Author Topic: well, THAT was the worst book ever!  (Read 129145 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Petticoats

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3483
Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
« Reply #1665 on: February 12, 2012, 11:05:06 PM »
I write my own stuff (for fun, not publication) and have for years been terrified of love scenes, because I am not the best at physical logistics. Then, a few years ago, I read a novel (maybe by Katie MacAlister?) in which someone in a love scene did, however briefly, have three hands.

It was a paranormal romance, but not one in which anyone could reasonably be expected to have extra appendages  :P.

That made me feel both better (everybody does it, I guess!) and worse (there's no guarantee even a trained editor will catch it!  :-[).

I do some editing (mostly picking apart terrible things), and someone on one of my boards submitted a story with a love scene between a pair of ultimate contortionists. Extra long necks, being able to kiss the other's back while in a certain position... I was reading it out loud to some friends who decided to try to contort with how the story described it. We figured that one of the lovers had a neck like a giraffe, and the other had a second head growing out of his hip region.

The ultimate line about writing love-making poorly: "Giving a reader a scene that is half right is like giving her half a kitten. It's not half as cute as a whole kitten, it's a bloody, godawful mess."

One of my (published) writer friends mentioned how she uses her husband for this.  "Here, honey, can you help me with some blocking?  Okay, so if I'm standing here, you put your hand like this.  All right, then I touch you here, and you use your other hand to hold me here.  Then if you lean forward a bit - that's good - yes, perfect, it does throw us off balance!  Okay, so now we're lying on the bed like this - a bit more to your left, honey - and you do that.  Does that feel awkward to you?  Oh, I guess you can't use your other hand to run through my hair because you need it for balance.  Okay, thanks honey!"  *jumping up*  "I'm going to go finish the scene!"

(Meanwhile her poor husband is left with his shirt half off, lying on the bed, and really hoping she was more in the mood for a Scrabble game than for sitting at her laptop for the next few hours!)

<sigh> I have *got* to find a research/blocking partner... a friend said that now that I'm writing again she should buy me some of those little poseable mannikins that artists use, but where's the fun in that?

Winterlight

  • On the internet, no one can tell you're a dog- arf.
  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 9451
Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
« Reply #1666 on: February 13, 2012, 09:45:28 AM »
The Beverly Hills Diet (1981) by Judy Mazel. Basically its Mazel's raging eating disorder trying to pass itself off as a diet. There were actually papers posted in medical journals about this book and one paper said it was the first time an eating disorder -- anorexia nervosa -- was marketed as a cure for obesity.

 :o

Oh, if we're doing non-fiction, the Skinny B**** Book for pregnancy. I made it through the horrible descriptions of the dairy and cattle industry, but I threw the book across the room when, after several chapters of explaining why you're an *expletive deleted* if you drink soda and you shouldn't eat anything non-vegan even if your doctor says it's okay (the actual line they used was, "You believe him just because he's wearing a white coat?" No, actually, I believe him because he studied for at least six years), they tell you to switch to soy, even though there's some controversy about the industry, because they say it's okay.

To paraphrase: don't listen to your doctor, but listen to us, two random nutritionists.

I loathe those books on principle- a vegan author I love reviewed the first book and that was more than enough to put me off. As she pointed out, the authors are either really, really mean people or are willing to pretend to be in order to market their books. Neither is a good selling point to my mind.
If wisdom’s ways you wisely seek,
Five things observe with care,
To whom you speak,
Of whom you speak,
And how, and when, and where.
Caroline Lake Ingalls

Kendo_Bunny

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2688
  • I'm inquisitive!
Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
« Reply #1667 on: February 13, 2012, 11:59:30 AM »
Oh, if we're doing non-fiction, the Skinny B**** Book for pregnancy. I made it through the horrible descriptions of the dairy and cattle industry, but I threw the book across the room when, after several chapters of explaining why you're an *expletive deleted* if you drink soda and you shouldn't eat anything non-vegan even if your doctor says it's okay (the actual line they used was, "You believe him just because he's wearing a white coat?" No, actually, I believe him because he studied for at least six years), they tell you to switch to soy, even though there's some controversy about the industry, because they say it's okay.

To paraphrase: don't listen to your doctor, but listen to us, two random nutritionists.

Hoo boy. I think I'll listen to my doctor because I have a genetic malfunction where I can't produce cholesterol. Since the side effects of too low cholesterol are heart failure, strokes, and suicidal depression, I think I'll stick with people who went to medical school  ::)

lady_disdain

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5578
  • Paws for a smile
    • Contemporary Jewelry
Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
« Reply #1668 on: June 04, 2012, 06:07:29 PM »
Zombie thread coming back! Run for your lives!

Sorry for the thread resurrection but I have to get this book off my chest. I just finished reading The Power of One. It is supposed to be a beautiful, inspiring tale of an English boy in South Africa who has to overcome difficulties by believing in himself, etc. I found it to be the clunkily written story of one of the worst cases of a Gary Stu I have come across.

In it, the first person narrator is incredibly intelligent, charismatic, a natural leader, a great boxer, a very good musician (the best in his posh school, although not a genius - at least that), etc. And the mythical leader the black population have been waiting for (yes, really). Everyone fell over themselves to help him. I found him to be casually arrogant towards everyone, dismissive of what so many good people sacrificed for him (including a few too many who died for him), quite willing to take the credit for things that took many people to accomplish and willing to overlook other people's need such as his mother's servant girls (the family moved across South Africa and the girls didn't speak the local language, which was great because they didn't have anything to do on their free day, so they could clean the professor's house - if he was so invested in helping the oppressed people, couldn't he have taught them a little of the language?). If Hoppie was so important to him, why didn't he never bother to ask how he was doing or follow his boxing fights? After all, there were people around him who loved boxing and knew of Hoppie, who was a minor celebrity.

The book is also filled with stereotypes. The black African characters are barely sketched caricatures. The women are treated pretty much the same way (including his mother). There is no subtlety in the plot or descriptions - the reader is pretty much beaten on the head with everything. The same phrases are used over and over. And if the author forgot to mention something, he would just start a new paragraph and add it in, doing wonders for the continuity.


END SPOILER


To top it off, I was furious at the ending. It left all sorts of threads dangling, it felt like it came out of the blue and depended on a huge coincidence I have trouble believing in. Worst of all was the message. Despite all the good people he meets, their friendship, guidance, help and support, he can only let his loneliness (mostly of his own creating, if you ask me) go by beating up the bully. How lovely.

Cellardoor14

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1717
  • caviar and cigarettes... well versed in etiquette
Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever
« Reply #1669 on: June 04, 2012, 07:10:54 PM »
My MIL ADORES Bryce Courtney, and has every single one of his books, including Power of One.

She presses them on me, and I hadn't the heart to tell her I find them terrible- stock characters, convoluted plots lines, impossible coincidences & sometimes blatant rip-offs of other books or authors.


« Last Edit: June 04, 2012, 08:40:23 PM by Cellardoor14 »



lady_disdain

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5578
  • Paws for a smile
    • Contemporary Jewelry
Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
« Reply #1670 on: June 04, 2012, 07:18:49 PM »
Glad to know I have company!

Solanna Dryden

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 808
Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
« Reply #1671 on: June 04, 2012, 08:43:36 PM »
Haha, we had to watch the movie of that in Grade 10 religion; I'm still not sure why. All I remember about it is the scene where he gets peed on in the shower.
Honey badger don't care. YOLO

oz diva

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1054
  • The Classics are SO last Century
Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
« Reply #1672 on: June 05, 2012, 01:11:08 AM »
Zombie thread coming back! Run for your lives!

Sorry for the thread resurrection but I have to get this book off my chest. I just finished reading The Power of One. It is supposed to be a beautiful, inspiring tale of an English boy in South Africa who has to overcome difficulties by believing in himself, etc. I found it to be the clunkily written story of one of the worst cases of a Gary Stu I have come across.

In it, the first person narrator is incredibly intelligent, charismatic, a natural leader, a great boxer, a very good musician (the best in his posh school, although not a genius - at least that), etc. And the mythical leader the black population have been waiting for (yes, really). Everyone fell over themselves to help him. I found him to be casually arrogant towards everyone, dismissive of what so many good people sacrificed for him (including a few too many who died for him), quite willing to take the credit for things that took many people to accomplish and willing to overlook other people's need such as his mother's servant girls (the family moved across South Africa and the girls didn't speak the local language, which was great because they didn't have anything to do on their free day, so they could clean the professor's house - if he was so invested in helping the oppressed people, couldn't he have taught them a little of the language?). If Hoppie was so important to him, why didn't he never bother to ask how he was doing or follow his boxing fights? After all, there were people around him who loved boxing and knew of Hoppie, who was a minor celebrity.

The book is also filled with stereotypes. The black African characters are barely sketched caricatures. The women are treated pretty much the same way (including his mother). There is no subtlety in the plot or descriptions - the reader is pretty much beaten on the head with everything. The same phrases are used over and over. And if the author forgot to mention something, he would just start a new paragraph and add it in, doing wonders for the continuity.

Ha, I did think as I was reading this, well it is Bryce Courtney.

Victoria

Nora

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3488
Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
« Reply #1673 on: June 05, 2012, 05:26:24 AM »
I had already suspended disbelief that her grandfather had been a lost Viking who'd wandered ever west after the last long boat left Vinland, leaving him and a very few other people behind.........I don't remember why he kept going west, might just have been a wanderer...................but that tumbleweed broke the whole thing as it was too danged much.

I have no memory of the rest of the book................
There is suspension of disbelief, and there is hanging it by the neck until dead...

Love the bolded! Can I steal?
Just because someone is offended that does not mean they are in the right.

VorFemme

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 12298
  • Strolls with scissors! Too tired to run today!
Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
« Reply #1674 on: June 05, 2012, 09:01:04 AM »
I had already suspended disbelief that her grandfather had been a lost Viking who'd wandered ever west after the last long boat left Vinland, leaving him and a very few other people behind.........I don't remember why he kept going west, might just have been a wanderer...................but that tumbleweed broke the whole thing as it was too danged much.

I have no memory of the rest of the book................
There is suspension of disbelief, and there is hanging it by the neck until dead...

Love the bolded! Can I steal?

I don't mind having my comment stolen - but I can't speak for ElfMamma.

And my feelings were more along the lines of "There's suspension of disbelief and then there's pulling the tablecloth out from under it......without taking the dishes off the table, first - which has to be practised to be done successfully - in this case, the dishes went flying and there was a metaphorical mess."
Let sleeping dragons be.......morning breath......need I say more?

Elfmama

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5725
  • Is it Spring yet?
Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
« Reply #1675 on: June 22, 2012, 12:32:17 AM »
I had already suspended disbelief that her grandfather had been a lost Viking who'd wandered ever west after the last long boat left Vinland, leaving him and a very few other people behind.........I don't remember why he kept going west, might just have been a wanderer...................but that tumbleweed broke the whole thing as it was too danged much.

I have no memory of the rest of the book................
There is suspension of disbelief, and there is hanging it by the neck until dead...

Love the bolded! Can I steal?
Feel free.  I stole it from someone else, back in the dim dark past...
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
I don't go crazy.  I AM crazy.  I sometimes go normal. 
Please make a note of this for future reference.
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

emeraldsage85

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1585
  • Proud auntie of Owen!
Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
« Reply #1676 on: July 09, 2012, 02:28:51 PM »
I attempted to read Trainspotting but couldn't get through the first few chapters. The problem was that the main character was Scottish and his narrative was written out phonetically. It was so annoying and made the book hard to follow for me. I had to resort to searching online so I could make proper sense of the plot.

MommyPenguin

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3849
    • My blog!
Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
« Reply #1677 on: July 09, 2012, 02:32:21 PM »
I just read a book on my Kindle called "Chameleon," by Julia Killian or something like that.  Man, it was kind of ridiculous.  Some really obvious errors, like a character being all excited about her sister coming home from Scotland that day, then a few pages later seeing the sister and exclaiming in surprise, saying that she thought the sister would be in Scotland for another month!  People doing stupid, irrational things constantly, when they're supposed to be intelligent people (literally, in the case of one character who had worked in intelligence).  On Amazon, though, it has all 4- and 5-star reviews!  I wonder if they were all advance copies.  I think I need to add a 2- or 3-star review in there just to even things out a bit.  :)

RiverSong

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 103
Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
« Reply #1678 on: July 09, 2012, 02:39:00 PM »
Anything by Louie L'Amour puts me to sleep. I can read a book in a day, usually. I was assigned one of his to read for a book report in high school and it took me a week to get through it. I kept falling asleep after a couple pages.  :P

violinp

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3377
  • cabbagegirl28's my sister :)
Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
« Reply #1679 on: July 09, 2012, 02:50:19 PM »
Okay, so I know that romances are supposed to be a little silly, and not entirely logical when it comes to the actual plot.

However, I'm pretty sure that a lord can't: completely disregard his father's every wish in his will that the father's mistress could keep her house and kick her without a possession; keep said mistress from getting lodging in the town or a carriage to leave, so that he gets to watch her die a slow death of pneumonia; track down his half - brother and get several friends to (TRIGGER) gang - rape her, driving her to suicide, try to kidnap the sister of his half - brother's mistress, kidnap his half - brother's pregnant mistress - turned - wife for ransom...and still be mad at his half - brother for the heinous crime of buying a title so his mistress - turned - wife wouldn't have to give up socializing with her friends she had gotten since marrying the first time and being widowed. My Fair Mistress, you are so bad, but I love you so much.
"It takes a great deal of courage to stand up to your enemies, but even more to stand up to your friends" - Harry Potter