. 🙂

  5. As someone who has only ever really read ‘big’ author books, I don’t have anything in my memory library that fills this criteria. Some of the non-fiction books have taken me by surprise at how interesting they are, but none of them have ever been bought on a whim.

    By the way, 1337 is a special number. It harks back to the days when the Internet was for super nerds who had their own language and replaced letters with numbers. It’s known as Leet speak.

    1 = L
    3 = E
    7 = T

    1337 = LEET = ELITE

    You may have seen people use “w00t” as well, which originally meant ‘what’, yet somehow became a cheer you would shout/type when you won something, killed a monster in a game, or agreed with something that someone else said.

    The Internet is a strange place.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leet

    • Haha that’s fair enough, most of my reads as well known one too! I do occasionally go off the grid but I often buy books I know about now because I have less opportunities to browse at the libraries!

      Wow, I had no idea! Thanks for the interesting information Michael, it seemed like such a random number that I didn’t really understand what significance it has. You’re just full of random knowledge. 🙂 I think I have vaguely come across ‘w00t’ because it sounds familiar, although I’m not sure where I would have encountered it!

  6. Unwind! That was awesome.
    Also, if you like archaeology with a thriller story The Everything Theory by Dianne Gray, The Wood Wife by Terri Windling which is a desert paranormal story and The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce, though that seems to be gaining in popularity.

    • Hehee, ok, I’m seriously intrigued now! That’s three people excited to read Unwind, I have to look this up. 🙂

      Ooh, I was always kind of obsessed with the idea of being an archaeologist when I was younger but I don’t think I’ve ever read a book that incorporates it.

      I’ve seen The Unlikely Pilgrimage one around a few times now and something keep making me go back to it, so I might just cave and buy that at some point. 😉

      Thank you for the recommendations!

  7. 1337 is waaay too less for your awesome blog. You deserve more. What’s wrong with all these other people who are not reading your blog?????!!!!! SHAME ON THEM!!!!! 😀

    For me, the most underrated book is Company of Liars by Karen Maitland. It’s set in the 1300’s during one of the Plague outbreaks but has a slight supernatural twist to it. I love her portrayal of medieval England, so it’s definitely one of my favourite historical fiction novels. I never thought I would say this about ANY book but I would love to see this novel made into a movie. I think it might adapt well. Alas, I don’t think it’s popular enough for any movie producer to consider it. 😦

    • Awwwwwhhh, thank you Nisha! 😀 You are way too kind. HA! But yes, I WOULD LOVE MORE LIKES ON MY BLOG PEOPLE OF CYBERSPACE. 😛

      Well unsurprisingly, I’ve never heard of it, which means you picked well, lol! And you know how I love my supernatural twists. 😉 It sounds pretty cool, odd that you mention that actually because I came across a second hand book today with the premise ‘what would have happened if the plague killed 99.9% of Europe’ and basically how the world would have been shaped if there was more Eastern control/rule. I thought it sounded like a fascinating premise so I’m probably going to buy it, I made the nice people hold it for me for a week. 😀
      You know, I love medieval England but I’m not sure I’ve ever read a book set in the time period. There’s a lot of fantasy with medieval-esk setting though.

      Wow, high praise indeed! I will definitely make a note and see if I spot it anywhere. 🙂

  8. Pingback: Bloggin' Recap | The Day Dreamer and Candy EaterThe Day Dreamer and Candy Eater

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