Author Topic: well, THAT was the worst book ever!  (Read 150256 times)

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Kendo_Bunny

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Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
« Reply #1665 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

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Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
« Reply #1666 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

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Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever
« Reply #1667 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

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Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
« Reply #1668 on: June 04, 2012, 07:18:49 PM »
Glad to know I have company!

Solanna Dryden

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Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
« Reply #1669 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.
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oz diva

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Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
« Reply #1670 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

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Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
« Reply #1671 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...

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Just because someone is offended that does not mean they are in the right.

VorFemme

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Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
« Reply #1672 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

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Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
« Reply #1673 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...
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emeraldsage85

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Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
« Reply #1674 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

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Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
« Reply #1675 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

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Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
« Reply #1676 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

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Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
« Reply #1677 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


Martienne

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Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
« Reply #1678 on: July 09, 2012, 05:33:47 PM »
The Here and Now by Greg Easterbrook. It was basically about a guy who was a protesting hippie type in college and then grew up to be a staid corporate type. Then his hippie, past self starts communicating with him (which really comes across more that he's having some kind of hallucinations) and weird stuff happens. I guess I could have handled that, except the hippie self-righteously goes on and on and on about how the older version of himself sold out and started working for the man.

I agree with those who commented on Wicked, mainly because I feel like it was trying way too hard to make everything about sex. Which really surprised me, considering it's a fanfiction of a children's story, essentially.

Nuku

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Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
« Reply #1679 on: July 09, 2012, 06:13:30 PM »
Ugh.  Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides.  The first few chapters were good and then it got pretentious and annoying.  Thank goodness it's from the library and I didn't pay for the thing.

I found the part in the Depression somewhat interesting but quickly lost interest. (Also, the narrator's grandparents creeped me out.) I could almost hear the author thinking, "I am writing a Great Novel." as I read the prose.

Also, I gave up on Pride and Prejudice and Zombies on page 37. I decided I'd be more entertained reading an actual fully formed Jane Austen novel. And if I wanted goofiness, well, I have a collection of her juvenilia, which shows her sense of the absurd and has some pretty hilarious stuff.

The Tenth Circle by Judi Picoult was also pretty awful, and the big plot "surprise" was not one. Also, the characters all seemed like horrible people. And the graphic novel part (put in there due to the popularity of graphic novels, I guess) was not well done.