Author Topic: well, THAT was the worst book ever!  (Read 128291 times)

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MommyPenguin

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Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
« Reply #210 on: April 26, 2011, 12:25:25 AM »
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.

graceemae

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Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
« Reply #211 on: April 26, 2011, 12:26:15 AM »
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 #212 on: April 26, 2011, 12:29:57 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.


otterwoman

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Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
« Reply #213 on: April 26, 2011, 01:04:52 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.

Shopaholic

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Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
« Reply #214 on: April 26, 2011, 01:36:07 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.

Ceiling Fan

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Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
« Reply #215 on: April 26, 2011, 01:40:45 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)

Shopaholic

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Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
« Reply #216 on: April 26, 2011, 01:45:37 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.

allimac

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Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
« Reply #217 on: April 26, 2011, 01:56:33 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.

shhh its me

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Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
« Reply #218 on: April 26, 2011, 02:24:39 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.

Ceiling Fan

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Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
« Reply #219 on: April 26, 2011, 02:59:36 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

Kikki

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Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
« Reply #220 on: April 26, 2011, 03:23:43 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.



flo

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Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
« Reply #221 on: April 26, 2011, 03:29:43 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!

mechtilde

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Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
« Reply #222 on: April 26, 2011, 03:51:22 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.
NE England

caz

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Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
« Reply #223 on: April 26, 2011, 04:57:06 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.

Akarui Kibuno

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Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
« Reply #224 on: April 26, 2011, 05:38:25 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.
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