Low-rated Books I Enjoyed

No book will ever be universally loved. Reading is a very personal experience, after all, and what one person may find amazing, another will surely consider dreadful. Thus, there are obviously books that I liked but that have a relatively low average rating on Goodreads. The last time that I checked, the average rating of the four books listed below was lower than 3.4. Nevertheless, I either remember highly enjoying them or rated them with four starts.


Glister by John Burnside

This short novel, which has an average rating of 3.11, is a combination of social commentary, atmospheric mystery, magical realism and science fiction. Boys from the Innertown have been going missing for a while. The official explanation is that they left of their own free will. The only police officer in the town knows what really happened to one of the boys, though. Not all of the mysteries are solved by the end of the book, but the personal story of Leonard, one of the narrators, provides some answers.


Felizmente Há Luar! by Luís de Sttau Monteiro

Originally published in 1961, this is a Portuguese theatre play that I read a long time ago at school, If I’m not mistaken, when I was in Year 12. It has an average rating of 3.17. Although it’s based on a failed liberal rebellion that took place in 1817, it has a deeper meaning. The true purpose of the author was to delve into the political repression and the persecution that people endured during the fascist regime of the time, reason why it ended up being censured and forbidden. Light is used as a symbol of the victory against oppression.


Dear Mr. M by Herman Koch

This novel, which features a surprising revelation, is both a crime story and a reflection on the writing of fiction. It is also told through two intertwined strands – one focuses on Mr. M, a renowned writer who is not as famous as he once was, and the other follows his creepy neighbour. By the end, both protagonists are fascinating, and even the secondary characters are interesting. I was not expecting it to have an average rating of 3.29, to be honest.


The Devil’s Footprints by John Burnside

Set in a small town in Scotland, this is a book about the memories of a troubled man, Michael Gardiner, who is struggling to come to terms with past events. Moira Birnie, who killed herself and her two sons but not her 14-year-old daughter, was his girlfriend for a while long ago. But this is not the only connection between them. Although the plot is not particularly exciting, the narrator has a distinctive voice. It has an average rating of 3.38.


Have you read any of these books? Did you like them? Tell me in the comments!


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