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Thread: The Worst Book You've Ever Read?

  1. #166
    Lost in the Fog PabloQ's Avatar
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    I couldn't finish Don Quixote. This is the only novel that I haven't been able to push through to the end. Something about this poor demented character struck me as almost obscene to watch...kind of like getting laughs by going to a nursing home to watch people fall down. I've promised myself to give it another try, but I'm not sure that as I age, the story is going to become any more palatable.

  2. #167
    Our wee Olympic swimmer Janine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Black Flag View Post
    Lawrence's depiction of the romantic relationships between his male and female characters is near sickening. The men are wussies and the women controling. Much like today, in fact, which I abhor.
    But you should read Lawrence for yourself. Try Sons and Lovers.
    Hi Black Flag, could you back up these statements with examples please? ...and just how many Lawrence works have you read in order to come to this conclusion? I find these statements totally misleading and simplistic; casting a negative oppinion to other posters about one of the world's most accomplished and remarkable authors.
    Last edited by Janine; 12-01-2007 at 07:09 PM.
    "It's so mysterious, the land of tears."

    Chapter 7, The Little Prince ~ Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

  3. #168
    I'm not currently sure what the worst book I ever read was.

    Back in high school, I was assigned to read Catcher in the Rye, but I was only able to read the first chapter; I simply didn't have interest. Lately I've been considering actually reading it.

  4. #169
    Artist and Bibliophile stlukesguild's Avatar
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    It seems as if many on the forum must have some rather amazing reading habits considering the fact that an author such as Faulkner, Lawrence, Conrad, Orwell, Hawthorne, or Cervantes could be imagined as the "worst" thing they had ever read. Seriously... Don Quixote?!!! I'd personally place it among the best novels I had ever read. I've re-read it several times and each time was still a pleasure and a learning experience. I do understand the sense of a reluctance at garnering laughs from such a poor and demented character... but I've always found that as the novel unfolds one begins to not merely feel sorry for the Don but actually to imagine him as a truly heroic figure... a figure nurtured on great books and heroic literature who continues to dream in a world that has forgotten how... a figure with a great deal more wisdom than many around him credit him for. There is a magnificent sense of irony to it all... the man who continues to dream in a world that has forgotten how does appear comic... even pathetic. There is also a great sincerity. The relationship between the Don and Sancho unfolds into one of the greatest friendships in literary history.
    Beware of the man with just one book. -Ovid
    The man who doesn't read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them.- Mark Twain
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  5. #170
    Super papayahed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zelly View Post
    The Scarlet Letter. I'll admit I didn't finish it, but I couldn't stand the book.
    I had to read that book in high school and hated it, I'm thinking of trying it again. The other worst book would have to be Orlando I dispised word of that book.
    Do, or do not. There is no try. - Yoda


  6. #171
    Jealous Optimist Dori's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zelly View Post
    The Scarlet Letter. I'll admit I didn't finish it, but I couldn't stand the book.
    Quote Originally Posted by papayahed View Post
    I had to read that book in high school and hated it, I'm thinking of trying it again.
    Could both of you elaborate, please? I absolutely loved the book. I might go as far to say Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter taught me to keep an open mind when forced to read something, or, rather, it provided an example of something interesting among what I thought to be a bunch of drivel. Speaking of Hawthorne, do you, Zelly and papaya, hate The Scarlet Letter itself or Hawthorne's writing in general (have you read anything else by him?)?
    com-pas-sion (n.) [ME. & OFr. <LL. (Ec.) compassio, sympathy < compassus, pp. of compati, to feel pity < L. com-, together + pali, to suffer] sorrow for the sufferings or trouble of another or others, accompanied by an urge to help; deep sympathy; pity

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  7. #172
    Our wee Olympic swimmer Janine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dori View Post
    Could both of you elaborate, please? I absolutely loved the book. I might go as far to say Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter taught me to keep an open mind when forced to read something, or, rather, it provided an example of something interesting among what I thought to be a bunch of drivel. Speaking of Hawthorne, do you, Zelly and papaya, hate The Scarlet Letter itself or Hawthorne's writing in general (have you read anything else by him?)?
    Dori, I too liked "The Scarlet Letter" emensely. I thought it was as very intricate and complex book and does indeed, prompt one to ponder many things. Let's face it, it is a 'dark' sort of novel, but I really thought it was so well-written and I like dark novels. I would classify it with "Wuthering Heights", which also, was very complex and thought-provoking and very dark.
    "It's so mysterious, the land of tears."

    Chapter 7, The Little Prince ~ Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

  8. #173
    The Poetic Warrior Dark Muse's Avatar
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    Everyone is intitled to have thier own personal taste and I really do not see the reason for people to crizitze others simply for not liking something you yourself may like.

    And just becasue a writer might be well renowed, or considered classical, does not mean that thier particular style of writing will be to everyones personal taste or liking, but I really do think that is a reason to try and insult ones intelligence.

    In fact would it not be kind of boring, if we all liked the same thing?

    By the way, this is just a genral message not directed at anyone person, made based on some of the comments I have observered, so I hope no one thinks I am pointing at them persoanlly. That is not my intent.

    Just asking people try and keep an open mind to other people's opinions.
    Last edited by Dark Muse; 12-02-2007 at 05:25 PM.

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

  9. #174
    Registered User Etienne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dark Muse View Post
    Everyone is intitled to have thier own personal taste and I really do not see the reason for people to crizitze others simply for not liking something you yourself may like.

    And just becasue a writer might be well renowed, or considered classical, does not mean that thier particular style of writing will be to everyones personal taste or liking, but I really do think that is a reason to try and insult ones intelligence.

    In fact would it not be kind of boring, if we all liked the same thing?

    By the way, this is just a genral message not directed at anyone person, made based on some of the comments I have observered, so I hope no one thinks I am pointing at them persoanlly. That is not my intent.

    Just asking people try and keep an open mind to other people's opinions.
    Oh stop that rhetoric, no one has been doing criticizing, people have been baffled but this is everyone's right. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and that includes the right to find surprising that some books might be seen as worst. I feel that as soon as some people disagrees some people start whining, and this is quite annoying to have these moralists jumping all the time for no reasons.

  10. #175
    Our wee Olympic swimmer Janine's Avatar
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    I agree, actually with both of your who posted before me. In point of fact, I keep asking what the point of this thread is exactly (???).

    DM, this is the perfect statement here:

    In fact would it not be kind of boring, if we all liked the same thing?
    I always say - 'to each his own!'
    "It's so mysterious, the land of tears."

    Chapter 7, The Little Prince ~ Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

  11. #176
    Artist and Bibliophile stlukesguild's Avatar
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    It seems to me that if we are to engage is a dialog or a discussion about something that we feel passionate about... like?... oh, shall we say BOOKS!?... then there will arise instances from time to time when we may find ourself disagreeing with another's opinion. Now we can all just go on posting with no thought to what another has said, unless it be to give the obligatory "thumbs up": "Jolly good point!" . Personally that is not what I find of value in any discussion. I greatly value the right to disagree with another's statement and to defend my stance. I also greatly value another's right to question my opinions and defend that. In fact... I find that I have far more use for someone like jon1jt who inanely disagrees with me with regard to the relative value of Kerouac, than I do for those who offer nothing but kudos. What's the point of a forum if all we get is kudos? Certainly such disagreements must remain civil... and I understand that in this forum the rules of civility are different than they might be at other forums. Still I find that the right to disagree is essential to any dialog if it is to go beyond mere cheer-leading: "I love Dan Brown" "Ooh! me too!". To me, it would seem that the value of civil disagreement is that it forces me to think about my stance... to clarify what I believe or feel and why... it also exposes me to counter-arguments or other ways of thinking that I might not have come upon otherwise... and as such it may even force me to go as far as to re-think my own position in certain instances. As such, I must respectfully decline the invitation that we never think to disagree.
    Last edited by stlukesguild; 12-03-2007 at 12:13 AM.
    Beware of the man with just one book. -Ovid
    The man who doesn't read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them.- Mark Twain
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  12. #177
    Pièce de Résistance Scheherazade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stlukesguild View Post
    To me, it would seem that the value of civil disagreement is that it forces me to think about my stance... to clarify what I believe or feel and why... it also exposes me to counter-arguments or other ways of thinking that I might not have come upon otherwise... and as such it may even in may force me to even re-think my own position in certain instances.
    I think StLG makes a good point. Without different views and arguments, the Forum would have little purpose and use. We do not have to (dis)like the same books and authors and it is this fact that keeps the discussions alive and makes us (re)consider our understandings and impressions and this thread does a good job providing an opportunity for challenging our views.

    Thanks to such posts expressing various and different views on books, I gave second/third chances to the books/authors I had not been keen on and was surprised to discover that my earlier impressions were not well-based (Faulkner being one of those authors ).

    Please do not resort to inflammatory and/or personal comments and keep in mind that it is the opinions that we discuss; not the members themselves personally.

    Further off-topic posts will be deleted.
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  13. #178
    Super papayahed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dori View Post
    Could both of you elaborate, please? I absolutely loved the book. I might go as far to say Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter taught me to keep an open mind when forced to read something, or, rather, it provided an example of something interesting among what I thought to be a bunch of drivel. Speaking of Hawthorne, do you, Zelly and papaya, hate The Scarlet Letter itself or Hawthorne's writing in general (have you read anything else by him?)?
    As I mentioned I read the book in High School, perhaps it was the time, my age, the subject matter all I remember is my burning dislike of the book, which is why i mentioned I might try it again...eventually.
    Do, or do not. There is no try. - Yoda


  14. #179
    in angulo cum libro Petrarch's Love's Avatar
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    It seems as if many on the forum must have some rather amazing reading habits considering the fact that an author such as Faulkner, Lawrence, Conrad, Orwell, Hawthorne, or Cervantes could be imagined as the "worst" thing they had ever read. Seriously... Don Quixote?!!!
    St. Luke's seems to have read my mind, not only regarding Don Quixote (seriously, how could anyone actually dislike DQ?) but regarding the caliber of the "worst" books on this thread. As I pondered, though, I realized that part of the problem with naming the worst book you've read is that it is generally also an incredibly forgettable book. I remember reading a book once in which a dead character inexplicably took part in the dialogue post mortem. I thought that perhaps the otherwise dreadfully inept writer might be starting something clever but, given that the temporarily resurrected speaker was never again alluded to or became any kind of plot point, I'm assuming that not only the author but the editor was sleeping on the job. I wish I could remember the author or title, because it really had to rank among the worst, not only for sloppy continuity but for almost undigestible style.

    When it comes to the classics, this thread prompts a cleansing confession from me--one that might force me to hang my head in shame if it ever came out among my colleagues. This is that I fell asleep three times the first time I attempted to read Milton's Paradise Regained, and actually didn't finish it until a couple years later when I made a second successful attempt for scholarly purposes. Not that PR is really all that bad (actually I've grown to appreciate it considerably more of late), and certainly not the worst thing I've ever read, but I think it was problematic to try to read it just after reading Paradise Lost for the first time. Can I help it if I find Christ being good boring?
    Last edited by Petrarch's Love; 12-03-2007 at 01:42 AM.

    "In rime sparse il suono/ di quei sospiri ond' io nudriva 'l core/ in sul mio primo giovenile errore"~ Francesco Petrarca
    "Follies and nonsense, whims and inconsistencies do divert me, I own, and I laugh at them whenever I can."~ Jane Austen

  15. #180
    Artist and Bibliophile stlukesguild's Avatar
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    Petrarch's Love... I'll excuse you in this instance... but if you tell me that you had any similar "problems" with the Purgatorio or Paradiso after having read the Inferno... well then all bets are off!
    Beware of the man with just one book. -Ovid
    The man who doesn't read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them.- Mark Twain
    My Blog: Of Delicious Recoil
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