Author Topic: well, THAT was the worst book ever!  (Read 128464 times)

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MommyPenguin

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Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
« Reply #1545 on: January 27, 2012, 01:33:45 PM »
I didn't read my Sisters' Keeper - I saw the movie and cried the whole way through.  Anyway, in the movie Kate died at the end - did the book end differently?

My vote for worse book ever - The Girl who loved Tom Gordan by Stephen King.   It's about a little girl lost in the woods.  Halfway through I was praying that a bear would eat her in order to liven up the plot.

I read that book on the recommendation of a coworker who *loved* it.  And, honestly, I really enjoyed the parts that were about her survival in the woods.  It was the spiritual bear thing... was it supposed to be the devil incarnate or something?  I forget.  Anyway, it was that whole thing that just ruined it for me.  It just didn't fit the story.

It reminded me a little bit of a romance novel I read once, a Regency romance novel, in which the antagonist was... the devil.  Yes, the actual devil.  He was in human form messing with people for the fun of it.  It was like the author couldn't come up with any reason why somebody would be trying to hurt the main characters, so she made him the devil so he'd need no reason.

Now, I could totally see that plot if the devil character was introduced at the beginning and it was established early on how he messed with people, etc.  I've read books that use angels or otherwise to that effect.  But when you have an otherwise typical Regency romance and then at the end you find out that the antagonist is the devil?  It might induce gales of laughter, but not make me want to read your other works!

Portugal79

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Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
« Reply #1546 on: January 28, 2012, 06:14:02 AM »
I despise My Sisters Keeper. Both the film and the book. Let's see who do I hate the most. The mother for only seeing Anne as an organ donor and never as an individual who was prepared to take her daughter to court to get her kidney which could possibly kill her, no the person I really hate the most is Kate...yes I hate the littlest cancer patient. She is a young woman who even though she was dying was too tired to stand up to her mother, so just like her mother decided to use Anne for her own ends. Anne wanted to help her sister, she wanted to donate a kidney...but instead Anne was put through the court case and physically abused by her mother...and in effect both her parents. One thing I do love was that in the move Anne gets her happy ending...one thing she was denied in the books. Also I hated Kate’s arrogance at the end. Someone had to die...and Anne took her place, yes and you took so much from Anne in the end including her life.

One thing I really don't get about a lot of Jodi Picoult books is they tend to feature a mother with at least two children, one of whom suffers from some sort of debilitating/life-threatening disease or disorder. The mother utterly neglects her other child/children to care for the sick child, and while it's understandable that a child with cancer/autism/osteogenesis imperfect would need more care than a child without any kind of illness or other major issue, the way in which the mother's actions are portrayed leads to her being totally unsympathetic to the reader (or at least this reader), but the way the books are written make it clear that we're supposed to completely sympathize with her and absolutely support whatever cockamamie decision she makes (harvesting one child's organs, suing her best friend, etc.) It's really strange.

Exactly, and it's always the mother. the the book the dad's feeling are touched on, at how grateful he at Anne, but at no point does he tell his wife "enough is enough". the books the fathers are absent, neglectful or just bad characters. but to my the defining moment of Anne's character occurs in the first chapter when she pawns her necklace. the necklace that we later found out her father gave her when she saved Kate's life (again) and her mother was surprised that "Anne's suffering was worth anything since the whole family had been through so much of it", a paraphrase there, and her obsession with her daughter veers on narcissistic obsession. but the necklace itself was given to Anne to save her sister and now Anne has to sell it, to get the lawyer to sue her mother. At no point does Kate count out her jewellery to sell, it's all Anne who in reality wants to help her sister. That moment defines Kate as on the same level as her mother whose just using Anne to get what she wants.

snoopygirl

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Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
« Reply #1547 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 #1548 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 #1549 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 #1550 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 #1551 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 #1552 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 #1553 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 #1554 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'.
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Redsoil

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Re: well, THAT was the worst book ever!
« Reply #1555 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 #1556 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 #1557 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 #1558 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 #1559 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.