Page 5 of 6 FirstFirst 123456 LastLast
Results 61 to 75 of 77

Thread: the worst book you have ever come across

  1. #61
    Banned
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    5,046
    Blog Entries
    16
    Quote Originally Posted by Calidore View Post
    I tend to agree with cacian: Books are art, and art is subjective. An author's look and feel works for you or it doesn't. Some vilify Stephen King as genre crap, some praise his skill and depth, and some take the middle road and call him quality genre crap.
    I never disputed that.

    See the following:
    Quote Originally Posted by stlukesguild View Post
    It is indeed up to each individual to decide whether he or she likes or dislikes a given work of art, but it is rather naive if not juvenile thinking to presume that the individual's opinion in the same as judgment as to whether a work is "good" or "bad"... let alone deserving of its reputation.

  2. #62
    Artist and Bibliophile stlukesguild's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    The USA... or thereabouts
    Posts
    5,866
    Blog Entries
    78
    kelby-lake: I generally don't think much of these type of threads (shouldn't it be "worst" anyway?). It encourages people to bash books instead of trying to understand them. There's a difference between understanding why a book has become a "classic" yet not liking it personally, and shutting yourself off to a book that you may later enjoy. Some books need to be read more than once in order to appreciate them. Obviously some of the more pulpy fiction doesn't apply to the rule but classics are classics for a reason.

    I absolutely agree. It seems rather immature thinking to assume that if we personally dislike something it must be bad. I will be the first to admit that I'm not overly fond of James Joyce. There are passages I greatly admire... but as a whole his work has never really clicked with me. Yet I understand that in spite of this Joyce may actually still be a great writer. There are more than a few authors I greatly admire who were profoundly inspired by Joyce, and there are more than a few well-read individuals who are deeply enamored of Joyce. To come out an declare that Joyce is a "bad" writer (let alone the "worst") or overrated seems rather like dismissing (if not insulting) the opinions of everyone but myself. Considering such, I largely agree with Kelby Lake that such threads... such discussions... seem rather useless and negative.
    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
    http://stlukesguild.tumblr.com/

  3. #63
    Okay, allowing for some variety in tastes and quirks, sometimes a book is just banal, inane and stupid. One such book is required in many high schools to blunt criticism that most reading focuses too much on Dead White European Males.

    And that is the only reason I can speculate why such a clumsy, incompetent piece of nonsense like House on Mango Street is foisted on young readers.

    There are a hundred ways a book can go wrong, and Sandra Cisneros managed to find 99 of them. It's a combination of e.e. cummings's disregard of punctuation, the hilarity of Yoko Ono, Julia "Sweet Singer of Michigan" Moore's march toward sobriety and Chairman Mao's Little Red Book.

    It's not prose, exactly, so I tried to judge it by its poetic content, that is, the use of similes and metaphors and tightly-controlled imagery. Unfortunately, the imagery was clumsy and unclear: ugly like bare feet in September; prettier than a yellow taxicab; sunflowers big as flowers on Mars; laughter like tin; dusty hollyhocks thick and perfumy like the blue-blond hair of the dead; I closed my eyes like tight stars; they smelled like Kleenex or the inside of a satin handbag; weeds like so many squinty-eyed stars.

    There's no accounting for such snobby rubbish or, as I call it, snubbish. It's the kind of trash that folks like Nikki Giovanni or Maya Angelou produce because they know nobody will call them on it. They're invincible, these darlings of diversity and textbook writers.

  4. #64
    BadWoolf JuniperWoolf's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    The North
    Posts
    4,421
    Blog Entries
    28
    I once found a thick *** book with the intriguing title of The Shortest Book in the World. I opened it, and it was nothing but blank pages. I guess that was inarguably inane, but it was an alright gag I guess.
    Last edited by JuniperWoolf; 05-07-2012 at 08:39 AM.
    __________________
    "Personal note: When I was a little kid my mother told me not to stare into the sun. So once when I was six, I did. At first the brightness was overwhelming, but I had seen that before. I kept looking, forcing myself not to blink, and then the brightness began to dissolve. My pupils shrunk to pinholes and everything came into focus and for a moment I understood. The doctors didn't know if my eyes would ever heal."
    -Pi


  5. #65
    I'd say "Mrs Dalloway" ugh...

  6. #66
    dark desire dark desire's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    New Delhi, India
    Posts
    134
    Blog Entries
    4

    To people hating Joyce and Woolf and stream of conscious writing

    Quote Originally Posted by cassbee View Post
    I'd say "Mrs Dalloway" ugh...
    I recently gave my father the story "Lord Arthur Saville's Crime" by Oscar Wilde. While he was reading it I was sitting in the same room and I found him enjoying it. But when he finished it he said it was heavy and told me not to give any more such things to read.

    Without going into details about him, I'd say it was only his limitations (he is a strong moralizer and Wilde says a moralizing man is a hypocrite) that he could not enjoy reading Wilde. It is pity that one cannot enjoy reading Wilde.

    D. H. Lawrence once said one of the defining traits of Modernist writing is that it is difficult to read. So it is, very difficult to read indeed. But it is the effort that one makes in reading modernist writings that opens up the mind to new worlds of reading, reading becomes more exciting that ever. I'd suggest start with Lawrence and also read commentary on modernist writings and modernism on the side.

    I'm finding Mrs Dalloway difficult to read too. It is like eating food that slow that satisfying hunger no longer remains the purpose and all that remains is to savour the taste.

  7. #67
    Quote Originally Posted by Delta40 View Post
    Prince Of The Desert by Penny Jordan (Mills & Boon)

    As the child of a promiscuous father, Gwynneth has vowed she will never become a slave to passion! But one hot night in the Kingdom of Zuran has left her fevered and unsure: did she really share a night of unbridled lovemaking with a stranger from the desert?

    But Gwynneth doesn't realise she shared a bed with Sheikh Tariq bin Salud -- and that he is determined to make her his own…
    Ah, Mills and Boon are hilarious You have to love a sexy foreigner/brutish boss/arrogant millionaire.

  8. #68
    TobeFrank Paulclem's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Coventry, West Midlands
    Posts
    6,287
    Blog Entries
    36
    Quote Originally Posted by stlukesguild View Post
    kelby-lake: I generally don't think much of these type of threads (shouldn't it be "worst" anyway?). It encourages people to bash books instead of trying to understand them. There's a difference between understanding why a book has become a "classic" yet not liking it personally, and shutting yourself off to a book that you may later enjoy. Some books need to be read more than once in order to appreciate them. Obviously some of the more pulpy fiction doesn't apply to the rule but classics are classics for a reason.

    I absolutely agree. It seems rather immature thinking to assume that if we personally dislike something it must be bad. I will be the first to admit that I'm not overly fond of James Joyce. There are passages I greatly admire... but as a whole his work has never really clicked with me. Yet I understand that in spite of this Joyce may actually still be a great writer. There are more than a few authors I greatly admire who were profoundly inspired by Joyce, and there are more than a few well-read individuals who are deeply enamored of Joyce. To come out an declare that Joyce is a "bad" writer (let alone the "worst") or overrated seems rather like dismissing (if not insulting) the opinions of everyone but myself. Considering such, I largely agree with Kelby Lake that such threads... such discussions... seem rather useless and negative.
    I disagree. We all read classics we don't like whilst still acknowledging their classic status. In my case it's Austen, who is a good, classic writer, but who does not write upon a subject I'm interested in. There are plenty of people to defend Austen, and it's a good way to wind them up... i mean provoke interesting argument.

    I agree that just saying a book is rubbish because I think that it is is a bit pointless, but on the other hand there are those who are somewhat precious about particular works - we can all be a bit like that - and it's good to appreciate a balance of views. The fact that a book is labelled a classic does not mean I or anyone is going to like it. The interestng thing is why some like a book and other not - perhaps for the selfsame reasons.

  9. #69
    Artist and Bibliophile stlukesguild's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    The USA... or thereabouts
    Posts
    5,866
    Blog Entries
    78
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mN9iXlfxpxI

    I truly dislike this. I can't imagine being forced to listen to more than a few seconds of it without losing my mind. But I can't fairly say that it is bad because I know virtually nothing of the art form in question. I cannot make a fair comparison or offer a logical explanation as to why it is "bad" or "good". To simply make declarations that this or that work of art is "bad" based solely upon personal opinion is rather like the half-literate teenager opining "Shakespeare sucks."

    In no way am I suggesting that the "classics" are sacrosanct and beyond criticism... but if criticism is to have any value it must be constructed of more than personal likes and dislikes or comments that say more about the reader ("boring", "too long"...) than the book. No one can question me if I say I hate Chinese opera, Lima Beans, and "The Red Badge or Courage". Such is simply a statement of facts of my personal experience. But it is quite different if I declare, "Chinese Opera is pure noise; Lima Beans taste like sh**, and "The Red Badge of Courage" is one of the worst stories ever written." Now I am presenting personal opinions or experiences as if they were objective facts.

    As Shelby_Lake suggested: "There's a difference between understanding why a book has become a "classic" yet not liking it personally, and shutting yourself off to a book that you may later enjoy." I would take this further and suggest that there's a difference between appreciating why a given book is considered a classic or even simply appreciating a given classic text... and actually liking it. I was in virtual disagreement with everything that Plato had to say in The Republic... I continually wrote scathing commentary in the margins... but I also recognize just why that book is so clearly a classic if only due to its ability to challenge and provoke our thinking several thousand years after it was written. But in no way would I say I enjoyed reading Plato.
    Last edited by stlukesguild; 05-07-2012 at 11:42 PM.
    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
    http://stlukesguild.tumblr.com/

  10. #70
    Registered User Delta40's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Condescending Wonka
    Posts
    9,702
    Blog Entries
    61
    Quote Originally Posted by kelby_lake View Post
    Ah, Mills and Boon are hilarious You have to love a sexy foreigner/brutish boss/arrogant millionaire.
    Yes, well.... but it wasn't funny at the time ok? And he lied to me!
    The Rotten Apple Injures its Neighbour

  11. #71
    I think the "you can't say it's bad, only that you personally don't like it" idea only holds up if you apply it to all forms of art, not just the classics.

    That's simply because what is a classic is decided basically by opinion. I mean, it's not decided by some formula or scientific principle or something like that. So there's nothing real dividing classics from non-classics, so you have to extend the objectivity of criticism to all kinds of literature.

  12. #72
    Registered User mona amon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    India
    Posts
    1,104
    Quote Originally Posted by stlukesguild View Post
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mN9iXlfxpxI

    I truly dislike this. I can't imagine being forced to listen to more than a few seconds of it without losing my mind. But I can't fairly say that it is bad because I know virtually nothing of the art form in question. I cannot make a fair comparison or offer a logical explanation as to why it is "bad" or "good". To simply make declarations that this or that work of art is "bad" based solely upon personal opinion is rather like the half-literate teenager opining "Shakespeare sucks."
    To be fair to the half literate teenager who declares that Shakespeare sucks, he/she is more like "you read him if you think he's great. Why am I being forced to read this crap?"

    Quote Originally Posted by stlukesguild View Post
    In no way am I suggesting that the "classics" are sacrosanct and beyond criticism... but if criticism is to have any value it must be constructed of more than personal likes and dislikes or comments that say more about the reader ("boring", "too long"...) than the book. No one can question me if I say I hate Chinese opera, Lima Beans, and "The Red Badge or Courage". Such is simply a statement of facts of my personal experience. But it is quite different if I declare, "Chinese Opera is pure noise; Lima Beans taste like sh**, and "The Red Badge of Courage" is one of the worst stories ever written." Now I am presenting personal opinions or experiences as if they were objective facts.

    As Shelby_Lake suggested: "There's a difference between understanding why a book has become a "classic" yet not liking it personally, and shutting yourself off to a book that you may later enjoy." I would take this further and suggest that there's a difference between appreciating why a given book is considered a classic or even simply appreciating a given classic text... and actually liking it. I was in virtual disagreement with everything that Plato had to say in The Republic... I continually wrote scathing commentary in the margins... but I also recognize just why that book is so clearly a classic if only due to its ability to challenge and provoke our thinking several thousand years after it was written. But in no way would I say I enjoyed reading Plato.
    I mostly agree, but sometimes we come across a classic which we just do not get, whichever way we look at it (For me it's Dorian Grey), and it's fun to trash the books that you expected to be good but turned out to be a waste of time as far are as you are concerned.

    Of course it helps if the poster gives some reasons for disliking the work, and sometimes, when the reasons are outlandish or outrageous, they make for very entertaining posts. And there's a better chance of being taken seriously if your general literary standing is good. Nobody takes the high school kid who trashes Shakespeare seriously, but if Tolstoy says "Shakespeare sucks", everyone sits up and listens with interest.
    Exit, pursued by a bear.

  13. #73
    TobeFrank Paulclem's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Coventry, West Midlands
    Posts
    6,287
    Blog Entries
    36
    Quote Originally Posted by stlukesguild View Post
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mN9iXlfxpxI

    I truly dislike this. I can't imagine being forced to listen to more than a few seconds of it without losing my mind. But I can't fairly say that it is bad because I know virtually nothing of the art form in question. I cannot make a fair comparison or offer a logical explanation as to why it is "bad" or "good". To simply make declarations that this or that work of art is "bad" based solely upon personal opinion is rather like the half-literate teenager opining "Shakespeare sucks."

    In no way am I suggesting that the "classics" are sacrosanct and beyond criticism... but if criticism is to have any value it must be constructed of more than personal likes and dislikes or comments that say more about the reader ("boring", "too long"...) than the book. No one can question me if I say I hate Chinese opera, Lima Beans, and "The Red Badge or Courage". Such is simply a statement of facts of my personal experience. But it is quite different if I declare, "Chinese Opera is pure noise; Lima Beans taste like sh**, and "The Red Badge of Courage" is one of the worst stories ever written." Now I am presenting personal opinions or experiences as if they were objective facts.

    As Shelby_Lake suggested: "There's a difference between understanding why a book has become a "classic" yet not liking it personally, and shutting yourself off to a book that you may later enjoy." I would take this further and suggest that there's a difference between appreciating why a given book is considered a classic or even simply appreciating a given classic text... and actually liking it. I was in virtual disagreement with everything that Plato had to say in The Republic... I continually wrote scathing commentary in the margins... but I also recognize just why that book is so clearly a classic if only due to its ability to challenge and provoke our thinking several thousand years after it was written. But in no way would I say I enjoyed reading Plato.
    I agree with you - particularly about the whimsical opinion of one person against the studied opinion of many. Perhaps we just differ in whether there is mileage in a thread like this.

  14. #74
    Quote Originally Posted by dark desire View Post
    ... I'd say it was only his limitations (he is a strong moralizer and Wilde says a moralizing man is a hypocrite) that he could not enjoy reading Wilde. It is pity that one cannot enjoy reading Wilde.
    Why not read Kipling in front of him? When he asks, "why are you reading an Imperialist, when you are such a Wilde reading liberal?" you can argue that you can get a lot out of a writer you disagree with. (And Kiplings Indian tales are wonderful, as an aesthetic experience...)

  15. #75
    Registered User Calidore's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    4,079
    Quote Originally Posted by mal4mac View Post
    Why not read Kipling in front of him? When he asks, "why are you reading an Imperialist, when you are such a Wilde reading liberal?" you can argue that you can get a lot out of a writer you disagree with. (And Kiplings Indian tales are wonderful, as an aesthetic experience...)
    And you can also debate the musical merits of the songs they inspired: "Wilde Thing" vs. "Kipling Me Softly"
    You must be the change you wish to see in the world. -- Mahatma Gandhi

Page 5 of 6 FirstFirst 123456 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. What is the last movie you saw? and rate it.
    By piquant in forum General Movies, Music, and Television
    Replies: 6657
    Last Post: 11-24-2014, 09:44 AM
  2. The Magical World of Children’s Book Illustration
    By Janine in forum General Literature
    Replies: 120
    Last Post: 01-28-2012, 11:16 PM
  3. The __________________ book
    By Hayseed Huck in forum General Writing
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 04-22-2010, 10:45 AM
  4. A Simple Edit
    By Fashby in forum Short Story Sharing
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 07-01-2009, 08:03 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •