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Author Topic: well, THAT was the worst book ever!  (Read 387849 times)

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TychaBrahe

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Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
« Reply #195 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. 
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Miss Understood

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Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
« Reply #196 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.

dqduck

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Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
« Reply #197 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?

Moralia

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Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
« Reply #198 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.

L.A. Lady

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Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
« Reply #199 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.

Miss Understood

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Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
« Reply #200 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.

L.A. Lady

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Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
« Reply #201 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.

Optimoose Prime

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Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
« Reply #202 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.

Master_Edward

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Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
« Reply #203 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.

Slartibartfast

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Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
« Reply #204 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

Elfmama

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Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
« Reply #205 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
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MommyPenguin

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Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
« Reply #206 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.
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graceemae

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Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
« Reply #207 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!)

Thuringwethyl

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Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
« Reply #208 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.


otterwoman

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Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
« Reply #209 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.