Best book mistakes of all time
These are the best book mistakes as voted by visitors. Please use the voting icons under each entry when browsing the site to help the best rise to the top!
Factual error: In the book Teabing is a die hard British patriot, yet he refers to the sport of soccer. NO Englishman would use the word soccer for the game of football. [People keep trying to correct this - you've really got to accept it. It's nothing to do with Teabing being older - soccer may have been used in the very early days of the game, but the governing body of the sport in the UK is the Football Association, formed in 1863, demonstrating how that was the accepted word for the sport even then (otherwise it would be the Soccer Association). Likewise the international governing body, FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association), formed in 1904 - no mention of the word soccer there either. And it won't be him changing it for Langdon's benefit, considering a) Langdon's intelligent enough to know what he means, and b) he's so determinedly English about everything else.]
Continuity mistake: During Priori Incantatem, Voldemort's victims come out in reverse order. However, James comes out before Lily. He should come out last, because he was killed before Lily. (Corrected in later versions of the book).
Continuity mistake: How can Ron and Lavender be in a 'prominent corner' of the Common Room when in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, it says it is a circular room?
Continuity mistake: While being sorted into houses, Harry looks up at the Sorting Stool, and there are only three people left to be sorted. Professor McGonagall then calls out the names of four more kids.
Continuity mistake: Eddie's broken arm changes around, sometimes it's the left arm that's broken, sometimes it's the right.
Factual error: When Arnie and Leigh gives the hitchhiker a ride, on page 265 (Chapter 34), it says that the hitchhiker opened Christine's rear door. But Plymouth Furies of that era had only two doors.
Continuity mistake: The pickup truck with the painting of the Gypsy woman and the unicorn in Chapter 6 changes into a VW microbus in Chapter 18.
Continuity mistake: Dumbledore tells Harry at the end that Lord Voldemort is the last remaining ancestor of Salazar Slytherin. But ancestors are in the past - he means Voldemort is the last descendant of Salazar Slytherin. Not a mistake Dumbledore would have made. (Corrected in later printings.)
Plot hole: Spiro's vault can only be opened by Spiro himself, but the guards change every hour and Spiro doesn't go to the vault every hour of his life to let the guards in, so how do they get in?
Plot hole: When Julius is going after Pompey to Asia Minor and he reaches the harbor in Greece he tries to talk to the sailors but they don't speak Latin. So he asks Adán to translate for him, but he is unable to since he hasn't learned Greek yet. But Julius is fluent in Greek himself, he was taught as a boy and uses the language on several occasions throughout the series, including in this book. Why couldn't he just talk to the sailors in Greek himself?
Continuity mistake: The Longsword Fighter that landed in Ascendant Justice's hangar bay is repeatedly referred to as a Pelican on pages 75, 93, 95 and more.
Continuity mistake: In Part 3, Chapter 33, two news reporters come to see Annie and interview her about the missing policeman. She walks out with a shotgun full of "double-ought buck", fires a warning shot, and then when she re-enters the house she magically has a rifle, not a shotgun.
Factual error: In Chapter 5, Koontz explains how Grandma Rowena started smacking her lips while eating, at the age of 75. He then says this same event happened "halfway between her seventh and eighth decades". But at 75, she is actually halfway between her eighth and ninth decades (or, if you prefer, halfway through her eighth decade) - much like the 1700s are the 18th century, not the 17th.
Factual error: Petra is reading some details about the size of a murder weapon used to commit 6 similar murders. The diameter of the weapon is estimated at 77 centimeters. It says according to Petra's ruler, 77 centimeters is 3 inches. This should be 77 millimeters as 77 centimeters is about 30 inches.
Continuity mistake: The age of Tom Hagen when he moved in with the Corleones is never consistent. At the start of Book I, Michael says Tom was 12 when Sonny brought him home and demanded they take him in; later in Book I, Tom says both he and Sonny were both 11. Then, in Book III, when recounting how Sonny had taken part in an armed robbery when he was 16, Don Corleone says that Tom had been living with them for three years at this point, which would place Sonny and Tom at 13 when Tom moved in.
Continuity mistake: In chapter 18 Scudder visits Dr. Nadler at his Manhattan office but in chapter 32 we hear that Nadler was in Martha's Vineyard at the time.
Plot hole: The main reason the antimatter bomb was not found, according to the book, is because it is small enough to be hidden anywhere. However, there was a wireless camera watching the bomb all the time. The wireless camera, just like any wireless device, is basically a radio transmitter and receiver, so all they would need is a device displaying the signal strength coming from the camera (having no such device, the CERN could probably borrow some). Where the signal is the strongest, there is the bomb. It is improbable that there wasn't a single person understanding how wireless devices work.
Continuity mistake: This is from the American hardcover copy, near the end of the book. On page 283, Opal says "Whoever is passing wind, please stop it, or I will devise a fitting punishment." Then on page 297 (it is the same time, but from Mulch's point of view instead of Opal's) Opal says "NOW, whoever is passing wind, please stop it, or I will devise a fitting punishment." Since it is the same time on both pages, she should say exactly the same thing.
Other mistake: Near the beginning of the book, an imp says 'Are you going to warp today, Runt, or will pink flowers grow out of my armpits?' But later on in the book No. 1 says 'Pink! We don't have a word for that colour in the demon commonspeak'.
Continuity mistake: Diana Foxton's hair goes from blonde to brunette and back again over a couple of pages.
Continuity mistake: When Mulch helps Holly and Artemis from the trunk of the car, when they've gone back in time, it says that he burps. Yet in the first book it says that all dwarf wind is passed down, soMulch is incapable of burping.
Continuity mistake: Near the end of chapter thirty, it says that the only people left in the room of requirement are Harry, Ginny, Mrs Weasley, Lupin, Fred, George, Bill and Fleur. But on the next page Percy (who had recently entered the room) says sorry to Mr Weasley, but Mr Weasley had left the room along with all the other people.
Continuity mistake: In the chapter entitled Smooth Criminal, Reed is asked by the Billing's Girls to steal a physics test and that she has 15 minutes to do it. Early in the chapter she states that after glancing at her watch she had already wasted 4 minutes but at the end of the chapter she states that she wished she'd had time to put on a watch as she had no idea how much time was elapsing.
Continuity mistake: In the first book, Devil on My Back, Arbor is Rowan's brother, and she is teased because of Groundsel's interest in her (Chapter 4: Rowan). But in the sequel, The Dream Catcher, all of a sudden Groundsel is Rowan's brother, and Rowan says she had promised to marry Arbor (Chapter 9: The Sharing). The two male characters have been reversed.
Continuity mistake: In Chapter 19, Wade describes the small efficiency apartment he has moved into, which used to be an average hotel room. He says at one point that the room "was basically a cube, about ten meters long on each side." A ten-meter cube is actually a really big room - that's over 32 feet on each side, including ceiling height. Then, just to confirm that this is indeed a mistake, later in the same chapter he refers to "my tiny one-room apartment."
Plot hole: When the time stop is almost over, Root uses his "finger" to render Cudgeon unconscious. However, later in the book it is explained that if you lose your consciousness during the time stop you would immediately jump to the end. Cudgeon should have disappeared, and Foaly (or someone else) should have realized how Artemis planned to escape.