Worst/Overrated books.

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Severus Severance
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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby Severus Severance » Mon Dec 03, 2007 3:14 am UTC

If you ever come across a book called _Weregirls_, don't read it. I tried, and almost flung the library's nice book across the room. Do. Not. Read. It. The "I'm a man trying to write from the point - of - view of a sixteen - year - old jock chick" prose was enough to turn me off to the idea of "magical girls, whee!"

Also, don't read Jean Auel's work unless you like either cavemen or pron. There's lots of both. Otherwise they have nothing going for them.

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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby MJPerry » Sat Mar 01, 2008 6:05 pm UTC

Anything by Ernest Hemingway.

His prose is the most boring thing ever and his sentences go on and it's just a really generic narrative style and he keeps extending sentences talking about banal crap and...

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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby Philomid » Thu Mar 06, 2008 2:53 am UTC

"Critique of Pure Reason" by Kant.

I'm a big philosophy buff (check the name), but that book was essentially an essay that repeatedly stated the same point over and over again (and then that essay was turned into a book that repeated everything over and over again).

Also, Kant sure can think and he sure can influence everyone who reads his work, but that's if they don't kill themselves over his terrible writing style.

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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby Kendo_Bunny » Thu Mar 06, 2008 7:23 pm UTC

I hate 'Catcher in the Rye' and believe it's overrated. The worst part about it is if you didn't like it, the fans assume you didn't get it. I understood it perfectly, I realized that Holden was the biggest phony, I understood he was denying his hypocrisy, I understood that he was running from himself. I just couldn't bring myself to care.

Actually, I did care. I cared about the kids from 'Lord of the Flies' making an 11th-hour appearance and beating Holden to death. Maybe eating him. Honestly, I feel like 'Bread and Jam for Frances' has more depth, because Frances actually realizes her mistakes and corrects them. Holden does not have the capacity for self-reflection and growth that a 4-year-old badger who likes making up silly songs does. I get it, but that doesn't mean I have to like it.

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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby functionally_stupid » Fri Mar 07, 2008 7:21 pm UTC

Eragon.

Other people have said it, but *CHRIST*. Christfuck on a bouncy satanic pogo-stick of HATE. This book started out mildly okay, if full of plot holes. Then all of the joy and energy - not that there was much to begin with - of the writing just got completely stamped to death and, and, *fuck*, the only reason this book was popular was because "Oh me yarm it's a homeschooled kid" + "Oh me yarm he started writing when he was liek 14!". I am a homeschooler; fuck this shit, we're not zoo-animals, you wanna vomit sparklies all over us, you'd better be prepared for disgust. A lot of homeschooled kids are *brilliant*, charismatic, hilarious people AND excellent writers - I know them! We are not freakshows to be ogled by the media. We are people; just because we're young doesn't justify the massive BAAAAAAAAAWWWWW-fest. And as for writing at the age of 14, again, fuck that "woooooow, he's speeeeshul" shit. I've been writing since I could talk. Gifted children are not zoo animals; hell, the writer isn't really that gifted. Stop making a huge fucking fuss over a mediocre piece of crap and labeling it "genius". Because it really, really isn't.

Oh, and, "Something Wicked This Way Comes". :( I liked it! I really did. But the entire time I was reading it, all I could think about was the unintentional homoeroticism. And I'm pretty sure that's why I liked it. Come on, people - you've got an innocent young blond, and a dark-haired brunet. One is shy and naive, the other is mischievous and Loki-esque. They sneak into each other's bedrooms at night. Innocent blond boy is trusting, to the point of dangerousness, in brunet boy. Brunet boy is likewise protective of shy, virginal blond. There's plenty of hugging and affectionate banter. In the end, brunet compromises his dreams for frantic "DON'T LEAVE ME" blond. Tearful reunion. They wake up in each other's arms. It's like the stereotypical plot of a yaoi manga! Except there's no nookie! WHY IS THERE NO NOOKIE.

... I'm pretty sure that that makes me a terrible person. :D Oops.
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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby Malice » Fri Mar 07, 2008 10:43 pm UTC

functionally_stupid wrote:Oh, and, "Something Wicked This Way Comes". :( I liked it! I really did. But the entire time I was reading it, all I could think about was the unintentional homoeroticism. And I'm pretty sure that's why I liked it.


Don't sell Ray Bradbury short by assuming that was necessarily unintentional. It's a coming of age story and as such there are a lot of sexual undertones thrumming underneath the small-town facade.
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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby Midnight » Sat Mar 08, 2008 10:43 pm UTC

LDJosh wrote:When I first read something about Eragon, i thought either they mis-spelled "Dragon" or this was some kind of super dragon, so it got a one letter upgrade to E-Ragon.

Having recently finished the Sword of Truth series, I can recommend reading books 1,2,4, and then the last 3 chapters of book 11.

The rest were garbage. He pretty much repeats himself over and over and over and gives such long winded lectures about freedom and life that I want someone in the book to just kill the speaker, regardless of their good guy / bad guy standing.

And I thought the ending was awful.

I fear for the last Wheel of Time book.


seriously? you thought the last 3 chapters of book 11 were remotely good? imo they were the worst.. i mean who wears leather at a wedding? and the longest objectivist preach in that whole series?

Now.. i'd say read 1, 2, 4, and 6 (but ONLY the get the fullest extent of the preachyness, cause the preachyness starts around 6 and doesn't stop..) then 9+
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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby arbivark » Mon Mar 17, 2008 10:56 pm UTC

Kendo_Bunny wrote:I hate 'Catcher in the Rye' and believe it's overrated. The worst part about it is if you didn't like it, the fans assume you didn't get it. I understood it perfectly, I realized that Holden was the biggest phony, I understood he was denying his hypocrisy, I understood that he was running from himself. I just couldn't bring myself to care.

Actually, I did care. I cared about the kids from 'Lord of the Flies' making an 11th-hour appearance and beating Holden to death. Maybe eating him. Honestly, I feel like 'Bread and Jam for Frances' has more depth, because Frances actually realizes her mistakes and corrects them. Holden does not have the capacity for self-reflection and growth that a 4-year-old badger who likes making up silly songs does. I get it, but that doesn't mean I have to like it.

Although I like Salinger, and Golding, this post is just a "me too!" for Bread and Jam for Frances. Great literature, well drawn too. Badger badger &c. jamazon

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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby Dr. Canadian Ninja » Tue Mar 18, 2008 7:20 pm UTC

I like reading. I really do. But there are only two books I can think of off the top of my head that were so bad that I had to try and force myself to finish them.

I like the Dune series. Really, I do. Even when Herbert's son took over, I could still get into it. However. God-Emperor of Dune took me six months. I started using it as a sleeping aid during school. I could not get through that book. As Picard would say, he just kept talking in one long increidbly unbroken sentence, moving from topic to topic so that no one had the chance to interrupt. Then I finally finished and blazed through the other two books at the time in a matter of weeks.

The second book was the Lord of the Rings trilogy. To this day, that series still leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I know people say not to judge a book by its cover, and those people are full of shit. If I can't give a damn about the story after 150 pages, I'm not going to keep reading. The difference between Lord of the Rings and God-Emperor was that I kept reading God-Emperor because there were three solid books before it and, thankfully, Heretics didn't continue in that style. I had no motivation to continue reading Lord of the Rings. To this day, I still haven't. I tried watching the film, was reminded of the book, and couldn't enjoy it. That's how much I do not like Lord of the Rings.

An honorable mention has to go to one book I read by recommendation called Touched by Venom by Janine Cross. It's one of those books that's so horribly bad you don't know whether to be completely disgusted by it or amused to no end because there's no way it's serious, right?

It's Book One of a trilogy. Even though I'm more amused by the book, I won't be picking up Book Two any time soon.
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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby Nyssa » Tue Mar 18, 2008 9:41 pm UTC

I liked Scarlet Letter, especially because of the forest (oddly enough).

Books I remember hating that were supposed to be classics...
The House of Dies Drear
Johnny Tremaine
My Brother Sam Is Dead
Bless Me, Ultima

Also, I find that Romeo and Juliet is extremely overrated.
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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby I <3 Shadows » Mon Mar 24, 2008 3:41 am UTC

The Art of War shouldn't be considered overrated, because it's a book meant to advance thought of the mind, not be a detailed description of how to fight every battle, that said:

A Thousand Years of Solitude: There are so many characters many of them seemingly completely irrelevant to what little story is formed that leaves you feeling like you've jumped into the drunken mind of a person who makes family trees for a living. Also, the story is pretty boring even after you figure out what's going on. Good to kill time, bad for enjoyment.

The Kite Runner, good but it just left me angry. I had to stop several times while reading the book to hit something to release the continual rage that builds up over the course of the story.
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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby kjsharke » Mon Mar 24, 2008 8:21 am UTC

This thread started out with some Ayn Rand bashing, which is just the right way, but then you insult some of my favorite books. Catcher in the Rye, and Ernest Hemingway's books for instance. If you don't like those books, you probably don't have a taste for that genre... That doesn't mean they're overrated.

Also, Harry Potter is not rated very highly. It is hugely popular, but that is different, everyone (of a certain maturity) knows that it is mostly fluff. But it is enjoyable at that.

Though I agree with you on some things, like the Giver, which was good, but not worth all the attention it got.

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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby jakkle » Mon Mar 24, 2008 9:46 pm UTC

to kill a mockingbird
fucking hell, put the mockingbird out of its misery by exterminating them all - im sure they cannot live with the shame of being associated with such a shit book. now, dont get me wrong; im sure we all agree that racism is worng and the treatment of black people at that time was horrendous and entirely wrong. i HATE racism, but i also hate that book. the ending is the most boring, letdown thing i have ever read, and the children made me want a vasectomy.

and my teacher loved it, and i like that teacher, so i felt a little sad telling her how deeply shit it is whilst she enjoyed it.

but seriously it is really bad. while the rest of the class are reading it [i finished about a month and a half ago and they're getting through the trial STILL], i have been reading inferno. oooooh its good :)
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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby Malice » Tue Mar 25, 2008 12:24 am UTC

jakkle wrote:to kill a mockingbird
fucking hell, put the mockingbird out of its misery by exterminating them all - im sure they cannot live with the shame of being associated with such a shit book. now, dont get me wrong; im sure we all agree that racism is worng and the treatment of black people at that time was horrendous and entirely wrong. i HATE racism, but i also hate that book.


Sorry to burst your bubble, but To Kill A Mockingbird isn't about racism. Racism is such a tiny piece of it that you might as well look at the elderly neighbor and say, "Oh, this is about drug addiction!" It's about what it was like to grow up as a little girl in the South at that time; it is essentially a coming of age story, which people have misinterpreted as being solely and primarily a statement about how awful racism is.
And even if you don't like it, you can't deny it's well-written.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: being forced to read books in school kills them.
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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby wittyknee » Tue Mar 25, 2008 2:54 am UTC

Eragon.

I didn't think it was worth being made into a movie because between being horribly...redundant in the fantasy world...I was completely lost at the end. A lot of things but I also felt the descriptions in the book were mediocre.

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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby Marbas » Tue Mar 25, 2008 8:41 am UTC

wittyknee wrote:Eragon.

I didn't think it was worth being made into a movie because between being horribly...redundant in the fantasy world...I was completely lost at the end. A lot of things but I also felt the descriptions in the book were mediocre.


This is a good thing. Nobody who has ever picked up a word processor likes Eragon, or its' wretched sister series, Twilight, for that matter. Both are horrible and popular only because they're adolescent wish-fulfillment at its' worst.
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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby jakkle » Tue Mar 25, 2008 4:46 pm UTC

Malice wrote:
jakkle wrote:to kill a mockingbird
fucking hell, put the mockingbird out of its misery by exterminating them all - im sure they cannot live with the shame of being associated with such a shit book. now, dont get me wrong; im sure we all agree that racism is worng and the treatment of black people at that time was horrendous and entirely wrong. i HATE racism, but i also hate that book.


Sorry to burst your bubble, but To Kill A Mockingbird isn't about racism. Racism is such a tiny piece of it that you might as well look at the elderly neighbor and say, "Oh, this is about drug addiction!" It's about what it was like to grow up as a little girl in the South at that time; it is essentially a coming of age story, which people have misinterpreted as being solely and primarily a statement about how awful racism is.
And even if you don't like it, you can't deny it's well-written.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: being forced to read books in school kills them.


disagree - i cant see that she 'comes of age' exactly as she is too young.
Having said that, i do see that its not just about racism, however i think it's one of/the major theme that all others tie in with in some way. I consider it to be about the attitudes of people at the time, and how they acted, and racism was a big part of that. Whilst not solely about racism, saying 'racism is a tiny part of it' is unsupportable.

For me, Scout's journey is more a device to portray life at the time - i would not consider it THE plotline, though it is undeniable that what she learns is of great importance to the book.

...wow, i contradicted myself quite a lot there :?
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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby fuschia » Tue Mar 25, 2008 5:00 pm UTC

The obvious ones:
Dickens. Why, why, the hideous tangents? Why are you talking for 4 chapters about how you were born with a caul?
Harry Potter. I was 11 when it came out. I liked it. Then I grew up and started to appreciate writing style. The 3rd one was the last one I read with anything approaching enjoyment, but I read the rest for some twisted reason, and they just get worse and worse. She just didn't seem to want to be writing them anymore and she uses too many adverbs describing the way people speak. I only noticed that after reading a bit of one in French, and every 4 words the poor translator had to write 'd'une maniere x', or whatever, and it was so annoying. Also, what the hell was with the octopus brains and the baby head bit in the Ministry of Magic? Gah.

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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby Kendo_Bunny » Tue Mar 25, 2008 6:07 pm UTC

kjsharke wrote:Catcher in the Rye, and Ernest Hemingway's books for instance. If you don't like those books, you probably don't have a taste for that genre... That doesn't mean they're overrated.


I disagree about 'Catcher in the Rye' not being overrated, and disliking it meaning that you just don't enjoy that genre.

'Catcher in the Rye' is hailed by many as the be-all, end-all of modern stories about teenage detachment. Even teachers claim reading it will "change your life", and that it's "totally relatable to every experience". It's not. I think it has been done better by other people, I gained no new insight to myself or the human experience (beyond, "Man, I hope I wasn't such an annoying, whiny bitch when I was a teenager") , and I did not consider it worth the time or the hype. Some people are obviously touched by the book, but that does not mean it's deserving of praise as a universal story. It's also not worth the insinuation that anyone who is not touched by it is stupid, less sophisticated, or too childish to understand it. I'm not saying you're insinuating that, but a lot of people do. There are enough people who understood 'Catcher in the Rye' and that's why they hated it that criticism of it should be taken as a matter of course. Believing that it should be above criticism is overrating the book. Nothing is above criticism.

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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby Marbas » Tue Mar 25, 2008 11:35 pm UTC

fuschia wrote:The obvious ones:
Dickens. Why, why, the hideous tangents? Why are you talking for 4 chapters about how you were born with a caul?


IIRC Dickens was paid every 32 pages.
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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby Dr. Canadian Ninja » Thu Mar 27, 2008 7:17 am UTC

Malice wrote:I've said it before and I'll say it again: being forced to read books in school kills them.


Very true. I absolutely loathed Crime and Punishment when I was forced to read it, but now that I think I may understand it more, I'm somewhat eager to read it again to see if my opinion changes.
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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby Kabann » Thu Mar 27, 2008 7:47 am UTC

I've reread some of the books that were mandatory way back in my school days, and I got a lot out of them. To Kill a Mockingbird, Fahrenheit 451, and Animal Farm are notable examples.

Ain't nothing in the world gonna make me try and read The Great Gatsby again.

And I've tried, I've really tried, to allow myself to absorb Ulysses, but there's that nagging thought in the back of my mind that maybe James Joyce wasn't a genius at all... maybe he was just batshit crazy, and I'm not gonna fall for that "Nobody understands it and most people find it offensive, so it must be genius" crap.
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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby ian » Thu Mar 27, 2008 9:46 am UTC

The worst book I've ever read is quite easily 'The physics of immortality' by Frank Tipler. I say read, I only made it through about 20pages before the amount of wrongness made me chuck it away. Thank omega-point it was only 50p from the library.

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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby kurry » Mon Mar 31, 2008 8:02 pm UTC

Definitely Harry Potter, the fantasy is very well described and sure the writing isn't bad at all but sadly the EXTREMELY generic plot and characters were all but what you expect in a book about wizards; i did'nt see alot of originality that hasn't been done before.

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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby Laura » Tue Apr 01, 2008 10:21 pm UTC

Severus Severance wrote:Also, don't read Jean Auel's work unless you like either cavemen or pron. There's lots of both. Otherwise they have nothing going for them.

lol, I used to be a big fan of Auel. Long-term member of the big fanforum at ecfans.com. You're completely right, Severus. Lots of cavemen, and lots of Pleasures scenes. On re-reads I skip them, and the long descriptive passages (particularly in PoP) and stick mostly to the dialogue. Her dialogue is great, you've got to admit. Lol. Ayla has some corking one-liners.

CotCB was the best. VoH is too much 'caveman porn,' as you've dubbed it, although tMH gets better again. PoP bored me, and since there was a twelve year gap between the publication of PoP and SoS (Not that I waited for all of that; I'm not old enough), I was massively excited to hear of its release and paid a shocking £40 for a pre-release unedited copy.

That was in 2002. I still, to this day, haven't finished reading it. £40. Y'bugger.

I also have a bit of a problem with Dan Brown. Excuse me if this has been brought up. I didn't read the whole thread, I came in on a search for Auel. I found his plot mediocre and his clues poor. I knew what was coming before it happened and was sorely disappointed. I was hoping, really aching, for something better. I wanted to love it. I didn't.

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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby Yuffie » Fri Jul 25, 2008 6:55 am UTC

Sum Ergo Sum wrote:
Hench wrote:I wonder, would it be lynch worthy if I mention that I found Orson Scott Card's Ender's Shadow series sputtered and died about halfway through Shadow of the Hegemon? Ender's Shadow was a decent accompaniment to the original Game but the rest of the Shadow series, IMO, fell flat and suffered under OSC's particular brand of politics and personal beliefs. I found that I didn't enjoy them nearly as much as I had been promised, and to be quite frank, his politics pissed me off many a time.


Agreed with you to a certain point- Ender's Shadow owned, Shadow of the Hegemon died about halfway through, Shadow Puppets was terrible, but in Shadow of the Giant, he actually started to redeem himself by focusing on the plot rather than the personal belief.


SotH and Puppets failed...and I stopped thinking Shadow of the Giant would be the same thing.
Maybe I should pick up the series again?
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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby hideki101 » Fri Jul 25, 2008 9:02 am UTC

I think I would have to post Michael Crichton's newer titles, like Prey, State of Fear, and Next. His older titles were nice reads, and essential to anyone in the sci-fi genre (i.e. Jurassic Park and Sphere) but his newer books are backed up by bad science (In State of Fear, he pretty much dismisses global warming as a giant conspiracy, backed up by data chosen in places that show a cooling trend, and infers that the earth is like that.)

I also agree with the Dan Brown books. Not only does his writing style look like a sixteen year old's action flick, every single book has the same basic plot:
1) someone dies
2) A gary stu-ish character is called in from outside their discipline to investigate
3) meets female co-star
4) has frequent run-ins with badguy hit men
5) badguy boss turns out to be someone on their side
6) they outsmart badguy boss
7)resolve crisis
8 ) hero bones heroine
end
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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby EmptySet » Sat Jul 26, 2008 12:40 am UTC

All the later Wheel of Time books, except for the eleventh. After the fourth book, they got progressively worse. The tenth has literally zero plot advancement. You could just jump from from the ninth to the eleventh without noticing anything missing.

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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby tulleskirt » Sat Jul 26, 2008 6:41 am UTC

I LOVED THE SCARLET LETTER! There, I said it. It's one of my all-time favorite books, though I'm constantly reminded of how alone I am in that sentiment. :(

That said, I loathed The God of Small Things. Loathed.

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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby Guest » Sun Jul 27, 2008 12:50 am UTC

Blindness - José Saramago

Sucks in every way imaginable. Reads like it was written by a teenager who decided to write a book on the apocalypse and human nature. Nobel prize means jack. Tries to be insightful and deep but fails miserably. Tries to be innovative with no punctuation but fails miserably once again.

Dracula - Bram Stoker

Not really overrated because no one rates it in the first place. But if you're curious about where the myth all comes from, it's not worth it.

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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby Decker » Mon Jul 28, 2008 2:57 pm UTC

This is going to get me lynched and I know it, especially if I say it now.

I'm going to say it anyway.

Although I have only read two books, them being Bluebeard and Slaughterhouse 5, I do not like them. I might have picked bad books to introduce myself to Kurt Vonnegut, but I just don't like him so far. He just seem to be offensive for the sake of being offensive.

However, if someone can recommend me something different that I MAY like, I'm will to not write him off completely.
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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby bbctol » Mon Jul 28, 2008 4:03 pm UTC

Decker wrote:This is going to get me lynched and I know it, especially if I say it now.

I'm going to say it anyway.

Although I have only read two books, them being Bluebeard and Slaughterhouse 5, I do not like them. I might have picked bad books to introduce myself to Kurt Vonnegut, but I just don't like him so far. He just seem to be offensive for the sake of being offensive.

However, if someone can recommend me something different that I MAY like, I'm will to not write him off completely.


I've always thought that Cat's Cradle is the best Vonnegut introduction. A lot of people hate Slaughterhouse, and in some ways it's understandable.

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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby Helicase » Mon Jul 28, 2008 5:28 pm UTC

I agree with those that say that Moby Dick was overrated.

The characters are good, but the plot might as well be a drowning in a whaling textbook. If one were to remove all the sailin' and whalin' jargon, the actual story would be around 100 pages long (or less). A story about Melville's own life might have been more readable. He stowed away on a ship and lived with whaling NATIVES for a part of his life. Would that not be awesome?

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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby clintonius » Tue Jul 29, 2008 3:56 am UTC

Melville wrote a number of books based on his life experiences. Perhaps you'd enjoy them if you had ANY LITERARY TASTE WHATSOEVER, YOU MASTERPIECE-BASHING CRETIN!!!

I kid. A college prof of mine considered Moby Dick to be the great American novel, and that was the only perspective I was introduced to about Moby Dick. I really did enjoy the story, even the tangential chapters, but I did often stop and wonder if the whole things was just a load of shit.

At any rate, if I had the opportunity to meet any author of a Victorian novel I would invite him/her to bow down in front of my mutant penis and ingest gallons of toxic semen that contained trillions of sperm trained to dismember the motherfucker atom by atom (very very small sperm, even by spermy standards). Seriously, has anyone here ever tried/been forced to read Adam Bede? An entire opening paragraph of one of the early chapters describes the post that attaches to the gate that closes off the road which leads to the house where the chapter is set. Note that I said the opening paragraph. The whole fucking paragraph. A long, detailed paragraph. Nothing ever happened with that fence post again. Nothing. Ever.

But it was all ok in the end because Douchestick McMusclefuck rode in on his great steed bearing a governor's stay of execution just before his former lover was hanged. Did I mention that George Eliot devotes an entire chapter in the middle of the book to gloat about the "realistic" style in which the book was written?
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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby SpiderMonkey » Tue Jul 29, 2008 11:42 am UTC

Lolita is not worth reading. Once you get past the fact he is a great big nonce the story isn't that gripping. So, you like little girls. This is entertaining how?

1984 is, however. Whilst the direct concepts might not be relevant since Stalin died, its a horror story about the loss of freedom. If the scene where the thought police bust into Winston and Julia's hideout as they are lying in bed together makes your skin crawl, then you've got the point and you well prepared to be suitable outraged by modern, unrelated, violations of freedom.

However, I feel it is important after reading 1984 to also read Homage to Catalonia. A lot of people reading the former have a tendency to stamp their own ideological spin on it (i.e. Orwell shows what happens when people don't believe what I believe...) whereas the latter book clears up any confusion by showing exactly what motivated Orwell to write 1984. In fact, the scene I just mentioned parallels a personal experience of Orwell's that he recounts in Homage.

I agree with the previous opinion on Dan Brown though. The man is a hack, selling the same bullshit book over and over again. I started out with the Da Vinci Code and thought 'meh', then someone lent me a copy of Angels and Demons and I discovered how bad he really was. Knowing sod all about art, and little about history or theology, he kind of fooled me with the Da Vinci Code. However, I know enough science to find Angels and Demons deeply ridiculous from the non-existent spaceplane start to the surprisingly harmless nuclear explosion end. The worst thing is the guy claims to do lots of research for his books. Utter bullshit.

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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby l33t_sas » Tue Jul 29, 2008 12:55 pm UTC

Decker wrote:This is going to get me lynched and I know it, especially if I say it now.

I'm going to say it anyway.

Although I have only read two books, them being Bluebeard and Slaughterhouse 5, I do not like them. I might have picked bad books to introduce myself to Kurt Vonnegut, but I just don't like him so far. He just seem to be offensive for the sake of being offensive.

However, if someone can recommend me something different that I MAY like, I'm will to not write him off completely.


Hmm... It's not really representative of the typical Vonnegut (at least what I've read) but Player Piano is very good dystopian fiction in the style of 1984. Breakfast of Champions is my other favourite, it's hilarious.
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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby RikaLovesDie » Thu Jul 31, 2008 2:54 am UTC

Wicked
This book became highly popularized when the musical was released. It even became a New York Times Best Seller. I'm starting to get the idea that this means nothing. I was insistent on reading the entire book before going to see the musical, and I succeeded in doing so. The book was an over glorified fanfiction, and a terrible one at that. No one wants to know about characters from The Wizard of Oz getting it on! The musical took just what it needed from the book and was immensely better written.

Anything by Anne Rice
I fell in love with her books while I was in high school and read through quite a few of them, but as I go back and re-read them now I realize that she was one of the most terrible writers. Not only did she write poorly, but on top of that she reused the same characters to the extent that they were like ragged sponges coated in all kinds of hair and diseases. Bleh. I might re-read Interview or Lestat every now and then, and I honestly enjoy Blood and Gold and Vitorio the Vampire, but the vast majority of her works is utter trash.
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Re:

Postby Flectarn » Sun Aug 03, 2008 6:56 am UTC

SecondTalon wrote:It could be the way that I (and apparently others) were taught symbolism in Literature... that the Authors were intentionally leaving symbolic clues for everything, so that a short story about a lonely man going to town once a month for supplies and growing fond of a woman, only to have her die as they're just heading out on their first date becomes the Author's take on Capitalism and Communism in 1910s Russia, simply because the Author was Polish and wrote it in 1916.*

And the English teacher in question is seeing this shit. Meanwhile, I'm seeing a story about isolation, reaching out to another human, and irony. (Man afraid of connecting for fear of getting hurt, man connects, proceeds to nurture the relationship and.. gets hurt, just not how he expected. Actually, beats me if this is irony.)

*Note: I have no idea if this story written by a Polish guy in 1916 exists.


Heh, reminds me, in an inverted kind of way, of the time I wrote an essay about how the Red Wheel Barrow (http://www.writing.upenn.edu/~afilreis/ ... wheel.html) was about Communism and the cold war, primarily out of spite for being forced to anylize a six line long poem in depth...

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Re: Re:

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Sun Aug 03, 2008 2:10 pm UTC

SecondTalon wrote:a short story about a lonely man going to town once a month for supplies and growing fond of a woman, only to have her die as they're just heading out on their first date becomes the Author's take on Capitalism and Communism in 1910s Russia, simply because the Author was Polish and wrote it in 1916.*
*Note: I have no idea if this story written by a Polish guy in 1916 exists.



Ethan Frome was about Pollish Communism?
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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby baker's kilobyte » Fri Aug 08, 2008 2:16 am UTC

Aww, I loved Gatsby!

If you ever get the time (or care enough xD), try reading some of Fitzgerald's shorter works. They're quite bizarre, until you realize that he really likes making fun of people. Like, a lot. I read a bunch of his stories before I read Gatsby, so maybe that made me like it more than I might have otherwise.

As for overrated-- HAMLET, though Shakespeare in general is kind of okay. But, UGH! I hated this play and felt so weird because my teacher was completely, irrevocably in love with it and I didn't know why. I read it twice during the time we studied it, and I just couldn't get it. I did not understand what Hamlet's freaking problem is, partly because I hated the writing (gasp! blasphemy! :O) and partly because I just didn't believe Hamlet as a character that would have moral dilemnas.


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