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Thread: The Worst Book You've Ever Read?

  1. #211
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    The Moviegoer by Walker Percy. I think it was badly written, or perhaps I just didn't get it.

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    Voice of Chaos & Anarchy
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    If you want to read really, really bad books, then try some of the recent fantasy novels. They wouldn't be all that bad, if they were two hundred pages; but they stick in an extra six hundred pages of filler, and the filler is the worst part.

  3. #213
    Tu le connais, lecteur... Kafka's Crow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeterL View Post
    If you want to read really, really bad books, then try some of the recent fantasy novels. They wouldn't be all that bad, if they were two hundred pages; but they stick in an extra six hundred pages of filler, and the filler is the worst part.
    I can't stand the whole genre, even Tolkien. I think The Hobbit is the only real fantasy lit I have read.
    "The farther he goes the more good it does me. I don’t want philosophies, tracts, dogmas, creeds, ways out, truths, answers, nothing from the bargain basement. He is the most courageous, remorseless writer going and the more he grinds my nose in the sh1t the more I am grateful to him..."
    -- Harold Pinter on Samuel Beckett

  4. #214
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kafka's Crow View Post
    I can't stand the whole genre, even Tolkien. I think The Hobbit is the only real fantasy lit I have read.
    I understand the feeling. I enjoyed the Lord of the Rings, but it was not a good novel, while The Hobbit is an excellent story. Lord Dunsany also wrote some great fantasy. It seems to be a generational thing among the authors. The ones who wrote in that general field before WWII were excellent, and I would extend the sub-genre to include Fritz Leiber and others. The crop of writers who started writing after the D&D craze have been much worse; they don't seem to have any feeling for plot. Maybe D&D does destroy the ability to reason.

  5. #215
    Lost in the Fog PabloQ's Avatar
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    I'm sure that most of modern, popular fiction qualifies as awful if you really analyze it, but I do need to put forward Dan Brown and Tom Clancy. Mr. Brown writes incredibly predictable plots (I can always see what's coming) and he establishes the credentials of "intelligent" characters (a Harvard history professor, for example) who are dumber than I am.

    Mr. Clancy actually wrote a book about an elite squad of government operatives who have to attach and defeat a radical group of environmentalists. Clancy is a real claptrap machine. His novel are good if you need to level a table that has one leg that's 3 inches too short.

    However, from the world of literature, my vote goes to The Wings of the Dove by Henry James. The plot was thin and the characters, every one of them, were uninteresting. I pushed my way to the end of this thing, but it was the hardest I have ever had to work to make it to the end. I've read other works by James and enjoyed them, but this one was something else.
    No damn cat, no damn cradle - Newt Honniker

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kafka's Crow View Post
    As far as Beckett is concerned, he rules the realms of heaven and earth ...
    Indeed!

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    Two of my worst books were Orson Scott Card's Lost Boys and Victor Hugo's The Man Who Laughs. Card's book was just plain awful with too many evil characters in a supposely nice little town. What I really hated about these two books was the u-turn ending. That when in the last few pages a book you were expecting to end well suddenly ends in tragedy. I don't like downbeat endings but, I really hate it when there is no warning watch out this is not going to end well. I know Victor Hugo is a classic author but, that ending was so unexpected and it was so close to a happy ending. I did like of course Les Mes and his Toilers of the Sea was at least honest about where it was going. As for the Card book it was just plain awful.

  8. #218
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kafka's Crow View Post
    I've been trying to avoid saying this but two novelists I can't bring myself to read, just can't read more than a couple of pages by these two individuals: Charles Dickens and... wait for this one... Henry James. As far as Beckett is concerned, he rules the realms of heaven and earth jointly along with Dostoevsky. We are talking about REAL Gods here not some fake 'God of my idolatry' or something. This is real greatness beyond which everything else diminishes into nothingness.
    Dostoevsky...joint-ruler with Beckett? Oh my, this will never do...
    Actually, I was exaggerating a bit. There is some Beckett that I enjoyed. The excerpts we read from Molloy and The Unnammable, for instance, and the little I read of Murphy, all looked more or less promising (and very funny, in a way that appeals to me), and I remember really liking All That Fall; but as he starts aspiring to be the artist of "ignorance and impotence" he begins to annoy me - and I am certainly not impressed by the fact that he is often doing so intentionally. Dosto on the other hand - a god indeed.

  9. #219
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    The worst book I've read all the way through was Dan Brown's Deception Point... still don't know why I didn't stop after the first two or three chapters. As far as "the classics" go, I'm going to have to go with Great Expectations, although you could substitute just about any other Dickens work in there.

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    I know that wasn't totally directed at me, but I'd like to point out that I said I disliked Great Expectations and Wuthering Heights, but the worst book I've read is Joy Luck Club. I agree that there is a difference between realizing a book is bad and not enjoying it. I understand why Great Expectations and Wuthering Heights are considered classic, but I just don't like them. Joy Luck Club, on the other hand, was despicable.

    I have read a little fantasy, and I'll agree that the genre has very little literary merit, and I don't even enjoy most of them now (I went through a phase) but there is a soft spot in my heart for certain fantasy books, regardless of how bad they really are. I couldn't bring myself to nominate them here...
    "Memory believes before knowing remembers."
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  11. #221
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    Agree!

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterL View Post
    If you want to read really, really bad books, then try some of the recent fantasy novels. They wouldn't be all that bad, if they were two hundred pages; but they stick in an extra six hundred pages of filler, and the filler is the worst part.
    Very true!

  12. #222
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    Ha ha, Antiquarian, I've noticed we have different tastes. But that's one of the things I like about this place--such a variety of people.
    "Memory believes before knowing remembers."
    --Faulkner

  13. #223
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    I love Stephen King, but the worst book I've read to date has to be Pet Cemetary...I could NOT get past the 3rd chapter no matter how hard I tried.

    That and the Red Badge of Courage, ( still remembering that forced sophomore high school reading assignment) had me in tears every time I had to open it up. I'm sure it's great now that I can appreciate the story, but THEN it was the WORST book ever.
    There's no such thing as tomorrow...because it always comes in the form of today

  14. #224
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jislani View Post
    That and the Red Badge of Courage, ( still remembering that forced sophomore high school reading assignment) had me in tears every time I had to open it up. I'm sure it's great now that I can appreciate the story, but THEN it was the WORST book ever.
    lol. It's not like the protagonist stays and fights the second time you read it.
    Witty quotation here! Witty quotation here!

  15. #225
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeterL View Post
    If you want to read really, really bad books, then try some of the recent fantasy novels. They wouldn't be all that bad, if they were two hundred pages; but they stick in an extra six hundred pages of filler, and the filler is the worst part.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kafka's Crow View Post
    I can't stand the whole genre, even Tolkien. I think The Hobbit is the only real fantasy lit I have read.
    Don't know if I would call them "bad" books but I find myself unable to enjoy fantasy books as well and I am glad to see that I am not the only one.

    Considering the number of people who love this genre and list LoTR as their favorite I wonder why I don't like it.
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