The BBC will be releasing a list of the top 100 books as chosen by the British public soon, so the Independent though they'd ask a few British notables what the worst books they've read are. Here are two interesting entries:

Harry Potter booksJonathan Meades: Author and broadcaster
The Harry Potter books by JK Rowling
I think they are absolute shit, just terrible, worse than Enid Blyton. I have discouraged my children from reading them. They are not particularly badly written ­ I don't mind bad writing ­ it's the smugness and the complicity with the reader that I dislike. It's like they're written by a focus group. JK Rowling is the sub-literary analogue of Tony Blair.

Sir John Mortimer: Author and creator of Rumpole
The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien
Anything about Gandalf, and those little things with hair between their toes. I hate that sort of portentous, phoney, medieval-magical way of writing.

[Via Metafilter]