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Author Topic: Literary Litter  (Read 2666 times)

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May 31, 2013, 11:26:57 PM

paint it Black

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It looked so good on the shelf.  :hermioneread: And you were pretty sure that a friend told you something good about it, or was it that you read about it on a book review site...?  Anyway, you dug right in to that new book with high hopes, and it was ... AWFUL.  >:( Has this ever happened to you?  Have you ever come across a book that brought you close to anger for having stolen precious hours of your life that you'd never get back?  Or perhaps it was a book that you were required to read in school that irritated you (and you've still not discovered why it's supposed to be such a "classic"  ::)).  Here's your place to gripe about that book that you feel should be imprisoned for the crime of cutting down a tree to print it on.  Go on, let it out!  :mrsblack:



Cuppa is discussing Harper Lee's Go Set a Watchman.  Please join us!
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June 01, 2013, 03:41:19 AM
Reply #1

Hermione P

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I'm the King of the Castle was my O Level Lit text. Nearly everyone I knew in school was griping about how perverted the story is, and we were all glad we didn't have to read the book any more after the exam was over.

Another book from my secondary school days was the Chinese biography of Chinese author Bing Xin. While I still read it every now and then, I found the frequent use of the phrase "she remembered this (phrase/poem/whatever text which inspired her) firmly in her heart" by the omnipresent narrator quite grating. It's not so bad with Becky Bloomwood in the Shopaholic series frequently saying things like "I must use/do..." many times during the series; she's a character in the story and that's a quirk of hers that helps us understand her better. But for an omnipresent narrator, using more or less the same phrase in significant moments in the plot (fictitious or otherwise) is quite irritating. I enjoy reading Bing Xin's actual works a lot more.

A more recent read was Ally Condie's Crossed, the middle book of her Matched trilogy. Most of the story has the main characters travelling, and I didn't find it as engaging as the first book, Matched.
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June 01, 2013, 06:04:22 PM
Reply #2

Evreka

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Here's your place to gripe about that book that you feel should be imprisoned for the crime of cutting down a tree to print it on.  Go on, let it out!  :mrsblack:
What a wonderful way to put it!  :fredgeorge: Unfortunately I've read a few such.

Back in school, we were all required to read a very famous "classical" book by one of the most well known Swedish authors from the late 19th century/early 20th century: August Strindberg. He's written a LOT of things, some aren't so bad, a few things I actually like, but most of his work have always seemed exceedingly boring to me. (I haven't actually read most of those books, but I've read quite a lot about them, or excerpts, as required reading.) And in "college level" (or our approx equivalent) we had to read Röda Rummet or The Red Rooom (English title) which was once a ground breaking novel back in 1879. And it may well have shattered the literary experience back in 1879, but I (and all of my class mates as well) found it so boring and tedious it was a nightmare to read. Eventually I got through it by reading 40 pages a day....

My mother, who quite likes his supposedly most reader-friendly book Hemsöborna (or The People of Hemsö English title) but had, so far, never actually finished The Red Room, offered a swap with me a couple of years later. She'd read that one, if I read the one she liked. We both got through, but none of us enjoyed what we were reading....

Another one of those classical nightmares that my entire class read under deep protest, generating a large number of very negative reviews for our teacher to read  :P, was Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes. We all found it ludicrous, seriously outdated and exceedingly boring.

Of all the books I've chosen myself to read, I think the most boring one was an apparently Pulitzer Price winning book(?!?) ??? :o :mcgonagall2: Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry. Um, anyone gave it a prize?  :crabbegoyle: Unbelievable...  :ashamed: As far as I am concerned the Swedish translation of this book (Den långa färden), is an exceedingly boring tale of a bunch of hardcore men who talk very little and drive cattle from one end of America to another. It's sand, wind, thirst and cattle and little else...  or that's how I remember it, anyway.  :ashamed: It literally took years for me to finish...
« Last Edit: June 01, 2013, 06:07:59 PM by Evreka »
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June 02, 2013, 09:53:13 AM
Reply #3

Kickassnoodle

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Another one of those classical nightmares that my entire class read under deep protest, generating a large number of very negative reviews for our teacher to read  :P, was Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes. We all found it ludicrous, seriously outdated and exceedingly boring.
This is kind of funny because I loved Don Quixote because it was so ludicrous and old-fashioned (which is to be expected seeing as it was written centuries ago) :fredgeorge: The translation we had available was in 2 volumes and even though we were only required to read the first one, I read them both  :hermioneread:

In general, though with a few notable exceptions, I don't (totally) regret reading any book, including those I find boring, creepy or perverted. If a book is highly regarded, I want to form an opinion by myself and even if I hate it, like, for instance, Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment (the protagonist simply drove me nuts and bored me to death at the same time), I can, well, sort of, appreciate why other people like it so much and what makes it a good book, and I don't think the (admittedly, sometimes torturous) hours I spent reading it were a waste. On the other hand, if I find that reading a book is like being hit in the head repeatedly with glaringly bad and superficial writing, for instance Twilight, I just don't bother finishing it, except when it's Dan Brown - then I just have to know what happens :madeye: and they are better written than Twilight books, in my opinion (and I have a weird fascination with semi-religious historic conspiracy stories, I just think they're fun  :fredgeorge: ).

There is actually just one book that I read cover-to-cover that I wish I didn't. It's this totally obscure YA novel by a local author (English title would be The Tenth Graders or The Sophomores, the title alone shows the amount of creative work that went into this book) - it was just totally badly written - in terms of style, characterizations, character motives, everything. The writer wanted to write a gritty teenage novel about drugs and suicide but it was obvious that they had no idea what they were writing about. I don't mean that people should only write about things they have personal experience with, but if they choose to write something they don't know first-hand, they should do a correspondingly huger amount of research. The author actually asked schools for student reviews, probably hoping that they'd be positive :mcgonagall2: My lit teacher asked me to review it. I wrote an honest review. I wonder what happened to it after I handed it in :crabbegoyle:
« Last Edit: June 02, 2013, 09:58:32 AM by Kickassnoodle »
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June 04, 2013, 11:08:30 PM
Reply #4

Dreamteam

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The books I wish I hadn't bothered starting tend to fade from my memory - the very fact of their failure to interest me seems to guarantee that will happen.  One exception is Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (yes, some may be aware that I have ranted about this "book", for want of a better word, on other occasions) and I would happily punish it for using up even so much as a twig, let alone a whole tree.  I certainly don't insist that classics must always be treated with reverence and I had looked forward to having some fun with such familiar characters but what I wasn't prepared for was that the characters would be changed out of all recognition.  Absolute waste of time and money, one of the few books I've ever failed to finish. 

I did read (or start to read) another book at some point but it was so incredibly boring that I've completely forgotten it's title  ;D .  I do remember that it was a whodunnit with a Scots detective, so should have been gripping but it failed in that to the extent that I kept it on my bedside table for nights when I couldn't get to sleep, It was so successful in assisting with that problem that it was there for about a year because I only got through about a page and I was out for the count.  I can't even remember the name of the author but I don't think I came across another of his books so maybe I wasn't the only one who felt disenchanted. 

One book I'm happy to say I didn't invest in was 50 Shades of Grey, I'd heard lots of people saying how good it was and so looked on Amazon for it and used the Look Inside function but was so bored and so disappointed in the immature writing style that I didn't even get to the end of the part that was available to read before giving in.  Thanks, Amazon, for saving me the cash I might have spent on that.  Apologies to people who've read it and loved it. 

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June 05, 2013, 08:06:39 AM
Reply #5

Hermione P

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One book I'm happy to say I didn't invest in was 50 Shades of Grey, I'd heard lots of people saying how good it was and so looked on Amazon for it and used the Look Inside function but was so bored and so disappointed in the immature writing style that I didn't even get to the end of the part that was available to read before giving in.  Thanks, Amazon, for saving me the cash I might have spent on that.  Apologies to people who've read it and loved it.

Something similar happened to me for Twilight. I read the beginning in one of those Harry Potter characters read Twilight fanfics, and didn't feel very motivated to read the rest of the series.
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June 05, 2013, 09:58:25 PM
Reply #6

merrythought

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Dreamteam, I thought P&P&Z would have worked better as a short piece.  I giggled for the first 20 or 30 pages, but after that the zombie jokes just got old. 

Kickassnoodle, you mentioned your enjoyment of Dan Brown's books.  I read Angels and Demons, and figured out who the bad guy was in the first 25 pages, which very much annoyed me.  So I was dissatisfied all the way through reading it.  That was it for Dan Brown and I!

When I was a high school student, I remember finding The Red Badge of Courage excruciating.  Which I find funny now, because it's such a short novel - even if it was dull, I'm a little surprised now that I had such a negative reaction.  You would think a war story would be gripping, but I found it a major snooze, and the recurring symbolic imagery of a blood-red sun, for some reason, drove me mad.  I actually purchased the Cliff Notes because I couldn't stand the book.  At that time I had already successfully enjoyed much longer, harder novels without resorting to "study aids," but for some reason that tiny little book ended up being my Waterloo.  So I really do try to remember how I felt about The Red Badge of Courage whenever a student is completely turned off by a novel I'm teaching, and I try to help him or her find a way to "make peace" with the book. 
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June 07, 2013, 03:21:41 AM
Reply #7

HealerOne

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When I was a high school student, I remember finding The Red Badge of Courage excruciating.  Which I find funny now, because it's such a short novel - even if it was dull, I'm a little surprised now that I had such a negative reaction.  You would think a war story would be gripping, but I found it a major snooze, and the recurring symbolic imagery of a blood-red sun, for some reason, drove me mad.  I actually purchased the Cliff Notes because I couldn't stand the book.  At that time I had already successfully enjoyed much longer, harder novels without resorting to "study aids," but for some reason that tiny little book ended up being my Waterloo.  So I really do try to remember how I felt about The Red Badge of Courage whenever a student is completely turned off by a novel I'm teaching, and I try to help him or her find a way to "make peace" with the book. 

I have to agree about books you hate when in school. My nemesis was Tolstoy's Anna Karenina. I could not believe the length of the novel and that stupid soldier who attempted suicide and missed! That was the straw that broke the camel's back! However I recently reread the story and even though it wasn't my favorite I did make Peace (from the War I had) with it! ;D (Giggle) This time  I actually saw the symbolism in it and understood the conflicts in it. I still thought the suicide attempt was a bit 'over the top' and a fancy way of the author to keep the tension going ... I think that if I had someone that would have explained more about the (little) rights of women at that time I would have been more sympathetic.

I also have to agree about Twilight. I plunged through the first book, but found the writing just so bad I just had to stop.
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June 07, 2013, 09:35:29 PM
Reply #8

Maraudingdon

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I rarely give one star reviews, but there are a couple of monstrosities I've read over the years that I wish I had never picked up, the worst one being WIDE SARGASSO SEA by Jean Rhys. I had to analyse it for my degree course and it remains the only book I ever binned. It's an unofficial prequel to Jane Eyre and basically destroys Edward Rochester.

Run from this book. Or burn it. Whichever is easier.
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June 16, 2013, 01:10:15 AM
Reply #9

SuperJenn

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When I was a high school student, I remember finding The Red Badge of Courage excruciating.  Which I find funny now, because it's such a short novel - even if it was dull, I'm a little surprised now that I had such a negative reaction.  You would think a war story would be gripping, but I found it a major snooze, and the recurring symbolic imagery of a blood-red sun, for some reason, drove me mad.  I actually purchased the Cliff Notes because I couldn't stand the book.  At that time I had already successfully enjoyed much longer, harder novels without resorting to "study aids," but for some reason that tiny little book ended up being my Waterloo.  So I really do try to remember how I felt about The Red Badge of Courage whenever a student is completely turned off by a novel I'm teaching, and I try to help him or her find a way to "make peace" with the book. 

I have to agree about books you hate when in school. My nemesis was Tolstoy's Anna Karenina. I could not believe the length of the novel and that stupid soldier who attempted suicide and missed! That was the straw that broke the camel's back! However I recently reread the story and even though it wasn't my favorite I did make Peace (from the War I had) with it! ;D (Giggle) This time  I actually saw the symbolism in it and understood the conflicts in it. I still thought the suicide attempt was a bit 'over the top' and a fancy way of the author to keep the tension going ... I think that if I had someone that would have explained more about the (little) rights of women at that time I would have been more sympathetic.

I also have to agree about Twilight. I plunged through the first book, but found the writing just so bad I just had to stop.


Oooooo....high school required reading! This, folks, is what REAL horror stories are made of!!  :fredgeorge:

Mine was Irving Stone's The Agony and the Ecstasy. I still remember being SO excited to read a biographical account of Michelangelo. I had a reading schedule of how many pages to read per day, and outline of how to prepare my notes, and a SUPER snazzy binder to keep it all organized in. A week in and I was bored to tears. The notes and reading schedule were eaten by the dust bunnIies under my nightstand, and I was cramming the last few chapters in on the way to school the first day of classes. I remember all this, over 20 years later, with perfect clarity. What I remember about the book is more obscure...I remember how long him painting the Sistine Chapel was dragged out through the pages.  ;D
"And this, our life, exempt from public haunt, finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, sermons in stones, and good in everything." ~ William Shakespeare
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July 02, 2013, 12:35:22 PM
Reply #10

Lillielle

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For required reading, the book Cry, the Beloved Country. I can't remember who it was by, but frankly, I don't want to remember. :P It was awful. I hated it. I hate when people can't use quotation marks, and have to be all edgy and different with hyphens, and you've got no idea who's talking, because like three people talk in the same paragraph, and just. No. That was awful.

I have tried to read Pride and Prejudice twice and each time, I get like 10-20 pages in before I fall asleep over it. I don't know why I find it so boring, but I cannot stand it. It appears to be a Jane Austen thing. ((Oddly, I did actually like Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Clearly, it just needed the undead shambling round.  :P ))

...And oh gods, Twilight. I hated it on general principle. Then my friend had it and so I could say I hated it while having read the book, I read the first book. And it was worse than I'd ever imagined. Not simply for how bad her writing is, but the messages and themes in the book are awful.
"Neither the angels in heaven above nor the demons down under the sea can ever dissever my soul from the soul of the beautiful Annabel Lee."
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August 10, 2013, 12:28:43 AM
Reply #11

Misssyblantsybil

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Fortunately, its pretty easy to spot a book I will be disappointed with by using the sneak peek feature on Amazon, or the sample feature on iBooks, but I have been disappointed by a couple of "classics" I read: Madam Bovary and The Woman in White.  Both books felt old fashioned to me. You know how some classics still jump off the page at you ( Jane Eyre)?  These two didn't.  The writing was good for its time, but seems antiquated enough now that it gets in the way of understanding or caring about the characters.  The Woman in White is also considered the first of its type, so that may be why it seemed like a cliché. 
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August 11, 2013, 12:35:11 AM
Reply #12

varza

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I am with Dreamteam on P&P&Z, I hated it and the fad it spawned as well. It was like a bad fan fiction. Might have been better if the person could actually write.

I was told by everyone I would love the series by Laurall K Hamilton - the Anita Blake series because I like similar books. I absolutely hated it. I have a problem when a main character is so perfect and blah de blah, no man can resist her or him or whatever. The thing that made me stop is when she could barely use an exercise machine for her legs at like 20lbs (because she has no lower body strength) but could chest press over a hundred pounds - but she is an incredible runner and women have stronger lower bodies then upper bodies in general. But yes, too perfect a character. I like my characters flawed and realistic. Not an ideal version of the writer so they can live out their fantasies - which is what it felt like when I read it.

I have never tried to pick up 50 Shades of Grey (no interest in the topic) and I tried to read Twilight once, even though I knew how bad it was just so I could say I did so I picked up one of the books in the store and opened it randomly... and I about screamed when I read "If I can't be with her I am glad she is with you because you know she can't take care of herself" said by Eddie to the wolf dude. But I am firm believer that if you are going to change a monster so much that it doesn't resemble the original - create a new creature. Once again - from what I know of the story its a woman dealing with some issues. I am so tired of vampires being romantic figures, so over done right now. I love vampire folklore, myths, and stories.



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August 11, 2013, 02:29:55 AM
Reply #13

Serpentzz

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Apologies to any D.H. Lawrence fans but there are only two books I ever remember not finishing - The Rainbow and Lady Chatterley's Lover. Both are concerned with the English class system (a topic that Oscar Wilde visits so brilliantly), but I found these books to be so mind-numbingly boring. I especially remember with 'Lady Chatterley's Lover, finding myself starring at the television screen (which I like to keep on as background noise) for longer periods of time than actual reading. I've never read Sons and Lovers though, which many consider his best and it actually may be much better.

The books I wish I hadn't bothered starting tend to fade from my memory - the very fact of their failure to interest me seems to guarantee that will happen.  One exception is Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (yes, some may be aware that I have ranted about this "book", for want of a better word, on other occasions) and I would happily punish it for using up even so much as a twig, let alone a whole tree.  I certainly don't insist that classics must always be treated with reverence and I had looked forward to having some fun with such familiar characters but what I wasn't prepared for was that the characters would be changed out of all recognition.  Absolute waste of time and money, one of the few books I've ever failed to finish.

I remember seeing these books everywhere in British bookshops a few years ago! If I'm right, they mashup classics with some sort of monster? The cover and title enticed me to pick it up, but I never ended up buying it. Judging by your review I should be glad!  :fredgeorge:

Edit: Yes -- They're made by Quirk Books and feature a Tolstoy mashup "Android Karenina".
« Last Edit: August 11, 2013, 02:32:23 AM by Serpentzz »
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December 29, 2013, 09:16:09 PM
Reply #14

Evreka

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Kickassnoodle, you mentioned your enjoyment of Dan Brown's books.  I read Angels and Demons, and figured out who the bad guy was in the first 25 pages, which very much annoyed me.  So I was dissatisfied all the way through reading it.  That was it for Dan Brown and I!
That's quite funny, because I too figured out the bad guy in about the same span of pages, wrote it down and was sure I'd laugh about it later - only I was correct and I don't think I ever wavered from my belief. And yet, I really, really enjoyed the book, for almost the entire read. (I think there were a smaller part where it got quite a bit too strange), but apart from that.

However, I read The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown last year, and found it thoroughly badly written with a completely un-engaging, and unbelievable, plot. To me it seems as if he is writing pretty much all books after the same formula and tries to vary the theme, long after it stopped feeling new and fresh.
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January 09, 2014, 06:57:01 PM
Reply #15

Dreamteam

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Kickassnoodle, you mentioned your enjoyment of Dan Brown's books.  I read Angels and Demons, and figured out who the bad guy was in the first 25 pages, which very much annoyed me.  So I was dissatisfied all the way through reading it.  That was it for Dan Brown and I!
That's quite funny, because I too figured out the bad guy in about the same span of pages, wrote it down and was sure I'd laugh about it later - only I was correct and I don't think I ever wavered from my belief. And yet, I really, really enjoyed the book, for almost the entire read. (I think there were a smaller part where it got quite a bit too strange), but apart from that.

However, I read The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown last year, and found it thoroughly badly written with a completely un-engaging, and unbelievable, plot. To me it seems as if he is writing pretty much all books after the same formula and tries to vary the theme, long after it stopped feeling new and fresh.
I agree, the books are a little forumulaic and sometimes the plots need the reader to suspend belief but I do enjoy them (I just wouldn't rely on them for historical fact) and I do often find the characters quite engaging.

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February 13, 2014, 12:24:09 AM
Reply #16

Laura W

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What a fun topic!

Kickassnoodle: For the record, Dostoevsky is my absolutely most favourite fiction author.  But I can understand why others might find him to be dull.
SuperJen: When I was about twelve or thirteen, I was totally hooked on the historical/biographical novels of Irving Stone.  (This is reading them myself, not in school.)  I really, really liked The Agony and the Ecstasy.  And his other stuff.  But particularly that.

Books I took in high school and didn't like at all - perhaps it was because of the way they were taught; I don't know - were The Great Gatsby and Pride and Prejudice. Yes, I know those are some people's favourites but my reaction to them was exactly the opposite.  On the other hand, I took Lord of the Flies in high school and thought it was excellent, socially relevant and horrifying.

I always thought this was odd but, many many years ago I read The Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy which I'm sure a lot of you have read.  I totally enjoyed it.  Thought it was very clever and very funny (although I didn't understand all the physics in it).  Naturally, after finishing it, I got out Adams' second book in the series.  After a few chapters I gave up on it.  I just couldn't get into it; boring and tedious and not at all engaging.  It was hard to believe that was written by the same man who wrote Hitchiker's Guide.  I've never understood why my reactions to the two books were so opposite.  But there you are.

And a couple of years ago I tried to read The Moveable Feast by Hemingway.  I know that he is considered to be one of the best writers ever, but I gave up on this book early on.  The writing style turned me off; I found I couldn't care less about the story or the characters.


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June 14, 2014, 02:11:44 AM
Reply #17

nellythemarrow

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I always thought this was odd but, many many years ago I read The Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy which I'm sure a lot of you have read.  I totally enjoyed it.  Thought it was very clever and very funny (although I didn't understand all the physics in it).  Naturally, after finishing it, I got out Adams' second book in the series.  After a few chapters I gave up on it.  I just couldn't get into it; boring and tedious and not at all engaging.  It was hard to believe that was written by the same man who wrote Hitchiker's Guide.  I've never understood why my reactions to the two books were so opposite.  But there you are.
The radio series is much better, I think.

I think any book is better than none in terms of reading, but there have been some books that to me at least seemed truly terrible and got me very annoyed and frustrated. Though I wouldn't think badly of people who enjoyed those same books. They just didn't suit me at all!

I'm lucky in that my set school books were all of a type where they weren't books I'd love and would therefore be spoilt by studying but weren't complete horrors, either. Though I probably won't ever be able to read Holes by Louis Sachar again, for all that it was kind of good to read the first time.

The first I would chuck in my literary litter bin would probably be The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks. I have a rule of never, ever peeking at the back few pages of a book, but for this book I broke my rule. Mostly because I felt like I'd read it already, in the form of the far superior The Lord of the Rings. It was such a total rip off I couldn't really believe it'd got the green light to be published. From my glimpse at the back it looked like it did eventually deviate from The Lord of the Rings, but I'm afraid I didn't hang around to find out. It had offended my most beloved book of all time so I huffed off and returned it to the library. ::)

The second book I would chuck is a popular one and I'm a little worried putting it there, but for me it'd have to go. Certainly at the time I spent a lot of time shouting at it whilst I read. And that, sadly, is Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins. I enjoyed The Hunger Games. For all the sci-fi tropes in there she had written something interesting nonetheless. Catching Fire I thought was even better and I was excited for the last one. Was pretty disappointed, to put it mildly.

Spoiler
The beats of the story were becoming very predictable, the love triangle reaching stupid levels and Katniss was more annoying than ever. Would it kill her to take responsibility for anything and care about people beyond those few she loves? She needs people to be paraded in front of her before she pays any attention to them. At which point her concern is suddenly so much more than that of those around her. I was thoroughly sick of being in her head by the end. I was also fed up with the way she was always knocked out whenever anything big happened, it felt like the writer was just trying to get out of having to describe too many battles.
But the author's main crime as far as I was concerned was to one of the minor characters. Rant ahead:
Spoiler
The character - Annie - spent most of this book and the previous one as an emotional wreck, completely traumatised by the Hunger Games and who utterly depends on someone she's in love with to calm her down.

Then she's tortured and the guy who anchors her is later killed. Yet somehow she emerges from this, is shoved into a room in which she and several others are discussing the very subject that destroyed her life and she's able to keep quiet and well behaved, as all background characters should when the main ones need to be talking and thinking, and then to give a calm and perfectly judged short answer in order to vote on whether or not the Hunger Games should continue. This really angered me. How has she come out of all this in better shape than she was before her guy was killed? Makes no sense to me. It just seemed a cheap way to have the numbers for the votes work out the way the author wanted and also so that she wouldn't have to waste unnecessary words on a minor character when she could instead neatly give them a happier ending. Anyway, I didn't like the way the author treated the character one tiny little bit. On the other hand at least the overall ending wasn't too clean and happy.

Other books might be Ship of Magic by Robin Hobb, because of the annoying characters and the way that any event is first planned, then described, then analysed afterwards which gets a little tedious. Though the book has redeeming features, including the vivid descriptions of the boats and the sea and the sequels get a bit better. Until the Rain Wilds Chronicles; those, from what I skim-read, were appalling...

The worst book I read lately isn't a well known one, I expect, I just picked it off the shelf in the library because it didn't have any of the books I wanted. This was Royal Exile, by Fiona McIntosh. It seems to have been written for teenage boys who don't normally read, have a love of over-the-top gore that's so bad it's comical and stupid characters that will make them look like geniuses by comparison. The author even has an apology of sorts in the back saying that it was a meandering story that just came to her after she thought of one scene and she wasn't sure she should publish. This is pretty evident from the way that one character calls another sane on one page, then five or so pages later describes the same character as obviously mad. There's endless examples of this (couldn't she have re-written the book and edited it once they decided to publish it?). It's all pretty silly and badly put together and every new character seems to feel a strange urge to say hello, give their name and then their life story in brief, their job in the world and the status that job has and what their feelings are about the current state of the world to every person they meet. It's not an approach to exposition I've ever seen before, at least.
Spoiler
I also enjoyed the woman who calmly comforted a main character who was retching as a load of people were being killed and giving him sage advice. He then calls her heartless and her defense to the contrary is that one of them is her husband. Oh, dear.

Hm more female authors than male in my list, a bit unfortunate. I do have female authors I adore! I've just been trying to read more books written by women lately so these ones are quite fresh.


"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us." ~ Gandalf, LotR
My Pottermore username is QuillStone22
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June 14, 2014, 10:18:51 AM
Reply #18

Evreka

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The second book I would chuck is a popular one and I'm a little worried putting it there, but for me it'd have to go. Certainly at the time I spent a lot of time shouting at it whilst I read. And that, sadly, is Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins. I enjoyed The Hunger Games. For all the sci-fi tropes in there she had written something interesting nonetheless. Catching Fire I thought was even better and I was excited for the last one. Was pretty disappointed, to put it mildly.
I've just read the first book in that series, which I liked. But then I ran into some comments about the second book on the web, and as I mistook them for general comments about the book, I unfortunately got a good part of the second book's plot spoiled, before I stopped reading.
Spoiler
From what I learned, it seemed the second plot seemed way too similar to the first book, which felt like a let-down. The way the first ended, I thought the second would explore other territories than doing a new game all over again. Of course, reading the book is quite different from reading a summarized plot, so maybe it feels different in the book, anyway. But it felt like a repeat of the first story.
So I gave up any thoughts on reading on in the series.


The worst book I read lately isn't a well known one, I expect, I just picked it off the shelf in the library because it didn't have any of the books I wanted. This was Royal Exile, by Fiona McIntosh. ... The author even has an apology of sorts in the back saying that it was a meandering story that just came to her after she thought of one scene and she wasn't sure she should publish.
Is it self-published or how could she publish a story with that much inconsistencies in it?  :what:

And I get quite annoyed when I read that it was written for teenage boys who don't normally read!?  :annoyed: So then she felt obligated to put together an inconsistent, meandering, odd story to make sure they don't get any more intrigued by reading, or?   :hmm:


.... every new character seems to feel a strange urge to say hello, give their name and then their life story in brief, their job in the world and the status that job has and what their feelings are about the current state of the world to every person they meet. It's not an approach to exposition I've ever seen before, at least. ...
Possibly something to be grateful of.  :lol: It doesn't sound very appealing at all. Or else you better hope, the characters don't meet many new characters along the way...  :P
« Last Edit: June 14, 2014, 10:23:35 AM by Evreka »
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June 16, 2014, 03:44:28 AM
Reply #19

nellythemarrow

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From what I learned, it seemed the second plot seemed way too similar to the first book, which felt like a let-down. The way the first ended, I thought the second would explore other territories than doing a new game all over again. Of course, reading the book is quite different from reading a summarized plot, so maybe it feels different in the book, anyway. But it felt like a repeat of the first story.
So I gave up any thoughts on reading on in the series.
There's some truth in that.
Spoiler
Though there were differences and I forgave the book because, for me at least, it felt like it was much better done.

Is it self-published or how could she publish a story with that much inconsistencies in it?  :what:
Not self-published, but it's not her first series. Perhaps she had a large enough readership that by this point they felt they could get away with whisking out barely edited books? I'm not planning on reading her other books to find out if they're better written, though!

And I get quite annoyed when I read that it was written for teenage boys who don't normally read!?  :annoyed: So then she felt obligated to put together an inconsistent, meandering, odd story to make sure they don't get any more intrigued by reading, or?   :hmm:
Well that was just my feeling when I read it. I wasn't surprised when I read her bio and saw she had teenage sons. But yeah, I agree, even if she has written it with that aim in mind it was very poorly done!

.... every new character seems to feel a strange urge to say hello, give their name and then their life story in brief, their job in the world and the status that job has and what their feelings are about the current state of the world to every person they meet. It's not an approach to exposition I've ever seen before, at least. ...
Possibly something to be grateful of.  :lol: It doesn't sound very appealing at all. Or else you better hope, the characters don't meet many new characters along the way...  :P
It did become a thing to dread. Every new character I kept thinking surely not again, not this time! Even if a character was ~mysterious~ you pretty much found the answer in the next chapter.


"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us." ~ Gandalf, LotR
My Pottermore username is QuillStone22
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