10. WHAT HAPPENED TO ANNA K., Irina Reyn
It takes both chutzpah and talent to successfully rewrite Anna Karenina, and Reyn has both in abundance. She uses the scaffolding of Tolstoy's classic to tell her gloomy tale but manages to make the story of pretty, self-centered New Yorker Anna K. completely her own. Reyn's Anna has the requisite boring husband, the casually abandoned young son, and a naively trusting cousin whose potential boyfriend she handily swipes. But this modern Anna lovely and lost, but also vain and narcissistic is a considerably more ambiguous creation than Tolstoy's. Or does Reyn just know her character better?
Jump to 5 Worst Books of 2008
EW's critic ranks ''American Wife,'' ''The Tale of Edgar Sawtelle,'' and ''Say You're One of Them'' among the top releases of the past 12 months -- see our pick for the novel of the year