2014 Troxellian Literature Awards OF DOOM (Part II)

So now it’s time to announce the winners of the 2014 Troxellian Literature Awards…OF DOOM! If you’re looking for the nominees, they were announced in my previous post. All winners were chosen by me and the results are based on nothing more than my meaningless opinion. Here are the awards!

The “WOOHOO” Award

This award goes to the book that I had the most fun reading during the year. And the Troxell goes to…

Lamb by Christopher Moore

As a writer of absurdist comedy, I know how difficult it is to be funny. Many books try. Most fail. Christopher Moore took possibly one of the most depressing and sacred subjects (the life and eventual crucifixion of Jesus Christ) and turned it into a comedy. GENIUS! The book is written from the perspective of Jesus’ childhood best friend and forgotten disciple, Biff, and explores the often discarded years of Jesus, explaining how he learned to walk on water and multiply fish and perform his other famous miracles. It’s funny and really well-thought out. I had a blast reading it.

Honorable mention: The Maze Runner by James Dashner

The “THAT’S IT?!” Award

This award goes to the book that is considered a classic that totally didn’t live up to the hype. And the Troxell goes to…

Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Dafoe

Oh man…I absolutely LOVED how horrible this book was. Yes, I realize it was written for a different time period and a different audience, but it was so, so, so, so HORRIBLE. It was like reading a Nic Cage movie, that’s how bad it was. The dude gets stuck on an island and NOTHING happens to him for 28 years…nothing. He just hangs out, enslaves a native, and forces Christianity on him. THAT’S IT! There is no character arc, no progression, nothing! He’s the same douche he was at the beginning of his marooning! Oh man, sooooooooooooooooooo overrated.

Dishonorable mention: On the Road by Jack Kerouac (Just totally pointless)

The “That’s F*cked Up!” Award

This award goes to the novel that disturbed me the most or that contained the most fucked up scene. And the Troxell goes to…

Noise by Darin Bradley

I assume most people have never heard of this book. It’s a YA dystopian book about a pair of friends who carefully plan out how to survive the downfall of society when it happens…and then it happens. It’s RAW. The fact that it’s for a YA audience is even more disturbing. It’s written like a how-to manual and contains tips on how to murder people without hesitating and not feel bad about it afterwards…yeah, it’s pretty serious. It’s scary how much thought went into writing this book because everything in it is totally realistic and plausible. I have a copy by my bedside just in case society starts collapsing. I actually felt bad about myself and society after reading it. That’s powerful stuff.

Honorable Mention: Zombie by JR Angelella

The “TAP OUT” Award

This award goes to the book that I gave up reading the fastest. And the Troxell goes to…

Miss Peregrin’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

This wasn’t much of a contest because this was the ONLY book I didn’t finish this past year. Still, I feel bad about this award. It wasn’t that this wasn’t a good book, it just wasn’t the book I wanted it to be. That’s the problem with reading as a writer; you always know what SHOULD have happened. I loved the setup for this book. Great mystery. Interesting main character. Then there was a woman who turned into a bird and other characters with super-powers and it so WASN’T what I wanted it to be. Plus it uses old pictures as a gimmick (which I also hated as a writer) and that spelled the end for me. Regardless, I won’t be checking out the sequel anytime soon.

The “‘OLE FRIEND” Award

This award goes to a book I’ve read previously that I’m reading for the second time…and it turns out to be even better than the first time around. And the Troxell goes to…

Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut

Yes, this was slightly unfair because I’m such a Vonnegut nut, but screw it! They’re my awards, dammit! It’s not my favorite Vonnegut novel (Cat’s Cradle), but it’s solid. Vonnegut’s voice is there and the social commentary is there and any fan of literature should just read the damn book. It’s so good.

The “Gonorrhea” Award

Granted, it’s a horrible name, but this award goes to the book that I read the PREVIOUS year that has stayed with me two years later…much like an STD that just won’t go away. And the Troxell goes to…

Ready Player One by Ernest Kline

I think about this book a lot. It was my “WOOHOO” award winner in 2013 and it’s still one of my favorite books I’ve read in the past two years. The love and care that went into writing what is essentially a love letter to 80s culture is something I can certainly respect as a child of the 80s. Add that with the dystopian elements and it’s a book I expect to read probably once every five years or so. Good stuff.

The “THAT’S THE STUFF” Award

This award goes to the best book I read during the year that was the equivalent of literary heroin. And the Troxell goes to…

The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand

I read some amazing books this past year. It was a tight, tight race for this award. It was a toss-up between Rand’s epic and Atwood’s “Oryx and Crake.” I deducted points from Atwood for the sequels being so disappointing so Rand took the crown. I don’t even know what to say about The Fountainhead. It affected me, it changed me. That’s what literature is supposed to do! I don’t always buy Rand’s philosophy, but Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged are books that left me scarred. We currently live in the world she warned us about where we celebrate mediocrity and punish those few extraordinary individuals who actually have the ability to better our world. Those people are crushed under the treads of bureaucracy. In Rand’s world, the extraordinary eventually triumph. That’s the world I want to live in.

Honorable Mentions: Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood and The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury

And there you have it. Go and read all the winners (and losers) and see whether or not you agree with me. Really none of it matters as long as you keep reading. See you in 2015!

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~ by themoderntranscendentalist on December 29, 2014.

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