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Author Topic: well, THAT was the worst book ever!  (Read 387768 times)

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ScubaGirl

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Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
« Reply #1755 on: January 15, 2013, 03:49:05 PM »
Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper--Case Closed by Patricia Cornwell, a sloppy, insulting,  character assassination of artist Walter Sickert written by a raging egomaniac. Just what is wrong with this book? Lets see....


* Patricia Cornwell is not a historian, detective, art expert, or even a forensic scientist (she worked in the office of a Chief Medical Examiner as a technical writer and computer analyst), yet seems to believe she's an expert on everything.
* Cornwell ignoring evidence from several sources that puts Sickert in Paris during the Ripper murders.
* Cornwell stating as fact that Sickert's manhood was mangled by a fistula, therefore was impotent and childless. There is plenty of evidence that Sickert's manhood was in fine working order and he possibly fathered several illegitimate children.
* Cornwell whines about there were no blood tests or blood spatter analysis done for a murder victim in 1888. (1) The fact that human blood has different types wasn't discovered until 1901. (2) Tests to distinguish human blood from animal blood didn't come around until 1901. (3) The earliest reference of blood spatter analysis was written in 1894, and the meaning of blood spatter patterns wasn't studied until 1939.
* Jean Overton Fuller wrote a book about Sickert being Jack the Ripper back in 1990. The theory was debunked back then too.
* Cornwell laughably claims that Sickert wrote *all* of the Ripper letters (around 600!) while disguising his handwriting spelling on some of them and has DNA evidence on one of them. Ripperologists consider all the letters to be hoaxes and her so-called is mitochondrial DNA. Even if Cornwell did manage to get rock-solid DNA evidence, it would only prove that Sickert wrote a hoax letter.
* The book is sloppy and badly written. Cornwell can't seem to a train of thought for more than two pages before changing the subject.

I could go on and on, but read Caleb Carr's skewering in The New York Times or Stephen P. Ryder's problems with the Cornwell's conclusions on Casebook.org.

The only thing this book proves is that Patricia Cornwell is full of herself. Case Closed.

This was very timely - this book is my book club's selection for this month.   I agree with every single bullet point.  I simply gave up on it.  Even the person who selected it stopped reading it.

nuit93

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Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
« Reply #1756 on: January 15, 2013, 04:38:31 PM »
Worst books I ever read?

Twilight by Stephanie Meyer.  Ugh, I will never get my life back and that poorly written Buffy rip off drivel is forever in my head.

The White Plague by Frank Herbert.  Goodness gracious, I love Dune, but that man is the misogynist to end all misogynists.

The Land of the Painted caves by Jean M Auel.  I have been reading her books for decades.  yes, they've gotten gradually worse and more poorly written as the series (and the dullest, I mean DULLEST scrabble playing ever, she's been copying and pasting the same few pages since the mid 80's).  But that last, wow, I mean...I just...that was just, I can't even find words for how beyond awful that piece of garbage was.  If you haven't read the book yet, for the love of the Mother Goddess herself, don't, just don't don't don't.

I though Auel gave up on the series about a decade ago?

Moray

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Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
« Reply #1757 on: January 15, 2013, 04:44:00 PM »
Worst books I ever read?

Twilight by Stephanie Meyer.  Ugh, I will never get my life back and that poorly written Buffy rip off drivel is forever in my head.

The White Plague by Frank Herbert.  Goodness gracious, I love Dune, but that man is the misogynist to end all misogynists.

The Land of the Painted caves by Jean M Auel.  I have been reading her books for decades.  yes, they've gotten gradually worse and more poorly written as the series (and the dullest, I mean DULLEST scrabble playing ever, she's been copying and pasting the same few pages since the mid 80's).  But that last, wow, I mean...I just...that was just, I can't even find words for how beyond awful that piece of garbage was.  If you haven't read the book yet, for the love of the Mother Goddess herself, don't, just don't don't don't.

I though Auel gave up on the series about a decade ago?

I can't help but think she "gave up" about 1/2 way into the second book. Seriously though, there's a sixth book that just came out a little over a year ago. http://www.amazon.com/The-Land-Painted-Caves-Children/dp/0553289438/ref=pd_sim_b_8
Utah

Winterlight

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Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
« Reply #1758 on: January 15, 2013, 04:56:38 PM »
Worst books I ever read?

Twilight by Stephanie Meyer.  Ugh, I will never get my life back and that poorly written Buffy rip off drivel is forever in my head.

The White Plague by Frank Herbert.  Goodness gracious, I love Dune, but that man is the misogynist to end all misogynists.

The Land of the Painted caves by Jean M Auel.  I have been reading her books for decades.  yes, they've gotten gradually worse and more poorly written as the series (and the dullest, I mean DULLEST scrabble playing ever, she's been copying and pasting the same few pages since the mid 80's).  But that last, wow, I mean...I just...that was just, I can't even find words for how beyond awful that piece of garbage was.  If you haven't read the book yet, for the love of the Mother Goddess herself, don't, just don't don't don't.

I though Auel gave up on the series about a decade ago?

She did- and boy does it show in the last book, which came out in 2011. Don't bother with it. Really, don't.
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

BB-VA

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Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
« Reply #1759 on: January 15, 2013, 09:01:52 PM »
Speaking of Dune - every one of the Dune books past "Children of Dune".  I did faithfully read all the ones that Frank Herbert wrote but liked them less and less.

And then his son started writing them. I read 2.  That was 2 too many.  Yeesh.
"The Universe puts us in places where we can learn. They are never easy places, but they are right. Wherever we are, it's the right place and the right time. Pain that sometimes comes is part of the process of constantly being born."
- Delenn to Sheridan: "Babylon 5 - Distant Star"

Piratelvr1121

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Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
« Reply #1760 on: January 15, 2013, 09:35:39 PM »
"Spirited Away" takes place in the 1650's, during the time of Oliver Cromwell, who hated Catholicism and wanted to punish the Irish Catholics for their rebellion in 1641.  Supposedly Ireland lost more of it's population in this time than during the famine 41% compared to 16%.  Ethnic cleansing in which they were either killed, exiled or sold into slavery.  Either way, trying to rid Ireland of the Catholics.

It starts with two sisters, the main character being Frederica, nicknamed Freddy, who rode a gypsy cob horse (a friend of mine told me this breed didn't even exist in the 17th century.) Not to mention this horse is supposedly Frederica's to ride just for fun.  Her family is a very poor Irish Catholic family, so that they had enough money to even own a work horse, let alone one just for their daughter to ride for fun? A breed that didn't even exist at the time? Hm.

Well then Freddy, a tomboy, learns her papa, whom she is supposedly VERY close to, is caught by the British and made to go serve in a war and then Freddy, her sisters and mother go to live with relatives.  A few months later she and her sister are on a beach and lured into a trap where they are thrown in with a bunch of other girls and loaded onto a ship and sent west to be slaves in the Caribbean.

When they arrive, Freddy is sold to the owner of a sugar plantation who immediately starts...well let's just say she is the means to produce more slaves for him, if you get my drift, in addition to tutoring the master's spoiled daughter since she can read and write.  She finds out her sister ended up on another island, a slave that falls in love with her master and is treated wonderfully by her master.   Well not long after the master has his way with Freddy, she becomes pregnant and oh despite the fact that she was raped, she's happy about this pregnancy.  Then the master grows tired of her and decides she's going to live with another slave, a man she barely knows and the two of them are going to make slaves together.  And they fall in love and have a child.  (this I can buy a bit more than the slaves being just fine with pregnancies that result from rape by their horrible, abusive master)

Well Freddy's new lover dies as a result of a rebellion led by himself and other slaves, leaving Freddy with one white baby and one biracial child.  Then she gets a letter from her sister "Oh my master turned husband will allow you to come but no 'mulattos' (not this term but another I can't recall) are allowed on this island, so sorry!" Nevermind that it means she's turning her back on her sister pretty much and her nephew. 

But oh never fear, another Irish slave turned pirate once he escaped comes back for her and helps her and her Indian friend escape with their children and the book just abruptly ends.  No mention of how they fare once they get to Jamestown to live with her friend's tribe in the "mountains."

By the way, her father that she is oh so close to? Is mentioned twice after she's sold into slavery in a "gee, I wonder how papa's doing?"  ::)

The book left me wondering where the author got her information.  Mind you the horse thing I honestly didn't know till I was more than halfway through and my friend told me that breed did not exist at that time.  But really?  Mountains? In Jamestown?  Did she watch Disney's Pocahontas?  It bothered me too that it almost seemed like a romanticized version of slavery. 
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

oz diva

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Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
« Reply #1761 on: January 16, 2013, 04:53:41 AM »
The Flowers in the Attic. It was all the rage when I was 14, so I read it. Urgh what a sordid tale. I resolved never to read any of the sequels and I never have.

Victoria

Redwing

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Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
« Reply #1762 on: January 16, 2013, 08:53:46 AM »
Worst books I ever read?

Twilight by Stephanie Meyer.  Ugh, I will never get my life back and that poorly written Buffy rip off drivel is forever in my head.

The White Plague by Frank Herbert.  Goodness gracious, I love Dune, but that man is the misogynist to end all misogynists.

The Land of the Painted caves by Jean M Auel.  I have been reading her books for decades.  yes, they've gotten gradually worse and more poorly written as the series (and the dullest, I mean DULLEST scrabble playing ever, she's been copying and pasting the same few pages since the mid 80's).  But that last, wow, I mean...I just...that was just, I can't even find words for how beyond awful that piece of garbage was.  If you haven't read the book yet, for the love of the Mother Goddess herself, don't, just don't don't don't.

I though Auel gave up on the series about a decade ago?


She didn't, but she should have.  They stopped being good after the first two, but I managed to choke my way through the series through Book 5, but after 30 pages or so of 6, I gave up.   Characters were so one note.  The writing so unbelievably stilted and boring.  I could go on and on.

As I could about how much I dislike Twilight.  But I won't.

VorFemme

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Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
« Reply #1763 on: January 16, 2013, 09:45:26 AM »
First two were good, third was okay (I had to know what happened next), fourth I could look at myself in the mirror after reading, the fifth had very weak points (but I still wanted to know what happened next).  The sixth - I decided I'd rather make up what happened next for myself.  Not going to even try to look at her cut & pasted from previous books with a few added scenes here & there version.
Let sleeping dragons be.......morning breath......need I explain?

snowflake

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Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
« Reply #1764 on: January 16, 2013, 10:03:56 AM »
The book left me wondering where the author got her information.  Mind you the horse thing I honestly didn't know till I was more than halfway through and my friend told me that breed did not exist at that time.  But really?  Mountains? In Jamestown?  Did she watch Disney's Pocahontas?  It bothered me too that it almost seemed like a romanticized version of slavery.

The detail about the horse breed wouldn't bother me so much, but ownership of the horse would.  I get annoyed when historical fiction assumes that all women lived like "ladies."  I can't think of a specific example but a friend of mine writes Victorian romance and when I read her/her friends' books they seem to be full of destitute women who embroider all day.  It makes me want to take out my red pen and write "THINK SWEATSHOP" in the margins.

magicdomino

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Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
« Reply #1765 on: January 16, 2013, 10:21:47 AM »
I've started reading "Anna Karenina" and honestly don;t think I'll get any further tha the 10th chapter, which is where I left off (have read another three books since then).  It's basically a soap opera, and just boring in its content.

I felt the same way.  I wanted to push her in front of a train myself.  There were some Russian novels I really enjoyed - The Brothers Karamazov was really good.

Yup.  I was assigned both of those in college World Literature.  Redsoil made it farther than I did.  On the final exam, I made a case for why the book would have been better if Anna had been pushed under the train much earlier in the book.  On the other hand, with a few modern touches to remove the "classic" label, The Brothers Karamazov would be better than most best sellers.

(The professor gave me an A.  I think he had read so many dry, awkward essays over the years that a little sarcasm was refreshing.   :) )

Twik

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Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
« Reply #1766 on: January 16, 2013, 11:15:19 AM »
The only book that completely defeated me was "War and Peace". You'd start reading about one group of people, and just when something interesting appeared to be happening, the author would whisk away to a second group. And when you finally got something going with them, he'd dash off to a third (apparently unconnected) group. By the time you got back to the original group, you'd forgotten what you'd found interesting about them. It's not that the stories were bad, it's that it gave one the effect of reading three unconnected books at the same time.
"The sky's the limit. Your sky. Your limit. Now, let's dance!"

Specky

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Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
« Reply #1767 on: January 16, 2013, 01:02:23 PM »
Anything by Joan Didion.  We had to read Slouching Towards Bethlehem in Freshman English class.  Still not sure that I have recovered.

Piratelvr1121

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Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
« Reply #1768 on: January 16, 2013, 01:15:44 PM »
The book left me wondering where the author got her information.  Mind you the horse thing I honestly didn't know till I was more than halfway through and my friend told me that breed did not exist at that time.  But really?  Mountains? In Jamestown?  Did she watch Disney's Pocahontas?  It bothered me too that it almost seemed like a romanticized version of slavery.

The detail about the horse breed wouldn't bother me so much, but ownership of the horse would.  I get annoyed when historical fiction assumes that all women lived like "ladies."  I can't think of a specific example but a friend of mine writes Victorian romance and when I read her/her friends' books they seem to be full of destitute women who embroider all day.  It makes me want to take out my red pen and write "THINK SWEATSHOP" in the margins.

Yeah that alone didn't bother me much, just as it didn't really faze me to learn that Merida's horse in "Brave", a Clydesdale, wasn't a breed to come along till the 1900's and that movie looks like it was set during medieval times judging from the wardrobe.  But her horse was cool so I'll forgive it. :)  In fact I briefly wondered if the author of "Spirited Away" was inspired by watching Brave and decided it looked cool for a young lass to be riding a horse like that for fun all around the country side.  Difference being Merida was a princess, in Scotland, while Freddy was the daughter of a poor Irish farmer.  Quite a difference.

And I wouldn't say it's the worst book ever but when I tried to read LOTR, I did fine till I came across Tom Bombadil.  The story came to a grinding halt and I had to laugh when the Nostalgia Chick referred to that part of the story as a "Big Lipped Alligator Moment" because it came out of no where, had little to no bearing on the actual plot, and once it was over no one spoke of it again.  (well apparently he was mentioned by Gandalf but only briefly.)
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

Girlie

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Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
« Reply #1769 on: January 16, 2013, 02:01:58 PM »
I had to read this book, Waking Beauty for a women's lit class, and have yet to figure out the actual message that it's supposed to be conveying.

A woman who is supposedly very unpleasant looking and who happens to be the adopted daughter of two negligent and decidedly cruel, but wealthy, parents is unlucky in love and life. Everyone bullies her, takes advantage of her, what have you.
She wakes up one day to find that she has suddenly become incredibly beautiful. Now she's out romping with married men, being generally nasty (mostly to people who were already not very nice to her, but two wrongs don't make a right!), and getting her way everywhere with everyone because of her new appearance.

The trouble I have with the book is that the character is never likeable. Never. Not once. And when she's out there having fun with men who are already in committed relationships, I lose even more respect for her.

She ends up finding true love with an "ugly" guy, so I guess the idea behind the story is that women are just better all around people than men are and are capable of loving "ugly" people whereas men only want physically perfect specimens.

Horrid book.