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Roybertito
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20 Jan 2006, 12:23 am

This is the Worst Books Ever thread, where you do the obvious: post your most hated, most absolutely loathed books!

I love books, so sadly, I can only really put one:

To Kill a Mockingbird

*gasps* Shocking, isn't it? I know, a lot of people love the book - I can't stand it. It's so BORING. It's the same American literature I've been reading for the past 9 years of my school career, and it's so typical and so stereotyped. It's just plain boring. Maybe it's just not my kind of book - my kind of book is Ray Bradbury or Aldous Huxley.


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dexkaden
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20 Jan 2006, 12:47 am

Roybertito wrote:
I love books, so sadly, I can only really put one: To Kill a Mockingbird


I enjoyed that book, actually. :D My least favorite book (so far) is Les Miserables. Everyone I know loves it, but I have a sneaking suspicion that they love the play, not the 1463 page literary behemoth full of chapters devoted entirely to describing an apartment, or the endless chapters of French history during the Napoleonic time period, which, while interesting, create massive amounts of confusion when it jumps back into real time. And while I can kind of identify a little bit with Javert, did the man really have to jump off a bridge?

Of course, A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens runs a close second. "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times," it was the time of extra long sentences, it was time to read something else. I have picked it up four times and cannot get past chapter one.

I prefer books like Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire or Orwell's 1984 to anything like Les Miserables. And then there is my love for the Oxford English Dictionary.


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Roybertito
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20 Jan 2006, 1:03 am

^I actually agree with your statement on Les Miserables. Why? Because I, too, tried reading the book, and realized, ordinary readers wouldn't read all that, couldn't read all that, and then said they liked it. Here's betting a lot of people don't know that it was ever a book in the first place. Also, I agree, "Tale of Two Cities" is more filler than it is actual meaty, exciting content. If he would just display the story the book holds instead of putting a bunch of random filler everywhere, it would be much better, but no, he had to make the book long. Look, H.G. Welle's (sp?) "The Time Machine" was only 96 pages, but it turned out to be an excellent novel (and a craptacular movie, I might add, just like A Sound of Thunder!). Books don't have to be long to be great.

Also, on the subject of "Mockingbird", one of the reasons I didn't like it was because the chapters were too long. On average, they were 12 page long chapters, and for someone like me who doesn't stop reading until the chapter's done, it's very tedious. That's just one of the reasons.

I liked the book we read before Mockingbird better. The book? Homer's Oddessy.


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dexkaden
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20 Jan 2006, 1:17 am

I like Homer as well, but the Iliad captured my attention far longer than the Odyssey. I guess I like the constant fighting and carnage. (I wonder what that says about me.) :wink: I liked the Odyssey a lot better than I liked Virgil's The Aeneid, though, and if you're looking for an excellent book on Greek mythology, check out Edith Hamiliton's Mythology.

I just thought of another Worst Book Ever: War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy.


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Roybertito
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20 Jan 2006, 1:54 am

^Yikes. Hey, wait... I just noticed your avatar...

*holds up hardcover copy of "The Indispensible C&H"*

fellow fanatic, I presume?


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Emettman
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20 Jan 2006, 3:16 am

I hated Tequila Mockingbird when I first met it as a compulsory text at school. I've recently spent some time helping explain its ideas and language to a chinese lady, who is reading it as part of her english studies, and found that there is more there than I used to think. It's not, though, a book for children, or with realistic depiction of children: I'll hold my ground there.

Many older books are, by modern usage, wordy and slow. I tackled an older translation of "The three musketeers" as a teenager and it was almost impossible. Similarly with Englsih civil war "Woodstock". Given the impossible reverse situation, would a reader from the early 1800's find our novels horribly raw and bare? Where are the rich passages of description? The character studies?

For Worst Books Ever, I'll go for a particular class:

Where a good author, because of bad judgement or editorial pressure has pushed a series or use of a character one or more books too far and tacked rubbish, often repetitive rubbish, onto superb work.

In SF, for example...

Asimov and Foundation
Eddings and the Belgariad
The second set of Thomas Covenant
The second set of the Chronicles of Amber.
The last books in the Hitchhiker's guide series.



Serissa
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20 Jan 2006, 8:11 am

dexkaden wrote:
I enjoyed that book, actually. :D My least favorite book (so far) is Les Miserables. Everyone I know loves it, but I have a sneaking suspicion that they love the play, not the 1463 page literary behemoth full of chapters devoted entirely to describing an apartment, or the endless chapters of French history during the Napoleonic time period, which, while interesting, create massive amounts of confusion when it jumps back into real time. And while I can kind of identify a little bit with Javert, did the man really have to jump off a bridge?


I liked it when I read it but I read the abridged version. That is probably why.

Books I hated? Christine by stephen king is all that comes to mind ATM.



Fiat_Lux
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20 Jan 2006, 8:25 am

Emettman wrote:
I hated Tequila Mockingbird when I first met it as a compulsory text at school.

Being obliged to read any book as part of English Literature is enough to ruin interest in the book. I had to read Thomas Hardy’s ‘The Mayor of Casterbridge’ at school, and I found it boring beyond belief. I was 14 when I read it, so I may have missed much of the point. However, Hardy’s descriptions of Wessex did not resonate with me in the slightest, and I’ve no wish to read any other works of his.



ramsamsam
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20 Jan 2006, 9:14 am

Recently I was under the impression that Tom Brown's School-Days by Thomas Hughes was quite possibly the worst book in existance. However I thankfully have not been subjected to the horrors of the afore mentioned books.



dexkaden
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20 Jan 2006, 9:55 am

Roybertito wrote:
^Yikes. Hey, wait... I just noticed your avatar...

*holds up hardcover copy of "The Indispensible C&H"*

fellow fanatic, I presume?


Yes! I had practically every Calvin and Hobbes book ever printed--and then my little sisters decided to use them for coloring books (not happy). So now I am working on getting fresh copies. The Complete Calvin and Hobbes is a little out of my price range right now, but soon--oh, so soon!--I will have it for my very own!


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Roybertito
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20 Jan 2006, 10:20 am

dexkaden wrote:
Roybertito wrote:
^Yikes. Hey, wait... I just noticed your avatar...

*holds up hardcover copy of "The Indispensible C&H"*

fellow fanatic, I presume?


Yes! I had practically every Calvin and Hobbes book ever printed--and then my little sisters decided to use them for coloring books (not happy). So now I am working on getting fresh copies. The Complete Calvin and Hobbes is a little out of my price range right now, but soon--oh, so soon!--I will have it for my very own!


Dude, I'm saving up for that little article myself. Every single C & H ever created.... yum.


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Emettman
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20 Jan 2006, 1:21 pm

Fiat_Lux wrote:
Being obliged to read any book as part of English Literature is enough to ruin interest in the book. I had to read Thomas Hardy’s ‘The Mayor of Casterbridge’ at school, and I found it boring beyond belief


Some of Shakespeare's plays survived the school treatment, but I too admit to never having found the reason why Hardy is so acclaimed. Doom, gloom and disaster.

(It's not all old authors as a class: Kipling, Verne, Melville, Twain... but that's a different thread)



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20 Jan 2006, 2:22 pm

Anything by Daniel Quinn! "Ishmael", whatever. The books are dumbed down, pedantic, and condescending. Not worth reading. The Celestine Prophecy is another of that category.

I had a lot of trouble with War and Peace. I tried so hard to stay with it, but there were so many people, and their interactions confused me, and I couldn't keep it straight. I had to abandon the effort partway through, but I don't think this indicates it's a bad book. It just wasn't within my range of comprehension and thought.



chamoisee
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20 Jan 2006, 2:27 pm

Quote:
Les Miserables. Everyone I know loves it, but I have a sneaking suspicion that they love the play, not the 1463 page literary behemoth full of chapters devoted entirely to describing an apartment, or the endless chapters of French history during the Napoleonic time period, which, while interesting, create massive amounts of confusion when it jumps back into real time.


I did love that book, it would be on my top ten of fictional books. I haven't seen the play, and I read the long, unabridged version. If the descriptions got to be a bit much, I absorbed what I could and moved on. I would rather learn about the French revolution from a book like this than to get bogged down in an actual history book. I also really liked one of his other books, the one about the Hunchback of Notre Dame. I could relate to the hunchback and his feelings of rejection by normal society.



MsTriste
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20 Jan 2006, 3:22 pm

Catcher in the Rye is a classic that I didn't like.
Also can't read anything by James Joyce - makes me feel like I don't speak the same language (I guess I don't)
Anything that is sold at airport bookstores or grocery stores. It's so frustrating - you're mindlessly buying boring things at the grocery store and all of a sudden, there are BOOKS! But you get close enough to peruse them and they're all junk.