(insert pithy rejoinder here)

The Hellis 100 (71-80)

For the next installment of THE HELLIS 100 I have decided to create a list of some of the best-selling books of all time. Not because of their stellar content or because they are some of my favorites, but because they may well be the most abused and exploited novels ever.

Confused? Alright, I’ll explain:

Have you ever sat next to someone who was reading a book that they were just a little too eager to tell you about? Did you ever wonder why that was? Well I have discovered that there are people out there with no interest in reading great literature, they simply purchase certain books to adopt a perceived “mystique.” Today I am going to save you the ass-pain of figuring out how to differentiate between genuine readers and those with something to prove.

We start our TOP TEN LIST OF BOOKS FOR PEOPLE WHO HAVE AN AGENDA with…

10. David Foster Wallace – INFINITE JEST

Who the reader wants you to think he is: Confident, Educated, Worldly.

Who he REALLY is: An Efete Wanker.

If you look closely enough you’ll see a wet ring around his collar where the captain of the football team gave him a swirly back in high school. And ladies, you better believe he’s still angry about it. This fop is going to employ the pre-emptive “shoot down” by randomly insulting you before you say a word because he assumes you won’t date him. Then he’ll call you a lesbian. To your face.

9. Johnathan Frazen – Freedom

Who the reader wants you to think he is: Intelligent, Powerful, A Man of Consequence.

Who he REALLY is: A Pseudo Intellectual.

Don’t bother saying a thing to this self-aggrandized windbag because he won’t hear a word of it. That’s because your words can’t drown out the sound of his own voice resonating inside his head. This blowhard hasn’t really read the book, he has simply committed to memory The New York Times review of it. Ladies, don’t bother kicking him in the balls because he won’t feel it. All the blood has left his withered nether regions in order to fuel his massive, throbbing ego.

8. Nick Hornby – High Fidelity

Who the reader wants you to think he is: Hip, Urban, Cool.

Who he REALLY is: A Hipster Douche.

My apologies to all you die-hard Hornby fans out there, but just like Fedoras and Elvis Costello Hipsters have ruined this for you. Pray they don’t discover Adult Swim. Oh shit…

7. Douglas Adams – Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Who the reader wants you to think he is: Quirky, Clever, Witty.

Who he REALLY is: A Self-hating Uber Dork.

This is the man who, when he’s about to ask you out, looks as though he’ll take his own life if you say no. Because despite all his education and life experiences, he doesn’t for one moment believe he has overcome whatever debilitating flaw it was that prevented him from getting laid in high school. If you can stand tears and pu**y worship then ladies; this is the guy for you.

6. Bret Easton Ellis – Less Than Zero

Who the reader wants you to think he is: Edgy, Raw, Unpredictable.

Who he REALLY is: A Basement Dweller.

Chances are you’ll meet this dude in a used bookstore or an underground vinyl den because he is above it all. He’ll tell you all about how he “chose” to leave corporate America and live in his mother’s basement and how it had nothing to do with his raging coke habit. He’s not shy about sharing stories of his latest conquests with anyone who will listen and as awful as that sounds, what you must NEVER do is agree to read his manuscript when he asks you to. And believe me, he will ask. Just. Don’t. Do it.

5. Jodi Picoult – My Sister’s Keeper

Who the reader wants you to think she is: Compassionate, Feminine, Maternal.

Who she REALLY is: A Desperate Housewife.

The only thing needed to push this woman off the razor-thin edge between estrogen laden housefrau and dick-eating femshrew is one bad dumpster bang. Seriously. This woman is so desperate for love she’ll deny her lack of ability to get it and instead play her failure off as female enlightenment. But guys, don’t let this one fool you. She’ll read deeper meaning into every word of the Valentine’s Day card she bought for herself that you would’ve gotten her had you only bothered to get to know her better. Your relationship arc will mirror her favorite soap-opera couple and you will have to check the TV Guide just to find out what is going to happen next. Don’t bother wearing a cup boys; just tear those puppies off and chuck ‘em in a lake. It’s bound to be less painful in the long run.

4. Jack Kerouac – On The Road

Who the reader wants you to think he is: Enlightened, Self-Actualized, Deep-Thinking.

Who he REALLY is: Dangerously Anti-Social.

This one longs for the days of social simplicity and freedom from the shackles of modern society. What that really means is he has absolutely no clue how to relate to others; namely women. Be warned people; this dude is one remote cabin, bad cigarette, loose leaf piece of notebook paper away from penning his “manifesto.”

3. Ernest Hemingway – For Whom The Bell Tolls

Who the reader wants you to think he is: Exciting, Rugged, Dangerously Sexy.

Who he REALLY is: A Closet Rapist

I am going to insert a qualifier here. If you see a college age male or a man over the age of fifty reading Hemingway then you needn’t worry. One is broadening his horizons and the other has lived long enough to appreciate classic literature. But if you see a man around, say…thirty, spouting how Hemingway “knew his shit” then ladies, you need to run. NOW. Because this piece of work uses Hemingway’s genius as a reason to explain away his own hard drinking and random abuses. You’ll hear how he admires the days of “real men” as he cups his iphone instead of his balls and then boasts about how his unwanted sexual advances are really romantic overtures. When you run into this dillhole make sure you hand him a fifth of scotch and a shotgun and tell him to complete the transformation. Expect him not to get it.

2. Nicholas Sparks – The Notebook

Who the reader wants you to think he is: Attentive, Passionate, Nurturing.

Who he REALLY is: The Flaccid Casanova.

This tool appears in all the places that he believes women predominately gather, like yoga class or the self-help section in bookstores. He’ll make a point of letting you see him holding this book but make no mistake, the fool has never read a word of it. This lowly scavenger’s game isn’t to impress you with how in touch he is with his feminine side, it’s to pick up female scraps the Alpha male leaves behind. So the next time you see this loser lurking about, fix him up with Miss Desperate Housewife up there. It’ll be a match made in “meh.”

1. Chuck Palahniuk – Fight Club

Who the reader wants you to think she is: Smart, Tough, Empowered.

Who she REALLY is: The Damaged Chick.

The Damaged Chick is the most dangerous of all the deluded readers because there are no obvious outward signs to her blinding dysfunction other than her sweaty clasp on an a Chuck Palahniuk novel. Deceptive and disarming, this woman knows her prey and isn’t above playing the “adorable” card in order to get what she wants. Make no mistake boys, what she wants is your head on a plate. Oh, she’ll bat her eyes as you tell her she resembles a Disney Princess and smile sweetly when you describe how her wisp of a frame will fit nicely in your pocket. All the while she’ll be cursing you for not seeing the badass rocker chick she really is. Like a Gremlin, this woman comes with rules. Don’t offer to open the door for her. Don’t lift things because you think they are too heavy. Don’t pat her on the head and placate her ego. But most importantly, whatever you do, NEVER ask her about her blog.

55 responses

  1. Omg @literally laughing out loud as I read.. Brilliant!

    February 27, 2012 at 5:01 am

    • Thanks! Now all I have to do is figure out what kind of tool reads my book. :)

      February 27, 2012 at 5:35 am

  2. funny as this is ( seriously hilarious ) and not having read any of these books, I know I’ve done something of this sort….. Heck, part of the reason I first decided to start reading the fountainhead was to ‘broaden my horizons’ and much like that book, the few others I’ve picked up for outward appearances I’ve grown to love because there was a genuine reason ( if understood ) why they came so highly recommended.
    ….but I don’t suppose that makes me any less of a twat eh?

    February 27, 2012 at 5:20 am

    • I had thought of including The Fountainhead, but I’ve never met an Ayn Rand fan I didn’t like. You can’t fake being able to wrap your mind around her work.

      February 27, 2012 at 5:38 am

  3. Love it! I want more! These are great!

    February 27, 2012 at 7:03 am

    • Thanks! I’ll be doing one of dirty magazines next.

      February 27, 2012 at 11:21 am

  4. Great post…I’ve not read a Jodi Picoult novel, so does that disqualify me from the Desperate Housewives category? I think Ill pick up the Fight Club for my flight to Ontario tomorrow…”dick-eating femshrew”…I think I’ll write that one down and keep in my pocket. Thanks, eh.

    February 27, 2012 at 7:52 am

    • You, Kayjai, are NOT a desperate housewife. You are a seriously rockin’ chick (that’s good here in America).

      Eh.

      February 27, 2012 at 11:22 am

      • I know what you mean on this one, but there’s a flip side too. A response to an email from an iPhone when you’re not in the ofcife shows that you’re still there and available. Generally when responding to emails from my iPhone I will remove that, but there are times when I think it’s worth leaving on the email it almost explains the fact that you’re not in a situation where you can get down a full response but the fact that you’ve responded at all is actually a good thing.

        October 5, 2013 at 2:30 pm

  5. Not the Broth

    This one was worth the wait, well done! So I’m a basement-dwelling, self-hating uber dork who masturbates the damaged chick. Yup, you know me well. But does it actually apply when, in public, you cover every book you’re reading with a semen encrusted sleeve of Helter Skelter? Hmm, this may require a serious bender…

    February 27, 2012 at 8:15 am

    • I suppose it all depends on what you’re covering. A semen encrusted sleeve of Helter Skelter covering Hitchhiker’s Guide makes you someone who went to WPI.

      February 27, 2012 at 11:25 am

      • Not the Broth

        You’re right, nothing says muff worshiping sensitivity like mindless ejaculation and an engineering degree. What does it say about me if I’m using it to cover the graphic novel Sandman?

        February 27, 2012 at 2:54 pm

        • It says you’re a self-flagellating Catholic with repressed penis envy.

          And G.E.R.D.

          February 27, 2012 at 3:17 pm

          • Not the Broth

            It’s not ‘self-flagellating’ if you’re paying someone, but other than that, spot on.

            February 27, 2012 at 3:24 pm

  6. As always, your words rock. And slam. And strangle. And fart in public. You are a joy to read.

    February 27, 2012 at 8:52 am

    • “There is no higher praise than for your work to be compared to a fart in public.”

      – Oscar Wilde (or someone of his literary stature).

      February 27, 2012 at 11:28 am

  7. You know, you’re kinda cool.

    February 27, 2012 at 9:11 am

    • It’s because I run with a cool crowd.

      February 27, 2012 at 11:29 am

  8. I’ve only read 2 on the list, Hemmingway and Adams.
    And seriously, you should go reread Hithchhikers Guide.
    There is a full blown drinking game on almost every page.

    At least, we made up drinking games to fill all the time we weren’t spending getting laid…
    Sigh…

    February 27, 2012 at 9:30 am

  9. Absolutely precious, well done again. What are the chances that you and I both post a blog on the same day, with the word effete? And, “wanker”? You’ve been talking to Meghan again, haven’t you. Despite Kayjai’s suspicions, no robots were involved. Each of the 11 non-notices were carefully handcrafted to suit the receiver’s idiosyncrasies, by the idiot-syncratic Archon, with some small assistance from the cat

    February 27, 2012 at 10:59 am

    • “Efete” and “Wanker.”

      What can I say? Great minds think alike. :)

      February 27, 2012 at 11:30 am

  10. OK answer me this then, If I walk over to a park bench grasping a book named
    Gods of Asphalt in my hands,
    But I return home and flip through the pages of,
    Penthouse forum
    What kind of person will that make me?

    February 27, 2012 at 11:16 am

    • My typical reader.

      February 27, 2012 at 11:31 am

      • Not the Broth

        …and my new best friend…

        February 27, 2012 at 2:49 pm

        • Oh no. Last time HR went drinking with you he blew chunks all over the hood of his truck. Jagermeister is an evil bitch.

          February 27, 2012 at 2:53 pm

          • Not the Broth

            You misspelled Chuck.

            February 27, 2012 at 2:56 pm

            • Holy shit I just got that.

              February 27, 2012 at 2:59 pm

              • Not the Broth

                You like how I did that? How I went for subtle? I’m trying something new.

                February 27, 2012 at 3:08 pm

                • I would have suggested bisexuality, but to each his own.

                  February 27, 2012 at 3:20 pm

                  • Not the Broth

                    Been there, done them…

                    February 27, 2012 at 3:22 pm

  11. Excellent! BTW – I am reading your book! I like it so far..

    February 27, 2012 at 1:07 pm

  12. Your best Hellis 100 list so far.

    I’m so proud that you’ve mastered the use of “wanker” with such aplomb.

    And I definitely won’t be asking you about your blog.

    February 27, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    • Thanks! Now I need to use the word “aplomb.”

      February 27, 2012 at 1:31 pm

  13. talker96

    This is the most accurate description of the typical “reader” I have ever seen. The Palahniuk and Easton Ellis comments are so scarily accurate that they should be included on the book covers.
    Question, what does it say about me that all I read are Neil Gaiman, Bill Bryson and nonfiction.

    February 27, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    • You’re hung like a horse.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:56 pm

      • talker96

        Ok, that’s just freaky how good you are with the reader descriptions because I call my penis Mr Ed.
        Also, for shock value I shall write the word penis again.
        thank you.

        February 27, 2012 at 2:17 pm

        • Talker, this one’s for you:

          February 27, 2012 at 2:23 pm

  14. I have read only one of the books on that list. Hitchhiker. Let me tell you about that book: It was pretty good. Funny, and British. And in the movie, which had Mos Def as Ford Prefect in a flagrant display of stunt casting, the guy who played Arthur Dent is the same guy who’s playing Bilbo Baggins in the Hobbit movies. He joined the two-franchise club! Then, I ate some gumbo pasta and had a good lie-down, where I watched the Weather Channel until I fell asleep. Thank you for asking! The end.

    February 27, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    • The next book you write should be a combination of Hitchhiker’s and High Fidelity. You could totally pull that off.

      February 28, 2012 at 7:44 am

      • Hotspur is not taking suggestions at this time. He is very busy with plates and fullness of those plates.

        February 28, 2012 at 8:44 am

  15. This was freakin’ splendid. Alternated between open-mouthed awe and laughing my damn ass off. I’m pretty sure that I’m renaming my deal massivethrobbingego dot wordpress, with your permission, of course. If I was a bisexual, I’d start another one called dickeating femshrew.
    On the Road, what the fuck was that shit with “pulling wrists”? I think it was that book that they were always doing that; I don’t know if it meant they were talking beatnik politics (“Oh, oh, listen to this”) or having a circle jerk.
    Someday someone will convince me of the greatness of Ernie, and my eyes shall be opened. Until then, I wish I could build a time machine to go back and buy his shells for him before he ever wrote a word.
    (Oh, and a romance blog called baddumpsterbang dot com.)

    February 27, 2012 at 11:22 pm

    • I never got the pulling wrists bit either. I had a teacher in high school who was friggin’ obsessed with this book. It’s clear I am still traumatized.

      I like the idea of baddumpsterbang as a bitch blog. Someone needs to set that up.

      February 28, 2012 at 7:48 am

  16. This has to be one of your best posts ever. Excellent. Howard Roark was a rapist by the way–but I was inspired by the book (to build and be my own man, not to rape). Ayn Rand was amazing but brought up in Bolshevik Russia which turned her into a crazy-ass Egoist. I agree with everyone who acknowledges that all the descriptions are dead on and uniquely clever.
    This is really, really good stuff. I call this a counter-point to the pointless Penazzling-type blogs out there.

    February 28, 2012 at 12:10 am

    • I kinda like the Penazzling post. You have the courage to say what others think but don’t always let themselves say. You have no idea how much I hold back on this blog. I let it rip on yours though. It’s like you’re blogworld’s personal spank sock.

      Is “spank sock” one word or two?

      February 28, 2012 at 7:51 am

  17. Whew- I haven’t read any of them.

    But, I kinda did watch the movie version of ‘The Notebook’- that doesn’t count, does it? I mean, it wasn’t my fault- the neighbors picked it for Gilrs Nite In and I didn’t have a choice, or I would risk being kicked out of their sheltered, ‘Lily White’ suburban mom club.

    And for crying out loud, Ryan Gosling was in it- you cannot blame a bored suburban housewife for looking at that- you just cannot!
    Can you?
    Pal?
    Buddy?
    Friend?
    You’re pretty…

    February 28, 2012 at 9:48 am

    • No, no, watching the movie does NOT make you a desperate housewife, it makes you a hot mama. I’m not into skinny blonde dudes but I’d blow Ryan Gosling in a Chuck E. Cheese, I shit you not.

      February 28, 2012 at 10:47 am

      • Bahahahhahhahhhhhhhhaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.

        Shit that was funny.

        February 28, 2012 at 11:25 am

      • I have a question for you on my ‘Blog Tag’ post….

        February 28, 2012 at 3:42 pm

        • In answer to your “blog tag” post question:

          They both go in my mouth.

          February 28, 2012 at 6:30 pm

  18. The Fight Club one had me chortling. Also: I’ve read a painfully small slice of this selection. Actually, I’ve only ever read Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Fight Club – movie all the way.

    Can’t tell if it’s a good or bad thing!

    November 28, 2012 at 6:24 pm

  19. theothercanary

    So do you think it only applies to those who are a little to eager to talk about the books? I love me some Hitchhiker’s Guide, but I don’t spew about it to people. Am I still a Self-hating Uber Dork?

    November 29, 2012 at 10:38 am

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