Author Topic: well, THAT was the worst book ever!  (Read 145091 times)

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Piratelvr1121

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Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
« Reply #90 on: April 25, 2011, 03:15:06 PM »
The Wideacre series by Phillipa Gregory.  I only read two of the series and didn't want to read the third (learned my lesson about pushing through whole series after reading "Breaking Dawn") but a ? for others who have read her other books, is she just all around the historical fiction version of V.C. Andrews?  I mean..gah, the incest!! *looks for brain bleach*

Yes. Yes, ma'am, she IS. You so nailed it.

Mind you I used to devour V.C. Andrews as a teen, I guess cause at the time I loved to horrify myself with that kind of thing, but Wideacre and The Favored Child...ugh.  So much more disturbing. 
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lilfox

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Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
« Reply #91 on: April 25, 2011, 03:16:12 PM »
I think I'm running about 75% agreeing with the worst books already listed that I've read (25% I enjoyed or at least didn't hate).  But I have chosen not to read a number of them if I think I'm just going to hate them anyway (Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series, The Road and others).

No one's mentioned the Battlefield Earth series by L Ron Hubbard so am I the only one to ever have picked these up?  I read them long before I ever connected him with his religion, and it's been too long to know how much of it was pure sci fi and how much was a religious allegory.  But I remember cruising through several of the books before catching on that it was ... really bad.  Bad storytelling, bad plotting, broad-stereotype characters.  (see also Left Behind series, for lousy execution on a otherwise interesting concept)

readingchick

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Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
« Reply #92 on: April 25, 2011, 03:23:06 PM »
I agree with you, Czarina. I read "Gatsby" after "Farewell to Arms" (10th grade for me too), and I respectfully question why both books are part of the high school (or middle school) English curriculum. Maybe I'd get the point of "Farewell to Arms" now that I've had some more life experience, but when I was in tenth grade I was thinking "What's the point?".
For me?  "Great Gatsby."  We had to read it in 8th grade.  I hated it with a passion.  Thought the characters were stupid, the book was stupid...you name it.
I can't believe you had to read that in 8th grade!  We read it in 10th grade, and I absolutely hated it.  And then I went to see the play when I was in my mid-20s (was the first play for the new location of the big theater here due to Fitzgerald being from this area).  Something clicked.  It was wonderful.  It made so much sense.  There's no way that high schoolers should be expected to get it and enjoy it.  

hobish

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Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
« Reply #93 on: April 25, 2011, 03:23:18 PM »
I think I'm running about 75% agreeing with the worst books already listed that I've read (25% I enjoyed or at least didn't hate).  But I have chosen not to read a number of them if I think I'm just going to hate them anyway (Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series, The Road and others).

No one's mentioned the Battlefield Earth series by L Ron Hubbard so am I the only one to ever have picked these up?  I read them long before I ever connected him with his religion, and it's been too long to know how much of it was pure sci fi and how much was a religious allegory.  But I remember cruising through several of the books before catching on that it was ... really bad.  Bad storytelling, bad plotting, broad-stereotype characters.  (see also Left Behind series, for lousy execution on a otherwise interesting concept)

You aren't the only one on either count. In fact, with Battlefield Earth i think i did pretty much the exact same thing.
:) I think i blocked those out.

...and... don't beat me ...
By about book 4 (?) of the Clan of the Cave Bear series i just could not take any more of poor poor little Ayla running into yet another unfamiliar thing and freaking out about it. I still every so often look back at how much i loved them in the beginning and was disgusted by the time i gave up.
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girlysprite

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Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
« Reply #94 on: April 25, 2011, 03:27:59 PM »
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.

Moralia

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Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
« Reply #95 on: April 25, 2011, 03:28:46 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.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2011, 03:39:03 PM by Moralia »

Kiara

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Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
« Reply #96 on: April 25, 2011, 03:32:50 PM »
I agree with you, Czarina. I read "Gatsby" after "Farewell to Arms" (10th grade for me too), and I respectfully question why both books are part of the high school (or middle school) English curriculum. Maybe I'd get the point of "Farewell to Arms" now that I've had some more life experience, but when I was in tenth grade I was thinking "What's the point?".
For me?  "Great Gatsby."  We had to read it in 8th grade.  I hated it with a passion.  Thought the characters were stupid, the book was stupid...you name it.
I can't believe you had to read that in 8th grade!  We read it in 10th grade, and I absolutely hated it.  And then I went to see the play when I was in my mid-20s (was the first play for the new location of the big theater here due to Fitzgerald being from this area).  Something clicked.  It was wonderful.  It made so much sense.  There's no way that high schoolers should be expected to get it and enjoy it.  


I'm trying to remember what else we read in 8th grade.  I remember it was a really bad year in English.  I think we read Catcher in the Rye that year.  The only book I remember liking was "Native Son."  I hated English class that year, and I love to read.  Probably says something.... :D

TeamBhakta

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Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
« Reply #97 on: April 25, 2011, 03:39:19 PM »
Thought of another one. I don't remember the title of the book, but it was in three parts: a husband, wife and their friend are circus people, then pirates, then normal people (farmers ?). The ending was something like "We couldn't have a baby, but the friend can get my wife pregnant. I'm willing to deal with that because I love my wife and I love this baby." Just so random and not enjoyable to read

QueenofAllThings

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Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
« Reply #98 on: April 25, 2011, 03:41:09 PM »
Anything by Thomas Hardy, and yes, as someone else said, Catcher in the Rye. I keep trying - my husband and son ADORE it - but Holden just comes across as a snotty juvenile delinquent who I would have hated as a teenager and avoided as an adult.

The Corrections by Franzen. Awful.


White Dragon

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Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
« Reply #99 on: April 25, 2011, 03:47:03 PM »
I've previously mentioned my eternal loathing for "Not Wanted on The Voyage" by Timothy Findlay. No. Just...no.

Also on my "never read list" are anything by Faulkner (did a college course on him and had to read 4 of his books. Sheer agony!) and anything by William Golding.
"Lord of the Flies" is one of the saddest and cruelest stories I've ever seen and it twists my stomach just to contemplate it.
I later had to read "Pincher Martin" by Golding and disliked it nearly as much.

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LadyPekoe

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Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
« Reply #100 on: April 25, 2011, 03:48:39 PM »
Every single one of Gregory Maguire's books.  I've read four of them (including Wicked) they were all awful.  The ideas are so good, the execution is so bad.

I HATED The Catcher in the Rye.  HATED it.  I wanted to reach in an slap Holden.  

I also couldn't stand Atlas Shrugged.  I disagree with Ayn Rand's politics so strongly that I can't stomach the  book.  I tried, I really did.  I brought it on a trip once as the only book (and I read about a book a day--I usually bring a book for every day I will be gone +2 so this was a big deal).  I still didn't read it.

I'm reading "The Gunslinger" right now because all my friends say it's amazing.  Tell me it gets better--I'm on chapter 4 and I'm not loving it at all.
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LadyClaire

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Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
« Reply #101 on: April 25, 2011, 03:49:45 PM »
I just read A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness.  Oh my gosh....592 pages and NOTHING happens! NOTHING - it was very frustrating to read because every time it seemed like something interesting might happen it did not.  There were maybe 3 points of action in the entire thing. Seriously there are "bad guys" but instead of actually fighting them or figuring out how to solve the problem the main characters run away - which might make sense IRL but is pretty unsatisfying as a conclusion to a story (Spoilers because the book was only published in Feb)

I was so annoyed when I was done that I actually tossed the book across the room in disgust.  I'd have thrown it out but it was a library book.  

From what I understand, it's meant to be a trilogy..so she's going to draw it out over 3 more books.

I enjoyed the book in that I saw the potential that was there, but the main character came off as rather Mary Sue-ish in some ways, and I wish that more had happened. The whole book felt mostly like a set-up for the next two.

Virg

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Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
« Reply #102 on: April 25, 2011, 03:51:49 PM »
One man's trash, eh?  I've seen at least one book here that I really liked, but then I thought Wuthering Heights was a disastrous mess that could only have been made tolerable by a shootout.  Anyway, my contribution is Gravity's Rainbow.  It's not the worst book ever, and in fact it's pretty obvious that there's brilliance in there, but I found it utterly incomprehensible.  I got almost two hundred pages into it and I still don't know what the main character's job is, and it's a book about his job (I think).  I felt like I was reading a book in a different language, and even after three or four passes some of the blocks of text still entirely elude me.  It's the only book I've ever not finished once I started, and it made me feel semiliterate.

QueenofAllThings wrote:

"I keep trying - my husband and son ADORE it - but Holden just comes across as a snotty juvenile delinquent who I would have hated as a teenager and avoided as an adult."

He's supposed to be like that.  Once I realized that the "magic" in that book was that you could sympathize with his "oh, carp, what now?" attitude without actually liking him or excusing his fault in it, the book became much more approachable.

White Dragon wrote:

""Lord of the Flies" is one of the saddest and cruelest stories I've ever seen and it twists my stomach just to contemplate it."

That's why I read it, and why I recommend it.  I didn't "enjoy" it at all but when I was finished I felt like it was important that I'd gone through it, much the same way I felt at the end of Elie Weisel's Night.

Virg

LadyClaire

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Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
« Reply #103 on: April 25, 2011, 03:53:00 PM »
Wicked ... really what was that all about ...

I wanted SO MUCH to like this book. What a fantastic premise! But the author just went on for days and days and DAYS about feminism and gaaaaaaaaah.

I started this book, everyone talked about how fantastic it was,blah, blah. I read a lot, I read "trashy novels", classics, techinical manuals, cereal boxes, if it has words, I will read it, but this book- woof.

I felt like there was something wrong with me, there was nothing I could do to follow along. I have never read anything like it, I was so confused.

Confused is a good way to describe what I thought about it as well.  I just couldn't follow what was going on.  At all. I even picked up another one of his books, Son of a witch, I think, it a library sale, for .50.  A  year ago.  It's still siitting on my shelf.

I read Mirror Mirror, and didn't really like it. I didn't bother trying to read Wicked after that one.

Ceiling Fan

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Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
« Reply #104 on: April 25, 2011, 03:56:54 PM »
(wow, fast moving thread!)

I'll nominate The Prestige. You really shouldn't have to re-read chapters, or read a book twice just to figure out WTHeck is going on.

I just discovered that the movie is even more confusing than the movie, and I'm finding that hard to believe:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2t102KfaAE