Author Topic: well, THAT was the worst book ever!  (Read 144574 times)

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snoopygirl

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Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
« Reply #1545 on: January 28, 2012, 07:15:27 AM »
I am reading Lolita for book club and I am hating it. I am going to try to finish it as I didn't finish last months book but am hating this book. I do get what the writer was trying to do with the main character but he still makes my skin crawl. I don't enjoy a book about that subject matter at all. The woman who picked the book thought it would make for an intresting discusion. I won't much to say expect this book was bad and the main character creeped me out to no end. The endless paragraphs about underage girls are just ugh to me.

lady_disdain

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Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
« Reply #1546 on: January 28, 2012, 11:16:52 AM »
I am reading Lolita for book club and I am hating it. I am going to try to finish it as I didn't finish last months book but am hating this book. I do get what the writer was trying to do with the main character but he still makes my skin crawl. I don't enjoy a book about that subject matter at all. The woman who picked the book thought it would make for an intresting discusion. I won't much to say expect this book was bad and the main character creeped me out to no end. The endless paragraphs about underage girls are just ugh to me.

Lolita is supposed to be a disturbing, creepy book, about sick, disturbing characters, so it is accomplishing its aim. It may be an unpleasant book, but that doesn't make it a bad book. A lot of modern art is about the disturbing, ugly side of the world, which leads to a lot of disturbing, ugly paintings, books, films, etc which are also very interesting.

violinp

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Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
« Reply #1547 on: January 28, 2012, 12:26:36 PM »
I am reading Lolita for book club and I am hating it. I am going to try to finish it as I didn't finish last months book but am hating this book. I do get what the writer was trying to do with the main character but he still makes my skin crawl. I don't enjoy a book about that subject matter at all. The woman who picked the book thought it would make for an intresting discusion. I won't much to say expect this book was bad and the main character creeped me out to no end. The endless paragraphs about underage girls are just ugh to me.

Lolita is supposed to be a disturbing, creepy book, about sick, disturbing characters, so it is accomplishing its aim. It may be an unpleasant book, but that doesn't make it a bad book. A lot of modern art is about the disturbing, ugly side of the world, which leads to a lot of disturbing, ugly paintings, books, films, etc which are also very interesting.

I think it's not very well-written, however. If I have to consult Google translate for several different languages in one book because the author decided not to translate, I get irritated enough to stop reading.
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Elfmama

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Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
« Reply #1548 on: January 28, 2012, 01:18:24 PM »
I am reading Lolita for book club and I am hating it. I am going to try to finish it as I didn't finish last months book but am hating this book. I do get what the writer was trying to do with the main character but he still makes my skin crawl. I don't enjoy a book about that subject matter at all. The woman who picked the book thought it would make for an intresting discusion. I won't much to say expect this book was bad and the main character creeped me out to no end. The endless paragraphs about underage girls are just ugh to me.

Lolita is supposed to be a disturbing, creepy book, about sick, disturbing characters, so it is accomplishing its aim. It may be an unpleasant book, but that doesn't make it a bad book. A lot of modern art is about the disturbing, ugly side of the world, which leads to a lot of disturbing, ugly paintings, books, films, etc which are also very interesting.

I think it's not very well-written, however. If I have to consult Google translate for several different languages in one book because the author decided not to translate, I get irritated enough to stop reading.
Disclaimer: I've never read it, and don't want to.  Wikipedia talks about the protagonist "employing a sophisticated prose style" that includes "multilingual puns,"; many books of the period written by European authors assume that of course the reader speaks English AND French AND Spanish AND German, at least enough to puzzle out what is being said.

And being a more-or-less* monolingual American, such writing bugs me too.  Especially if key plot points revolve around phrases that the author coyly refuses to translate.

*3 years of Latin back in the days when we chipped our homework onto stone tablets, a little Tex-Mex Spanish, a little Italian, and a few words/phrases of Russian do little to alleviate the problem.  Nyeh culturni, that's me.  ;)
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violinp

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Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
« Reply #1549 on: January 28, 2012, 01:21:41 PM »
I am reading Lolita for book club and I am hating it. I am going to try to finish it as I didn't finish last months book but am hating this book. I do get what the writer was trying to do with the main character but he still makes my skin crawl. I don't enjoy a book about that subject matter at all. The woman who picked the book thought it would make for an intresting discusion. I won't much to say expect this book was bad and the main character creeped me out to no end. The endless paragraphs about underage girls are just ugh to me.

Lolita is supposed to be a disturbing, creepy book, about sick, disturbing characters, so it is accomplishing its aim. It may be an unpleasant book, but that doesn't make it a bad book. A lot of modern art is about the disturbing, ugly side of the world, which leads to a lot of disturbing, ugly paintings, books, films, etc which are also very interesting.

I think it's not very well-written, however. If I have to consult Google translate for several different languages in one book because the author decided not to translate, I get irritated enough to stop reading.
Disclaimer: I've never read it, and don't want to.  Wikipedia talks about the protagonist "employing a sophisticated prose style" that includes "multilingual puns,"; many books of the period written by European authors assume that of course the reader speaks English AND French AND Spanish AND German, at least enough to puzzle out what is being said.

And being a more-or-less* monolingual American, such writing bugs me too.  Especially if key plot points revolve around phrases that the author coyly refuses to translate.

*3 years of Latin back in the days when we chipped our homework onto stone tablets, a little Tex-Mex Spanish, a little Italian, and a few words/phrases of Russian do little to alleviate the problem.  Nyeh culturni, that's me.  ;)

The protagonist uses French, Greek, a paragraph of faux-Latin describing an elevator, and, I think German at one point. It made my head hurt.

(Edited because I can post, I swear, but my brain was not functioning.)
« Last Edit: January 28, 2012, 03:48:21 PM by violinp »
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travestine

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Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
« Reply #1550 on: January 28, 2012, 03:27:13 PM »
I am reading Lolita for book club and I am hating it. I am going to try to finish it as I didn't finish last months book but am hating this book. I do get what the writer was trying to do with the main character but he still makes my skin crawl. I don't enjoy a book about that subject matter at all. The woman who picked the book thought it would make for an intresting discusion. I won't much to say expect this book was bad and the main character creeped me out to no end. The endless paragraphs about underage girls are just ugh to me.

Lolita is supposed to be a disturbing, creepy book, about sick, disturbing characters, so it is accomplishing its aim. It may be an unpleasant book, but that doesn't make it a bad book. A lot of modern art is about the disturbing, ugly side of the world, which leads to a lot of disturbing, ugly paintings, books, films, etc which are also very interesting.

I think it's not very well-written, however. If I have to consult Google translate for several different languages in one book because the author decided not to translate, I get irritated enough to stop reading.
Disclaimer: I've never read it, and don't want to.  Wikipedia talks about the protagonist "employing a sophisticated prose style" that includes "multilingual puns,"; many books of the period written by European authors assume that of course the reader speaks English AND French AND Spanish AND German, at least enough to puzzle out what is being said.

And being a more-or-less* monolingual American, such writing bugs me too.  Especially if key plot points revolve around phrases that the author coyly refuses to translate.

The protagonist uses French, Greek, a paragraph of faux-Latin describing an elevator, and, I think German at one point. It made my head hurt.

*3 years of Latin back in the days when we chipped our homework onto stone tablets, a little Tex-Mex Spanish, a little Italian, and a few words/phrases of Russian do little to alleviate the problem.  Nyeh culturni, that's me.  ;)

I HATED Lolita - it just seemed like glorified pedophilia to me.  This is a link to a great article about the book and what it "means" - should have been written years ago.

The title is "For the Record, Lolita was not Sexually Precocious - She was Raped"

http://mommyish.com/stuff/lolita-novel-sex-rape-pedophilia-541/

Modified to correct comment within quote
« Last Edit: January 29, 2012, 04:51:47 AM by travestine »
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gypsy77

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Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
« Reply #1551 on: January 29, 2012, 01:06:49 AM »
The entire time this thread has been going I have been frantically trying to remember the title of a book I read once. One of the big box bookstores was having a "as many books from these 3 tables that you can cram into this bag we provide for $10" sale, so I was jst throwing anything that looked like it might be remotely interesting in the bag. One of the gems I nabbed was a book so horrifically bad, it was hilarious. I think the author was trying for funny, but it's not funny in an intentional way. More of a laughing at instead of with kind of feeling. I enjoyed myself disbelieving the whole premise so much, that it was being shared around my (rather large) workplace, and I sadly lost track of it and couldn'r remember the title.

Tonight I decided again to try and find it, and I finally hit on the right google term to find this review http://www.publishersweekly.com/978-0-671-89751-2 of the book, titled I Still Miss My Man, But My Aim is Getting Better.  I will let the review describe it better than I ever could, but just to tempt you all, will teel you it features the ghost of Patsy Cline, who is acting as kind of a guardian angel and has to fight an evil angel. Yes, really.

Amazon has used copies for 0.01. And yes, I did buy it, because I need to read it again.

travestine

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Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
« Reply #1552 on: January 29, 2012, 05:00:30 AM »
I am reading Lolita for book club and I am hating it. I am going to try to finish it as I didn't finish last months book but am hating this book. I do get what the writer was trying to do with the main character but he still makes my skin crawl. I don't enjoy a book about that subject matter at all. The woman who picked the book thought it would make for an intresting discusion. I won't much to say expect this book was bad and the main character creeped me out to no end. The endless paragraphs about underage girls are just ugh to me.

Lolita is supposed to be a disturbing, creepy book, about sick, disturbing characters, so it is accomplishing its aim. It may be an unpleasant book, but that doesn't make it a bad book. A lot of modern art is about the disturbing, ugly side of the world, which leads to a lot of disturbing, ugly paintings, books, films, etc which are also very interesting.

I think it's not very well-written, however. If I have to consult Google translate for several different languages in one book because the author decided not to translate, I get irritated enough to stop reading.
Disclaimer: I've never read it, and don't want to.  Wikipedia talks about the protagonist "employing a sophisticated prose style" that includes "multilingual puns,"; many books of the period written by European authors assume that of course the reader speaks English AND French AND Spanish AND German, at least enough to puzzle out what is being said.

And being a more-or-less* monolingual American, such writing bugs me too.  Especially if key plot points revolve around phrases that the author coyly refuses to translate.

The protagonist uses French, Greek, a paragraph of faux-Latin describing an elevator, and, I think German at one point. It made my head hurt.

*3 years of Latin back in the days when we chipped our homework onto stone tablets, a little Tex-Mex Spanish, a little Italian, and a few words/phrases of Russian do little to alleviate the problem.  Nyeh culturni, that's me.  ;)

I HATED Lolita - it just seemed like glorified pedophilia to me.  This is a link to a great article about the book and what it "means" - should have been written years ago.

The title is "For the Record, Lolita was not Sexually Precocious - She was Raped"

http://mommyish.com/stuff/lolita-novel-sex-rape-pedophilia-541/

Modified to correct comment within quote

It wasn't just that it was a pedophile's fantasy - it was poorly written.  There have been a number of books written over the years that deal with uncomfortable subjects, but they are well written and handled with some sensitivity (The Kite Runner, for instance). I remember thinking at the time I read it "this is stupid - the plot is ridiculous and the characters are one dimensional".

This book was written at a time when girls (and women) were thought of in two categories - whores or housewives. I think we've been told for so many years (by male reviewers and critics) that Lolita is a brilliant book, but women are beginning to speak up about this book. It's about the rape of a child to fulfill a grown man's frustrations and the rest is just justification for his actions.  Typical "blame the victim.

I would never suggest censorship - I just hate bad writing that masquerades as 'art'.
"A "no" uttered from the deepest conviction is better than a "yes" merely uttered to please, or worse, to avoid trouble."
  Mahatma Ghandi


Redsoil

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Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
« Reply #1553 on: January 29, 2012, 06:55:27 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.
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Sharnita

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Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
« Reply #1554 on: January 29, 2012, 07:29:01 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.

MommyPenguin

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Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
« Reply #1555 on: January 29, 2012, 07:34:00 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 picked "Anna Karenina" to read and do a major paper on in 10th grade, because there was a list of unfamiliar books and that one had a woman's name, so surely it had to be good!  It was awful.  I love to read, but I had to look at the number of pages (868, I still remember) and divided it into the number of days I had to read it and force myself to read my 12 pages or whatever each day just to get through it.  Awful, awful.

cabbageweevil

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Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
« Reply #1556 on: January 29, 2012, 09:46:32 AM »
I think it's not very well-written, however. If I have to consult Google translate for several different languages in one book because the author decided not to translate, I get irritated enough to stop reading.
Disclaimer: I've never read it, and don't want to.  Wikipedia talks about the protagonist "employing a sophisticated prose style" that includes "multilingual puns,"; many books of the period written by European authors assume that of course the reader speaks English AND French AND Spanish AND German, at least enough to puzzle out what is being said.

And being a more-or-less* monolingual American, such writing bugs me too.  Especially if key plot points revolve around phrases that the author coyly refuses to translate.

*3 years of Latin back in the days when we chipped our homework onto stone tablets, a little Tex-Mex Spanish, a little Italian, and a few words/phrases of Russian do little to alleviate the problem.  Nyeh culturni, that's me.  ;)
I feel there's a good case to be made for "couch your work of fiction purely in the language in which you're writing it  -- 'end-of' ".  Excursions into other tongues can often annoy.

I recall when reading Dorothy L. Sayers's "Busman's Honeymoon" (which I wouldn't quite class as "the worst ever", but which I found fairly dire -- though there are some who rate it as a superlative romantic novel); read it in a copy borrowed from library, in which a previous reader had written a comment in the margin -- deplorable behaviour and a great etiquette no-no, but sometimes one can understand people's extreme irritation.  The author had, "for effect" (and for by no means the only time in the novel), interpolated a couple of sentences in French; beside which the reader had written, "Please be advised that we do not all know multiple languages. You b***** intellectual snob, Sayers."

Admittedly, at the time when DLS was writing, it would have been assumed that the great majority of her readers would be Britons of such a background and class, that they would have learned French at school; nonetheless, I can sympathise with those who lack that privilege.

Ereine

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Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
« Reply #1557 on: January 29, 2012, 11:19:10 AM »
Gaudy Night by Sayers is even worse in that sense, it even features a proposal in Latin. However it's one of my favourite books (I also like Busman's Holiday, though the mystery isn't that interesting). I think that a lack of knowledge on my part (whether it's languages or engineering or science or art or anything that it's presumed that the reader knows) is not the writer's fault. I read many American books that feature American culture and shops and things like that that are unfamiliar to me and so I can't really understand the book without googling to find out what it means when the heroine is compared to some American news anchor for example or what it means that she has a kewpie doll mouth. I don't know why languages should be different from cultural references, especially if the author is writing to an audience that very likely gets them.     

cabbagegirl28

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Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
« Reply #1558 on: January 29, 2012, 11:22:12 AM »
I am reading Lolita for book club and I am hating it. I am going to try to finish it as I didn't finish last months book but am hating this book. I do get what the writer was trying to do with the main character but he still makes my skin crawl. I don't enjoy a book about that subject matter at all. The woman who picked the book thought it would make for an intresting discusion. I won't much to say expect this book was bad and the main character creeped me out to no end. The endless paragraphs about underage girls are just ugh to me.

Lolita is supposed to be a disturbing, creepy book, about sick, disturbing characters, so it is accomplishing its aim. It may be an unpleasant book, but that doesn't make it a bad book. A lot of modern art is about the disturbing, ugly side of the world, which leads to a lot of disturbing, ugly paintings, books, films, etc which are also very interesting.

I think it's not very well-written, however. If I have to consult Google translate for several different languages in one book because the author decided not to translate, I get irritated enough to stop reading.
Disclaimer: I've never read it, and don't want to.  Wikipedia talks about the protagonist "employing a sophisticated prose style" that includes "multilingual puns,"; many books of the period written by European authors assume that of course the reader speaks English AND French AND Spanish AND German, at least enough to puzzle out what is being said.

And being a more-or-less* monolingual American, such writing bugs me too.  Especially if key plot points revolve around phrases that the author coyly refuses to translate.

The protagonist uses French, Greek, a paragraph of faux-Latin describing an elevator, and, I think German at one point. It made my head hurt.

*3 years of Latin back in the days when we chipped our homework onto stone tablets, a little Tex-Mex Spanish, a little Italian, and a few words/phrases of Russian do little to alleviate the problem.  Nyeh culturni, that's me.  ;)

I HATED Lolita - it just seemed like glorified pedophilia to me.  This is a link to a great article about the book and what it "means" - should have been written years ago.

The title is "For the Record, Lolita was not Sexually Precocious - She was Raped"

http://mommyish.com/stuff/lolita-novel-sex-rape-pedophilia-541/

Modified to correct comment within quote

It wasn't just that it was a pedophile's fantasy - it was poorly written.  There have been a number of books written over the years that deal with uncomfortable subjects, but they are well written and handled with some sensitivity (The Kite Runner, for instance). I remember thinking at the time I read it "this is stupid - the plot is ridiculous and the characters are one dimensional".

This book was written at a time when girls (and women) were thought of in two categories - whores or housewives. I think we've been told for so many years (by male reviewers and critics) that Lolita is a brilliant book, but women are beginning to speak up about this book. It's about the rape of a child to fulfill a grown man's frustrations and the rest is just justification for his actions.  Typical "blame the victim.

I would never suggest censorship - I just hate bad writing that masquerades as 'art'.

I mean, I like the book (in the sense that I like analyzing the literary devices used in the story, not that I adore the actions of Humbert or anyone else in there, because everyone annoys the crud out of me), and when I saw that Vanity Fair called it "the greatest love story of our century", I about fell ill. Yes, that relationship was based on love, and not the desires of a seriously messed-up man who needed to get serious psychiatric help.  :o


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Sluggyfan

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Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
« Reply #1559 on: January 29, 2012, 11:32:02 AM »
OOoh, this thread is definitely rubbing up against my "pop culture is subjective" nerve.

I adore Lolita. Nabokov's skill with the English language is superb. For instance, the opening paragraph, with its extreme alliteration, gives me the shivers: Loo-lee-ta: the tip of the tongue taking a trp of three steps down the palate to tap, a three, on the teeth. Lo. Lee. Ta. The fact that he's working in his second (third? fourth?) language makes it all the more impressive.

And what a character! The ultimate in unreliable narrator! The skill Nabokov has in SHOWING, through Humbert Humbert's narration, that everything he is SAYING is a lie. It's like a dance, where one is weaving through his constant falsehoods to find the truth of poor Delores's fate. As an MFA student in fiction writing, I marvel at his ability to undermine his main character at every turn.

I need to pick up Pale Fire. I've heard from Nabokov enthusiasts that, while Lolita is his most famous (probably because of the subject matter), Pale Fire is his best.

Anna Karenina, however, bores me. War and Peace was better. And when it comes to 19th century Russian writers, I like Dostoevsky better than Tolstoy, anyway. Crime and Punishment was awesome.