Author: Toni Morrison
Released: 1992

There are accomplished authors and then there's Toni Morrison. Pulitzer Prize, yes. The Nobel, she has one of those on her mantel too. But her sixth novel, Jazz, was more cacophonous than Miles Davis' electric period.

The book was intended to mimic and explore techniques fundamental to jazz like improvisation and call-and-response, but the result was a mass of words that were harder to follow than a treasure map written in invisible ink. The plot was sloppy and the rich character development she was known for in opuses like Beloved and Song of Solomon was absent.

Prior to Jazz, Morrison had a perfect record of genius, ranging 22 years and five novels. It was the most impressive winning streak any American author has ever put forth. It just goes to show, even the best of us fart loud and smelly once in awhile. —Orlando Lima