Etiquette Hell

A Civil World. Off-topic discussions on a variety of topics. Guests, register for forum membership to see all the boards. => Time For a Coffee Break! => Topic started by: Giggity on April 25, 2011, 09:30:07 AM

Title: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Giggity on April 25, 2011, 09:30:07 AM
You know it ... is it a book your mother recommended? One you had to read in high school? One all your friends just RAVED about, even the people whose opinions you trust? One you looked forward to and then found out the author apparently went temporarily insane while writing it?

Dish it, literarions!

For me, oh Lord have mercy, it was White Oleanders. My mother loaned it to me. I hated every single person in that book and wanted to reach inside the pages and just start laying waste.

Oh yeah ... and then there's She's Come Undone. I was in a book group at a former job that decided to read that, and all the women loved it except me. Such a hateful protagonist, and everyone she meets is just a miserable human being. I quit the group after that, because who knows how much worse it would have gotten.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: flo on April 25, 2011, 09:41:21 AM
The Road.  Not a single ray of sunshine.  No hope anywhere.  Seriously the most depressing book I've ever read.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: rose red on April 25, 2011, 09:42:34 AM
I mentioned this before, but I was extremely disgusted with The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake.  The story sounds good but it was just badly written.  The main problem is the book has no quotation marks which I know is also one of your peeves, Juana.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: StarDrifter on April 25, 2011, 09:43:03 AM
Twilight.

I accidentally watched the movie (I was on a cruise ship, sick and it was either that or the USPGA) and still couldn't figure out what was so good about it.

I asked one of my friends, who is a voracious reader, what she thought of it. She raved! She said it was awesome! She told me that it was *so much better than the movie!*

Lies.

It's terrible! I'm about ten chapters in, and I just want to take a baseball bat to Bella's head. She's so self-centered and a nasty pessimistic piece of work, then she's all upset with the people who are nice to her, and moons over a guy who treats her like dirt.

Then she meets Jacob and is sarcastic towards him purely because he's younger than her.

I want to strangle her. I think I might like the books, if the main character wasn't such a beeyatch. But since it's written first-person, changing the main character would be kind of hard....
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Bibliophile on April 25, 2011, 09:43:11 AM
The Road.  Not a single ray of sunshine.  No hope anywhere.  Seriously the most depressing book I've ever read.

POD.  And it wasn't even a very new take on the post-apocolyptic story.  No Country For Old Men also stunk.  I think he's my least favorite author.  
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: POF on April 25, 2011, 09:45:55 AM
White Oleander ... Pod
Twilight ... podddity pod pod
She's come undone ... just yuck.

Cold Mountain.... could not read it

Wicked ... really what was that all about ...

Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: kymom3 on April 25, 2011, 09:55:41 AM
"The Celestine Prophecy" 

Everyone I knew was raving about this book, it was so enlightening, had such a wonderful message!! Blah blah blah.

I read it and thought it was the biggest pile of poo ever.  And when I shared my opinion I was looked upon like I had suggested eating baby kittens or something.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Klein Bottle on April 25, 2011, 09:58:35 AM
I am a big fan of Ann Rule and her true crime books, but there is one I despise.  It is Every Breath You Take, about the tragic murder of a mother of quads, perpetrated by her ex.  Nobody but nobody deserves what happened to this young woman, but it was difficult to empathize with her, as, throughout the book, she came across as a social climber, all about the $$$, and egging on her ex, excusing a lot of his behavior as long as he was providing a great lifestyle for her, and even enabling him in criminal behavior at some points.  Then, following their divorce, she married a man who was physically abusive to the two daughters she'd had with the ex, and that's where she completely lost me.  Ms. Rule explains away and excuses all the bad acts and poor choices made by this woman throughout the book.  I was still heartbroken when the murder was described, and I will reiterate that she did in no way "have it coming to her"; she was just harder to empathize with than many other crime victims.  

I also wanted to throw Handle With Care by Jodi Picoult through a plate glass window.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: whiskeytangofoxtrot on April 25, 2011, 09:59:13 AM
Pretty much anything by Steinbeck just makes we want to go out and shoot myself.

(And hey there, we know each other IRL too- the bellydancer you see every fall with a tall kilted Scot :) )
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Sharnita on April 25, 2011, 09:59:50 AM
Ethan Frome
Anna Karenina
In Cold Blood
Twilight
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: siamesecat2965 on April 25, 2011, 10:02:23 AM
I secodn Wicked.  I was really looking forward to it, as the musical got RAVE reviews.  While I know there was bound to be a difference, UGH.  And while I know its fantasy, it was so darn hard to follow.

Water for Elephants.  EVERYONE I know loved it; i thought it was terrible.

The Book Thief - again, just couldn't get into it at all.

Eat, Pray, Love - I finished Italy, and thought she was the most self-centered person I've ever encountered.  She acted like she was the ONLY person whose marriage ever ended.  I know now why my neighbor who lent it to me said "we'll discuss it when you've read it" and repeated herself when I asked if she liked it!

Anything and everything by Jodi Picoult.  Her stuff just doesn't interest me at all.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Elfmama on April 25, 2011, 10:06:18 AM
The DaVinci Code.    I plowed through about 100 pages, and then uttered the Eight Fateful Words: "I don't care what happens to these people."

And all the flap about the religious aspects!  DH, a devout Catholic, read it and just shook his head.  He says " Some people need treatment for their cranio-rectal inversion*. It's fiction, folks.  The author made it up.  You're allowed to do that with fiction."

*Well, he actually used a more colorful metaphor that employs the kind of blunt words that the filter doesn't like.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Sharnita on April 25, 2011, 10:08:04 AM
I didn't hate Water For Elephants but I didn't reread it either - and I reread books I even mildly enjoy.  It was pretty much  :P
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Spoder on April 25, 2011, 10:14:49 AM
My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult. And anything else by her.

The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. Pseduo-philosophical/psychological claptrap. I don't get it, and I don't want to.

A book called The Shack that a friend lent me. I can't remember the author, and I can't for the life of me figure out why she thought I'd want to read it. It was about some guy's personal journey to find God. God was some kind of dreadlocked bohemian that the protagonist encountered in a shack, whilst looking for his dead daughter. Or something. The writing was so bad I couldn't stop sniggering.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: mw8242 on April 25, 2011, 10:22:43 AM
I competely agree on The Shack. I actually made one of my other friends read it to see if I was missing something but she didn't like it either.
I have a habit of reading depressing books  so some already mentioned I did actually enjoy but The Shack was just horrible.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Animala on April 25, 2011, 10:29:04 AM
My sister gave my son a book and we just finished it.  I hated it.  It was called Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians.  I had considered starting a thread on it.  The first page or three of each chapter was spent speaking directly to the reader and hitting you over the head with how the (fictional) writer chose to narrate the book and what an awful person the writer is.  I suppose the actual author thought that was clever but it isn't.  I would guess if all those parts were removed the book would be at least a third smaller.  I think the worst part is that the story is good, you just have to get to it.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Hexie on April 25, 2011, 10:29:20 AM
Every single Twilight book.  My friends and sister RAVED about them - and I just thought they were terrible.  I agree with PP about Bella.  She's horrid.  I seriously hated her by the end of the first book!

Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Cz. Burrito on April 25, 2011, 10:32:24 AM
Faulkner's "As I Lay Dying."  We had to read it in high school.  It was so bland, so boring, so...not good.  I later saw it on my mom's bookshelf, as it was the Oprah Book Club selection, and I warned her about it.  She later agreed with me after reading it and will not be reading any more Faulkner. 
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Poirot on April 25, 2011, 10:33:08 AM
My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult. And anything else by her.


POD. Jodi Picoult, Jackie Collins and Dan Brown are on my NEVER read list. I actually didn't mind the Twilight books though. Diverting, mindless fluff when I was ill in bed.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Cz. Burrito on April 25, 2011, 10:35:19 AM
Every single Twilight book.  My friends and sister RAVED about them - and I just thought they were terrible.  I agree with PP about Bella.  She's horrid.  I seriously hated her by the end of the first book!

I've heard more than one person say that the story wouldn't be so bad if it weren't for Bella.  A blog that I follow calls her "Isabummer."
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Hillcatlady on April 25, 2011, 10:38:57 AM
The Magicians by Lev Grossman -
       Self centered characters - check
       Badly ripped off plot points - check
       Plot that goes utterly nowhere - check
       On the NYT bestsellers list :o - check

This book was total dreck and I want my two hours back from trying to read it >:(
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: RocketScientist on April 25, 2011, 10:41:17 AM
Faulkner's "As I Lay Dying."  We had to read it in high school.  It was so bland, so boring, so...not good.  I later saw it on my mom's bookshelf, as it was the Oprah Book Club selection, and I warned her about it.  She later agreed with me after reading it and will not be reading any more Faulkner. 

For me it was "The Sound and the Fury."  I can sort-of, kind-of see the genious it took to write that type of novel, if I squint really hard.  But that book turned me off Faulkner for good.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: QueenofAllThings on April 25, 2011, 10:49:22 AM
Oh, Lord - The Shack. Unreadable.
Twilight Weird guy watches you while you sleep, and this is romantic? Can you say stalker?
Guernsey Potato Peel Literary Society or whatever it is called - there is, for me, nothing worse than a story in the form of letters written back and forth. Couldn't get past the 3rd page.

And all that chick lit stuff - fab nannies in the big city, fab young advertising geniuses in the big city, adorably ditzy young things with romatic foibles. Aaaack. I lived it. It's nothing like that.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Horace on April 25, 2011, 10:53:16 AM
"The Life of Pi" - I couldn't understand it, I had no idea what was going on.  I wanted to love it because my favourite teacher recommended it to me but I had to give up.  There are very few books that I've actually stopped reading but this was one of them.  I also hated "Wuthering Heights", I just couldn't get into it, had to keep re-reading passages to make them stick in my head.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: TeamBhakta on April 25, 2011, 10:58:12 AM
Goodnight Nebraska. Found it on the bargain table at B. Dalton's and thought "ooh, sounds interesting." What a mistake. I'd still like my dollar back, please.

I tried reading Flatland once. I felt so stupid and confused. Couldn't even finish a few pages before my head starting hurting from going "Um, the intro said this book was genius and insightful. Either this is way over my head or this is drivel. ???"
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: sisbam on April 25, 2011, 11:03:11 AM
The Man Who Cried I Am - the first fifty pages drone on and on about the protagonists' medical problems. The rest is supposed to be a political thriller... or something... I don't know. I wanted to shoot myself afterward.

Then again, that was during a class called "African American Literature During the Age of Insurgency," aka Civil Rights and Black Power Movement Lit. Most depressing class in my life.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Lisbeth on April 25, 2011, 11:06:05 AM
I've been struggling and struggling to read Mrs. Dalloway and because of Virginia Woolf's style I just can't get through it.  She goes on and on and on with so many run-on sentences that I end up not being able to figure it out.

And I've already read The Hours by Michael Cunningham.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Giggity on April 25, 2011, 11:07:37 AM
Wicked ... really what was that all about ...

I wanted SO MUCH to like this book. What a fantastic premise! But the author just went on for days and days and DAYS about feminism and gaaaaaaaaah.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Just Lori on April 25, 2011, 11:08:28 AM
Adding my vote to The Shack.  I couldn't plow past the first few pages.  I thought the author was trying too hard to be a Great Writer.

With apologies to Ehell's Lisbeth, I was meh on The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.  The main character turned me off with his amazing ability to attract women who wanted to sleep with him.

On the other hand, I like most of Jodi Picoult's books.  Obviously, tastes vary.

Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: lipli on April 25, 2011, 11:09:49 AM
Last of the Mohicans.  EVER.  I had watched the movie years and years ago and hated it.  Then I had to read it for an AP History class.  When I bought the book, the cashier apologized to me.  He told me (haven't bothered to verify if this is true or a story based on how the story "worked"), that the author would send the book to his editor.  His editor told him, it needs to be longer.  He would just add to the story without reading what he's already read.  And apparently he did this a million times.  And it showed. Characters would drop in and out of the book at random.  One girl (Cora I think) was traveling with the party.  She was not mentioned for about 50 pages.  And then she came back with nothing about what she had been doing for the last 50 pages.

As it was summer reading, when we got to class the first day, the teacher apologized to us for making us read it.  She promised she wouldn't do it to future students.  It could have been a good story but the writing & character development made it impossible to get into the story.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Giggity on April 25, 2011, 11:16:39 AM
For me it was "The Sound and the Fury."  I can sort-of, kind-of see the genious it took to write that type of novel, if I squint really hard.  But that book turned me off Faulkner for good.

My English teacher conveniently omitted the fact of Benjy's autism, and I spent the entire first section almost cross-eyed from frustration. I kept thinking, "This guy is supposed to be one of the best authors of our time! HOW!!!?!?!"
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Maujer on April 25, 2011, 11:17:11 AM

Water for Elephants.  EVERYONE I know loved it; i thought it was terrible.


Me too! I thought my husband and I were the only ones. He got it for me as part of my birthday present because it'd be recommended to me a few time. I hate to say this, but when I found out it was originally written part of the Nanowrimo challange, I was not surprised. There was something about the writing style that painfully reminded me of the fanfic or short stories I wrote in high school. Plus I felt the male perspective was very forced and obviously from a female author (plenty of male authors are guilty of this too). However, I think the reason a lot of people liked it is because the time period and plot are both pretty intereting so I think I will see the movie.

Phillippa Gregory books are pretty terrible, but I do find them mindlessly entertaining in a bad History channel movie kind of way. I feel like they could be way significantly if she hired an editior who told her that maybe using the exact same words and phrases over and over and over again in same chapter is a bad idea.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Giggity on April 25, 2011, 11:18:30 AM
With apologies to Ehell's Lisbeth, I was meh on The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.  The main character turned me off with his amazing ability to attract women who wanted to sleep with him.

THANK YOU. Mikael Blomkvist is a DOG and I could not figure out why women were so nuts over him. The books themselves I found intriguing, but I did not like him at ALL.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Giggity on April 25, 2011, 11:20:22 AM
Last of the Mohicans.  EVER.  I had watched the movie years and years ago and hated it.  Then I had to read it for an AP History class.  When I bought the book, the cashier apologized to me.  He told me (haven't bothered to verify if this is true or a story based on how the story "worked"), that the author would send the book to his editor.  His editor told him, it needs to be longer.  He would just add to the story without reading what he's already read.  And apparently he did this a million times.  And it showed. Characters would drop in and out of the book at random.  One girl (Cora I think) was traveling with the party.  She was not mentioned for about 50 pages.  And then she came back with nothing about what she had been doing for the last 50 pages.

FWIW, no less a greatness than Mark Twain agrees with you.

http://etext.virginia.edu/railton/projects/rissetto/offense.html
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Maujer on April 25, 2011, 11:21:45 AM
I also couldn't read Twilight. Too creepy. My cousin loves the books and she's brilliant and a feminist, so I decided if she could like them, maybe I could too. Nope, couldn't put the creep factor aside. But I have a lot of problems with how love and romatic relationships are protrayed to teenaged girls in most popular entertainment so I'm not terribly surprised. .
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Peggy Gus on April 25, 2011, 11:31:02 AM
Wicked ... really what was that all about ...

I wanted SO MUCH to like this book. What a fantastic premise! But the author just went on for days and days and DAYS about feminism and gaaaaaaaaah.

I started this book, everyone talked about how fantastic it was,blah, blah. I read a lot, I read "trashy novels", classics, techinical manuals, cereal boxes, if it has words, I will read it, but this book- woof.

I felt like there was something wrong with me, there was nothing I could do to follow along. I have never read anything like it, I was so confused.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: siamesecat2965 on April 25, 2011, 11:35:30 AM
Wicked ... really what was that all about ...

I wanted SO MUCH to like this book. What a fantastic premise! But the author just went on for days and days and DAYS about feminism and gaaaaaaaaah.

I started this book, everyone talked about how fantastic it was,blah, blah. I read a lot, I read "trashy novels", classics, techinical manuals, cereal boxes, if it has words, I will read it, but this book- woof.

I felt like there was something wrong with me, there was nothing I could do to follow along. I have never read anything like it, I was so confused.

Confused is a good way to describe what I thought about it as well.  I just couldn't follow what was going on.  At all. I even picked up another one of his books, Son of a witch, I think, it a library sale, for .50.  A  year ago.  It's still siitting on my shelf.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: wolfie on April 25, 2011, 11:38:12 AM
Can someone send me a summary of "the shack"? I really wanted to know what happened in the  book, but the parts that I browsed in the store didn't interest me. I was hoping someone put up a spoiler synopses on wikipedia but not yet. Since so many of you read it could you send me one?
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: EngineerChick on April 25, 2011, 11:40:36 AM
Last of the Mohicans.  EVER.  I had watched the movie years and years ago and hated it.  Then I had to read it for an AP History class.  When I bought the book, the cashier apologized to me.  He told me (haven't bothered to verify if this is true or a story based on how the story "worked"), that the author would send the book to his editor.  His editor told him, it needs to be longer.  He would just add to the story without reading what he's already read.  And apparently he did this a million times.  And it showed. Characters would drop in and out of the book at random.  One girl (Cora I think) was traveling with the party.  She was not mentioned for about 50 pages.  And then she came back with nothing about what she had been doing for the last 50 pages.

FWIW, no less a greatness than Mark Twain agrees with you.

http://etext.virginia.edu/railton/projects/rissetto/offense.html

Juana, I love you.  This was hilarious!

I especially liked the comment: "But the reader of the "Deerslayer" tale dislikes the good people in it, is indifferent to the others, and wishes they would all get drowned together."
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: la5vegas on April 25, 2011, 11:41:07 AM
American Psycho.  I read some pretty gory stuff, and I'm a "I've started so I'll finish" kind of gal - but that was one of the few books I couldn't justify finishing. It was  :-X
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: cattlekid on April 25, 2011, 11:41:15 AM
I figure life's too short to read crappy books.  I usually try a few chapters and then move on if I'm not feeling it.  

Having said that, the most recent crappy book I read was something called "My Husband's Sweethearts" (can't remember the author).  Girl in my book club recommended it to us and I just didn't get it although everyone else seemed to love it.

Agreed with other posters about the "meh"ness of Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.  Didn't really see the excitement about it and everyone else in my book club recoiled in horror at the level of violence in the book so we aren't moving on to the other ones in the series.

In high school, the worst book ever was "Crime and Punishment".  I definitely felt I had committed a crime and was being punished by having to read that book.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Sharnita on April 25, 2011, 11:42:23 AM
Can someone send me a summary of "the shack"? I really wanted to know what happened in the  book, but the parts that I browsed in the store didn't interest me. I was hoping someone put up a spoiler synopses on wikipedia but not yet. Since so many of you read it could you send me one?

I think the point of The Shack wasn't so much the plot but rather to challenge some traditional ideas of the character of Father/Son/Holy Spirit.  I havne't read it but the people I know who have talked about that, not the plot.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: guihong on April 25, 2011, 11:43:52 AM
These kinds of threads are tricky, as one person's dreck is another's favorite book.  It's already borne out again here ;).

Anyway, with apologies to those who love these books:

Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad.  The narration was so confusing that I couldn't follow who was talking, or to whom.

Moby wingadingdingy, which is a great novel overall, just takes what seems like 400 pages to really get going, get the ship way out to sea, and get the whale involved.  

The Brothers Karamazov.  It's not even that I hate it, it's a good story.  It's just more "soapy" than Crime and Punishment and I have no sympathy so far for anyone.  This is literally All My Children, Russian style.
 
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Eisa on April 25, 2011, 11:44:37 AM
Twilight. Utter garbage. :-X I made myself read the first book because I told myself I couldn't just base my hatred of it on the few snippets I'd seen other places. I couldn't make myself read the rest of the series. There's this blog called "Mark Reads Twilight"--his reactions are pretty much what I think about it. :-\ It's not romantic when someone is watching you sleep and you don't know it. Or breaking and entering.

Cry, the Beloved Country. I might still be bitter because if I'd had my way, my AP Lit class would have read Wuthering Heights instead. :P I HATE when people use the -- mark instead of quotation marks when people are talking. Hate, hate, hate. It is why I refuse to read Joyce.

My Antonia. For some reason, I also carry atavistic hatred toward this book.

The Scarlet Letter. And this one. I hate this one. I had to do way too much stuff about all the symbolism in it. Blah blah blah, yeah, whatever.

Pride and Prejudice. I've tried like 3 separate times to read this. It bores me to tears before the end of the first chapter.


Argh, I know there's more. More contemporary stuff. But apparently I've blocked it out of my memory. :D

I DID like My Sister's Keeper...until the end. Then it was a big "what the?!" Did not fit at all.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Ms_Shell on April 25, 2011, 11:45:09 AM
Wicked ... really what was that all about ...

I wanted SO MUCH to like this book. What a fantastic premise! But the author just went on for days and days and DAYS about feminism and gaaaaaaaaah.

I started this book, everyone talked about how fantastic it was,blah, blah. I read a lot, I read "trashy novels", classics, techinical manuals, cereal boxes, if it has words, I will read it, but this book- woof.

I felt like there was something wrong with me, there was nothing I could do to follow along. I have never read anything like it, I was so confused.

That's exactly how I felt the first time I read it, but for me it started making more sense the second time through.  
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: wolfie on April 25, 2011, 11:45:59 AM
Can someone send me a summary of "the shack"? I really wanted to know what happened in the  book, but the parts that I browsed in the store didn't interest me. I was hoping someone put up a spoiler synopses on wikipedia but not yet. Since so many of you read it could you send me one?

I think the point of The Shack wasn't so much the plot but rather to challenge some traditional ideas of the character of Father/Son/Holy Spirit.  I havne't read it but the people I know who have talked about that, not the plot.

So we don't find out about what happened to the the daughter? I was only interested in the mystery part of the story - thus why I didn't want to actually read it.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Giggity on April 25, 2011, 11:47:00 AM
These kinds of threads are tricky, as one person's dreck is another's favorite book.  It's already borne out again here ;).

Yeah, but that's what makes 'em awesome! We're polite enough to be able to say a book bites rhino without implying that those who like it do likewise.  :)

(I am always interested in hearing why someone likes something I do not. Often, I find I've missed a redeeming feature. Not always, of course ... stupid White Oleanders ...)
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Ms_Shell on April 25, 2011, 11:48:22 AM
Twilight. Utter garbage. :-X I made myself read the first book because I told myself I couldn't just base my hatred of it on the few snippets I'd seen other places. I couldn't make myself read the rest of the series. There's this blog called "Mark Reads Twilight"--his reactions are pretty much what I think about it. :-\ It's not romantic when someone is watching you sleep and you don't know it. Or breaking and entering.

Me too.  I didn't like any of the books at all.  I found the characters horrible, the writing style puerile, and the plots twists baffling and ridiculous.  Plus, if DD ever decides to read them, I'm going to have to make sure I'm there to explain that a healthy relationship looks pretty much the opposite of Bella and Edward's.

Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Giggity on April 25, 2011, 11:50:59 AM
"Here. Read this, and don't ever ever do any of it."
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Petticoats on April 25, 2011, 11:52:41 AM
For me it was "The Sound and the Fury."  I can sort-of, kind-of see the genious it took to write that type of novel, if I squint really hard.  But that book turned me off Faulkner for good.

My English teacher conveniently omitted the fact of Benjy's autism, and I spent the entire first section almost cross-eyed from frustration. I kept thinking, "This guy is supposed to be one of the best authors of our time! HOW!!!?!?!"

I think I've told this story on these boards before, but my refusal/inability to read The Sound and the Fury all the way through is why I ended up with a PhD instead of an MA.

It took me many years to develop the ability to walk away from a book I couldn't stand. It's been very freeing. One of the books I didn't make myself finish was by the guy who wrote Wicked, I think: a ghost story, and usually I love ghost stories. This turned out to be a depressing, disorienting, unnecessarily protracted voage with a main character I quickly came to loath. Started skimming and discovered that I hated even more where he took the story. Ugh.

The Nanny Diaries just horrified and depressed me. I know it was fictionalized, but I'm also sure there are indeed couples out there who have neglected accessory-baby children and conceive more of them to keep their marriages together, and the thought of all these poor kids just sucked all the humor out of the story for me. That, and the fact that the protagonist put up with such abominable and dehumanizing treatment. I kept reading in hopes that the nasty boss-lady would get her comeuppance, but the story ended with her having the upper hand of pretty much everyone. Gads.

Similarly, The Devil Wears Prada--I couldn't see the humor in the protagonist letting herself be treated that badly.

Anne Rice's The Mummy read like it was something she wrote when she was fifteen years old and then, decades later, when her publisher wanted more AR titles, she pulled it out of a drawer, dusted it off, and had it published.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Sharnita on April 25, 2011, 12:05:02 PM
Can someone send me a summary of "the shack"? I really wanted to know what happened in the  book, but the parts that I browsed in the store didn't interest me. I was hoping someone put up a spoiler synopses on wikipedia but not yet. Since so many of you read it could you send me one?

I think the point of The Shack wasn't so much the plot but rather to challenge some traditional ideas of the character of Father/Son/Holy Spirit.  I havne't read it but the people I know who have talked about that, not the plot.

So we don't find out about what happened to the the daughter? I was only interested in the mystery part of the story - thus why I didn't want to actually read it.

I think they might resolve the story but that isn't the main point, no.  I believe the main point is an exploration of the character of God.  The story is just used to illustrate things about God people might not always consider.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Corbin on April 25, 2011, 12:06:30 PM
Twilight. My son got really into them for a while, until I sat down with a highlighter and started pointing out things that were red-flags for abusive boyfriend...

I read part of an autobiography called Don't Lets Go to the Dogs Tonight...to this day it remains the only book I have never finished. In fact, I didn't even give it away...I burned it. The writing wasn't bad, but for some reason there was a scene in there that gave me nightmares for months. I was in a pretty emotionally vulnerable situation at the time so that might have something to do with it, but I will never try to re-read it.

The Chocolate War, The Bumblebee Flies Anyway etc. I got tossed out of an AP English course because she made us read those books and write reviews. I read them, and wrote my review. That I hated them, that they were boring and brutal without a point, etc. The teacher disagreed with me so strongly that despite my advanced reading scores and excellent grades she asked that I be placed in a regular class. I ended up getting my GED and going to college, where my Lit Professor shared my feelings ;)
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Xallanthia on April 25, 2011, 12:08:22 PM
So far there's very few books on here that I enjoyed and others hated; in fact there's only one where I disagree with the person's basic assessment :) But we tend to have similar taste.

For the Twilight haters, I have to mention I haven't even finished the first book (and generally agree with the negative commentary), but I *did* really enjoy this fanfic, Luminosity (http://luminous.elcenia.com/).  Basically Bella's character is completely different; came to it via Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality (http://www.fanfiction.net/s/5782108/1/Harry_Potter_and_the_Methods_of_Rationality), which again is a retelling with Harry being very, very different.

I really, really dislike Eragon etc.  I have actually read all three that have been published, because I bought the first two together and went through them superfast without really processing, then realized how awful, trite, cliche, etc. they were.  I called the ending of Book 2 from halfway through Book 1 based solely on the plot's resemblance to Star Wars, for example.  Years later I bought Book 3 while bored at an airport (terrible trip where my backpack, containing my reading material, was stolen and not recovered), and it completely confirmed and highlighted everything that was wrong with the first two.  Some people like to argue in its favor by saying how impressive it is for a 16yo's writing; I say that derivative drivel is derivative drivel and shouldn't be published no matter the author's age.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: #borecore on April 25, 2011, 12:09:57 PM
Nanny Diaries/Shopaholic (and sequels)/Devil Wears Prada all blend together.
Yuck.

My relative bought me "The Recipe Club" for Christmas and I hated it. It was a terrible plot with two unlikeable characters, and writing it as letters didn't make up for it.

I really liked "Wicked" (and would love to see the show!) and Faulkner and Steinbeck and ... but I agree with a PP about "The Brothers Karamazov." I finally sold it this month after having it for 10 years and never finishing it. I loved "Crime and Punishment" though.

I also sold Mark Danielewski's "Only Revolutions" because I met him and really enjoyed him, but I couldn't get into it at ALL. I appreciate innovation in formatting and style but I felt like his attempt to be innovative got in the way of his storytelling.

I can't get into Joseph Conrad.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: readingchick on April 25, 2011, 12:10:39 PM
A Farewell to Arms. I had to read this my sophomore year of high school, and to be honest with you eHellions I just didn't get it. It initially turned me off where Ernest Hemingway was concerned. What's weird is when I was in college I read Snows of Kilimanjaro (same author) and absolutely loved it.

America in the Gilded Age by Sean Dennis Cashman. Junior year academic superbowl, social studies team. I got the feeling Cashman was just talking over my head. I think everyone wanted to burn the book afterwards.

Portrait of a Killer by Patricia Cornwell. Couldn't stand it.

The Great Crash, 1929 by John Kenneth Galbraith. Nobody in my book club could get into it, so when we were supposed to be discussing the book we talked about other things.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: goldilocks on April 25, 2011, 12:11:00 PM
Cold Mountain - most boring book EVER!!!

Hannibal - so dull I kept hoping he'd eat someone to liven things up.  I didn't finish the book and I always finish books.
I didn't read The Road - but the movie was so depressing I was sad for days.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Sharnita on April 25, 2011, 12:12:44 PM
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas.  It was horrifying.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Miss Bee on April 25, 2011, 12:12:51 PM
The only book worse than Twilight is the fourth one in the series, BREAKING DAWN.  Worst book ever written, imo, and I am not exaggerating in the least.  I was actually really into the series - then I read the finale.  She should've wrapped it up with Eclipse, that's all I'll say.  (And the first three aren't great writing at all, but it is an engaging story up through the third book).  

The other book I read that I really disliked that EVERYONE raved about at the time is BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY.  I saw no redeeming value in the story at all, and I'm not quite sure what the appeal was to everyone else.  (i apologize if you really liked this book, and I've just missed something... I don't apologize at all for BREAKING DAWN, though - I know a terrible piece of writing when I see one.)  
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Miss Bee on April 25, 2011, 12:14:57 PM
Twilight. Utter garbage. :-X I made myself read the first book because I told myself I couldn't just base my hatred of it on the few snippets I'd seen other places. I couldn't make myself read the rest of the series. There's this blog called "Mark Reads Twilight"--his reactions are pretty much what I think about it. :-\ It's not romantic when someone is watching you sleep and you don't know it. Or breaking and entering.

Me too.  I didn't like any of the books at all.  I found the characters horrible, the writing style puerile, and the plots twists baffling and ridiculous.  Plus, if DD ever decides to read them, I'm going to have to make sure I'm there to explain that a healthy relationship looks pretty much the opposite of Bella and Edward's.



Yes!  DD bought and read the books before I did and she recommended them to me.  After I read them, I made SURE I sat down with her and her friend and talked about how truly messed up Bella's relationship was with Edward; and what a healthier relationship would be like. 
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: utkvolfan on April 25, 2011, 12:18:06 PM
The Poisonwood Bible - my mom raved about this book. I read the first half and then forced myself to scan the rest. I will never get that time back and I will forever cheer on the snake.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Giggity on April 25, 2011, 12:18:30 PM
Y'all are not the first place I've heard The Road bad-mouthed. We own it, and Gentleman Friend either has read it or has it on his to-read list. I have ZERO interest in it. (Also because of the whole no-quotation-marks thing.)
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Giggity on April 25, 2011, 12:19:23 PM
And utkvolfan just reminded me ... Mama Iz has frequently tried to loan me Jan Karon's Mitford books. Just reading the blurb on the back cover puts me to sleep.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Xallanthia on April 25, 2011, 12:20:47 PM
I really liked "Wicked" (and would love to see the show!)

Just so you know, the show bears only a passing resemblence to the book.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Firecat on April 25, 2011, 12:29:57 PM
Rousseau's Confessions - I had to read it (in translation, of course), for a class on autobiography in college. By the time I got through it, I was having fantasies involving this book and a lighter. Hated the book, hated Rousseau by the time I was done...he just seemed so self-absorbed and WHINY.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: PitBullMom on April 25, 2011, 12:38:07 PM
The only book worse than Twilight is the fourth one in the series, BREAKING DAWN.  Worst book ever written, imo, and I am not exaggerating in the least.  I was actually really into the series - then I read the finale.  She should've wrapped it up with Eclipse, that's all I'll say.  (And the first three aren't great writing at all, but it is an engaging story up through the third book).  
...

I'll POD that.  The first three weren't great writing, but the story was entertaining, "Brain Candy," if you will.  But the fourth was. just. awful.  I felt like the author wanted this big happy ending without too much conflict, so she just threw together a totally unrealistic plot line.  Gah.

And put me down for another Faulkner book, "Light In August."  So very dry.  I couldn't get into it, even with Cliff's Notes, and had to stop a few chapters in.  I took an F on that test in English that year.   
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on April 25, 2011, 12:38:40 PM
Twilight: Ick.  My eldest is named Edward and in the 4th grade, where many girls seem to associate the name with "Twilight".  ::) :P  But if I have a daughter and she wants to read them, I won't forbid them, but I will use them as a teaching tool to point out what a healthy relationship is NOT.  

The Wideacre series by Phillipa Gregory.  I only read two of the series and didn't want to read the third (learned my lesson about pushing through whole series after reading "Breaking Dawn") but a ? for others who have read her other books, is she just all around the historical fiction version of V.C. Andrews?  I mean..gah, the incest!! *looks for brain bleach*

Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: geordicat on April 25, 2011, 12:43:15 PM
Wicked and Memoirs of an Ugly Stepsister.  I tried.  I TRIED!!  I really did.  But holy wow they were dull.   Could not get into them at all.  Forced myself to read them all the way through.

The Lovely Bones.  Depressing.  OH so depressing.

The Time Traveler's Wife.  Gah.

I picked up The Shack, read the first 2 pages and had to put it down.   Not my style/stuff at all.  Pass.  :)

Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: AlephReish on April 25, 2011, 12:45:16 PM
Put me down for an agree on Wuthering Heights - what horrid characters. And everyone having the same name! The only thing that has ever redeemed it for me is the Thursday Next novels by Jasper Fforde - he puts them all in therapy.

I have a different problem with Wicked - I really enjoyed it the first time I read it, but I've never been able to get all the way through it a second time. It goes well for me til the final section, then it just falls apart completely.

My most loathed is Kafka. I loved The Metamorphosis, so I decided that my senior year high school English paper would be Kafka. Compare and contrast several works by one author, look for themes, etc. Well, I didn't know going in that Kafka never finished anything, and was a completely paranoid human being.  I wrote a scathing evisceration of the works, and my teacher loved it. At least I got an A out of struggling through The Trial, The Castle and Amerika.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Winterlight on April 25, 2011, 12:49:12 PM
Similarly, The Devil Wears Prada--I couldn't see the humor in the protagonist letting herself be treated that badly.

I thought the protagonist was a pill. Gee, I have to work and can't call my BF every day at 4pm. Bummer! Not to mention she was so snotty at the thought of working at a fashion mag in the first place. I wish they'd canned her and found someone who didn't cop a "you are all peasants" attitude.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Kiara on April 25, 2011, 12:50:12 PM
Portrait of a Killer by Patricia Cornwell. Couldn't stand it.

Oh good LORD don't get me started on this one.  She didn't do her research well, and it shows.  I did get amused by reading the negative reviews on Amazon, however.

For me?  "Great Gatsby."  We had to read it in 8th grade.  I hated it with a passion.  Thought the characters were stupid, the book was stupid...you name it.

Oh, and Thomas Hardy.  Read him in AP English, and the entire class begged our teacher to skip it.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: bobsyouruncle on April 25, 2011, 12:51:18 PM
I just read A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness.  Oh my gosh....592 pages and NOTHING happens! NOTHING - it was very frustrating to read because every time it seemed like something interesting might happen it did not.  There were maybe 3 points of action in the entire thing. Seriously there are "bad guys" but instead of actually fighting them or figuring out how to solve the problem the main characters run away - which might make sense IRL but is pretty unsatisfying as a conclusion to a story (Spoilers because the book was only published in Feb)

I was so annoyed when I was done that I actually tossed the book across the room in disgust.  I'd have thrown it out but it was a library book.  
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Dorrie78 on April 25, 2011, 12:51:52 PM
Maybe this isn't the worst book ever, but I was seriously irritated by the book Ahab's Wife. I wanted to like it. It was well-written and an engaging story. My book club read it. But I was constantly annoyed by the fact that this woman just kept on meeting everybody famous who was alive during the time frame of the book. Walking down a path? And here comes famous author! At a party? Famous astronomer! At a church meeting? Famous abolitionist!

Not sure why, but it really made the book ridiculous to me, although I would probably recommend it to folks who aren't as easily irritable as me.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: sisbam on April 25, 2011, 12:52:22 PM
Portrait of a Killer by Patricia Cornwell. Couldn't stand it.

Oh good LORD don't get me started on this one.  She didn't do her research well, and it shows.  I did get amused by reading the negative reviews on Amazon, however.

For me?  "Great Gatsby."  We had to read it in 8th grade.  I hated it with a passion.  Thought the characters were stupid, the book was stupid...you name it.

Oh, and Thomas Hardy.  Read him in AP English, and the entire class begged our teacher to skip it.

Far from the Madding Crowd left much to be desired.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: hobish on April 25, 2011, 12:54:57 PM
Not The Worst Book Ever; but Blood Music was dissapointing. I loved the premise, and i usually really like Greg Bear; but the end of Blood Music just stunk. I don't think i have ever been so dissapointed by a novel i had so anticipated reading.

The Da Vinci Code may just fit the bill as The Worst.





Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Giggity on April 25, 2011, 01:03:09 PM
And put me down for another Faulkner book, "Light In August."  So very dry.  I couldn't get into it, even with Cliff's Notes, and had to stop a few chapters in.  I took an F on that test in English that year.

That's a pretty big statement about a book: "This sucks so bad I would rather fail a test than read it."

And it's one I wish I'd had the nerve to make about Moby-D!ck a LOOOOOONG time ago.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Giggity on April 25, 2011, 01:03:49 PM
The Wideacre series by Phillipa Gregory.  I only read two of the series and didn't want to read the third (learned my lesson about pushing through whole series after reading "Breaking Dawn") but a ? for others who have read her other books, is she just all around the historical fiction version of V.C. Andrews?  I mean..gah, the incest!! *looks for brain bleach*

Yes. Yes, ma'am, she IS. You so nailed it.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: lipli on April 25, 2011, 01:05:28 PM
My most loathed is Kafka. I loved The Metamorphosis, so I decided that my senior year high school English paper would be Kafka. Compare and contrast several works by one author, look for themes, etc. Well, I didn't know going in that Kafka never finished anything, and was a completely paranoid human being.  I wrote a scathing evisceration of the works, and my teacher loved it. At least I got an A out of struggling through The Trial, The Castle and Amerika.

YES!!!!  I read Metamorphosis and enjoyed it (in high school - perfect timing).  As I am wont to do, I went out and bought several other of his books.  Started in on The Castle and was having a difficult time with it.  I skipped to the ending, to see how it ends (a guilty pleasure of mine).  I realized that it ended in the middle of a freaking sentence and just put it back on the shelf.  Didn't bother trying to finish it.  Can you finish reading a book the author didn't finish writing?
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Giggity on April 25, 2011, 01:06:22 PM
The Da Vinci Code may just fit the bill as The Worst.

It has so much to recommend it in that regard ... religious bigotry, ridiculous dialogue, an utter misunderstanding of history, and total buy-in to one of the 20th century's best hoaxes. Which, let's not forget, HAS BEEN EXPOSED AS A MAMMOTH HOAX.

Grrrrrrrr.

And all that is even before we get to Tom Hanks' hair. WHUT.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Lisbeth on April 25, 2011, 01:16:09 PM
With apologies to Ehell's Lisbeth, I was meh on The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.  The main character turned me off with his amazing ability to attract women who wanted to sleep with him.

He wasn't the reason why I chose the name Lisbeth!
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Thuringwethyl on April 25, 2011, 01:20:21 PM
The Necromancer. Interesting setting, decent build-up, different take on vampires in general, and a terrible ending. Loads of villain decay (and so much energy was put into making him a brilliant strategist! What a waste) and everything miraculously resolved itself to help the protagonist. I think the author just wanted the book done.

Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Cz. Burrito on April 25, 2011, 01:25:06 PM
For me?  "Great Gatsby."  We had to read it in 8th grade.  I hated it with a passion.  Thought the characters were stupid, the book was stupid...you name it.

I can't believe you had to read that in 8th grade!  We read it in 10th grade, and I absolutely hated it.  And then I went to see the play when I was in my mid-20s (was the first play for the new location of the big theater here due to Fitzgerald being from this area).  Something clicked.  It was wonderful.  It made so much sense.  There's no way that high schoolers should be expected to get it and enjoy it.  
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Hillia on April 25, 2011, 01:25:39 PM
The Golden Compass.  I loved Narnia, so I thought this would be an interesting counterpoint.  Nope.  Couldn't stand it.
Wicked
Places in the Heart
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Allyson on April 25, 2011, 01:30:45 PM
I agree on "White Oleander" and other books of that ilk. It seemed that there was awhile where everyone would rave about some book, and it would turn out to be basically a story of some young female's constant abuse. I don't have much patience for books or stories where pretty much everyone the main character meets does them wrong in some way, and it's like a succession of trauma. I remember telling my friend I was reading some book that seemed to go along those lines. 'I was just waiting for the abuse to happen...oh, yeah, there it is, Chapter 12.' I haven't encountered this as much lately, so either it's not as much of a thing to write about, or the people I know have stopped liking them.

My most-hated fantasy series is definitely 'The Wheel of Time'. I read 7 or 8 of them, too, before I finally had to stop. I found the writing engaging and the plot interesting up to a point, but the main character...I have never before wanted to leap through the pages of a book and beat someone with a shoe before. The whining about absolutely everything was just too much, especially when it was often about things that weren't even that bad, he'd just choose to feel guilty. Also, Robert Jordan had some very weird ideas about women and gender relations, and just couldn't leave them alone. I'd go more into this, but I'd be here for days...I eventually needed to stop when I almost threw the book across the room after yet another meltdown by the main character about female warriors sometimes dying in battle.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Clara Bow on April 25, 2011, 01:31:02 PM
"The Fountainhead". I wanted to machinegun everything in the book. It was awful, pretentious, stupid, everything bad and then some. I do believe that book killed puppies and ate kittens when I wasn't looking. That book makes babies cry. It is TERRIBLE.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: hobish on April 25, 2011, 01:46:01 PM
The Golden Compass.  I loved Narnia, so I thought this would be an interesting counterpoint.  Nope.  Couldn't stand it.
Wicked
Places in the Heart


I wanted to like The Golden Compass, too. I really tried. The friend who reccomended it to me and i have weirdly similar tastes in novels so it was really a surprise. I just couldn't get into either the book or the movie.

Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Rohanna on April 25, 2011, 01:46:51 PM
For me it's a toss-up between the latest in the Da Vinci series (The Lost symbol) or the latest Auel-spew, Painted Caves. Both, to me, were poorly written with irritating protagonists, infuriating inconsistancies, excess verbiage and plot holes big enough to park a Buick in.

 :-\
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: siamesecat2965 on April 25, 2011, 02:00:51 PM
The Golden Compass.  I loved Narnia, so I thought this would be an interesting counterpoint.  Nope.  Couldn't stand it.
Wicked
Places in the Heart


I wanted to like The Golden Compass, too. I really tried. The friend who reccomended it to me and i have weirdly similar tastes in novels so it was really a surprise. I just couldn't get into either the book or the movie.


That makes 3 of us.  I was really excited to read the books, but they were not nearly as good as I expected them to be.

Hannibal too for me was horrible.  Silence of the Lambs was SOOOO good and creepy, this one was just bad.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: whiterose on April 25, 2011, 02:06:38 PM
- Golden Compass I tried liking it, but it did not stand out.
- I could not get through My Sister's Keeper.
- I do not know what the big fuss about Wicked is, though I hear the musical is better.
- I remember disliking A Passage to India back in high school.
- I disliked The Lovely Bones movie- haven't read the book yet. I was expecting something different- guess I watch too many crime shows.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: hobish on April 25, 2011, 02:08:54 PM
Was Hannibal the one where one of the characters makes martinis from children's tears? I remember that from something and i think that was it, right? Tears of Small Children Martinis was a really terrible running joke with my friends for a while.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: TeamBhakta on April 25, 2011, 02:10:45 PM
Hated the Odyssey. The ending bugged me

Things Fall Apart really bored me

The Green Mile = I received it as as a sweet 16 gift. Someone who gets grossed out easily should not be given that book. What the heck was my friend thinking, buying that for me  :-X
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on April 25, 2011, 02:15:06 PM
The Wideacre series by Phillipa Gregory.  I only read two of the series and didn't want to read the third (learned my lesson about pushing through whole series after reading "Breaking Dawn") but a ? for others who have read her other books, is she just all around the historical fiction version of V.C. Andrews?  I mean..gah, the incest!! *looks for brain bleach*

Yes. Yes, ma'am, she IS. You so nailed it.

Mind you I used to devour V.C. Andrews as a teen, I guess cause at the time I loved to horrify myself with that kind of thing, but Wideacre and The Favored Child...ugh.  So much more disturbing. 
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: lilfox on April 25, 2011, 02:16:12 PM
I think I'm running about 75% agreeing with the worst books already listed that I've read (25% I enjoyed or at least didn't hate).  But I have chosen not to read a number of them if I think I'm just going to hate them anyway (Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series, The Road and others).

No one's mentioned the Battlefield Earth series by L Ron Hubbard so am I the only one to ever have picked these up?  I read them long before I ever connected him with his religion, and it's been too long to know how much of it was pure sci fi and how much was a religious allegory.  But I remember cruising through several of the books before catching on that it was ... really bad.  Bad storytelling, bad plotting, broad-stereotype characters.  (see also Left Behind series, for lousy execution on a otherwise interesting concept)
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: readingchick on April 25, 2011, 02:23:06 PM
I agree with you, Czarina. I read "Gatsby" after "Farewell to Arms" (10th grade for me too), and I respectfully question why both books are part of the high school (or middle school) English curriculum. Maybe I'd get the point of "Farewell to Arms" now that I've had some more life experience, but when I was in tenth grade I was thinking "What's the point?".
For me?  "Great Gatsby."  We had to read it in 8th grade.  I hated it with a passion.  Thought the characters were stupid, the book was stupid...you name it.
I can't believe you had to read that in 8th grade!  We read it in 10th grade, and I absolutely hated it.  And then I went to see the play when I was in my mid-20s (was the first play for the new location of the big theater here due to Fitzgerald being from this area).  Something clicked.  It was wonderful.  It made so much sense.  There's no way that high schoolers should be expected to get it and enjoy it.  
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: hobish on April 25, 2011, 02:23:18 PM
I think I'm running about 75% agreeing with the worst books already listed that I've read (25% I enjoyed or at least didn't hate).  But I have chosen not to read a number of them if I think I'm just going to hate them anyway (Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series, The Road and others).

No one's mentioned the Battlefield Earth series by L Ron Hubbard so am I the only one to ever have picked these up?  I read them long before I ever connected him with his religion, and it's been too long to know how much of it was pure sci fi and how much was a religious allegory.  But I remember cruising through several of the books before catching on that it was ... really bad.  Bad storytelling, bad plotting, broad-stereotype characters.  (see also Left Behind series, for lousy execution on a otherwise interesting concept)

You aren't the only one on either count. In fact, with Battlefield Earth i think i did pretty much the exact same thing.
:) I think i blocked those out.

...and... don't beat me ...
By about book 4 (?) of the Clan of the Cave Bear series i just could not take any more of poor poor little Ayla running into yet another unfamiliar thing and freaking out about it. I still every so often look back at how much i loved them in the beginning and was disgusted by the time i gave up.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: girlysprite on April 25, 2011, 02:27:59 PM
I have a comic book to add here!

I am a big fan of the Asterix & Obelix comics. They come from france, but I know they have been translated to many languages. The series was made by 2 persons - the artist and the writer. The writer died, the artist continued on his own, and it showed. The quality gradually slipped in the following books, but the last book was a pure travesty that I never really got over.

You see, the basic premise of the books is that there is a small village of Gaulles who bravely oppose the romans in 50BC. They live in a tiny village in France, and the romans (led by Julius Ceasar) keep trying to defeat them, but fail. The comics were witty, clever, funny, had some nice hidden references to famous persons, places and events of the time the comics were written. At the same time, it actually got quite some of it's facts and details right and made a lot of nice little twists on them which were joy to discover! The main theme was almost always some kind of conflict between the romans and the gaulles.

But the last book...a kind of purple micky mouse looking alien drops into the village and has a problem with other evil aliens. Those evil aliens create clones that look like superman. The gaulles have to protect the friendly alien against the evil superman clones...
I was reading it and just...stared in disbelief.
Wow...just wow...
I gave it to my father, and told him to read it once and please don't spend money on another copy. And when he'd be done with that, burn it. I'm really against bookburning, but this book should be wiped off the face of the earth, so we can all forget that it ever existed.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Moralia on April 25, 2011, 02:28:46 PM
Angels and Demons a friend recommended it, but I had to skim after the 1st 3rd of the book. I can't just not finish a book...but I can skim.  :)

A Game of Thrones Another one that was highly recommended by a friend.  I was looking forward to it because I like complex, dark fantasy in well-built worlds.  I didn't really like any of the characters and the whole thing was just tedious. Plus, the sex & violence seemed tacked on for shock value.

The Scarlet Letter - I was doing fine reading this despite my issues with the tone and dense symbolism...until I idly wondered what would happen if Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg (from a favorite series of fantasy novels) showed up at this, that or the other point in the story.  Now I can't even see a copy of the book without breaking into giggles.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Kiara on April 25, 2011, 02:32:50 PM
I agree with you, Czarina. I read "Gatsby" after "Farewell to Arms" (10th grade for me too), and I respectfully question why both books are part of the high school (or middle school) English curriculum. Maybe I'd get the point of "Farewell to Arms" now that I've had some more life experience, but when I was in tenth grade I was thinking "What's the point?".
For me?  "Great Gatsby."  We had to read it in 8th grade.  I hated it with a passion.  Thought the characters were stupid, the book was stupid...you name it.
I can't believe you had to read that in 8th grade!  We read it in 10th grade, and I absolutely hated it.  And then I went to see the play when I was in my mid-20s (was the first play for the new location of the big theater here due to Fitzgerald being from this area).  Something clicked.  It was wonderful.  It made so much sense.  There's no way that high schoolers should be expected to get it and enjoy it.  


I'm trying to remember what else we read in 8th grade.  I remember it was a really bad year in English.  I think we read Catcher in the Rye that year.  The only book I remember liking was "Native Son."  I hated English class that year, and I love to read.  Probably says something.... :D
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: TeamBhakta on April 25, 2011, 02:39:19 PM
Thought of another one. I don't remember the title of the book, but it was in three parts: a husband, wife and their friend are circus people, then pirates, then normal people (farmers ?). The ending was something like "We couldn't have a baby, but the friend can get my wife pregnant. I'm willing to deal with that because I love my wife and I love this baby." Just so random and not enjoyable to read
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: QueenofAllThings on April 25, 2011, 02:41:09 PM
Anything by Thomas Hardy, and yes, as someone else said, Catcher in the Rye. I keep trying - my husband and son ADORE it - but Holden just comes across as a snotty juvenile delinquent who I would have hated as a teenager and avoided as an adult.

The Corrections by Franzen. Awful.

Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: White Dragon on April 25, 2011, 02:47:03 PM
I've previously mentioned my eternal loathing for "Not Wanted on The Voyage" by Timothy Findlay. No. Just...no.

Also on my "never read list" are anything by Faulkner (did a college course on him and had to read 4 of his books. Sheer agony!) and anything by William Golding.
"Lord of the Flies" is one of the saddest and cruelest stories I've ever seen and it twists my stomach just to contemplate it.
I later had to read "Pincher Martin" by Golding and disliked it nearly as much.

Run away. Run away fast!
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: LadyPekoe on April 25, 2011, 02:48:39 PM
Every single one of Gregory Maguire's books.  I've read four of them (including Wicked) they were all awful.  The ideas are so good, the execution is so bad.

I HATED The Catcher in the Rye.  HATED it.  I wanted to reach in an slap Holden.  

I also couldn't stand Atlas Shrugged.  I disagree with Ayn Rand's politics so strongly that I can't stomach the  book.  I tried, I really did.  I brought it on a trip once as the only book (and I read about a book a day--I usually bring a book for every day I will be gone +2 so this was a big deal).  I still didn't read it.

I'm reading "The Gunslinger" right now because all my friends say it's amazing.  Tell me it gets better--I'm on chapter 4 and I'm not loving it at all.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: LadyClaire on April 25, 2011, 02:49:45 PM
I just read A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness.  Oh my gosh....592 pages and NOTHING happens! NOTHING - it was very frustrating to read because every time it seemed like something interesting might happen it did not.  There were maybe 3 points of action in the entire thing. Seriously there are "bad guys" but instead of actually fighting them or figuring out how to solve the problem the main characters run away - which might make sense IRL but is pretty unsatisfying as a conclusion to a story (Spoilers because the book was only published in Feb)

I was so annoyed when I was done that I actually tossed the book across the room in disgust.  I'd have thrown it out but it was a library book.  

From what I understand, it's meant to be a trilogy..so she's going to draw it out over 3 more books.

I enjoyed the book in that I saw the potential that was there, but the main character came off as rather Mary Sue-ish in some ways, and I wish that more had happened. The whole book felt mostly like a set-up for the next two.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Virg on April 25, 2011, 02:51:49 PM
One man's trash, eh?  I've seen at least one book here that I really liked, but then I thought Wuthering Heights was a disastrous mess that could only have been made tolerable by a shootout.  Anyway, my contribution is Gravity's Rainbow.  It's not the worst book ever, and in fact it's pretty obvious that there's brilliance in there, but I found it utterly incomprehensible.  I got almost two hundred pages into it and I still don't know what the main character's job is, and it's a book about his job (I think).  I felt like I was reading a book in a different language, and even after three or four passes some of the blocks of text still entirely elude me.  It's the only book I've ever not finished once I started, and it made me feel semiliterate.

QueenofAllThings wrote:

"I keep trying - my husband and son ADORE it - but Holden just comes across as a snotty juvenile delinquent who I would have hated as a teenager and avoided as an adult."

He's supposed to be like that.  Once I realized that the "magic" in that book was that you could sympathize with his "oh, carp, what now?" attitude without actually liking him or excusing his fault in it, the book became much more approachable.

White Dragon wrote:

""Lord of the Flies" is one of the saddest and cruelest stories I've ever seen and it twists my stomach just to contemplate it."

That's why I read it, and why I recommend it.  I didn't "enjoy" it at all but when I was finished I felt like it was important that I'd gone through it, much the same way I felt at the end of Elie Weisel's Night.

Virg
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: LadyClaire on April 25, 2011, 02:53:00 PM
Wicked ... really what was that all about ...

I wanted SO MUCH to like this book. What a fantastic premise! But the author just went on for days and days and DAYS about feminism and gaaaaaaaaah.

I started this book, everyone talked about how fantastic it was,blah, blah. I read a lot, I read "trashy novels", classics, techinical manuals, cereal boxes, if it has words, I will read it, but this book- woof.

I felt like there was something wrong with me, there was nothing I could do to follow along. I have never read anything like it, I was so confused.

Confused is a good way to describe what I thought about it as well.  I just couldn't follow what was going on.  At all. I even picked up another one of his books, Son of a witch, I think, it a library sale, for .50.  A  year ago.  It's still siitting on my shelf.

I read Mirror Mirror, and didn't really like it. I didn't bother trying to read Wicked after that one.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Ceiling Fan on April 25, 2011, 02:56:54 PM
(wow, fast moving thread!)

I'll nominate The Prestige. You really shouldn't have to re-read chapters, or read a book twice just to figure out WTHeck is going on.

I just discovered that the movie is even more confusing than the movie, and I'm finding that hard to believe:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2t102KfaAE
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: LadyPekoe on April 25, 2011, 02:57:01 PM
Oh, and I think Chuck Palahnuik is terribly overrated too.  Fight Club was a better movie than book *ducks*.  I've read 5 of his books, he makes the protags so unlikeable (purposefully) that I hope bad things happen to them.  And that doesn't attach me to a book at all.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Harriet Jones on April 25, 2011, 03:01:35 PM
Every single one of Gregory Maguire's books.  I've read four of them (including Wicked) they were all awful.  The ideas are so good, the execution is so bad.
I really wanted to like Wicked, I just couldn't get through it.

Quote
I'm reading "The Gunslinger" right now because all my friends say it's amazing.  Tell me it gets better--I'm on chapter 4 and I'm not loving it at all.

I liked the books in the middle of the series best, it helps to have read the earlier ones, though.


Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: hobish on April 25, 2011, 03:05:42 PM
Every single one of Gregory Maguire's books.  I've read four of them (including Wicked) they were all awful.  The ideas are so good, the execution is so bad.

I HATED The Catcher in the Rye.  HATED it.  I wanted to reach in an slap Holden.  

I also couldn't stand Atlas Shrugged.  I disagree with Ayn Rand's politics so strongly that I can't stomach the  book.  I tried, I really did.  I brought it on a trip once as the only book (and I read about a book a day--I usually bring a book for every day I will be gone +2 so this was a big deal).  I still didn't read it.

I'm reading "The Gunslinger" right now because all my friends say it's amazing.  Tell me it gets better--I'm on chapter 4 and I'm not loving it at all.

It gets better! Lots better! I had a really hard time getting into the first one; but once I did I couldn’t put it down. I spent the better part of a year being half in love with Roland. That is, until the 4th book, where I will warn you it is a lot of flashback and (to me) it just dragged on. I haven’t been able to pick it up much lately, but I am almost done book 5 and back in love with the books if not the awesome Roland all over again. It really did take me some time to get into it, but i am so glad i persevered.
Hope that helps!
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: lipli on April 25, 2011, 03:10:17 PM
Sorry I have another addition (pretty soon you all will think I hate reading).  I hope I can add a non-literary book to the mix.  

Note: I am an accountant with an economics background (and had to take three advanced statistics class).  I like numbers and I love statistics.  This is why this book failed. If you do not look for mathematical relationships in people's license plate number, this may not bother you as much as it did me.  I realize that it is rather wonkish. 

I love reading self-help books especially financial ones.  I bought Rich Dad, Poor Dad.  Awful.  The basic premise is good.  Don't spend money you don't have, buy quality once instead of cheap ones 6 dozen times etc.  But he attempted to use statistics to show that XX% of millionaires do X.  But that doesn't tell me carp.  I think one of them was using coupons.  XX% of millionaires use coupons.  This is reason #3 why they are rich.  But plenty of poor people use coupons.  Then I started picking apart his statistics and figuring out how he could make it better (a much better way would be to do statistical regression, instead of his survey/percentages method).  But then I realized that he couldn't without destroying his book.  Very bad data collection.  It is a poster child of bad statistics.  Maybe it got better.  Refused to wait it out.  

Again, agree with his major point but since he had decided to misuse statistics to make his point, I could no longer read it.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Just Lori on April 25, 2011, 03:16:13 PM
I HATED The Catcher in the Rye.  HATED it.  I wanted to reach in an slap Holden.

Me, too.  I had a hard time relating to him.

I didn't like a lot of the books I had to read in junior high and high school.  I really didn't like Lord of the Flies.  I loved seeing Dickens' work on stage, but I had a lot of trouble getting through the book.  Most high school and college literature was no match for my ADD.  ("It was the best of times, it was the worst - wait, is that a butterfly in the window?  What a pretty color.  I once had a shirt that color.  I wore it for my third grade school picture.  I wonder what happened to Buddy Winters.  He used to copy from me in third grade.  I wish I were in third grade.  I want to read the Little House books again.  I wish I had played Laura on the TV show."

That's why it's best for me to read books for comfort and escape.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: hobish on April 25, 2011, 03:17:53 PM
Oh, and I think Chuck Palahnuik is terribly overrated too.  Fight Club was a better movie than book *ducks*.  I've read 5 of his books, he makes the protags so unlikeable (purposefully) that I hope bad things happen to them.  And that doesn't attach me to a book at all.

You may want to take my opinion with a grain of salt, then. I loooove Chuck P. Love him. I even liked Pygmy. I would read Chuck's grocery list.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: supernova on April 25, 2011, 03:32:40 PM
Oddly, I'm in agreement with about 75% of you.  Most of the books listed so far I've really disliked (with the exception of Faulkner and a couple others).

Of the ones that haven't been mentioned so far:  Mists of Avalon.  I think I've ranted about this before.  It was supposed to be this total pro-feminist retelling of the Arthurian story.  The characters (at least the female ones) were interesting; the plot was really starting to move; and the story was beginning to take a really new and interesting direction. 

Buuuut...  oh wait.  The story is pulling away from Der Traditional Storyline.  Oh no; we must hogtie these characters and shove them back into their Traditional Roles!!!  So she uses the oldest, lamest trick in the book:  "And then some time passed, and the characters all decided to do ABC instead of XYZ, for no apparent reason, no motivation given." 

I threw it against the wall and swore like a sailor on leave.  (I was in the hospital at the time; so, probably not the best idea.)  I deliberately chose TV over finishing that book -- in the hospital, bored out of my skull, and I hate TV.  Tells you something right there.  ;)
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Firecat on April 25, 2011, 03:33:11 PM
Angels and Demons a friend recommended it, but I had to skim after the 1st 3rd of the book. I can't just not finish a book...but I can skim.  :)

A Game of Thrones Another one that was highly recommended by a friend.  I was looking forward to it because I like complex, dark fantasy in well-built worlds.  I didn't really like any of the characters and the whole thing was just tedious. Plus, the sex & violence seemed tacked on for shock value.

The Scarlet Letter - I was doing fine reading this despite my issues with the tone and dense symbolism...until I idly wondered what would happen if Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg (from a favorite series of fantasy novels) showed up at this, that or the other point in the story.  Now I can't even see a copy of the book without breaking into giggles.

I've tried reading A Game of Thrones about 3 times. And every time I get to a certain point where the main character is doing something mind-numbingly dumb. As in suicidally stupid. And the only way I can stifle the urge to throw the book across the room is by putting it down instead.

The Clan of the Cave Bear series is another one. The first two are fine. But once Ayla started inventing everything and Jondalar turned into a whiny drama queen (seriously, I think he's the male version of Bella from Twilight), I had to stop reading.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: kethria on April 25, 2011, 03:36:46 PM
POD She's Come Undone I could never get into it.

I didn't like the Left Behind series at all...

And Lost Boys by Orson Scott Card. My friend RAVED about it. I was gonna love it... the plot seemed good, in reality it was just... meh.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: flo on April 25, 2011, 03:37:08 PM
Almost every Jodi Picolt book, if you read it all except the last chapter or so, they are way, way better!

I'm glad to hear other people hated Catcher in the Rye because I thought it was awful, but I was afraid to admit it in high school!

My Antonia is high on my hate list, along with anything by Willa Cather.  If you want a good Nebraskan female author, go for Bess Streeter Aldrich!  She could beat up Willa Cather with both hands tied behind her back!
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Missy Hedgehog on April 25, 2011, 03:38:26 PM
I HATED The Catcher in the Rye.  HATED it.  I wanted to reach in an slap Holden.

Me, too.  I had a hard time relating to him.

I didn't like a lot of the books I had to read in junior high and high school.  I really didn't like Lord of the Flies.  I loved seeing Dickens' work on stage, but I had a lot of trouble getting through the book.  Most high school and college literature was no match for my ADD.  ("It was the best of times, it was the worst - wait, is that a butterfly in the window?  What a pretty color.  I once had a shirt that color.  I wore it for my third grade school picture.  I wonder what happened to Buddy Winters.  He used to copy from me in third grade.  I wish I were in third grade.  I want to read the Little House books again.  I wish I had played Laura on the TV show."

That's why it's best for me to read books for comfort and escape.
Oh man you just made me laugh out loud  ;D I didn't have that problem with Dickens, but Lordy Lou, this is pretty much my exact thought process when I tried to read Joyce's "Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man" and Fitzgerald's "This Side of Paradise" (whose protagonist, as far as I remember, was basically almost Gatsby, but not quite- and I already disliked "The Great Gatsby" so... yeah, not good).
I would weigh in on the whole "Catcher in the Rye" yay/nay... but I didn't have to read it in school, and it didn't really catch my interest enough to make me want to read it during what little reading free time I had. Interestingly enough, this did prevent me from getting a job last year though- so maybe I should take the time to do that after I graduate  ;)
I would like to nominate "Our Lady of the Flowers" by Jean Genet (I know I wasn't the only person in the class who wanted to wash my hands of the whole matter) and "Death in Venice" by Thomas Mann (by the end, I really, really wanted the title to be literal).
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: bobsyouruncle on April 25, 2011, 03:40:43 PM
I just read A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness.  Oh my gosh....592 pages and NOTHING happens! NOTHING - it was very frustrating to read because every time it seemed like something interesting might happen it did not.  There were maybe 3 points of action in the entire thing. Seriously there are "bad guys" but instead of actually fighting them or figuring out how to solve the problem the main characters run away - which might make sense IRL but is pretty unsatisfying as a conclusion to a story (Spoilers because the book was only published in Feb)

I was so annoyed when I was done that I actually tossed the book across the room in disgust.  I'd have thrown it out but it was a library book.  

From what I understand, it's meant to be a trilogy..so she's going to draw it out over 3 more books.

I enjoyed the book in that I saw the potential that was there, but the main character came off as rather Mary Sue-ish in some ways, and I wish that more had happened. The whole book felt mostly like a set-up for the next two.

Thanks LadyClaire that makes me feel somewhat better - I doubt I'll bother reading the other two but it's good to know that wasn't supposed to be the "real" ending. 

Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Lisbeth on April 25, 2011, 03:42:51 PM
A number of books I like (in some cases, love) have been mentioned as "I hates" by other posters.

To each his/her own.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: happygrrl on April 25, 2011, 03:46:10 PM
I'm going to date myself, but I hated "And Ladies of the Club..." that was written by an older lady, and published in the mid 80s. People just ranted about how good the book was, and how amazing blah, blah, blah. If I remember correctly, it was about 1400 pages in papaerback, and each page was horrendous.

I made it part way through, and threw it out in the yard.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Giggity on April 25, 2011, 03:47:09 PM
Aaaaaaaah! I remember trying that one and having to admit it just wasn't gonna work for me.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: kethria on April 25, 2011, 03:49:16 PM
If we go way back... A Separate Peace... I hated that more than Gatsby and Johnny Tremain
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Ceiling Fan on April 25, 2011, 03:55:44 PM
I'm going to date myself, but I hated "And Ladies of the Club..." that was written by an older lady, and published in the mid 80s. People just ranted about how good the book was, and how amazing blah, blah, blah. If I remember correctly, it was about 1400 pages in papaerback, and each page was horrendous.

I made it part way through, and threw it out in the yard.

Oh yeah. Completely unreadable, I made it about halfway though before giving up.

The other I remember from this same period was A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole. Please, just, no.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: GreenHall on April 25, 2011, 03:57:35 PM
It's been a few years ago now, but I wound up with a copy of The Historian - like so many mentioned before, interesting premise.  I can read a LOT of dreck, so I kept trying to figure out why THIS book was so awful to me - i finally decided it was passive - I kept reading thinking something interesting was about to happen, and interesting things did happen - in oh so passive ways that weren't interesting.
I think this was a best seller that year, and every time I think about it, I just cannot imagine that many people liking it.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Maujer on April 25, 2011, 04:00:48 PM
If we go way back... A Separate Peace... I hated that more than Gatsby and Johnny Tremain

Did you grow up in MA? I know very few people outside of Massachusetts who had to read this book in high school, including my husband who is from CT.

I also hated that book.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Giggity on April 25, 2011, 04:00:58 PM
See, now, I adore A Confederacy of Dunces. It makes me laugh out loud consistently, in a weird and not entirely comfortable way.

Here's one I cannot admit to Gentleman Friend, whose favorite book it is: I hate Jonathan Livingston Seagull. It's everything unlikable about hippies, except possibly the Nag Champa.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Giggity on April 25, 2011, 04:02:53 PM
It's been a few years ago now, but I wound up with a copy of The Historian - like so many mentioned before, interesting premise.  I can read a LOT of dreck, so I kept trying to figure out why THIS book was so awful to me - i finally decided it was passive - I kept reading thinking something interesting was about to happen, and interesting things did happen - in oh so passive ways that weren't interesting.
I think this was a best seller that year, and every time I think about it, I just cannot imagine that many people liking it.

YES. No one did anything. Things just happened.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Firecat on April 25, 2011, 04:07:06 PM
A number of books I like (in some cases, love) have been mentioned as "I hates" by other posters.

To each his/her own.

I don't think anyone disagrees with the to each their own idea...and there are some books I liked fairly well mentioned on here as hates, too. ("The Great Gatsby" for one - I didn't love it, but I didn't mind it. Also "Wuthering Heights" and "Pride and Prejudice.")

But I don't mind if other people hated them; just different taste and experiences, is all. I think it's kind of interesting, actually.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Ceiling Fan on April 25, 2011, 04:11:28 PM
See, now, I adore A Confederacy of Dunces. It makes me laugh out loud consistently, in a weird and not entirely comfortable way.

Here's one I cannot admit to Gentleman Friend, whose favorite book it is: I hate Jonathan Livingston Seagull. It's everything unlikable about hippies, except possibly the Nag Champa.

Oh dear Deity, yes. Along with Love Story and every bad remake of it.

Time Traveler's Wife: Love Story, with time travel = gluuuurge  :-X
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Spriggy on April 25, 2011, 04:16:11 PM
The Great Gatsby - I was forced to read that book twice (once in high school and once in college).  In my opinion they all should have died in the end.  Would have been a much more satisfying ending.

The Mists of Avalon - So slooooooooooooooowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.  Of course I was forced to read it for a college class (along with 11 other books for that class!!)

Shopaholic Series - Does the main charater never learn?!?!
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Mikayla on April 25, 2011, 04:18:35 PM
I am a big fan of Ann Rule and her true crime books, but there is one I despise.  It is Every Breath You Take, about the tragic murder of a mother of quads, perpetrated by her ex.  Nobody but nobody deserves what happened to this young woman, but it was difficult to empathize with her, as, throughout the book, she came across as a social climber, all about the $$$, and egging on her ex, excusing a lot of his behavior as long as he was providing a great lifestyle for her, and even enabling him in criminal behavior at some points.  Then, following their divorce, she married a man who was physically abusive to the two daughters she'd had with the ex, and that's where she completely lost me.  Ms. Rule explains away and excuses all the bad acts and poor choices made by this woman throughout the book.  I was still heartbroken when the murder was described, and I will reiterate that she did in no way "have it coming to her"; she was just harder to empathize with than many other crime victims.  

I also wanted to throw Handle With Care by Jodi Picoult through a plate glass window.

I'm a huge fan of Ann Rule, but I had an identical reaction to this book!  And I've also seen minor variations of it in other books, but not to where it was a big deal.  I just think she goes overboard sometimes in her acceptance of "victimhood" (if that makes sense). 
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: geordicat on April 25, 2011, 04:20:00 PM
Oh Mists of Avalon.  Dang that book took forever.  

I'm plodding through Count of Monte Cristo right now.  So far the movie is tons better.  So so so much extra stuff and sub plots and characters that don't have anything to do with the main story.  
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Íkorna on April 25, 2011, 04:21:49 PM
I wanted to like Revolutionary Road, but the characters were so unlikeable that I couldn't care much about their dramas. I loved Gilead, but its sequel/companion Home just didn't do it for me-- absolutely nothing happened. In Gilead it worked, in Home, not so much. I didn't like Q&A (The book Slumdog Millionaire is based on) very much either. I don't know if I'll like it now, but in late middle school/early high school I read Washington Square and wanted to hurl it across the room.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: LadyPekoe on April 25, 2011, 04:23:03 PM
A number of books I like (in some cases, love) have been mentioned as "I hates" by other posters.

To each his/her own.

I don't think anyone disagrees with the to each their own idea...and there are some books I liked fairly well mentioned on here as hates, too. ("The Great Gatsby" for one - I didn't love it, but I didn't mind it. Also "Wuthering Heights" and "Pride and Prejudice.")

But I don't mind if other people hated them; just different taste and experiences, is all. I think it's kind of interesting, actually.

I actually really like these threads.  It's interesting to see what other people like and don't like.

I think I'm the lone person to love Wuthering Heights :) 
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Red1979 on April 25, 2011, 04:23:06 PM
I mentioned this before, but I was extremely disgusted with The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake.  The story sounds good but it was just badly written.  The main problem is the book has no quotation marks which I know is also one of your peeves, Juana.

I read this too!  The premise sounded so great and then it was just so flat.  And don't start me on how they didn't explain anything about the brother.  I spent the whole book waiting to get more details on that and then..nada.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Red1979 on April 25, 2011, 04:28:57 PM
Twilight - I don't even know where to start on my hatred of that book.

Atlas Shrugged - If you make it through the full book someone should hand you an award and throw a parade in your honor.  Who is John Galt? 

After page 1000, who the heck cares.  That's entire book is a testament to pretension.

Wicked - I like to pretend I never read that one so Oz stays as a fond memory for me.

The Historian - If you want to find a book that makes Dracula incredibly boring, go for this one.  And they certainly aren't lying with the "historian" title--every narrator talks like a history professor, which begs the question of why you need multiple narrators if they all sound the same.

Pretty much anything on the Oprah book club list, I was sucked into that on more than one occasion.  Fool me once Oprah, shame on you--fool me twice...
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Mikayla on April 25, 2011, 04:30:48 PM
Why do I laugh every time I see wingadingy Moby?

Anyhoo...my two worst books were The Pilot's Wife (one of the most nonsensical and unreal plot lines I've ever encountered) and We Were The Mulvaney's by Joyce Carol Oates.  I'd heard she was a good writer, and let's just say I almost didn't live through that book.  This was also an Oprah suggestion. 

Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Red1979 on April 25, 2011, 04:35:38 PM
And put me down for another Faulkner book, "Light In August."  So very dry.  I couldn't get into it, even with Cliff's Notes, and had to stop a few chapters in.  I took an F on that test in English that year.

That's a pretty big statement about a book: "This sucks so bad I would rather fail a test than read it."


My entire CP 11th grade English Class collectively decided to do this for Cather's "Death Comes for the Archbishop".  Our teacher actually read the responses to her quiz outload laughing the entire time.  I think she had tears in her eyes. 

We hadn't even coordinated the effort.  It was just no one could make it through the story.  Not a single one of us.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: LadyPekoe on April 25, 2011, 04:38:04 PM
My mother always called "Heart of Darkness" the worst book she ever tried to read.  She took a low grade rather than finish it.  I grew up knowing that story, so when it was my turn to read HoD in AP English, I decided I wasn't going to read it either.  And I managed to write a paper and get an B just from what I gathered about the book from group discussion.  I'm pretty proud of that.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Giggity on April 25, 2011, 04:41:45 PM
I think I'm the lone person to love Wuthering Heights :) 

No, you're not! I haven't read it in years, but I love it. Also Jane Eyre, although sometimes I wanted to punch Mr. Rochester for that whole Blanche thing.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Suze on April 25, 2011, 04:44:12 PM
The Picture of Dorian Grey -- it never started let alone finshed (for me)

Angels and Demons might have well been the DaVinci Code with different names.  (In some places I think it was)

there have been a few SciFi that I have tossed on general principal - because of bad plots (I tossed one when the main chars were going on about how to "put a woman in her place")
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: hobish on April 25, 2011, 04:46:04 PM
The Picture of Dorian Grey -- it never started let alone finshed (for me)

Angels and Demons might have well been the DaVinci Code with different names.  (In some places I think it was)

there have been a few SciFi that I have tossed on general principal - because of bad plots (I tossed one when the main chars were going on about how to "put a woman in her place")

Don't leave us hanging like that! I think you and i read a bit of the same sci-fi and now i am dying to know!  :)


:) edited to add smiley and not sound all yelly and dictatorial.

Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Kiara on April 25, 2011, 04:52:28 PM
A number of books I like (in some cases, love) have been mentioned as "I hates" by other posters.

To each his/her own.

I don't think anyone disagrees with the to each their own idea...and there are some books I liked fairly well mentioned on here as hates, too. ("The Great Gatsby" for one - I didn't love it, but I didn't mind it. Also "Wuthering Heights" and "Pride and Prejudice.")

But I don't mind if other people hated them; just different taste and experiences, is all. I think it's kind of interesting, actually.

I actually really like these threads.  It's interesting to see what other people like and don't like.

I think I'm the lone person to love Wuthering Heights :) 

I think it's fascinating too.  There are several that I really like that other people hate.  I'm sure the reverse is true too!

And nope!  Love Wuthering Heights.  I even liked the Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, but I read them right after studying Rand in an ethics class.   I actually want to reread Fountainhead now that I've read a major model for the character was Frank Lloyd Wright.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Shoo on April 25, 2011, 04:53:41 PM
I tried and I tried to read The Gift of Fear, but that book was so BORING and DULL I kept falling asleep.  The author just can't seem to get to the point, droning on and on until I just couldn't take it anymore.  I kept waiting and hoping for it to get good and provide me with all this wonderful information I keep hearing about.  Never got far enough into it, I guess.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Suze on April 25, 2011, 05:04:07 PM
hobbish I don't remember the title of the book (long time ago read)

just that they talked about abuse (emotional, phisical and  ummm scrabble related) to keep women in "their places"

about a third of the way into the book that was all it talked about
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Melxb on April 25, 2011, 05:07:28 PM
I tried and I tried to read The Gift of Fear, but that book was so BORING and DULL I kept falling asleep.  The author just can't seem to get to the point, droning on and on until I just couldn't take it anymore.  I kept waiting and hoping for it to get good and provide me with all this wonderful information I keep hearing about.  Never got far enough into it, I guess.

I read The Gift of Fear as part true crime, part autobiography.  Towards the end, when he gives out tips for safety, I put the book down.  Bad of me, I know, but that's the only way I could get through it.  :P
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: dman on April 25, 2011, 05:13:16 PM
My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult. And anything else by her.

The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. Pseduo-philosophical/psychological claptrap. I don't get it, and I don't want to.

A book called The Shack that a friend lent me. I can't remember the author, and I can't for the life of me figure out why she thought I'd want to read it. It was about some guy's personal journey to find God. God was some kind of dreadlocked bohemian that the protagonist encountered in a shack, whilst looking for his dead daughter. Or something. The writing was so bad I couldn't stop sniggering.

Oh The Shack!  My neighbour just loaned this to me a couple of weeks ago.  It was the only book she has read in her entire life I think.  It.is.horrible.  I tried.  I really did.  but it was so bad I gave up.  I don't think I have ever given up on a book before.  I kept picking it up to see if it was going to get better but my diety that man cannot write.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: dman on April 25, 2011, 05:26:41 PM
A number of books I like (in some cases, love) have been mentioned as "I hates" by other posters.

To each his/her own.

I don't think anyone disagrees with the to each their own idea...and there are some books I liked fairly well mentioned on here as hates, too. ("The Great Gatsby" for one - I didn't love it, but I didn't mind it. Also "Wuthering Heights" and "Pride and Prejudice.")

But I don't mind if other people hated them; just different taste and experiences, is all. I think it's kind of interesting, actually.

I actually really like these threads.  It's interesting to see what other people like and don't like.

I think I'm the lone person to love Wuthering Heights :) 

No, I love Wuthering Heights as well.
I also love Steinbeck.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: lilfox on April 25, 2011, 05:28:08 PM
The Fountainhead, Wuthering Heights, and Anna Karenina are all books that, for me, fall into the "uh, what?" category of disinterest.  No hate, no love, just ... what was that all about?  For some reason The Fountainhead must have been very popular in most high schools right before I got to college, because all the college freshmen put that down as their favorite book ever.  (Mine was Jurassic Park  ;D )  I finally read it a few years after college and did not get it.

Just like I did not get the Lord of the Rings books.  Movies?  Fine.  Books?  No thank you.  I think I missed the window on that, but I was never into fantasy style books as a kid - either straight fiction or straight sci-fi.  I kind of get the popularity of Twilight but mostly I felt too old to find the plot that engaging and wow the fourth book took quite a turn.  Definitely something I read just to know what people were talking about.

Hate I reserve for things like Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, and She's Come Undone.  Painful and pointlessly depressing or obtuse.

OTOH, I may not like the direction that Clan of the Cave Bear series took with Ayla as Savior of All the Peoples, but I will absolutely be reading the next one (and thanks to the PP who mentioned it's been released, I hadn't heard!   ;)).  And I like the Shopaholic series and Bridget Jones' Diary (but not the sequel) and others of that style.  For me it's about the style of writing - if it makes me laugh, it's good brain candy.  There are definitely books out there in a similar vein that are just ... tedious.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: hobish on April 25, 2011, 05:30:48 PM
hobbish I don't remember the title of the book (long time ago read)

just that they talked about abuse (emotional, phisical and  ummm scrabble related) to keep women in "their places"

about a third of the way into the book that was all it talked about

I do that all the time. "Hey, Dad, what was that book with the whip trees and some artist guy, and people would be asleep in suspended animation for periods of time to prolongue their lives; and the process really hurt, but no one ever remembered it? I forget what it was about or who wrote it; but i want to read it again."  :P

Thanks!



Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: kareng57 on April 25, 2011, 05:32:59 PM
Why do I laugh every time I see wingadingy Moby?

Anyhoo...my two worst books were The Pilot's Wife (one of the most nonsensical and unreal plot lines I've ever encountered) and We Were The Mulvaney's by Joyce Carol Oates.  I'd heard she was a good writer, and let's just say I almost didn't live through that book.  This was also an Oprah suggestion. 



Another Oprah pick - Vinegar Hill.  The most absolutely depressing dreck I've read in my life.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: afbluebelle on April 25, 2011, 05:36:30 PM
Anything by Nicholas Sparks.. my mother and every other female in the family love him and find him to be sensitive and profound. I think he is a pompous windbag :P

The Kiterunner... just didn't like it. No reason why. (Another recommendation from my mum)

Harry Potter series. No particular reason, just didn't really like it. Bored me to tears (eyestrain).
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Snowy Owl on April 25, 2011, 05:37:45 PM
I loathed "Catcher in the Rye."  We had to study it at school and I found it incredibly dull and (to my mind) nothing happens.  

I also had to read quite a bit of Thomas Hardy especially  "Jude the Obscure"  which has to be one of the most depressing things I've ever encountered.  

I was interested by Wuthering Heights but didn't particularly enjoy reading it.  I couldn't see why everyone else in class seemed to view Heathcliff as this romantic leading man.  I found him most unpleasant, egocentric and damaged. When I read the book now, I keep hearing the cast of Criminal Minds profiling him as an unsub  ;)

I also find Philippa Gregory very annoying and particularly don't know what Elizabeth I ever did to her, because she really doesn't like her and that is clear in every book she's ever written mentioning her.  
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Firecat on April 25, 2011, 05:40:23 PM
hobbish I don't remember the title of the book (long time ago read)

just that they talked about abuse (emotional, phisical and  ummm scrabble related) to keep women in "their places"

about a third of the way into the book that was all it talked about

That's got to be one of the Gor books by John Norman (I think that's the name). What's really scary? He's a philosophy professor.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: geordicat on April 25, 2011, 05:44:54 PM
Enchanters by David Bryan Russell.  Oh deity it was bad.  SO very bad.  My mom's boyfriend knows the author and got me a copy.  I tried.  I really did try.   i got to the part where she changed to a fairy (from a normal human) and flitted off to the land of lemon colored lemurs and mini copper colored unicorns.  I had to put it down.  every few months I get asked about it again and how much I liked it.

http://www.enchanters-book.com/
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on April 25, 2011, 05:45:49 PM
I read "A Separate Peace" in high school but can't remember what happened in it at all.  Yeah it was that memorable.  

I tried to read "The Fountainhead" because it was mentioned in Gilmore Girls and I felt like checking out the books that Rory seemed to like.  I couldn't get through the whole thing, or even the first few pages.  Dull, dull dull.....

I like the movie "Sense and Sensibility" but had a hard time getting through the actual book.  Wouldn't say it's a bad book, just hard to get through for me.

Maximum Ride series.  I enjoy the books alright individually and enjoy the characters but end up dreadfully confused when going from one book to the next.  In one book Max has children (half humans, half birds I think? It's been a while) but in other books it is not mentioned at all.    ???
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Firecat on April 25, 2011, 05:48:56 PM
Just remembered one more series I can't stand - The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, the Unbeliever. I nearly threw the first book across the room within the first few chapters, and never picked it up again.

Why? White font for spoilers below:

The main character has leprosy. He gets sent to a world where he doesn't have it. And pretty much the first thing he does is rape a girl.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Suze on April 25, 2011, 05:54:58 PM
Just remembered one more series I can't stand - The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, the Unbeliever. I nearly threw the first book across the room within the first few chapters, and never picked it up again.

Why? White font for spoilers below:

The main character has leprosy. He gets sent to a world where he doesn't have it. And pretty much the first thing he does is rape a girl.

we agree there -- hate that book
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: rose red on April 25, 2011, 05:55:47 PM
I also find Philippa Gregory very annoying and particularly don't know what Elizabeth I ever did to her, because she really doesn't like her and that is clear in every book she's ever written mentioning her.  

Also Anne Boleyn.  I keep thinking "Jeez lady.  Did they kill your ancestors or something?"  Her hatred is very obvious as is her worship of Katherine of Aragon and (Bloody) Queen Mary .
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: artk2002 on April 25, 2011, 05:56:38 PM
I've made at least 3 tries at Thomas Covenant.  Still have the books in the hopes that somehow I'll like them.  But since I want to kill the "hero" within the first 20 pages, and he doesn't grow at all through the first book (or the second, I think I've made it that far), it's very, very painful.

Add me to the "Wicked" list as well.  None of the characters was very sympathetic... I just couldn't care about any of them.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Just Lori on April 25, 2011, 06:24:54 PM
OK, I'm going to date myself, but I read "Flowers in the Attic" when the original V.C. Andrews was still alive.  We all read the series in middle school and thought we were very sophisticated.

Years later, I still see a lot of her books.  Are they still all the same?
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: supernova on April 25, 2011, 06:25:32 PM
I also find Philippa Gregory very annoying and particularly don't know what Elizabeth I ever did to her, because she really doesn't like her and that is clear in every book she's ever written mentioning her.  

Also Anne Boleyn.  I keep thinking "Jeez lady.  Did they kill your ancestors or something?"  Her hatred is very obvious as is her worship of Katherine of Aragon and (Bloody) Queen Mary .

Hmm.  Just from that, I would suspect that perhaps Ms. Gregory is Catholic.  I have no idea whatsoever; it's just what I would suspect, given the information at hand.  And no disrespect for followers of that faith meant whatsoever.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Linley on April 25, 2011, 06:30:37 PM
Faulkner's "As I Lay Dying."  We had to read it in high school.  It was so bland, so boring, so...not good.  I later saw it on my mom's bookshelf, as it was the Oprah Book Club selection, and I warned her about it.  She later agreed with me after reading it and will not be reading any more Faulkner. 

I hate Faulkner with a deep and burning passion. Unfortunately, my father thinks he's one of the great masters of the Western world.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: lady_disdain on April 25, 2011, 06:31:34 PM
I do that all the time. "Hey, Dad, what was that book with the whip trees and some artist guy, and people would be asleep in suspended animation for periods of time to prolongue their lives; and the process really hurt, but no one ever remembered it? I forget what it was about or who wrote it; but i want to read it again."  :P

Thanks!

That would be Hyperion, which is a great book that shouldn't be mentioned in this thread :D You do need a strong stomach for it, though.

I agree with The Historian and I warn you all from "The Swan Thieves", by the same author. I didn't recognize the name at first, so I started reading. Very predictable and dull.

I will also cast my POD with The Magicians (dull, annoying characters that I just wanted to shake and tell them to get a life), Dickens (he was paid by the word and it shows) and Wicked.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Hillia on April 25, 2011, 06:35:42 PM
I also find Philippa Gregory very annoying and particularly don't know what Elizabeth I ever did to her, because she really doesn't like her and that is clear in every book she's ever written mentioning her.  

Also Anne Boleyn.  I keep thinking "Jeez lady.  Did they kill your ancestors or something?"  Her hatred is very obvious as is her worship of Katherine of Aragon and (Bloody) Queen Mary .

I'm almost finished with The Constant Princess now - the story of Katherine of Aragon - and enjoying it, but I haven't read any of her other works yet.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Corvid on April 25, 2011, 06:45:31 PM
The Scarlet Letter - I was doing fine reading this despite my issues with the tone and dense symbolism...until I idly wondered what would happen if Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg (from a favorite series of fantasy novels) showed up at this, that or the other point in the story.  Now I can't even see a copy of the book without breaking into giggles.

!!!!!!  What have you just done to me, giving me that image!  And it won't stop here!  It'll spread to other books!  I think it's alreading infiltrating Harry Potter!

Granny vs. Voldemort...oooh!  Vimes vs. Voldemort!
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Giggity on April 25, 2011, 06:52:06 PM
I also find Philippa Gregory very annoying and particularly don't know what Elizabeth I ever did to her, because she really doesn't like her and that is clear in every book she's ever written mentioning her.  

Also Anne Boleyn.  I keep thinking "Jeez lady.  Did they kill your ancestors or something?"  Her hatred is very obvious as is her worship of Katherine of Aragon and (Bloody) Queen Mary .

Hmm.  Just from that, I would suspect that perhaps Ms. Gregory is Catholic.  I have no idea whatsoever; it's just what I would suspect, given the information at hand.  And no disrespect for followers of that faith meant whatsoever.

You best not be disrespecting my baby sister and my weird little niece!  ;D
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Linley on April 25, 2011, 06:59:32 PM
I just read A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness.  Oh my gosh....592 pages and NOTHING happens! NOTHING - it was very frustrating to read because every time it seemed like something interesting might happen it did not.  There were maybe 3 points of action in the entire thing. Seriously there are "bad guys" but instead of actually fighting them or figuring out how to solve the problem the main characters run away - which might make sense IRL but is pretty unsatisfying as a conclusion to a story (Spoilers because the book was only published in Feb)

I was so annoyed when I was done that I actually tossed the book across the room in disgust.  I'd have thrown it out but it was a library book.  

My mother lent me that and I too wanted to fling it against a wall. My problem wasn't the ending (it's part of a series so I expected something unresolved) but the relationship between the two central characters was far too Twilight for me. He kept talking about how she was soooooo strong and independent but she seldom acts that way, she spends half the book taking naps because he told her to.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Amava on April 25, 2011, 07:12:38 PM
The Scarlet Letter - I was doing fine reading this despite my issues with the tone and dense symbolism...until I idly wondered what would happen if Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg (from a favorite series of fantasy novels) showed up at this, that or the other point in the story.  Now I can't even see a copy of the book without breaking into giggles.

!!!!!!  What have you just done to me, giving me that image!  And it won't stop here!  It'll spread to other books!  I think it's alreading infiltrating Harry Potter!

Granny vs. Voldemort...oooh!  Vimes vs. Voldemort!

Is that my cow? It goes "Crucio"! It is Lord Voldemort! THAT IS NOT MY COW!!!
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: jayhawk on April 25, 2011, 07:17:36 PM
I had to read A Separate Peace in a college lit class of some sort.  THe book was okay, I guess; but the professor had to parse every.single.sentence.  Of course, then we went on to Don Quixote (which is awesome), but because of the "in-depth discussions" it was the longest dang semester of my life.

I don't have anything I really hated, but I don't see the attraction of Outlander.  I got through about the first 1/3, but then put it down.  THe main character seemed a bit too Ayla, Inventress of All for me.  Just my .02.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: aiki on April 25, 2011, 07:18:15 PM
Just remembered one more series I can't stand - The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, the Unbeliever. I nearly threw the first book across the room within the first few chapters, and never picked it up again.

Why? White font for spoilers below:

The main character has leprosy. He gets sent to a world where he doesn't have it. And pretty much the first thing he does is rape a girl.

And then, IIRC, spends the rest of the book whining "I'm a leper, I'm a leper, I raped her I raped her."  Eh, if you're such a worthless excuse for a human being, just jump off a cliff already and spare us the next 400 pages , will ya?
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Miss Misery on April 25, 2011, 07:20:50 PM
Twilight by Stephenie Meyer--a pathetic doormat must decide whether the emotionally abusive pedophile vampire or the emotionally abusive pedophile werewolf will run her life. Awesome.  :( Actually I made it about 200 pages into the first book which is nothing but page after page after page describing how beautiful, perfect, angelic, divine, exquisite, radiant, stunning, wonderful and dazzling that creepy control-freak Lord Stalker McSparklepants is. That's followed by page after page after page describing every last nanosecond of Princess Zoloft McAirhead's rather mundane days. Do I really need to know what she makes for dinner every night? It's rather amazing that Charlie didn't starve to death before Bella moved back in. I'm told a plot finally falls out of the sky around page 400, but I'm not going back to find out.

In The Cut by Susanna Moore--violent, sleazy pornographic trash that tries to pretend it's a gritty, erotic murder mystery, featuring the most blindingly stupid "heroine" to grace the pages of a book before Bella Swan came along.

Isle of Dogs by Patricia Cornwell--Cornwell tries to write black comedy and fails really really badly. Some reviews compare it to Carl Hiaasen, which is an insult to Carl Hiaasen. See, Carl Hiaasen can write black comedy and write it well. Patricia Cornwell couldn't write black comedy if it meant the firing squad. Features characters blessed with such names as Trish Thrash, Unique First, Major Trader, Hooter Shook. One chapter features talking crabs and fish, another has a dog that can type. No, really. Just go check out all the one-star reviews at Amazon.com if you want a good laugh. They're way more entertaining than the book!
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Carnation on April 25, 2011, 07:21:22 PM
What WAS the point of Silas Marner?   Our class had to read ancient, tattered copies of Silas Marner while the cool classes were reading Mr and Mrs Bo Jo Jones.

http://www.amazon.com/Mr-Mrs-Jones-Signet-Books/dp/0451163192


Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Kimblee on April 25, 2011, 07:22:50 PM
The Scarlet Letter - I was doing fine reading this despite my issues with the tone and dense symbolism...until I idly wondered what would happen if Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg (from a favorite series of fantasy novels) showed up at this, that or the other point in the story.  Now I can't even see a copy of the book without breaking into giggles.

!!!!!!  What have you just done to me, giving me that image!  And it won't stop here!  It'll spread to other books!  I think it's alreading infiltrating Harry Potter!

Granny vs. Voldemort...oooh!  Vimes vs. Voldemort!

Is that my cow? It goes "Crucio"! It is Lord Voldemort! THAT IS NOT MY COW!!!

what series are you talking about? All i know is i wanna read it now.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Linley on April 25, 2011, 07:23:25 PM
Anything by Elfriede Jelinek except The Piano Teacher (the title of which is mistranslated and therefore annoys me endlessly). I have no idea what the Nobel Committee had in mind, I'm appalled by the very idea of them reading her books which are endless descriptions of graphic scrabble and violence towards women.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: joraemi on April 25, 2011, 07:26:06 PM
I really disliked Pillars of the Earth and Edgar Sawtelle.

Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: bookworm317 on April 25, 2011, 07:31:41 PM
I have 2 books to add to the list.
  1. I Am the Cheese. Had to read this in high school. I swear, if my future children have to read this fecal matter, I'm telling them to just fail that section of English class.
  2. a spoof of 'Gone with the Wind'--I think it was called 'The Wind Done Gone and Blew Me Away'. I read this for US History in college.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Klein Bottle on April 25, 2011, 07:50:04 PM
What WAS the point of Silas Marner?   Our class had to read ancient, tattered copies of Silas Marner while the cool classes were reading Mr and Mrs Bo Jo Jones.

http://www.amazon.com/Mr-Mrs-Jones-Signet-Books/dp/0451163192




And here I thought I might be the only one who remembered M&MBJJ.  Evidently not.    ;D
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Eisa on April 25, 2011, 07:52:19 PM
The Scarlet Letter - I was doing fine reading this despite my issues with the tone and dense symbolism...until I idly wondered what would happen if Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg (from a favorite series of fantasy novels) showed up at this, that or the other point in the story.  Now I can't even see a copy of the book without breaking into giggles.

!!!!!!  What have you just done to me, giving me that image!  And it won't stop here!  It'll spread to other books!  I think it's alreading infiltrating Harry Potter!

Granny vs. Voldemort...oooh!  Vimes vs. Voldemort!

Is that my cow? It goes "Crucio"! It is Lord Voldemort! THAT IS NOT MY COW!!!


*dies laughing* :D

Hmm, let's see, what else did I hate...I kind of have to agree with the Shopaholic series. I managed to read the first several and thought they were fine, but it does get really tiresome, like goodness, girl, LEARN already! ::)

I actually liked the Babysitters' Club because of their simplicity and sameness. Although I usually skipped over the chapter where they introduced everyone. :P
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Giggity on April 25, 2011, 07:55:56 PM
Silas Marner ... I had blocked that from my brain due to excessive boredom content. Gaaaaaah.

Why do English classes persist in introducing us to an author using that author's worst work? Great Expectations, I am looking right at you. Also Ethan Frome.

And as a corollary: why do they insist on making us READ Shakespeare, silently, to ourselves at home? Shakespeare is meant to be read out loud, to be performed, to be watched and heard.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: bobsyouruncle on April 25, 2011, 08:11:41 PM

Why do English classes persist in introducing us to an author using that author's worst work? Great Expectations, I am looking right at you. Also Ethan Frome.


I could NOT agree more!
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: weeblewobble on April 25, 2011, 08:33:05 PM
Water for Elephants.  EVERYONE I know loved it; i thought it was terrible.


The train, the train, 50 pages on a frickin train!
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Petticoats on April 25, 2011, 08:40:32 PM
Why do I laugh every time I see wingadingy Moby?

Anyhoo...my two worst books were The Pilot's Wife (one of the most nonsensical and unreal plot lines I've ever encountered) and We Were The Mulvaney's by Joyce Carol Oates.  I'd heard she was a good writer, and let's just say I almost didn't live through that book.  This was also an Oprah suggestion. 



I avoid Joyce Carol Oates like the plague. I read a couple of stories by her when I was a teen, and they just...well, I'll just say I realized that JCO and I had some fundamental differences of opinion about plot, style, and oh, pretty much every other part of a story.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Melxb on April 25, 2011, 08:45:59 PM
OK, I'm going to date myself, but I read "Flowers in the Attic" when the original V.C. Andrews was still alive.  We all read the series in middle school and thought we were very sophisticated.

Years later, I still see a lot of her books.  Are they still all the same?

She passed away in the middle of one of her series.  I think the Dollanganger series, with The Flowers in the Attic, was completed by her, as was The Casteel series.  Everything else afterwards was ghostwritten after she passed away.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vc_andrews
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: siamesecat2965 on April 25, 2011, 09:04:30 PM
Why do I laugh every time I see wingadingy Moby?

Anyhoo...my two worst books were The Pilot's Wife (one of the most nonsensical and unreal plot lines I've ever encountered) and We Were The Mulvaney's by Joyce Carol Oates.  I'd heard she was a good writer, and let's just say I almost didn't live through that book.  This was also an Oprah suggestion. 



Another Oprah pick - Vinegar Hill.  The most absolutely depressing dreck I've read in my life.

I remember one year for Christmas, the attorney I worked for gave all her staff a book, and a fleece throw for Christmas.  That was my book.  It was dreck.

Pretty much anything I had to read in jr. high or HS English.  They were all so bad I don't remember most, but a few were Great Expectations, The Great Gatsby, A Separate Peace, and that's about all I remember.

The only book I DID enjoy was 100 Years of Solitude, in Spanish, for my Spanish class. To this day, still a favorite of mine, but this time in English.

Attonement.  It was awful.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Miss Misery on April 25, 2011, 09:14:30 PM
I can't believe I forgot this one:

Big Girl by Danielle Steel. Ggaaahhhh!!! The heroine of the story, Victoria, who is maybe 20 pounds overweight, spends the entire book whining about how she's ssssoooooo fat and nobody will ever love her because she's sssoooooo fat and her sister is so pretty and perfect and she isn't so she plows through a half-gallon of ice cream because she's sssssoooooo fat. Victoria, you're a size 12. Stop acting like the local circus sideshow is going to put you on display and grow up already.

Then there's the writing style. I'd really like to know how Danielle Steel has managed to maintain a career as a writer for the last 30 years since the whole thing reads like a 7th grader's attempt at writing a grown-up novel. The sentences are either short and choppy or just run on and on and on (and on and on). There are at least 3 sentences on every.single.page that start with "And". The entire novel is like this:

Victoria is overweight. She wants to be thin and beautiful like her sister. But she isn't. And Victoria wants to be a teacher. But her father doesn't want her to be a teacher. Her father doesn't like her because she isn't pretty and skinny like her sister. Victoria eats some pizza. She wants to move to New York and be a teacher. And she wants to lose some weight.

You've been warned.

Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: sisbam on April 25, 2011, 09:15:04 PM
A number of books I like (in some cases, love) have been mentioned as "I hates" by other posters.

To each his/her own.

I don't think anyone disagrees with the to each their own idea...and there are some books I liked fairly well mentioned on here as hates, too. ("The Great Gatsby" for one - I didn't love it, but I didn't mind it. Also "Wuthering Heights" and "Pride and Prejudice.")

But I don't mind if other people hated them; just different taste and experiences, is all. I think it's kind of interesting, actually.

I actually really like these threads.  It's interesting to see what other people like and don't like.

I think I'm the lone person to love Wuthering Heights :) 

I think it's fascinating too.  There are several that I really like that other people hate.  I'm sure the reverse is true too!

And nope!  Love Wuthering Heights.  I even liked the Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, but I read them right after studying Rand in an ethics class.   I actually want to reread Fountainhead now that I've read a major model for the character was Frank Lloyd Wright.

Yeah, and I really liked Wicked and other Gregory MaGuire books and various Chuck P. books.

But I definitely agree with other submissions here. :)
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: lady_disdain on April 25, 2011, 09:19:44 PM
Water for Elephants.  EVERYONE I know loved it; i thought it was terrible.


The train, the train, 50 pages on a frickin train!

Agatha Christie managed an entire book on a train that wasn't even moving and it is brilliant! :D
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Elfmama on April 25, 2011, 09:20:00 PM
Last of the Mohicans.  EVER.  
Mark Twain agrees with you:

Quote
Cooper’s art has some defects. In one place in ‘Deerslayer,’ and in the restricted space of two-thirds of a page, Cooper has scored 114 offences against literary art out of a possible 115. It breaks the record.

There are nineteen rules governing literary art in the domain of romantic fiction–some say twenty-two. In Deerslayer Cooper violated eighteen of them. ...


My favorite rule is this one:
Quote
3. They require that the personages in a tale shall be alive, except in the case of corpses, and that always the reader shall be able to tell the corpses from the others. But this detail has often been overlooked in the Deerslayer tale.
Rest of the essay here. (http://"http://www.pbs.org/marktwain/learnmore/writings_fenimore.html")
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: kareng57 on April 25, 2011, 09:22:28 PM
I can't believe I forgot this one:

Big Girl by Danielle Steel. Ggaaahhhh!!! The heroine of the story, Victoria, who is maybe 20 pounds overweight, spends the entire book whining about how she's ssssoooooo fat and nobody will ever love her because she's sssoooooo fat and her sister is so pretty and perfect and she isn't so she plows through a half-gallon of ice cream because she's sssssoooooo fat. Victoria, you're a size 12. Stop acting like the local circus sideshow is going to put you on display and grow up already.

Then there's the writing style. I'd really like to know how Danielle Steel has managed to maintain a career as a writer for the last 30 years since the whole thing reads like a 7th grader's attempt at writing a grown-up novel. The sentences are either short and choppy or just run on and on and on (and on and on). There are at least 3 sentences on every.single.page that start with "And". The entire novel is like this:

Victoria is overweight. She wants to be thin and beautiful like her sister. But she isn't. And Victoria wants to be a teacher. But her father doesn't want her to be a teacher. Her father doesn't like her because she isn't pretty and skinny like her sister. Victoria eats some pizza. She wants to move to New York and be a teacher. And she wants to lose some weight.

You've been warned.




I'll never understand the Steele appeal.  Years ago I read one of her books and vowed "never again".  Then, she wrote a book (I forget the title, it had to do with a new mom who died) that my sister and mother both loved.  I said "I've read her before I don't think I'd like it" but "this one is different!"  It wasn't.  I did keep reading the book figuring that it would get better, but it didn't.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Petticoats on April 25, 2011, 09:23:36 PM
I can't believe I forgot this one:

Big Girl by Danielle Steel. Ggaaahhhh!!! The heroine of the story, Victoria, who is maybe 20 pounds overweight, spends the entire book whining about how she's ssssoooooo fat and nobody will ever love her because she's sssoooooo fat and her sister is so pretty and perfect and she isn't so she plows through a half-gallon of ice cream because she's sssssoooooo fat. Victoria, you're a size 12. Stop acting like the local circus sideshow is going to put you on display and grow up already.

Then there's the writing style. I'd really like to know how Danielle Steel has managed to maintain a career as a writer for the last 30 years since the whole thing reads like a 7th grader's attempt at writing a grown-up novel. The sentences are either short and choppy or just run on and on and on (and on and on). There are at least 3 sentences on every.single.page that start with "And". The entire novel is like this:

Victoria is overweight. She wants to be thin and beautiful like her sister. But she isn't. And Victoria wants to be a teacher. But her father doesn't want her to be a teacher. Her father doesn't like her because she isn't pretty and skinny like her sister. Victoria eats some pizza. She wants to move to New York and be a teacher. And she wants to lose some weight.

You've been warned.



Ooh, your remarks on style reminded me of another hate of mine--a whole author, though, not just one book. It started with one book: some thriller by James Patterson. I had an airplane flight and had read all my own books, so borrowed this one... the plane got stuck on the tarmac and the trip extended by I can't remember how long, but after a couple of (two- to three-page) chapters of JP, I flung it aside in favor of the in-flight magazine. Yes, I hated the book that much.

I read an article about him some years later that clarified and solidified my hatred. The man doesn't write books. He writes outlines. Big print, lots of white space, insanely short chapters, and boom, it's a book! Slap a gaudy cover on it, and it's a best seller.

Oh, also? What happened in chapter 1 or 2 to the family's golden retriever is something I will never get out of my head. Thanks, Patterson.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: StarDrifter on April 25, 2011, 09:24:07 PM
The Scarlet Letter - I was doing fine reading this despite my issues with the tone and dense symbolism...until I idly wondered what would happen if Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg (from a favorite series of fantasy novels) showed up at this, that or the other point in the story.  Now I can't even see a copy of the book without breaking into giggles.

!!!!!!  What have you just done to me, giving me that image!  And it won't stop here!  It'll spread to other books!  I think it's alreading infiltrating Harry Potter!

Granny vs. Voldemort...oooh!  Vimes vs. Voldemort!

Is that my cow? It goes "Crucio"! It is Lord Voldemort! THAT IS NOT MY COW!!!

what series are you talking about? All i know is i wanna read it now.

The "Discworld" series by Terry Pratchett.

Be aware that they are heavy, heavy satire and not to be taken seriously in the slightest.

They are also hilarious- make sure you read all the footnotes!
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: lady_disdain on April 25, 2011, 09:32:18 PM
I thought golden retrievers were Dean Koontz's exclusivity? No? He certainly acts that way.

And he still can't write a good ending :)
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: TeamBhakta on April 25, 2011, 09:35:47 PM
I can't believe I forgot this one:

Big Girl by Danielle Steel. Ggaaahhhh!!! The heroine of the story, Victoria, who is maybe 20 pounds overweight, spends the entire book whining about how she's ssssoooooo fat and nobody will ever love her because she's sssoooooo fat and her sister is so pretty and perfect and she isn't so she plows through a half-gallon of ice cream because she's sssssoooooo fat. Victoria, you're a size 12. Stop acting like the local circus sideshow is going to put you on display and grow up already.

Then there's the writing style. I'd really like to know how Danielle Steel has managed to maintain a career as a writer for the last 30 years since the whole thing reads like a 7th grader's attempt at writing a grown-up novel. The sentences are either short and choppy or just run on and on and on (and on and on). There are at least 3 sentences on every.single.page that start with "And". The entire novel is like this:

Victoria is overweight. She wants to be thin and beautiful like her sister. But she isn't. And Victoria wants to be a teacher. But her father doesn't want her to be a teacher. Her father doesn't like her because she isn't pretty and skinny like her sister. Victoria eats some pizza. She wants to move to New York and be a teacher. And she wants to lose some weight.

You've been warned.



I call that April Patterson speech, after the youngest daughter from For Better or For Worse (" An' we went horse riding and then we ate dinner an' I got a cowboy hat. And I wanna be a vet an' live on a ranch..") 
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Miss Misery on April 25, 2011, 09:37:20 PM
If we go way back... A Separate Peace... [/i]

My 12th grade English class was supposed to read that book. I never made it past page 5. In fact, the entire class hated it so much the teacher had to find us another book to read! :o
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Elfmama on April 25, 2011, 09:40:06 PM
The Scarlet Letter - I was doing fine reading this despite my issues with the tone and dense symbolism...until I idly wondered what would happen if Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg (from a favorite series of fantasy novels) showed up at this, that or the other point in the story.  Now I can't even see a copy of the book without breaking into giggles.
(http://www3.telus.net/smile/images/laugh2.gif)  Now THERE'S an image to stick with you.  Rather like the "classic" novels reimagined with zombies/werewolves/demons as major characters.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Cyradis on April 25, 2011, 09:40:27 PM
hobbish I don't remember the title of the book (long time ago read)

just that they talked about abuse (emotional, phisical and  ummm scrabble related) to keep women in "their places"

about a third of the way into the book that was all it talked about

That's got to be one of the Gor books by John Norman (I think that's the name). What's really scary? He's a philosophy professor.

I heard that he wrote the first one to show his students that any dreck could get published.

The books that have really frosted my cookies:

The Pearl by John Steinbeck. I read it when I was eleven and there was a murmur of mutiny from my first form class whenever we had to discuss it.

Wuthering Heights. I agree with the PP who suggested the BAU would be interested in Heathcliff.

The Pillars of Creation. I wish I could unread this one.

Little Men and Jo's Boys. I dislike the grown up Jo March intensely.

There are more but I'm too tired at the moment.

Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Elfmama on April 25, 2011, 09:51:48 PM
The Picture of Dorian Grey -- it never started let alone finshed (for me)

Angels and Demons might have well been the DaVinci Code with different names.  (In some places I think it was)

there have been a few SciFi that I have tossed on general principal - because of bad plots (I tossed one when the main chars were going on about how to "put a woman in her place")

Don't leave us hanging like that! I think you and i read a bit of the same sci-fi and now i am dying to know!  :)


:) edited to add smiley and not sound all yelly and dictatorial.


Sounds like it might have been one of John Norman's Gor series.  Most of which boiled down to "women are natural sex slaves who long for a master". ::)
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Ceiling Fan on April 25, 2011, 09:58:35 PM
I thought golden retrievers were Dean Koontz's exclusivity? No? He certainly acts that way.

And he still can't write a good ending :)

Oh, yes. For 20 years, DH has been saying "you know, with the dog?", and I'll know he's talking about any number of DK stories.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: SquishyMooMoo on April 25, 2011, 10:03:38 PM
I 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, whatever any and all books by Phillipa Gregory. The rampant incest is just... gah. The Wideacre trilogy literally gave me nightmares for months afterward. And I don't tend to react that way to things. It was just so profoundly disturbing.

When I was in 8th grade, my town decided to start a new thing called "Read around Town" (well, the town's NAME, but you know what I mean.) So they encouraged as many people as they could to read the same book--it was all over the public library, and they made all the 8th grade English classes read it, etc. The book they chose for their very first year? Nothing but the Truth by Avi. Oh my good lord. I realize now that I can't stand books/movies/"humor" that are all based on the premise of "Somebody told a lie. Then they told more lies to cover up the lie. Then other people figured out the lie but to save face they told a lie to cover up the other person's lie. And if that person had just told the truth oh, the FIRST time they were confronted about their lie, this book would have been about 300 pages shorter." Our English teacher raffled off copies of the book once we were done reading it (after all, the next year they were going to pick a different book to "read around town"!). I won one and tore it apart, page by page.

For the same reason, I can't handle the Shopaholic series, or 99% of comedy movies today. All about lying and covering it up. The worst is when the main character never actually has to own up to their mistakes--everything just works out perfectly in the end, therefore justifying all the lying they did (and setting them up to make a sequel.)

I really disliked the third book in the Hunger Games trilogy, Mockingjay. Not going to spoil it, but when I closed that book at the end, I felt like I had just finished watching a horror movie while tripping on LSD. (Not that I've ever been on LSD, but that's how I imagine it would feel.) I loved book 1, and book 2 was pretty good, too. Book 3... no.

The Babysitter's Club series was one of my favorites as a kid, but I always skipped the introductory chapter, too. After 100 books in the main series (not to mention all the "Adventures", "Super Adventures", "Mysteries" and "Super Mysteries"), it was a little incredible to believe that they were all still "13 years old, attending Stoneybrook Middle School."
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: TychaBrahe on April 25, 2011, 10:17:16 PM
If we go way back... A Separate Peace... I hated that more than Gatsby and Johnny Tremain

Did you grow up in MA? I know very few people outside of Massachusetts who had to read this book in high school, including my husband who is from CT.

I also hated that book.

Read it in high school in Chicago.  Hated it.

I also hated Anna Karenina.  Adultery is one of my issues.  I couldn't sympathize with any of the characters.  I wanted to slap every single one of them.

And along with Wicked, A Barnstormer in Oz.  Or really anything by Philip Jose Farmer. 
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Miss Understood on April 25, 2011, 10:28:18 PM
You know it ... is it a book your mother recommended? One you had to read in high school? One all your friends just RAVED about, even the people whose opinions you trust? One you looked forward to and then found out the author apparently went temporarily insane while writing it?

Dish it, literarions!

For me, oh Lord have mercy, it was White Oleanders. My mother loaned it to me. I hated every single person in that book and wanted to reach inside the pages and just start laying waste.

Oh yeah ... and then there's She's Come Undone. I was in a book group at a former job that decided to read that, and all the women loved it except me. Such a hateful protagonist, and everyone she meets is just a miserable human being. I quit the group after that, because who knows how much worse it would have gotten.

I could not agree more about "She's Come Undone" - there was not one even remotely likeable character in that book, and the one character that the reader was supposed to identify with was as bad, or worse, than everyone else (why did she have to kill the fish?  that really ended any feeling I had for the main character's "victimization".  The only thing I enjoyed was when the ex showed up and she was wearing the 3D glasses and realized how riidculous she looked.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: dqduck on April 25, 2011, 10:28:49 PM
Angels and Demons a friend recommended it, but I had to skim after the 1st 3rd of the book. I can't just not finish a book...but I can skim.  :)

A Game of Thrones Another one that was highly recommended by a friend.  I was looking forward to it because I like complex, dark fantasy in well-built worlds.  I didn't really like any of the characters and the whole thing was just tedious. Plus, the sex & violence seemed tacked on for shock value.

The Scarlet Letter - I was doing fine reading this despite my issues with the tone and dense symbolism...until I idly wondered what would happen if Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg (from a favorite series of fantasy novels) showed up at this, that or the other point in the story.  Now I can't even see a copy of the book without breaking into giggles.

I've tried reading A Game of Thrones about 3 times. And every time I get to a certain point where the main character is doing something mind-numbingly dumb. As in suicidally stupid. And the only way I can stifle the urge to throw the book across the room is by putting it down instead.

The Clan of the Cave Bear series is another one. The first two are fine. But once Ayla started inventing everything and Jondalar turned into a whiny drama queen (seriously, I think he's the male version of Bella from Twilight), I had to stop reading.

I love the Game of Thrones series of books  ;D. What I really like about it is how the author subverts the typical fantasy genre. If a character does something stupid in the book he usually ends up paying for it later, painfully. I know that this series is not for everyone though.

I agree with the Clan of the Cave Bear series. Loved the first book, got turned off on the others because of the whole inventing everything and all the scrabble fests.

Add me to those who hated The DaVinci Code. I thought Dan Brown had the worst writing style ever. Not to mention all the inaccuracies etc. It was one of the few books I never finished and am disgusted by it to this day.

I actually liked the The Golden Compass but hated the other two books. I liked some of the concepts in the other books, but the constant bashing of religion really got in the way of me enjoying them. I know, you hate religion and think it's stupid and harmful, can we move on?
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Moralia on April 25, 2011, 10:31:37 PM
The Scarlet Letter - I was doing fine reading this despite my issues with the tone and dense symbolism...until I idly wondered what would happen if Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg (from a favorite series of fantasy novels) showed up at this, that or the other point in the story.  Now I can't even see a copy of the book without breaking into giggles.

!!!!!!  What have you just done to me, giving me that image!  And it won't stop here!  It'll spread to other books!  I think it's alreading infiltrating Harry Potter!

Granny vs. Voldemort...oooh!  Vimes vs. Voldemort!

Is that my cow? It goes "Crucio"! It is Lord Voldemort! THAT IS NOT MY COW!!!

what series are you talking about? All i know is i wanna read it now.

The "Discworld" series by Terry Pratchett.

Be aware that they are heavy, heavy satire and not to be taken seriously in the slightest.

They are also hilarious- make sure you read all the footnotes!

Oh, the Discworldians have infiltrated too many other books to count...for instance, I always picture Sir Samuel giving Sherlock Holmes a ding on the ear for being insufferable. Oh, and regarding Voldemort...well let's just say THAT series would be a lot shorter if Vetinari ran the Ministry of Magic.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: L.A. Lady on April 25, 2011, 10:36:48 PM
I'm trying to get through this thread, but it just moves too fast.  ;D

I can NOT stand:

Bridges of Madison County

My Sister's Keeper

Red Badge of Courage.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Miss Understood on April 25, 2011, 10:43:47 PM
I'm trying to get through this thread, but it just moves too fast.  ;D

I can NOT stand:

Bridges of Madison County

My Sister's Keeper

Red Badge of Courage.

I have to agree with you on the latter two - "Bridges" I only read an excerpt of in a magazine, and didn't like it,  but as I didn't read the entire book I reserve the right - what am I saying, it was a very short book, the
"excerpt" was pretty much the entire thing, and it was awful.  Not as bad as the other two though.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: L.A. Lady on April 25, 2011, 10:45:36 PM
I'm trying to get through this thread, but it just moves too fast.  ;D

I can NOT stand:

Bridges of Madison County

My Sister's Keeper

Red Badge of Courage.

I have to agree with you on the latter two - "Bridges" I only read an excerpt of in a magazine, and didn't like it,  but as I didn't read the entire book I reserve the right - what am I saying, it was a very short book, the
"excerpt" was pretty much the entire thing, and it was awful.  Not as bad as the other two though.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Optimoose Prime on April 25, 2011, 10:51:05 PM
I do that all the time. "Hey, Dad, what was that book with the whip trees and some artist guy, and people would be asleep in suspended animation for periods of time to prolongue their lives; and the process really hurt, but no one ever remembered it? I forget what it was about or who wrote it; but i want to read it again."  :P

Thanks!

That would be Hyperion, which is a great book that shouldn't be mentioned in this thread :D You do need a strong stomach for it, though.

I agree with The Historian and I warn you all from "The Swan Thieves", by the same author. I didn't recognize the name at first, so I started reading. Very predictable and dull.

I will also cast my POD with The Magicians (dull, annoying characters that I just wanted to shake and tell them to get a life), Dickens (he was paid by the word and it shows) and Wicked.

Not Hyperion which I had to look up on Amazon.  It's The Worthing Saga by Orson Scott Card.  I have a copy up by my bed right now.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Master_Edward on April 25, 2011, 10:56:55 PM
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens and The Bridge At San Luis Rey by Thornton Wilder. I had to read them both for high school English (different years) and I hate both of them. I really don't see what's so great about either of them. The Dickens book just went on and on. And the Wilder book was just awful, the writing style made it impossible to read I couldn't figure out what was going on or what the point was supposed to be. I never actually finished either one of them.

Ed.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Slartibartfast on April 25, 2011, 10:58:18 PM
When I was in 8th grade, my town decided to start a new thing called "Read around Town" (well, the town's NAME, but you know what I mean.) So they encouraged as many people as they could to read the same book--it was all over the public library, and they made all the 8th grade English classes read it, etc.
 Our library did that too.  The first year they picked The Great Gatsby.  Which I hated the first time around, and hated even more the second time around.  I didn't read it again, despite being a librarian and thus required to hold a book discussion on it.  (Luckily none of my patrons wanted to read it either, so I didn't have to hold the discussion group.)

Heart of Darkness is definitely one I just. don't. get.  I feel like there ought to be some brilliant satire about English politics or something hidden in there, but . . . nothing.  Either I'm too dumb to interpret it, or Conrad has fooled all the critics for decades.

The Death of Ivan Ilych was another one like that - I'm actually rather proud that I got an A on my paper about it, despite not having a freaking CLUE what the point of the book was.  I really think that book honed my B.S. skills more than anything else in my high school career.  Luckily, I don't think my teacher "got" it either, because he didn't seem to notice I was making things up as I went along . . .

I actually come across quite a few romances that I just can't stand anymore - in large part because of my time here on eHell.  Every time the heroine stands around wringing her hands while someone mistreats her, I want to yell "Show some spine and assert yourself, geez!"  I'm a romance writer, and I hang out with other romance writers - so this is even worse when it's a friend's book  :-X
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Elfmama on April 25, 2011, 11:12:50 PM
Add Goodbye Mr. Chips to the list of loathsome forced reads for high school.  There's no plot -- nothing happens!  I will say that I did learn something from it, though.  If your teacher thinks it's the best book ever written and your report says it's boring, you will get a bad grade. ::)

Maybe we should let Angua and Carrot loose in it...;D
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: MommyPenguin on April 25, 2011, 11:25:25 PM
Native Son by Richard Wright.  Just... ugh.  Although, it does have a scene where a character plays Scrabble with himself in a movie theater.  Some of us had edited copies and some had originals.  We were sufficiently amused by that scene that I remember one classmate with an unedited copy reading it aloud in the cafeteria for the benefit of those who had the sanitized versions.

Sula by Toni Morrison.  The theme of the book... friendship is really, really important.  So important, that if your friend is a jerk who treats you like trash and plays Scrabble with your husband and gets you to help kill a kid, you should forgive her and still be her best friend, because friendship is the most important thing in the world.  Or, at least, that's what my 11th-grade self thought was the author's theme.  We had to read a zillion books by Toni Morrison that year, and we hated them all.

Love Medicine  I don't remember much about this book, just that we all hated it and didn't see what the point of reading it was.

We read a *lot* of multicultural stuff that year, as that was that year's theme.  It was sort of annoying, because we hadn't read any Shakespeare, Austen, or Dickens yet in high school at all.  But we sure had to make sure we got our Toni Morrison in!

I'll second the others about Wuthering Heights.  I love Pride and Prejudice, though, it's my favorite book.  Basically everything by Jane Austen I love.

I found The DaVinci Code oddly interesting.  The plot kept me intrigued and I wanted to follow the mystery.  But at the same time, the author used the *cheapest* tricks to create suspense.  Like, you'd have a character riding in a taxi.  "If he'd only known that in 14 hours he'd be dangling from a single-propellor airplane over Mount Everest..."  If the only way you can create suspense is to hint at action that's to come, you're doing something wrong.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: graceemae on April 25, 2011, 11:26:15 PM
One of Patricia Cornwell's first non-Scarpetta books was so bad I threw it in the trash as soon as I finished it.  (I've blanked on the title and even perusing her books at amazon didn't ring any bells.)  I spent most of the time reading it shaking my head over how badly it was written. 

It's only the second book I've ever tossed - even the ho-hum books have a home in the bookcase.  (The other was some sort of paperback about the Manson murders.  For some reason the way it was written made me feel like "they" knew I had read it and now knew their secrets, so I was a marked person.  I threw it in a trashcan on a street corner so it couldn't be traced to me - it scared me to death!)
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Thuringwethyl on April 25, 2011, 11:29:57 PM
Am I the only one who actually like The Historian? I loved the dreamlike quality and the idea of tracing Dracula through academia.

I tend to agree with the other E-hellions on the other books though.

Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: otterwoman on April 26, 2011, 12:04:52 AM
hobbish I don't remember the title of the book (long time ago read)

just that they talked about abuse (emotional, phisical and  ummm scrabble related) to keep women in "their places"

about a third of the way into the book that was all it talked about

That's got to be one of the Gor books by John Norman (I think that's the name). What's really scary? He's a philosophy professor.

I read one of the Gor books in college. For some reason, I wanted to read it again a few years ago. I found it at a used book store for $1.50. It. Was. Awful. I was disgusted with myself for finishing it. I imagine that the author has some deep seated hatred of women. He probably couldn't get a date all through college. The only saving grace was that the copy I got was an early printing. I sold it on Amazon for $8 in 24 hours. I was so happy to have it leave my house.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Shopaholic on April 26, 2011, 12:36:07 AM
The Picture of Dorian Grey -- it never started let alone finshed (for me)

This book is used by my mother as the example for why you should follow a book through. She always tells the story of how she quit reading about 5 pages before it got interesting.
I couldn't make it 5 pages in...

I haven't read through the entire thread yet, but I don't think I have anything new to add.

The Time Traveller's Wife
- awful, terrible. The movie, which I didn't watch in its entirety even had the additional bonus of making me hate Eric Bana!!
My Michael, which is supposedly a fantastic book by the Israeli author Amoz Oz - NOTHING happens, and it's all told through the eyes of an incredibly spoiled woman, who apparently has a mental condition.
Also couldn't get through A Tale of Love and Darkness, supposedly one of the best books ever written in Hebrew.
A History of Love - it's not that I hated it per se, I just couldn't get why people liked it. It was just another version of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, but with a girl protagonist instead of a boy.
Also didn't like The Red Tent. It was OK, but nothing worth gushing over.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Ceiling Fan on April 26, 2011, 12:40:45 AM
Add Goodbye Mr. Chips to the list of loathsome forced reads for high school.  There's no plot -- nothing happens!  I will say that I did learn something from it, though.  If your teacher thinks it's the best book ever written and your report says it's boring, you will get a bad grade. ::)

Maybe we should let Angua and Carrot loose in it...;D

Goodbye, Mr. Chips, indeed (ketchup extra  >:D)
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Shopaholic on April 26, 2011, 12:45:37 AM

The only book I DID enjoy was 100 Years of Solitude, in Spanish, for my Spanish class. To this day, still a favorite of mine, but this time in English.

This is actually my least favourite of Marquez's books. I read it in high school, didn't get what the big deal was about, then re-read it last year, and still didn't get what was so great about this book.

I loved Love and Other Demons and Love in the Time of the Cholera.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: allimac on April 26, 2011, 12:56:33 AM
I refuse to even the mention the title or the author as I've tried to erase this particular book from my memory for almost 28 years.

I was 12 and was kindly allowed by the librarians at the local library to enter the adult part of the library; normally you had to remain in the children's section until you were 15. But since I was such a prolific reader they made an exception for me. Among the books I borrowed one had received glorious reviews and was described as a true masterpiece. I don't know what book these critics had read but it surely wasn't the poorly written novel in my hands. I could have survived if it was just bad, but at 12 I wasn't prepared to read page after page where the author in detail described extremely sadistic torture including dismembering of intimate female parts that the torturer then ate. I get that there are sick people in the world but it was rather obvious that the author... enjoyed describing these parts. I'm quite sure that I would be apalled if I stumbled upon the same story today. The difference is that I would no longer continue reading in the hopes that the book would improve.

I also remember a reading assignment in high school where we were supposed to read Häxringarna (Witches' Rings) by Kerstin Ekman. It was the book that made her a serious author - she had mostly written mystery stories before this, and she was an acclaimed member of the Swedish Academy. I loved the book and read the entire tetralogy. But my five classmates, all of whom were also avid readers, hated it. Come to think of it, I've actually loved all the books I've been assigned to read in high school and at uni, with one exception. I hated The Sorrows of Young Werther by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Any words trying to describe my feelings for that melodramatic piece of *** would not get past the filter.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: shhh its me on April 26, 2011, 01:24:39 AM
"The Fountainhead". I wanted to machinegun everything in the book. It was awful, pretentious, stupid, everything bad and then some. I do believe that book killed puppies and ate kittens when I wasn't looking. That book makes babies cry. It is TERRIBLE.

Agree agree agree!!! I'm so glad someone else feels the same as me.  My mother in law loves and raves about The Fountainhead as if it is the best thing ever written and about how wonderful that "poor architect" is and how the world just tramples him down.
 

You know I actually liked Atlas Shrugs but hated the Fountainhead.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Ceiling Fan on April 26, 2011, 01:59:36 AM
"The Fountainhead". I wanted to machinegun everything in the book. It was awful, pretentious, stupid, everything bad and then some. I do believe that book killed puppies and ate kittens when I wasn't looking. That book makes babies cry. It is TERRIBLE.

Agree agree agree!!! I'm so glad someone else feels the same as me.  My mother in law loves and raves about The Fountainhead as if it is the best thing ever written and about how wonderful that "poor architect" is and how the world just tramples him down.
 

You know I actually liked Atlas Shrugs but hated the Fountainhead.

Me too! But I've long since decided that AR was the most annoying person who ever lived, and was totally creeped out when I saw a "Who Is John Galt?" billboard in Georgia this past summer :P
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Kikki on April 26, 2011, 02:23:43 AM
I was 12 and was kindly allowed by the librarians at the local library to enter the adult part of the library; normally you had to remain in the children's section until you were 15.
Huh? Where was that? I remember reading adult books when I was around 12 or 13, no restrictions in our library (in a suburb of Göteborg).

I tried reading Pride and Predjudice or maybe Sense and Sensibility when I was around 15 or 16 and totally hated it. I re-read it around 10 years later and loved it.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: flo on April 26, 2011, 02:29:43 AM
Ok, I like Silas Mariner, Ethan Frome and A Seperate Peace but at least partly because we had to read Catcher In the Rye around the same time and those three were so much better to me.

The only book I've ever bought and returned is I Am Legend because it was just so dark in the first few pages I knew I couldn't finish it.  I wasn't sure if they'd let me return it but I wanted to make a statement and try!
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: mechtilde on April 26, 2011, 02:51:22 AM
For some reason, I can't read Russian novels. I just can't get into them. I'm fine with short stories, but novels? No.

Add me to the list of people who can't stand Madame Bovary. She's just so irritating and dull. I can' believe we are actually suppposed to identify with her. Or with Heathcliffe in Wuthing Heights. I had to read it at school and just loathed him. The other people really got on my nerves too- especially Cathy.

I really liked Heart of Darkness though- but I read it ias a sailor's story, where you can't be sure what is true, mostly true, or just a tall tale. I don't see any point in trying to read symbolism into books just for the sake of it- it just kills the enjoyment. The same applies to The Scarlet Letter.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: caz on April 26, 2011, 03:57:06 AM

Isle of Dogs by Patricia Cornwell--Cornwell tries to write black comedy and fails really really badly. Some reviews compare it to Carl Hiaasen, which is an insult to Carl Hiaasen. See, Carl Hiaasen can write black comedy and write it well. Patricia Cornwell couldn't write black comedy if it meant the firing squad. Features characters blessed with such names as Trish Thrash, Unique First, Major Trader, Hooter Shook. One chapter features talking crabs and fish, another has a dog that can type. No, really. Just go check out all the one-star reviews at Amazon.com if you want a good laugh. They're way more entertaining than the book!

I started reading this last night!  And finally googled it because it was so weird....  I finished at page 11.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Akarui Kibuno on April 26, 2011, 04:38:25 AM
I have a comic book to add here!

I am a big fan of the Asterix & Obelix comics. They come from france, but I know they have been translated to many languages. The series was made by 2 persons - the artist and the writer. The writer died, the artist continued on his own, and it showed. The quality gradually slipped in the following books, but the last book was a pure travesty that I never really got over.

You see, the basic premise of the books is that there is a small village of Gaulles who bravely oppose the romans in 50BC. They live in a tiny village in France, and the romans (led by Julius Ceasar) keep trying to defeat them, but fail. The comics were witty, clever, funny, had some nice hidden references to famous persons, places and events of the time the comics were written. At the same time, it actually got quite some of it's facts and details right and made a lot of nice little twists on them which were joy to discover! The main theme was almost always some kind of conflict between the romans and the gaulles.

But the last book...a kind of purple micky mouse looking alien drops into the village and has a problem with other evil aliens. Those evil aliens create clones that look like superman. The gaulles have to protect the friendly alien against the evil superman clones...
I was reading it and just...stared in disbelief.
Wow...just wow...
I gave it to my father, and told him to read it once and please don't spend money on another copy. And when he'd be done with that, burn it. I'm really against bookburning, but this book should be wiped off the face of the earth, so we can all forget that it ever existed.

Girlysprite, I love you. I'm a huge fan of Astérix too, and that had me puzzled. The original comics are so cool... but that last one... huh... weiiiiiiiird.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Coruscation on April 26, 2011, 05:41:57 AM
hobbish I don't remember the title of the book (long time ago read)

just that they talked about abuse (emotional, phisical and  ummm scrabble related) to keep women in "their places"

about a third of the way into the book that was all it talked about

I do that all the time. "Hey, Dad, what was that book with the whip trees and some artist guy, and people would be asleep in suspended animation for periods of time to prolongue their lives; and the process really hurt, but no one ever remembered it? I forget what it was about or who wrote it; but i want to read it again."  :P

Thanks!





The suspendd animation bit sounds like a book by Orson Scott Card. I can't give you an exact title though.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: snoopygirl on April 26, 2011, 05:58:52 AM
I just finished the worst book for book club. Its called God's Own Country. I had to wait three weeks for the bookstore to get my copy. It was not worth the wait.

First of all the book had no quotes and no lines even to tell you where the quotes were. So annoying. I couldn't tell half the time if the main character was saying these things or thinking them. If he was saying them outloud he was an idiot. Acutally he was an idiot for most of the book. Reviews said he was a comic tragic figure. I didn't think so. He was antisocial and dealt with the girls he liked by doing horrible things to them. I wanted to throw the book across the room when he kidnapped a girl and tied her up with a rope and then the book made out like we were supposed to feel sorry for the main character. I don't think so.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Harriet Jones on April 26, 2011, 06:05:09 AM

Add me to those who hated The DaVinci Code. I thought Dan Brown had the worst writing style ever. Not to mention all the inaccuracies etc. It was one of the few books I never finished and am disgusted by it to this day.

I thought The DaVinci Code was OK, so I read some of this other books.  Those were seriously awful!  Especially Digital Fortress, ugh.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on April 26, 2011, 06:19:28 AM

Isle of Dogs by Patricia Cornwell--Cornwell tries to write black comedy and fails really really badly. Some reviews compare it to Carl Hiaasen, which is an insult to Carl Hiaasen. See, Carl Hiaasen can write black comedy and write it well. Patricia Cornwell couldn't write black comedy if it meant the firing squad. Features characters blessed with such names as Trish Thrash, Unique First, Major Trader, Hooter Shook. One chapter features talking crabs and fish, another has a dog that can type. No, really. Just go check out all the one-star reviews at Amazon.com if you want a good laugh. They're way more entertaining than the book!

I started reading this last night!  And finally googled it because it was so weird....  I finished at page 11.

My mother recommended that book to me, as she is a big Cornwell fan, partly because the Scarpetta books take place in the area where she grew up.   I didn't like it and told her as much.  She said "Oh it's a black comedy, keep reading, it'll get better!" I finished the book still not terribly impressed.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Jules1980 on April 26, 2011, 06:25:31 AM
A Tale of Two Cities.  Couldn't make it past the first chapter.  Finally just gave up, bombed the AR test, told my teacher why.  I was an avid reader and she let me choose another book to test on to replace that grade, since it wasn't just a case of me not wanting to read it.  I really did want to read it and like it, since I liked other Dickens novels.  

I also read Jane Eyre in high school and was meh about it while my friends all raved about it and read it over and over.  

Tried reading Sense and Sensibilty, couldn't get into it either.  Then we watched the 1981 miniseries in class.  HATED IT WITH A PASSION. I wrote a letter to my boyfriend during class that whole week.  THen it was announced that we would be tested on it so I went to video store and managed to get the 1995 remake with Alan Rickman and Kate Winslet in it.  LOVED IT.  Loved it so much, I went and got my book back and read the whole thing in a weekend.  Further proof that Professor Snape can make anything good!
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Linley on April 26, 2011, 06:51:52 AM
Am I the only one who actually like The Historian? I loved the dreamlike quality and the idea of tracing Dracula through academia.

I tend to agree with the other E-hellions on the other books though.



I liked it. It's actually about the only book involving vampires that I like. However, I didn't care for her second book, I read about fifty pages and gave up. Life's too short.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Everlee on April 26, 2011, 06:55:54 AM
I hate pretty much anything that's considered a 'classic'.  They just bore me to tears.  I've managed to make it through a few of them, though.

I hated The Road and Wicked.  Those I at least managed to finish.  There's been a ton of books that I just can't even make it very far in.  The Stand, The Lord of the Rings, Tess of the d'Urbervilles.

There's also been a ton of newish paranormal books that are raved about on the blogosphere, but I just thought were trash.  I think they're proof that any pre-teen girl will read a book about a vampire and love it even if it's horrible.

Not that I am an avid devotee of YA vampire fiction or anything.  *cough*cough*   8)

Am I the only one who actually like The Historian? I loved the dreamlike quality and the idea of tracing Dracula through academia.

I tend to agree with the other E-hellions on the other books though.



I liked it. It's actually about the only book involving vampires that I like. However, I didn't care for her second book, I read about fifty pages and gave up. Life's too short.


Oooh I LOVED The Historian.  I lent my book to my ex-SIL and she lost it.   >:(  Now I have to re-buy it.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Giggity on April 26, 2011, 07:03:16 AM
Add me to those who hated The DaVinci Code. I thought Dan Brown had the worst writing style ever.

Oh, I don't know that you can truly say that, what with John Grisham and Danielle Steel.  ;D
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Giggity on April 26, 2011, 07:06:11 AM
We read a *lot* of multicultural stuff that year, as that was that year's theme.  It was sort of annoying, because we hadn't read any Shakespeare, Austen, or Dickens yet in high school at all.  But we sure had to make sure we got our Toni Morrison in!

I have never read anything by Toni Morrison that was worth ANYTHING. I think she's a lousy writer who "writes" terrible, unlikable characters. I know enough unlikable people in real life. I don't want to spend my leisure time with them.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: newbiePA on April 26, 2011, 07:13:16 AM
Am I the only one who actually like The Historian? I loved the dreamlike quality and the idea of tracing Dracula through academia.

I tend to agree with the other E-hellions on the other books though.



I liked it. It's actually about the only book involving vampires that I like. However, I didn't care for her second book, I read about fifty pages and gave up. Life's too short.

I  LOVED The Historian.  Agreed, the only vampire book I have liked.  I never bought the whole "misunderstood vampire" thing, and this Dracula was pure evil. 

I also LOVE the Great Gatsby.  I love all Fitzgerald, actually. 

But it's ok that everyone doesn't like every book.  It's actually pretty fun to see various peoples responses to these books.   I personally hate any and all Dickens.

newbiePA
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Miss Misery on April 26, 2011, 07:31:39 AM
Hannibal by Thomas Harris--way to ruin Clarice. Ggaaahhh!!!

Hannibal Rising by Thomas Harris--basically the story of how Hannibal Lecter became a monster. There's a quote by Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs about how you can't reduce him to set of influences, yet that's exactly what happens here. Gggrr....  I guess I can't entirely blame Harris for this abomination since he was pretty told that if he didn't write the prequel, they'd find someone else who would.  ::)
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: General Jinjur on April 26, 2011, 07:45:24 AM
Knocked Up - Confessions of a Hip Mother-to-Be by Rebecca Eckler. I bought this because it was fifty cents at the thrift store and I figured we had at least one thing in common at the time, so how bad could it be? Real bad. The author spends endless pages whining about how she's so faaaaat (here I should point out that the disgustingly fat weight she was at when she gave birth was less than what I weighed BEFORE) and her designer clothes don't fit and it's so haaaard being pregnant and how dare her on-the-side boy toy bring her the WRONG ICE CREAM and it's so grooooosssss how you're supposed to produce a human out of your ladyparts so she opted for surgery instead, and and and....

This woman was just unholy awful. I'm not really a judgy person when it comes to what other people do with their kids, but she had me hoping she'd give the kid a break and put her up for adoption at the end. No such luck. I hated this book so much I had to mail it to a friend so she could also read it and share the pain!
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: LadyClaire on April 26, 2011, 07:59:36 AM
Am I the only one who actually like The Historian? I loved the dreamlike quality and the idea of tracing Dracula through academia.

I tend to agree with the other E-hellions on the other books though.



I liked it. It's actually about the only book involving vampires that I like. However, I didn't care for her second book, I read about fifty pages and gave up. Life's too short.

I liked it, too.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: POF on April 26, 2011, 08:00:18 AM
We read a *lot* of multicultural stuff that year, as that was that year's theme.  It was sort of annoying, because we hadn't read any Shakespeare, Austen, or Dickens yet in high school at all.  But we sure had to make sure we got our Toni Morrison in!

I have never read anything by Toni Morrison that was worth ANYTHING. I think she's a lousy writer who "writes" terrible, unlikable characters. I know enough unlikable people in real life. I don't want to spend my leisure time with them.

My thoughts exactly..... Juana ... are you my long lost sister  ;D, I think I agree with you a lot ..especially on books.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: LadyClaire on April 26, 2011, 08:09:36 AM
"Guenevere, Queen of the Summer Country" by Rosalind Miles.

I'll just cut and paste the review I wrote for it on Amazon:

The more I read this book, the less I like it. It's an entertaining enough read, if you're not looking for anything even remotely deep and serious. The characters are very shallow. Guenevere wavers between being a strong woman, and a silly, narrow-minded twit. Mostly, she's the silly twit who goes so ballistic at the mere mention of a christian that you halfway expect her head to start spinning around, ala "the exorcist". Oh, and she has visions. Lots of visions. Doom and gloom visions that seem to be there just so she can put her hand to her breast and feel faint and filled with doom and foreboding.

Often times, this book seems to be more of a romance novel in disguise. Guenever loves Arthur. Oh, she loves him. Oh Arthur, oh my love, oh my heart, oh Arthur, Arthur! Arthur, meanwhile, cries a lot. He's always weeping over something, or moping about Merlin. Arthur is perhaps the most shallow character of the lot. There's no depth to him at all, especially later in the book. He starts out promisingly enough, but after Guenevere enters the picture, he turns completely irritating and weepy and..just..blah. Great king? I think not. Someone get the man a box of tissues and some midol.

Also, someone needs to inform the author that there are more color combinations out there than white and gold. Yes, we get it. Everything is white and gold. The dresses? White and gold. The wedding? White and gold. The color of their days? White and gold. The chamber pots? probably white and gold, too. Find another descriptor.

Merlin is a lech who seems to pretty much be a crazy loon who enjoys wreaking havoc, when he's not attempting to hop into bed with much younger and unwilling women. Morgan is so clingy and weepy at the start that it's really irritating..obviously crying a lot runs in the family.

I'm not even halfway through the book yet, and I hope it gets better. It's good enough for some mindless entertainment, but I enjoy books with a little more depth than this..especially when they concern the legend of King Arthur.

Oh, and the phrase "thigh-friendship" really, really gets on my nerves.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: General Jinjur on April 26, 2011, 08:19:49 AM
For me?  "Great Gatsby."  We had to read it in 8th grade.  I hated it with a passion.  Thought the characters were stupid, the book was stupid...you name it.

I can't believe you had to read that in 8th grade!  We read it in 10th grade, and I absolutely hated it.  And then I went to see the play when I was in my mid-20s (was the first play for the new location of the big theater here due to Fitzgerald being from this area).  Something clicked.  It was wonderful.  It made so much sense.  There's no way that high schoolers should be expected to get it and enjoy it.  

It's my favorite book, and I'm pretty sure that's because I read it as an adult. It's not really high school material.

I just thought of another one. Toyer by Gardner McKay. It's been years since I abused my brain with this dungheap, but I recall it going something like this. There's a serial not-quite-killer on the loose in LA, who shanks his female victims in the back of the neck, leaving them in a vegetative state. The cops have nicknamed him Toyer because he likes to mess with his prey before the shanking bit. So despite the fact that there's all this info about the crazy dude who's shanking chicks in their homes, and his ritual messing-with beforehand, he keeps finding victims! I can buy that maybe he could talk his way into the home of a strange woman, sure. What I couldn't believe is that he would then tell the woman he was Toyer and prepare for a shanking, and then turn around a second later and say, no, ha ha, I'm an actor preparing to play Toyer in a movie, and the woman would be like, oh! OK then! Wanna stay for coffee? And of course when she came back with refreshments he'd have barred all the doors and cut the phone lines before announcing that, no duh, he really was Toyer, shank shank shank  ::)

The worst bit was when the female detective heading the investigation fell for it too  ::)

I don't like books whose plots need to turn on everyone being incredibly stupid.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Layla Miller on April 26, 2011, 08:25:28 AM
Sula by Toni Morrison.  The theme of the book... friendship is really, really important.  So important, that if your friend is a jerk who treats you like trash and plays Scrabble with your husband and gets you to help kill a kid, you should forgive her and still be her best friend, because friendship is the most important thing in the world.  Or, at least, that's what my 11th-grade self thought was the author's theme.  We had to read a zillion books by Toni Morrison that year, and we hated them all.

Yes!  We read this in my high school English class, too, and I think every single one of us hated it.  We even gave it our best shot in discussion as we attempted to play devil's advocate and find some way to interpret the story in a better light, but we came up short.  Just awful.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Petticoats on April 26, 2011, 08:29:58 AM
Oh, and the phrase "thigh-friendship" really, really gets on my nerves.

Ugh, that is sick-making. Or ridiculous and therefore kind of funny. No, I think I'm leaning toward sick-making.

These character discussions remind me of one of Sue Grafton's Kinsey Milhone mysteries that I stopped reading almost at once. I've enjoyed many, even most, of the books in that series, although Kinsey has started to wear on me a little bit lately. But this one--I can't remember the title/letter--has Kinsey being uncharacteristically stupid. She meets some guys, and the way she describes them sets all my hinky bells ringing, and then she gets in a car with them and gets taken hostage. I mean, come on! Sue, if you're going to plant these clues that the guy is a bad'un, especially through first-person narrative, your heroine is going to look incredibly stupid to ignore all those signals and trust him. And who's going to care about a stupid heroine? Oh, wait, I forgot about Twilight fans...  >:D
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: LadyClaire on April 26, 2011, 08:34:38 AM
Oh, and the phrase "thigh-friendship" really, really gets on my nerves.

Ugh, that is sick-making. Or ridiculous and therefore kind of funny. No, I think I'm leaning toward sick-making.


That phrase is used through the book constantly. It seriously set my teeth on edge every time it came up. It refers to a woman's right to change partners. In those books, a woman does not stay married to the same man. I think she switches up every few years, and that's what "thigh-friendship" is.  ::) ::) ::)
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: wendelenn on April 26, 2011, 08:35:34 AM
I'll pod Wicked, anything by Joseph Conrad (The horror! The horror!), and Wuthering Heights (Sorry, I can't enjoy a romance when I don't like any of the main characters.)

The Shelters of Stone (fifth in the Earth's Children series by Auel) was so awful that I haven't even dared to pick up the newest one.  Which is a good thing, because everything I've heard about it (including in threads here on Ehell) says it is just TERRIBLE.

Books mentioned here that I actually enjoyed or at least didn't think were too bad: The Magicians, The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, and Water for Elephants.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: ScubaGirl on April 26, 2011, 08:42:14 AM
Every single one of Gregory Maguire's books.  I've read four of them (including Wicked) they were all awful.  The ideas are so good, the execution is so bad.

I HATED The Catcher in the Rye.  HATED it.  I wanted to reach in an slap Holden.  

I also couldn't stand Atlas Shrugged.  I disagree with Ayn Rand's politics so strongly that I can't stomach the  book.  I tried, I really did.  I brought it on a trip once as the only book (and I read about a book a day--I usually bring a book for every day I will be gone +2 so this was a big deal).  I still didn't read it.

I'm reading "The Gunslinger" right now because all my friends say it's amazing.  Tell me it gets better--I'm on chapter 4 and I'm not loving it at all.

I've got pages to go yet on this topic but I just had to say, "The Gunslinger" does not get better.  It is awful.  Maybe 30 years ago it was ahead of its time and cutting edge but now I found it boring and offensive.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Melxb on April 26, 2011, 08:50:23 AM
Am I the only one who actually like The Historian? I loved the dreamlike quality and the idea of tracing Dracula through academia.

I tend to agree with the other E-hellions on the other books though.



I liked it. It's actually about the only book involving vampires that I like. However, I didn't care for her second book, I read about fifty pages and gave up. Life's too short.

I liked it, too.

Count me in as another who liked it, but I could totally see where a great many people wouldn't like it.  I myself was on the fence with this book---I could have totally hated it, or totally loved it.  In the end, I enjoyed it and have reread it.  ;D  To each his/her own.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: katcheya on April 26, 2011, 09:06:53 AM
POD on The Shack.  Could NOT finish it.  It jsut wouldn't pick up.

I read The Lovely Bones, and couldn't figure out why it got rave reviews.  It had an interesting premise, but it's not a book I'd write home about...

Mr. Darcy, Vampyre: this is a sequel to the Pride and Prejudice BBC tv series, with Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy.  After a double wedding, Mr. and Mrs. Darcy go off on their honeymoon.  Except Mrs. Darcy is disappointed that after a month or so of gallivanting about Europe, they have yet to consumate their union.  Turns out that Mr. Darcy is, in fact, a vampyre, and the act has a high chance of turning Mrs. Darcy into a vampire.  He's dragging her around Europe, looking for a cure to his vampirisim.  The words poorly written, vapid and just lame come to mind...

Me and Mr. Darcy: Present day New York, and 20-something Emily, who can't find a man to hold a candle to Mr. Darcy, signs up for a tour of Pride and Prejudice country.  Turns out the tour attracts ladies who are much older than Emily.  Along for the ride is a boorish Englishman, writing an article about how much women love Pride & Prejudice.  While visiting various scenic spots from the book, Emily finds herself alone, and Mr. Darcy appears!  This book was BAD.  I wanted to throw it out the window!!!

Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Shopaholic on April 26, 2011, 09:15:26 AM
Me and Mr. Darcy: Present day New York, and 20-something Emily, who can't find a man to hold a candle to Mr. Darcy, signs up for a tour of Pride and Prejudice country.  Turns out the tour attracts ladies who are much older than Emily.  Along for the ride is a boorish Englishman, writing an article about how much women love Pride & Prejudice.  While visiting various scenic spots from the book, Emily finds herself alone, and Mr. Darcy appears!  This book was BAD.  I wanted to throw it out the window!!!



I got this to read on a plane once. It was just the right amount of mind-numbing fiction to get me through a 12-hour plane ride without the need to concentrate. I didn't expect much, and it didn't deliver much.
I've got to say that I have never understood the appeal of Mr Darcy. <ducks head and flees>

I once tried to read The Artist and the Margarita on a plane. Bad Idea.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: PeasNCues on April 26, 2011, 09:19:02 AM
Whew! Here I go!

The last book of the Twilight Series I will defend to the death my love of the series. Nothing anyone can say can make me see this blissful mind-candy as anything but mindless romance and fun. But the last book... it was like Meyer was trying to make everything sunshine and roses and neatly packaged for a future of happy glowingness. I mean they spend the entire book going on and on and on about a battle that never happens. The only person who dies is someone we don't know anything about and don't care about. In my head, the way it ends is this: The Cullen Clan + friends fight the volturi. Jacob dies (among others - including, I think, the blonde vampire who hates being a vampire) in an appropriately tragic way. There is conflict in the Edward/Bella marriage - Bella becomes stronger and more independent and that makes Edward feel superfluous. He needs to learn to love Bella the vampire as much as he loved Bella the Human. All is resolved at the end, but with bitter tragedy in there as well. Not: Oh the bad guy showed up. Let's talk them out of being mean to us. (as general interest - recently found out that Meyer never, ever intended these books to be marketed as YA Literature. She actually had to rewrite the books on the fly because the later books dealt with a lot adult themes - including s*x and death. I have to wonder what they would have been like had she been allowed to keep the level up to adult. Also, adults would have a greater understanding and acceptance that Edward and Bella's relationship was NOT normal or healthy).

The Great Gatsby Gatsby - the girl doesn't like you. GET OVER IT! MOVE ON!

Romeo and Juliet With respect to Shakespeare, this is one of the most overdone, overglorified plays of all time. I hate when it is touted as a romance - it is NOT! It is a tragedy of errors. Stupid errors. Romeo is a whiney play-boy who is desperately in love with one woman at the beginning of the play and then immediately changes his focus to Juliet. And - talk about unhealthy relationships! Goodness gracious. Can't stand this one.

Random Mercedes Lackey Books I read one - I forget which one - where the main male interests r*pes a girl at the beginning on the book. Sorry, that immediately makes me want him to die in some terrible and humiliating way. All of his troubles stem from the fact that he r*ped this poor girl and she committed suicide and he is cursed. All I kept thinking when bad things would happen to him was, "Oh, you deserve this and so much more." But, of course, he lives happily ever after at the end.  :(
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Black Delphinium on April 26, 2011, 09:23:57 AM
The Picture of Dorian Grey -- it never started let alone finshed (for me)

This book is used by my mother as the example for why you should follow a book through. She always tells the story of how she quit reading about 5 pages before it got interesting.
I couldn't make it 5 pages in...

Reminds me of the fact that I got so disgusted with Order of the Phoenix that I set it down for months. When I picked it back up I discovered that if I had been able to push through to the next chapter I'd have turned the corner into the awesome parts.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Red1979 on April 26, 2011, 09:26:16 AM
I'm trying to get through this thread, but it just moves too fast.  ;D

I can NOT stand:

Red Badge of Courage.

The only time I ever cried because I had to keep reading a book.  I do have to say its quite impressive to write a whole book and never use a verb, have a conversation or have anything happen.

Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Red1979 on April 26, 2011, 09:29:14 AM
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens and The Bridge At San Luis Rey by Thornton Wilder. I had to read them both for high school English (different years) and I hate both of them. I really don't see what's so great about either of them. The Dickens book just went on and on. And the Wilder book was just awful, the writing style made it impossible to read I couldn't figure out what was going on or what the point was supposed to be. I never actually finished either one of them.

Ed.

In defense of Dickens--Great Expectations (like many of his books) was written in serial form--basically the first soap operas.  So people were hearing the story in chunks not sitting and reading it all at once.  Stretching it out made sense for the format and built up suspense for the next installment.

I think part of why a lot of us hate certain books or authors is because they're forced on us in school and made as unappealing as possible.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Lisbeth on April 26, 2011, 09:38:49 AM
I hate books where the author takes some famous novel and/or historical figure and turns it into a vampire/zombie story.

What's with that anyway?
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Lisbeth on April 26, 2011, 09:41:58 AM
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens and The Bridge At San Luis Rey by Thornton Wilder. I had to read them both for high school English (different years) and I hate both of them. I really don't see what's so great about either of them. The Dickens book just went on and on. And the Wilder book was just awful, the writing style made it impossible to read I couldn't figure out what was going on or what the point was supposed to be. I never actually finished either one of them.

Ed.

I think part of why a lot of us hate certain books or authors is because they're forced on us in school and made as unappealing as possible.

I agree.  Unfortunately, school book lists aren't chosen by kids, but by adults who know only that some other adult strongly recommends a book.  They don't realize that in a kid's mind it's terribly dull.  And then asking them to define vocabulary words, answer essay questions in complete sentences, and some project like acting a scene from the book or making a diorama makes it that much worse for a kid.  That's what happened to me in school (I still hate The Incredible Journey because of it).
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Bexx27 on April 26, 2011, 09:43:17 AM
I agree with a lot of these, although I do like - or at least don't actively dislike - most of the "classics" mentioned. The only ones I really hated were A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and A Tale of Two Cities.

I really wanted to like Wicked and the other Gregory Maguire books. I have friends who rave about them and the ideas just seem so good. I slogged unhappily through all his books and I even read Wicked twice thinking maybe I hadn't "gotten" it the first time. But no, I just don't like his writing.

I also really wanted to like the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, but I just didn't. All the singing was soooo annoying and none of the characters had any depth. I liked the movies, though.

I also wanted to like the Game of Thrones books. I hardly ever start a book or series without finishing it, but I only made it halfway through the third book and I would have stopped long before that if DH hadn't been pushing me. It was just so, so depressing.

I actually really enjoyed both The Historian and She's Come Undone the first time I read them. But in both cases, I reread them a few years later and couldn't figure out what I'd seen in them.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Xallanthia on April 26, 2011, 09:53:21 AM
I do that all the time. "Hey, Dad, what was that book with the whip trees and some artist guy, and people would be asleep in suspended animation for periods of time to prolongue their lives; and the process really hurt, but no one ever remembered it? I forget what it was about or who wrote it; but i want to read it again."  :P

Thanks!

That would be Hyperion, which is a great book that shouldn't be mentioned in this thread :D You do need a strong stomach for it, though.

I agree with The Historian and I warn you all from "The Swan Thieves", by the same author. I didn't recognize the name at first, so I started reading. Very predictable and dull.

I will also cast my POD with The Magicians (dull, annoying characters that I just wanted to shake and tell them to get a life), Dickens (he was paid by the word and it shows) and Wicked.

Not Hyperion which I had to look up on Amazon.  It's The Worthing Saga by Orson Scott Card.  I have a copy up by my bed right now.

I knew I recognized that!  (And haven't read Hyperion).  That was a weird book.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Bexx27 on April 26, 2011, 09:57:09 AM
Oh, I forgot to mention my actual candidate for worst book ever. Someone got me Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus for my wedding shower and it was absolutely, sickeningly awful. Just a collection of offensive gender stereotypes.  >:(
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Xallanthia on April 26, 2011, 09:59:21 AM
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens and The Bridge At San Luis Rey by Thornton Wilder. I had to read them both for high school English (different years) and I hate both of them. I really don't see what's so great about either of them. The Dickens book just went on and on. And the Wilder book was just awful, the writing style made it impossible to read I couldn't figure out what was going on or what the point was supposed to be. I never actually finished either one of them.

Ed.

In defense of Dickens--Great Expectations (like many of his books) was written in serial form--basically the first soap operas.  So people were hearing the story in chunks not sitting and reading it all at once.  Stretching it out made sense for the format and built up suspense for the next installment.

I think part of why a lot of us hate certain books or authors is because they're forced on us in school and made as unappealing as possible.

This this!  I hated all Dickens until a podcast I listen to, which is serialized older literature done by an English teacher, did A Tale of Two Cities.  LOVED it that way.  Same for The Scarlet Letter which I never managed to plow through on my own (didn't have to read it for school).
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Spoder on April 26, 2011, 10:01:48 AM
Oh, I forgot to mention my actual candidate for worst book ever. Someone got me Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus for my wedding shower and it was absolutely, sickeningly awful. Just a collection of offensive gender stereotypes.  >:(

Oh good gravy, I loathe that book. And its smarmy author (John Gray? Something like that, don't care enough to even google it), who made a fortune peddling his puerile generalizations. Gag.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: shadowfox79 on April 26, 2011, 10:04:35 AM
I agree.  Unfortunately, school book lists aren't chosen by kids, but by adults who know only that some other adult strongly recommends a book.  They don't realize that in a kid's mind it's terribly dull.  And then asking them to define vocabulary words, answer essay questions in complete sentences, and some project like acting a scene from the book or making a diorama makes it that much worse for a kid.  That's what happened to me in school (I still hate The Incredible Journey because of it).

Proof positive of this: Our top set for GCSE English was split into two classes.

One class studied "Lord of the Flies" and hated it.

The other studied "To Kill a Mockingbird" and hated it.

While studying "Lord of the Flies", I read "To Kill a Mockingbird" on the side and loved it.

Possibly because I didn't have to write paragraphs about how their teacher was a mother figure and so forth.  ::)
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: katcheya on April 26, 2011, 10:07:27 AM
Oh, I forgot to mention my actual candidate for worst book ever. Someone got me Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus for my wedding shower and it was absolutely, sickeningly awful. Just a collection of offensive gender stereotypes.  >:(

Yes!!!  I read a few chapters.  I jokingly said something related to the book to my boyfriend of ten years.  World War III broke out.  Seriously.  It was the worst fight we'd EVER had.

Thankfully, it was only borrowed from a friend.  I stopped reading it right there, and gave it back.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Night_owl on April 26, 2011, 10:18:05 AM
I hated the "Road", it sucked the joy out of the room every time I opened it.  The movie, which I refused to watch, gave DH nightmares for months.

I hate Danielle Steel with a passion, I use to work as a companion for a older woman, she was blind and I would read them out loud to her.
Thankfully, she had me skip the scrabble scenes.  Sometimes, I'd get halfway through a book and realize we'd already read it.  The worse part is she would use the same word twice in a sentence as in "Lucy looked quickly at her aunt and quickly saw she was reading, then she quickly left the room, moving quickly down the hall and quickly left the house."  Buy a thesaurus!

I'm very disappointed in writers like Patricia Cromwell, Jean Auel, and Dian Gabaldon who start out with a great idea or character and keep on writing long after the idea, character, or series is played out.  The writing becomes a parody of itself and not in a fun and satirical way.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Ceiling Fan on April 26, 2011, 10:20:22 AM
I'm still LOLing at "Someone get the man a box of tissues and some midol." :D

I hearby nonimate every 'dynasty' picked up by the author's son (or publisher). Yes, I'm looking at you, son of Frank Herbert, son of wingadingdingy Francis, and whoever was responsible for the ghastly last book in the Ghormenghast trilogy. (Thank deity they, at least, stopped at 3).
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: LadyClaire on April 26, 2011, 10:20:45 AM
I hated the "Road", it sucked the joy out of the room every time I opened it.  The movie, which I refused to watch, gave DH nightmares for months.


I never read the book. I watched the movie and was depressed for the rest of the night and had horrible dreams. Seriously, seriously dark and depressing movie.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: hobish on April 26, 2011, 10:30:32 AM
I do that all the time. "Hey, Dad, what was that book with the whip trees and some artist guy, and people would be asleep in suspended animation for periods of time to prolongue their lives; and the process really hurt, but no one ever remembered it? I forget what it was about or who wrote it; but i want to read it again."  :P

Thanks!

That would be Hyperion, which is a great book that shouldn't be mentioned in this thread :D You do need a strong stomach for it, though.

I agree with The Historian and I warn you all from "The Swan Thieves", by the same author. I didn't recognize the name at first, so I started reading. Very predictable and dull.

I will also cast my POD with The Magicians (dull, annoying characters that I just wanted to shake and tell them to get a life), Dickens (he was paid by the word and it shows) and Wicked.

Not Hyperion which I had to look up on Amazon.  It's The Worthing Saga by Orson Scott Card.  I have a copy up by my bed right now.

That's it!
Sorry - i wasn't trying to say it was bad in the tiniest bit.
I really can never remember the name and end up having that conversation with my dad (like how Suze could remember just a bit of her hated book).
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Ceiling Fan on April 26, 2011, 10:31:44 AM
Something along the lines of the Pat Cornwall book, Martha Grimes did a satire/comedy about the publishing business called Foul Matter. She is an awesome murder-mystery writer; satire/comedy, not so much. Some truly funny bits (like when they are all shadowing each other in Philedelphia), but on the whole, it was a clunker.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: atirial on April 26, 2011, 10:34:08 AM
Oh, I forgot to mention my actual candidate for worst book ever. Someone got me Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus for my wedding shower and it was absolutely, sickeningly awful. Just a collection of offensive gender stereotypes.  >:(
You beat me to it. I can't stand that book. I thought I'd managed to wipe it from my mind, but certain bits just flooded back.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: flo on April 26, 2011, 10:36:11 AM
I hated the "Road", it sucked the joy out of the room every time I opened it.  The movie, which I refused to watch, gave DH nightmares for months.

I hate Danielle Steel with a passion, I use to work as a companion for a older woman, she was blind and I would read them out loud to her.
Thankfully, she had me skip the scrabble scenes.  Sometimes, I'd get halfway through a book and realize we'd already read it.  The worse part is she would use the same word twice in a sentence as in "Lucy looked quickly at her aunt and quickly saw she was reading, then she quickly left the room, moving quickly down the hall and quickly left the house."  Buy a thesaurus!

I'm very disappointed in writers like Patricia Cromwell, Jean Auel, and Dian Gabaldon who start out with a great idea or character and keep on writing long after the idea, character, or series is played out.  The writing becomes a parody of itself and not in a fun and satirical way.

Please don't hate me for this but that is how I start to feel about Anne Shirley by the third book.  I want to love those books.  I want my daughters to love those books, but they needed to end before they actually did.  I'm sorry.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Petticoats on April 26, 2011, 10:46:15 AM
Please don't hate me for this but that is how I start to feel about Anne Shirley by the third book.  I want to love those books.  I want my daughters to love those books, but they needed to end before they actually did.  I'm sorry.

You may already know this, but L.M. Montgomery got sick of Anne too--at least two of the Anne books that I know of were cobbled together to meet her publisher's demand for more. (For example, Anne of Windy Poplars, which irritated me when I read it because it was hardly about Anne, was one of those--written out of sequence, after what I think of as the good Anne books, and put together from short stories she had written long before.)

Anne of the Island is my favorite. :)
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: hobish on April 26, 2011, 10:47:31 AM
I refuse to even the mention the title or the author as I've tried to erase this particular book from my memory for almost 28 years.

I was 12 and was kindly allowed by the librarians at the local library to enter the adult part of the library; normally you had to remain in the children's section until you were 15. But since I was such a prolific reader they made an exception for me. Among the books I borrowed one had received glorious reviews and was described as a true masterpiece. I don't know what book these critics had read but it surely wasn't the poorly written novel in my hands. I could have survived if it was just bad, but at 12 I wasn't prepared to read page after page where the author in detail described extremely sadistic torture including dismembering of intimate female parts that the torturer then ate. I get that there are sick people in the world but it was rather obvious that the author... enjoyed describing these parts. I'm quite sure that I would be apalled if I stumbled upon the same story today. The difference is that I would no longer continue reading in the hopes that the book would improve.

I also remember a reading assignment in high school where we were supposed to read Häxringarna (Witches' Rings) by Kerstin Ekman. It was the book that made her a serious author - she had mostly written mystery stories before this, and she was an acclaimed member of the Swedish Academy. I loved the book and read the entire tetralogy. But my five classmates, all of whom were also avid readers, hated it. Come to think of it, I've actually loved all the books I've been assigned to read in high school and at uni, with one exception. I hated The Sorrows of Young Werther by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Any words trying to describe my feelings for that melodramatic piece of *** would not get past the filter.


Oh, come on. Not fair to say, "Some book i read when i was twelve was awful." What the heck is that? Obviously you do remember what it was.

Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on April 26, 2011, 10:53:43 AM
Please don't hate me for this but that is how I start to feel about Anne Shirley by the third book.  I want to love those books.  I want my daughters to love those books, but they needed to end before they actually did.  I'm sorry.

You may already know this, but L.M. Montgomery got sick of Anne too--at least two of the Anne books that I know of were cobbled together to meet her publisher's demand for more. (For example, Anne of Windy Poplars, which irritated me when I read it because it was hardly about Anne, was one of those--written out of sequence, after what I think of as the good Anne books, and put together from short stories she had written long before.)

Anne of the Island is my favorite. :)

The first book is a favorite and always will be, and I like "Anne of Avonlea" too.  I saw the movies first so I was a little thrown off when the events in the movie didn't match with some of the things that happened in the book, and learned that the movie was a hodgepodge of a few books and they called it Anne of Avonlea. 

I tried reading one book after Anne and Gilbert got married and had children, can't even remember which one it was but it just wasn't as interesting and Anne didn't seem to be the fiery freespirit she was when she was a kid.

Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: tnpenguinbaby on April 26, 2011, 10:54:36 AM
Generally I find if a book makes it to Oprah's Book List, it sucks like a Dyson on crack.  I have tried to read those books to find out what makes them so good and have yet to find that elusive bit. 
I tried to like Wicked but it was a job to toil my way through that one.  Yeesh!
Danielle Steele, Jodi Picoult and several others of that ilk only have one plot line - they just change the names of the characters and the location they are in!
The only book I ever actually pitched across the room was Shelters of Stone.  And at 700+ pages, it was quite the heave! I could not believe the lousy editing, the repetitous greetings with affiliations and explanations.  Then came The Painted Caves.  I thought to myself she couldn't possibly write another book as terrible as SOS.  Surely she had learned from the huge backlash.  Yes. Yes she could.  And no. No she didn't. :-\
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: wyozozo on April 26, 2011, 11:04:27 AM
Quote
Anything by Nicholas Sparks.. my mother and every other female in the family love him and find him to be sensitive and profound. I think he is a pompous windbag
Thank you. I used to feel so mean for saying I disliked his work!
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Yvaine on April 26, 2011, 11:13:47 AM
Please don't hate me for this but that is how I start to feel about Anne Shirley by the third book.  I want to love those books.  I want my daughters to love those books, but they needed to end before they actually did.  I'm sorry.

You may already know this, but L.M. Montgomery got sick of Anne too--at least two of the Anne books that I know of were cobbled together to meet her publisher's demand for more. (For example, Anne of Windy Poplars, which irritated me when I read it because it was hardly about Anne, was one of those--written out of sequence, after what I think of as the good Anne books, and put together from short stories she had written long before.)

Anne of the Island is my favorite. :)

I felt so vindicated when I grew up and read that Montgomery really had been sick of Anne when she wrote Windy Poplars and Ingleside. I'd felt, even though I was about 12 when I read them, that they had no spark compared to the others. Anne of the Island is my favorite too: in every life there is a Book of Revelation... :) :) :) I also love The Blue Castle and the Emily series.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Miss Misery on April 26, 2011, 11:37:48 AM
Quote
Anything by Nicholas Sparks.. my mother and every other female in the family love him and find him to be sensitive and profound. I think he is a pompous windbag.

Nicholas Sparks *is* a pompous windbag. Not too long ago I read an interview where Sparks pretty much declared himself to be the greatest thing to ever happen to books since the printing press was invented, while dismissing Shakespeare and Jane Austen as talentless hacks.

What an arrogant tool.  >:(

Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: TeamBhakta on April 26, 2011, 11:38:02 AM
Scarlett, the sequel to Gone With the Wind. Just wrong on so many levels

Another book I can't remember the title for: It was a whole book about being blonde, calling yourself blonde when you haven't been blonde since a kid, etc.

Our 9th grade reading assignment years ago was a choice of Jane Eyre or Alas Babylon. Most people got partway through Jane Eyra and came back to the teacher to ask "Can I switch to Alas instead ? This is the worst book ever."  
 
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: LadyPekoe on April 26, 2011, 11:40:24 AM
I loved Steele when I read all her books when I was 12-13.  Now?   Not so much.  I also loved VC Andrews at that time.  And Zebra historical romances, which often featured "forced seduction", so my young teenage tastes weren't very good.

I loved The Stand and I read it unabriged.  I really need to read it again one of these days.  

I couldn't stand The Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit and the Chronicle of Narnia.  I knew I wasn't going to like them because I don't like high fantasy and I REALLY hate lots of talking animals but I did it anyway.  And I read every book in both series because I'm apparently a masochist.  
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Melxb on April 26, 2011, 11:50:11 AM
I loved Steele when I read all her books when I was 12-13.  Now?   Not so much.  I also loved VC Andrews at that time.  And Zebra historical romances, which often featured "forced seduction", so my young teenage tastes weren't very good.

I loved The Stand and I read it unabriged.  I really need to read it again one of these days.  

I couldn't stand The Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit and the Chronicle of Narnia.  I knew I wasn't going to like them because I don't like high fantasy and I REALLY hate lots of talking animals but I did it anyway.  And I read every book in both series because I'm apparently a masochist.  

Lady Pekoe are you....me?  :D I too read just about every Danielle Steele book I could get my hands on in middle school.  I also read as much VC Andrews as I could too.  I still love romance novels, but I often read new Danielle Steele romances in about 10mins standing in a book store.  I skim it, get the gist of it, and pretty much sum it up in about 10mins.  It's not even mind candy--it's mind cotton candy:  gone in a puff.

Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Everlee on April 26, 2011, 11:51:04 AM
I just remembered another book I hated.  Dangerous Angels:  The Weetzie Bat books.  Ack!  It was so unreadable that I think I finally ended up just skimming it.  The auther wrote the book like she was a 5 year old narrating everything.  I even had to get on review sites to see how much everyone else hated it and for some reason they are usually rated 4/5 stars!  I just don't get it!  I mean, her boyfriends name is My Secret Angel Lover Man and she names her kid Witch Baby.   ???  I could go on and on about how much I despise that book, but someone here might like it so I don't want to make anyone mad.  




Romeo and Juliet With respect to Shakespeare, this is one of the most overdone, overglorified plays of all time. I hate when it is touted as a romance - it is NOT! It is a tragedy of errors. Stupid errors. Romeo is a whiney play-boy who is desperately in love with one woman at the beginning of the play and then immediately changes his focus to Juliet. And - talk about unhealthy relationships! Goodness gracious. Can't stand this one.


OK, I take back my previous stance on all classics are bad.  I love, love, LOVE R & J.  I just re-read it a few months ago.  I know Romeo's a tool, Juliet's naive and their relationship is eyerollable, but danged if I don't fall in love every time I read it!
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Ceiling Fan on April 26, 2011, 11:59:25 AM
Quote
Anything by Nicholas Sparks.. my mother and every other female in the family love him and find him to be sensitive and profound. I think he is a pompous windbag.

Nicholas Sparks *is* a pompous windbag. Not too long ago I read an interview where Sparks pretty much declared himself to be the greatest thing to ever happen to books since the printing press was invented, while dismissing Shakespeare and Jane Austen as talentless hacks.

What an arrogant tool.  >:(

And Iain Peares. I get it, you're smart. But a fiction writer should also be entertaining, yah? Get over yourself, and on with the story, for cripessake.

(at the same time, I love Alan Furst. For all that his books are so dark and speak of really wretched events, there is a certain amount of charm and some very sneaky dry humor in there.)
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Elfmama on April 26, 2011, 12:00:20 PM
"Guenevere, Queen of the Summer Country" by Rosalind Miles.....
Oh, and the phrase "thigh-friendship" really, really gets on my nerves.
??? 
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Harriet Jones on April 26, 2011, 12:02:12 PM
Generally I find if a book makes it to Oprah's Book List, it sucks like a Dyson on crack.  I have tried to read those books to find out what makes them so good and have yet to find that elusive bit. 

ITA.  I've found that these books, while well-enough written, all seem to follow the same theme: life sucks, life sucks some more, and then, to mix it up a little, life really sucks.  The psycho serial killer books I like to read are more uplifting.  ::)
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: LadyClaire on April 26, 2011, 12:07:10 PM
"Guenevere, Queen of the Summer Country" by Rosalind Miles.....
Oh, and the phrase "thigh-friendship" really, really gets on my nerves.
??? 

It's a phrase used in the books to describe a woman's right to sleep with any man she chooses..it's called "thigh friendship" when she starts a scrabble relationship with someone. The author uses it constantly in the book, and it drove me batty.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Lady Snowdon on April 26, 2011, 12:08:06 PM
Romeo and Juliet With respect to Shakespeare, this is one of the most overdone, overglorified plays of all time. I hate when it is touted as a romance - it is NOT! It is a tragedy of errors. Stupid errors. Romeo is a whiney play-boy who is desperately in love with one woman at the beginning of the play and then immediately changes his focus to Juliet. And - talk about unhealthy relationships! Goodness gracious. Can't stand this one.


OK, I take back my previous stance on all classics are bad.  I love, love, LOVE R & J.  I just re-read it a few months ago.  I know Romeo's a took, Juliet's naive and their relationship is eyerollable, but danged if I don't fall in love every time I read it!


I'm convinced that no Shakespeare play should ever be read.  Before reading them, if it's necessary to read them, they should be seen.  Shakespeare makes so much more sense when it's performed!  I hated Romeo and Juliet after reading it; Juliet's an idiot, Romeo couldn't have an original idea to save his life, etc.  I saw Shakespeare in Love, and finally understood why it's a classic.  Performing the lines with some passion makes a difference!  Same with Much Ado about Nothing.

I POD everyone who mentioned A Song of Ice and Fire by George RR Martin.  I can't even read A Game of Thrones, much less continue on to the other books.  The direwolf puppies are cute, and that's where my interest dies.  My DH loves that series.   ???

I love Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series, but totally understand why other people hate it.  I hate parts of it myself!
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Harriet Jones on April 26, 2011, 12:10:43 PM
"Guenevere, Queen of the Summer Country" by Rosalind Miles.....
Oh, and the phrase "thigh-friendship" really, really gets on my nerves.
??? 

It's a phrase used in the books to describe a woman's right to sleep with any man she chooses..it's called "thigh friendship" when she starts a scrabble relationship with someone. The author uses it constantly in the book, and it drove me batty.

Maybe Ayla should have invented the phrase "booty-call" instead
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Elfmama on April 26, 2011, 12:14:44 PM
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens and The Bridge At San Luis Rey by Thornton Wilder. I had to read them both for high school English (different years) and I hate both of them. I really don't see what's so great about either of them. The Dickens book just went on and on. And the Wilder book was just awful, the writing style made it impossible to read I couldn't figure out what was going on or what the point was supposed to be. I never actually finished either one of them.

Ed.

I think part of why a lot of us hate certain books or authors is because they're forced on us in school and made as unappealing as possible.

I agree.  Unfortunately, school book lists aren't chosen by kids, but by adults who know only that some other adult strongly recommends a book.  They don't realize that in a kid's mind it's terribly dull.  And then asking them to define vocabulary words, answer essay questions in complete sentences, and some project like acting a scene from the book or making a diorama makes it that much worse for a kid.  That's what happened to me in school (I still hate The Incredible Journey because of it).
Right.  It's kind of like...think of your favorite food.  Picture it on the table in front of you in all its delicious glory.  Now realize that you will not be allowed to eat it.  Instead you have to chemically analyze it.  Once you've done that, you never want to see that food again.

“Persons attempting to find a motive in this narrative will be prosecuted; persons attempting to find a moral in it will be banished; persons attempting to find a plot in it will be shot. By Order of the Author”  Mark Twain, Huckleberry Finn

Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Yvaine on April 26, 2011, 12:17:05 PM
"Guenevere, Queen of the Summer Country" by Rosalind Miles.....
Oh, and the phrase "thigh-friendship" really, really gets on my nerves.
??? 

It's a phrase used in the books to describe a woman's right to sleep with any man she chooses..it's called "thigh friendship" when she starts a scrabble relationship with someone. The author uses it constantly in the book, and it drove me batty.

Miles didn't even make it up, though--it's from Irish mythology. Queen Maeve offered "the friendship of her thighs" to all sorts of people.  ;)
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: LadyClaire on April 26, 2011, 12:19:08 PM
Romeo and Juliet With respect to Shakespeare, this is one of the most overdone, overglorified plays of all time. I hate when it is touted as a romance - it is NOT! It is a tragedy of errors. Stupid errors. Romeo is a whiney play-boy who is desperately in love with one woman at the beginning of the play and then immediately changes his focus to Juliet. And - talk about unhealthy relationships! Goodness gracious. Can't stand this one.


OK, I take back my previous stance on all classics are bad.  I love, love, LOVE R & J.  I just re-read it a few months ago.  I know Romeo's a took, Juliet's naive and their relationship is eyerollable, but danged if I don't fall in love every time I read it!


I'm convinced that no Shakespeare play should ever be read.  Before reading them, if it's necessary to read them, they should be seen.  Shakespeare makes so much more sense when it's performed!  I hated Romeo and Juliet after reading it; Juliet's an idiot, Romeo couldn't have an original idea to save his life, etc.  I saw Shakespeare in Love, and finally understood why it's a classic.  Performing the lines with some passion makes a difference!  Same with Much Ado about Nothing.

I POD everyone who mentioned A Song of Ice and Fire by George RR Martin.  I can't even read A Game of Thrones, much less continue on to the other books.  The direwolf puppies are cute, and that's where my interest dies.  My DH loves that series.   ???

I love Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series, but totally understand why other people hate it.  I hate parts of it myself!

Wheel of Time was fantastic for me until he got to oh..book 6 or 7, maybe? Then I suddenly got the feeling he was being paid extra for every time he described what someone was wearing or drinking. Every book after that was like slogging through a bog of words like "embroidered skirts" and "fringed shawl" and "mint tea" and "jewelry", trying in vain to find where the heck the plot had meandered off to.

The sad thing is that when he died and Brandon Sanderson took over, I really started to enjoy the books again because they returned to what the series had originally been like.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Ceiling Fan on April 26, 2011, 12:22:18 PM
Generally I find if a book makes it to Oprah's Book List, it sucks like a Dyson on crack.  I have tried to read those books to find out what makes them so good and have yet to find that elusive bit. 

ITA.  I've found that these books, while well-enough written, all seem to follow the same theme: life sucks, life sucks some more, and then, to mix it up a little, life really sucks.  The psycho serial killer books I like to read are more uplifting.  ::)

Or 'totally improbable uplifting endingTM'

While I did enjoy The Secret Life of Bees, would that ending ever, in a million years, actually happened? White girl gets to stay with black family in the segrgated 60's?

Recent book I hated enough to wish Really Bad Things on the author: Angel Time, by Ann Rice. I hate, hate, HATE when an established author gets to publish drek, just because she's already sold a bazillion copies of decent books. This piece of carp was nothing more than complete fantasy wish-fufillment on the part of the author*, and I would say it's one big hunk of glurge, except for the loving detail in which she describes some pretty foul murders/deaths (including matricide :-X)

*In her 'I'm so Catholic, oh wait, not I'm not, well yes, no, I don't know, but I BELIEVE in angels' phase ???
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Yvaine on April 26, 2011, 12:22:28 PM
I had two competing theories on Robert Jordan. One was that he was contracted to write some huge number of books but had run out of ideas, so he just wrote padding. The other is that he realized "oh, cr@p, I'm about to get to the end of my plot and I haven't shown everyone all the cool parts of my world yet! I must slow down and give the readers the grand tour!"
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: LadyClaire on April 26, 2011, 12:22:41 PM
"Guenevere, Queen of the Summer Country" by Rosalind Miles.....
Oh, and the phrase "thigh-friendship" really, really gets on my nerves.
??? 

It's a phrase used in the books to describe a woman's right to sleep with any man she chooses..it's called "thigh friendship" when she starts a scrabble relationship with someone. The author uses it constantly in the book, and it drove me batty.

Miles didn't even make it up, though--it's from Irish mythology. Queen Maeve offered "the friendship of her thighs" to all sorts of people.  ;)

I'd never read it before those books..good to know it's an actual term! If she'd only said it once or twice, it wouldn't have been bad..but it was like every page, Guenevere was fuming to herself over how she'd given up thigh-friendship to marry Arthur, and she would have given her thigh-friendship to another man by this point if she hadn't married him, and thigh-friendship was so important, and thigh-friendship was a woman's right, and on and on and on. It was like her repeated use of "white and gold" to describe everything. I halfway expected her to proclaim that Guenevere's scrabble parts were white-and-gold, which was why it was important for her to offer thigh-friendship to Lancelot.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Daffydilly on April 26, 2011, 12:24:25 PM
Every book Todd McCaffrey attempted to write with or after his mother finished her Dragons of Pern Series. I hate his writing style, detested the characters and was disgusted with how he took key elements of the original series and got rid of them. The Skies of Pern was a perfect ending to the series. And any continuation or delving into past Pernese histories just doesn't work. And I really hated how his characters survived plagues, I was rooting for them all to be offed so the books would end.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Ceiling Fan on April 26, 2011, 12:24:30 PM
"Guenevere, Queen of the Summer Country" by Rosalind Miles.....
Oh, and the phrase "thigh-friendship" really, really gets on my nerves.
??? 

It's a phrase used in the books to describe a woman's right to sleep with any man she chooses..it's called "thigh friendship" when she starts a scrabble relationship with someone. The author uses it constantly in the book, and it drove me batty.

Maybe Ayla should have invented the phrase "booty-call" instead

*snort!*
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: LadyClaire on April 26, 2011, 12:24:52 PM
I had two competing theories on Robert Jordan. One was that he was contracted to write some huge number of books but had run out of ideas, so he just wrote padding. The other is that he realized "oh, cr@p, I'm about to get to the end of my plot and I haven't shown everyone all the cool parts of my world yet! I must slow down and give the readers the grand tour!"

Either one makes sense to me! My main theory was that he just got too self-important and felt that now that he was a Big Fantasy Author with a captive audience, he could do whatever he wanted while knowing that we'd still buy his books when they came out. Kind of a self indulgent ego thing.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: PeasNCues on April 26, 2011, 12:25:21 PM
Romeo and Juliet With respect to Shakespeare, this is one of the most overdone, overglorified plays of all time. I hate when it is touted as a romance - it is NOT! It is a tragedy of errors. Stupid errors. Romeo is a whiney play-boy who is desperately in love with one woman at the beginning of the play and then immediately changes his focus to Juliet. And - talk about unhealthy relationships! Goodness gracious. Can't stand this one.


OK, I take back my previous stance on all classics are bad.  I love, love, LOVE R & J.  I just re-read it a few months ago.  I know Romeo's a took, Juliet's naive and their relationship is eyerollable, but danged if I don't fall in love every time I read it!


I'm convinced that no Shakespeare play should ever be read.  Before reading them, if it's necessary to read them, they should be seen.  Shakespeare makes so much more sense when it's performed!  I hated Romeo and Juliet after reading it; Juliet's an idiot, Romeo couldn't have an original idea to save his life, etc.  I saw Shakespeare in Love, and finally understood why it's a classic.  Performing the lines with some passion makes a difference!  Same with Much Ado about Nothing.

Oh, I've seen it on stage, as a movie, parodied, etc. Still can't stand it. And there are plenty of other Shakespeare plays that I enjoy, R&J is just ungodly grating to me. :)
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Ceiling Fan on April 26, 2011, 12:25:54 PM
"Guenevere, Queen of the Summer Country" by Rosalind Miles.....
Oh, and the phrase "thigh-friendship" really, really gets on my nerves.
??? 

It's a phrase used in the books to describe a woman's right to sleep with any man she chooses..it's called "thigh friendship" when she starts a scrabble relationship with someone. The author uses it constantly in the book, and it drove me batty.

Miles didn't even make it up, though--it's from Irish mythology. Queen Maeve offered "the friendship of her thighs" to all sorts of people.  ;)

I'd never read it before those books..good to know it's an actual term! If she'd only said it once or twice, it wouldn't have been bad..but it was like every page, Guenevere was fuming to herself over how she'd given up thigh-friendship to marry Arthur, and she would have given her thigh-friendship to another man by this point if she hadn't married him, and thigh-friendship was so important, and thigh-friendship was a woman's right, and on and on and on. It was like her repeated use of "white and gold" to describe everything. I halfway expected her to proclaim that Guenevere's scrabble parts were white-and-gold, which was why it was important for her to offer thigh-friendship to Lancelot.

No doubt his were purple and gold  ;D
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Lady Snowdon on April 26, 2011, 12:32:11 PM
I had two competing theories on Robert Jordan. One was that he was contracted to write some huge number of books but had run out of ideas, so he just wrote padding. The other is that he realized "oh, cr@p, I'm about to get to the end of my plot and I haven't shown everyone all the cool parts of my world yet! I must slow down and give the readers the grand tour!"

He actually only contracted to write the first three books of the series.  Each book after that was a separate contract, I think.  Or something along those lines.

I do believe he said something at one point about every part of the books being necessary, but I'm taking that with about an ocean of salt!  One thing that I found interesting was that his wife, who was also his editor, made him write certain characters back in after he'd killed them off.  So I blame his wife for all the random digressions!
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: LadyPekoe on April 26, 2011, 12:34:13 PM
I loved Steele when I read all her books when I was 12-13.  Now?   Not so much.  I also loved VC Andrews at that time.  And Zebra historical romances, which often featured "forced seduction", so my young teenage tastes weren't very good.

I loved The Stand and I read it unabriged.  I really need to read it again one of these days.  

I couldn't stand The Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit and the Chronicle of Narnia.  I knew I wasn't going to like them because I don't like high fantasy and I REALLY hate lots of talking animals but I did it anyway.  And I read every book in both series because I'm apparently a masochist.  

Lady Pekoe are you....me?  :D I too read just about every Danielle Steele book I could get my hands on in middle school.  I also read as much VC Andrews as I could too.  I still love romance novels, but I often read new Danielle Steele romances in about 10mins standing in a book store.  I skim it, get the gist of it, and pretty much sum it up in about 10mins.  It's not even mind candy--it's mind cotton candy:  gone in a puff.



Ha!  I do the same thing.  My favorites were Kaleidescope, Loving, Star, and Zoya.  I couldn't tell you what any of them are about except Zoya is Russian, but I know those were my 12-year old self's fav Danielle Steele books.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: 2littlemonkeys on April 26, 2011, 12:39:58 PM
I'm with the posters that like to read for entertainment.  I have to really be in the mood to read a book that tears you apart emotionally.

I hated Vinegar Hill too.  How utterly depressing.  There are so many parts I wish I could unread.  

I can't recall the title but I once read a book about a mentally ill (or disabled?  can't remember) woman who becomes fixated on a neighbor.  She eventually becomes a stalker (but in her mind, she's just being a friend) and the cops are called.  I seriously have blocked this from my memory because I can't remember if they just arrest her or something worse. But I remember crying when I was done because the whole thing was so sad.

Other books I could have lived another day without reading:

House of Sand and Fog  (Wasn't a BAD book, just so tragic)

Stuff by Anita Shreve (most of it is pretty depressing)

Me & Emma

Pretty much anything by Dean Koontz.  He goes to very dark places.

I loved VC Andrews and The Sweet Valley High books when I was a kid but looking at them now, I wonder what the hell I was thinking, LOL

ETA: I won't touch The Road with a barge pole.  I've heard enough, LOL
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Melxb on April 26, 2011, 12:44:38 PM
I loved Steele when I read all her books when I was 12-13.  Now?   Not so much.  I also loved VC Andrews at that time.  And Zebra historical romances, which often featured "forced seduction", so my young teenage tastes weren't very good.

I loved The Stand and I read it unabriged.  I really need to read it again one of these days.  

I couldn't stand The Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit and the Chronicle of Narnia.  I knew I wasn't going to like them because I don't like high fantasy and I REALLY hate lots of talking animals but I did it anyway.  And I read every book in both series because I'm apparently a masochist.  

Lady Pekoe are you....me?  :D I too read just about every Danielle Steele book I could get my hands on in middle school.  I also read as much VC Andrews as I could too.  I still love romance novels, but I often read new Danielle Steele romances in about 10mins standing in a book store.  I skim it, get the gist of it, and pretty much sum it up in about 10mins.  It's not even mind candy--it's mind cotton candy:  gone in a puff.



Ha!  I do the same thing.  My favorites were Kaleidescope, Loving, Star, and Zoya.  I couldn't tell you what any of them are about except Zoya is Russian, but I know those were my 12-year old self's fav Danielle Steele books.

I've also read the Chronicles of Narnia and the Lord of the Rings trilogy and was not moved or impressed by them either.  I read them to see what the fuss was about. They did nothing for me.   ::)

And The Stand is my favorite fiction book EVER.  Hands down.  Nothing comes close.  Helter Skelter by Vincent Bugliosi is my favorite non-fiction book of all time.

As for Danielle Steele, I really enjoyed Wanderlust.  In a not-so-unusual twist for me when I read books, I actually read a couple of books on China during WWII.  Yes, a cheesy romance novel actually spun off an interest in China during WWII for me.  Happens to me all the time when I read! (It's the reason why I don't loan out or borrow books--I write in my books and make notes to myself to look something up later.  No one wants to read my books after I get through with them and I wouldn't dream in writing in someone else's book either!)
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Melxb on April 26, 2011, 01:19:39 PM
I've spent all day yesterday and most of this morning wracking my brains for a book I have read that I have disliked so much that I'd nominate it for Worst Book Ever and have finally come up with one--Finnegan's Wake by James Joyce.  It is incomprehensible, which I think was Joyce's goal.  I literally could not read and understand it.  Way to kill reading for enjoyment Joyce.  ::)
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Poirot on April 26, 2011, 01:51:25 PM
I've spent all day yesterday and most of this morning wracking my brains for a book I have read that I have disliked so much that I'd nominate it for Worst Book Ever and have finally come up with one--Finnegan's Wake by James Joyce.  It is incomprehensible, which I think was Joyce's goal.  I literally could not read and understand it.  Way to kill reading for enjoyment Joyce.  ::)

James Joyce shoul be right up there with Ulysses as well. It turned me off Joyce entirely for years.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Yvaine on April 26, 2011, 01:55:56 PM
"Guenevere, Queen of the Summer Country" by Rosalind Miles.....
Oh, and the phrase "thigh-friendship" really, really gets on my nerves.
???  

It's a phrase used in the books to describe a woman's right to sleep with any man she chooses..it's called "thigh friendship" when she starts a scrabble relationship with someone. The author uses it constantly in the book, and it drove me batty.

Miles didn't even make it up, though--it's from Irish mythology. Queen Maeve offered "the friendship of her thighs" to all sorts of people.  ;)

I'd never read it before those books..good to know it's an actual term! If she'd only said it once or twice, it wouldn't have been bad..but it was like every page, Guenevere was fuming to herself over how she'd given up thigh-friendship to marry Arthur, and she would have given her thigh-friendship to another man by this point if she hadn't married him, and thigh-friendship was so important, and thigh-friendship was a woman's right, and on and on and on. It was like her repeated use of "white and gold" to describe everything. I halfway expected her to proclaim that Guenevere's scrabble parts were white-and-gold, which was why it was important for her to offer thigh-friendship to Lancelot.

See, the repetition that really irked me in those books--and bear in mind that I'm PAGAN and this was still repeated often enough to drive me bats--every time she had a thought process, it was preceded by Goddess, Mother or Mother, Goddess.  :D :D :D  I think it's just a really repetitive book in general!
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: siamesecat2965 on April 26, 2011, 02:04:55 PM
Generally I find if a book makes it to Oprah's Book List, it sucks like a Dyson on crack.  I have tried to read those books to find out what makes them so good and have yet to find that elusive bit. 
Danielle Steele, Jodi Picoult and several others of that ilk only have one plot line - they just change the names of the characters and the location they are in!
 


POD POD POD POD...and so on.

You just made me laugh so hard I cried at my desk with the Dyson comment.  My co-workers now thing there's something serioulsy wrong with me!

Also, many NYT bestsellers I'm convinced make the list NOT because they're well written, but because they're what sells, and if ONE book was haflway decent, and did well, then anything after that by the same authors immediately jumps on the list.  Even if its dreck, which most are.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: renfield1969 on April 26, 2011, 02:11:00 PM
I really disliked A Game of Thrones. In order to be unique and original, Martin decided to make all his characters' lives as miserable and depressing as possible. Few characters are likeable, and one of the few who is is one of the villains. Some of the main characters are too stupid to live, and mercifully for the reader they usually don't. His style of leaping from character to character each chapter is an interesting enough trope, however several characters never meet any of the others, and have such a peripheral connection to the plot that they should not have been included in the book at all. The worst is the author's refusal to revisit and explain key plot points, which I find contemptuopus towards the reader. Well, that works both ways.

I hated A Confedaracy of Dunces. It was completely unfunny. The main character was supposed to be humorous because he was an egotistical buffoon, but mostly he was just despicable and often verged deep into disgusting.

I loathe A Canticle for Liebowitz. Poorly written with a plodding non-story.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Dorrie78 on April 26, 2011, 02:11:43 PM
Am I the only one who actually like The Historian? I loved the dreamlike quality and the idea of tracing Dracula through academia.

I tend to agree with the other E-hellions on the other books though.


I just read The Historian this past winter and I liked it - for the same reasons you do!
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: wyozozo on April 26, 2011, 03:24:31 PM
Quote
And The Stand is my favorite fiction book EVER.  Hands down.  Nothing comes close. 
I totally and wholeheartedly agree!
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Ceiling Fan on April 26, 2011, 03:30:26 PM
I've spent all day yesterday and most of this morning wracking my brains for a book I have read that I have disliked so much that I'd nominate it for Worst Book Ever and have finally come up with one--Finnegan's Wake by James Joyce.  It is incomprehensible, which I think was Joyce's goal.  I literally could not read and understand it.  Way to kill reading for enjoyment Joyce.  ::)

James Joyce shoul be right up there with Ulysses as well. It turned me off Joyce entirely for years.

Some things work soo much better as a song :D

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=penvn9VL32Y

But I agree, The Stand is pretty amazing. The writing (prose) may not be the most lyrical ever, but it also doesn't get in the way of telling a cracking good story (to get all Wallace and Grommit over it) :D
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Xallanthia on April 26, 2011, 03:43:54 PM
I really disliked A Game of Thrones. In order to be unique and original, Martin decided to make all his characters' lives as miserable and depressing as possible. Few characters are likeable, and one of the few who is is one of the villains. Some of the main characters are too stupid to live, and mercifully for the reader they usually don't. His style of leaping from character to character each chapter is an interesting enough trope, however several characters never meet any of the others, and have such a peripheral connection to the plot that they should not have been included in the book at all. The worst is the author's refusal to revisit and explain key plot points, which I find contemptuopus towards the reader. Well, that works both ways.

This is the only criticism there that I can answer.  While yes, it appears this way in the first book, all the characters have begun to interact more and all narrators who are still alive at that point WILL at some future point be together (probably having a war) in King's Landing.  The author hasn't *said* that, but it's obvious from the book's structure and from knowing that it is loosely based on the War of the Roses.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: blueberrypancakes on April 26, 2011, 03:51:02 PM
One of Patricia Cornwell's first non-Scarpetta books was so bad I threw it in the trash as soon as I finished it.  (I've blanked on the title and even perusing her books at amazon didn't ring any bells.)  I spent most of the time reading it shaking my head over how badly it was written. 

It's only the second book I've ever tossed - even the ho-hum books have a home in the bookcase.  (The other was some sort of paperback about the Manson murders.  For some reason the way it was written made me feel like "they" knew I had read it and now knew their secrets, so I was a marked person.  I threw it in a trashcan on a street corner so it couldn't be traced to me - it scared me to death!)

I'm guessing it was either Hornet's Nest, Southern Cross, or Isle of Dogs (mentioned by a couple other posters for its awfulness).  These were all part of a non-Scarpetta series, and I still don't know why I read all 3 of them. Guess I thought I hoped they would get better? Gah, all terrible.

I bought The Lovely Bones from my library's used bookstore and donated it right back after finishing.  Didn't like it at all.

I think the most disappointed I have been with a book was with The End, the final book in the Series of Unfortunate Events.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on April 26, 2011, 04:05:36 PM
I would have thrown "New Moon" if not for the fact that it wasn't my book but a coworkers that had been loaned to me.  I found out later that a different coworker threw the book at the same part but for a different reason.

Her reason: Upset that Edward dumped Bella, saying she was depressed for days.

My reason: Utter disgust at how pathetic Bella was after getting dumped and how much of a SS she was about it, falling to pieces cause he dumped her, like her life was over.   Okay I know teenagers can be melodramatic but come ON it lasted for at least 3 months!   I wanted to hurl the book across the room and yell "Oh SNAP OUT OF IT!"   ::)
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: readingchick on April 26, 2011, 04:19:12 PM
I couldn't get into Twilight. I tried. I just couldn't.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: rose red on April 26, 2011, 04:20:39 PM
My reason: Utter disgust at how pathetic Bella was after getting dumped and how much of a SS she was about it, falling to pieces cause he dumped her, like her life was over.   Okay I know teenagers can be melodramatic but come ON it lasted for at least 3 months!   I wanted to hurl the book across the room and yell "Oh SNAP OUT OF IT!"   ::)

You're not the only one.  The following is found in various places of the internet:

When the love of Hermione's life left her, she continued to help Harry search for the keys to destroying the world's most powerful dark wizard.
 
When the love of Bella's life left her, she curled up in the fetal position, went numb for three months and jumped off a cliff.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on April 26, 2011, 04:53:40 PM
I've seen that one, I think it was a caption on the Celeb section of the Cheezburger website (also home of LOL cats) and I laughed when I read it. :)
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Andraste on April 26, 2011, 05:07:12 PM
I'll hop in and add my own worst book I ever read.  Under The Dome by Stephen King.  I got to page 250 or so and thought "well that wasn't so bad"  Then I noticed there was over a thousand words to go.  I forced myself to finish it because surely the end couldn't be that bad could it?  It could and it was.  The characters felt so flat and it was so long winded.  I burned that book when I finished.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: 4x4filly on April 26, 2011, 05:18:32 PM
I'll hop in and add my own worst book I ever read.  Under The Dome by Stephen King.  I got to page 250 or so and thought "well that wasn't so bad"  Then I noticed there was over a thousand words to go.  I forced myself to finish it because surely the end couldn't be that bad could it?  It could and it was.  The characters felt so flat and it was so long winded.  I burned that book when I finished.

Yes.  Yes, yes, and more yes.  I am a die-hard King fan, and I was *SO* wretchedly disappointed in this one that I couldn't even make myself finish it.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Andraste on April 26, 2011, 05:27:28 PM
I'll hop in and add my own worst book I ever read.  Under The Dome by Stephen King.  I got to page 250 or so and thought "well that wasn't so bad"  Then I noticed there was over a thousand words to go.  I forced myself to finish it because surely the end couldn't be that bad could it?  It could and it was.  The characters felt so flat and it was so long winded.  I burned that book when I finished.

Yes.  Yes, yes, and more yes.  I am a die-hard King fan, and I was *SO* wretchedly disappointed in this one that I couldn't even make myself finish it.

You are so lucky  It ended up being alien children who controlled the dome who made it fly away when they beg for help.  Aliens.  Really Stephen King ... really?.  His recent stuff, even his short stories have frustrated me so much.  I grew up reading his books in Jr. High, and I am so disappointed in what he has put out lately.  It feels like he gets paid by the page.  Less is sometimes more.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Linley on April 26, 2011, 05:38:25 PM
Ok, I'll say it, I really like The Road. At least, I really like 99 percent of it, the last two pages ruin it for me because they're too hopeful. ;D I like my books (and films) as dark and depressing as possible and I loooooove post-apocalyptic novels.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: aiki on April 26, 2011, 06:34:49 PM
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens and The Bridge At San Luis Rey by Thornton Wilder. I had to read them both for high school English (different years) and I hate both of them. I really don't see what's so great about either of them. The Dickens book just went on and on. And the Wilder book was just awful, the writing style made it impossible to read I couldn't figure out what was going on or what the point was supposed to be. I never actually finished either one of them.

Ed.

I think part of why a lot of us hate certain books or authors is because they're forced on us in school and made as unappealing as possible.

I agree.  Unfortunately, school book lists aren't chosen by kids, but by adults who know only that some other adult strongly recommends a book.  They don't realize that in a kid's mind it's terribly dull.  And then asking them to define vocabulary words, answer essay questions in complete sentences, and some project like acting a scene from the book or making a diorama makes it that much worse for a kid.  That's what happened to me in school (I still hate The Incredible Journey because of it).
Right.  It's kind of like...think of your favorite food.  Picture it on the table in front of you in all its delicious glory.  Now realize that you will not be allowed to eat it.  Instead you have to chemically analyze it.  Once you've done that, you never want to see that food again.

“Persons attempting to find a motive in this narrative will be prosecuted; persons attempting to find a moral in it will be banished; persons attempting to find a plot in it will be shot. By Order of the Author”  Mark Twain, Huckleberry Finn

Oh this. So much this. What's more you're asked to chemically analyse it without ever having been taught how, or why you'd even want to. Or maybe that was only my school.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Winterlight on April 26, 2011, 07:49:41 PM
Random Mercedes Lackey Books I read one - I forget which one - where the main male interests r*pes a girl at the beginning on the book. Sorry, that immediately makes me want him to die in some terrible and humiliating way. All of his troubles stem from the fact that he r*ped this poor girl and she committed suicide and he is cursed. All I kept thinking when bad things would happen to him was, "Oh, you deserve this and so much more." But, of course, he lives happily ever after at the end.  :(

The Black Swan. Yeah, not a favorite of mine either. I wanted to shove him off a cliff, let Odile take over and execute the Queen and Odile's father. It would have been a better book IMO.

Every book Todd McCaffrey attempted to write with or after his mother finished her Dragons of Pern Series. I hate his writing style, detested the characters and was disgusted with how he took key elements of the original series and got rid of them. The Skies of Pern was a perfect ending to the series. And any continuation or delving into past Pernese histories just doesn't work. And I really hated how his characters survived plagues, I was rooting for them all to be offed so the books would end.

Ditto. Plus, a lot of her original Pern stuff ooks me out, especially that first scene between F'Nor and Brekke. R@pe is not sexy!
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Sirius on April 26, 2011, 08:04:19 PM
One man's trash, eh?  I've seen at least one book here that I really liked, but then I thought Wuthering Heights was a disastrous mess that could only have been made tolerable by a shootout.  <snip>
Virg

Nah - the movie done in semaphore.  That improves it.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Íkorna on April 26, 2011, 08:07:30 PM
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens and The Bridge At San Luis Rey by Thornton Wilder. I had to read them both for high school English (different years) and I hate both of them. I really don't see what's so great about either of them. The Dickens book just went on and on. And the Wilder book was just awful, the writing style made it impossible to read I couldn't figure out what was going on or what the point was supposed to be. I never actually finished either one of them.

Ed.

I think part of why a lot of us hate certain books or authors is because they're forced on us in school and made as unappealing as possible.

I agree.  Unfortunately, school book lists aren't chosen by kids, but by adults who know only that some other adult strongly recommends a book.  They don't realize that in a kid's mind it's terribly dull.  And then asking them to define vocabulary words, answer essay questions in complete sentences, and some project like acting a scene from the book or making a diorama makes it that much worse for a kid.  That's what happened to me in school (I still hate The Incredible Journey because of it).
Right.  It's kind of like...think of your favorite food.  Picture it on the table in front of you in all its delicious glory.  Now realize that you will not be allowed to eat it.  Instead you have to chemically analyze it.  Once you've done that, you never want to see that food again.

“Persons attempting to find a motive in this narrative will be prosecuted; persons attempting to find a moral in it will be banished; persons attempting to find a plot in it will be shot. By Order of the Author”  Mark Twain, Huckleberry Finn

Oh this. So much this. What's more you're asked to chemically analyse it without ever having been taught how, or why you'd even want to. Or maybe that was only my school.

I loved To Kill A Mockingbird when I read it in middle school. I often reread it about once a year. Then we had to read it in eleventh grade English. If I had to analyze the passage about the fence outside the Radley home and how it was an example of personification one more time I think I would have ripped my hair out. Wonderful book and wonderful teacher, but we seemed to focus on that passage a lot.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Gabrielle on April 26, 2011, 08:26:47 PM
I had two competing theories on Robert Jordan. One was that he was contracted to write some huge number of books but had run out of ideas, so he just wrote padding. The other is that he realized "oh, cr@p, I'm about to get to the end of my plot and I haven't shown everyone all the cool parts of my world yet! I must slow down and give the readers the grand tour!"

He actually only contracted to write the first three books of the series.  Each book after that was a separate contract, I think.  Or something along those lines.

I do believe he said something at one point about every part of the books being necessary, but I'm taking that with about an ocean of salt!  One thing that I found interesting was that his wife, who was also his editor, made him write certain characters back in after he'd killed them off.  So I blame his wife for all the random digressions!

Apparently all of Jordans "strong" female characters are based in some way on his wife. Don't get me wrong, I adore the series but let's face it - Elayne is the most snotty and annoying extraneous character ever put to paper.
I like to think that if Jordan hadn't died then the final book would still have been as amazing - remember that everything Sanderson is putting into 3 books Jordan was going to put into 1 so it was always planned to pack a punch.

If you like gentle mocking of WoT you could do worse than http://www.ataricommunity.com/forums/showthread.php?t=386600 :)
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: lady_disdain on April 26, 2011, 08:48:59 PM
Give me a second to done my flame proof suit.

Thanks. Now I can nominate "The never ending, soggy camping trip with a rip off ending", aka, Deathly Hallows.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Slartibartfast on April 26, 2011, 08:54:39 PM
Do kids' books count?  A friend gave Babybartfast a copy of The Giving Tree and she requests it every night now.  I hate that book!  It's a study in how NOT to have a spine!  Seriously, the point of the book seems to be that if you have a "friend" who takes and takes and takes from you, you should always offer more, and when they have taken so much of you that there's none of "you" left, then eventually they will come back and you can co-exist and you will both be happy.  The boy does NOTHING for the tree for the entire duration of the book, yet the tree is always happy to give away her apples, branches, and trunk when the boy wants something.  And he takes each of them, then disappears and leaves the tree alone for decades at a time, until he shows up and wants something more from her on the next page.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: AlephReish on April 26, 2011, 09:15:10 PM
Give me a second to done my flame proof suit.

Thanks. Now I can nominate "The never ending, soggy camping trip with a rip off ending", aka, Deathly Hallows.

I was about to add that one in (but was also afraid). I slogged through it, cause, dangit, I had to finish! And then that ending. As if the interminable, miserable camping wasn't bad enough. I really really wish that JK had actually written a book about the INTERESTING stuff happening at that time in her world - like Dumbledore's Army being AWESOME and holding Hogwarts together. Or what was happening with the Order. I also wish that JK had had an editor who would stand up to her. And, sadly, that book ruined the series for me. I don't think I'll ever read them again, and I used to love them.

I'm actually sorry that I couldn't get into Lord of the Rings. I read the first one, and to my perception, it seemed like a standard high fantasy rip-off. And I know it's because I tried it too late. I had read a lot of high fantasy by the time I got around to trying it. Intellectually, I know that LotR is what everyone else rips from... but emotionally, I just can't read 'em.

On another note, did y'all know that the man who took over for V.C. Andrews was a high school English teacher? He taught at the school my father still teaches at. Comes back sometimes to talk to students, which is pretty cool of him... even if the books aren't great.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Eisa on April 26, 2011, 09:36:56 PM
Hmm, let's see. I like the Wheel of Time series but at the same time, I hate it. :P I haven't read the newest one, but I felt like they all got in a big rut. Huge long extraneous description where nothing happens for 400 pages blah blah blah...BAM right at the end of the book, let's have Rand kill another Forsaken! ::) I was like...what the heck?!

I also have to agree with Under the Dome, unfortunately. Stephen King is my favorite author. The Stand is my favorite book of all time. But I couldn't even READ Under the Dome. I read like two chapters and just went...what is this? This sucks.

Another Stephen King book I dislike is The Tommyknockers. [I notice they both seem to have an ET theme... :P ] All I remember from The Tommyknockers is this rhyme: "Late last night and the night before/Tommyknockers, Tommyknockers/Knocking at the door/I wanna go out/Dunno if I can/Cuz I'm so afraid of the Tommyknocker man." I liked that rhyme. That is it. The only other thing I remember would be the whole...tentacle scene when Bobbi's sister comes over. YIKES.

Oh, another one--I actually did like Kiss the Girls by James Patterson, but that scene with Casanova and Anna Miller...Oh My Deity. :o :-\ How he even thought of that, I don't know. Same with American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis. As a whole, I liked it because of how flat-out creepy the guy was, but...yikes. :-\

And another book--in a way, I liked it. I didn't think it was poorly written. But it gave me nightmares for about a week. Flesh Gothic by Edward Lee. It's absolutely full of scrabble, but scrabble mixed in with murder and rituals to bring forth demons. Oh, and r@pe. Lots of r@pe. :-\ His other book Monstrosity also gave me nightmares. I don't know, I can handle a lot of horror books and not get too terribly creeped out, but those ones? Yeah. I got creeped out big-time.

Hated Great Expectations. That was my summer reading for AP Language/Composition...it took me over a month to read it. I could have had it finished in a day or two, but I had to practically command myself to read it. The essay on it didn't help. :P

I may be odd, though, because in general, I LIKE doing all those different activities and stuff for a book. It helps me understand it. Like in 9th grade, we had to read The Odyssey and we all actually did this sort of game afternoon where you dressed up in bed sheets and did all these Odyssey-related activities. It was actually really fun. :)
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Xallanthia on April 26, 2011, 09:41:04 PM
I'm actually sorry that I couldn't get into Lord of the Rings. I read the first one, and to my perception, it seemed like a standard high fantasy rip-off. And I know it's because I tried it too late. I had read a lot of high fantasy by the time I got around to trying it. Intellectually, I know that LotR is what everyone else rips from... but emotionally, I just can't read 'em.

I had this problem for *years*.  What finally fixed it was taking an extended break from high fantasy, coupled with the movies coming out and watching Fellowship and saying to myself, "I really need to read this to consider myself a fantasy fan."
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: StarDrifter on April 26, 2011, 10:36:11 PM
Have to agree about Deathly Hallows - there's a *big* part of me that pretends that book doesn't exist... and that a fanfic I found that was published 8 months before DH was out is the real ending of the series - a lot more action, Ginny is more heavily involved, Ron and Hermione hook up a lot earlier and have a lot of problems because Ron is sidetracked by Harry and Ginny's relationship, etc.

I honestly think that JK killed off a couple of particular characters (Hedwig? FRED? OH COME ON!) just for shock value... and the 'scene' in 'Kings Cross' with the ghost-of-Dumbledore just made me go 'eh'.

I also pretend that the epilogue didn't happen.

Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Eisa on April 26, 2011, 10:58:49 PM
^I do pretend that the epilogue doesn't exist. :P

Primarily because my idea of who should get together and JKR's idea clash completely. :D
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Gabrielle on April 26, 2011, 11:17:02 PM
Hmm, let's see. I like the Wheel of Time series but at the same time, I hate it. :P I haven't read the newest one, but I felt like they all got in a big rut. Huge long extraneous description where nothing happens for 400 pages blah blah blah...BAM right at the end of the book, let's have Rand kill another Forsaken! ::) I was like...what the heck?!

The latest book really is worth it. Stuff happens every page. There are a lot of things that happen that previously would have taken up an entire book all by themselves. Sanderson really knows how to edit!
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: violinp on April 27, 2011, 12:07:55 AM
my faves for this list?

A Seperate Peace - the book was just a bunch of adolescent whiners

The Great Gatsby - just abominable

Huckleberry Finn - was the most heavy handed, RACISM IS BAD, Y'ALL book next to To Kill a Mockingbird, plus Twain had to insert his literary biases in so often that I wanted to punch him
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Klein Bottle on April 27, 2011, 12:13:47 AM
I forgot to mention that I detested Where The Heart Is.  Can you say, "implausible?"  Oh sure, someone can live inside a Wally World, with all its security cameras, etc., and not be discovered for weeks on end.  Yeah, that might happen.  A friend of mine IRL had a small bottle of lotion accidentally fall into her cart while shopping, and the store secrity practically called out the FBI till they viewed the security footage and saw that she had not, after all, tried to steal that 99 cent bottle of lotion.

And for sure, a seventeen year old countrified girl is going to name her daughter "Americus".  That's realistic.  (And it's not even an attractive name, plus, paired with the last name "Nation" is quite twee.)

Then of course, you have the stock characters of the wise Native American, and the good-hearted small-town Lady Who Takes Her In, and but of course, Novalee turns out to be this amaaaaazingly talented photographer; she goes on to have her own highly-touted show and win awards, all due to the kindness and opportunities presented her by strangers.  By the end, (once the stranding boyfriend achieves his *own* wild success with his music), I am thinking to myself, good move Buddy, you dodged a bullet when you ditched that annoying girl at the WM.

Was that an Oprah club selection?  I don't care enough to look it up, but it has a lot of the tell-tale characteristics.

Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Clara Bow on April 27, 2011, 01:56:48 AM
Quote
Anything by Nicholas Sparks.. my mother and every other female in the family love him and find him to be sensitive and profound. I think he is a pompous windbag
Thank you. I used to feel so mean for saying I disliked his work!

His books are like being choked to death with a rose vine while being force-fed Dixie Crystals sugar....purely awful twaddle.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: flo on April 27, 2011, 02:01:47 AM
Do kids' books count?  A friend gave Babybartfast a copy of The Giving Tree and she requests it every night now.  I hate that book!  It's a study in how NOT to have a spine!  Seriously, the point of the book seems to be that if you have a "friend" who takes and takes and takes from you, you should always offer more, and when they have taken so much of you that there's none of "you" left, then eventually they will come back and you can co-exist and you will both be happy.  The boy does NOTHING for the tree for the entire duration of the book, yet the tree is always happy to give away her apples, branches, and trunk when the boy wants something.  And he takes each of them, then disappears and leaves the tree alone for decades at a time, until he shows up and wants something more from her on the next page.

I always took it as a warning to children that they better appreciate sacrifices their parents make for them, but yeah, the tree needs to get a spine!

My DD likes The Missing Piece and The Missing Piece Meets the Big O.  I've owned those books since I was pretty young, but reading them to DD I suddenly thought, "Have these books been all about s*x this whole time and I am only know just realizing that?"  Seriously, that was all I could think and I started laughing so hard that I could hardly finish reading them to DD.

As far as analysing books, I had a friend in high school who loved to argue that a passage meant exactly the opposite of what our teachers obviously wanted us to find.  He did such a good job with his arguments that he would always get an A.  It was awesome then and it is still awesome to remember now!
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Diane AKA Traska on April 27, 2011, 03:10:10 AM
The Princess Bride.  I made the mistake of thinking that if the movie is good, the book would be at least as good.  Right?  HA!  This is a book that takes you aside and leaves you there.  I have seen more interesting plots in graveyards.  I have seen more *action* in graveyards.  It is as if the book were designed for the sole reason of making one say "the movie isn't always worse than the book."  There is nothing of interest, the characters are bland and insipid, and if anything interesting ever DOES happen, the blandness of the rest of the book has blocked that out of my memory.

The Dying Time.  This is a novel based on a roleplaying game series, but this series (Battletech) has a *lot* of good books.  Once upon a time, there was a writer named William H Keith.  He wrote a trilogy of novels about a mercenary company called the Gray Death Legion.  The characters were interesting, they were engaging, they took you along with them on adventures.  Then, Thomas A Grossman wrote The Dying Time.  The book is pretty much just to kill off the Gray Death Legion.  They don't get good deaths, oh no.  One dies in his hospital bed (of cancer), another has grenades tossed into the room she's in and BOOM.  The reader, by contrast, does not get so definitive or swift a reprieve.

Also, I've got to agree with Lord of the Rings.  The movies were... tolerable (if, perhaps, a month or two too long.)  The books managed to suck the joy and wonder out of a fantasy land filled with elves and magic.  That's a tall order.

EDIT:  Because I'm a doof who mixes up books.  :P
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Corvid on April 27, 2011, 05:23:11 AM
Have to agree about Deathly Hallows - there's a *big* part of me that pretends that book doesn't exist... and that a fanfic I found that was published 8 months before DH was out is the real ending of the series - a lot more action, Ginny is more heavily involved, Ron and Hermione hook up a lot earlier and have a lot of problems because Ron is sidetracked by Harry and Ginny's relationship, etc.

I honestly think that JK killed off a couple of particular characters (Hedwig? FRED? OH COME ON!) just for shock value... and the 'scene' in 'Kings Cross' with the ghost-of-Dumbledore just made me go 'eh'.

I also pretend that the epilogue didn't happen.



Where might I find this fanfic?
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: PeasNCues on April 27, 2011, 06:19:38 AM
I like the direction the Deathly Hallows fanfic goes in as far as story line, but it definitely leaps to s*xualize the characters - all Harry and Ron think about are Hermione's and Ginny's blossoming and often boosted bosoms. It gets annoying cuz while I understand that guys sometimes do think like that, I don't want to read it all the time. Especially since these are characters whose love lives have only been broadly described before.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on April 27, 2011, 06:57:17 AM
The Princess Bride.  I made the mistake of thinking that if the movie is good, the book would be at least as good.  Right?  HA!  This is a book that takes you aside and leaves you there.  I have seen more interesting plots in graveyards.  I have seen more *action* in graveyards.  It is as if the book were designed for the sole reason of making one say "the movie isn't always worse than the book."  There is nothing of interest, the characters are bland and insipid, and if anything interesting ever DOES happen, the blandness of the rest of the book has blocked that out of my memory.

POD!!! I tried to read the book too and just could.not.do it. 
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: StarFaerie on April 27, 2011, 07:51:54 AM
The worst ever for me was James Joyce's A Portait of the Artist as a Young Man. It was just unreadable drivel and it kept going and going.

I also didn't like Animal Farm. It was just so heavy handed.

Other than that I pod on:
Wicked - The way that everything was decribed in scrabble terms was too much for me. It's a valley not female reproductive organs, thank you very much. I got most of the way through before I realised that I didn't care what happened to any of them.
Any Pern book written by Todd McCaffrey. He ruined his mother's legacy.
The Gor series. I read a few of those and they made me sick to the stomach.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: siamesecat2965 on April 27, 2011, 08:21:36 AM
Quote
Anything by Nicholas Sparks.. my mother and every other female in the family love him and find him to be sensitive and profound. I think he is a pompous windbag
Thank you. I used to feel so mean for saying I disliked his work!

His books are like being choked to death with a rose vine while being force-fed Dixie Crystals sugar....purely awful twaddle.

hahaha - awesome description.  While I've never actually READ any of his stuff, just the premise and description is enough to make me stay FAR FAR away.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: pharmagal on April 27, 2011, 08:25:15 AM
Twilight.

I accidentally watched the movie (I was on a cruise ship, sick and it was either that or the USPGA) and still couldn't figure out what was so good about it.

I asked one of my friends, who is a voracious reader, what she thought of it. She raved! She said it was awesome! She told me that it was *so much better than the movie!*

Lies.

It's terrible! I'm about ten chapters in, and I just want to take a baseball bat to Bella's head. She's so self-centered and a nasty pessimistic piece of work, then she's all upset with the people who are nice to her, and moons over a guy who treats her like dirt.

Then she meets Jacob and is sarcastic towards him purely because he's younger than her.

I want to strangle her. I think I might like the books, if the main character wasn't such a beeyatch. But since it's written first-person, changing the main character would be kind of hard....


Excuse me, are you me?  And if you're not can you please get out of my head?

 ;D
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Maujer on April 27, 2011, 08:37:30 AM
My father somehow managed to pick up Animal Farm a long time ago without knowing what it was about or who George Orwell was (which is surprising considering he's fairly well read). He finished it and thought it was the stupidiest book he'd ever read - why would someone write a book about farm animals?! Completely missed the larger picture.  ;D I love that he admits this now.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Ceiling Fan on April 27, 2011, 08:40:30 AM
My father somehow managed to pick up Animal Farm a long time ago without knowing what it was about or who George Orwell was (which is surprising considering he's fairly well read). He finished it and thought it was the stupidiest book he'd ever read - why would someone write a book about farm animals?! Completely missed the larger picture.  ;D I love that he admits this now.

LOL!
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Winterlight on April 27, 2011, 08:45:58 AM
It's terrible! I'm about ten chapters in, and I just want to take a baseball bat to Bella's head. She's so self-centered and a nasty pessimistic piece of work, then she's all upset with the people who are nice to her, and moons over a guy who treats her like dirt.

Then she meets Jacob and is sarcastic towards him purely because he's younger than her.

I want to strangle her. I think I might like the books, if the main character wasn't such a beeyatch. But since it's written first-person, changing the main character would be kind of hard....

I tried Twilight- two chapters in and I wanted to ship Bella off to an Outward Bound class where she might develop a spine and some common sense.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Xallanthia on April 27, 2011, 09:15:18 AM
Quote
Anything by Nicholas Sparks.. my mother and every other female in the family love him and find him to be sensitive and profound. I think he is a pompous windbag
Thank you. I used to feel so mean for saying I disliked his work!

His books are like being choked to death with a rose vine while being force-fed Dixie Crystals sugar....purely awful twaddle.

hahaha - awesome description.  While I've never actually READ any of his stuff, just the premise and description is enough to make me stay FAR FAR away.

I've never read anything of his either, so I didn't feel I could justly nominate him, but last year I was in need of a book while at an airport and my choices narrowed down to the 3rd book in the Inheritance Cycle (Brisinger; Eragon is the first one), which is the book/series I nominated for Worst upthread, and the latest Nicholas Sparks.

I chose Brisinger.  Yes.  I picked the sequel to my nominee for worst ever over Nicholas Sparks.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: katcheya on April 27, 2011, 09:16:41 AM
My father somehow managed to pick up Animal Farm a long time ago without knowing what it was about or who George Orwell was (which is surprising considering he's fairly well read). He finished it and thought it was the stupidiest book he'd ever read - why would someone write a book about farm animals?! Completely missed the larger picture.  ;D I love that he admits this now.

LOL!

Way back when, a friend of mine's father went to the movie theater and decided to see the Watership Down movie, thinking it was about one of the World Wars.  Boy, was he disappointed!
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: rose red on April 27, 2011, 09:19:14 AM
I forgot to mention that I detested Where The Heart Is.  Can you say, "implausible?"  Oh sure, someone can live inside a Wally World, with all its security cameras, etc., and not be discovered for weeks on end.  Yeah, that might happen.  A friend of mine IRL had a small bottle of lotion accidentally fall into her cart while shopping, and the store secrity practically called out the FBI till they viewed the security footage and saw that she had not, after all, tried to steal that 99 cent bottle of lotion.

To be fair, that part of the novel is set in the 1980's when they didn't really have security cameras like they do now.  I'm not sure about Wal-Mart, but the KMart in my town didn't have security worth squat.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: katycoo on April 27, 2011, 09:39:51 AM
"A Song in the Daylight".  The ending still sends me into a rant every time someone brings it up.

"The Slap".  I hated every character.  Literally every single one of them.

Interestingly, I usually like Jodie Picoult althoguh a heads up for the new Jodie Picoult (Sing me Home) - stop before the ending.  Its her worst finish yet.  I like her approach to contraversial issues and I think she balances perspectives really well.  But endings aren't her stong point.
I also really enjoyed the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Series.  Adn the Gunsligner series, but I don't have them all.  I think I have the first 3?

I've also discovered that often I can't get into a classic unless I've seen a good film adaption (see: Pride and Prejudice, Little Women).

But, I agree with those who hated Twilight and Wicked.  Twilight did have something for me though -I hated the style and most of the characters, and the storyline - so why did I read all 4 in about 6 days?  Wicked was such a chore, it took me months.

And the Dealthy Hallows wins the prize for worst epilogue ever.  Ugh.  Actually - i bet she collaborated with Jodie P on Sing me Home.

I think its really history buffs and people with ingrained knowledge of the topic who hate Da Vinci Code and the Phillipa Gregory stuff.  I enjoy both but don't ever imagine their contents to be much in the way of accurate.  I think its hard to seperate those kidns of fiction from fact when you know better.


The Picture of Dorian Grey -- it never started let alone finshed (for me)

This book is used by my mother as the example for why you should follow a book through. She always tells the story of how she quit reading about 5 pages before it got interesting.
I couldn't make it 5 pages in...

I'm usually a finisher - I don't like to leave the end of books unread.  But I simply couldn't finish "The Picture of Dorian Grey".  I just couldn't make myself care.  And I really tried.  I reckon I made it 3/4 in.  when was it supposed to get interesting?

Every single Twilight book.  My friends and sister RAVED about them - and I just thought they were terrible.  I agree with PP about Bella.  She's horrid.  I seriously hated her by the end of the first book!

I've heard more than one person say that the story wouldn't be so bad if it weren't for Bella.  A blog that I follow calls her "Isabummer."

I love that blog!
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: minky on April 27, 2011, 10:49:32 AM
"The Celestine Prophecy" 

Everyone I knew was raving about this book, it was so enlightening, had such a wonderful message!! Blah blah blah.

I read it and thought it was the biggest pile of poo ever.  And when I shared my opinion I was looked upon like I had suggested eating baby kittens or something.

THIS!  This was the book that made me realize that I could return a library book and nobody would know that I hadn't finished/read it.  I returned it and it was very freeing.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: 2littlemonkeys on April 27, 2011, 11:01:56 AM
[snip]

Interestingly, I usually like Jodie Picoult althoguh a heads up for the new Jodie Picoult (Sing me Home) - stop before the ending.  Its her worst finish yet.  I like her approach to contraversial issues and I think she balances perspectives really well.  But endings aren't her stong point.
[snip]

That's exactly how I feel about JP.  I feel like she writes a good story about both sides of hot issues but then realizes it's almost time to start dinner/pick up the kids/call her mother and decides to just tack on whatever ending she could come up with in 20 minutes.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: supernova on April 27, 2011, 11:51:00 AM
Do kids' books count?  A friend gave Babybartfast a copy of The Giving Tree and she requests it every night now.  I hate that book!  It's a study in how NOT to have a spine!  Seriously, the point of the book seems to be that if you have a "friend" who takes and takes and takes from you, you should always offer more, and when they have taken so much of you that there's none of "you" left, then eventually they will come back and you can co-exist and you will both be happy.  The boy does NOTHING for the tree for the entire duration of the book, yet the tree is always happy to give away her apples, branches, and trunk when the boy wants something.  And he takes each of them, then disappears and leaves the tree alone for decades at a time, until he shows up and wants something more from her on the next page.

Slarti,

Obviously, the Giving Tree just needed a  Sassy G@y Friend!  (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XYQavD9mSIc)   ;D

WARNING:  Language NSFW and may be offensive.  (Okay, almost certainly will be offensive.)

     - saphie
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: hobish on April 27, 2011, 12:07:27 PM
Do kids' books count?  A friend gave Babybartfast a copy of The Giving Tree and she requests it every night now.  I hate that book!  It's a study in how NOT to have a spine!  Seriously, the point of the book seems to be that if you have a "friend" who takes and takes and takes from you, you should always offer more, and when they have taken so much of you that there's none of "you" left, then eventually they will come back and you can co-exist and you will both be happy.  The boy does NOTHING for the tree for the entire duration of the book, yet the tree is always happy to give away her apples, branches, and trunk when the boy wants something.  And he takes each of them, then disappears and leaves the tree alone for decades at a time, until he shows up and wants something more from her on the next page.

I missed this post earlier (i think i missed an entire page or two :-[).

Thank you. Thank you, thank you. I swear that book traumatized me as a kid. I still find it vaguely disturbing.

Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: rose red on April 27, 2011, 12:23:47 PM
re: The Giving Tree.  Our 4th grade teacher told is she was going to read us a book from the kindergarden section.  It was TGT.  During the discussion part, we all agreed it was not for kindergarden age children but that's where the book is usually placed.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Cz. Burrito on April 27, 2011, 12:47:16 PM
Oh, speaking of children's book... I hated "Are you my Mother?"  Apparently it was supposed to be this adorable tale of a lost little bird asking all sort of funny things and critters if they were his mother, but 3-year old me could only see lost little bird who can't find his mommy?!   :'(   Traumatized.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: TeamBhakta on April 27, 2011, 01:20:00 PM
Speaking of dreadful children's books: Love You Forever. So creepy.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Petticoats on April 27, 2011, 01:26:38 PM
Do kids' books count?  A friend gave Babybartfast a copy of The Giving Tree and she requests it every night now.  I hate that book!  It's a study in how NOT to have a spine!  Seriously, the point of the book seems to be that if you have a "friend" who takes and takes and takes from you, you should always offer more, and when they have taken so much of you that there's none of "you" left, then eventually they will come back and you can co-exist and you will both be happy.  The boy does NOTHING for the tree for the entire duration of the book, yet the tree is always happy to give away her apples, branches, and trunk when the boy wants something.  And he takes each of them, then disappears and leaves the tree alone for decades at a time, until he shows up and wants something more from her on the next page.

I missed this post earlier (i think i missed an entire page or two :-[).

Thank you. Thank you, thank you. I swear that book traumatized me as a kid. I still find it vaguely disturbing.



It traumatized me too! My heart just broke for the tree, and the ending totally didn't make up for any of the pain of the story itself. I still shudder when I catch sight of the cover in bookstores.

Oh, someone upthread mentioned the Chronicles of Narnia, which I was (and am) very fond of--except for the last one, The Last Battle. More trauma. Bloodshed, death, exploitation of animals, guilt trips, emotional abuse--and all for the sake of an ending that I just could. not. stand. Ugh.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: blueyzca01 on April 27, 2011, 02:08:20 PM
Generally I find if a book makes it to Oprah's Book List, it sucks like a Dyson on crack. 

I don't think I've read something as descriptive as this in a long, long time!
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: White Dragon on April 27, 2011, 02:36:53 PM
Do kids' books count?  A friend gave Babybartfast a copy of The Giving Tree and she requests it every night now.  I hate that book!  It's a study in how NOT to have a spine!  Seriously, the point of the book seems to be that if you have a "friend" who takes and takes and takes from you, you should always offer more, and when they have taken so much of you that there's none of "you" left, then eventually they will come back and you can co-exist and you will both be happy.  The boy does NOTHING for the tree for the entire duration of the book, yet the tree is always happy to give away her apples, branches, and trunk when the boy wants something.  And he takes each of them, then disappears and leaves the tree alone for decades at a time, until he shows up and wants something more from her on the next page.

I missed this post earlier (i think i missed an entire page or two :-[).

Thank you. Thank you, thank you. I swear that book traumatized me as a kid. I still find it vaguely disturbing.



It traumatized me too! My heart just broke for the tree, and the ending totally didn't make up for any of the pain of the story itself. I still shudder when I catch sight of the cover in bookstores.

Oh, someone upthread mentioned the Chronicles of Narnia, which I was (and am) very fond of--except for the last one, The Last Battle. More trauma. Bloodshed, death, exploitation of animals, guilt trips, emotional abuse--and all for the sake of an ending that I just could. not. stand. Ugh.

That's really interesting, because TLB is my favorite Narnia book of all time.

Interesting how tastes can differ so widely!
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Kimblee on April 27, 2011, 02:38:36 PM
Speaking of dreadful children's books: Love You Forever. So creepy.

I think i know the book you're talking about, and I loved it. (as a little girl)

Now that my mom is gone, even thinking about it makes me tear up.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: flo on April 27, 2011, 03:29:40 PM
Speaking of dreadful children's books: Love You Forever. So creepy.

When we get to the part where the mom crawls into her adult son's house, we go off track.  Our story has breaking and entering, lots of police and jail time!
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Coruscation on April 27, 2011, 03:45:09 PM
Cerulean Sins by Laurell Hamilton. The series really started to suck at Narcissus in Chains but I kept reading. I had missed this one though and decided to buy it second hand. I commence reading a series of poorly written boring rape scenes in between which Anita insists that she's not a slut. Three quarters of the way through the book, they actually change conversational topic and I realise that I have actually read this book before. Apparently, I've gotten rid of it and just can't differentiate it in my memory from the books that come before and after.

I keep it on my shelf now so I don't accidentally read it again. Also, I have managed to stop reading the series and m even giving up reading  snark on the books.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Firecat on April 27, 2011, 04:25:25 PM
Cerulean Sins by Laurell Hamilton. The series really started to suck at Narcissus in Chains but I kept reading. I had missed this one though and decided to buy it second hand. I commence reading a series of poorly written boring rape scenes in between which Anita insists that she's not a slut. Three quarters of the way through the book, they actually change conversational topic and I realise that I have actually read this book before. Apparently, I've gotten rid of it and just can't differentiate it in my memory from the books that come before and after.

I keep it on my shelf now so I don't accidentally read it again. Also, I have managed to stop reading the series and m even giving up reading  snark on the books.

POD. In the first books, Anita was smart and independent and dangerous and fun to read about. But in the later books, it really seems like the author enjoys manipulating the character into playing scrabble with someone the character doesn't want to, but "has" to for XYZ "very important reason," and then having her moralize and agonize about it for 50 pages. I could almost deal with the manipulative scrabble, but the moralizing...that I can't deal with.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Punky B. on April 27, 2011, 04:58:00 PM
hobbish I don't remember the title of the book (long time ago read)

just that they talked about abuse (emotional, phisical and  ummm scrabble related) to keep women in "their places"

about a third of the way into the book that was all it talked about

Was it the Gor books?  They promote a whole female slavery thing.

I just read Haunted, by Chuck Palahniuk, and I wish I hadn't.  The stories try really hard, sputter out, and are so full of real life fail that they don't make sense half the time.  The first story kept me going through the whole book, hoping for more delightful grossness.... I was really disappointed.

At least the cover glows in the dark.  That's neat.



Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Arista on April 27, 2011, 05:13:56 PM
For the Twilight haters, I have to mention I haven't even finished the first book (and generally agree with the negative commentary), but I *did* really enjoy this fanfic, Luminosity (http://luminous.elcenia.com/).  

Hey, thanks for posting this!  I read all 4 books in the Twilight series and my reactions were:  creepy, BORING, meh, and WORST BOOK OF ALL TIME.  I guess I kept reading because I was convinced that it had to get better, right?  The story itself was kind of interesting, but book 4 just killed any interest I had in the series.  This fanfic actually "fixes" a lot of the problems I have with the series; it was very interesting reading!

Besides Breaking Dawn, the last book I read that I just hated was Carson McCullers' The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter.  I feel bad for saying I couldn't stand it, since it came highly recommended to me by someone whose opinions I respect, and it's won all sorts of awards, but NOTHING HAPPENS.  All of the characters have been dealt a bad hand in life, and nothing changes throughout the course of the novel.  No one really grows as a character, struggles aren't overcome (or even dealt with), and by the time I got to the end, I felt like I hadn't read anything at all because the end was practically the same as the beginning.  I just felt so defeated at the end, which perhaps was the point... but I really wanted those few days back.

Another candidate was Solo Variations by Cassandra Garbus.  I'm a musician and I usually love reading music-related fiction, but this book was just dreck.  The main character is an oboist who questions if she has what it takes to succeed in the highly competitive classical music world, and while I can sympathize with her insecurity, her lack of confidence leads to a series of self-defeating and horrible choices that just made me want to shake her!  I have never felt less sympathy or empathy for any fictional character than I did for Gala at the end of this novel.  She is the literary personification of people that whine that life is so hard, but don't make steps to change it.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: portiafimbriata on April 27, 2011, 05:35:51 PM
Faulkner's "As I Lay Dying."  We had to read it in high school.  It was so bland, so boring, so...not good.  I later saw it on my mom's bookshelf, as it was the Oprah Book Club selection, and I warned her about it.  She later agreed with me after reading it and will not be reading any more Faulkner. 

AGREE.
Reading it was like being slowly disemboweled by a tiny pair of poisoned tweezers while simultaneously being told how dense I must be for not understanding this horrid piece of literature.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Hillia on April 27, 2011, 05:39:49 PM
I couldn't understand why everybody was so down on Philippa Gregory.  Sure, I thought, she might take some liberties with the facts, but it's historical fiction, right?

Yeah.

I'm finishing The Constant Princess, the story of Katherine of Aragon up to the time when Henry decides to divorce her.  She just finished recounting the death of Edward Howard in a sea battle with the French.  Katherine goes on and on about how he was a brash young man, who died in a blaze of glory during a hopeless battle because of his youth and inexperience.  Except every source online tells me that he was 35 when he died, had been a sailor since he was 15 or 16, and had participated and led many battles before this one.  

I mean, I'm all for a little embroidering, of making wildly imaginative guesses at a historical figure's inner thoughts and motivations, but this is kind of nuts.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Suze on April 27, 2011, 06:12:53 PM
no it was not any of the Gor books -- I remember that it had a bulb about "exciting New Writer" on the front of it.

I don't think Gor would have had that on it when I bought it in the mid 90's

I think I didn't like the Princess Bride because of the movie (we know ALL the words -- sad aren't we)
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Everlee on April 27, 2011, 06:15:01 PM
I couldn't understand why everybody was so down on Philippa Gregory.  Sure, I thought, she might take some liberties with the facts, but it's historical fiction, right?

Yeah.



I read The Other Boleyn Girl and really loved it, but I've read a lot of criticism that she's very lax in her research so I don't really want to read any other ones.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Suze on April 27, 2011, 06:22:35 PM
the only way that I can read "Historical Fiction" anymore is to treat it like a Sci Fi novel in an alternate universe

cause some of them bear no resemblance to the history I grew up learning

Mom and I used to call Historical Romances - Hysterical Romances
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Diane AKA Traska on April 27, 2011, 06:23:19 PM
no it was not any of the Gor books -- I remember that it had a bulb about "exciting New Writer" on the front of it.

I don't think Gor would have had that on it when I bought it in the mid 90's

I think I didn't like the Princess Bride because of the movie (we know ALL the words -- sad aren't we)

Nah, the problem with Princess Bride is that it does nothing, then continues doing that very same thing for hundreds of pages.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: joraemi on April 27, 2011, 06:24:05 PM
I didn't think to include children's books!

When my DD was in the 4th grade, she brought home a non-disney book entitled The Little Mermaid.  Same basic story as the Disney version, except that at the end when she couldn't have the prince (because he was betrothed to another), she killed him and then slit her own throat.

Had to make a little phone call to the school the next day.  It was removed from the shelves permanently.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: violinp on April 27, 2011, 06:26:40 PM
I didn't think to include children's books!

When my DD was in the 4th grade, she brought home a non-disney book entitled The Little Mermaid.  Same basic story as the Disney version, except that at the end when she couldn't have the prince (because he was betrothed to another), she killed him and then slit her own throat.

Had to make a little phone call to the school the next day.  It was removed from the shelves permanently.

... :o Oh dear.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: supernova on April 27, 2011, 06:30:25 PM
If I want to read good, accurate historical fiction, I read Sharon Kay Penman. 

You know who else wrote absolutely vomitrocious "historical fiction?"  Jean Plaidy, aka Victoria Holt, aka Philippa Carr.  I was so excited to find a book of hers called "The Goldsmith's Wife" -- it purported to be about the life of one of Edward IV's most interesting mistresses, Jane Shore.  I read it, with the idea in mind that it was historical fiction...

...but the ending made me want to scream and throw things.

History tells us what happened to Jane Shore.  She did not have a "Hays Code" ending -- the book basically ends with her walking the streets like a common gutter trollop, disease-ridden and sure to have a painful, unpleasant death to punish her for her wayward life.  In reality, her ending was quite happy -- a new marriage, and bourgeous gentility into her old age.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Suze on April 27, 2011, 06:31:23 PM
I didn't think to include children's books!

When my DD was in the 4th grade, she brought home a non-disney book entitled The Little Mermaid.  Same basic story as the Disney version, except that at the end when she couldn't have the prince (because he was betrothed to another), she killed him and then slit her own throat.

Had to make a little phone call to the school the next day.  It was removed from the shelves permanently.

... :o Oh dear.

isn't that the "orginal" version by the Brothers Grimm?
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: joraemi on April 27, 2011, 06:34:19 PM
I didn't think to include children's books!

When my DD was in the 4th grade, she brought home a non-disney book entitled The Little Mermaid.  Same basic story as the Disney version, except that at the end when she couldn't have the prince (because he was betrothed to another), she killed him and then slit her own throat.

Had to make a little phone call to the school the next day.  It was removed from the shelves permanently.

... :o Oh dear.

isn't that the "orginal" version by the Brothers Grimm?

I'm not sure - I can't remember who the author was of that particular version...
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: rose red on April 27, 2011, 06:38:34 PM
I didn't think to include children's books!

When my DD was in the 4th grade, she brought home a non-disney book entitled The Little Mermaid.  Same basic story as the Disney version, except that at the end when she couldn't have the prince (because he was betrothed to another), she killed him and then slit her own throat.

Had to make a little phone call to the school the next day.  It was removed from the shelves permanently.

... :o Oh dear.

isn't that the "orginal" version by the Brothers Grimm?

I'm not sure - I can't remember who the author was of that particular version...

The orginal was by Hans Christian Anderson (I think) and it did not end that way.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: PeasNCues on April 27, 2011, 06:39:26 PM
I didn't think to include children's books!

When my DD was in the 4th grade, she brought home a non-disney book entitled The Little Mermaid.  Same basic story as the Disney version, except that at the end when she couldn't have the prince (because he was betrothed to another), she killed him and then slit her own throat.

Had to make a little phone call to the school the next day.  It was removed from the shelves permanently.

In the original, the prince marries someone else and the mermaid commits suicide.

... :o Oh dear.

isn't that the "orginal" version by the Brothers Grimm?

I'm not sure - I can't remember who the author was of that particular version...
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Hillia on April 27, 2011, 06:45:11 PM
In the Hans Christian Andersen version, she throws herself into the sea and drowns when the prince marries another.  She's turned into a spirit of the air, and given the chance to gain a soul and eventually heaven because she tried to do good while on earth.

(also, when she gains human feet/legs, every step feels like she's walking on razor blades).
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: LadyClaire on April 27, 2011, 06:47:32 PM
I didn't think to include children's books!

When my DD was in the 4th grade, she brought home a non-disney book entitled The Little Mermaid.  Same basic story as the Disney version, except that at the end when she couldn't have the prince (because he was betrothed to another), she killed him and then slit her own throat.

Had to make a little phone call to the school the next day.  It was removed from the shelves permanently.

... :o Oh dear.

isn't that the "orginal" version by the Brothers Grimm?

I'm not sure - I can't remember who the author was of that particular version...

The orginal was by Hans Christian Anderson (I think) and it did not end that way.

In the version I read, she threw herself into the sea because she knew that it would kill her to return to the ocean. She turns into this kind of seafoam spirit thing floating on the waves and can hear the angels. The prince lives, having married another woman.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Brentwood on April 27, 2011, 06:50:33 PM
I didn't think to include children's books!

When my DD was in the 4th grade, she brought home a non-disney book entitled The Little Mermaid.  Same basic story as the Disney version, except that at the end when she couldn't have the prince (because he was betrothed to another), she killed him and then slit her own throat.

Had to make a little phone call to the school the next day.  It was removed from the shelves permanently.

... :o Oh dear.

isn't that the "orginal" version by the Brothers Grimm?

I'm not sure - I can't remember who the author was of that particular version...

The orginal was by Hans Christian Anderson (I think) and it did not end that way.

It was definitely Hans Christian Andersen, and it definitely did not end that way. At the end of HCA's original story, the little mermaid tearfully watches her prince marry another, and because she couldn't win his heart she was going to die and turn to seafoam. Her sisters sold their hair to the sea witch to save her; all she had to do was plunge a knife into the prince's heart and let his blood turn her human feet back into a mermaid's tale. Because she loved him so much, she couldn't do it. Just when she thought she was being turned to seafoam, she was lifted to the sky by the daughters of the air.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Kimblee on April 27, 2011, 08:10:12 PM
I didn't think to include children's books!

When my DD was in the 4th grade, she brought home a non-disney book entitled The Little Mermaid.  Same basic story as the Disney version, except that at the end when she couldn't have the prince (because he was betrothed to another), she killed him and then slit her own throat.

Had to make a little phone call to the school the next day.  It was removed from the shelves permanently.

... :o Oh dear.

isn't that the "orginal" version by the Brothers Grimm?

I'm not sure - I can't remember who the author was of that particular version...

The orginal was by Hans Christian Anderson (I think) and it did not end that way.

Its close though.

Originally she so loved the prince and his new bride that she threw herself into the sea and drowned, and became a good spirit who gets punished if a child cries. Which is why children shouldn;t cry. Its a guilt trip, in a pretty fairy tale package! ;)
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: kareng57 on April 27, 2011, 08:14:40 PM
Speaking of dreadful children's books: Love You Forever. So creepy.


I'm with you there.  I liked a lot of Munsch's books but that one - shudder.

It's very individual though.  I knew a lot of parents who loved it.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Winterlight on April 27, 2011, 08:18:08 PM
If I want to read good, accurate historical fiction, I read Sharon Kay Penman. 

You know who else wrote absolutely vomitrocious "historical fiction?"  Jean Plaidy, aka Victoria Holt, aka Philippa Carr.  I was so excited to find a book of hers called "The Goldsmith's Wife" -- it purported to be about the life of one of Edward IV's most interesting mistresses, Jane Shore.  I read it, with the idea in mind that it was historical fiction...

...but the ending made me want to scream and throw things.

History tells us what happened to Jane Shore.  She did not have a "Hays Code" ending -- the book basically ends with her walking the streets like a common gutter trollop, disease-ridden and sure to have a painful, unpleasant death to punish her for her wayward life.  In reality, her ending was quite happy -- a new marriage, and bourgeous gentility into her old age.

I read all the Jean Plaidy's in high school. Amazingly, I still have a functioning brain. At least, I think so.

I find Anne Bishop does well with minor characters, but by the third book in a trilogy it's drowning in Sues. Also, in the Black Jewels series, I HATE JAENELLE. She is the most annoying character possible. She reeks of Suedom- everyone loves her and she's so tormented and the scene in book 1 in the Misty Place (also, way too many capital letters) feels really, really squicky- he's getting sexually involved with a 12yo who's just been raped. No, he doesn't have sex with her, but it's just... *shudders*

Another pet hate- everyone in the series speaks "too softly" when they're angry. Or else they croon. I swear these books have driven me into Frank Sinatra flashbacks.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Shea on April 27, 2011, 08:30:26 PM
Twilight. Utter garbage. :-X I made myself read the first book because I told myself I couldn't just base my hatred of it on the few snippets I'd seen other places. I couldn't make myself read the rest of the series. There's this blog called "Mark Reads Twilight"--his reactions are pretty much what I think about it. :-\ It's not romantic when someone is watching you sleep and you don't know it. Or breaking and entering.

Are you me? I'd read about Twilight and it sounded atrocious, but I figured I couldn't really hate on something I hadn't personally read. So I read the first book and was so horrified by everything from the quality (or lack thereof) of the writing to the glorifying of an abusive relationship that I couldn't make myself read the rest of them. However, I got a huge kick out of "Mark Reads Twilight". I'm a fan of the Mark Does Stuff blogs in general, his reviews are hilarious, especially when he's found something he actually likes.

I couldn't stand The Invisible Man, by Ralph Ellison. I had to read it in college, and I know that it's meant to be a profound statement about racism, but I had no clue what was going on. I wanted to throw the thing out my dorm room window. I also had to read The Fountainhead, and I have never in my life hated a book so much (except maybe Twilight, but that was later). I can't stand Ayn Rand in general, but that book was simply awful.

I started to read The Other Boleyn Girl, but ended up raging at it so I didn't finish.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Red1979 on April 27, 2011, 08:40:33 PM
I didn't think to include children's books!

When my DD was in the 4th grade, she brought home a non-disney book entitled The Little Mermaid.  Same basic story as the Disney version, except that at the end when she couldn't have the prince (because he was betrothed to another), she killed him and then slit her own throat.

Had to make a little phone call to the school the next day.  It was removed from the shelves permanently.

... :o Oh dear.

isn't that the "orginal" version by the Brothers Grimm?

The original author isl Hans Christian Andersen--thus the statue of the Little Mermaid that is in dedication to him.  I"ve never heard the version where she kills the prince.  The original ends kind of unhappily and with a weird moral twist but not with the mermaid as a murderer.

Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Shea on April 27, 2011, 09:07:10 PM
Oh, speaking of children's book... I hated "Are you my Mother?"  Apparently it was supposed to be this adorable tale of a lost little bird asking all sort of funny things and critters if they were his mother, but 3-year old me could only see lost little bird who can't find his mommy?!   :'(   Traumatized.

I ran across this picture somewhere in the internets, and it manages to make that book both funnier and way, way creepier.
(http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd161/DanaanMI/pic.png)
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: AlephReish on April 27, 2011, 09:10:40 PM
I have never been so grateful to not have anything in my mouth. My laptop is also grateful. That is amazing.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Harriet Jones on April 27, 2011, 09:12:40 PM
Definitely creepier!
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Jaelle on April 27, 2011, 09:21:17 PM
Every book Todd McCaffrey attempted to write with or after his mother finished her Dragons of Pern Series. I hate his writing style, detested the characters and was disgusted with how he took key elements of the original series and got rid of them. The Skies of Pern was a perfect ending to the series. And any continuation or delving into past Pernese histories just doesn't work. And I really hated how his characters survived plagues, I was rooting for them all to be offed so the books would end.

POD!!!

And I wanted so badly to like them. :(
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: saddened on April 27, 2011, 09:24:31 PM
Oh Shea - that is so funny!! I love it!

There are a lot of books I don't like, but not sure I could come up with a title for worst book ever.

I never did finish Wuthering Heights. Had to read it for school, read the first third or so, then the last chapter and worked out the rest from class discussion. Loved Pride and Prejudice, and I think I also enjoyed Silus Marner at school (I couldn't tell you anything about it now though, I just recall thinking it was ok).

I hate Wizard's First Rule by Terry Goodkind. Everyone raved about it to me, but I could not get past the bit where the evil dude buried a child up to his neck in the ground. Stopped there and have no desire to read more.

I've just finished reading Wicked - didn't hate it but found it hard to sympathise with the characters. I think there's also a lot of stuff I just didn't 'get', judging by the suggested book club discussion points in the back of the book. I'm seeing the musical next week, so I'm curious to see how connected they are.  I'm also just starting the latest Clan of the Cave Bear book now  :D I think of this series as mind fluff so I don't have a problem with the past books.

I'm in two minds about Lauren Oliver's Delerium. The premise is interesting - what if love were a disease and a cure had been found. Most of the story was ok, but I hated the ending. It's almost like a different author took over and wrote it in 10 mins flat!
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: kethria on April 27, 2011, 09:43:58 PM


I actually really like these threads.  It's interesting to see what other people like and don't like.

I think I'm the lone person to love Wuthering Heights :) 

Nope. Love it! :) Much to DH's chagrin.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: kethria on April 27, 2011, 09:46:14 PM
If we go way back... A Separate Peace... I hated that more than Gatsby and Johnny Tremain

Did you grow up in MA? I know very few people outside of Massachusetts who had to read this book in high school, including my husband who is from CT.

I also hated that book.

Maryland... oh the pain... I think in my final essay I wrote that I would have thrown all of them out of the stupid tree because they were so whiny! Fortunately my teacher had a good sense of humor.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Harriet Jones on April 27, 2011, 09:49:12 PM
I read A Separate Peace in HS in Georgia.  I don't remember it being that bad, probably because it wasn't Billy Budd.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: #borecore on April 27, 2011, 10:06:03 PM
I read A Separate Peace in HS in Georgia.  I don't remember it being that bad, probably because it wasn't Billy Budd.

I remember reading it in high school  in Texas and being glad it wasn't "The Scarlet Letter" or "Shane," two of my least favorite school books.

I later dated a guy who went to a prep school it was more or less based on. That was weird.

My brother's favorite book is "Microserfs." I didn't have the heart to tell him just how much I hated that book.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: workingmum on April 27, 2011, 10:06:13 PM
My mother always called "Heart of Darkness" the worst book she ever tried to read.  She took a low grade rather than finish it.  I grew up knowing that story, so when it was my turn to read HoD in AP English, I decided I wasn't going to read it either.  And I managed to write a paper and get an B just from what I gathered about the book from group discussion.  I'm pretty proud of that.

Me too! I had to read this in 9th Grade and it's seriously the only book I gave up on (as a kid anyway - I tried to read Men are From Mars as an adult and threw it across the room). I Cant remember a single thing about HoD except that I hated it and something to do with a river. Most other books I read in high school, I can still quote verbatim. Maybe I spelt through those classes? Or just blocked them from memory?

Add me to the loving Wuthering Heights brigade... I dont actually like the characters - they are all self obsessed and whiny, but the book overall, I thought was very good.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: LadyPekoe on April 27, 2011, 10:46:17 PM
Laurell K Hamiliton is a terrible writer.  Even if you like her books, she is a bad writer.  My favorite line in any of her books?  "It was dark like things that are dark".  Come on.  REALLY?  She is constantly misusing words, too.  She doesn't know how to spell deity, which is misspelled every single book.  She brags about not re-reading any of her books after she writes them which means her characters grow, shrink, change eye color, etc.

Early Anita would kill current Anita who abuses all her powers (powers that flow to her like a downhill stream--I've never seen a character gain so many powers with no checks). 

Sadly, I used to be a fan.  I'm not one now.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: TeamBhakta on April 27, 2011, 11:06:16 PM
Brenda Joyce's Scandalous Weddings. I hated the first story in the book, In The Light of Day. That was the most Mary Sue, hokey piece I've ever read.  ::) Which is why I decided not to read the rest of the stories.

Also on my list:
-Dante's Inferno
- Breakfast at Tiffany's
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Shopaholic on April 28, 2011, 12:20:46 AM
Laurell K Hamiliton is a terrible writer.  Even if you like her books, she is a bad writer.  My favorite line in any of her books?  "It was dark like things that are dark".  Come on.  REALLY?  She is constantly misusing words, too.  She doesn't know how to spell deity, which is misspelled every single book.  She brags about not re-reading any of her books after she writes them which means her characters grow, shrink, change eye color, etc.


I'd say she has a pretty bad editor, too.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Brentwood on April 28, 2011, 12:25:39 AM
Laurell K Hamiliton is a terrible writer.  Even if you like her books, she is a bad writer.  My favorite line in any of her books?  "It was dark like things that are dark".  Come on.  REALLY?  She is constantly misusing words, too.  She doesn't know how to spell deity, which is misspelled every single book.  She brags about not re-reading any of her books after she writes them which means her characters grow, shrink, change eye color, etc.


I'd say she has a pretty bad editor, too.

I've thought that a lot when reading what have turned out to be lousy books. Not only is the author a bad writer, but the editing leaves a whole lot to be desired! Yes, Danielle Steele, that was aimed in part at you.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: LadyPekoe on April 28, 2011, 12:28:04 AM
Laurell K Hamiliton is a terrible writer.  Even if you like her books, she is a bad writer.  My favorite line in any of her books?  "It was dark like things that are dark".  Come on.  REALLY?  She is constantly misusing words, too.  She doesn't know how to spell deity, which is misspelled every single book.  She brags about not re-reading any of her books after she writes them which means her characters grow, shrink, change eye color, etc.



I'd say she has a pretty bad editor, too.

I've thought that a lot when reading what have turned out to be lousy books. Not only is the author a bad writer, but the editing leaves a whole lot to be desired! Yes, Danielle Steele, that was aimed in part at you.


I think the more popular an author is, the more editing control they get over their own books.  That's why editing quality goes down as star power goes up ("I'm the WRITER!  I KNOW BEST!  PEOPLE LOVE ME!!111!").
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Akarui Kibuno on April 28, 2011, 12:42:31 AM
I guess my problem with "bad" books is that most of the time, I can totally differentiate between the writing style, the concepts, and many things.

Examples :P ....

Eragon : written so badly I wondered who was the kid who did this. At the same time, I thought "Hey, dragons, that's cool" , while lamenting that it sounded like a badly done Star Wars crossover thingie.

Twilight : the writing. Ugh. And then the "love" story. Double ugh. Yet the concepts were interesting enough that I read all books. I also saw the first movie and let's be honest here, not knowing why, I giggled like a mad person when I first saw it. I didn't go into it wanting to mock it (because I'm not like that) but I couldn't help it.

Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Master_Edward on April 28, 2011, 12:53:11 AM
When I was in the 7th or 8th grade I read Heart Of Darkness, it wasn't "assigned" reading or anything I read it on my own. I'd read about it somewhere and that it was supposed to be a great book. Whatever the point of the story was I'm pretty sure I missed it. I didn't hate it but I really didn't care for it either. I thought it was pretty boring actually.

Ed. ETA: I was about 13 so I'm sure the whole story was over my head. Not a kid's book. I'd probably "get" it more now as an adult if I read it again. But I still think it's boring, LOL.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Eisa on April 28, 2011, 01:05:22 AM
I read Heart of Darkness in a World Literature class in college. I didn't finish it because I ended up dropping the class. Why? One of our assignments was "find 3 metaphors in Heart of Darkness." :o Seriously? This is a college class! :P
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: LadyR on April 28, 2011, 01:22:26 AM
I can not get into A Wheel of Time, tried once years ago and it held no appeal.
Narcissis in Chains is one of the worst books I've ever read and the beginning of the horrible, horrible downward spiral of Anita Blake (which is one of the things that makes me hate it so much).
I love Anne of Green Gables and the books that follow so much, but hate Rainbow Valley, I usually skip it when I re-read the series as I find it pointless and I don't like it.
I've tried reading Danielle Steele, but her books are all pretty similar, kinda creepy and sad. I don't get the huge appeal.
I hate Philippa Gregory, but then I'm a history snob.
I didn't mind Twilight, but after the first one the books get progressively worse and Breaking Dawn is one of the worst things I've ever read.
Sweet Valley Confidential, I read it recently out of some sort of twisted curiosity. I wasn't expecting a masterpiece, but it might honestly be the worst thing I've ever read. For real.
Anything by Charles Dickens, just can't get into it and I've tried many times.
I don't like Jodi Picoult. I find her books depressing and most of the characters unlikeable.
It took me almost ten years to finish The Lord of the Rings and the only reason I finally did was that I was inspired by the movies (which I love). I find Tolkien's writing style tedious and boring and the book just too long and dry, though the story itself is great.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Xallanthia on April 28, 2011, 02:23:52 AM
I guess my problem with "bad" books is that most of the time, I can totally differentiate between the writing style, the concepts, and many things.

Examples :P ....

Eragon : written so badly I wondered who was the kid who did this. At the same time, I thought "Hey, dragons, that's cool" , while lamenting that it sounded like a badly done Star Wars crossover thingie.

Not to mention his "carefully researched language" reads not like Tolkein, but like his keyboard sneezed.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: zyrs on April 28, 2011, 02:48:42 AM
A long time ago, there was a bag sale at our library:  Three dollars for a sack, you fill it up with all the books it will hold and it's yours!  I love getting new stuff to read.

And I picked 'Willard and his Bowling Trophies' for the title.  It was horrible.  If I had known what it was really about, I wouldn't have bothered.

I also picked "Chimera" by John Barth.  The only things I remember about this book is having to reread sentences and pages trying to figure out what they meant and that an underlying theme was possibly that Perseus was really in love with Medusa, while Bellerophon might have been lying about the Chimera.  Or something.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: shadowfox79 on April 28, 2011, 04:06:09 AM
Not sure if this has been mentioned yet - I think I've gone screen blind over the past 20-odd pages  ;D - but I just remembered "Wolf Hall".

Oh, how I tried to like that book. I kept telling myself that if it won the Booker Prize it had to be good. But after reading 300 pages without actually finding a plot other than "this happened, and then this happened, and then this", and constantly having to go back to check who said what, I knew it was hopeless. The author's insistence on referring to Cromwell only as "he", thereby ensuring that scenes with several men become incomprehensible ("The cardinal sits at his desk. He says..." and then half a page down you realise that it was actually Cromwell who spoke) drove me absolutely mad.

I refuse point blank to read the sequel on its release. I don't care how many awards it wins.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Coruscation on April 28, 2011, 05:43:17 AM
Laurell K Hamiliton is a terrible writer.  Even if you like her books, she is a bad writer.  My favorite line in any of her books?  "It was dark like things that are dark".  Come on.  REALLY?  She is constantly misusing words, too.  She doesn't know how to spell deity, which is misspelled every single book.  She brags about not re-reading any of her books after she writes them which means her characters grow, shrink, change eye color, etc.


I'd say she has a pretty bad editor, too.

She has a no edit clause, all they can do is correct spelling. Well, they could if she didn't turn in her manuscripts reaaallly late every single time.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Coruscation on April 28, 2011, 06:02:49 AM
Laurell K Hamiliton is a terrible writer.  Even if you like her books, she is a bad writer.  My favorite line in any of her books?  "It was dark like things that are dark".  Come on.  REALLY?  She is constantly misusing words, too.  She doesn't know how to spell deity, which is misspelled every single book.  She brags about not re-reading any of her books after she writes them which means her characters grow, shrink, change eye color, etc.

Early Anita would kill current Anita who abuses all her powers (powers that flow to her like a downhill stream--I've never seen a character gain so many powers with no checks). 

Sadly, I used to be a fan.  I'm not one now.

I often joke that i would read a book by her exhusband as the books got so much worse after she divorced him. Really, that's shorthand for what I think happened. I read that the original manuscript she submitted was returned 17 times for revision. Now she has a no edit clause. Her BIL was a police officer and used to help her with the gun portions of the novels. Many of the periphery characters were based on real people, as they drift out of her life, she writes them out of her books. I never liked the romance section of the books, I thought it was the weakest part. Now I think it was the only part that was fully written by her. The books now consist of what she alone wites with no help from her ex, his brother, her original writing circle. The action, poitics, characterisation and wit are all gone leaving sex, flat characterisation and Mary Sueism.

The dedication in the front of Bloody Bones reads "to my husband Gary who always tells me the truth whether I want to hear it or not." The one for Cerulean Sins says "To J. who says yes more often than he says no."
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: PeasNCues on April 28, 2011, 06:30:59 AM
Eragon : written so badly I wondered who was the kid who did this. At the same time, I thought "Hey, dragons, that's cool" , while lamenting that it sounded like a badly done Star Wars crossover thingie.
Eragon bugged me because the media and everyone I know were like, "It doesn't read like it was written by a 16 year old! It's seriously brilliant!"

And I read it and was like, "Actually, the plot and writing are very indicative of a 16 year old. In fact, it does read like a 16 year old or younger... what is everyone talking about??"

So, for me, that book was set up for failure for me since I had higher expectation for it than what it actually was.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Mad Goat Woman on April 28, 2011, 06:49:42 AM
Add me to the pile of people who didn't enjoy Wuthering Heights. I vastly preferred Charlotte Bronte's work-- and my favourite Bronte Sisters' work is Jane Eyre. I was also one who thoroughly enjoyed The Historian-- it made me go back and reread Dracula (which I also love). I hated In Cold Blood-- which I read for year 11 English, as well as a Claudia Valentine mystery (Australian author).
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: kethria on April 28, 2011, 07:19:52 AM
I remember when Eragon came out I tried to read it and just couldn't. Then the movie came out and my roommate and I were watching it when about 35 minutes in we looked at each other and said "Holy Schnikes! This is Star Wars!!!" Original my patoot!
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: PeasNCues on April 28, 2011, 07:21:04 AM
I remember when Eragon came out I tried to read it and just couldn't. Then the movie came out and my roommate and I were watching it when about 35 minutes in we looked at each other and said "Holy Schnikes! This is Star Wars!!!" Original my patoot!
To be fair, the movie was very different from the book. There was a boy and there was a dragon and that's about all they had in common.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: LadyClaire on April 28, 2011, 08:04:58 AM
"Her Fearful Symmetry" by Audrey Niffenegger. I loved the Time Traveler's Wife. This one...not so much.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: LadyR on April 28, 2011, 08:09:19 AM
Laurell K Hamiliton is a terrible writer.  Even if you like her books, she is a bad writer.  My favorite line in any of her books?  "It was dark like things that are dark".  Come on.  REALLY?  She is constantly misusing words, too.  She doesn't know how to spell deity, which is misspelled every single book.  She brags about not re-reading any of her books after she writes them which means her characters grow, shrink, change eye color, etc.

Early Anita would kill current Anita who abuses all her powers (powers that flow to her like a downhill stream--I've never seen a character gain so many powers with no checks). 

Sadly, I used to be a fan.  I'm not one now.

I often joke that i would read a book by her exhusband as the books got so much worse after she divorced him. Really, that's shorthand for what I think happened. I read that the original manuscript she submitted was returned 17 times for revision. Now she has a no edit clause. Her BIL was a police officer and used to help her with the gun portions of the novels. Many of the periphery characters were based on real people, as they drift out of her life, she writes them out of her books. I never liked the romance section of the books, I thought it was the weakest part. Now I think it was the only part that was fully written by her. The books now consist of what she alone wites with no help from her ex, his brother, her original writing circle. The action, poitics, characterisation and wit are all gone leaving sex, flat characterisation and Mary Sueism.

The dedication in the front of Bloody Bones reads "to my husband Gary who always tells me the truth whether I want to hear it or not." The one for Cerulean Sins says "To J. who says yes more often than he says no."

That's exactly it. She has now surrounded herself with yes people and set herself up so her word is law, which means that the books aren't very good. Even published authors need editors and beta readers.

The character she based on her ex-husband got the biggest character assassination ever after her divorce. If you read her blog (which is frightening), she even admits it. She ruined the character and his relationship with Anita, because he was her ex-hubsnad to her and she replaced him in Anita's affections with a character based on her new husband.

She really needs someone to guide her and there is no one because she won't allow it.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on April 28, 2011, 08:52:43 AM
About Eragon, I have to agree.  A friend insisted I MUST read it cause I would LOVE it and well I do like fantasy and dragons are pretty cool.   

I could not get through it.  It was sooooooooo boring! He kept saying "How can you say that? Keep going, it gets better!"  ::) I pushed on and nope, never got better. 
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Winterlight on April 28, 2011, 09:02:47 AM
Laurell K Hamiliton is a terrible writer.  Even if you like her books, she is a bad writer.  My favorite line in any of her books?  "It was dark like things that are dark".  Come on.  REALLY?  She is constantly misusing words, too.  She doesn't know how to spell deity, which is misspelled every single book.  She brags about not re-reading any of her books after she writes them which means her characters grow, shrink, change eye color, etc.


I'd say she has a pretty bad editor, too.

She has a no edit clause, all they can do is correct spelling. Well, they could if she didn't turn in her manuscripts reaaallly late every single time.

I think that the moment an author can have a no edit clause is the moment I’m going to stop buying their books.  See also Anne Rice and her Amazon rant.

I’ve read some of Hamilton’s short fiction and I liked it- in fact, she wrote one of the Sword and Sorceress stories I really enjoyed. But at the time, she had an editor. I haven’t tried Anita Blake, but Merry “Boinking Her Way To The Throne With Skittles” Gentry stopped being interesting after book one. I wanted court intrigue, not bad fanfic.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: 2littlemonkeys on April 28, 2011, 09:50:18 AM
Regarding the fairy tales, my mom had this HUGE book of the old school fairy tales and I want to say it was all HCA (It had The Little Match Girl, Snow White and Rose Red, The Red Shoes, etc.).  I remember the story of the Little Mermaid ending with her having to kill the prince but she couldn't do it and was lifted to the sky by spirits.

That book was horrifying, very rarely did a story end well.  And also one of my favorites.   ;D

Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Elfmama on April 28, 2011, 09:54:43 AM
She brags about not re-reading any of her books after she writes them which means her characters grow, shrink, change eye color, etc.
Geeze!  Even if you don't want to reread your past books to remind you of how a character looks, you can keep a basic notebook to do so.  It's not that hard to type:

Jane Smith.  Brown hair, hazel eyes, 5'8", 134 lbs.
Mary Sue Jones.  Red hair, green eyes, 5'5", 234 lbs.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Seraphia on April 28, 2011, 10:18:07 AM
I'm sorry -a no edit clause sounds like one of the worst ideas I've ever heard. I get that she's probably conceiving herself as an author extraordinaire etc. But how can she not recognize that as the blatant egotism that it is? "I'm so good, everything I write is flawless and any change you might want to make will inevitably make it worse."

As far as worst book, Eragon. I read it in an evening, and it gave my the sensation of having consumed a very large bag of cotton balls. No substance, no depth, and a sick lingering sensation of "Why did I just do that? There was no reason to do that." My Ex *loved* it, which explains how I got dragged to the even worse movie, where the only interesting bit of plot was shattered when the dragon "grew up" by being struck by lightning.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Everlee on April 28, 2011, 11:25:19 AM
I think I read somewhere that Anne Rice has a no edit clause, too. 

I bet King also has one.  Deity knows his books could use some editing!
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: katycoo on April 28, 2011, 11:49:03 AM
How is throwing yourself into the ocean to turn into seaform not suicide?  Even if that wasn't HCA's intention, I suspect the vast majority of people would read it that way...
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: 2littlemonkeys on April 28, 2011, 11:52:25 AM
How is throwing yourself into the ocean to turn into seaform not suicide?  Even if that wasn't HCA's intention, I suspect the vast majority of people would read it that way...

But wasn't she's supposed to turn into seafoam anyway?  I read it as, "Well, I couldn't kill my True Love, so I guess I'll just accept my fate."  There wasn't any other outcome.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: PeasNCues on April 28, 2011, 11:56:39 AM
From the HCA's LM, quote:

Quote
“Yes,” replied the old lady, “they must also die, and their term of life is even shorter than ours. We sometimes live to three hundred years, but when we cease to exist here we only become the foam on the surface of the water, and we have not even a grave down here of those we love. We have not immortal souls, we shall never live again; but, like the green sea-weed, when once it has been cut off, we can never flourish more. Human beings, on the contrary, have a soul which lives forever, lives after the body has been turned to dust.

Illustrates that yes, turning into foam is the end of their existence and is directly tied to death.

Quote
She cast one more lingering, half-fainting glance at the prince, and then threw herself from the ship into the sea, and thought her body was dissolving into foam. The sun rose above the waves, and his warm rays fell on the cold foam of the little mermaid, who did not feel as if she were dying.

IMO, it's pretty clear that she threw herself into the sea she expected to die.

Even if she is going to turn into sea foam eventually, she certainly helped herself along. :)
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: rose red on April 28, 2011, 11:57:06 AM
I also see it as she figures she's going to turn into sea foam anyway so she's going to jump into the water which is where sea foam belongs.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: LadyPekoe on April 28, 2011, 12:03:41 PM
Laurell K Hamiliton is a terrible writer.  Even if you like her books, she is a bad writer.  My favorite line in any of her books?  "It was dark like things that are dark".  Come on.  REALLY?  She is constantly misusing words, too.  She doesn't know how to spell deity, which is misspelled every single book.  She brags about not re-reading any of her books after she writes them which means her characters grow, shrink, change eye color, etc.

Early Anita would kill current Anita who abuses all her powers (powers that flow to her like a downhill stream--I've never seen a character gain so many powers with no checks). 

Sadly, I used to be a fan.  I'm not one now.

I often joke that i would read a book by her exhusband as the books got so much worse after she divorced him. Really, that's shorthand for what I think happened. I read that the original manuscript she submitted was returned 17 times for revision. Now she has a no edit clause. Her BIL was a police officer and used to help her with the gun portions of the novels. Many of the periphery characters were based on real people, as they drift out of her life, she writes them out of her books. I never liked the romance section of the books, I thought it was the weakest part. Now I think it was the only part that was fully written by her. The books now consist of what she alone wites with no help from her ex, his brother, her original writing circle. The action, poitics, characterisation and wit are all gone leaving sex, flat characterisation and Mary Sueism.

The dedication in the front of Bloody Bones reads "to my husband Gary who always tells me the truth whether I want to hear it or not." The one for Cerulean Sins says "To J. who says yes more often than he says no."

I know.  And the character assignation of poor Richard/Gary has been sad while creepy-as-all-get-out Micah/Nathanial/J. have been placed on a pedestal.  I do love her PA dedications though.  Almost every single one is a dig against the ex.  And, yes, I used to spend a lot of time on the Amazon's best forums--the ones for her books. 
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Xallanthia on April 28, 2011, 12:05:28 PM
From the HCA's LM, quote:

Quote
“Yes,” replied the old lady, “they must also die, and their term of life is even shorter than ours. We sometimes live to three hundred years, but when we cease to exist here we only become the foam on the surface of the water, and we have not even a grave down here of those we love. We have not immortal souls, we shall never live again; but, like the green sea-weed, when once it has been cut off, we can never flourish more. Human beings, on the contrary, have a soul which lives forever, lives after the body has been turned to dust.

Illustrates that yes, turning into foam is the end of their existence and is directly tied to death.

Quote
She cast one more lingering, half-fainting glance at the prince, and then threw herself from the ship into the sea, and thought her body was dissolving into foam. The sun rose above the waves, and his warm rays fell on the cold foam of the little mermaid, who did not feel as if she were dying.

IMO, it's pretty clear that she threw herself into the sea she expected to die.

The missing piece of the puzzle, here, I think, is that she goes into the newlyweds' room (and they are married on a boat) after they are asleep, which is already very late, and has already spent some time steeling her nerves to kill him, and then she enters the room and still can't, and waits, and there's *time*, so that at the very last minute she decides she can't do it and throws herself out the window *as the sun is rising*, which is when the Witch said she would become seafoam anyway.  If she had flung herself into the sea in the middle of the night it would have been suicide, yes, even with the expected death to come at sunrise (unless she managed to survive in the water till sunrise, but that's nitpicky).
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Karmelita on April 28, 2011, 12:24:37 PM
I didn't think to include children's books!

When my DD was in the 4th grade, she brought home a non-disney book entitled The Little Mermaid.  Same basic story as the Disney version, except that at the end when she couldn't have the prince (because he was betrothed to another), she killed him and then slit her own throat.

Had to make a little phone call to the school the next day.  It was removed from the shelves permanently.

... :o Oh dear.

isn't that the "orginal" version by the Brothers Grimm?

I'm not sure - I can't remember who the author was of that particular version...

The orginal was by Hans Christian Anderson (I think) and it did not end that way.

It was definitely Hans Christian Andersen, and it definitely did not end that way. At the end of HCA's original story, the little mermaid tearfully watches her prince marry another, and because she couldn't win his heart she was going to die and turn to seafoam. Her sisters sold their hair to the sea witch to save her; all she had to do was plunge a knife into the prince's heart and let his blood turn her human feet back into a mermaid's tale. Because she loved him so much, she couldn't do it. Just when she thought she was being turned to seafoam, she was lifted to the sky by the daughters of the air.

Haven't read any further than this one (yet!), but boy does that bring back memories...they made this into a cartoon, which my parents let us watch when we were very, very young.  I remember being terribly sad at the end of it!  I cried when she threw herself into the ocean.

Years later, when the Disney version came out, I almost didn't watch it because I was afraid it would be terribly depressing...
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Miss Bee on April 28, 2011, 12:47:35 PM
The only book worse than Twilight is the fourth one in the series, BREAKING DAWN.  Worst book ever written, imo, and I am not exaggerating in the least.  I was actually really into the series - then I read the finale.  She should've wrapped it up with Eclipse, that's all I'll say.  (And the first three aren't great writing at all, but it is an engaging story up through the third book).  
...

I'll POD that.  The first three weren't great writing, but the story was entertaining, "Brain Candy," if you will.  But the fourth was. just. awful.  I felt like the author wanted this big happy ending without too much conflict, so she just threw together a totally unrealistic plot line.  Gah.

And put me down for another Faulkner book, "Light In August."  So very dry.  I couldn't get into it, even with Cliff's Notes, and had to stop a few chapters in.  I took an F on that test in English that year.   
Now, see, Light in August is one of my favorite "classics".  Though, yeah, it can get heavy-handed.  Love that book, though. 
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Brentwood on April 28, 2011, 01:08:58 PM
Laurell K Hamiliton is a terrible writer.  Even if you like her books, she is a bad writer.  My favorite line in any of her books?  "It was dark like things that are dark".  Come on.  REALLY?  She is constantly misusing words, too.  She doesn't know how to spell deity, which is misspelled every single book.  She brags about not re-reading any of her books after she writes them which means her characters grow, shrink, change eye color, etc.


I'd say she has a pretty bad editor, too.

She has a no edit clause, all they can do is correct spelling. Well, they could if she didn't turn in her manuscripts reaaallly late every single time.

I think that the moment an author can have a no edit clause is the moment I’m going to stop buying their books.  See also Anne Rice and her Amazon rant.

I’ve read some of Hamilton’s short fiction and I liked it- in fact, she wrote one of the Sword and Sorceress stories I really enjoyed. But at the time, she had an editor. I haven’t tried Anita Blake, but Merry “Boinking Her Way To The Throne With Skittles” Gentry stopped being interesting after book one. I wanted court intrigue, not bad fanfic.


Any author needs an editor, period. Even the very best writers need editors. An author arrogant enough to believe she needs no editing is certainly going to be someone whose work I'm not interested in reading.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Lisbeth on April 28, 2011, 01:10:44 PM
If I want to read good, accurate historical fiction, I read Sharon Kay Penman. 

You know who else wrote absolutely vomitrocious "historical fiction?"  Jean Plaidy, aka Victoria Holt, aka Philippa Carr.  I was so excited to find a book of hers called "The Goldsmith's Wife" -- it purported to be about the life of one of Edward IV's most interesting mistresses, Jane Shore.  I read it, with the idea in mind that it was historical fiction...

...but the ending made me want to scream and throw things.

History tells us what happened to Jane Shore.  She did not have a "Hays Code" ending -- the book basically ends with her walking the streets like a common gutter trollop, disease-ridden and sure to have a painful, unpleasant death to punish her for her wayward life.  In reality, her ending was quite happy -- a new marriage, and bourgeous gentility into her old age.

Did you ever read any of Jean Plaidy's other books, or are you basing your knowledge of her writing only on that one book?
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: supernova on April 28, 2011, 01:16:23 PM
If I want to read good, accurate historical fiction, I read Sharon Kay Penman. 

You know who else wrote absolutely vomitrocious "historical fiction?"  Jean Plaidy, aka Victoria Holt, aka Philippa Carr.  I was so excited to find a book of hers called "The Goldsmith's Wife" -- it purported to be about the life of one of Edward IV's most interesting mistresses, Jane Shore.  I read it, with the idea in mind that it was historical fiction...

...but the ending made me want to scream and throw things.

History tells us what happened to Jane Shore.  She did not have a "Hays Code" ending -- the book basically ends with her walking the streets like a common gutter trollop, disease-ridden and sure to have a painful, unpleasant death to punish her for her wayward life.  In reality, her ending was quite happy -- a new marriage, and bourgeous gentility into her old age.

Did you ever read any of Jean Plaidy's other books, or are you basing your knowledge of her writing only on that one book?

Several of them, actually -- my mother loved Gothics, so she had a shelf full of Victoria Holt/Philippa Carr/etc. novels.  I understand that the woman who wrote them all had eight or more noms de plume going.  Which was annoying, because I kept reading them, and thinking, "Nope, don't like this author... let's try that one!" and not understanding why I liked some Gothics but hated these few incredibly prolific and popular authors.  It wasn't until the Internet that I realized she/they were all the same author.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Miss Misery on April 28, 2011, 01:25:39 PM
Laurell K Hamiliton is a terrible writer.  Even if you like her books, she is a bad writer.  My favorite line in any of her books?  "It was dark like things that are dark".  Come on.  REALLY?  She is constantly misusing words, too.  She doesn't know how to spell deity, which is misspelled every single book.  She brags about not re-reading any of her books after she writes them which means her characters grow, shrink, change eye color, etc.

I read some of the early Anita Blake books. They weren't exactly Pulitzer Prize material, but they were at least entertaining.

Then Laurell K. Hamilton got all full of herself, penned her infamous "Dear Negative Reader (http://blog.laurellkhamilton.org/index.php/site/dear_negative_reader/)" rant, and the quality of her books--not all the high to begin with--took a major nosedive. She's nothing more than a shameless hack now and appears to be proud of it.

Sadly, I used to be a fan.  I'm not one now.
Neither am I. Never again will I waste my time or money on her books.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: LadyPekoe on April 28, 2011, 01:37:41 PM
Laurell K Hamiliton is a terrible writer.  Even if you like her books, she is a bad writer.  My favorite line in any of her books?  "It was dark like things that are dark".  Come on.  REALLY?  She is constantly misusing words, too.  She doesn't know how to spell deity, which is misspelled every single book.  She brags about not re-reading any of her books after she writes them which means her characters grow, shrink, change eye color, etc.

I read some of the early Anita Blake books. They weren't exactly Pulitzer Prize material, but they were at least entertaining.

Then Laurell K. Hamilton got all full of herself, penned her infamous "Dear Negative Reader (http://blog.laurellkhamilton.org/index.php/site/dear_negative_reader/)" rant, and the quality of her books--not all the high to begin with--took a major nosedive. She's nothing more than a shameless hack now and appears to be proud of it.

Sadly, I used to be a fan.  I'm not one now.
Neither am I. Never again will I waste my time or money on her books.

I even purged my collection of all of her books.  That's a big deal for someone as obsessive as me! 

If you want to know the LKH book that started me down the "WHAATT?" path, it was "Incubus Dreams", which has parts that are pretty darn close to best*iality. 
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: hobish on April 28, 2011, 01:49:38 PM
Trimmed the quote tree.

Haven't read any further than this one (yet!), but boy does that bring back memories...they made this into a cartoon, which my parents let us watch when we were very, very young.  I remember being terribly sad at the end of it!  I cried when she threw herself into the ocean.

Years later, when the Disney version came out, I almost didn't watch it because I was afraid it would be terribly depressing...

As far as i am concerned the Disney version is terribly depressing. I know they "Disneyfied" all sorts of fairy tales; but what they did to The Little Mermaid was just awful.

I just wish the music wasn't so darn catchy! 
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Jaelle on April 28, 2011, 01:54:19 PM
Laurell K Hamiliton is a terrible writer.  Even if you like her books, she is a bad writer.  My favorite line in any of her books?  "It was dark like things that are dark".  Come on.  REALLY?  She is constantly misusing words, too.  She doesn't know how to spell deity, which is misspelled every single book.  She brags about not re-reading any of her books after she writes them which means her characters grow, shrink, change eye color, etc.

I read some of the early Anita Blake books. They weren't exactly Pulitzer Prize material, but they were at least entertaining.

Then Laurell K. Hamilton got all full of herself, penned her infamous "Dear Negative Reader (http://blog.laurellkhamilton.org/index.php/site/dear_negative_reader/)" rant, and the quality of her books--not all the high to begin with--took a major nosedive. She's nothing more than a shameless hack now and appears to be proud of it.

Sadly, I used to be a fan.  I'm not one now.
Neither am I. Never again will I waste my time or money on her books.

I even purged my collection of all of her books.  That's a big deal for someone as obsessive as me! 

If you want to know the LKH book that started me down the "WHAATT?" path, it was "Incubus Dreams", which has parts that are pretty darn close to best*iality. 

I'm glad to know I'm not alone. It's too bad, because I really did enjoy her books once upon a time.

I'd never seen that rant before. Good to know. Now I won't be tempted to give her another chance.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Brentwood on April 28, 2011, 01:57:40 PM
Trimmed the quote tree.

Haven't read any further than this one (yet!), but boy does that bring back memories...they made this into a cartoon, which my parents let us watch when we were very, very young.  I remember being terribly sad at the end of it!  I cried when she threw herself into the ocean.

Years later, when the Disney version came out, I almost didn't watch it because I was afraid it would be terribly depressing...

As far as i am concerned the Disney version is terribly depressing. I know they "Disneyfied" all sorts of fairy tales; but what they did to The Little Mermaid was just awful.

I just wish the music wasn't so darn catchy! 

If you thought what they did to The Little Mermaid was bad...have you ever seen The Little Mermaid II?
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: hobish on April 28, 2011, 04:37:27 PM
Trimmed the quote tree.

Haven't read any further than this one (yet!), but boy does that bring back memories...they made this into a cartoon, which my parents let us watch when we were very, very young.  I remember being terribly sad at the end of it!  I cried when she threw herself into the ocean.

Years later, when the Disney version came out, I almost didn't watch it because I was afraid it would be terribly depressing...

As far as i am concerned the Disney version is terribly depressing. I know they "Disneyfied" all sorts of fairy tales; but what they did to The Little Mermaid was just awful.

I just wish the music wasn't so darn catchy! 

If you thought what they did to The Little Mermaid was bad...have you ever seen The Little Mermaid II?

 :-\ I didn't even know there was a Little Mermaid II. Now i have a perverse urge to find and watch it.

Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: lilfox on April 28, 2011, 05:09:48 PM
Regarding the fairy tales, my mom had this HUGE book of the old school fairy tales and I want to say it was all HCA (It had The Little Match Girl, Snow White and Rose Red, The Red Shoes, etc.).  I remember the story of the Little Mermaid ending with her having to kill the prince but she couldn't do it and was lifted to the sky by spirits.

That book was horrifying, very rarely did a story end well.  And also one of my favorites.   ;D



I think I have that one, as well as an Edgar Allan Poe collection I think by the same editors.  The HCA one ... well, there's a reason most people only know about 3 of his stories, because wow, there's a lot that he wrote that don't even qualify as "stories" with a beginning, middle, end.  It kind of reminds me of the Shel Silverstein parody books where one is a collection of his grocery lists - the opposite of an author refusing to be edited is an editor who refuses to believe that not everything written by an author is worthy of publication.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Íkorna on April 28, 2011, 05:28:32 PM
Trimmed the quote tree.

Haven't read any further than this one (yet!), but boy does that bring back memories...they made this into a cartoon, which my parents let us watch when we were very, very young.  I remember being terribly sad at the end of it!  I cried when she threw herself into the ocean.

Years later, when the Disney version came out, I almost didn't watch it because I was afraid it would be terribly depressing...

As far as i am concerned the Disney version is terribly depressing. I know they "Disneyfied" all sorts of fairy tales; but what they did to The Little Mermaid was just awful.

I just wish the music wasn't so darn catchy! 

If you thought what they did to The Little Mermaid was bad...have you ever seen The Little Mermaid II?

 :-\ I didn't even know there was a Little Mermaid II. Now i have a perverse urge to find and watch it.



There are three. The third is a prequel.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Moray on April 28, 2011, 05:47:10 PM
I have never admitted this before, but I hated The House on Mango Street.

It wasn't that I didn't "get it". I really did. I understood it, even the chapter where Sally ditches Esperanza for a boy and poor, terminally confused Esperanza gets raped by a Carnie. I got all the points Cisneros was trying to make about the brutality and beauty of life. I just hated reading it.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: LadyPekoe on April 28, 2011, 06:04:10 PM
I have never admitted this before, but I hated The House on Mango Street.

It wasn't that I didn't "get it". I really did. I understood it, even the chapter where Sally ditches Esperanza for a boy and poor, terminally confused Esperanza gets raped by a Carnie. I got all the points Cisneros was trying to make about the brutality and beauty of life. I just hated reading it.

I HATE when people argue that you don't like something because you didn't "get" it.  That is rarely the case for most people and it's super condescending. 
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Dazi on April 28, 2011, 06:10:55 PM
I have a new #1 on my list of worst books ever...

The Land of the Painted Caves by Jean Auel...Really, really wish I could get my money back on that one.

Steinbeck

Stephen Crane, especially The Red Badge of Courage

There was one that was so bad I actually threw away, but I can't remember the name of it.

Pretty much all of Oprah's book club (the one exception to this one for me is The Rapture of Canaan).

She's Come Undone

The Song of Solomon, Toni Morrison

Authors that are on my permanent do not read list: Diana Galbadon, James Patterson, Stephen King (after 1990), Mary Higgins Clark, Dean Koontz, Danielle Steele...there are a few others, but those are the one's I can think of right now.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: #borecore on April 28, 2011, 06:29:22 PM

Steinbeck, especially The Red Badge of Courage


Steinbeck is one of my favorite authors. I didn't finish "The Red Badge of Courage," which incidentally is by someone completely different -- Stephen Crane.
I will say I didn't fully appreciate Steinbeck's "The Red Pony," probably because of the way we were made to read it in seventh grade for a group project.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Dazi on April 28, 2011, 06:39:30 PM

Steinbeck, especially The Red Badge of Courage


Steinbeck is one of my favorite authors. I didn't finish "The Red Badge of Courage," which incidentally is by someone completely different -- Stephen Crane.
I will say I didn't fully appreciate Steinbeck's "The Red Pony," probably because of the way we were made to read it in seventh grade for a group project.

LOL....can't beleive I did that...

but I still don't like Steinbeck.  I think I must have been thinking Of Mice and Men
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Gabrielle on April 28, 2011, 06:47:38 PM
Stephen King's IT. The plot I enjoyed but the book itself could have been cut in half and not lost a thing. Plus there was that one scene in the sewers....really Mr King how is that necessary??
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: TeamBhakta on April 28, 2011, 07:01:33 PM
Laurell K Hamiliton is a terrible writer.  Even if you like her books, she is a bad writer.  My favorite line in any of her books?  "It was dark like things that are dark".  Come on.  REALLY?  She is constantly misusing words, too.  She doesn't know how to spell deity, which is misspelled every single book.  She brags about not re-reading any of her books after she writes them which means her characters grow, shrink, change eye color, etc.

Early Anita would kill current Anita who abuses all her powers (powers that flow to her like a downhill stream--I've never seen a character gain so many powers with no checks).  

Sadly, I used to be a fan.  I'm not one now.

I often joke that i would read a book by her exhusband as the books got so much worse after she divorced him. Really, that's shorthand for what I think happened. I read that the original manuscript she submitted was returned 17 times for revision. Now she has a no edit clause. Her BIL was a police officer and used to help her with the gun portions of the novels. Many of the periphery characters were based on real people, as they drift out of her life, she writes them out of her books. I never liked the romance section of the books, I thought it was the weakest part. Now I think it was the only part that was fully written by her. The books now consist of what she alone wites with no help from her ex, his brother, her original writing circle. The action, poitics, characterisation and wit are all gone leaving sex, flat characterisation and Mary Sueism.

The dedication in the front of Bloody Bones reads "to my husband Gary who always tells me the truth whether I want to hear it or not." The one for Cerulean Sins says "To J. who says yes more often than he says no."

I've never read a Laurell Hamilton book. But I'm getting flashbacks to when Lynn Johnston (of For Better or For Worse) started directing her writing at her husband, who had run off with her best friend IRL. Way too many strips started revolving around "Tell me we'll grow old and happy together, John Patterson" or "I had a dream you cheated on me. You didn't cheat, did you ?" Between that and living vicariously through Elizabeth and Anthony. Oy vey :-\

I'm sorry -a no edit clause sounds like one of the worst ideas I've ever heard. I get that she's probably conceiving herself as an author extraordinaire etc. But how can she not recognize that as the blatant egotism that it is? "I'm so good, everything I write is flawless and any change you might want to make will inevitably make it worse."

As far as worst book, Eragon. I read it in an evening, and it gave my the sensation of having consumed a very large bag of cotton balls. No substance, no depth, and a sick lingering sensation of "Why did I just do that? There was no reason to do that." My Ex *loved* it, which explains how I got dragged to the even worse movie, where the only interesting bit of plot was shattered when the dragon "grew up" by being struck by lightning.

I've only seen the movie. But that's how I felt when I watched it. Which is a shame, because I ususually love movies in that genre

I really disliked the endings of The Accidental Tourist and one other Anne Tyler novel, whose title is escaping me (the one about the mom running away and getting an apartment ?)
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Red1979 on April 28, 2011, 07:02:54 PM
Another one...Stephen King's "Bag of Bones".  I mean did *he* even like that book?   I can only imagine that was as boring to write as it was to read...
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: General Jinjur on April 28, 2011, 07:41:44 PM
I really disliked the endings of The Accidental Tourist and one other Anne Tyler novel, whose title is escaping me (the one about the mom running away and getting an apartment ?)

Oh, yeah. I was just coming here to talk about that book! It was so frustrating - the mom was all about returning to her great new life, but then BAM! In the last two pages she has a complete change of heart and say s, guess I'll stay here with my husband! Hurrah!

I flinged that book so hard  >:(

Steinbeck

GASP

I actually really like Steinbeck despite having to read him extensively in school (California, they liked to focus on authors from the same state, so we could relate to them, I guess). He's super unfashionable now, isn't he?
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Mad Goat Woman on April 28, 2011, 07:45:58 PM
Persuasion by Jane Austen.

I struggled through it in year 11 English, and I hated it. Nothing happens! (In a way, it's Waiting for Godot Regency style.)
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Yarnspinner on April 28, 2011, 07:55:57 PM
Laurell K Hamiliton is a terrible writer.  Even if you like her books, she is a bad writer.  My favorite line in any of her books?  "It was dark like things that are dark".  Come on.  REALLY?  She is constantly misusing words, too.  She doesn't know how to spell deity, which is misspelled every single book.  She brags about not re-reading any of her books after she writes them which means her characters grow, shrink, change eye color, etc.

I read some of the early Anita Blake books. They weren't exactly Pulitzer Prize material, but they were at least entertaining.

Then Laurell K. Hamilton got all full of herself, penned her infamous "Dear Negative Reader (http://blog.laurellkhamilton.org/index.php/site/dear_negative_reader/)" rant, and the quality of her books--not all the high to begin with--took a major nosedive. She's nothing more than a shameless hack now and appears to be proud of it.

Sadly, I used to be a fan.  I'm not one now.
Neither am I. Never again will I waste my time or money on her books.

Good grief!  I tried reading the Hamilton rant and had to skim it because the repetition, the spelling and the grammar were giving me headaches.  I read the early Anita Blake books, back when they were about fighting the vamps and not about playing a dark and ugly game of scrabble every six pages.  Have mercy!  I can't even get past page one these days.

I just love the part in her rant where she tells the "negative" readers to choose books that comfort them and don't challenge  or make them  think.  Uh...Laurell, sweetheart, reading er0tic@ doesn't exactly tax my brain cells.  Even the really well written stuff is still pretty much Tab A and Slot B. Reading a complex, well written mystery?  That pushes me to think and challenges me a great deal.  As for books that push me out of my comfort zone--that would be stuff like Dennis LeHane or Andrew Vachss write...idark, edgy and pushes envelopes Laurell only wishes she could open!

What a pompous nit. 
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Yarnspinner on April 28, 2011, 08:13:42 PM
Stephen King's IT. The plot I enjoyed but the book itself could have been cut in half and not lost a thing. Plus there was that one scene in the sewers....really Mr King how is that necessary??

Agree.  I loved the book and the camraderie among the Loser's Club.  But the scene you are referencing just pulled me right out of the story and made me go "WHAT???  I'm sorry, sir, WHAT???"  That was appalling.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Eisa on April 28, 2011, 09:19:33 PM
That scene kind of bothered me, but I kind of ended up seeing it as the way they can truly come together as a cohesive group. S3x is also this like big, grown-up taboo thing, and it seemed like fighting It the first time was when they really lost their childhood innocence, and that was just like the physical culmination of it. So it ends up sounding really disturbing, but I don't know another way that they could have gotten that cohesiveness and found their way out.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Klein Bottle on April 28, 2011, 10:30:50 PM
Stephen King's IT. The plot I enjoyed but the book itself could have been cut in half and not lost a thing. Plus there was that one scene in the sewers....really Mr King how is that necessary??

Agree.  I loved the book and the camraderie among the Loser's Club.  But the scene you are referencing just pulled me right out of the story and made me go "WHAT???  I'm sorry, sir, WHAT???"  That was appalling.

I am a huge Stephen King fan, and I enjoyed "It", (although it's not my favorite of his works), and I, too, found that scene to be unnecessary.  Eisa, I see what you are saying and that was probably the point SK was going for, but it still struck me as out of place and not quite in keeping with the rest of the story. 

Interesting tidbit:  I tend to read more than one book at once, and I was actually reading IT at the same time I was reading Whitley Striber's Communion.  So terrifying did I find the latter that I was actually taking breaks and reading IT for relief from the utter scary terror that is Communion.  (Maybe because Mr. Streiber's book is a true story whereas IT is obviously a work of fiction, this worked for me.)
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Eisa on April 28, 2011, 10:35:40 PM
Ok, I read the "Negative Reader" thing and all I can say is "wow." :o On the one hand, she has a point. There's really no point in joining her forum and talking about her books just to criticize them and her. That's kinda dumb. On the other hand, people are allowed to have opinions and now she looks like a whiny child. :-\ There are honest criticisms to be made of her books. And that rant, considering she couldn't even spell ardeur correctly, and it's her own dang word.

Honestly, that little rant reminded me of Emilie Autumn. She did something very similar. If you criticize her or her music in any way at all--even when you say that you're still a fan--you're jumped on and banned. ::) She can't take criticism very well at all.

Blatant "you suck and I hate you" posts are obviously rude. But I doubt many people have done that on LKH's forum.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Brentwood on April 28, 2011, 10:53:21 PM
Trimmed the quote tree.

Haven't read any further than this one (yet!), but boy does that bring back memories...they made this into a cartoon, which my parents let us watch when we were very, very young.  I remember being terribly sad at the end of it!  I cried when she threw herself into the ocean.

Years later, when the Disney version came out, I almost didn't watch it because I was afraid it would be terribly depressing...

As far as i am concerned the Disney version is terribly depressing. I know they "Disneyfied" all sorts of fairy tales; but what they did to The Little Mermaid was just awful.

I just wish the music wasn't so darn catchy! 

If you thought what they did to The Little Mermaid was bad...have you ever seen The Little Mermaid II?

 :-\ I didn't even know there was a Little Mermaid II. Now i have a perverse urge to find and watch it.



It is terrible. Really, truly terrible. Ariel and Prince Eric have a daughter, Melody. And it turns out Ursula the sea witch has a sister! A sister we never ever knew about, who now comes out of the woodwork to avenge Ursula.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: TychaBrahe on April 28, 2011, 11:01:32 PM
Oh, someone upthread mentioned the Chronicles of Narnia, which I was (and am) very fond of--except for the last one, The Last Battle. More trauma. Bloodshed, death, exploitation of animals, guilt trips, emotional abuse--and all for the sake of an ending that I just could. not. stand. Ugh.

Someone, Connie Willis maybe, or perhaps Neil Gaiman, has written a short story about a journalist who comes to interview Susan about being the one left behind.

Since we've gone into children's books: The Giver.  Utterly depressing.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Shea on April 28, 2011, 11:04:02 PM
Oh, someone upthread mentioned the Chronicles of Narnia, which I was (and am) very fond of--except for the last one, The Last Battle. More trauma. Bloodshed, death, exploitation of animals, guilt trips, emotional abuse--and all for the sake of an ending that I just could. not. stand. Ugh.

Someone, Connie Willis maybe, or perhaps Neil Gaiman, has written a short story about a journalist who comes to interview Susan about being the one left behind.

Since we've gone into children's books: The Giver.  Utterly depressing.

That was my favorite book when I was eight, and for several years thereafter ;). I still reread it occasionally, and still think it's brilliant. But I've always liked the darker stuff. I loved The Road too.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: TychaBrahe on April 28, 2011, 11:07:24 PM
Laurell K Hamiliton is a terrible writer.  Even if you like her books, she is a bad writer.  My favorite line in any of her books?  "It was dark like things that are dark".  Come on.  REALLY?  She is constantly misusing words, too.  She doesn't know how to spell deity, which is misspelled every single book.  She brags about not re-reading any of her books after she writes them which means her characters grow, shrink, change eye color, etc.

Early Anita would kill current Anita who abuses all her powers (powers that flow to her like a downhill stream--I've never seen a character gain so many powers with no checks). 

Sadly, I used to be a fan.  I'm not one now.

I think she used to write moderately hard-boiled detective fiction starring a lesbian detective.  I like those.  Then she decided there was more money in the vampire craze.  Blech!
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Brentwood on April 28, 2011, 11:11:33 PM
Laurell K Hamiliton is a terrible writer.  Even if you like her books, she is a bad writer.  My favorite line in any of her books?  "It was dark like things that are dark".  Come on.  REALLY?  She is constantly misusing words, too.  She doesn't know how to spell deity, which is misspelled every single book.  She brags about not re-reading any of her books after she writes them which means her characters grow, shrink, change eye color, etc.

Early Anita would kill current Anita who abuses all her powers (powers that flow to her like a downhill stream--I've never seen a character gain so many powers with no checks). 

Sadly, I used to be a fan.  I'm not one now.


I think she used to write moderately hard-boiled detective fiction starring a lesbian detective.  I like those.  Then she decided there was more money in the vampire craze.  Blech!

Every time I see the bolded part quoted, I want to say It was a dark and stormy night, like those nights that are dark. And stormy.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: TychaBrahe on April 28, 2011, 11:16:29 PM
Another one...Stephen King's "Bag of Bones".  I mean did *he* even like that book?   I can only imagine that was as boring to write as it was to read...

Bag of Bones scared the heck out of me.  It was, except for one scene I could have done without, everything I love about his books.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: zyrs on April 29, 2011, 12:25:43 AM
Then Laurell K. Hamilton got all full of herself, penned her infamous "Dear Negative Reader (http://blog.laurellkhamilton.org/index.php/site/dear_negative_reader/)" rant, and the quality of her books--not all the high to begin with--took a major nosedive. She's nothing more than a shameless hack now and appears to be proud of it.


Is that how she writes everything? 
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Diane AKA Traska on April 29, 2011, 12:38:49 AM
Then Laurell K. Hamilton got all full of herself, penned her infamous "Dear Negative Reader (http://blog.laurellkhamilton.org/index.php/site/dear_negative_reader/)" rant, and the quality of her books--not all the high to begin with--took a major nosedive. She's nothing more than a shameless hack now and appears to be proud of it.


Is that how she writes everything?  

Has... has this woman never heard of paragraphs?

Also, a quote from her run on paragraph:

Quote
I've been in line with the present in my hand, before I go, "Wait, these are make believe people. I can't buy them a Christmas present."

Please tell me that's hyperbole.  Because if it isn't, that's just creepy.  I say this as a writer and a roleplayer, who has characters that I try to figure out casting for should they improbably become a movie deal... that is way creepy.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: kethria on April 29, 2011, 08:19:35 AM
Another one...Stephen King's "Bag of Bones".  I mean did *he* even like that book?   I can only imagine that was as boring to write as it was to read...

Bag of Bones scared the heck out of me.  It was, except for one scene I could have done without, everything I love about his books.

I think I was pregnant when I read Bag of Bones and I just go so sad thinking that if that were me and DH that he would be lonely. I loved it though. I think it was such a change since it was written in first person that I was really into it. :)
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Elfmama on April 29, 2011, 08:20:09 AM
Then Laurell K. Hamilton got all full of herself, penned her infamous "Dear Negative Reader (http://blog.laurellkhamilton.org/index.php/site/dear_negative_reader/)" rant, and the quality of her books--not all the high to begin with--took a major nosedive. She's nothing more than a shameless hack now and appears to be proud of it.


Is that how she writes everything?  

Has... has this woman never heard of paragraphs?

Also, a quote from her run on paragraph:

Quote
I've been in line with the present in my hand, before I go, "Wait, these are make believe people. I can't buy them a Christmas present."

Please tell me that's hyperbole.  Because if it isn't, that's just creepy.  I say this as a writer and a roleplayer, who has characters that I try to figure out casting for should they improbably become a movie deal... that is way creepy.
ITA.  The characters who live in my head never demand presents!
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: ooh.boo on April 29, 2011, 08:39:05 AM
Another one...Stephen King's "Bag of Bones".  I mean did *he* even like that book?   I can only imagine that was as boring to write as it was to read...

Bag of Bones scared the heck out of me.  It was, except for one scene I could have done without, everything I love about his books.

I think I was pregnant when I read Bag of Bones and I just go so sad thinking that if that were me and DH that he would be lonely. I loved it though. I think it was such a change since it was written in first person that I was really into it. :)

I loved it too. 
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: padua on April 29, 2011, 09:01:10 AM
i don't think i've come across a stephen king book i liked. except the dark tower series. i haven't read many, but the few i've picked up have turned me off.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Xallanthia on April 29, 2011, 09:05:57 AM
Oh, someone upthread mentioned the Chronicles of Narnia, which I was (and am) very fond of--except for the last one, The Last Battle. More trauma. Bloodshed, death, exploitation of animals, guilt trips, emotional abuse--and all for the sake of an ending that I just could. not. stand. Ugh.

Someone, Connie Willis maybe, or perhaps Neil Gaiman, has written a short story about a journalist who comes to interview Susan about being the one left behind.

Since we've gone into children's books: The Giver.  Utterly depressing.

That was my favorite book when I was eight, and for several years thereafter ;). I still reread it occasionally, and still think it's brilliant. But I've always liked the darker stuff. I loved The Road too.

Me too!  I love The Giver, always have.  May as well add in my Steinback love, of The Grapes of Wrath anyway.  And it survived having been read in high school AP English!  I still loved it.  Actually, the worst over-analysis book I had in that class was The Great Gatsby, which I had previously read and enjoyed.  I actually read it once for a book report and then later re-read it on my own, before this class.  I still like it, but after having spent a month dissecting every tiny line and symbol, I don't think I'll ever read it again, and normally I re-read everything.

On the Stephen King side: I love the way he writes, but I've always been disappointed in the outcomes.  The short story The Secret Window is the perfect example because the whole thing is really well-written and then at the end it felt like he just took an easy out by making it all supernatural and weird.  The film version has the exact opposite ending and is SIGNIFICANTLY improved for the change.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Red1979 on April 29, 2011, 09:27:34 AM
Oh, someone upthread mentioned the Chronicles of Narnia, which I was (and am) very fond of--except for the last one, The Last Battle. More trauma. Bloodshed, death, exploitation of animals, guilt trips, emotional abuse--and all for the sake of an ending that I just could. not. stand. Ugh.

Someone, Connie Willis maybe, or perhaps Neil Gaiman, has written a short story about a journalist who comes to interview Susan about being the one left behind.

Since we've gone into children's books: The Giver.  Utterly depressing.

That was my favorite book when I was eight, and for several years thereafter ;). I still reread it occasionally, and still think it's brilliant. But I've always liked the darker stuff. I loved The Road too.


On the Stephen King side: I love the way he writes, but I've always been disappointed in the outcomes.  The short story The Secret Window is the perfect example because the whole thing is really well-written and then at the end it felt like he just took an easy out by making it all supernatural and weird.  The film version has the exact opposite ending and is SIGNIFICANTLY improved for the change.

YESS!  I love Stephen King's ideas and like a trusting fool I always think the ending will *somehow* pay off and every dingdangity time he throws in something ridiculous and unsatisfying.  It's very easy to come up with intriguing and crazy stories--the hard part is coming up with an ending that actually works and a story that comes to a conclusion that feels right.  Instead he plucks out things like aliens, or alien spiders, or even the hand of god.

I think I'm mad at him because he so often takes things that could have been completely awesome and ruins it at the very end.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Xallanthia on April 29, 2011, 09:36:32 AM
Oh, someone upthread mentioned the Chronicles of Narnia, which I was (and am) very fond of--except for the last one, The Last Battle. More trauma. Bloodshed, death, exploitation of animals, guilt trips, emotional abuse--and all for the sake of an ending that I just could. not. stand. Ugh.

Someone, Connie Willis maybe, or perhaps Neil Gaiman, has written a short story about a journalist who comes to interview Susan about being the one left behind.

Since we've gone into children's books: The Giver.  Utterly depressing.

That was my favorite book when I was eight, and for several years thereafter ;). I still reread it occasionally, and still think it's brilliant. But I've always liked the darker stuff. I loved The Road too.


On the Stephen King side: I love the way he writes, but I've always been disappointed in the outcomes.  The short story The Secret Window is the perfect example because the whole thing is really well-written and then at the end it felt like he just took an easy out by making it all supernatural and weird.  The film version has the exact opposite ending and is SIGNIFICANTLY improved for the change.

YESS!  I love Stephen King's ideas and like a trusting fool I always think the ending will *somehow* pay off and every dingdangity time he throws in something ridiculous and unsatisfying.  It's very easy to come up with intriguing and crazy stories--the hard part is coming up with an ending that actually works and a story that comes to a conclusion that feels right.  Instead he plucks out things like aliens, or alien spiders, or even the hand of god.

I think I'm mad at him because he so often takes things that could have been completely awesome and ruins it at the very end.

It's like he has a pathological need to have the good guys win?  Stories where the bad guy "wins" are not happy stories, generally, but sometimes they're *better* stories.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Red1979 on April 29, 2011, 09:56:41 AM
Oh, someone upthread mentioned the Chronicles of Narnia, which I was (and am) very fond of--except for the last one, The Last Battle. More trauma. Bloodshed, death, exploitation of animals, guilt trips, emotional abuse--and all for the sake of an ending that I just could. not. stand. Ugh.

Someone, Connie Willis maybe, or perhaps Neil Gaiman, has written a short story about a journalist who comes to interview Susan about being the one left behind.

Since we've gone into children's books: The Giver.  Utterly depressing.

That was my favorite book when I was eight, and for several years thereafter ;). I still reread it occasionally, and still think it's brilliant. But I've always liked the darker stuff. I loved The Road too.


On the Stephen King side: I love the way he writes, but I've always been disappointed in the outcomes.  The short story The Secret Window is the perfect example because the whole thing is really well-written and then at the end it felt like he just took an easy out by making it all supernatural and weird.  The film version has the exact opposite ending and is SIGNIFICANTLY improved for the change.

YESS!  I love Stephen King's ideas and like a trusting fool I always think the ending will *somehow* pay off and every dingdangity time he throws in something ridiculous and unsatisfying.  It's very easy to come up with intriguing and crazy stories--the hard part is coming up with an ending that actually works and a story that comes to a conclusion that feels right.  Instead he plucks out things like aliens, or alien spiders, or even the hand of god.

I think I'm mad at him because he so often takes things that could have been completely awesome and ruins it at the very end.

It's like he has a pathological need to have the good guys win?  Stories where the bad guy "wins" are not happy stories, generally, but sometimes they're *better* stories.

I'm a writer myself and from my perspective it seems like he forces the stories into places they don't belong.  For me, when I write something, I'm not exactly in full control.  The story wants to go somewhere--and sometimes it annoys me and I resist and then it of course stagnates or just doesn't work.  Sometimes you have to kill your favorite characters, edit out that perfect line you came up with, or sacrifice the ending you originally thought was perfect.  Stories have a will of their own and I've heard this same sentiment expressed by a lot of other writers.  For me, stories aren't written so much as discovered (if that makes sense). 

It seems like Stephen King very often forces the story in a direction/ending that doesn't feel organic.  It makes me angry because I get so attached to the good ideas and get excited about the direction it all could go in and then boom...it turns out it was all about a spider.  ;)
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Kimblee on April 29, 2011, 10:04:44 AM
Oh, someone upthread mentioned the Chronicles of Narnia, which I was (and am) very fond of--except for the last one, The Last Battle. More trauma. Bloodshed, death, exploitation of animals, guilt trips, emotional abuse--and all for the sake of an ending that I just could. not. stand. Ugh.

Someone, Connie Willis maybe, or perhaps Neil Gaiman, has written a short story about a journalist who comes to interview Susan about being the one left behind.

Since we've gone into children's books: The Giver.  Utterly depressing.

POD

I hated the giver.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Kimblee on April 29, 2011, 10:07:32 AM
Then Laurell K. Hamilton got all full of herself, penned her infamous "Dear Negative Reader (http://blog.laurellkhamilton.org/index.php/site/dear_negative_reader/)" rant, and the quality of her books--not all the high to begin with--took a major nosedive. She's nothing more than a shameless hack now and appears to be proud of it.


Is that how she writes everything?  

Has... has this woman never heard of paragraphs?

Also, a quote from her run on paragraph:

Quote
I've been in line with the present in my hand, before I go, "Wait, these are make believe people. I can't buy them a Christmas present."

Please tell me that's hyperbole.  Because if it isn't, that's just creepy.  I say this as a writer and a roleplayer, who has characters that I try to figure out casting for should they improbably become a movie deal... that is way creepy.
ITA.  The characters who live in my head never demand presents!

The ones in my head do sometimes. But the best part is that all I have to do is write that i gave them something. I have never had a real object in my hand intended for them.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: lady_disdain on April 29, 2011, 10:28:29 AM
Oh, someone upthread mentioned the Chronicles of Narnia, which I was (and am) very fond of--except for the last one, The Last Battle. More trauma. Bloodshed, death, exploitation of animals, guilt trips, emotional abuse--and all for the sake of an ending that I just could. not. stand. Ugh.

Someone, Connie Willis maybe, or perhaps Neil Gaiman, has written a short story about a journalist who comes to interview Susan about being the one left behind.

Since we've gone into children's books: The Giver.  Utterly depressing.

Ok, this one I am going to get right. It is Neil Gaiman, the title is "The Problem with Susan", which is printed in Fragile Things (and probably a few anthologies by now).
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: bobsyouruncle on April 29, 2011, 10:51:23 AM
ohh thanks Lady_Disdain for the name of the article - I love Neil Gaiman  & HATED the ending of the Narnia books.

As for LK HAmilton - please have you seen her picture on her website - she clearly thinks *she* IS Anita especially when you take into account all the stuff @ her ex & current husband.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: rose red on April 29, 2011, 11:55:19 AM
Stephen King books start out promising but always end up being so long winded.  He should stick to short stories.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Winterlight on April 29, 2011, 12:41:32 PM
Then Laurell K. Hamilton got all full of herself, penned her infamous "Dear Negative Reader (http://blog.laurellkhamilton.org/index.php/site/dear_negative_reader/)" rant, and the quality of her books--not all the high to begin with--took a major nosedive. She's nothing more than a shameless hack now and appears to be proud of it.


Is that how she writes everything?  

Has... has this woman never heard of paragraphs?

Also, a quote from her run on paragraph:

Quote
I've been in line with the present in my hand, before I go, "Wait, these are make believe people. I can't buy them a Christmas present."

Please tell me that's hyperbole.  Because if it isn't, that's just creepy.  I say this as a writer and a roleplayer, who has characters that I try to figure out casting for should they improbably become a movie deal... that is way creepy.
ITA.  The characters who live in my head never demand presents!

Mine demand chocolate, maces and bellydance gear.

Neil Gaiman's American Gods. I got 150 pages into it, realized that nothing had happened and I didn't care about the characters and never picked it up again. People have told me the sequel is better. I refuse to try it- I hate reading books out of sequence and the first one was so dull!
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: supernova on April 29, 2011, 12:56:56 PM
Stephen King books start out promising but always end up being so long winded.  He should stick to short stories.

I have tried so very, very hard to like Stephen King.  And I just…  don't.  Really… do we need 1000 pages of buildup and 200 pages of resolution for that five-page climax?  Wouldn't that five pages, with a page on either side, have made an absolutely awesome short story instead?

I gave up a long time ago, I'm sorry to say, on Mr. King.  I respect him greatly, but I do not like his work. I will not read him on a boat.  I will not read him with a goat…

Ditto Neil Gaiman.  Wonderful human being; *hate* all his work.  The only thing I've made it all the way through was "Good Omens," and that was because I liked all the Terry Pratchett bits well enough to slog through the rest.  I thought American Gods was the gloomiest, dullest thing I ever started reading -- and, like the previous poster, I really didn't give a fig for anyone in it.  I reached a spot where I realized I was more than fifty pages in, and I was utterly paralyzed with depression by the thought of turning the next page.  I literally got up out of bed and went and cleaned the kitchen because it was more of a cheery prospect.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: proudmama on April 29, 2011, 01:18:02 PM
snip

Eat, Pray, Love - I finished Italy, and thought she was the most self-centered person I've ever encountered.  She acted like she was the ONLY person whose marriage ever ended.  I know now why my neighbor who lent it to me said "we'll discuss it when you've read it" and repeated herself when I asked if she liked it!
snip

I got through Italy and started India, but could not finish it.  This was the first book ever that I just could not finish.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Firecat on April 29, 2011, 01:32:13 PM

Mine demand chocolate, maces and bellydance gear.

Neil Gaiman's American Gods. I got 150 pages into it, realized that nothing had happened and I didn't care about the characters and never picked it up again. People have told me the sequel is better. I refuse to try it- I hate reading books out of sequence and the first one was so dull!

That's exactly how I felt about "The Wheel of Time." I picked up the first book, got 150 pages in, and realized I didn't like any of the characters and nothing had happened.  ;D

I enjoyed "American Gods," though (although I'm not in the least offended when someone else doesn't!). I had fun playing "spot the mythology." (Like the moment I read "Mr. Wednesday," and "Loki Liesmith," I went "I know who THEY are!" And I liked what it had to say about culture in the United States, and about how humans and deities affect each other. But it's definitely not everyone's cup of tea.

"Anansi Boys" is a very different book. Gaiman has said (and I agree with him) that it's not so much a sequel as another story set in the same world. I don't think you'd have to have read all of "American Gods" to read "Anansi Boys."
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: wx4caster on April 29, 2011, 02:09:50 PM
I love to read.  I've been known to pull out the dictionary to read when really bored.

That being said, two books I could not finish are Foucault's Pendulum (Umberto Eco) and Titus Groan: Gormenghast #1 (Mervyn Peake).  50 pages in and I wasn't interested in the Foucault dude's paranoid delusions while skulking around a church or the kitchen boy's plans to take over the world/castle.

One book that almost made my bad book list is Jonathon Strange and Mr. Norell (Susanna Clarke).  I still can't figure out why friends raved about this book.  The first 80-90% of the book dragged on and on and then - boom - it's over. The idea/story itself was clever but the writing was awkward and poorly paced.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: MerryCat on April 29, 2011, 03:26:24 PM
The Scarlet Letter - I was doing fine reading this despite my issues with the tone and dense symbolism...until I idly wondered what would happen if Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg (from a favorite series of fantasy novels) showed up at this, that or the other point in the story.  Now I can't even see a copy of the book without breaking into giggles.

!!!!!!  What have you just done to me, giving me that image!  And it won't stop here!  It'll spread to other books!  I think it's alreading infiltrating Harry Potter!

Granny vs. Voldemort...oooh!  Vimes vs. Voldemort!

Is that my cow? It goes "Crucio"! It is Lord Voldemort! THAT IS NOT MY COW!!!

what series are you talking about? All i know is i wanna read it now.

I love you guys! Now Granny Weatherwax and Co. are starting to sneak into all my reading! Amava, you literally made me laugh until I hurt myself. At work. Bad Amava! Please do it again?

Kimblee, we’re talking about the Discword series by Terry Pratchett. He writes fantasy that is hillarious and awesome in all sorts of ways. You don’t have to have read the earlier books to understand the later ones, but some books are better for starting with than others. I’d suggest either Wyrd Sisters, Guards!Gaurds!  Or The Color of Magic as a jumping off point.

Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Bexx27 on April 29, 2011, 03:31:14 PM
I love to read.  I've been known to pull out the dictionary to read when really bored.

That being said, two books I could not finish are Foucault's Pendulum (Umberto Eco) and Titus Groan: Gormenghast #1 (Mervyn Peake).  50 pages in and I wasn't interested in the Foucault dude's paranoid delusions while skulking around a church or the kitchen boy's plans to take over the world/castle.

One book that almost made my bad book list is Jonathon Strange and Mr. Norell (Susanna Clarke).  I still can't figure out why friends raved about this book.  The first 80-90% of the book dragged on and on and then - boom - it's over. The idea/story itself was clever but the writing was awkward and poorly paced.

Oh, I forgot about Foucault's Pendulum! One of the very few books I've started and not finished. Interestingly, the same friend recommended it who recommended Wicked and Jonathan Livingston Seagull. Blech. I have got to stop taking reading advice from her.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: MerryCat on April 29, 2011, 04:20:16 PM
This Thread is going way to fast for me to keep up – amo nly 18 pages in!  I’m finding that I POD a lot of the suggestions here. I wonder what that says about me – that I’m uber picky? LOL

First, POD to those who said Danielle Steele. The one book of hers I read was poorly written, and the author seemed king of obsessed with name-brand everything.

And  Twilight – what really got me wasn’t the creepy/controlling romance, but the utter disdain with with Bella treats all the normal, friendly people around her. One of my favorite fantasies is where Bella gets turned and then Dean and Sam gank her. Go Winchesters!

Clan of the Cave Bear – yeah, the inventing everything gets old, and the characters become less likable in later books. Plus the “Poor me! I’m so tall and fair and blond with a supple willowy waist!” thing in the first book kind of annoyed me.

The Gor books – ugh! I’ve tried multiple times to read them because apparently the author later goes on to make the case that misogyny leads to space travel – which sounds awesomely hilarious to me – but can’t make it that far in.

Phillipa Gregory – yeah, kind of hard to take because of her incredibly slanted view of history, particularly Elizabeth I. I have to wonder if Gregory isn’t Catholic as a PP suggested. That would at least explain her preference for Catherine of Aragon. For my historical fiction needs I usually read Pauline Gedge, who writes books set in ancient Egypt that make you feel like you’re actually there.

Also, has anyone but me ever read anything by Sheri S. Tepper? I adored Mavin Manyshaped and the rest of her True Game series, really liked Grass and Gates to Women’s Country, but lately her books have become exercizes in self-flagellation. The over the top proselytizing is such a turn off. What happened to you Tepper? You used to not suck- to actually be good!
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Diane AKA Traska on April 29, 2011, 04:49:03 PM
The Gor books – ugh! I’ve tried multiple times to read them because apparently the author later goes on to make the case that misogyny leads to space travel – which sounds awesomely hilarious to me – but can’t make it that far in.

I could see it.  What woman *wouldn't* invent astrophysics and engineering just to get the heck out of there?
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: djinnidjream on April 29, 2011, 05:00:54 PM
I really enjoyed the Clan of the Cave Bear series for the first 4 books.  When the 5th came, I was disappointed, but it was still readable.  I had hopes for the 6th book because I assumed that Auel would take the criticism of the 5th book to heart and make up for it.  There were also some very misleading reviews out there from pre-release copies that made it sound promising.

I have never been angry about a book before.  Really angry.  The Land of Painted Caves was the WORST book ever.  Even worse as I ran out and paid $21 for it.  In fact, the advertisement banner currently running over this post I am typing is for Land of Painted Caves and it makes me want to hurl my beloved netbook across the room.

It was BAD.  Not bad, but BAD.  A friend of mine pointed out her favorite passage of the book is where Ayla was complaining about being bored with caves.  If the main character is bored, what do you think it is doing to the reader???

Brief synopsis... Ayla hunts, breastfeeds, whips her naked baby out so it can pee, does some acoylte stuff, mother song mother song mother song, cave cave endless and boring introductions, cave cave cave, wolf poops in a cave, cave, cave, cave, cave, mammoth painting, red spots, cave cave cave mother song mother song, wierd acid trip, Jondalar becomes a big whiny baby and does something stupid "He's making my baby" Ayla does something stupid and becomes a big whiny baby, "Men are the fathers of babies" therein introducing sexism to the people, everyone makes up. The end.

Screw you and the mammoth you rode in on Jean Auel.

I would have liked it better if everyone had been eaten by a dinosaur at the end.

Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: rose red on April 29, 2011, 05:19:00 PM
Also, has anyone but me ever read anything by Sheri S. Tepper? I adored Mavin Manyshaped and the rest of her True Game series, really liked Grass and Gates to Women’s Country, but lately her books have become exercizes in self-flagellation. The over the top proselytizing is such a turn off. What happened to you Tepper? You used to not suck- to actually be good!


I read Beauty and although I can't say I like it, I can't seem to get rid of the book.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Melxb on April 29, 2011, 05:19:26 PM
Brief synopsis... Ayla hunts, breastfeeds, whips her naked baby out so it can pee, does some acoylte stuff, mother song mother song mother song, cave cave endless and boring introductions, cave cave cave, wolf poops in a cave, cave, cave, cave, cave, mammoth painting, red spots, cave cave cave mother song mother song, wierd acid trip, Jondalar becomes a big whiny baby and does something stupid "He's making my baby" Ayla does something stupid and becomes a big whiny baby, "Men are the fathers of babies" therein introducing sexism to the people, everyone makes up. The end.

Screw you and the mammoth you rode in on Jean Auel.

I would have liked it better if everyone had been eaten by a dinosaur at the end.

Quite possibly the best synopsis of this book EVER!  Bolded is the best part.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: supernova on April 29, 2011, 05:21:06 PM

Screw you and the mammoth you rode in on Jean Auel.

I would have liked it better if everyone had been eaten by a dinosaur at the end.



Now, now.  We all know it's not healthy to repress our feelings.  Stop holding back, and tell us how you really feel...   ;)   :D

     - saphie, being silly
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: AfleetAlex on April 29, 2011, 06:20:26 PM
And  Twilight – what really got me wasn’t the creepy/controlling romance, but the utter disdain with with Bella treats all the normal, friendly people around her. One of my favorite fantasies is where Bella gets turned and then Dean and Sam gank her. Go Winchesters!

MerryCat, you are all kinds of awesome! :-*

There are books I just didn't connect with, like Wicked and (I know this is sacrilege) Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. I could see why they might appeal to someone else, but not me. Then again, there's some types of surrealism (or whatever you'd call it) that I find vaguely creepy but I freely admit that's just me.

That said, I gave up Laurell K. Hamilton when Bloody Bones ended with her obviously having forgotten an entire plot thread and resolving it in the last two pages with callous disregard for the characters. I was so infuriated I refused to read anything else by her, even though I'm told I had a few books to go that were good before they devolved. That was just plain bad writing.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: POF on April 29, 2011, 06:44:20 PM
Also, has anyone but me ever read anything by Sheri S. Tepper? I adored Mavin Manyshaped and the rest of her True Game series, really liked Grass and Gates to Women’s Country, but lately her books have become exercizes in self-flagellation. The over the top proselytizing is such a turn off. What happened to you Tepper? You used to not suck- to actually be good!


I love Tepper: my favorites are Grass, Gates to Women's country, I liked the True Game series, also liked Beauty and my favorite is Gibbons Decline and Fall. The others just got boring.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: She Who Hides Beneath on April 29, 2011, 08:47:26 PM
Add me to the list of people who deplore Twilight; I cannot stand it for all reasons stated before and more.  >:(

Now, for my contribution: I tried and tried to get into The Book Thief, but I just couldn't do it. One of my friends assured me it was one of the best books ever written, but the story failed to reach out and grab me. Perhaps it was something about the writing structure or the fact that the story really wasn't clear.

I also ended up disliking John Saul's book, Second Child. I started out liking it just fine, but somewhere along the way the plot became just too twisted for my poor brain to comprehend (which is strange, because I am usually able to figure out his books fairly well. Maybe university is rotting my brain  :P).
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: blueberrypancakes on April 29, 2011, 09:08:40 PM
Add me to the list of people who deplore Twilight; I cannot stand it for all reasons stated before and more.  >:(

Now, for my contribution: I tried and tried to get into The Book Thief, but I just couldn't do it. One of my friends assured me it was one of the best books ever written, but the story failed to reach out and grab me. Perhaps it was something about the writing structure or the fact that the story really wasn't clear.

I also ended up disliking John Saul's book, Second Child. I started out liking it just fine, but somewhere along the way the plot became just too twisted for my poor brain to comprehend (which is strange, because I am usually able to figure out his books fairly well. Maybe university is rotting my brain  :P).

I was okay with Second Child, the John Saul one I had issues with was Suffer the Children. 

I love this thread, it's so interesting to see the varying points of view.  The Giver is one of my favorite books, along with its companion book, Gathering Blue.  (I haven't read the third companion book yet, this has reminded me!!)  I also love Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and James Patterson... but can understand why some posters dislike them..

This thread is making me want to read Twilight just to see how bad it really is....
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: DoubleTrouble on April 29, 2011, 09:17:25 PM
Wow, 34 pages & I'm only on page 3!

Hated Lord of the Rings. Tried to read it many times & fell asleep each & every time. I liked the movies, much easier to follow :)

Won't touch Twilight with a 10-foot pole.

Got a biography of Charles II & one of the English Civil War for Christmas (I loves me some history) & just can't get through either of them. The bio is so boring & the civil war one jumps all over the place, it's so hard to follow. If someone's got a good rec for either I'll take it!

American Psycho.  I read some pretty gory stuff, and I'm a "I've started so I'll finish" kind of gal - but that was one of the few books I couldn't justify finishing. It was  :-X

Saw the movie as my roommate at the time had a huge crush on Christian Bale. We both watched to the bitter end and went waaaaaaaa???? :-X
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Snewt on April 29, 2011, 09:26:14 PM
I hated the last 2 books of the Millennium Trilogy.  He should have stopped with the Girl with the Dragon tattoo!

I also thought that the DaVinci Code was a poorly written thriller.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: katycoo on April 29, 2011, 09:44:20 PM

This thread is making me want to read Twilight just to see how bad it really is....

I believe everyone should read Twilight so that I have more people to rant with.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: wyozozo on April 29, 2011, 10:14:46 PM

This thread is making me want to read Twilight just to see how bad it really is....

I believe everyone should read Twilight so that I have more people to rant with.
No and you can't make me!!  ;)
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Klein Bottle on April 29, 2011, 10:40:55 PM
I have never read Twighlight nor any of the books in that series, but I really enjoy reading the snark about them that abounds! 
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Bright on April 29, 2011, 10:48:56 PM
Neil Gaiman's American Gods. I got 150 pages into it, realized that nothing had happened and I didn't care about the characters and never picked it up again. People have told me the sequel is better. I refuse to try it- I hate reading books out of sequence and the first one was so dull!

I didn't like American Gods all that much. I found it rather dull and boring with way too much padding and a very dull protagonist.

Anansi Boys   isn't really a sequel so much as a story set in the same world with some of the same characters. You definitely do not need to read American Gods to be able to read Anansi Boys. It is a lot better. It's a lot more light-hearted in tone and I found it far more readable. I think it was one of Neil Gaiman's better books.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Eisa on April 29, 2011, 11:54:06 PM
This is really just an aside that I think is quite awesome. :D

Ok, so you know the book The Greek Seaman by Jacqueline Howett? The one reviewed by that blogger, and she went all crazy on him?

I just discovered tonight I know the blogger's daughter. ;D

It's a small world, after all...


Also, just from reading a few sentences, The Greek Seaman is awful.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Ereine on April 30, 2011, 12:07:39 AM
Neil Gaiman's American Gods. I got 150 pages into it, realized that nothing had happened and I didn't care about the characters and never picked it up again. People have told me the sequel is better. I refuse to try it- I hate reading books out of sequence and the first one was so dull!

I didn't like American Gods all that much. I found it rather dull and boring with way too much padding and a very dull protagonist.

Anansi Boys   isn't really a sequel so much as a story set in the same world with some of the same characters. You definitely do not need to read American Gods to be able to read Anansi Boys. It is a lot better. It's a lot more light-hearted in tone and I found it far more readable. I think it was one of Neil Gaiman's better books.

That's interesting. I loved American Gods, liked the main character a lot and found the world interesting. It's been years since I read it (I loaned my copy to a former friend and never got it back. And I don't think that she even read it) but can't understand how it could be boring, there was stuff happening all the time. But I hated Anansi Boys so much that I stopped reading after the beginning and haven't read anything by Gaiman since which is a pity as he used to be one of my favorite authors. I found the plot uninteresting and the characters unlikable and uninteresting (the character I liked the least in American Gods was Mr Nancy). The worst thing for me was the relationship between the brothers, I'm not really that interested in reading about families rediscovering each other anyway but I think that it probably pushed some buttons with me (I'm the obedient but dull daughter). I don't really remember any details but just thinking about the book still makes me angry.

I also stopped reading A Song of Ice and Fire at about two and half books. Something happened that seemed to me so ridiculous that I just couldn't take it anymore. I thought that at least the first one was good, I really liked the atmosphere but the books were a little too scary and depressing for me and after the last straw I lost all will to read on. I prefer light-hearted books and can't read anything too gloomy so they weren't the right books for me anyway but I'm willing to read about bad things happening to characters I like. It just felt like it wasn't a possibility but a certainty and I didn't like that. I liked to recommend Steven Erikson's Malazan Book of the Fallen to people in discussions about A Song of Ice and Fire but I gave up because I'm pretty sure the series has made many lists like this. There are ten books, the last books have maybe 900 pages and countless characters and gods and demigods and creatures and races and continents and story lines and epic tragedy and as I've read one book a year I can never remember the details of previous books or who some of the characters are. But it has a lot of humor and a feeling of hope I didn't get from A Song of Ice and Fire. And I dislike politics and prefer adventure.

I tried reading Twilight because I thought that I couldn't dislike without reading it but I only made a few chapters. It started well enough and I liked the description of the town but after Edward made the scene I just couldn't read it and after a while I realized that if I was going to skip every scene with him I might just as well stop reading it, it was just too embarrassing. I find vampires completely uninteresting (the only vampire book I've enjoyed was Sunshine by Robin McKinley), about as romantic as mummies but was told that you should think of it as a romance and that didn't help at all. I read mainly romance and have for years so maybe I'm too experienced but it didn't work for me. It did make me remember the paranormal romance I loved as a teen, The Changeover by Margaret Mahy. I read it at least once a year and found the hero very attractive. He might have been a little creepy himself but at least the heroine was very strong and capable.

I have a lot of trouble reading classics (if I know something is considered a classic I think that I should read it and that makes it a duty and I only read for fun) but I absolutely loved Picture of Dorian Gray when I read it at 17 (for school, I only had to read three books during my whole time at school and we could select them ourselves from long lists). I never want to read it again, it was such an intense experience, but I remember how inspired I felt at writing the book report. And the piece in the beginning about art (http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/The_Picture_of_Dorian_Gray#Preface) was and is very close to my own ideas about art. I usually only read because of the plot, not because of the writing (I'm surrounded by literary people and it was a revelation to me that some people actually get pleasure out of good writing, not because they like the characters or the story but from the words) but Oscar Wilde is an exception for me. My sister reads a lot of classics and does a comic about her impressions on them, this (http://as-i-recall.smackjeeves.com/comics/1050137/the-picture-of-dorian-gray/) is very take on Dorian Gray.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: lady_disdain on April 30, 2011, 12:47:40 AM
I hated the last 2 books of the Millennium Trilogy.  He should have stopped with the Girl with the Dragon tattoo!

I also thought that the DaVinci Code was a poorly written thriller.

I certainly agree on all counts.

I found that a certain character on the Millennium books was changing from brilliant but flawed to everything-touched-turns-to-gold. The ending of the second book had some parts that were really hard to swallow and the new bad guys were just unbelievable.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: lady_disdain on April 30, 2011, 12:51:00 AM
One book that almost made my bad book list is Jonathon Strange and Mr. Norell (Susanna Clarke).  I still can't figure out why friends raved about this book.  The first 80-90% of the book dragged on and on and then - boom - it's over. The idea/story itself was clever but the writing was awkward and poorly paced.

I love the idea of Jonathon Strange and Mr. Norell. The beginning is great, but then it starts wondering and meandering around and the characters get less and less likeable. If I could, I would edit that massive brick into an ordinary book length, which would make it a lot better.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Bright on April 30, 2011, 12:58:38 AM
Neil Gaiman's American Gods. I got 150 pages into it, realized that nothing had happened and I didn't care about the characters and never picked it up again. People have told me the sequel is better. I refuse to try it- I hate reading books out of sequence and the first one was so dull!

I didn't like American Gods all that much. I found it rather dull and boring with way too much padding and a very dull protagonist.

Anansi Boys   isn't really a sequel so much as a story set in the same world with some of the same characters. You definitely do not need to read American Gods to be able to read Anansi Boys. It is a lot better. It's a lot more light-hearted in tone and I found it far more readable. I think it was one of Neil Gaiman's better books.

That's interesting. I loved American Gods, liked the main character a lot and found the world interesting. It's been years since I read it (I loaned my copy to a former friend and never got it back. And I don't think that she even read it) but can't understand how it could be boring, there was stuff happening all the time. But I hated Anansi Boys so much that I stopped reading after the beginning and haven't read anything by Gaiman since which is a pity as he used to be one of my favorite authors. I found the plot uninteresting and the characters unlikable and uninteresting (the character I liked the least in American Gods was Mr Nancy). The worst thing for me was the relationship between the brothers, I'm not really that interested in reading about families rediscovering each other anyway but I think that it probably pushed some buttons with me (I'm the obedient but dull daughter). I don't really remember any details but just thinking about the book still makes me angry.
 

I did find the world fascinating. I think Neil Gaiman's strengths as a writer are his world-building and some of his secondary characters. With the exception of Coraline, I find his protagonists very bland. I found American Gods a heavy slog that was very focussed on the world-building and it's not the sort of story that interests me. Anansi Boys, being more character orientated was closer to the sort of book that interests me. That said, I don't remember actually liking the characters and I've only very vague recollections of the story. Neil Gaiman's one of those authors I feel I should like, only I like the idea of liking his books far better than I actually like his books. :)  

I really liked Margaret Mahy as a teen. I've not read anything by her since then. 

Now to try and think of my own worst books. Usually if it's a bad book I just stop reading it. All of my worst books were usually the ones I was forced to read in school.

Sunset Song by Lewis Grassic Gibbon is right up there. It's such a horrible book, it's really bleak and depressing. The heroine's mother commits suicide and kills her siblings. Her father suffers a stroke and tries to molest her then he dies. Her husband dies in the war. We were forced to study this book in English and I just loathed it.

I didn't like Mice and Men by John Steinbeck which we also studied. I know it's a classic, I just didn't enjoy it in the slightest. Or The Pearl.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Gabrielle on April 30, 2011, 12:59:54 AM
I hated the last 2 books of the Millennium Trilogy.  He should have stopped with the Girl with the Dragon tattoo!

I also thought that the DaVinci Code was a poorly written thriller.

I certainly agree on all counts.

I found that a certain character on the Millennium books was changing from brilliant but flawed to everything-touched-turns-to-gold. The ending of the second book had some parts that were really hard to swallow and the new bad guys were just unbelievable.

Now I'm curious as to which of the characters you mean!
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Shopaholic on April 30, 2011, 01:46:36 AM
I hated the last 2 books of the Millennium Trilogy.  He should have stopped with the Girl with the Dragon tattoo!

I also thought that the DaVinci Code was a poorly written thriller.

I certainly agree on all counts.

I found that a certain character on the Millennium books was changing from brilliant but flawed to everything-touched-turns-to-gold. The ending of the second book had some parts that were really hard to swallow and the new bad guys were just unbelievable.

Yes. Definitely.
Same goes for the movies. No need to see the 2nd and 3rd. My husband loved the first one so much that he dragged me to the second two.
I fell asleep...
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Xallanthia on April 30, 2011, 06:56:27 AM
I also stopped reading A Song of Ice and Fire at about two and half books. Something happened that seemed to me so ridiculous that I just couldn't take it anymore. I thought that at least the first one was good, I really liked the atmosphere but the books were a little too scary and depressing for me and after the last straw I lost all will to read on. I prefer light-hearted books and can't read anything too gloomy so they weren't the right books for me anyway but I'm willing to read about bad things happening to characters I like. It just felt like it wasn't a possibility but a certainty and I didn't like that. I liked to recommend Steven Erikson's Malazan Book of the Fallen to people in discussions about A Song of Ice and Fire but I gave up because I'm pretty sure the series has made many lists like this. There are ten books, the last books have maybe 900 pages and countless characters and gods and demigods and creatures and races and continents and story lines and epic tragedy and as I've read one book a year I can never remember the details of previous books or who some of the characters are. But it has a lot of humor and a feeling of hope I didn't get from A Song of Ice and Fire. And I dislike politics and prefer adventure.

The fascinating thing about A Storm of Swords (the third ASOIF) is that everyone who has read the books knows exactly what scene you're talking about.  In fact the author has even acknowledged that it is a very difficult scene and while he stands by it, he knew it would probably cost him some readership.  Everyone I know who's read it has put the book down at that point, although all of them did pick it up again after a break.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Giggity on April 30, 2011, 07:22:02 AM
This thread is making me want to read Twilight just to see how bad it really is....

I dare you.

No, wait.

I DOUBLE-DOG DARE YOU.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Giggity on April 30, 2011, 07:24:03 AM
Got a biography of Charles II & one of the English Civil War for Christmas (I loves me some history) & just can't get through either of them. The bio is so boring & the civil war one jumps all over the place, it's so hard to follow. If someone's got a good rec for either I'll take it!

If a biography of Charles II is boring, man oh MAN that has to be a bad book. That was one wild partyin' dude. Okay, recommendations ... let's see ... I liked Antonia Fraser's Royal Charles a lot.

Ooooh, you know what you might dig? Derek Wilson's book about Charles's various mistresses. It's called All the King's Women.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Giggity on April 30, 2011, 07:25:48 AM
Ok, so you know the book The Greek Seaman by Jacqueline Howett? The one reviewed by that blogger, and she went all crazy on him?

I just discovered tonight I know the blogger's daughter. ;D

It's a small world, after all...

That is truly weird cool. (And let's be honest ... I read Ms. Howett's implosion and laughed like a hyena.)
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Giggity on April 30, 2011, 07:29:02 AM
I also stopped reading A Song of Ice and Fire at about two and half books. Something happened that seemed to me so ridiculous that I just couldn't take it anymore.

The fascinating thing about A Storm of Swords (the third ASOIF) is that everyone who has read the books knows exactly what scene you're talking about.  In fact the author has even acknowledged that it is a very difficult scene and while he stands by it, he knew it would probably cost him some readership.  Everyone I know who's read it has put the book down at that point, although all of them did pick it up again after a break.

I have got to know what scene y'all are talking about! Would one of you please PM me? (I have my suspicions, but I'm sorta doubtful I'm right.)

ETA: Are we talking about the Red Wedding?
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Ereine on April 30, 2011, 07:35:16 AM
I also stopped reading A Song of Ice and Fire at about two and half books. Something happened that seemed to me so ridiculous that I just couldn't take it anymore. I thought that at least the first one was good, I really liked the atmosphere but the books were a little too scary and depressing for me and after the last straw I lost all will to read on. I prefer light-hearted books and can't read anything too gloomy so they weren't the right books for me anyway but I'm willing to read about bad things happening to characters I like. It just felt like it wasn't a possibility but a certainty and I didn't like that. I liked to recommend Steven Erikson's Malazan Book of the Fallen to people in discussions about A Song of Ice and Fire but I gave up because I'm pretty sure the series has made many lists like this. There are ten books, the last books have maybe 900 pages and countless characters and gods and demigods and creatures and races and continents and story lines and epic tragedy and as I've read one book a year I can never remember the details of previous books or who some of the characters are. But it has a lot of humor and a feeling of hope I didn't get from A Song of Ice and Fire. And I dislike politics and prefer adventure.

The fascinating thing about A Storm of Swords (the third ASOIF) is that everyone who has read the books knows exactly what scene you're talking about.  In fact the author has even acknowledged that it is a very difficult scene and while he stands by it, he knew it would probably cost him some readership.  Everyone I know who's read it has put the book down at that point, although all of them did pick it up again after a break.

I might start reading the books again, maybe when the series is finished. Something has happened to me in the last ten years and I've changed from reading mostly fantasy to reading mostly romance and I find it harder to read "heavier" books, that is books that don't have guaranteed happy endings. I think that the scene was jarring for me because before that it didn't necessary feel much like fantasy at all, more like historical fiction set in some other world and the thing that happened seemed so strange. I am curious about the tv series, though, mostly because I like Sean Bean.

I remembered another book I hated and couldn't finish, even though it was maybe 100 pages long. A classmate recommended it, because she knew I liked romance. It turned out that our ideas of romance were very different and I hated the book. I think that it was set in Paris after WW2 and featured a love triangle between a German maid, some French guy and maybe a Jewish guy, I can mostly remember the triangle and how it all seemed so tragic, or at least it was supposed to be, I think. The maid was unaffected by it and the men seemed to love some idea of her, as she seemed to have no personality, though I don't remember much. There was of course no happy ending and actually no romance and none of the characters were likable or interesting. I don't really know why it was recommended to me, except she told me that she loved the language. That's when I realized that people get different things out of books.

ETA: and now it bothers me that I can't remember what the book was called.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Spoder on April 30, 2011, 08:07:05 AM
Ford's Principles of Corporations Law



Okay, okay, it's a text. But I am full of bile and loathing for it right this second, so I couldn't resist.  >:D

Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Horace on April 30, 2011, 08:20:33 AM
This thread is making me want to read Twilight just to see how bad it really is....

I dare you.

No, wait.

I DOUBLE-DOG DARE YOU.

Don't do it to yourself.  I thought this too and read five pages and wanted to gouge my eyes out, it was that bad.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: lady_disdain on April 30, 2011, 09:24:40 AM
I hated the last 2 books of the Millennium Trilogy.  He should have stopped with the Girl with the Dragon tattoo!

I also thought that the DaVinci Code was a poorly written thriller.

I certainly agree on all counts.

I found that a certain character on the Millennium books was changing from brilliant but flawed to everything-touched-turns-to-gold. The ending of the second book had some parts that were really hard to swallow and the new bad guys were just unbelievable.

Now I'm curious as to which of the characters you mean!

Ok - spoiler beware! (scroll down, in yellow)


















I am talking about Lisbeth Salander herself. She was always a Mary Sue, but it gets taken to whole new heights in the second book. For example, she decides she wants to learn mathematics, and proceeds to prove Fermat's last theorem. Her fighting skills are vamped up, to the point where she faces a superhumanly strong man who can feel no pain. And, to top it off, in the end, she takes two or three bullets, one of them a point blank shot to her skull and is buried alive. She, of course, digs herself out and goes on to finish things off.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: dqduck on April 30, 2011, 09:53:04 AM

I also stopped reading A Song of Ice and Fire at about two and half books. Something happened that seemed to me so ridiculous that I just couldn't take it anymore. I thought that at least the first one was good, I really liked the atmosphere but the books were a little too scary and depressing for me and after the last straw I lost all will to read on. I prefer light-hearted books and can't read anything too gloomy so they weren't the right books for me anyway but I'm willing to read about bad things happening to characters I like. It just felt like it wasn't a possibility but a certainty and I didn't like that. I liked to recommend Steven Erikson's Malazan Book of the Fallen to people in discussions about A Song of Ice and Fire but I gave up because I'm pretty sure the series has made many lists like this. There are ten books, the last books have maybe 900 pages and countless characters and gods and demigods and creatures and races and continents and story lines and epic tragedy and as I've read one book a year I can never remember the details of previous books or who some of the characters are. But it has a lot of humor and a feeling of hope I didn't get from A Song of Ice and Fire. And I dislike politics and prefer adventure.


It's interesting for me to see that some people don't like A Song of Ice and Fire because it's depressing. For some reason that had never occurred to me. The books have never actually given me that feeling, my reactions have been more along the lines of "Yay, sneaky political maneuvering, WOO EPIC BATTLE!" Love the series. :)

I also stopped reading A Song of Ice and Fire at about two and half books. Something happened that seemed to me so ridiculous that I just couldn't take it anymore.

The fascinating thing about A Storm of Swords (the third ASOIF) is that everyone who has read the books knows exactly what scene you're talking about.  In fact the author has even acknowledged that it is a very difficult scene and while he stands by it, he knew it would probably cost him some readership.  Everyone I know who's read it has put the book down at that point, although all of them did pick it up again after a break.

I have got to know what scene y'all are talking about! Would one of you please PM me? (I have my suspicions, but I'm sorta doubtful I'm right.)

ETA: Are we talking about the Red Wedding?

I'm curious about this too!

Has anyone read the Farseer Trilogy by Robin Hobb? Those books were like a punch to the gut. And when you're doubled over in pain, someone comes along and hits you again. They were so depressing. But I loved them just the same. I'm curious to see what other people think about them.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Klein Bottle on April 30, 2011, 09:56:55 AM
Ford's Principles of Corporations Law



Okay, okay, it's a text. But I am full of bile and loathing for it right this second, so I couldn't resist.  >:D



Hee hee, when I was in college, The Economics Of The Industrial Organization, by..I forget.  Dryest textbook ever.  My last semester at school, for an early morning class.  In winter, in Milwaukee. It was so hard to drag myself to that class, even more difficult to read that textbook.  I actually still have that book packed away somewhere, but just looking at its spine gives me the heebie jeebies, such horrible memories have I of the capital-B Boring.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Spoder on April 30, 2011, 10:02:21 AM
Ford's Principles of Corporations Law



Okay, okay, it's a text. But I am full of bile and loathing for it right this second, so I couldn't resist.  >:D



Hee hee, when I was in college, The Economics Of The Industrial Organization, by..I forget.  Dryest textbook ever.  My last semester at school, for an early morning class.  In winter, in Milwaukee. It was so hard to drag myself to that class, even more difficult to read that textbook.  I actually still have that book packed away somewhere, but just looking at its spine gives me the heebie jeebies, such horrible memories have I of the capital-B Boring.

Ha, so I'm not the only one to suffer! The lecture that goes with this book runs from 4:30 - 8:30 pm on a Wednesday evening. And oh boy, does that lecturer ever use up every...last...second of those four hours. Gah!

I would fling it across the room but it's too heavy. It would likely just rip, and it's stupid tissue-thin pages would all scrumple. Like the pathetic beast that it is. ;D
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: lady_disdain on April 30, 2011, 10:14:50 AM
Has anyone read the Farseer Trilogy by Robin Hobb? Those books were like a punch to the gut. And when you're doubled over in pain, someone comes along and hits you again. They were so depressing. But I loved them just the same. I'm curious to see what other people think about them.

I loved the idea of those books, but I am not very fond of them as they came out. My pet hate was how each book ended - a huge cliff hanger each time. I love trilogies, but I like each book to have a proper ending, not just "I stopped writing".
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: dqduck on April 30, 2011, 10:28:41 AM
I bought all three at once and was glad I could do that. The cliffhanger endings would have been really frustrating.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Eisa on April 30, 2011, 11:24:21 AM
I can't remember what it was called, but it was one of those romance books. The woman was married, but her marriage was going south, and her husband didn't care about her anymore. Enter dashing, handsome stranger who she felt an instant connection to, and the whole book was about their relationship...EXCEPT that at the end, she ended up still going with her husband, the guy that was like never talked about the entire book. SO annoying. ::) It was like, ok, it's not necessarily a bad thing that she stays with her hubby, but can you please at least try to develop their relationship? It makes absolutely no sense for her to choose him in the context of the story you wrote.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: General Jinjur on April 30, 2011, 11:26:55 AM
I can't remember what it was called, but it was one of those romance books. The woman was married, but her marriage was going south, and her husband didn't care about her anymore. Enter dashing, handsome stranger who she felt an instant connection to, and the whole book was about their relationship...EXCEPT that at the end, she ended up still going with her husband, the guy that was like never talked about the entire book. SO annoying. ::) It was like, ok, it's not necessarily a bad thing that she stays with her hubby, but can you please at least try to develop their relationship? It makes absolutely no sense for her to choose him in the context of the story you wrote.

Eisa, was that the Anne Tyler book discussed earlier? Where the protagonist comes home for her daughter's wedding and boom, no warning, decides her husband was pretty great after all - in the last two pages?

Because that one got FLUNG.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Eisa on April 30, 2011, 11:32:34 AM
I can't remember what it was called, but it was one of those romance books. The woman was married, but her marriage was going south, and her husband didn't care about her anymore. Enter dashing, handsome stranger who she felt an instant connection to, and the whole book was about their relationship...EXCEPT that at the end, she ended up still going with her husband, the guy that was like never talked about the entire book. SO annoying. ::) It was like, ok, it's not necessarily a bad thing that she stays with her hubby, but can you please at least try to develop their relationship? It makes absolutely no sense for her to choose him in the context of the story you wrote.

Eisa, was that the Anne Tyler book discussed earlier? Where the protagonist comes home for her daughter's wedding and boom, no warning, decides her husband was pretty great after all - in the last two pages?

Because that one got FLUNG.


Oooh, I can't remember. It might have been. If it was [well, if it wasn't, too lol], I flung it, too. That was so stupid!
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: artk2002 on April 30, 2011, 12:09:52 PM
... Titus Groan: Gormenghast #1 (Mervyn Peake). 

Gee, thanks.  I'd almost forgotten that one.  I've tried several times to like it since it's a "classic."  Page after page of unpleasant people scheming and sniping at each other.  Like the Thomas Covenant books, I kept trying to figure out why I should care about any of the characters.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: AuntieA on April 30, 2011, 02:24:26 PM
I admit that I will not read anything on Oprah's lists, nor anything that the general population are swooning over (Jodi Picoult, Maeve Binchy, etc.). However, I did read & enjoy both Pillars of the Earth and World Without End. I love Stephen King and Dean Koontz, even when they're off their games at times. I read for enjoyment & escape, so anyone recommending a book to me "because it makes you think/feel" is whistling in the dark.

Cannot even think of starting with the teenybopper Twilight books - I have enjoyed reading about Chelsea Quinn Yarbro's Saint Germain for decades, and he is all the vampire I want.

When I was in my twenties, I tried reading Lady Chatterly's Lover. I could not get into it at all. Also podding PPs on the Brontes - love Jane Eyre, hate Wuthering Heights.

Edited for spelling
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: violinp on April 30, 2011, 02:28:23 PM
This thread is making me want to read Twilight just to see how bad it really is....

I dare you.

No, wait.

I DOUBLE-DOG DARE YOU.

I TRIPLE DOG - DARE YA.  ;D
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: lady_disdain on April 30, 2011, 02:38:59 PM
When I was in my twenties, I tried reading Lady Chatterly's Lover. I could not get into it at all. Also podding PPs on the Brontes - love Jane Eyre, hate Wuthering Heights.

Edited for spelling

I like Jane Eyre, hate Wuthering Heights and I really want to love Vilette, but every time I read it, I just want to wring Lucy Snow's neck.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Daffydilly on April 30, 2011, 02:59:17 PM
The Butter Battle Book by Dr Seuss. I loved, loved, loved many of his books, but this one freaks me out. It features an arms race over which side of bread should the butter be eaten on. It may be satire, but that's beyond a childs understanding. Finally, the two sides get left in a stand off about who's going to drop their atomic type bomb first.

Really? You want to leave kids with the thought of "who's going to die first?" or "Am I going to die?". What a great way to give kids nightmares and freak them out with world issues they aren't ready to deal with!
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: snowdragon on April 30, 2011, 06:19:39 PM
This thread is making me want to read Twilight just to see how bad it really is....

I dare you.

No, wait.

I DOUBLE-DOG DARE YOU.

I TRIPLE DOG - DARE YA.  ;D

I quadruple dog dare you
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: snowdragon on April 30, 2011, 06:26:10 PM
I didn't think to include children's books!

When my DD was in the 4th grade, she brought home a non-disney book entitled The Little Mermaid.  Same basic story as the Disney version, except that at the end when she couldn't have the prince (because he was betrothed to another), she killed him and then slit her own throat.

Had to make a little phone call to the school the next day.  It was removed from the shelves permanently.


That was the ballet version, I believe, I do wish they'd read books before getting them for a young children's library.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: snowdragon on April 30, 2011, 06:36:04 PM
Hooded Knights on the Niagara. By Shawn Lay. I had to read it this semester for a history course. The author makes the KKK out to be the victims of political intolerance because they were forced to reveal their membership and run out of town. He even tries to make the case that the KKK were nothing more than a civic organization - yup, apologetics for the KKK.

in fiction, the Thomas Covenant books, anything "heavily edited by John Updike" and what modern, historical fiction aimed at adults has become....I much prefer Anne Rinaldi
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Gabrielle on April 30, 2011, 08:30:44 PM
I hated the last 2 books of the Millennium Trilogy.  He should have stopped with the Girl with the Dragon tattoo!

I also thought that the DaVinci Code was a poorly written thriller.

I certainly agree on all counts.

I found that a certain character on the Millennium books was changing from brilliant but flawed to everything-touched-turns-to-gold. The ending of the second book had some parts that were really hard to swallow and the new bad guys were just unbelievable.

Now I'm curious as to which of the characters you mean!

Ok - spoiler beware! (scroll down, in yellow)


I am talking about Lisbeth Salander herself. She was always a Mary Sue, but it gets taken to whole new heights in the second book. For example, she decides she wants to learn mathematics, and proceeds to prove Fermat's last theorem. Her fighting skills are vamped up, to the point where she faces a superhumanly strong man who can feel no pain. And, to top it off, in the end, she takes two or three bullets, one of them a point blank shot to her skull and is buried alive. She, of course, digs herself out and goes on to finish things off.

Ah yes, the whole "oh look I solved Fermat's last theorem while sneaking around in a very dangerous tense situation" thing did go a bit far for me. To be honest though, Michael bothered me more - mainly because it read so much as an author self-insert sort of thing. Michael is a millionaire Swedish investigative journalist and literally every girl he meets jumps into bed with him or falls in love with him... Yeah stieg we get it. After a while Michael seemed like Bella from twilight - literally every member of the opposite sex was panting after him. Whereas I was cheering for Lisbeth most of the time so it was much easier to brush off her super fighting and super memory and super hacking skillz.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: lady_disdain on April 30, 2011, 09:09:38 PM
Michael was a Gary Stue from beginning to end, so I just put up with it. I got disappointed with Lisbeth because she seems to devolve from an interesting character to Super Sue.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: stargazer on April 30, 2011, 09:14:54 PM
Okay, I have read through 36 pages so I can list two of mine.

The Lord of the Flies.  Mainly because my high school English teacher pounded the idea into us over and over that our stories COULD NOT have a cop out ending i.e. "it was all a dream".  And then assigns us this book????  The biggest cop out ending ever.

Fern Michael is simply a terrible writer.  I don't know why I try her books except every once in awhile I need pure fluff which is what her books are.  But it's bad fluff.  The woman has no sense of time or reality.  The worst case I have seen of this is with Annie's Rainbow.  I have actually re-read it several times always asking myself why.  And I think the reason is I want to see if it gets better over time.  It gets worse. 

General synopsis (spoilers abound):  Annie is leaving school, robbers throw a bag of money into the back of her car.  She keeps it and despairs about what she has done and who will find out for the entire book, which, by the way, spans over 10 years.  She starts a coffee shop; it of course becomes wildly successful in no time at all despite her having no experience and spans franchises, but she is still moaning about the bag of money.  She meets the man of her dreams but they have a rather fundamental life disagreement.   They don't see each other for TEN YEARS but every once in awhile Annie wonders if he thinks about her.  They meet up again, immediately have s*x, and she agrees to marry him, even though she NOW knows she doesn't love him.  Wait, what?  You spent 10 years totally pining over this man, who is a huge jerk, and now think you don't love him, but will marry him?  She then breaks it off with him, not because she doesn't love him, but because she thinks he might find out about the money. 

But the worst thing is not all this.  It is Fran's general writing style.  She jumps ahead years but characters are still having the SAME conversations.  Her phone calls are all from the point of view from one person, so they go like this:

"Hello Tom.  I am fine.  No, the coffee shop is going great.  No, of course I don't have secrets.  Why are you being mean to me?  You never helped our mother; I did everything.  I'm worried about the investigator following us too.  Of course I don't think he has anything on us - why would you say that?  I guess Jane is doing okay, we don't talk that much anymore.  I think Elmo is hiding stuff from us.  I don't know, it's just a feeling.  Okay, I'll bring pumpkin pie to Thanksgiving.  Bye."

I mean, HONESTLY.

Oh, and she travels to Hawaii many times with her dogs.  Which, of course, don't need to be quarantined.  In fact, they stay in hotels with her.  Because she's rich, and that solves everything, even well known state laws? Arrrgghhh.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: workingmum on April 30, 2011, 09:18:22 PM
Am I the only one who actually wants to read some of these books to see how terrible they really are?  ;D
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: katycoo on April 30, 2011, 10:04:16 PM
Ford's Principles of Corporations Law

Okay, okay, it's a text. But I am full of bile and loathing for it right this second, so I couldn't resist.  >:D


Hello fellow Australian law-person :)  If we're including texts, I add Equity & Trusts by Michael Evans.  I suffered through lectures from Evans himself.  The combination was pure torture.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: blueberrypancakes on April 30, 2011, 10:26:19 PM
Am I the only one who actually wants to read some of these books to see how terrible they really are?  ;D

Nope!  I'm going to stop by the library Monday and pick up Twilight... since I have now been quadruple dog dared to read it... heehee
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Anyanka on April 30, 2011, 10:28:37 PM
The Wideacre series by Phillipa Gregory.  I only read two of the series and didn't want to read the third (learned my lesson about pushing through whole series after reading "Breaking Dawn") but a ? for others who have read her other books, is she just all around the historical fiction version of V.C. Andrews?  I mean..gah, the incest!! *looks for brain bleach*

Yes. Yes, ma'am, she IS. You so nailed it.

Not read to the end of the thread.... but Phillipa-lets-add-incest-as-a-plot-Gregory leaves a lot to be desired in her persuit of fiction. The Other Boleyn Girl is a load of poop.

Her idea of history is make it as pervy as possible.


Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Anyanka on April 30, 2011, 10:57:02 PM
I've made at least 3 tries at Thomas Covenant.  Still have the books in the hopes that somehow I'll like them.  But since I want to kill the "hero" within the first 20 pages, and he doesn't grow at all through the first book (or the second, I think I've made it that far), it's very, very painful.


So I wasn't the only person who wanted Lord Foul to win , then.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: TeamBhakta on April 30, 2011, 11:00:56 PM
For children's books:
- The Trouble With Fifth Grade. Or any other book that involves "gosh, so-and-so's life is a wreck and she's a fatty...Okay, her life is better now that she's not so fat. We're all gonna be nice to you since you got skinnier and apologize for any mean behavior while you were fat."
- Ann M. Martin's Slambook. I still turn a little pale when I think of the death in that book. It's one scene I'd like to blot out of my memory  :-[
- Barbara Park's Buddies. I think I must be a bad person, because that was the only time I didn't feel sorry for a picked on character. I remember thinking "for goodness sake, stop following the other girls like a puppy." Any other book, I feel bad for that lonely, goofy person. But not in this book. You would think someone getting shoved out of a canoe would make you sympathetic. I don't know why this book evoked a different reaction from me ???
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Anyanka on April 30, 2011, 11:01:56 PM
The Scarlet Letter - I was doing fine reading this despite my issues with the tone and dense symbolism...until I idly wondered what would happen if Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg (from a favorite series of fantasy novels) showed up at this, that or the other point in the story.  Now I can't even see a copy of the book without breaking into giggles.

!!!!!!  What have you just done to me, giving me that image!  And it won't stop here!  It'll spread to other books!  I think it's alreading infiltrating Harry Potter!

Granny vs. Voldemort...oooh!  Vimes vs. Voldemort!

Is that my cow? It goes "Crucio"! It is Lord Voldemort! THAT IS NOT MY COW!!!

Please to be sending me beers....
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: violinp on April 30, 2011, 11:04:59 PM
Am I the only one who actually wants to read some of these books to see how terrible they really are?  ;D

Nope!  I'm going to stop by the library Monday and pick up Twilight... since I have now been quadruple dog dared to read it... heehee

Be sure to come back and tell us the horror!  ;D
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Firecat on April 30, 2011, 11:14:33 PM
The Wideacre series by Phillipa Gregory.  I only read two of the series and didn't want to read the third (learned my lesson about pushing through whole series after reading "Breaking Dawn") but a ? for others who have read her other books, is she just all around the historical fiction version of V.C. Andrews?  I mean..gah, the incest!! *looks for brain bleach*

Yes. Yes, ma'am, she IS. You so nailed it.

Not read to the end of the thread.... but Phillipa-lets-add-incest-as-a-plot-Gregory leaves a lot to be desired in her persuit of fiction. The Other Boleyn Girl is a load of poop.

Her idea of history is make it as pervy as possible.




Well, in all fairness, it is true that Anne Boleyn was accused of incest with her brother. Gregory just made the accusation true with the rationale that Anne desperately needed to be pregnant and her brother was the only one she trusted to keep the secret. Still really, really bad history for reasons my friends are tired of hearing me rant about. But at the very least, the accusation of incest was historically accurate, even if modern scholars are (so far as I know) uniformly of the opinion that it was just something thrown in to get rid of both Anne and her brother. Judicial murder being a favorite pastime of Henry VIII and all.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Elfmama on April 30, 2011, 11:51:06 PM
The Wideacre series by Phillipa Gregory.  I only read two of the series and didn't want to read the third (learned my lesson about pushing through whole series after reading "Breaking Dawn") but a ? for others who have read her other books, is she just all around the historical fiction version of V.C. Andrews?  I mean..gah, the incest!! *looks for brain bleach*

Yes. Yes, ma'am, she IS. You so nailed it.

Not read to the end of the thread.... but Phillipa-lets-add-incest-as-a-plot-Gregory leaves a lot to be desired in her persuit of fiction. The Other Boleyn Girl is a load of poop.

Her idea of history is make it as pervy as possible.




Well, in all fairness, it is true that Anne Boleyn was accused of incest with her brother. Gregory just made the accusation true with the rationale that Anne desperately needed to be pregnant and her brother was the only one she trusted to keep the secret. Still really, really bad history for reasons my friends are tired of hearing me rant about. But at the very least, the accusation of incest was historically accurate, even if modern scholars are (so far as I know) uniformly of the opinion that it was just something thrown in to get rid of both Anne and her brother. Judicial murder being a favorite pastime of Henry VIII and all.
And George Boleyn's wife did make that accusation against them. 

The movie was even worse.  Horribly disjointed, to the point that if you didn't already know the storyline, you'd be completely ???
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Master_Edward on May 01, 2011, 12:45:10 AM
Where The Red Fern Grows. I know it's considered a "classic" but I hated it when I had to read it in the 6th grade. Plus there's an accidental death that's really gross. I'll never read it again.

Ed.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Yarnspinner on May 01, 2011, 12:48:40 AM
It did make me remember the paranormal romance I loved as a teen, The Changeover by Margaret Mahy. I read it at least once a year and found the hero very attractive. He might have been a little creepy himself but at least the heroine was very strong and capable.


Edited the thread down for this one comment.

When I was first a children's librarian, a workshop came up where we had to read this book and three others for a discussion.

My friend--also a children's librarian--and I agreed that this book was the best of the four (among the other three were Francesca Lia Block's first novel the title of which I have erased from my mind (I do remember that the characters has names like Slinkster Dog, Duck, Secret Agent Loverman--but the heroine's name escapes me) and one of Walter Dean Myers happy little numbers in which, once again, being African American means being miserable, unhappy and ready to die/kill/suffer.  The fourth one has been permanently erased from my brain.

But The Changeover...oh, yes.  I loved it.  I found the hero very romantic and the heroine very capable and neither of them were actually whiners and supported each other in uncreepy ways....and while I don't remember too much of the plot, I DO remember that it was a long time before peppermints stopped being a symbol of horror.  Mahy is a wonderful writer.

I know this is supposed to be "worst book ever" but this reminds me of another novel with a similar feel:  Out of the Ordinary by Annie Dalton had a similar dynamic:  every day girl summons strengths she never knew she had to protect a very young child from encroaching evil, helped by a young man with arcane abilities.  

And THAT reminds me of another wonderful read.  The Silver Kiss by Annette Curtis Klause kind of inverts the plot of the first two.  In this one, the heroine's mother is dying of cancer and, while trying to escape this ugly truth, she meets a beautiful young vampire male who enlists her aid to help him destroy an vampire of truly evil proportions--who happens to be a five year old boy.  The Master wishes he could have been as evil as this kid.   This is the only vampire love story of which I approve (well, outside of Buffy and Spike) and I hope it never gets filmed because what Hollywood did to Klause's equally beautiful and lyrical Blood and Chocolate is a crime against humanity, nature and literature.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Yarnspinner on May 01, 2011, 12:53:33 AM
Where The Red Fern Grows. I know it's considered a "classic" but I hated it when I had to read it in the 6th grade. Plus there's an accidental death that's really gross. I'll never read it again.

Ed.

What is it with the dead pet stories?  A young patron complained to me bitterly about this trend in her school.  She'd had to read Old Yeller and Where The Red Fern Grows.  "We just started the newest one," She said.  "What's that one?"  I replied.  "We're reading The Yearling now.  Are there any dingdangity dead dogs in that one?"  I took a deep breath and said "Nope.  No dead dogs.  I wouldn't get too attached to the title animal, though--or Joby's best friend, if I were you."  I think this may be why she is studying veterinary science.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Master_Edward on May 01, 2011, 12:59:55 AM
I actually like Old Yeller. I have a copy of it that belonged to my granddad. But I do think the older brother is kind of annoying sometimes, LOL.

Ed. P.S., Oh I wasn't referring to the dogs dying in Where The Red Fern Grows. But the teenage boy that dies in about the middle of the story. Just eeewwwwww.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: LadyPekoe on May 01, 2011, 01:06:28 AM
I, too, loved "The Changeover".  I don't remember anything about it other than it's one of the few books I re-read as a kid (to this day I tend not to re-read).

Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Xallanthia on May 01, 2011, 02:26:47 AM
The Butter Battle Book by Dr Seuss. I loved, loved, loved many of his books, but this one freaks me out. It features an arms race over which side of bread should the butter be eaten on. It may be satire, but that's beyond a childs understanding. Finally, the two sides get left in a stand off about who's going to drop their atomic type bomb first.

Really? You want to leave kids with the thought of "who's going to die first?" or "Am I going to die?". What a great way to give kids nightmares and freak them out with world issues they aren't ready to deal with!

Depends on the kid, I think... I was young (7?) when I first read that and it's one of my favorites.  I definitely got the message that there are a lot of dumb things that aren't worth fighting over, and that there are some things that are ridiculous in war even when the argument makes sense.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Xallanthia on May 01, 2011, 02:34:26 AM
I actually like Old Yeller. I have a copy of it that belonged to my granddad. But I do think the older brother is kind of annoying sometimes, LOL.

Ed. P.S., Oh I wasn't referring to the dogs dying in Where The Red Fern Grows. But the teenage boy that dies in about the middle of the story. Just eeewwwwww.

I read Where the Red Fern Grows in 6th grade and while the pet death has stuck with me (it's the first book I remember sobbing over, though I also got into a lot of Lurlene McDaniel around that time.  Actually, I wonder if my mom knew what I was reading or how much I liked making myself cry that way.  Maybe it's a young teen thing?).
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: zyrs on May 01, 2011, 02:41:15 AM
I've made at least 3 tries at Thomas Covenant.  Still have the books in the hopes that somehow I'll like them.  But since I want to kill the "hero" within the first 20 pages, and he doesn't grow at all through the first book (or the second, I think I've made it that far), it's very, very painful.


So I wasn't the only person who wanted Lord Foul to win , then.

How could I forget the Unbeliever guy?  I couldn't stand him.  I slogged through all the books as a favor to a friend who wanted someone to discuss them with and for the life of me I can't remember anything that happened.  Except I didn't like the hero at all.

And "The White Plague" by Frank Herbert.  Bleh.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Information_queen on May 01, 2011, 02:46:06 AM
Joyce's "Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man"

<shudders> that is pretty much my definition of hell. I had to read that for school. Well, let me rephrase - I was *supposed* to read it. I didn't. I stopped about 3 chapters in and faked it the rest of the class.

That, and "Heart of Darkness". I had to get Cliff Notes just to figure out what was going on - is this happening or is this yet another drug induced hallucination?
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Eisa on May 01, 2011, 02:48:47 AM
I actually like Old Yeller. I have a copy of it that belonged to my granddad. But I do think the older brother is kind of annoying sometimes, LOL.

Ed. P.S., Oh I wasn't referring to the dogs dying in Where The Red Fern Grows. But the teenage boy that dies in about the middle of the story. Just eeewwwwww.

I read Where the Red Fern Grows in 6th grade and while the pet death has stuck with me (it's the first book I remember sobbing over, though I also got into a lot of Lurlene McDaniel around that time.  Actually, I wonder if my mom knew what I was reading or how much I liked making myself cry that way.  Maybe it's a young teen thing?).

Oh, man, don't remind me of Lurlene McDaniel! :'( She's not a bad writer, but I can't read her books anymore because they make me cry so much.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: iridaceae on May 01, 2011, 04:00:28 AM
The Changeover is really nice for young teen girls to read because Laura is the strong one.  It's a wonderful book.

Now on to hatreds:

Hands down worst is A Thousand Acres by Jane someone.   I don't care that it won a Pulitzer.  It's horrible.
Spoiler: At the end of the book the narrator- who tries to kill her sister OUT OF THE BLUE for NO GOOD OR EVEN ANY REASON- "escapes".  No, she doesn't; she is now living her now-dead - from cancer, I think- sister's dreams of how she would escape.  I read this because I joined a book club and the other women in the book club- who were raised on and/or currently lived on working farms- hated the book with passion usually reserved, in Wisconsin, for the Vikings and the Bears football teams.  So I read it so I would know why this was constantly being mentioned with loathing. I now understand why.

Also: The Thomas the Covenant books. I don't want a character who whines 24/7. Shut up already.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Klein Bottle on May 01, 2011, 08:03:00 AM
The Changeover is really nice for young teen girls to read because Laura is the strong one.  It's a wonderful book.

Now on to hatreds:

Hands down worst is A Thousand Acres by Jane someone.   I don't care that it won a Pulitzer.  It's horrible.
Spoiler: At the end of the book the narrator- who tries to kill her sister OUT OF THE BLUE for NO GOOD OR EVEN ANY REASON- "escapes".  No, she doesn't; she is now living her now-dead - from cancer, I think- sister's dreams of how she would escape.  I read this because I joined a book club and the other women in the book club- who were raised on and/or currently lived on working farms- hated the book with passion usually reserved, in Wisconsin, for the Vikings and the Bears football teams.  So I read it so I would know why this was constantly being mentioned with loathing. I now understand why.

Also: The Thomas the Covenant books. I don't want a character who whines 24/7. Shut up already.

Oh good gravy did I despise A Thousand Acres.  There was not one single likeable charcter in that entire book, and the ending was ridiculous.  Actually, I found the entire premise ridiculous, and could not understand anyone's motives, nor the shifting alliances.  Someone said that it's supposed to be a modern day "King Lear."  Is this even close?  (Have never read King Lear.)
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: iridaceae on May 01, 2011, 08:09:51 AM
I've heard the King Lear stuff as well.

The thing about it that irritated the living daylights out of a friend of mine (I tend not to pick up on stuff like this; too literal-minded) was that there was supposd to be a parallel of how if you were horrified by the SPOILER ALERT!!!! sexual abuse of the sisters by the father, you should be just as horrified by the abuse of the land. Except, as my friend points out, much of the poisoning of the land, especially before the 1970s was done out of ignorance, not deliberately as the sexual abuse was.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Giggity on May 01, 2011, 08:12:10 AM
Ooooh, someone else mentioned Frank Herbert, so I will go ahead and confess.

I have never read Dune.

I've tried. Oh, Lord, how I've tried. I wanted so badly to love it as much as my nerd friends did.

But I have found out that I do not get along with authors who feel the need to invent a new vocabulary, and then require me to learn it to understand what on earth is happening.

So, no Dune for me.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Dazi on May 01, 2011, 12:41:59 PM
Ooooh, someone else mentioned Frank Herbert, so I will go ahead and confess.

I have never read Dune.

I've tried. Oh, Lord, how I've tried. I wanted so badly to love it as much as my nerd friends did.

But I have found out that I do not get along with authors who feel the need to invent a new vocabulary, and then require me to learn it to understand what on earth is happening.

So, no Dune for me.

I forgot all about Dune.  I had the same problem.  My DH (who isn't a big book reader) was adamant I just would LOVE it cause he thinks it is one of the greatest books EVER.  I had the same problem with the vocab, so he made me watch the movie because he thought that would help.nope, not even a little.


I also didn't particularly care for The Lord of the Rings
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Maujer on May 01, 2011, 01:48:01 PM
The Changeover is really nice for young teen girls to read because Laura is the strong one.  It's a wonderful book.

Now on to hatreds:

Hands down worst is A Thousand Acres by Jane someone.   I don't care that it won a Pulitzer.  It's horrible.
Spoiler: At the end of the book the narrator- who tries to kill her sister OUT OF THE BLUE for NO GOOD OR EVEN ANY REASON- "escapes".  No, she doesn't; she is now living her now-dead - from cancer, I think- sister's dreams of how she would escape.  I read this because I joined a book club and the other women in the book club- who were raised on and/or currently lived on working farms- hated the book with passion usually reserved, in Wisconsin, for the Vikings and the Bears football teams.  So I read it so I would know why this was constantly being mentioned with loathing. I now understand why.

Also: The Thomas the Covenant books. I don't want a character who whines 24/7. Shut up already.


It is based on King Lear, but taken mostly from the perspective of Goneril and Regan. It uses a lot of the same imagery as King Lear too (water is the one that leaps in my mind right now). I took a class in college where we had to read both back to back. Hilariously my friend dropped the class as soon as she saw A Thousand Acres on the syllabus. She had to read it in high school and hate it so much she couldn't bare to study it again.
Oh good gravy did I despise A Thousand Acres.  There was not one single likeable charcter in that entire book, and the ending was ridiculous.  Actually, I found the entire premise ridiculous, and could not understand anyone's motives, nor the shifting alliances.  Someone said that it's supposed to be a modern day "King Lear."  Is this even close?  (Have never read King Lear.)
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Firecat on May 01, 2011, 01:51:40 PM
Ooooh, someone else mentioned Frank Herbert, so I will go ahead and confess.

I have never read Dune.

I've tried. Oh, Lord, how I've tried. I wanted so badly to love it as much as my nerd friends did.

But I have found out that I do not get along with authors who feel the need to invent a new vocabulary, and then require me to learn it to understand what on earth is happening.

So, no Dune for me.

I forgot all about Dune.  I had the same problem.  My DH (who isn't a big book reader) was adamant I just would LOVE it cause he thinks it is one of the greatest books EVER.  I had the same problem with the vocab, so he made me watch the movie because he thought that would help.nope, not even a little.


I also didn't particularly care for The Lord of the Rings

Don't bother with the David Lynch version of the movie (the one made in the 80s, I think, with Sting in one of the supporting roles.) Watch the mini-series version made for the Science Fiction channel instead. (Hmm...maybe I should start a "worst movie" spinoff thread).

I enjoyed  "Dune" - the first book. Haven't read any of the others, don't have much intention of doing so. But it's definitely not for everyone. I think what I liked about it was the fremen (the desert people) and how they adapted themselves to their environment.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Information_queen on May 01, 2011, 02:23:06 PM
Romeo and Juliet With respect to Shakespeare, this is one of the most overdone, overglorified plays of all time. I hate when it is touted as a romance - it is NOT! It is a tragedy of errors. Stupid errors. Romeo is a whiney play-boy who is desperately in love with one woman at the beginning of the play and then immediately changes his focus to Juliet. And - talk about unhealthy relationships! Goodness gracious. Can't stand this one.


OK, I take back my previous stance on all classics are bad.  I love, love, LOVE R & J.  I just re-read it a few months ago.  I know Romeo's a took, Juliet's naive and their relationship is eyerollable, but danged if I don't fall in love every time I read it!


I'm convinced that no Shakespeare play should ever be read.  Before reading them, if it's necessary to read them, they should be seen.  Shakespeare makes so much more sense when it's performed!  I hated Romeo and Juliet after reading it; Juliet's an idiot, Romeo couldn't have an original idea to save his life, etc.  I saw Shakespeare in Love, and finally understood why it's a classic.  Performing the lines with some passion makes a difference!  Same with Much Ado about Nothing.

I POD everyone who mentioned A Song of Ice and Fire by George RR Martin.  I can't even read A Game of Thrones, much less continue on to the other books.  The direwolf puppies are cute, and that's where my interest dies.  My DH loves that series.   ???

I love Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series, but totally understand why other people hate it.  I hate parts of it myself!

I love love love the Wheel of Time, but Crossroads of Twilight was the dumbest book ever. I can do a book a minute on it and still not spoil anything.

Chapter 1: Wind blows. Main Character 1 "I sense a giant blob of magic in a vaguely that-way direction. I must investigate." He does.
Chapter 2: Semi-important-but-not-really characters 1-23 "We sense a giant blob of magic in a vaguely that-way direction. We must investigate." They do.
Chapter 3: Main Character 2 "I sense a giant blob of magic in a vaguely that-way direction. I must investigate." He does.
Repeat ad nauseum for 43 more chapters, with points of view ranging from THE MAN WHO WILL SAVE THE WORLD to the guy nobody remembers but who keeps showing up in every book anyway.

Seriously, that book does absolutely nothing to advance the story. And RJ is the one person who really can't afford to waste that much paper! The only reason the series to going to stop at 14 books is because somebody else is finishing it!

Ahem. Stepping off the soapbox now. Back to your regularly scheduled thread.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Nora on May 01, 2011, 02:30:28 PM
Add me to the Lord of the Rings haters. I liked the Hobbit, and I love to read entire series, so I thought I'd really enjoy LOTR. Goodness me, no. Just no. The endless boring background, the mindnumbing singing, the stupid fracking concept of making the bleeding rings in the first place. Hate!

Catcher in the Rye: I'd really love to meet Holden, and kick the snot out of the little whiny...youget the point.

Of Mice and Men: We moved a lot when I was a kid. So often that I got the privilege it is to read this horrible, depressing collection of words 3 different times in 3 different schools! And after every book report we watched the bleeding movie! I HATE the movie! You know what happens?! HORRIBLENESS!!!

The third time (I was 12. This is not a book for kids, seriously.) the teacher announced that the book we where reading was Of Mice and Men I refused, vehemently. The teacher dared doubt that I'd read it before, so in front of the whole class who had not yet started this monstrosity of horrors I told them the plot.

When the teacher stated she would still need me to write a new book report because the others would feel slighted if _I didn't, and I would have to sit quietly and watch the movie I. Just. Lost. It. The only time in (so far) 24 years of school I just exploded all over the place. I started describing every single horrific thing that takes place, in gory detail. Leading up to the hugging to death of the young woman, and the main character killing his own mentally handicapped brother.  I was so upset, so cursing, spitting mad, the teacher led me out of the class (I was shaking) and told me she'd take that as my bookreport, and I could just go for a walk when the movie was on.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Petticoats on May 01, 2011, 02:49:47 PM
I can't remember what it was called, but it was one of those romance books. The woman was married, but her marriage was going south, and her husband didn't care about her anymore. Enter dashing, handsome stranger who she felt an instant connection to, and the whole book was about their relationship...EXCEPT that at the end, she ended up still going with her husband, the guy that was like never talked about the entire book. SO annoying. ::) It was like, ok, it's not necessarily a bad thing that she stays with her hubby, but can you please at least try to develop their relationship? It makes absolutely no sense for her to choose him in the context of the story you wrote.

Any chance it was The Mermaid Chair? It made me furious for pretty much the same reason.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: artk2002 on May 01, 2011, 02:49:57 PM
Ooooh, someone else mentioned Frank Herbert, so I will go ahead and confess.

I have never read Dune.

I've tried. Oh, Lord, how I've tried. I wanted so badly to love it as much as my nerd friends did.

But I have found out that I do not get along with authors who feel the need to invent a new vocabulary, and then require me to learn it to understand what on earth is happening.

So, no Dune for me.

I struggled with Dune and couldn't make it through.  Interestingly, there is one Frank Herbert that I really do like, Under Pressure.  It's a psychological thriller that takes place on a 4-man submarine.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Cz. Burrito on May 01, 2011, 03:17:59 PM
Add me to the Lord of the Rings haters. I liked the Hobbit, and I love to read entire series, so I thought I'd really enjoy LOTR. Goodness me, no. Just no. The endless boring background, the mindnumbing singing, the stupid fracking concept of making the bleeding rings in the first place. Hate!

Catcher in the Rye: I'd really love to meet Holden, and kick the snot out of the little whiny...youget the point.

Of Mice and Men: We moved a lot when I was a kid. So often that I got the privilege it is to read this horrible, depressing collection of words 3 different times in 3 different schools! And after every book report we watched the bleeding movie! I HATE the movie! You know what happens?! HORRIBLENESS!!!

The third time (I was 12. This is not a book for kids, seriously.) the teacher announced that the book we where reading was Of Mice and Men I refused, vehemently. The teacher dared doubt that I'd read it before, so in front of the whole class who had not yet started this monstrosity of horrors I told them the plot.

When the teacher stated she would still need me to write a new book report because the others would feel slighted if _I didn't, and I would have to sit quietly and watch the movie I. Just. Lost. It. The only time in (so far) 24 years of school I just exploded all over the place. I started describing every single horrific thing that takes place, in gory detail. Leading up to the hugging to death of the young woman, and the main character killing his own mentally handicapped brother.  I was so upset, so cursing, spitting mad, the teacher led me out of the class (I was shaking) and told me she'd take that as my bookreport, and I could just go for a walk when the movie was on.

I can't believe you were assigned that book 3 times before the age of 12!   :o  I've never read it, but I thought it was more of a mature book. 

Also very glad that I'm not the only LotR hater.  Even the movies were too much dragging on and doing nothing for me.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Shea on May 01, 2011, 03:28:14 PM
Add me to the Lord of the Rings haters. I liked the Hobbit, and I love to read entire series, so I thought I'd really enjoy LOTR. Goodness me, no. Just no. The endless boring background, the mindnumbing singing, the stupid fracking concept of making the bleeding rings in the first place. Hate!

Catcher in the Rye: I'd really love to meet Holden, and kick the snot out of the little whiny...youget the point.

Of Mice and Men: We moved a lot when I was a kid. So often that I got the privilege it is to read this horrible, depressing collection of words 3 different times in 3 different schools! And after every book report we watched the bleeding movie! I HATE the movie! You know what happens?! HORRIBLENESS!!!

The third time (I was 12. This is not a book for kids, seriously.) the teacher announced that the book we where reading was Of Mice and Men I refused, vehemently. The teacher dared doubt that I'd read it before, so in front of the whole class who had not yet started this monstrosity of horrors I told them the plot.

When the teacher stated she would still need me to write a new book report because the others would feel slighted if _I didn't, and I would have to sit quietly and watch the movie I. Just. Lost. It. The only time in (so far) 24 years of school I just exploded all over the place. I started describing every single horrific thing that takes place, in gory detail. Leading up to the hugging to death of the young woman, and the main character killing his own mentally handicapped brother.  I was so upset, so cursing, spitting mad, the teacher led me out of the class (I was shaking) and told me she'd take that as my bookreport, and I could just go for a walk when the movie was on.


Just as a point of fact (from someone who loves Of Mice and Men), George and Lennie aren't brothers. They're friends, and George seems to function as Lennie's protector, but they aren't related.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Nora on May 01, 2011, 04:00:23 PM

Just as a point of fact (from someone who loves Of Mice and Men), George and Lennie aren't brothers. They're friends, and George seems to function as Lennie's protector, but they aren't related.

True, I misspoke/-typed. The relationship is one of an older brother/protector to Lennie, but even though they share their lives, a dream, and George is ruining himself taking care of Lennie, they are not actually blood-relatives. In my defense I haven't read it in 15 years, and hated it even then.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Gabrielle on May 01, 2011, 05:41:18 PM
Romeo and Juliet With respect to Shakespeare, this is one of the most overdone, overglorified plays of all time. I hate when it is touted as a romance - it is NOT! It is a tragedy of errors. Stupid errors. Romeo is a whiney play-boy who is desperately in love with one woman at the beginning of the play and then immediately changes his focus to Juliet. And - talk about unhealthy relationships! Goodness gracious. Can't stand this one.


OK, I take back my previous stance on all classics are bad.  I love, love, LOVE R & J.  I just re-read it a few months ago.  I know Romeo's a took, Juliet's naive and their relationship is eyerollable, but danged if I don't fall in love every time I read it!


I'm convinced that no Shakespeare play should ever be read.  Before reading them, if it's necessary to read them, they should be seen.  Shakespeare makes so much more sense when it's performed!  I hated Romeo and Juliet after reading it; Juliet's an idiot, Romeo couldn't have an original idea to save his life, etc.  I saw Shakespeare in Love, and finally understood why it's a classic.  Performing the lines with some passion makes a difference!  Same with Much Ado about Nothing.

I POD everyone who mentioned A Song of Ice and Fire by George RR Martin.  I can't even read A Game of Thrones, much less continue on to the other books.  The direwolf puppies are cute, and that's where my interest dies.  My DH loves that series.   ???

I love Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series, but totally understand why other people hate it.  I hate parts of it myself!

I love love love the Wheel of Time, but Crossroads of Twilight was the dumbest book ever. I can do a book a minute on it and still not spoil anything.

Chapter 1: Wind blows. Main Character 1 "I sense a giant blob of magic in a vaguely that-way direction. I must investigate." He does.
Chapter 2: Semi-important-but-not-really characters 1-23 "We sense a giant blob of magic in a vaguely that-way direction. We must investigate." They do.
Chapter 3: Main Character 2 "I sense a giant blob of magic in a vaguely that-way direction. I must investigate." He does.
Repeat ad nauseum for 43 more chapters, with points of view ranging from THE MAN WHO WILL SAVE THE WORLD to the guy nobody remembers but who keeps showing up in every book anyway.

Seriously, that book does absolutely nothing to advance the story. And RJ is the one person who really can't afford to waste that much paper! The only reason the series to going to stop at 14 books is because somebody else is finishing it!

Ahem. Stepping off the soapbox now. Back to your regularly scheduled thread.

Perrin: My wife is gone! I shall never rest until I find her, there must be no delays, my heart, my lo- wait, there's grain!
*GRAIN BREAK!*
chapters about milling the darn grain
"Where was I.. my heart! I must find her!"

Love WoT but seriously..
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: AfleetAlex on May 01, 2011, 06:07:14 PM
Add me to the list of people who hated the Giving Tree. Just loathed it.

Also loathed the fiction Horse Whisperer. I was a lot more interested in the man's relationship with the horse and the horse and girl connection, and less about the mom who is attracted to the whisperer, blah blah blah. Look, lady, if you're going to have an affair, go somewhere else. Let's get back to the healing of the horse and the girl.

As for Where the Red Fern Grows, Sounder, Old Yeller, etc, I always hated the books/short stories we had to read in school which were so profound because at the end the animal dies. As a big animal lover, I took those pretty hard, and now I don't read books or see movies about an animal because I'm pretty sure the ending is doing to be the creature's death. (Luckily I knew how Seabiscuit and Secretariat ended, so those were exceptions.) On top of all the human tragedies, why did we have to read so much about death in school and why does every animal story seem to end sadly?

(Yet I love murder mysteries. Not sure what that means! I thank The Westing Game for that love. Great book!)
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: aiki on May 01, 2011, 06:34:50 PM
I love to read.  I've been known to pull out the dictionary to read when really bored.

That being said, two books I could not finish are Foucault's Pendulum (Umberto Eco) and Titus Groan: Gormenghast #1 (Mervyn Peake).  50 pages in and I wasn't interested in the Foucault dude's paranoid delusions while skulking around a church or the kitchen boy's plans to take over the world/castle.

One book that almost made my bad book list is Jonathon Strange and Mr. Norell (Susanna Clarke).  I still can't figure out why friends raved about this book.  The first 80-90% of the book dragged on and on and then - boom - it's over. The idea/story itself was clever but the writing was awkward and poorly paced.

Oh, I forgot about Foucault's Pendulum! One of the very few books I've started and not finished. Interestingly, the same friend recommended it who recommended Wicked and Jonathan Livingston Seagull. Blech. I have got to stop taking reading advice from her.

I loved Foucault's Pendulum, and all I could think about when reading DaVinci Code was "Eco did it first and did it orders of magnitude better!"  
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Xallanthia on May 01, 2011, 06:44:12 PM
I love love love the Wheel of Time, but Crossroads of Twilight was the dumbest book ever. I can do a book a minute on it and still not spoil anything.

Chapter 1: Wind blows. Main Character 1 "I sense a giant blob of magic in a vaguely that-way direction. I must investigate." He does.
Chapter 2: Semi-important-but-not-really characters 1-23 "We sense a giant blob of magic in a vaguely that-way direction. We must investigate." They do.
Chapter 3: Main Character 2 "I sense a giant blob of magic in a vaguely that-way direction. I must investigate." He does.
Repeat ad nauseum for 43 more chapters, with points of view ranging from THE MAN WHO WILL SAVE THE WORLD to the guy nobody remembers but who keeps showing up in every book anyway.

Seriously, that book does absolutely nothing to advance the story. And RJ is the one person who really can't afford to waste that much paper! The only reason the series to going to stop at 14 books is because somebody else is finishing it!

Ahem. Stepping off the soapbox now. Back to your regularly scheduled thread.

BWAHAHAHAA ohhh that dang wind... I just skip the first page of every book.`
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Yvaine on May 01, 2011, 06:48:01 PM
As for Where the Red Fern Grows, Sounder, Old Yeller, etc, I always hated the books/short stories we had to read in school which were so profound because at the end the animal dies. As a big animal lover, I took those pretty hard, and now I don't read books or see movies about an animal because I'm pretty sure the ending is doing to be the creature's death. (Luckily I knew how Seabiscuit and Secretariat ended, so those were exceptions.) On top of all the human tragedies, why did we have to read so much about death in school and why does every animal story seem to end sadly?

(Yet I love murder mysteries. Not sure what that means! I thank The Westing Game for that love. Great book!)

I dread dog-death stories so much that if I see a "heartwarming dog story" book at the store and it looks tempting, I sometimes flip to the ending and see if the dog is still in the story. Kill off all the human characters you want, but not the doooooggggg! (I also love mysteries.)
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Brentwood on May 01, 2011, 07:03:03 PM
I actually like Old Yeller. I have a copy of it that belonged to my granddad. But I do think the older brother is kind of annoying sometimes, LOL.

Ed. P.S., Oh I wasn't referring to the dogs dying in Where The Red Fern Grows. But the teenage boy that dies in about the middle of the story. Just eeewwwwww.

I read Where the Red Fern Grows in 6th grade and while the pet death has stuck with me (it's the first book I remember sobbing over, though I also got into a lot of Lurlene McDaniel around that time.  Actually, I wonder if my mom knew what I was reading or how much I liked making myself cry that way.  Maybe it's a young teen thing?).

I read Where The Red Fern Grows in 7th grade and cried too. I never did reread it, though.

In 8th grade or so, my favorite book that always made me cry was The Outsiders.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Brentwood on May 01, 2011, 07:03:56 PM
Ooooh, someone else mentioned Frank Herbert, so I will go ahead and confess.

I have never read Dune.

I've tried. Oh, Lord, how I've tried. I wanted so badly to love it as much as my nerd friends did.

But I have found out that I do not get along with authors who feel the need to invent a new vocabulary, and then require me to learn it to understand what on earth is happening.

So, no Dune for me.

I have never read Dune. I've never seen the movie. I've never had any desire whatsoever to expend any effort on that story.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Brentwood on May 01, 2011, 07:07:18 PM
BTW, my former MIL was convinced I would love Outlander. She bought it for me for my birthday one year, along with whatever book came right after it, and assured me I would love love love these books because they were supposedly just my "thing", and besides, she loved them.

I don't think I got past the first chapter of the first book. Not my "thing" at all - don't know where she got that idea. I traded the books in at a used book store.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Kendo_Bunny on May 01, 2011, 07:51:38 PM
You can definitely add me to the chorus of Twilight hate. I even have a blog linked in my sig for those who don't want to actually read the whole thing  >:D

Other books I hate:

The Looking-Glass Wars: Seriously, this could have been a really cool idea. Instead, the entire book is one long stretch of one "exciting" thing after another, and as such, is about as much fun as sitting in a dentist's chair. The little twinges of pain are the only things reminding you you have not slipped into a coma, and are in fact reading that trash. The writing is more awkward than a 12-year-old girl writing Wonderland fanfiction- Beddor has no sense of when run-on sentences are a bad idea, and single paragraphs fill up pages. It's like Lewis Carroll as directed by Michael Bay.

The Chronicles of the Cheysuli: The Adventures of Mary Sue the Shapeshifter and the Sister-Rapist. Really. This book is stupid enough to be insulting, and insulting enough to not be able to forgive the stupidity. Basically, there's this girl, who is in love with a prince, but she gets kidnapped by some shapeshifting guys, and one wants to rape her, but is stopped by his animal companion, who she can talk to because she's just that special. She finds out she's his half-sister and falls in love with the guy's half-brother on the other half. And she can transform into animals, unlike any other woman! And despite some potential drama with a rival, she gets her Tough Haircut and wins back the man she loves! And follows him to the wars and makes all the best decisions! And everyone praises her wisdom! And then she belches out a rainbow that they all ride to Valhalla, where it's okay that her brother is still trying to seduce her, because she's just that perfect!

Elsie Dinsmore: Where to start with this one... my list of things I learned from Elsie:
1) If people are evil and unjust, the best thing you can do as a Christian is ignore it. Remember the old axiom 'All it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing'? Christians should be aware of evil and unjust behavior, directed at them or otherwise.
This bad lesson is taught as Elsie's wretched cousin continues to do evil works, while Elsie just pretends she doesn't see them. She doesn't come forward about her cousin's evil works until after a little slave boy has been beaten and is about to be turned out of the house.

2) If you lavish enough adoration upon the man who ignores or ridicules you, he will eventually love you. There's a life lesson for little girls- Elsie's father is abusive, controlling, and manipulative. He punishes Elsie on whims or punishes her while excusing the worse behavior of others. Eventually he grows to love her- after she nearly wastes to death pining for his affection. Even better lesson- almost dying will make the emotionally distant man in your life love you!

3) People have it in for you because you're a Christian. No, not every non-Christian is hostile to Christians. However, anyone might feel less than charitable towards a person who constantly lectures them about their "sins", like listening to non-religious music on Sundays. Last time I read the Bible, it was the Pharisees who made up ridiculously elaborate rules and made it a sin to not follow them.

4) It's okay for a man to beat you if he thinks you were in the wrong. This isn't an argument against spanking as part of discipline- but there is a HUGE difference between spanking and beating. A buggy whip is never an appropriate tool to mete out punishment. Now, for how this lesson is taught? Elsie brings her father what she thinks is a perfect copybook lesson. She proudly opens the book to find a giant ink stain. She's shocked. Her father rages at her for spoiling the book, and then takes her innocent confusion to be outright lying. He then drags her off to beat her, only being stopped at the last moment. Elsie then says it would have been all right if he had beaten her, because he thought it was for the best.

5) That lesson leads into the next one: Hearing explanations is for losers. Every time Elsie attempts to explain something, she's shushed, smacked, starved, ridiculed, boxed on the ears, sent away in disgrace, or locked up. It's no wonder she has no backbone- if you were punished for attempting to explain yourself, you'd shut up too. The worst part is, they always ask her to explain first, but before five words are out of her mouth, it's pariah time.

6) Adult men who say that they are in love with little girls are fine people and should probably marry the girl in question. The concerned party is one Edward Travilla, who falls in love with Elsie when she's 7, and marries her as soon as her father consents. He then keeps her as his perpetual child bride. That is wrong and creepy no matter what era you're in- he is in love with a child. Not a happy friendly uncle love, but a 'I want to marry this little girl the second I'm allowed to'. If happy friendly uncle love had been made much of, only to have him surprised by her womanliness in her actual womanhood, this wouldn't be quite as creepy. However, he makes a big deal of his adult love for her and his wishes that she was just a bit older so he could actually marry her, so it's never not creepy.

7) Catholics are bad. Like, really really really Satan-worshiping bad. And nuns will whip you half to death if you don't bow down and worship statues of Mary.

8) Perhaps the deadliest thing in this world is grief and brain fever.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: SamiHami on May 01, 2011, 08:17:47 PM
"The Life of Pi" - I couldn't understand it, I had no idea what was going on.  I wanted to love it because my favourite teacher recommended it to me but I had to give up.  There are very few books that I've actually stopped reading but this was one of them.  I also hated "Wuthering Heights", I just couldn't get into it, had to keep re-reading passages to make them stick in my head.

Funny...those are two of my favorite books!
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Snewt on May 01, 2011, 08:29:24 PM
I hated the last 2 books of the Millennium Trilogy.  He should have stopped with the Girl with the Dragon tattoo!

I also thought that the DaVinci Code was a poorly written thriller.

I certainly agree on all counts.

I found that a certain character on the Millennium books was changing from brilliant but flawed to everything-touched-turns-to-gold. The ending of the second book had some parts that were really hard to swallow and the new bad guys were just unbelievable.

Now I'm curious as to which of the characters you mean!

Ok - spoiler beware! (scroll down, in yellow)


I am talking about Lisbeth Salander herself. She was always a Mary Sue, but it gets taken to whole new heights in the second book. For example, she decides she wants to learn mathematics, and proceeds to prove Fermat's last theorem. Her fighting skills are vamped up, to the point where she faces a superhumanly strong man who can feel no pain. And, to top it off, in the end, she takes two or three bullets, one of them a point blank shot to her skull and is buried alive. She, of course, digs herself out and goes on to finish things off.

Ah yes, the whole "oh look I solved Fermat's last theorem while sneaking around in a very dangerous tense situation" thing did go a bit far for me. To be honest though, Michael bothered me more - mainly because it read so much as an author self-insert sort of thing. Michael is a millionaire Swedish investigative journalist and literally every girl he meets jumps into bed with him or falls in love with him... Yeah stieg we get it. After a while Michael seemed like Bella from twilight - literally every member of the opposite sex was panting after him. Whereas I was cheering for Lisbeth most of the time so it was much easier to brush off her super fighting and super memory and super hacking skillz.

My husband started reading the books after I finished the series. He is constantly yelling "Not ANOTHER one!" which means that Michael has either 1.) found a new love interest 2.) drank another cup of coffee or 3.) eats another sandwich and re-hashes the plot.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: starofwinter on May 01, 2011, 09:35:42 PM

Elsie Dinsmore

SOMEONE ELSE HATED THIS?!  I thought I was the only one!  It's so awful, looking back.  I liked it when I read it, even though a lot of things seemed 'wrong.'  Now that I'm older, everything about it is just horrible. 
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: violinp on May 01, 2011, 09:49:37 PM

Elsie Dinsmore: Where to start with this one... my list of things I learned from Elsie:
1) If people are evil and unjust, the best thing you can do as a Christian is ignore it. Remember the old axiom 'All it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing'? Christians should be aware of evil and unjust behavior, directed at them or otherwise.
This bad lesson is taught as Elsie's wretched cousin continues to do evil works, while Elsie just pretends she doesn't see them. She doesn't come forward about her cousin's evil works until after a little slave boy has been beaten and is about to be turned out of the house.

2) If you lavish enough adoration upon the man who ignores or ridicules you, he will eventually love you. There's a life lesson for little girls- Elsie's father is abusive, controlling, and manipulative. He punishes Elsie on whims or punishes her while excusing the worse behavior of others. Eventually he grows to love her- after she nearly wastes to death pining for his affection. Even better lesson- almost dying will make the emotionally distant man in your life love you!

3) People have it in for you because you're a Christian. No, not every non-Christian is hostile to Christians. However, anyone might feel less than charitable towards a person who constantly lectures them about their "sins", like listening to non-religious music on Sundays. Last time I read the Bible, it was the Pharisees who made up ridiculously elaborate rules and made it a sin to not follow them.

4) It's okay for a man to beat you if he thinks you were in the wrong. This isn't an argument against spanking as part of discipline- but there is a HUGE difference between spanking and beating. A buggy whip is never an appropriate tool to mete out punishment. Now, for how this lesson is taught? Elsie brings her father what she thinks is a perfect copybook lesson. She proudly opens the book to find a giant ink stain. She's shocked. Her father rages at her for spoiling the book, and then takes her innocent confusion to be outright lying. He then drags her off to beat her, only being stopped at the last moment. Elsie then says it would have been all right if he had beaten her, because he thought it was for the best.

5) That lesson leads into the next one: Hearing explanations is for losers. Every time Elsie attempts to explain something, she's shushed, smacked, starved, ridiculed, boxed on the ears, sent away in disgrace, or locked up. It's no wonder she has no backbone- if you were punished for attempting to explain yourself, you'd shut up too. The worst part is, they always ask her to explain first, but before five words are out of her mouth, it's pariah time.

6) Adult men who say that they are in love with little girls are fine people and should probably marry the girl in question. The concerned party is one Edward Travilla, who falls in love with Elsie when she's 7, and marries her as soon as her father consents. He then keeps her as his perpetual child bride. That is wrong and creepy no matter what era you're in- he is in love with a child. Not a happy friendly uncle love, but a 'I want to marry this little girl the second I'm allowed to'. If happy friendly uncle love had been made much of, only to have him surprised by her womanliness in her actual womanhood, this wouldn't be quite as creepy. However, he makes a big deal of his adult love for her and his wishes that she was just a bit older so he could actually marry her, so it's never not creepy.

7) Catholics are bad. Like, really really really Satan-worshiping bad. And nuns will whip you half to death if you don't bow down and worship statues of Mary.

8) Perhaps the deadliest thing in this world is grief and brain fever.


POD to all of that. Even for the time, I can't imagine that Mr. Dinsmore would have been seen as a good father. And Elsie never tries to learn the business side of her family's fortune, because that's for the menfolk. Sheesh.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Winterlight on May 01, 2011, 09:57:20 PM
The Chronicles of the Cheysuli: The Adventures of Mary Sue the Shapeshifter and the Sister-Rapist. Really. This book is stupid enough to be insulting, and insulting enough to not be able to forgive the stupidity. Basically, there's this girl, who is in love with a prince, but she gets kidnapped by some shapeshifting guys, and one wants to rape her, but is stopped by his animal companion, who she can talk to because she's just that special. She finds out she's his half-sister and falls in love with the guy's half-brother on the other half. And she can transform into animals, unlike any other woman! And despite some potential drama with a rival, she gets her Tough Haircut and wins back the man she loves! And follows him to the wars and makes all the best decisions! And everyone praises her wisdom! And then she belches out a rainbow that they all ride to Valhalla, where it's okay that her brother is still trying to seduce her, because she's just that perfect!

That series got worse- I know it's hard to believe. I read them all in about a 2 day span and I want that time taken off any purgatory I might otherwise be sentenced to.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Winterlight on May 01, 2011, 09:57:38 PM
I can't remember what it was called, but it was one of those romance books. The woman was married, but her marriage was going south, and her husband didn't care about her anymore. Enter dashing, handsome stranger who she felt an instant connection to, and the whole book was about their relationship...EXCEPT that at the end, she ended up still going with her husband, the guy that was like never talked about the entire book. SO annoying. ::) It was like, ok, it's not necessarily a bad thing that she stays with her hubby, but can you please at least try to develop their relationship? It makes absolutely no sense for her to choose him in the context of the story you wrote.

Bridges of Madison County, maybe?

Ooooh, someone else mentioned Frank Herbert, so I will go ahead and confess.

I have never read Dune.

I've tried. Oh, Lord, how I've tried. I wanted so badly to love it as much as my nerd friends did.

But I have found out that I do not get along with authors who feel the need to invent a new vocabulary, and then require me to learn it to understand what on earth is happening.

So, no Dune for me.

That's what put me off JR Ward. I spent the first 25 pages of the book referring repeatedly to her glossary to figure out what was going on. I then decided that if I was going to learn an imaginary language, Tolkien's Elvish would be more useful.

Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Kendo_Bunny on May 01, 2011, 10:23:20 PM
It is interesting as a history text, but as children's literature it's dull and preachy, and as a life to be emulated, it teaches terrible lessons. Unfortunately, most of the people I've met who like the series like it because Elsie is "a paragon of Christian womanhood and a worthy role model for all girls". That's probably why I really, really hate it.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: glacio on May 01, 2011, 10:42:12 PM
According to my high school English teachers, I hate good literature:

Catcher in the Rye - kid was a whiny poser

Huckleberry Finn - Tom Sawyer was a sadistic brat (No I never read Tom Sawyer because I was shaking with anger just at the few chapters he was appeared in this book)

The Fountainhead - yet another brat who was far too self absorbed

Grapes of Wrath - too slow (the back and forth between chapters killed the flow for me) and that ending...what?

Farewell to Arms - I could not get past Hemingway's writing style. I read it while in on vacation in Germany and still couldn't get past his writing. In the end I dropped out of AP English because the thought of actually having to finish that book and write a paper on it was just more then I could bear.

Teachers kept saying that these were supposed to be about people that high school students could identify with. The majority of the time I just wanted to give the main characters a time out because they were acting like two year-olds. Sigh. I loved literature until tenth and eleventh grade English.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Shopaholic on May 01, 2011, 11:04:49 PM
I did one year of middle school in the USA, and Tom Sawyer was part of my summer reading.
I hated it so much that I really couldn't tell you what's it about - the only part I remember is the fence painting. I just wanted to finish it already.
I got a 25 on the test of the beginning of the year, lowest grade I ever got.

I love The Unbearable Lightness of Being, but every other Kindera book bores me in the first pages.

I actually kind of liked my assigned world literature reading in high school - Anna Karenina and Hamlet, but I despised the books I had to read by local authors. My eventual conclusion was that not every sock needs to have a meaning, and there is such a thing as over use of words.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Giggity on May 02, 2011, 06:49:05 AM
8) Perhaps the deadliest thing in this world is grief and brain fever.

AAAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHA!!!!! Holy cat, that is SO true.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Everlee on May 02, 2011, 07:02:18 AM

That's what put me off JR Ward. I spent the first 25 pages of the book referring repeatedly to her glossary to figure out what was going on. I then decided that if I was going to learn an imaginary language, Tolkien's Elvish would be more useful.



The Black Dagger Brotherhood?  Oooh, trust me, you should stick with them.  They re-use the same few words every book so after a couple of them you don't have to refer to the mini-dictionary.  I just finished the 6th one last night, coincidentally.  It's quickly become one of my favorite series.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: atirial on May 02, 2011, 07:14:56 AM
The Chronicles of the Cheysuli: The Adventures of Mary Sue the Shapeshifter and the Sister-Rapist. Really. This book is stupid enough to be insulting, and insulting enough to not be able to forgive the stupidity. Basically, there's this girl, who is in love with a prince, but she gets kidnapped by some shapeshifting guys, and one wants to rape her, but is stopped by his animal companion, who she can talk to because she's just that special. She finds out she's his half-sister and falls in love with the guy's half-brother on the other half. And she can transform into animals, unlike any other woman! And despite some potential drama with a rival, she gets her Tough Haircut and wins back the man she loves! And follows him to the wars and makes all the best decisions! And everyone praises her wisdom! And then she belches out a rainbow that they all ride to Valhalla, where it's okay that her brother is still trying to seduce her, because she's just that perfect!

That series got worse- I know it's hard to believe. I read them all in about a 2 day span and I want that time taken off any purgatory I might otherwise be sentenced to.
As much as I disliked the first one, it was the sixth book which I hurled across the room. The complete dismissal of women's rights was bad, but the wonderful strong heroine, who spends half the book as a damsel in distress, never takes control of her life and eventually falls in with the planned life she was escaping from drove me mad. I ranted about it here (http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=46472.msg1099088#msg1099088)(*), but I still can't believe the author presented rape trauma as politically convenient since it meant the heroine would fall meekly in with her arranged marriage.

It's more disturbing since the entire goal of the heroes borders on eugenics (trying to breed a super race and killing the disabled) and encourages incest (cousin and sister marriage and rape attempts).

ETA: (*) I just noticed we both mentioned that series in the thread. Even better(?), she's writing three more.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: LadyClaire on May 02, 2011, 07:25:44 AM
One book that almost made my bad book list is Jonathon Strange and Mr. Norell (Susanna Clarke).  I still can't figure out why friends raved about this book.  The first 80-90% of the book dragged on and on and then - boom - it's over. The idea/story itself was clever but the writing was awkward and poorly paced.

I love the idea of Jonathon Strange and Mr. Norell. The beginning is great, but then it starts wondering and meandering around and the characters get less and less likeable. If I could, I would edit that massive brick into an ordinary book length, which would make it a lot better.

I just could not get into that book. I tried. I really did..but I never got past the first chapter. Funny thing is, the first day I started reading the book one of my co-workers saw it on my desk and asked how far I'd gotten, because he'd tried reading the book and couldn't get past the first chapter.

I told him a few days later that I couldn't manage it, either.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: deety on May 02, 2011, 08:41:05 AM

Brief synopsis... Ayla hunts, breastfeeds, whips her naked baby out so it can pee, does some acoylte stuff, mother song mother song mother song, cave cave endless and boring introductions, cave cave cave, wolf poops in a cave, cave, cave, cave, cave, mammoth painting, red spots, cave cave cave mother song mother song, wierd acid trip, Jondalar becomes a big whiny baby and does something stupid "He's making my baby" Ayla does something stupid and becomes a big whiny baby, "Men are the fathers of babies" therein introducing sexism to the people, everyone makes up. The end.

Screw you and the mammoth you rode in on Jean Auel.

I would have liked it better if everyone had been eaten by a dinosaur at the end.



I laughed so loud I startled my toddler.  I thank you for saving me twenty bucks, I was weakening (it can't be *that* bad, can it?!?!) but now I will wait until I see it at my local Half Price. 

Mother song mother song mother song!  *snerk*   ;D


Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: VorFemme on May 02, 2011, 10:02:21 AM

Brief synopsis... Ayla hunts, breastfeeds, whips her naked baby out so it can pee, does some acolyte stuff, mother song mother song mother song, cave cave endless and boring introductions, cave cave cave, wolf poops in a cave, cave, cave, cave, cave, mammoth painting, red spots, cave cave cave mother song mother song, weird acid trip, Jondalar becomes a big whiny baby and does something stupid "He's making my baby" Ayla does something stupid and becomes a big whiny baby, "Men are the fathers of babies" therein introducing sexism to the people, everyone makes up. The end.

Screw you and the mammoth you rode in on Jean Auel.

I would have liked it better if everyone had been eaten by a dinosaur at the end.



I laughed so loud I startled my toddler.  I thank you for saving me twenty bucks, I was weakening (it can't be *that* bad, can it?!?!) but now I will wait until I see it at my local Half Price. 

Mother song mother song mother song!  *snerk*   ;D




Once, when very, very upset with VorGuy - I told him that the horse he rode in should be the one "servicing" VorGuy.  He got the point - which was that he had gone wwwwwaaaaaayyyyyyy past the boundaries and has never done that again.   

Jean Auel started out with a good idea for a book (even a series) - she seems to have lost some of her notes on how the books were supposed to go and has filled in (or extended the series for an extra book or three) by "padding" some of the books with long sections of previous books (can you plagiarize yourself?  she has certainly tried). 

But enough is enough and at this point it is way too much.

You're finished even if the series has not reached the end of your notes.  Sorry about that.  Somebody take away her pad of paper & pen, her typewriter, and her laptop with the word processing program - if she's going to continue this series - let her do it the really old fashioned way - story telling!  And wonder why nobody is coming to the libraries to hear her..........it's because we've already heard the mother song............
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: VorFemme on May 02, 2011, 10:05:03 AM
As for Where the Red Fern Grows, Sounder, Old Yeller, etc, I always hated the books/short stories we had to read in school which were so profound because at the end the animal dies. As a big animal lover, I took those pretty hard, and now I don't read books or see movies about an animal because I'm pretty sure the ending is doing to be the creature's death.

Everyone should read The Cat Who Went to Heaven.  You would love it.  ;)  Actually though, it is my favorite childhood story.  The first book I ever wept while reading, and it still makes me cry.  It is so beautiful.

As for Where the Red Fern Grows, I had to read it three times in school.  The first time it was read to us in 5th grade.  I liked it even if it was sad.  The second time was in 6th and the last in 8th.  By then I was tired of Little Ann and Big Dan and writing reports about the symbolism of the red fern.  I think the only thing I really liked after re-reading was the concept that a raccoon won't let go of something shiny in its paw even if it can't get its paw out of a hole when grasping said shiny thing.  I don't know why that image has stuck with me.



I understand that some monkey traps are similar - monkeys will not let go of nuts, even if they can't get their paw out of the trap - they will hold onto the food until someone comes along........
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Harriet Jones on May 02, 2011, 10:48:18 AM
One book that almost made my bad book list is Jonathon Strange and Mr. Norell (Susanna Clarke).  I still can't figure out why friends raved about this book.  The first 80-90% of the book dragged on and on and then - boom - it's over. The idea/story itself was clever but the writing was awkward and poorly paced.

I love the idea of Jonathon Strange and Mr. Norell. The beginning is great, but then it starts wondering and meandering around and the characters get less and less likeable. If I could, I would edit that massive brick into an ordinary book length, which would make it a lot better.

I just could not get into that book. I tried. I really did..but I never got past the first chapter. Funny thing is, the first day I started reading the book one of my co-workers saw it on my desk and asked how far I'd gotten, because he'd tried reading the book and couldn't get past the first chapter.

I told him a few days later that I couldn't manage it, either.

Me, either.  I tried several times to read this, and now I can't even remember if I finished it.  :-\
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: LadyClaire on May 02, 2011, 10:53:13 AM
One book that almost made my bad book list is Jonathon Strange and Mr. Norell (Susanna Clarke).  I still can't figure out why friends raved about this book.  The first 80-90% of the book dragged on and on and then - boom - it's over. The idea/story itself was clever but the writing was awkward and poorly paced.

I love the idea of Jonathon Strange and Mr. Norell. The beginning is great, but then it starts wondering and meandering around and the characters get less and less likeable. If I could, I would edit that massive brick into an ordinary book length, which would make it a lot better.

I just could not get into that book. I tried. I really did..but I never got past the first chapter. Funny thing is, the first day I started reading the book one of my co-workers saw it on my desk and asked how far I'd gotten, because he'd tried reading the book and couldn't get past the first chapter.

I told him a few days later that I couldn't manage it, either.

Me, either.  I tried several times to read this, and now I can't even remember if I finished it.  :-\

What got to me were the foot notes. Now, I have nothing against foot notes, like in the Discworld books. But the foot notes in Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norell seemed to exist for the sole purpose of meandering on and on and on in a book that already meandered on and on without the extra help. One footnote was practically half a page long!
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: rose red on May 02, 2011, 10:58:20 AM
I just read Michael Farquhar's Behind the Palace Doors and was so disappointed because I loved another book of his.

I loved his book A Treasury of Royal Scandals.  It was fun, gossipy, and snarky but also interesting and informative.  This one was boring, dry, and stilted.  He also uses too many historical quotes which was distracting.

Isn't it such a huge letdown when you love an author's book and hate their next one?
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Giggity on May 02, 2011, 11:00:32 AM
Isn't it such a huge letdown when you love an author's book and hate their next one?

Yes ma'am it is, and it sure does make me give Book #3 sketchy sidelong glances.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Ereine on May 02, 2011, 11:05:23 AM
One book that almost made my bad book list is Jonathon Strange and Mr. Norell (Susanna Clarke).  I still can't figure out why friends raved about this book.  The first 80-90% of the book dragged on and on and then - boom - it's over. The idea/story itself was clever but the writing was awkward and poorly paced.

I love the idea of Jonathon Strange and Mr. Norell. The beginning is great, but then it starts wondering and meandering around and the characters get less and less likeable. If I could, I would edit that massive brick into an ordinary book length, which would make it a lot better.

I just could not get into that book. I tried. I really did..but I never got past the first chapter. Funny thing is, the first day I started reading the book one of my co-workers saw it on my desk and asked how far I'd gotten, because he'd tried reading the book and couldn't get past the first chapter.

I told him a few days later that I couldn't manage it, either.

Me, either.  I tried several times to read this, and now I can't even remember if I finished it.  :-\

What got to me were the foot notes. Now, I have nothing against foot notes, like in the Discworld books. But the foot notes in Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norell seemed to exist for the sole purpose of meandering on and on and on in a book that already meandered on and on without the extra help. One footnote was practically half a page long!

I actually enjoyed Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norell. I read it years ago and can't really remember much but I think that one reason I liked it so much was the style and the footnotes. I think that it helped that I had recently read Pride and Prejudice in English and the language felt similar to me (I could be mistaken about that).
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: lady_disdain on May 02, 2011, 02:47:14 PM
I found the footnotes considerably less boring than the main story. They, at least, were reasonably short.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Eisa on May 02, 2011, 04:35:06 PM
Congo by Michael Crichton. It was a surprise because I've loved all his other books. He had an utterly brilliant way of writing, and actually did his research which is so amazingly important.

But Congo? Just...stunk. Hardcore. It wasn't mind-numbingly awful, but compared to his other books, it was definitely NOT his best work.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: hobish on May 02, 2011, 05:39:12 PM
Am I the only one who actually wants to read some of these books to see how terrible they really are?  ;D

You are definitely not alone in that!


...and as for my own earlier comments RE The Gunslinger series ... I just don't know. I finished book 5 over the weekend and got a good way into the 6th when i ran into a really large hunk of cheese. The first few were so darn good! This cheese was so bad i had to put the book down for a bit. The worst part is I should have seen it coming and totally didn't, so i am ticked at Mr. King and myself.
 
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Shea on May 02, 2011, 05:41:23 PM

Isn't it such a huge letdown when you love an author's book and hate their next one?

Oh yes, I was so excited when The Lacuna came out, since I've really enjoyed Barbara Kingsolver's other novels. Couldn't stand it, I was terribly disappointed.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: hobish on May 02, 2011, 05:44:54 PM
The Butter Battle Book by Dr Seuss. I loved, loved, loved many of his books, but this one freaks me out. It features an arms race over which side of bread should the butter be eaten on. It may be satire, but that's beyond a childs understanding. Finally, the two sides get left in a stand off about who's going to drop their atomic type bomb first.

Really? You want to leave kids with the thought of "who's going to die first?" or "Am I going to die?". What a great way to give kids nightmares and freak them out with world issues they aren't ready to deal with!

Depends on the kid, I think... I was young (7?) when I first read that and it's one of my favorites.  I definitely got the message that there are a lot of dumb things that aren't worth fighting over, and that there are some things that are ridiculous in war even when the argument makes sense.

Have to agree. I didn't read many children's books as a kid; but Dr. Seuss is and was one of my all time favorites, including this story.


 
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: The Opinionator on May 02, 2011, 06:28:05 PM
Les Miserables

I tried. I really did try. I read the 14 flinging chapters about the bishop. I didn't care about him. Really, a simple 'he was a good guy' would have been just as good. There was no need to tell me the exact distribution of his household income and how much of it he gave to the poor and how displeased that made his housekeeper. I figured he must be important. And then he meets Jean Valjean and is very good to him because, just in case you haven't gotten the point, this bishop was a really nice guy. And then dies or disappears or something (it's been a while since I last flung this at a wall). I understand that he convinces Valjean to change his ways, but 14 chapters about what a great guy he was and what his life was like? Argh!

...And then he started describing the battle of Waterloo and I really lost it.

If I didn't know better, I'd say Hugo was doing some insane version of NaNoWriMo and was in dire need of padding to reach his word count.

*steps off soap box*
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: lady_disdain on May 02, 2011, 06:58:55 PM
Les Miserables

I tried. I really did try. I read the 14 flinging chapters about the bishop. I didn't care about him. Really, a simple 'he was a good guy' would have been just as good. There was no need to tell me the exact distribution of his household income and how much of it he gave to the poor and how displeased that made his housekeeper. I figured he must be important. And then he meets Jean Valjean and is very good to him because, just in case you haven't gotten the point, this bishop was a really nice guy. And then dies or disappears or something (it's been a while since I last flung this at a wall). I understand that he convinces Valjean to change his ways, but 14 chapters about what a great guy he was and what his life was like? Argh!

...And then he started describing the battle of Waterloo and I really lost it.

If I didn't know better, I'd say Hugo was doing some insane version of NaNoWriMo and was in dire need of padding to reach his word count.

*steps off soap box*

I, unfortunately, agree. While I do give him a little credit because of the style of the time, he takes it way, way beyond.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Giggity on May 02, 2011, 07:09:53 PM
He probably wore an onion in his belt too. *wanders off grumbling*
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: AlephReish on May 02, 2011, 07:29:05 PM
I found the footnotes considerably less boring than the main story. They, at least, were reasonably short.

Agreed. I barely made it 30 pages into Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell... but the footnotes were definitely the best part. It is probably the fingers on one hand to count the number of books I have actually not finished in my life. It really surprised me that that one would land on the list, after the great reviews... and it seems like something that should be my type.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Xallanthia on May 02, 2011, 07:30:51 PM
Les Miserables

I tried. I really did try. I read the 14 flinging chapters about the bishop. I didn't care about him. Really, a simple 'he was a good guy' would have been just as good. There was no need to tell me the exact distribution of his household income and how much of it he gave to the poor and how displeased that made his housekeeper. I figured he must be important. And then he meets Jean Valjean and is very good to him because, just in case you haven't gotten the point, this bishop was a really nice guy. And then dies or disappears or something (it's been a while since I last flung this at a wall). I understand that he convinces Valjean to change his ways, but 14 chapters about what a great guy he was and what his life was like? Argh!

...And then he started describing the battle of Waterloo and I really lost it.

If I didn't know better, I'd say Hugo was doing some insane version of NaNoWriMo and was in dire need of padding to reach his word count.

*steps off soap box*

Les Miserables is one of the only books I ever recommend that people read abridged, for this reason.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: padua on May 02, 2011, 07:48:17 PM
i, too, like Chelsea Quinn Yarbro. she writes a very satisfying vampire story.

i equally detest phillippa gregory. i frequently confuse her with margaret george, whose historical fiction i like somewhat better.

i've been reading prequels lately- my husband swears they are horrible (especially when written by differing authors), but doubted this when i read 'phantom' by susan kay and really enjoyed it. so i picked up 'before green gables'- and hated it. despised it. budge wilson seemed to have done little to no research on the personality and history of anne, and turned a delightful child heroine into a very sad, pityable child. the continuity for the original books is very loose- if you choose to write the prequel to such an iconic story, you'd better do your research.

i love les mis, by the way. what other book offers such a thorough description of the parisian sewer systems?
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Winterlight on May 03, 2011, 08:12:20 AM
i've been reading prequels lately- my husband swears they are horrible (especially when written by differing authors), but doubted this when i read 'phantom' by susan kay and really enjoyed it. so i picked up 'before green gables'- and hated it. despised it. budge wilson seemed to have done little to no research on the personality and history of anne, and turned a delightful child heroine into a very sad, pityable child. the continuity for the original books is very loose- if you choose to write the prequel to such an iconic story, you'd better do your research.

My mom ordered me a copy of it and bought one for herself as we're both avid LM Montgomery fans. I called her soon after we both read it and she asked what I thought. "Well..." "You hated it too, huh?" I was so relieved. It was a gift, I wanted to be polite- but it stunk like dead fish.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Everlee on May 03, 2011, 10:35:01 AM
I am a huge, HUGE fan of the Stephanie Plum books by Janet Evanovich so when I saw she had a whole shelf full of romance novels I ate those suckers up.

 :-X  I just can't take them anymore.  I had to put my most recent one back in the 'take back' pile before I had even made it a quarter of the way through.

Every single one of her female characters are the same.  Every single one of her plots are the same.  Most even have a feisty little old lady in them.  It just feels like that's all she knows how to write.
Now I've even decided I'm not sure if I want to read the next Plum book. 
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: TychaBrahe on May 03, 2011, 10:52:21 AM
I am a huge, HUGE fan of the Stephanie Plum books by Janet Evanovich so when I saw she had a whole shelf full of romance novels I ate those suckers up.

 :-X  I just can't take them anymore.  I had to put my most recent one back in the 'take back' pile before I had even made it a quarter of the way through.

Every single one of her female characters are the same.  Every single one of her plots are the same.  Most even have a feisty little old lady in them.  It just feels like that's all she knows how to write.
Now I've even decided I'm not sure if I want to read the next Plum book. 

Keep in mind that the earliest of these romances were written before the Plum books, and were re-released because the Plum books had sold so well.  I think she isn't really writing the newest ones.  I seem to remember that they are written by someone else based on her notes and outlines.

Besides, the next Plum book will have Ranger in it.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Elfmama on May 03, 2011, 12:30:07 PM
I am a huge, HUGE fan of the Stephanie Plum books by Janet Evanovich so when I saw she had a whole shelf full of romance novels I ate those suckers up.

 :-X  I just can't take them anymore.  I had to put my most recent one back in the 'take back' pile before I had even made it a quarter of the way through.

Every single one of her female characters are the same.  Every single one of her plots are the same.  Most even have a feisty little old lady in them.  It just feels like that's all she knows how to write.
Now I've even decided I'm not sure if I want to read the next Plum book. 
Just out of curiosity, who was the publisher?  I ask because many writers for Harlequin and its ilk reuse basic outlines constantly, just dress them in new costumes.  The plotline of John and Jane in Civil War Charleston is almost identical to Susannah and Edward in Revolutionary War Boston and so on.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: lilfox on May 03, 2011, 01:41:56 PM
I am a huge, HUGE fan of the Stephanie Plum books by Janet Evanovich so when I saw she had a whole shelf full of romance novels I ate those suckers up.

 :-X  I just can't take them anymore.  I had to put my most recent one back in the 'take back' pile before I had even made it a quarter of the way through.

Every single one of her female characters are the same.  Every single one of her plots are the same.  Most even have a feisty little old lady in them.  It just feels like that's all she knows how to write.
Now I've even decided I'm not sure if I want to read the next Plum book. 

Keep in mind that the earliest of these romances were written before the Plum books, and were re-released because the Plum books had sold so well.  I think she isn't really writing the newest ones.  I seem to remember that they are written by someone else based on her notes and outlines.

Besides, the next Plum book will have Ranger in it.

Yep, a lot of the non-Plum books are Janet E + a coauthor (ghostwriter?).  Definitely written before she got her style down, or possibly by the coauthor trying (and failing) to imitate that style.  I gave them a fair shot out of Plum goodwill, but they're mostly just ... boring.

Speaking of:  Neal Stephenson.  Yeah, I'll say it.  I've read most of his stuff and once he hit his stride with Diamond Age, Snow Crash, and Cryptonomicon, (Zodiac and the Big U?  Ugh)  I really looked forward to the Baroque Cycle trilogy.  Okay, they were loooooong but still kind of interesting as historical fiction.  But mostly long, so long that since I took breaks between books, I had no memory for some of the characters.  Especially the ones that I thought were temporary, who showed up again without any intro or backstory.  Yeah, not flipping back through hundreds of pages to find the one mention of so-and-so to figure out how he fits in.  And I haven't got a clue what the story even was.

Also, Anathem?  BORING.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Everlee on May 03, 2011, 01:45:26 PM
I think the ones I've been reading lately are HarperCollins.  I have another one in my stack but I just don't know of I have the energy to read it.  I am a big lover of cheesy romance novels, but for some reason these just annoy me.  I like my romance stories at least a little realistic and every one of hers are just so far out there.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: General Jinjur on May 03, 2011, 01:50:05 PM
Oddly (as I am a huge history snob) I don't mind Phillipa Gregory. I often find her novels for fifty cents a pop at the thrift store, and read them in the bath with a nice glass of wine. The wine helps me to forget about the shoddy fact-checking.

I cannot stand all those "paid by the word" writers of yore, such as Dickens. One not known well here, but a huge cultural icon in his native Czech Republic, is Vaclav Hasek and his WWI-era Good Soldier Svejk. It started out amusingly enough, but it just went on...and on...and on...endlessly repeating. 784 pages of Svejk getting into trouble, the Germans being racist, Svejk getting out of trouble by secretly being smarter than the Germans, then Svejk getting into trouble, the Germans being racist....

It was a long flight back from the CR, yet I opted to stare into space rather than finish it.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: zyrs on May 04, 2011, 04:00:26 AM
Is it terrible that I cannot remember the name of an author I don't like?

I know it's a man and he writes 'horror' and I read a few of his books in maybe the mid-eighties, but they drove me nuts because it seemed like he had three plots:

1) There's a child/teenager in the past that legend says died/was murdered and is very upset about it so they take over the psyche of the new kid in town/loner/misunderstood kid and take revenge on the families of the people who murdered them.

2) There's a child/teenager that is insane and killing people but someone else gets blamed for it and is sent away to the mental hospital because the person blamed for it thinks they really are the murderer for some reason.

3) There is the spirit of an indigenous person who was a child/teenager who died/was murdered and is very upset about it so they take over the psyche of the town/loner/misunderstood kid and just randomly kill people because they are angry.

What I remember was that the books didn't end, really - maybe they killed or stopped the murderer in the end but whatever spirit was taking over psyches just moved to a new person, or the insane person just blamed it on another person who ended up having amnesia and thinking they were the murderer.

I remember seeing this author interviewed on tv once.  As part of the interview, the studio audience was asked to suggest ideas for a story.  They came up with something like "mutant plants from outer space".

After working with the suggestion for a couple minutes, this is the plot line that the author came up with:

A family from the city moves to a small town and buys the local nursery.  They are dad, stepmom (who is pregnant) and 15 year old son, who is not certain how he feels about baby or stepmom.  15 year old didn't want to move and doesn't fit in, the local town kids are bullies.

20 years ago a group of teenage boys had picked on the daughter of the previous owners of the nursery, she had run from them and ended up falling in and drowning in a well or whatever - but her spirit has been waiting around to take its revenge.  So she takes over the new kid in town.

There were no "mutant plants from space".  I then realized that this guy was kind of a one-trick pony.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Ereine on May 04, 2011, 05:08:25 AM
I am a huge, HUGE fan of the Stephanie Plum books by Janet Evanovich so when I saw she had a whole shelf full of romance novels I ate those suckers up.

Stephanie Plum is one series I gave up on (I did the same with at least Wheel of Time as I stopped caring and as I found out what happened to my favorite characters I didn't want to risk reading about something bad happening to them). I liked the first books but maybe at book 10 or so it started to feel like there was never going to be any progress. There would be a fun case but they started to have a similar feel and Stephanie would never make up her mind and it started to feel strange that two such men would be interested in her. Then my dislike of love triangles and endless series got better of me and I haven't read any of the most recent ones. Maybe they're better but I don't have much desire to find out. 
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: TychaBrahe on May 04, 2011, 07:15:51 AM
1) There's a child/teenager in the past that legend says died/was murdered and is very upset about it so they take over the psyche of the new kid in town/loner/misunderstood kid and take revenge on the families of the people who murdered them.

2) There's a child/teenager that is insane and killing people but someone else gets blamed for it and is sent away to the mental hospital because the person blamed for it thinks they really are the murderer for some reason.

3) There is the spirit of an indigenous person who was a child/teenager who died/was murdered and is very upset about it so they take over the psyche of the town/loner/misunderstood kid and just randomly kill people because they are angry.

It sounds a lot like John Saul.

Here's a plot outline from Wikipedia

Quote
Borrego looks like an ordinary New Mexico town: it borders an Indian reservation, its teenagers are bored and restless, and its only industry is the outdated oil refinery. But someone has a plan to shake up Borrego that involves controlling the minds of the local residents. When Judith Sheffield is asked to return to her sleepy hometown to teach high school math, she discovers that the students' mandatory flu shots don't really contain flu vaccine. The teacher joins forces with refinery worker Frank Arnold; his teenage son, Jed, whose mother belonged to the neighboring tribe; and Brown Eagle, the boy's grandfather, to find out what and who is behind the flu-shot edict and an equally mysterious takeover bid for the oil refinery.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: rose red on May 04, 2011, 08:50:22 AM
^ I was going to suggest John Saul too.  I loved his books as a "melodramatic and misunderstood" teenager but have not been interested in his recent ones.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Eisa on May 04, 2011, 09:47:57 AM
LOL I was also going to suggest John Saul. :P Once you've read one of his books, it seems you've basically read them all.

They're also really...creepy. :-\
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: lovestoread on May 04, 2011, 09:49:15 AM
The Magicians by Lev Grossman -
       Self centered characters - check
       Badly ripped off plot points - check
       Plot that goes utterly nowhere - check
       On the NYT bestsellers list :o - check

This book was total dreck and I want my two hours back from trying to read it >:(

I just found this thread but I had to POD this!!! I genuinely thought I was reading a different book from everyone else, I thought it was just awful!!!!
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Xallanthia on May 04, 2011, 10:00:18 AM
Speaking of:  Neal Stephenson.  Yeah, I'll say it.  I've read most of his stuff and once he hit his stride with Diamond Age, Snow Crash, and Cryptonomicon, (Zodiac and the Big U?  Ugh)  I really looked forward to the Baroque Cycle trilogy.  Okay, they were loooooong but still kind of interesting as historical fiction.  But mostly long, so long that since I took breaks between books, I had no memory for some of the characters.  Especially the ones that I thought were temporary, who showed up again without any intro or backstory.  Yeah, not flipping back through hundreds of pages to find the one mention of so-and-so to figure out how he fits in.  And I haven't got a clue what the story even was.

Also, Anathem?  BORING.

Amusingly, I don't like Neal Stephenson *except* Anathem.  I can't stand the present-tense way he writes in most of his books, so I've never gotten further than browsing in the shop.  But hubby brough home Anathem and not only is it not written like that, it tweaks on a lot of things I'm interested in, including philosophy, science, monasticism, and life on other planets.  However, there is a lot more detail about the world and the monastaries (I've forgotten his word for them atm) than is strictly necessary to the plot, so I completely understand finding a lot of it boring if one isn't into that kind of deep description.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: bobsyouruncle on May 04, 2011, 10:01:21 AM
One author I gave a shot but ended up not really liking was Bentley Little.

I read two of his books the first was The Store (about an evil corporation) and the second was The Association (about an evil homeowners association)

The premise in each was good and there were some genuinely creepy scenes but there was also a lot of sex stuff (in both books but more so in The Store) that seemed like it only got thrown in for shock value.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Kasia_Kiwi on May 04, 2011, 11:25:42 AM
Some of these have been mentioned before but I have to throw my dislike card in with the pile.

The Celestine Prophecy: A whole lot of whuuuut? It. went. nowhere. In the mountains which is quite difficult in my opinion.

Twilight My bf was required to read it because he will be teaching high school and had to keep up with popular fiction. Books went sailing across the room several times an hour. I loathe it for reasons previously listed.

Cats Eye by Margaret Atwood. Was forced to read it in high school (because we're Canadian) and how I hated it. I won't let Atwood back into my life because of that book.

I'm with people who could not get into The Lord of the Rings. I'm a huge fan of the movies, The Hobbit and The Silmarillion but LotR was not for me.

The Lovely Bones Depressing. That is all.

Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Black Delphinium on May 04, 2011, 11:27:32 AM
Funny. Other than the self-harm parts, Cat's Eye really spoke to me.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: seabird on May 04, 2011, 11:42:46 AM
One author I gave a shot but ended up not really liking was Bentley Little.

I read two of his books the first was The Store (about an evil corporation) and the second was The Association (about an evil homeowners association)

The premise in each was good and there were some genuinely creepy scenes but there was also a lot of sex stuff (in both books but more so in The Store) that seemed like it only got thrown in for shock value.

Agreed.  I read some of Bentley Little's short stories, and liked them, but I couldn't even finish The Store.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Klein Bottle on May 04, 2011, 12:08:26 PM
One author I gave a shot but ended up not really liking was Bentley Little.

I read two of his books the first was The Store (about an evil corporation) and the second was The Association (about an evil homeowners association)

The premise in each was good and there were some genuinely creepy scenes but there was also a lot of sex stuff (in both books but more so in The Store) that seemed like it only got thrown in for shock value.

I thought the same thing about The Store. 

Interesting tidbit: that is supposedly the book Stephen King was reading as he was walking along, when he got hit by that vehicle back in the 90s and almost died.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: bobsyouruncle on May 04, 2011, 12:24:57 PM
One author I gave a shot but ended up not really liking was Bentley Little.

I read two of his books the first was The Store (about an evil corporation) and the second was The Association (about an evil homeowners association)

The premise in each was good and there were some genuinely creepy scenes but there was also a lot of sex stuff (in both books but more so in The Store) that seemed like it only got thrown in for shock value.

I thought the same thing about The Store. 

Interesting tidbit: that is supposedly the book Stephen King was reading as he was walking along, when he got hit by that vehicle back in the 90s and almost died.

That is interesting....I really want to make some sort of "are we sure he was hit and didn't jump in front" joke but its probably not appropriate. 
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Klein Bottle on May 04, 2011, 12:50:42 PM
One author I gave a shot but ended up not really liking was Bentley Little.

I read two of his books the first was The Store (about an evil corporation) and the second was The Association (about an evil homeowners association)

The premise in each was good and there were some genuinely creepy scenes but there was also a lot of sex stuff (in both books but more so in The Store) that seemed like it only got thrown in for shock value.

I thought the same thing about The Store. 

Interesting tidbit: that is supposedly the book Stephen King was reading as he was walking along, when he got hit by that vehicle back in the 90s and almost died.

That is interesting....I really want to make some sort of "are we sure he was hit and didn't jump in front" joke but its probably not appropriate. 

LOL, great minds, and all that.  I thought, and then I thought not.   ;D
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Mikayla on May 04, 2011, 01:07:28 PM
No one will believe this, but I was going to guess John Saul, too!  I've only read one of his books, and I bought it secondhand from the library about a month ago.  It was Sleepwalk.  I actually thought the writing was decent, but that might be because it was the first one I'd read.  However, the ending was fail.  I've read 2 books in a row like this (the other being The Devil's Punchbowl by Iles).  The next book I read had better have an ending that stops my heart....temporarily, anyway.  I'm tired of this.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: rose red on May 04, 2011, 01:27:09 PM
Yeah, John Saul's endings are "special" aren't they?  The first book I read of his was Comes the Blind Fury.

Spoilers:  The main character, a 10(?) year old little girl, dies after a storyline about her doll which is possessed by another little girl from the olden days.  Years pass and her parents are getting on with their lives with their remaining baby daughter.  All is finally well...but wait!  On the remaining daughter's 10(?) birthday, she finds a pretty package on her bed.  Inside the box is A Doll!  She shows her mother who suddenly gets a horrified look on her face.  Dun Dun Dun!

I still loved reading it though  ;D.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Shopaholic on May 04, 2011, 02:11:55 PM

The Celestine Prophecy: A whole lot of whuuuut? It. went. nowhere. In the mountains which is quite difficult in my opinion.

Was this the one there was all the hype about back in the mid-90's? I completely forgot about that book.
I think I actually own it, somewhere deep in my parents' basement, but I don't remember if I ever finished it.

Now that you mentioned it, I remember that it really did go nowhere. And here I was enjoying my denial :)

I also didn't like The Alchemist. I thought it was too kitschy and predictable.
The two other books of his I read Veronica Decides to Die and 11 Minutes were much better.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Wonderflonium on May 04, 2011, 02:28:44 PM
I just finished page 3, so I'm way behind (and 2 books I love are on the list  :-[), but I wanted to weigh in on Twilight. A friend of mine read them and loved them; she actually went to the store sick to pick one up because she finished the previous one. That made me consider wanting to read them until she said, "Don't. Bella will p___ you off. You'll hate it." She's known me for a very long time, so I'm going to trust her instincts.  ;D

Oh, and podding Steinbeck. Of Mice and Men was the first book I ever threw across the room. I would have done the same with The Pearl, but we read it out loud in class in middle school. And do NOT get me started on The Grapes of Wrath.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: zyrs on May 04, 2011, 04:31:24 PM
John Saul!  That's it!  Thank  you!
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: General Jinjur on May 04, 2011, 04:33:57 PM
I have a theory about how to spot a bad book. If the author's name is bigger than the title, pass.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Everlee on May 04, 2011, 04:38:34 PM
Oh, and podding Steinbeck. Of Mice and Men was the first book I ever threw across the room. I would have done the same with The Pearl, but we read it out loud in class in middle school. And do NOT get me started on The Grapes of Wrath.

I read the first 50 or so pages of The Grapes of Wrath in high school during a lull moment and loved it.  So when I saw it at my library's bookstore I snatched it up.
That was about 3 years ago.
I still haven't picked it back up...   :-\ I really, really will one day!
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: lovestoread on May 04, 2011, 04:57:11 PM
The Wideacre series by Phillipa Gregory.  I only read two of the series and didn't want to read the third (learned my lesson about pushing through whole series after reading "Breaking Dawn") but a ? for others who have read her other books, is she just all around the historical fiction version of V.C. Andrews?  I mean..gah, the incest!! *looks for brain bleach*

Yes. Yes, ma'am, she IS. You so nailed it.

Not read to the end of the thread.... but Phillipa-lets-add-incest-as-a-plot-Gregory leaves a lot to be desired in her persuit of fiction. The Other Boleyn Girl is a load of poop.

Her idea of history is make it as pervy as possible.




The bolded just hit my funny bone, i actually LOL'd at this!!!!
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Giggity on May 04, 2011, 05:03:04 PM
"It's funny 'cause it's true."

-Homer Simpson
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Wonderflonium on May 04, 2011, 09:21:48 PM
Made it through 10 pages and some of these break my heart. In Cold Blood? The Poisonwood Bible? We Were the Mulvaneys? Say it ain't so!  ;) (Although I admit to being depressed for quite a while after finishing We Were the Mulvaneys.)

Throwing out another voice for Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. I couldn't finish it.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: ajbell on May 04, 2011, 10:30:10 PM
There is a specific subset of romance and romantic-suspense novels that just annoy me to no end, and usually leave me fuming.  I loathe, with a burning passion, books where the female protagonist is portrayed as not knowing what she really wants.  By this, I mean that she'll tell the male protagonist that she's through with him and wants him out of her life.  Of course, she doesn't know what she wants as well as the man does, and he forces his way back into life, and usually her bed.  It just annoys me.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Eisa on May 04, 2011, 11:47:45 PM
Y'know, I actually loved The Grapes of Wrath. :-[ I read it in fourth grade and played out variations of the plot with my Barbie dolls. I was a strange child. :D

I thought of another one! Valley of the Dolls. The only good part was when Nealy[?] got committed to the mental hospital. I liked that part. The rest was rubbish.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: ScubaGirl on May 05, 2011, 07:18:59 AM
This is days later but I have to POD "Gravity's Rainbow".  I simply could not understand it and finally gave up.  I had read or heard someone say it would be one of the 10 books he would take to a desert island because he just has to re-read it every few years and loved it.  I just didn't get it.  If I still had it I think I would try it again.

Seems like this topic covers both the worst book and books we could not finish.  :)
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: BB-VA on May 05, 2011, 07:41:27 AM
I have a theory about how to spot a bad book. If the author's name is bigger than the title, pass.

Or when there is no description of the plot on cover or flap.  Just glowing reviews of the author's other books (not mentioning the one you have in your hand).
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Winterlight on May 05, 2011, 08:26:35 AM
I think Tom Clancy's later stuff is pretty bad. I liked Hunt For Red October and Patriot Games, but then Jack Ryan became a supreme Gary Stu and never made a bad decision and if you didn't like him you were meen!?! and the enemy. The character went from being interesting people to cardboard cutouts.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Wonderflonium on May 05, 2011, 08:40:20 AM
Made it through 25 pages so far!

There's only one book I've ever given up on (and I've pushed through some pretty crappy books). Here on Earth by Alice Hoffmann (Oprah strikes again!). I read, I believe on the book itself, that it was like Wuthering Heights. Well, that's certainly where she got the idea, but it wasn't anywhere near as good. Ugh.

One of the crappy books I did manage to finish was Bridget Jones' diary. Oh dear lord in heaven, I hated Bridget so much I wanted to slap her! A friend asked to borrow the book and I just said "Keep it!" Ick.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Mikayla on May 05, 2011, 09:39:43 AM
Made it through 10 pages and some of these break my heart. In Cold Blood? The Poisonwood Bible? We Were the Mulvaneys? Say it ain't so!  ;) (Although I admit to being depressed for quite a while after finishing We Were the Mulvaneys.)

LOL!  I plead guilty to mentioning the Mulvaneys.  It wasn't the writing and I thought the plot was very good.  It was just so excruciating I couldn't even finish it.

If it helps any, I totally agree with you on In Cold Blood.  I thought it was a masterpiece the way two separate stories were being told, and you knew they were coming together......:::chills:::
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Wonderflonium on May 05, 2011, 10:01:45 AM
Made it through 10 pages and some of these break my heart. In Cold Blood? The Poisonwood Bible? We Were the Mulvaneys? Say it ain't so!  ;) (Although I admit to being depressed for quite a while after finishing We Were the Mulvaneys.)

LOL!  I plead guilty to mentioning the Mulvaneys.  It wasn't the writing and I thought the plot was very good.  It was just so excruciating I couldn't even finish it.

If it helps any, I totally agree with you on In Cold Blood.  I thought it was a masterpiece the way two separate stories were being told, and you knew they were coming together......:::chills:::

Yeah, the Mulvaneys just gutted me.

I was reading In Cold Blood on a plane. I was in the aisle seat, the middle seat was empty, and in the window seat was a minor traveling alone. I'd guess she was about 12. She asked what I was reading, so I told her (couldn't think of how not to). Then she asked what it was about. Ummmmm....
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Red1979 on May 05, 2011, 03:19:03 PM
Made it through 25 pages so far!

There's only one book I've ever given up on (and I've pushed through some pretty crappy books). Here on Earth by Alice Hoffmann (Oprah strikes again!). I read, I believe on the book itself, that it was like Wuthering Heights. Well, that's certainly where she got the idea, but it wasn't anywhere near as good. Ugh.

One of the crappy books I did manage to finish was Bridget Jones' diary. Oh dear lord in heaven, I hated Bridget so much I wanted to slap her! A friend asked to borrow the book and I just said "Keep it!" Ick.

I thougth I was the only one who hated Bridget Jones.  I thought she was so self-absorbed and annoying.  I kept being grateful I wasn't friends with the women.  I did however, like the Bridget Jones movies.  She was much much more likeable in the film versions.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: otterwoman on May 05, 2011, 04:28:57 PM
I have a theory about how to spot a bad book. If the author's name is bigger than the title, pass.

I've been using that as my guide for years.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Íkorna on May 05, 2011, 04:29:43 PM
I could not stand The Slap-- it was a book about a group of different people and what happens when one of them slaps a child that isn't his own. The thing is, they're all unlikeable jerks, and while there were many things that bothered me, the ending and the lead up to it upset me most of all--

(Hidden due to spoilers-- It's been a while, so I don't remember names.) It's revealed early on that one of the characters, a sixteen year old girl, got very close to having an affair with the husband of the woman she works for. From what I remember, they fooled around but he broke it off. However, they're both still attracted to one another, and while grieving the girl tells her recently out of the closet male best friend (this will come into play) that the man raped her, then swears him to secrecy. The best friend agonizes over this, and eventually tells an adult, after which the girl accuses him of being romantically obsessed with the man. Everyone believes her, and he's denounced. He tries to kill himself but survives, and when the girl comes to visit him in the hospital he apologizes to her for breaking her trust (despite the fact that she'd consciously lied about being raped, then pushed the blame onto him), and she forgives him. The book ends with him thinking about how they'll be friends forever.

All I can say is...
Are you kidding me?!
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: The Legend of Daisy on May 05, 2011, 08:41:59 PM
I am a huge, HUGE fan of the Stephanie Plum books by Janet Evanovich so when I saw she had a whole shelf full of romance novels I ate those suckers up.

Stephanie Plum is one series I gave up on (I did the same with at least Wheel of Time as I stopped caring and as I found out what happened to my favorite characters I didn't want to risk reading about something bad happening to them). I liked the first books but maybe at book 10 or so it started to feel like there was never going to be any progress. There would be a fun case but they started to have a similar feel and Stephanie would never make up her mind and it started to feel strange that two such men would be interested in her. Then my dislike of love triangles and endless series got better of me and I haven't read any of the most recent ones. Maybe they're better but I don't have much desire to find out. 

I just finished the 16th book and you're totally right. It's the same story over and over, Stephanie never makes a decision, it's completely baffling that two men would be interested in her.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Poirot on May 05, 2011, 09:19:23 PM
A couple of days and I am 18 pages behind in the thread. :o

I know this is going to kill my geek cred here, but I HATED the LOTR trilogy. I forced my way through the books, and hated them all. The movies were WORSE!

Even worse, I enjoyed the Twilight books because, at the time, I was looking for light, silly fluff to take my mind off other issues. I enjoyed the laughs.

As far as Auel goes, just UGH!
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Night_owl on May 05, 2011, 09:30:39 PM
This thread actually sparked my interest in some of the books, so I tried a few.

I really liked "The Historian".  It was a little slow in places and the writing a bit old fashion, kind of ponderous. It is definitely very different from most vampire fiction today, but that is why I liked it.

"Elsie Dinsmore"- I downloaded it free on my Kindle.  Wow, it is horrifying.  I'm not sure what bothered me more; Elsie's utter lack of spine, the uber creepy relationship between Elsie and her father, the anti-Catholicism, or Elsie's simpering false piety.  What really bothered me was all the reviews on Amazon touting this book as good, moral reading for children.  

I read another free download called "Understood Betsy"  by Dorothy Canfield Fisher in 1916 and it is a wonderful book. My ten year old son read it out loud to his younger siblings and they all loved it.  The heroine is the anti-Elsie Dinsdale.  

I didn't make it past chapter two of "We were the Mulvaneys", just too sad.

I love Barbara Kingsolving, but "The Poisonwood Bible" is her weakest and dullest book.

I hated LOTR.  It was so long and so dull.  The trip to the Prancing Pony took longer then my trip cross country on a Greyhound bus.  I realize J.R.R. Tolkein is the father of fantasy writing, but after reading so much other fantasy first, LOTR seems clichéd.  I realize how stupid that sounds to LOTR fans, but it is how I feel.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: amandaelizabeth on May 05, 2011, 09:42:38 PM
No No NO - The Poison Wood bible was almost autobiographical.  I was brought up in the country next door, and we saw so many missionary families going down the same path. We just use to gaze at them open mouthed.   She wrote a book that I enjoyed because it gave me  something of my childhood back.


The same with "Don't go down to the dogs tonight.  It rang so true.  the scene with the christmas dinner could have been straight out of my childhood.  Corbin if you want to read something that shows the other side of the coin try 'Twenty chickens for a saddle'
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: finecabernet on May 05, 2011, 09:43:31 PM
Not sure if anyone has mentioned it yet but I hated the Lemony Snickett books. They were quick reads but I found the storyline of mistreated orphans too upsetting.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Gabrielle on May 05, 2011, 09:53:49 PM
Not sure if anyone has mentioned it yet but I hated the Lemony Snickett books. They were quick reads but I found the storyline of mistreated orphans too upsetting.

I love those books but can definitely agree that the subject matter is very very dark and is not for everyone
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: #borecore on May 05, 2011, 09:57:22 PM
Not sure if anyone has mentioned it yet but I hated the Lemony Snickett books. They were quick reads but I found the storyline of mistreated orphans too upsetting.

I love them for the same reason. The kids are terrific!
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Shea on May 05, 2011, 10:13:41 PM
This thread actually sparked my interest in some of the books, so I tried a few.

I really liked "The Historian".  It was a little slow in places and the writing a bit old fashion, kind of ponderous. It is definitely very different from most vampire fiction today, but that is why I liked it.

I love Barbara Kingsolving, but "The Poisonwood Bible" is her weakest and dullest book.

I hated LOTR.  It was so long and so dull.  The trip to the Prancing Pony took longer then my trip cross country on a Greyhound bus.  I realize J.R.R. Tolkein is the father of fantasy writing, but after reading so much other fantasy first, LOTR seems clichéd.  I realize how stupid that sounds to LOTR fans, but it is how I feel.

I loved "The Historian" too, for much the same reason. Also, if I'm going to have vampires, I want them to be evil. The fact that the vampire in question was so elusive made it all the more creepy to me.

"The Poisonwood Bible" is my favorite of Barbara Kingsolver's. I hated the audiobook version of it though, the reader was terrible. I couldn't get through her most recent novel, "The Lacuna". I really tried, but it was so. incredibly. slow. When I'd got halfway through and nothing had happened yet I took it back to the library.

I'm just the opposite about LoTR. I read it when I was eleven, before I'd been exposed to much other fantasy, and that's why I don't really like the vast majority of books in the fantasy genre. So much fantasy that came after Tolkien was so heavily influenced by him that pretty much all of it feels like a cheap Tolkien knock-off to me. The only other fantasy series I really loved was the Earthsea books, because they're the only high fantasy books I've ever come across that owe nothing to Tolkien. They're brilliant.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: kareng57 on May 05, 2011, 10:31:08 PM
Made it through 10 pages and some of these break my heart. In Cold Blood? The Poisonwood Bible? We Were the Mulvaneys? Say it ain't so!  ;) (Although I admit to being depressed for quite a while after finishing We Were the Mulvaneys.)

LOL!  I plead guilty to mentioning the Mulvaneys.  It wasn't the writing and I thought the plot was very good.  It was just so excruciating I couldn't even finish it.

If it helps any, I totally agree with you on In Cold Blood.  I thought it was a masterpiece the way two separate stories were being told, and you knew they were coming together......:::chills:::


I believe that In Cold Blood was really the first true-crime book on the market/in the library.  Capote wrote it at least 20 years or so before true-crime books were on the paperback rack each week.  That's not to say that all modern true-crime books are rubbish of course.  Many, such as most (not all) by Ann Rule are very well written.  Others, well......

If it's possible to "like" In Cold Blood - I did.  Capote did a lot of background research as to what made these killers do what they did.

I do like reading true-crime, even with the amusement of DSs.  Younger DS, even when he was only about 3 or 4 (and not reading at all, my children are not geniuses) would look at the cover of a book I was reading and innocently ask "is that a wife-kills-husband book?"  When I had to truthfully answer in the affirmative,  he would go up to Dh and say "Be afraid, Dad.  Be very afraid."
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: zyrs on May 06, 2011, 06:44:30 AM

mother song mother song mother song,  mother song mother song,
I would have liked it better if everyone had been eaten by a dinosaur at the end.


I wondered after "Shelters of Stone" if she thought the "Mother Song" was going to be some big hit, it's printed in full twice in the book and added as a special item to the end of the book. Knowing I'd have to read it at least five more times means I won't be buying the new book.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: General Jinjur on May 06, 2011, 07:08:38 AM
I do like reading true-crime, even with the amusement of DSs.  Younger DS, even when he was only about 3 or 4 (and not reading at all, my children are not geniuses) would look at the cover of a book I was reading and innocently ask "is that a wife-kills-husband book?"  When I had to truthfully answer in the affirmative,  he would go up to Dh and say "Be afraid, Dad.  Be very afraid."

Ha ha! I think you're selling your DS short  :D
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: katycoo on May 06, 2011, 07:22:25 AM
Made it through 25 pages so far!

There's only one book I've ever given up on (and I've pushed through some pretty crappy books). Here on Earth by Alice Hoffmann (Oprah strikes again!). I read, I believe on the book itself, that it was like Wuthering Heights. Well, that's certainly where she got the idea, but it wasn't anywhere near as good. Ugh.

One of the crappy books I did manage to finish was Bridget Jones' diary. Oh dear lord in heaven, I hated Bridget so much I wanted to slap her! A friend asked to borrow the book and I just said "Keep it!" Ick.

I thougth I was the only one who hated Bridget Jones.  I thought she was so self-absorbed and annoying.  I kept being grateful I wasn't friends with the women.  I did however, like the Bridget Jones movies.  She was much much more likeable in the film versions.

We're opposites - I loved the Bridget books, but I HATED her in the movie.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Coruscation on May 06, 2011, 04:35:46 PM
I hated LOTR.  It was so long and so dull.  The trip to the Prancing Pony took longer then my trip cross country on a Greyhound bus.  I realize J.R.R. Tolkein is the father of fantasy writing, but after reading so much other fantasy first, LOTR seems clichéd.  I realize how stupid that sounds to LOTR fans, but it is how I feel.

The first time I read it, I got to page 69 and Bilbo still hadn't left on his quest. It's very badly paced. I enjoyed the movies much more. When the first one came out, I forced myself to read it again and did quite enjoy it, buts slow, specially in the beginnning.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Corbin on May 06, 2011, 04:55:27 PM
I do like reading true-crime, even with the amusement of DSs.  Younger DS, even when he was only about 3 or 4 (and not reading at all, my children are not geniuses) would look at the cover of a book I was reading and innocently ask "is that a wife-kills-husband book?"  When I had to truthfully answer in the affirmative,  he would go up to Dh and say "Be afraid, Dad.  Be very afraid."

Ha ha! I think you're selling your DS short  :D
lol, I love it!
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: blueberrypancakes on May 11, 2011, 11:23:04 PM
Am I the only one who actually wants to read some of these books to see how terrible they really are?  ;D

Nope!  I'm going to stop by the library Monday and pick up Twilight... since I have now been quadruple dog dared to read it... heehee

Be sure to come back and tell us the horror!  ;D

Oh dear.  I made it through the whole book.  The only thing that kept me from chucking it across the room repeatedly was the fact it was a library book.  :P
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: katycoo on May 12, 2011, 02:36:07 AM
Am I the only one who actually wants to read some of these books to see how terrible they really are?  ;D

Nope!  I'm going to stop by the library Monday and pick up Twilight... since I have now been quadruple dog dared to read it... heehee

Be sure to come back and tell us the horror!  ;D

Oh dear.  I made it through the whole book.  The only thing that kept me from chucking it across the room repeatedly was the fact it was a library book.  :P

Are you up for the sequel?
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Spoder on May 12, 2011, 02:52:29 AM
This has to have been said, but -- American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis. Ground-breaking and all that, but...the thing with the boy in the bath? = MENTAL TRAUMA.  :o

(Oh, and Harry Potter? Is for kids. As an adult, I found it beyond boring. Go ahead, hate me. I've been wanting to say that for years.  ;D)
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Mazdoy on May 12, 2011, 04:11:43 AM
I'm coming to the end of The Poisonwood Bible at the moment and I don't think it's too bad. 

Books I hated and didn't finish were The Sea by John Banville, The Road by Cormac McCarthy and Catch 22 by somebody who I can't remember.

Books I finished and hated were:
Everything by Dan Brown (same story every time just different location)
Patricia Scanlon books (she thinks her readers are so stupid she has to spell out the most simple things)
Shopaholic books (stupid ditzy idiot shops - who cares!)

While I was pregnant I enjoyed reading the Sookie Stackhouse books and anything by Jodi Picoult but since I no longer have baby brain I don't really like them.  I think they're good quick airplane/train books though so I will read more of them in the future.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Perfect Circle on May 12, 2011, 04:24:41 AM
This has to have been said, but -- American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis. Ground-breaking and all that, but...the thing with the boy in the bath? = MENTAL TRAUMA.  :o

(Oh, and Harry Potter? Is for kids. As an adult, I found it beyond boring. Go ahead, hate me. I've been wanting to say that for years.  ;D)

I'm joining you on both counts. Hate me too!
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: geordicat on May 12, 2011, 04:29:17 AM
I just finished Water for Elephants.  What a waste of time.  What a total letdown ending.  The whole story, really.  I have no idea why I finished reading it.

I'm currently slogging through Count of Monte Cristo.   I didn't think I'd ever say this, but the movie really is better.  the book.. pages and pages and PAGES AND PAGES AND PAGES of ... nothing.  There's an entire chapter on him just hiring his gardener.  WHAT does that add to the story or the plot or character development?  Nothing.  Haven't seen that dang gardener since he was hired.

Another chapter of how he has these fish delivered to him...live, in tanks.  several of the same kind, but from different coasts, just to serve them at dinner to guests from these opposite coasts, and he has the live fish brought out in tanks to show how he had the live fish delivered to him.... 

ok, I get it.  He's rich.  He has lots and lots of money.  can we move on to the revenge part yet?
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Akarui Kibuno on May 12, 2011, 06:10:55 AM
This has to have been said, but -- American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis. Ground-breaking and all that, but...the thing with the boy in the bath? = MENTAL TRAUMA.  :o

(Oh, and Harry Potter? Is for kids. As an adult, I found it beyond boring. Go ahead, hate me. I've been wanting to say that for years.  ;D)

I'm joining you on both counts. Hate me too!

Not hating you, but I definitely wouldn't let my kids read the last two books :P . (As in, below age 10 XD )
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: LifeOnPluto on May 12, 2011, 06:35:56 AM
I recently read a dire novel called "Turning Thirty" by Mike Gayle. It was soooo dull. I kept waiting for something to happen, but nothing did. The main character just spends the entire book drinking and chatting with his friends and angsting about turning 30.

I wrote a review about it on my blog: heartstart.livejournal.com if anyone's interested.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: PeasNCues on May 12, 2011, 06:38:07 AM
(Oh, and Harry Potter? Is for kids. As an adult, I found it beyond boring. Go ahead, hate me. I've been wanting to say that for years.  ;D)
The initial books are very, very much for kids. The fascinating thing is they transition, becoming more mature, dark and violent as their characters age. The turning point is definitely book 4
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Spoder on May 12, 2011, 07:08:04 AM
(Oh, and Harry Potter? Is for kids. As an adult, I found it beyond boring. Go ahead, hate me. I've been wanting to say that for years.  ;D)
The initial books are very, very much for kids. The fascinating thing is they transition, becoming more mature, dark and violent as their characters age. The turning point is definitely book 4

Ha, that's more like it! Maybe I gave up on them too early...

I've never enjoyed kids' movies or books, as an adult. Same goes for stuff aimed at teenagers, like Twilight. (Or am I wrong about that? I couldn't bear to attempt it). Actually, the only vampire-y thing I enjoyed was The Historian, which apparently everyone else hated, so go figure!
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: PeasNCues on May 12, 2011, 07:10:07 AM
(Oh, and Harry Potter? Is for kids. As an adult, I found it beyond boring. Go ahead, hate me. I've been wanting to say that for years.  ;D)
The initial books are very, very much for kids. The fascinating thing is they transition, becoming more mature, dark and violent as their characters age. The turning point is definitely book 4

Ha, that's more like it! Maybe I gave up on them too early...

I've never enjoyed kids' movies or books, as an adult. Same goes for stuff aimed at teenagers, like Twilight. (Or am I wrong about that? I couldn't bear to attempt it). Actually, the only vampire-y thing I enjoyed was The Historian, which apparently everyone else hated, so go figure!

From this bit of information, Twilight is definitely not for you. :)

Yeah, my BIL doesn't enjoy kid's stuff either - he actually skipped the first few books and started with book 4. These are now his favorites and he dresses up as HP for halloween. :)

ETA: The transition from children's book to grown-up book is one of the reasons HP is so popular - people grew up with him and the books elevated with their maturity level.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Spoder on May 12, 2011, 07:17:52 AM
[ETA: The transition from children's book to grown-up book is one of the reasons HP is so popular - people grew up with him and the books elevated with their maturity level.
Oh, for some people, sure. When the first one came out, I was already an adult in my twenties. I remember seeing it *everywhere* on the tube (underground train), being devoured by twenty- and thirty-somethings in business suits. I gave it a half-hearted go, but within the first chapter, I was like '  ??? - ummm, yep, it's a kid's book'.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Shea on May 12, 2011, 07:20:47 AM
(Oh, and Harry Potter? Is for kids. As an adult, I found it beyond boring. Go ahead, hate me. I've been wanting to say that for years.  ;D)
The initial books are very, very much for kids. The fascinating thing is they transition, becoming more mature, dark and violent as their characters age. The turning point is definitely book 4

Ha, that's more like it! Maybe I gave up on them too early...

I've never enjoyed kids' movies or books, as an adult. Same goes for stuff aimed at teenagers, like Twilight. (Or am I wrong about that? I couldn't bear to attempt it). Actually, the only vampire-y thing I enjoyed was The Historian, which apparently everyone else hated, so go figure!

I loved The Historian, it's the only vampire book I've ever liked! I also love Harry Potter. It's true what PPs have said, the books kind of grow up with the kids, and the kids have to grow up pretty darn fast after about the fourth book. The earlier ones are definitely kids books, but I still like them ;).
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: iridaceae on May 12, 2011, 07:24:41 AM
[ETA: The transition from children's book to grown-up book is one of the reasons HP is so popular - people grew up with him and the books elevated with their maturity level.
Oh, for some people, sure. When the first one came out, I was already an adult in my twenties. I remember seeing it *everywhere* on the tube (underground train), being devoured by twenty- and thirty-somethings in business suits. I gave it a half-hearted go, but within the first chapter, I was like '  ??? - ummm, yep, it's a kid's book'.

There's nothing wrong with reading a kid's book, though, and once you get beyond say that meant for elementary school a good book is a good book for adults and kids. I'll bet many people here reread their favorites. I do. 
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Spoder on May 12, 2011, 07:31:55 AM
[ETA: The transition from children's book to grown-up book is one of the reasons HP is so popular - people grew up with him and the books elevated with their maturity level.
Oh, for some people, sure. When the first one came out, I was already an adult in my twenties. I remember seeing it *everywhere* on the tube (underground train), being devoured by twenty- and thirty-somethings in business suits. I gave it a half-hearted go, but within the first chapter, I was like '  ??? - ummm, yep, it's a kid's book'.

There's nothing wrong with reading a kid's book, though, and once you get beyond say that meant for elementary school a good book is a good book for adults and kids. I'll bet many people here reread their favorites. I do. 

Not saying there's anything wrong with reading kids books, I think each to their own. It just bores me - I can't imagine re-reading stuff I read as a kid, unless I'm reading it to the nieces and nephews, and I wouldn't read a 'new' kid or YA book just for myself.

Anyway, I'm sure a lot of people would think my reading habits were odd/weird/boring.  :)
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: PeasNCues on May 12, 2011, 07:35:05 AM
[ETA: The transition from children's book to grown-up book is one of the reasons HP is so popular - people grew up with him and the books elevated with their maturity level.
Oh, for some people, sure. When the first one came out, I was already an adult in my twenties. I remember seeing it *everywhere* on the tube (underground train), being devoured by twenty- and thirty-somethings in business suits. I gave it a half-hearted go, but within the first chapter, I was like '  ??? - ummm, yep, it's a kid's book'.
Yeah, I started them when I was in my 20s as well. I am a fan of good YA literature though.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Poirot on May 12, 2011, 07:43:17 AM
I read the first Harry Potter book when my ODD was assigned it in school at age 8. (I always read any novel she was assigned to check if there was anything I wanted to discuss with her) I loved it, but I have always been a big fan of the more whimsical end of the fantasy genre.

As the books continued, they grew and developed. Not only in theme, but in tension. So much so, that when I read book 4, I would not let YDD read it until she turned 10.

I love the whole series so much that I now read (and sometimes write) Harry Potter fanfiction.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Spoder on May 12, 2011, 07:46:26 AM
I read the first Harry Potter book when my ODD was assigned it in school at age 8. (I always read any novel she was assigned to check if there was anything I wanted to discuss with her) I loved it, but I have always been a big fan of the more whimsical end of the fantasy genre.

As the books continued, they grew and developed. Not only in theme, but in tension. So much so, that when I read book 4, I would not let YDD read it until she turned 10.

I love the whole series so much that I now read (and sometimes write) Harry Potter fanfiction.

I am intrigued now - I might have to give some of the later ones a go. Do you need to have read books 1 to 3 first, though?
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: PeasNCues on May 12, 2011, 07:47:40 AM
I read the first Harry Potter book when my ODD was assigned it in school at age 8. (I always read any novel she was assigned to check if there was anything I wanted to discuss with her) I loved it, but I have always been a big fan of the more whimsical end of the fantasy genre.

As the books continued, they grew and developed. Not only in theme, but in tension. So much so, that when I read book 4, I would not let YDD read it until she turned 10.

I love the whole series so much that I now read (and sometimes write) Harry Potter fanfiction.

I am intrigued now - I might have to give some of the later ones a go. Do you need to have read books 1 to 3 first, though?
You should be able to get an online synopsis and get the important points.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: rose red on May 12, 2011, 07:57:41 AM
Not saying there's anything wrong with reading kids books, I think each to their own. It just bores me - I can't imagine re-reading stuff I read as a kid, unless I'm reading it to the nieces and nephews, and I wouldn't read a 'new' kid or YA book just for myself.

Anyway, I'm sure a lot of people would think my reading habits were odd/weird/boring.  :)

I can't imagine never re-reading my beloved The Secret Garden and A Little Princess or several books I read as a teen ever again.  They're such comfort reads to me.  I guess to some people like me, the characters in the books are "real" and I like to visit them once in a while.  I also love discovering new YA books.  I also wondered about all these adults reading Harry Potter, but got hooked from the first page.

Oh well.  I guess that's why there are billions of books out there to cater to the billions of types of readers.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Poirot on May 12, 2011, 08:19:22 AM
I read the first Harry Potter book when my ODD was assigned it in school at age 8. (I always read any novel she was assigned to check if there was anything I wanted to discuss with her) I loved it, but I have always been a big fan of the more whimsical end of the fantasy genre.

As the books continued, they grew and developed. Not only in theme, but in tension. So much so, that when I read book 4, I would not let YDD read it until she turned 10.

I love the whole series so much that I now read (and sometimes write) Harry Potter fanfiction.

I am intrigued now - I might have to give some of the later ones a go. Do you need to have read books 1 to 3 first, though?

It's not absolutely necessary,(as you can follow the plot of each book without the background) but you will have a much richer experience if you read them all in order, IMO. The details in the background of the earlier books help increase the drama and tension later on, KWIM?
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Harriet Jones on May 12, 2011, 08:26:17 AM
Not saying there's anything wrong with reading kids books, I think each to their own. It just bores me - I can't imagine re-reading stuff I read as a kid, unless I'm reading it to the nieces and nephews, and I wouldn't read a 'new' kid or YA book just for myself.

Anyway, I'm sure a lot of people would think my reading habits were odd/weird/boring.  :)

I can't imagine never re-reading my beloved The Secret Garden and A Little Princess or several books I read as a teen ever again.  They're such comfort reads to me.  I guess to some people like me, the characters in the books are "real" and I like to visit them once in a while.  I also love discovering new YA books.  I also wondered about all these adults reading Harry Potter, but got hooked from the first page.

Oh well.  I guess that's why there are billions of books out there to cater to the billions of types of readers.

Me, either!  I'm not the biggest HP fan, though -- while I found the books *mostly* entertaining, Rowling's writing style didn't really do it for me. (Also, the pages and pages of quidditch games, ugh!)
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: rose red on May 12, 2011, 08:29:51 AM
I read the first Harry Potter book when my ODD was assigned it in school at age 8. (I always read any novel she was assigned to check if there was anything I wanted to discuss with her) I loved it, but I have always been a big fan of the more whimsical end of the fantasy genre.

As the books continued, they grew and developed. Not only in theme, but in tension. So much so, that when I read book 4, I would not let YDD read it until she turned 10.

I love the whole series so much that I now read (and sometimes write) Harry Potter fanfiction.

I am intrigued now - I might have to give some of the later ones a go. Do you need to have read books 1 to 3 first, though?

It's not absolutely necessary,(as you can follow the plot of each book without the background) but you will have a much richer experience if you read them all in order, IMO. The details in the background of the earlier books help increase the drama and tension later on, KWIM?

Oh yes.  I love how the earlier books has things briefly mentioned that doesn't really mean anything and you find out it's important in later books.  Things such as  One small mention of Sirius in book 1, Dumbledore's silly story about finding a room of chamber pots in book 4, Aunt Petunia talking about "That Horrible Boy" in one book and you assume it's James, but in the last book realise it's Snape.  
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Spoder on May 12, 2011, 08:32:10 AM
Not saying there's anything wrong with reading kids books, I think each to their own. It just bores me - I can't imagine re-reading stuff I read as a kid, unless I'm reading it to the nieces and nephews, and I wouldn't read a 'new' kid or YA book just for myself.

Anyway, I'm sure a lot of people would think my reading habits were odd/weird/boring.  :)

I can't imagine never re-reading my beloved The Secret Garden and A Little Princess or several books I read as a teen ever again.  They're such comfort reads to me.  I guess to some people like me, the characters in the books are "real" and I like to visit them once in a while.  I also love discovering new YA books.  I also wondered about all these adults reading Harry Potter, but got hooked from the first page.

Oh well.  I guess that's why there are billions of books out there to cater to the billions of types of readers.

Ooooh, when you put it that way...those are two of my favourite kids' books ever, so I can see the allure! (I'd forgotten how lovely A Little Princess is). I love *having* copies of them, that's for sure (even if all my books from childhood are actually at my parents' house, and only the adults ones are here). I do like re-reading old classics that I read for the first time in highschool, though, especially Wuthering Heights.

And I could imagine re-reading Little House on the Prairie, and some of the Anne of Green Gables books, if I had time. That would be lovely.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Petticoats on May 12, 2011, 08:46:50 AM
Not saying there's anything wrong with reading kids books, I think each to their own. It just bores me - I can't imagine re-reading stuff I read as a kid, unless I'm reading it to the nieces and nephews, and I wouldn't read a 'new' kid or YA book just for myself.

Anyway, I'm sure a lot of people would think my reading habits were odd/weird/boring.  :)

I can't imagine never re-reading my beloved The Secret Garden and A Little Princess or several books I read as a teen ever again.  They're such comfort reads to me.  I guess to some people like me, the characters in the books are "real" and I like to visit them once in a while.  I also love discovering new YA books.  I also wondered about all these adults reading Harry Potter, but got hooked from the first page.

Oh well.  I guess that's why there are billions of books out there to cater to the billions of types of readers.

Ooooh, when you put it that way...those are two of my favourite kids' books ever, so I can see the allure! (I'd forgotten how lovely A Little Princess is). I love *having* copies of them, that's for sure (even if all my books from childhood are actually at my parents' house, and only the adults ones are here). I do like re-reading old classics that I read for the first time in highschool, though, especially Wuthering Heights.

And I could imagine re-reading Little House on the Prairie, and some of the Anne of Green Gables books, if I had time. That would be lovely.

I still go back and reread those two Frances Hodgson Burnett books, especially A Little Princess. And some of the Anne books. I still love a lot of the children's books I read as a kid, and it's been fun as my friends start having kids to be able to recommend things (Edward Eager, Elizabeth Enright...).

But as for bad books: does anyone else feel like Barbara Michaels's contemporary romantic suspense books have taken a down turn? I know she's been focussing more on her Elizabeth Peters Amelia Peabody mysteries, but I always liked the modern gothics--until it started to seem like her heroines were getting really abrasive and unlikeable, and Michaels would put the heroine together with the least likely male just *because* he was the least likely match for her--for example, in one of them, there was this really attractive and enigmatic man who seemed cut out to be the hero, and the end of the story has the heroine latching on to the comic-relief pasty geek. I mean, I have loved and do love some geeky men, but this guy was not written as the character we were supposed to be attracted to. Bait and switch--it made me so mad.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: BB-VA on May 12, 2011, 09:09:31 AM
(Oh, and Harry Potter? Is for kids. As an adult, I found it beyond boring. Go ahead, hate me. I've been wanting to say that for years.  ;D)
The initial books are very, very much for kids. The fascinating thing is they transition, becoming more mature, dark and violent as their characters age. The turning point is definitely book 4

Ha, that's more like it! Maybe I gave up on them too early...

I've never enjoyed kids' movies or books, as an adult. Same goes for stuff aimed at teenagers, like Twilight. (Or am I wrong about that? I couldn't bear to attempt it). Actually, the only vampire-y thing I enjoyed was The Historian, which apparently everyone else hated, so go figure!

I find I am moving back in time.  I didn't finish the Beany Malone/Katie Rose Belford series until after I was married.  I didn't read the books in HS - too girly for me then (read a girl's book?? horrors!! Dyed in the wool nerd, that's me).   My daughter was like that about "Little House" - she's 34 and I don't think she has read them yet.  But I re-read them every now and then.

I still re-read the Heinlein juveniles from time to time - "Have Space Suit, Will Travel" is my favorite.

I haven't done the "Twilight" thing.  I am just not into vampires.  Haven't read Anne Rice, Bram Stoker, or anybody else who wrote about them.  Maybe that says something about me, I don't know.  

ETA "Little House" comment
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Everlee on May 12, 2011, 10:28:36 AM
I'm another one who loves to read books I enjoyed when I was younger.  I started reading the Baby-Sitters Club when I was about 7 and by the time they finished the series I had about 95% of them.  I saved them for my future kids and have been dying lately to go get them and re-read the series and fill in all the missing gaps in books.
The first book I ever read and loved so much I had to re-read it over and over was A Wrinkle In Time.  I still have it and re-read it every couple years.
I also just found my old copy of The Phantom Tollbooth and am going to re-read it soon.

My husband makes fun of me, but I don't see a problem with reading kids books.  If it's something you enjoy then who cares?  I read Nim's Island a few weeks ago and really liked it.  I love nature/kid books.  I have My Side of the Mountain somewhere.  Maybe that needs to go on my re-read list, too.   8)
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Lisbeth on May 12, 2011, 10:43:48 AM
I'm another one who loves to read books I enjoyed when I was younger.  I started reading the Baby-Sitters Club when I was about 7 and by the time they finished the series I had about 95% of them.  I saved them for my future kids and have been dying lately to go get them and re-read the series and fill in all the missing gaps in books.
The first book I ever read and loved so much I had to re-read it over and over was A Wrinkle In Time.  I still have it and re-read it every couple years.
I also just found my old copy of The Phantom Tollbooth and am going to re-read it soon.

My husband makes fun of me, but I don't see a problem with reading kids books.  If it's something you enjoy then who cares?  I read Nim's Island a few weeks ago and really liked it.  I love nature/kid books.  I have My Side of the Mountain somewhere.  Maybe that needs to go on my re-read list, too.   8)

My parents have been known to do that to me and ask me why I spend time in the children's section of bookstores.  The answer is, because sometimes authors I loved as a kid put out new books, and I want to see those-or even new editions of their older books.  The hook is still there.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: LadyPekoe on May 12, 2011, 10:44:55 AM
[ETA: The transition from children's book to grown-up book is one of the reasons HP is so popular - people grew up with him and the books elevated with their maturity level.
Oh, for some people, sure. When the first one came out, I was already an adult in my twenties. I remember seeing it *everywhere* on the tube (underground train), being devoured by twenty- and thirty-somethings in business suits. I gave it a half-hearted go, but within the first chapter, I was like '  ??? - ummm, yep, it's a kid's book'.


There's nothing wrong with reading a kid's book, though, and once you get beyond say that meant for elementary school a good book is a good book for adults and kids. I'll bet many people here reread their favorites. I do.  


I read a fair amount of young adult lit.  Some are good, some aren't.  I just finished the "Percy Jackson" series which I really liked--I was a huge mythology geek as a kid and would have adored these (plus Rick Riordan updates the myths really well).  Yes, it's a kid's book, but that doesn't mean adults can't like it.  A good story is a good story.

And "The Count of Monte Cristo" is my favorite book of all time :)  I didn't like the movie because the book is so internal it just doesn't translate well.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: 2littlemonkeys on May 12, 2011, 10:52:13 AM
I just happened to read "Her Fearful Symmetry" by Audrey Niffenegger and actually kind of liked it.  It ended differently than I thought it would but I think it made for an interesting story.  

But I just read one of the Junie B Jones books to my ODD and it was painful.  It was a very cute story and a perfect chapter book to read to her but I hated the grammar.  The story was written as if a 5 or 6 year old were actually telling it and I'm trying to get ODD AWAY from talking like that.

"I runned right over to that girl and blowed on her face!"

Is it wrong that I corrected the grammar as I was reading?
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: BB-VA on May 12, 2011, 10:55:36 AM
I love Percy Jackson too!   The explanation for ADHD that he ties in is kinda neat.  I understand he started by telling the stories to his own ADHD son.

The "Wrinkle in Time" series is one I still love too, although I have only been able to read one of the second series (about Meg and Calvin's kids).  I DO believe in Patrick's Rune!

An older juvenile series I still like is the Henry Reed series, although the last one (Henry Reed's Think Tank) wasn't so hot.

Dinny Gordon - I did read those in HS.  I could relate to Dinny and her interest in archaeology, unlike the other girls' series with all the proms and dates and "How can I make Johnny love me?" angst.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Spoder on May 12, 2011, 11:00:11 AM
I read a fair amount of young adult lit.  Some are good, some aren't.  I just finished the "Percy Jackson" series which I really liked--I was a huge mythology geek as a kid and would have adored these (plus Rick Riordan updates the myths really well).  Yes, it's a kid's book, but that doesn't mean adults can't like it.  A good story is a good story.

That's the thing, though - I don't really read books so much for the story, as for the way it's written. I don't know if that makes any sense, it's hard to explain; there are books (and movies) that I absolutely love, in which there hardly *is* a story. A good story written for a kid is not nearly as interesting to me as a good story written for an adult. (I'm going to end the semi-threadjack now, because I feel like I'm coming across as critical of other people's tastes, which I'm not  :))
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: The Legend of Daisy on May 12, 2011, 11:49:43 AM
I think the issue with The Historian is that it's quite a long book with a lot of multi-generational buildup and then BANG! a blink and you missed it ending. Just not that satisfying.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Elfmama on May 12, 2011, 01:04:30 PM
I just happened to read "Her Fearful Symmetry" by Audrey Niffenegger and actually kind of liked it.  It ended differently than I thought it would but I think it made for an interesting story.  

But I just read one of the Junie B Jones books to my ODD and it was painful.  It was a very cute story and a perfect chapter book to read to her but I hated the grammar.  The story was written as if a 5 or 6 year old were actually telling it and I'm trying to get ODD AWAY from talking like that.

"I runned right over to that girl and blowed on her face!"

Is it wrong that I corrected the grammar as I was reading?
Nope! ;D  When I read the Little House books to pre-school Elfqueen, I edited out a lot of things that I thought she might be bored or confused by, things like detailed descriptions of the clothes.  Can't see that it hampered her enjoyment when she was old enough to read them for herself.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Thuringwethyl on May 12, 2011, 01:32:21 PM
Now that we’re the subject of children’s books I have to bring up the sequel to George MacDonald’s The Princess and the Goblin. The first book? A true classic. I always wondered why my parents never tried to locate the sequel or why my Aunt would shudder when I brought it up.

I found The Princess and Curdie in my university library in college and was beside myself with glee. Then I read it. Oh LORD. I realized why my family refused to speak of it. It was, without a doubt, the most depressing, soul-crushing, innocence-destroying, piece-of-darkness-made-physical-form horrible “children’s” book EVER.

Note: I didn't like it.

So at the end of The Princess and the Goblin Curdie (a poor miner’s son) has rescued the princess from the goblins. You know that they are going to get married and live happily ever after. YAY!

The next book has the kingdom’s subjects turn wicked and scheme against the old king. Boo! This leads to Curdie s-l-o-w-l-y gathering an army of …fairy…things…(for lack of a better term) and mounting a rescue when the ineffectual king and his daughter are trapped in their castle. Go Curdie! Afterwards Curdie marries the princess and becomes king himself in due time. Yay! However, after Curdie’s reign ends, the kingdom goes back to its wicked ways and is swallowed up by the earth. Hoora-WHAT?! That’s right, everything the good guys had fought for was for nothing and was blotted from earthly memory. The end.

That book didn’t get thrown - it fell from my shocked fingers as I stared blankly at the wall for a good while.

Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Mazdoy on May 12, 2011, 02:39:58 PM
I think the issue with The Historian is that it's quite a long book with a lot of multi-generational buildup and then BANG! a blink and you missed it ending. Just not that satisfying.

I know I read it but I cannot for the life of me remember the ending of The Historian.  I didn't hate the book though.

I recently read Her Fearful Symmetry and actually enjoyed it.  I think it would translate well into a movie and I don't often say that about books.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: kittyhugger35 on May 12, 2011, 02:47:12 PM
Wuthering Heights

Worse than the any current worst romance novel.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: MonteCristo on May 12, 2011, 02:54:27 PM
I haven't quite finished the whole thread, but I have to comment on the Elsie Dinsmore books...I was mesmerized with how atrocious they were.  Of course I kept reading (we didn't have tv or radio...I read everything) until the book where Elsie's husband dies and her father comes over, carries her up to her room, and locks her children out, because Elsie is so delicate.  THEY HAD JUST LOST THEIR FATHER!!!  I got so mad that I threw the book across the room then got up and stomped on it!
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Moralia on May 12, 2011, 02:56:05 PM
I just finished reading "The Magicians" by Lev Grossman.  While he did have some fairly interesting ideas, the whole thing reads like someone who has delusions of Literature trying to make the fantasy "grownup" without experiencing the genre outside of the children's section.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: PeasNCues on May 12, 2011, 02:56:34 PM
See, I don't think Wuthering Heights was a romance - it was part horror, part tragedy. It was about two awful people completely obsessed and in love with each other but so retched that the could only destroy each other.

I love the emotion, the raw feeling in that book.

But I would never call it a romance.

Spoiler below ------




The scene when Catherine dies is one of my favorite literary moments of all time simply because it is so emotional, desperate and horrifying at once.

"'And I pray one prayer - I repeat it till my tongue stiffens - Catherine Earnshaw, may you not rest as long as I am living; you said I killed you - haunt me, then! The murdered DO haunt their murderers, I believe. I know that ghosts HAVE wandered on earth. Be with me always - take any form - drive me mad! only DO not leave me in this abyss, where I cannot find you! Oh, God! it is unutterable! I CANNOT live without my life! I CANNOT live without my soul!'"
- Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights, Ch. 16

Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: MonteCristo on May 12, 2011, 03:02:11 PM
Most of my least favorite books have already been mentioned...Great Expectations, Moby D!ck, Pride & Prejudice, etc.  I also hated Siddartha.  Never could figure out what was going on with that book, and I read it twice through just to see what I was missing...no use.

3/4 of my absolute favorites also showed up (The Count of Monte Cristo, Anna Karenina & Les Miserables).  I'm also a little surprised the the 4th, Don Quixote didn't get mentioned, but then most people haven't read it.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: LadyClaire on May 12, 2011, 03:15:45 PM
Most of my least favorite books have already been mentioned...Great Expectations, Moby D!ck, Pride & Prejudice, etc.  I also hated Siddartha.  Never could figure out what was going on with that book, and I read it twice through just to see what I was missing...no use.

3/4 of my absolute favorites also showed up (The Count of Monte Cristo, Anna Karenina & Les Miserables).  I'm also a little surprised the the 4th, Don Quixote didn't get mentioned, but then most people haven't read it.

I love Don Quixote. I was pretty disappointed that the Don Quixote TV show they did a couple of years ago didn't really take off and got cancelled, because I was so enjoying it.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: lady_disdain on May 12, 2011, 08:51:06 PM
I like some episodes of D. Quixote, but I find it too long.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: blueberrypancakes on May 12, 2011, 10:39:30 PM
Am I the only one who actually wants to read some of these books to see how terrible they really are?  ;D

Nope!  I'm going to stop by the library Monday and pick up Twilight... since I have now been quadruple dog dared to read it... heehee

Be sure to come back and tell us the horror!  ;D

Oh dear.  I made it through the whole book.  The only thing that kept me from chucking it across the room repeatedly was the fact it was a library book.  :P

Are you up for the sequel?

Yeah, I'm thinking about reading it just so I can go to Kendo_Bunny's blog and laugh even more. 
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: lady_disdain on May 12, 2011, 11:10:11 PM
I did a quick read of the first chapter of Midnight Sun - Eclipse told by Edward. It seems like everyone is even more obsessed with Bella than we thought from Eclipse. Edward describing his reaction to Bella is squirm worthy and makes the episodes where he watches Bella sleeping even more disturbing.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: amandaelizabeth on May 13, 2011, 01:45:55 AM
"I just finished reading "The Magicians" by Lev Grossman.  While he did have some fairly interesting ideas, the whole thing reads like someone who has delusions of Literature trying to make the fantasy "grownup" without experiencing the genre outside of the children's section."

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Sorry just not sure how to quote.  The first try disappeared into the internet blackhole.

Just popped into the library and they were putting out some books and guess what I saw - so I will let you know after the weekend.

I loved the Poisonwood Bible.  I grew up in the country next door and you don't realise how close to the truth the story was.  Brought back memories galore.  I also thought 'Going to the Dogs tonight" was very true.  We had many Christmas Days like the one described.  Corbin you might like to try 'Twenty Chickens for a saddle' instead.  I can't remember the authors name but she is a kiwi but still living in Botswana.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: Shea on May 13, 2011, 07:01:33 AM
Am I the only one who actually wants to read some of these books to see how terrible they really are?  ;D

Nope!  I'm going to stop by the library Monday and pick up Twilight... since I have now been quadruple dog dared to read it... heehee

Be sure to come back and tell us the horror!  ;D

Oh dear.  I made it through the whole book.  The only thing that kept me from chucking it across the room repeatedly was the fact it was a library book.  :P

Are you up for the sequel?

Yeah, I'm thinking about reading it just so I can go to Kendo_Bunny's blog and laugh even more. 

If you're not averse to some non-Ehell-approved language, check out Mark Reads Twilight. It's hilarious.
Title: Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
Post by: The Legend of Daisy on May 14, 2011, 07:49:35 AM