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Thread: Most pointless book you have read

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    The Poetic Warrior Dark Muse's Avatar
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    Most pointless book you have read

    There are various categories here for Most hated book, or most boring book, most overrated and so on. So I figured I would add another.

    What is the most pointless book you have read?

    It does not have to be a book you disliked or one that you thought was necessarily bad, but a book that once you got to the end of it the first though that popped into your head was "Why?"

    I just finished The Day of the Locust and I did not really dislike it or think it was really badly written but I felt as if it just did not go anywhere. When I got to the end it just felt as if did not really accomplish anything at all.

    The first time I read the Great Gatsby I felt that way too. I really enjoyed reading it, but when I got to the end I just wondered why exactly did that have to be written? What was the point of it.

    Of course that was when I was in high school and coming back to it having to read it for a college course I did pull away more of the symbolism that was within it.

    And by pointless I do not necessarily mean commercialized books that are mass produced and for no other purpose then entertainment, because typically those kind of books are not intended to have a deeper meaning to them.

    Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before. ~ Edgar Allan Poe

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    Registered User Bastable's Avatar
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    I agree with you totally on The Great Gatsby, it's a good read, but i don't know why everyone goes on about it's value?

    For me it would perhaps be The Catcher in the Rye. I read through it after being told how it was all about teen angst and all these other meaningful themes, but i didn't get any of them, and there wasn't much of a story either. so without meaning or a good tale what was the point?

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    Crying of Lot 49. Abysmal characters, tried way too hard to be hip and postmodern and was flat-out boring.

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    Asa Nisi Masa mayneverhave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bastable View Post
    I agree with you totally on The Great Gatsby, it's a good read, but i don't know why everyone goes on about it's value?

    For me it would perhaps be The Catcher in the Rye. I read through it after being told how it was all about teen angst and all these other meaningful themes, but i didn't get any of them, and there wasn't much of a story either. so without meaning or a good tale what was the point?
    I'd have to disagree on both novels. The Great Gatsby is often considered "The Great American Novel", and I'm somewhat inclined to agree. The novel poignantly captures the underside of the American Dream, the futility in attempting to recreate the past, and also brings in themes that are shared with other 1920's works, like the Waste Land. In addition, its a fantastic period piece, and features some of the best prose I have ever read.

    As for The Catcher in the Rye, it may not hold up as well as Gatsby, but its images of angst, (again) the reclamation of the past, and the changing of times are all relatable (at least to me when I first read it in high school).

    The most pointless waste of time in reading, for me so far, would have to be Poe's only complete novel, The Narrative of A. Gordon Pym. The novel features some of the most cliche prose, deus-ex-machina at every turn, and points, in the end, to nothing beyond the plot. It simply is a story with no point, so I recieved nothing from actually reading the novel than I would from just reading the wikipedia plot summary. Avoid it!
    Last edited by mayneverhave; 03-14-2009 at 01:26 AM.

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    Card-carrying Medievalist Lokasenna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bastable View Post
    For me it would perhaps be The Catcher in the Rye. I read through it after being told how it was all about teen angst and all these other meaningful themes, but i didn't get any of them, and there wasn't much of a story either. so without meaning or a good tale what was the point?
    Absolutely agreed. I really disliked that novel - people keep banging on about how it is THE coming-of-age novel, but I had absolutely no empathy or sympathy for Holden. I just couldn't relate to him, so the whole reading process became a dull exercise in futility.
    "I should only believe in a God that would know how to dance. And when I saw my devil, I found him serious, thorough, profound, solemn: he was the spirit of gravity- through him all things fall. Not by wrath, but by laughter, do we slay. Come, let us slay the spirit of gravity!" - Nietzsche

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    Registered User Joreads's Avatar
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    Muse after I read the Great Gatsby my exact words were what the heck was that for. Maybe it is me and maybe I am missing something - others are quick to tell me I am - but I just didn't get it.
    I am back............................

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    Bat Country Hank Stamper's Avatar
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    anything by melvin burgess
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    Ditsy Pixie Niamh's Avatar
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    My encycopedia of pointless information!
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    The Grand Inquisitor jcjp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bastable View Post
    I agree with you totally on The Great Gatsby, it's a good read, but i don't know why everyone goes on about it's value?

    For me it would perhaps be The Catcher in the Rye. I read through it after being told how it was all about teen angst and all these other meaningful themes, but i didn't get any of them, and there wasn't much of a story either. so without meaning or a good tale what was the point?
    I agree that the story is inherently useless, I've forgotten some details of it over time and consider it to be rather extraneous, yet I would disagree with you highly on the meaning (one of my favorite novels ever simply for this):

    Holden is meant to be taken as the typical "angst ridden" (to put it in your words) teenager at the time -- he is shown to be everything that the societal norms of the day wouldn't accept-- exactly what he as a person DIDN"T want. He says quite clearly that he wishes he could save all of the children from falling off of a cliff, as in metaphorically he wishes that he could be this knight is dashing armor but he isn't. He isn't whatever he wants to become...

    The entirety of the novel is him dealing with the aspect that no matter what happens, he will always forever be this incredibly screwed up individual and his "rebellion" against that spectacularly fails.

    The draw to it is that we are normally completely opposite from Holden: we live regimentally and go about our daily lives with the same repetitious flow and feeling that is contra-posed by Holden.

    Hence, a man unwilling to be the hero is oft-considered to be one.

    As for this thread, I would largely say that "Finnegans Wake" by James Joyce would probably be the most gratuitously masturbated-on work I've ever read (consequently the most "useless" read).

    It's rather contradictory that my favoriate novel is "Ulysses" by that same exact author. I won't elaborate much in this, but suffice to say in Ulysses Joyce brings home the point that even though he wants to be Stephen Dedalus, he will forever be Bloom (which I do think he accepts that toward the end). Finnegan's wake is essentially him going into totally the flow of the mind that Stephen Dedalus had toward the beginning of Ulysses, except MUCH more in depth.

    I will admit, I've only read Finnegan once and I have yet to go over much material on it (though I am reading Re Joyce now) yet it's among the most frustrating and confusing things I have ever read. I certainly welcome it with open arms though...

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    I grow, I prosper Jeremiah Jazzz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcjp View Post

    As for this thread, I would largely say that "Finnegans Wake" by James Joyce would probably be the most gratuitously masturbated-on work I've ever read (consequently the most "useless" read).

    It's rather contradictory that my favoriate novel is "Ulysses" by that same exact author. I won't elaborate much in this, but suffice to say in Ulysses Joyce brings home the point that even though he wants to be Stephen Dedalus, he will forever be Bloom (which I do think he accepts that toward the end). Finnegan's wake is essentially him going into totally the flow of the mind that Stephen Dedalus had toward the beginning of Ulysses, except MUCH more in depth.

    I will admit, I've only read Finnegan once and I have yet to go over much material on it (though I am reading Re Joyce now) yet it's among the most frustrating and confusing things I have ever read. I certainly welcome it with open arms though...
    I welcome it too. I guess I love masturbation..
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    Bibliophile JBI's Avatar
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    Probably some Nostalgia poetry that somehow got published.

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    Procrastinator General *Classic*Charm*'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBI View Post
    Probably some Nostalgia poetry that somehow got published.
    Agreed on the poetry front. We all know what angst looks and sounds like, we don't need more of it.
    I'm weary with right-angles, abbreviated daylight,
    Waiting for a winter to be done.
    Why do I still see you in every mirrored window,
    In all that I could never overcome?

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    Registered User prendrelemick's Avatar
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    I've read many many pointless books. You have to search through a lot of chaff to find a kernel of wheat

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    laudator temporis acti andave_ya's Avatar
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    Waiting for Godot.

    What was that all about?
    "The time has come," the Walrus said,
    "To talk of many things:
    Of shoes--and ships--and sealing-wax--
    Of cabbages--and kings--
    And why the sea is boiling hot--
    And whether pigs have wings."

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    The Grand Inquisitor jcjp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremiah Jazzz View Post
    I welcome it too. I guess I love masturbation..
    Hence why it's an acquired taste to me.

    I was wondering: what aspects of it do you like?
    ". . . and then he asked me would I yes to say yes my mountain flower and first I put my arms around him yes and drew him down to me so he could feel my breasts all perfume yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will Yes." - James Joyce in one of the most seminal novels of the last century: Ulysses

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