May I Introduce You to the Following?

It may seem easy for an author to amass 2000+ ratings on Goodreads. After all, look at how many these books have (I chose a handful of my favorites):

The Stand (412886), Jane Eyre (1,164,015!), Empire Falls (86,492), Deliverance (42,487), even The Girls – which was just released on June 14th – has 5,967.

The following were accurate when I wrote the list (July 3, 2016) and they are woefully underrated, yet I’d highly recommend them!

Low Rated Books

Daredevils by Shawn Vestal (223). A teenager is swiftly married off as a sister wife to a fundmentalist with a wife and a horde of children. She meets his nephew and they try to make a break for it.

Donnybrook by Frank Bill (920). Three days. Twenty men. One wire ring fence in the middle of nowhere. Bare-knuckled fighting until the last man is left standing.

The Rathbones by Janice Clark (1111). A mysterious whaling family with an even more mysterious family history is slowly revealed by the diminutive lady of the house.

Hitchers by Will McIntosh (448). After a terrorist attack, people find themselves talking in others’ voices. It turns out dead souls are hitching a ride on the living. Now to get the dead back to Deadland…

The Ploughmen by Kim Zupan (1023). “A young sheriff and a hardened killer form an uneasy and complicated bond in this mesmerizing first novel set on the plains of Montana…”

The Marauders by Tom Cooper (1447). Funnier than any novel set in post-Katrina Louisiana has a right to be.

A Man Came Out of a Door in the Mountain by Adrienne Harun (623). “In this intoxicatingly lush debut novel, Adrianne Harun weaves together folklore, mythology, and elements of magical realism to create a compelling and unsettling portrait of life in a dead-end town.”

Smonk by Tom Franklin (808). Smonk. How would you describe Smonk…? “Syphilitic, consumptive, gouty and goitered, Smonk is also an expert with explosives and knives. He abhors horses, goats and the Irish. Every Saturday night for a year he’s been riding his mule into Old Texas, destroying property, killing livestock, seducing women, cheating and beating men—all from behind the twin barrels of his Winchester 45-70 caliber over and under rifle. At last the desperate citizens of the town, themselves harboring a terrible secret, put Smonk on trial, with disastrous and shocking results.”

Only Love Can Break Your Heart by Ed Tarkington (1,028). Aside from all the Neil Young references, this novel is worth reading for the southern Gothic mystery goodness.

Haints Stay by Colin Winette (226). Oddly humorous for the western, reimagined.

For more undervalued books, visit these lists.

Previous Post Next Post

You Might Also Like

  • Monika @ Lovely Bookshelf

    Ohhh A Man Came Out of a Door in the Mountain sounds really good, especially with magical realism!

    • Rory O’Connor

      It’s an odd little gem that manages to get overlooked a lot, I hope you get a chance to pick it up (it’s a quick read).

  • Sarah (Sarah’s Book Shelves)

    I’m so glad to see Only Love Can Break Your Heart on this list! It’s one I wish would get more love…and I recently found out it’s based on the real-life Haysom murders in Lynchburg, VA. My sister-in-law is from there and was reading it on vacation last week and pointing out all the real-life people/places the fictional people/places are based on.

    • Rory O’Connor

      I didn’t know that! That’s fascinating. Now I have to find out.

  • Kailana

    Definitely never heard of any of these. This prompt is bad on the wish list. lol

    • Rory O’Connor

      It is, isn’t it?

  • Lauren @ Malcolm Avenue Review

    Great list, Rory. Several of these are on my shelf waiting for me to cram them into the schedule. Others are new to me and sound like they SHOULD be on my shelf waiting. 🙂

    • Rory O’Connor

      Yes they should! 🙂

      • Lauren @ Malcolm Avenue Review

        Found Smonk on the sale shelf at Books Inc. yesterday. Win!

  • Debbie Rodgers

    The Marauders is the second post Katrina novel I’ve seen in this link-up today. I think I’ll start a collection with them. Thanks for the introduction!

    • Rory O’Connor

      This and Salvage the Bones are my favorite Katrina novels, which is a weird phrase to type.

  • Kathy

    I’ve heard mixed things about Daredevils, but The Marauders is calling to me. I’m just not sure when I can answer. Tarkington’s book….LOVE that Rocky and Paul relationship. The whole family dynamic, really. That one was my second (out of only three) five-star book this year.

    • Rory O’Connor

      It hasn’t been my best reading year, I don’t think I’ve had a true 5 star book yet, but Tarkington’s book was a solid 4/4.5.

  • Shaina @ Shaina Reads

    I’ve only heard of Only Love Can Break Your Heart and Haints Stay! All the others are entirely new to me. The Rathbones, Hitchers and A Man Came Out of a Door in the Mountain sound like they could be up my particular alley. Thanks for giving me new books to investigate!

    • Rory O’Connor

      The Rathbones! Not to too firmly suggest one above the rest. In all my book pushing, no one ever picks that one up.

  • Kate

    Would The Rathbones be a nice follow-on to Rush Oh! – just to continue the whaling theme?
    I still have an ARC of Only Love Can Break Your Heart (so I will read I this year).

    • Rory O’Connor

      It would not be a good follow up for a whaling theme, there is far more focus on the odd family history.

%d bloggers like this: