Books/series you'll never read again

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ranthlor
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Books/series you'll never read again

Postby ranthlor » Thu Oct 15, 2009 12:43 am UTC

I've found its just really hard to start re-reading some books or series of books mostly because they have downer endings. I only read Hitchikers guide to the Galaxy once since reading Mostly Harmless. It just seems meaningless, course, now that theres another coming out I might reread it. But books like the Dark Tower series or anything by hemingway or george orwell.

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Re: Books/series you'll never read again

Postby Brother Maynard » Thu Oct 15, 2009 3:28 pm UTC

Piers Anthony: Incarnations of Immortality

Now, I'd heard about Anthony being a famous fantasy author and such, and the first book was actually pretty ok. I read on, moderately enjoying the series as a time-killer until Book 7.

FULL STOP

40-something-year-old man has sexual relationship with a 14-year-old former prostitute that was placed in his custody?
Ick.

The relationship is plot-approved in a scene in which a woman is transformed into a man and becomes a BURNING ENGINE OF LUST that tries to rape the woman that traveled with the man/woman in order to say "men have needs"?

Even as a teenage guy, I find this ridiculous. Piers Anthony has serious issues.

I also found the conclusion to be terrible, as it relies on a haystack's worth of straw men to make its point about religion.

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Re: Books/series you'll never read again

Postby PAstrychef » Thu Oct 15, 2009 4:25 pm UTC

Stopped reading Laurel Hamilton when Anita Blake became a one-woman lust machine and every 300 page or longer story had maybe five pages of plot and 295 pages of slightly kinky sex.
Got no problem with pron, but Hamilton has scraped away at the story so much that NOTHING HAPPENS except Anita screws everyone she sees. Of course, this is done because she has what is effectively an infection, but come on-
And then there's the way that nothing has changed in paranormal society for hundreds of years. At least the sparkly Mormon vampires are doing something different.
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Re: Books/series you'll never read again

Postby JayDee » Fri Oct 16, 2009 1:29 am UTC

PAstrychef wrote:Stopped reading Laurel Hamilton when Anita Blake became a one-woman lust machine and every 300 page or longer story had maybe five pages of plot and 295 pages of slightly kinky sex.
So you stopped pretty quickly, then? ;)

I stopped when the twelfth book came out (Danse Macabre iirc?) and the premise was "Anita Blake has fought Vampires, Werewolves, Aztec Gods, et cetera et cetera but now she is faced with the thing every single Catholic woman fears most. She's pregnant, and she doesn't know which of her dozen or so supernatural and non-human lovers is the father." Not because I didn't like that sort of thing but because I didn't think it could be topped.
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Re: Books/series you'll never read again

Postby CombustibleLemons » Sat Oct 17, 2009 2:43 am UTC

I really don't like rereading books because i find the begging so boring after I read them once.
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Re: Books/series you'll never read again

Postby Whispering » Sat Oct 17, 2009 5:48 pm UTC

The Mission Earth Series by L. Ron Hubbard I kept reading it hoping it would get better. Alas it never did, I'm glad I borrowed this puerile crap from the library.
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Re: Books/series you'll never read again

Postby cleverdan » Sun Oct 18, 2009 9:38 am UTC

The lord of the rings. High fantasy and fictional languages made it hard to enjoy the first time, so I'm not going to force it upon myself again.

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Re: Books/series you'll never read again

Postby PAstrychef » Sun Oct 18, 2009 3:38 pm UTC

JayDee wrote:
PAstrychef wrote:Stopped reading Laurel Hamilton when Anita Blake became a one-woman lust machine and every 300 page or longer story had maybe five pages of plot and 295 pages of slightly kinky sex.
So you stopped pretty quickly, then? ;)

I stopped when the twelfth book came out (Danse Macabre iirc?) and the premise was "Anita Blake has fought Vampires, Werewolves, Aztec Gods, et cetera et cetera but now she is faced with the thing every single Catholic woman fears most. She's pregnant, and she doesn't know which of her dozen or so supernatural and non-human lovers is the father." Not because I didn't like that sort of thing but because I didn't think it could be topped.

I made it all the way through Harlequin, as well as four or five of the Elven court series as well. I guess being a singe woman having sex with sorts of folks can make you a bit lax with your birth control-and a a Catholic she wouldn't have liked it anyway. I wonder if this is a response to poor Bella's problems in Twilight?
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Re: Books/series you'll never read again

Postby semicharmed » Sun Oct 18, 2009 6:59 pm UTC

Anything by Matthew Pearl.
On the surface, the Dante Club was everything I should like in a book. And it was one of the worst books I've read and actually managed to get through. I kept waiting for it to get better, but it never did. it's hard to put a finger on why it was so awful, but never again will I pick up something by him again.
It felt like I was working my way through molasses, there were all these disparate lines of plot the never seemed to fully come together, and it felt like the whole book was an exercise in "ooo, look how clever I am."

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Re: Books/series you'll never read again

Postby JayDee » Mon Oct 19, 2009 12:02 am UTC

PAstrychef wrote:I wonder if this is a response to poor Bella's problems in Twilight?
Not likely, as Danse Macabre and Harlequin came out around the same time as Twilight, and the previous ten books long before.
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Re: Books/series you'll never read again

Postby cathrl » Wed Oct 21, 2009 12:04 pm UTC

The Twilight series.
French existentialism of any kind (I hated La Peste with a fiery passion)
Anything new by Anne Rice. I really dislike when something I thought was great slides gently into bad soft porn and I find myself still reading because it's Anne Rice and I know she can write really.
Anything by Dan Brown. I'd be more sympathetic towards his joke of an attempt at accurate science if he didn't brag about how much research he does.

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Re: Books/series you'll never read again

Postby clockworkmonk » Thu Oct 22, 2009 2:23 am UTC

I recently finished reading The Engines of God by Jack McDevitt.
And its a good book, about people trying to understand alien cultures through archology, and to try to understand why none of the ruins they found still have a civilization around them. It explores the concept beautifully through character driven story. Then, the following happens (spoiler'd for basically ruining the whole book, both plot-wise and making it suck.
Spoiler:
Magic Clouds really hate squares, so they blow up all the square things every 8000 years.

Seriously, after that, I know I won't read that ever again, and will now begin avoiding anything written by McDevitt.
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Re: Books/series you'll never read again

Postby mister k » Thu Oct 22, 2009 10:10 am UTC

Brother Maynard wrote:Piers Anthony: Incarnations of Immortality

Now, I'd heard about Anthony being a famous fantasy author and such, and the first book was actually pretty ok. I read on, moderately enjoying the series as a time-killer until Book 7.

FULL STOP

40-something-year-old man has sexual relationship with a 14-year-old former prostitute that was placed in his custody?
Ick.

The relationship is plot-approved in a scene in which a woman is transformed into a man and becomes a BURNING ENGINE OF LUST that tries to rape the woman that traveled with the man/woman in order to say "men have needs"?

Even as a teenage guy, I find this ridiculous. Piers Anthony has serious issues.

I also found the conclusion to be terrible, as it relies on a haystack's worth of straw men to make its point about religion.



Piers Anthony is so seriously screwed up. I loved his books when I didn't really think about them, but every single one is incredibly misogynistic. His apprentice Adept books, which I initially thought was great, is actually, if you think about it, about a serial rapist.

Spoiler:
First he rapes the robot female (who loves him). He then goes to a fantasy land where he effectively rapes a unicorn (he rides her into utter submission, and when she is about to kill herself instead of submitting, he begs her not to and says he will go away). In book 2, after being attacked by an Amazonian woman who hates men (sigh), his final triumph is assured by effectively deciding to nearly rape her during a dance sequence.
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Re: Books/series you'll never read again

Postby Adacore » Thu Oct 22, 2009 4:34 pm UTC

I'll quite probably never read 1984 or Animal Farm again, because the main substance to them is the overall message, and you get that from one reading. Lord of the Rings I might not read again - I've read it twice, I think that's enough - some bits really do drag (I should re-read The Hobbit though, I haven't read that since I was about 13).

I'll almost certainly never re-read any of the Tom Clancy (or ghost-written Tom Clancy) stuff I read in my teens; I've outgrown it I guess, because it seems such bad writing now. Same with any other trashy thrillers I've read. Related note: I highly recommend never re-reading anything you loved as a kid (when you were, say, 12 of younger). It ruins the memories you have of the books, things you remember as really deep and interesting from your childhood tend to actually be pretty basic and shallow.

And I'll probably never re-read the classics I'm working my way through. Austen, Dickens, Bronte, Eliot, &c. I might even class Verne in this category. I'm pretty much reading it because I feel I ought to have read it, not that it isn't interesting, but I can't see myself returning to much if any of it.

Being more facetious, I doubt I'll ever reread any of my school textbooks.

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Re: Books/series you'll never read again

Postby stormbringer_951 » Sat Oct 24, 2009 1:41 pm UTC

Anything by Andy McNab, Christopher Paolini or Terry Goodkind.

Apologies for McNab for lumping him in with the other two; his books are all right, but they're rather bland when it gets down to it. Paolini and Goodkind are awfully written (for reasons I will not go into here). If you wish to know, go check out the Goodkind threads on the A Song of Ice and Fire boards (asoiaf.westeros.org).

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Re: Books/series you'll never read again

Postby GraphiteGirl » Tue Oct 27, 2009 12:45 am UTC

Adacore wrote:I'll quite probably never read 1984 or Animal Farm again, because the main substance to them is the overall message, and you get that from one reading.

I thought that too after first reading 1984, but then we studied it in high school so I had to/wanted to reread it again, and it stands up excellently to a reread. There's something wonderfully tragic about rereading (it's tempting to click spoilers, but really don't if you haven't read 1984)
Spoiler:
about the development of the relationship between Winston and Julia, and Winston's growing lust for life and how he chooses to take risk after risk once you know exactly where his choices are going to lead him, and how he and Julia will end up so disconnected by the end. The first time I read it I could delude myself into having hope for him, and so I focused on the plot, hoping he'd find some way to cheat the system or to undermine the government; the second time I knew he'd fail, so I could give more attention to the characters and their interactions, and the psychological effects of the society on the characters.
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Re: Books/series you'll never read again

Postby waltwhitmanheadedbat » Fri Oct 30, 2009 8:18 am UTC

GraphiteGirl wrote:
Adacore wrote:I'll quite probably never read 1984 or Animal Farm again, because the main substance to them is the overall message, and you get that from one reading.

I thought that too after first reading 1984, but then we studied it in high school so I had to/wanted to reread it again, and it stands up excellently to a reread. There's something wonderfully tragic about rereading (it's tempting to click spoilers, but really don't if you haven't read 1984)
Spoiler:
about the development of the relationship between Winston and Julia, and Winston's growing lust for life and how he chooses to take risk after risk once you know exactly where his choices are going to lead him, and how he and Julia will end up so disconnected by the end. The first time I read it I could delude myself into having hope for him, and so I focused on the plot, hoping he'd find some way to cheat the system or to undermine the government; the second time I knew he'd fail, so I could give more attention to the characters and their interactions, and the psychological effects of the society on the characters.


I second this. Reading 1984 for the second time was a lot more affecting.

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Re: Books/series you'll never read again

Postby mmmcannibalism » Tue Nov 03, 2009 11:17 pm UTC

Dracula; it was a very good read but the repeating of "God is on our side" about 500 times is too much to go through again

--yes I know its a religious time period, I just think it was overdone.
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Re: Books/series you'll never read again

Postby rnbguru » Fri Nov 13, 2009 3:02 am UTC

Honestly, any real heavy books are hard. I've read a lot of russian literature (Dostoevsky, Tolstoy), and while I enjoyed it, I don't think I'd read it again. It's just too challenging of a read to really do it again instead of trying a new book.

However, most other books, I will often read again when I'm tired or not in the mood for anything. That way, I can sift through the book without requiring much effort.

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Re: Books/series you'll never read again

Postby psychosomaticism » Fri Nov 13, 2009 3:14 am UTC

rnbguru wrote:Honestly, any real heavy books are hard. I've read a lot of russian literature (Dostoevsky, Tolstoy), and while I enjoyed it, I don't think I'd read it again. It's just too challenging of a read to really do it again instead of trying a new book.

However, most other books, I will often read again when I'm tired or not in the mood for anything. That way, I can sift through the book without requiring much effort.


Yeah, while The Brothers Karamazov is one of my best reads, it was in part because it was such a challenge to get through it that I liked it. I think it'll be a long time before I even think of opening that one again, and I'm kind of hesitant to start another of Dostoevsky's for fear that it'll be just as arduous.

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Re: Books/series you'll never read again

Postby Chicostick » Fri Nov 13, 2009 5:24 am UTC

The "Soldier's Son" trilogy by Robin Hobb.

The main character is a joke. The last two books are idiotic, with the same conflict being repeated over and over and over. And the ending ends up negating all that conflict with some stupid little plot gimmick to "tie stuff up neatly" that left a bad taste in my mouth. The last few pages of the book involve the main character lamenting over his situation, even after hearing several times about law changes that will obviously be helping before the end. And low an behold, the law changes help him in the end! WOW!

These books were AWFUL. The first book seems interesting enough, but by the end of the third I could barely chug on. Hearing the main character stubbornly refuse to do something over and over and over even after it is clear that this is the best solution gets tiresome. At one point I actually threw the book across the room after hearing the same stupid "no I won't do _____ cause _____" for the 50th time.

Awful awful awful read.

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Re: Books/series you'll never read again

Postby Six Fingers » Wed Mar 10, 2010 8:22 am UTC

The Xanth series, hands down. Its funny because I was actually thinking about this the other day while I was digging through the collection. I was like whoo-hoo! I found one of my Xanth books! And as I was settling down for a beautiful nostalgic moment, disaster struck. About three or four pages in I almost hucked it across the room. The book was riddled with so many shitty puns - I guess ten or fifteen years ago I just didn't notice them? A Spell For Chameleon used to be my favorite book of all time, but now i'm actually scared to go back and read it again. Maybe I'd rather just remember it as really cool, instead of ruining it with my adulthood...Damn you Xanth!

I also missed the boat with R.L. Stine. The man practically pooped out a Goosebumps volume every month in the nineties. I think his intention was to write so many kids books, so fast, that you couldn't read them all before you grew up and started to hate them. Ha ha ha. Damn you Goosebumps!

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Re: Books/series you'll never read again

Postby Amarantha » Wed Mar 10, 2010 12:04 pm UTC

Ya, while we're on the subject of Piers Anthony - anything at all by Piers Anthony.

When I was much younger I read a bunch of his stuff, and Vicinity Cluster several times because I'd bought it second-hand instead of getting it at the library like the others. The galactic-scale ideas blew my mind a bit. Well, recently I found it inna box, and re-read it, and the SF ideas are still awesome, but it reads like an adolescent wankfest. To borrow a quote from Coupling, it has the sexual politics of a viking attack.
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Re: Books/series you'll never read again

Postby Bibliotender » Wed Mar 10, 2010 5:05 pm UTC

Anything by David Gibbins. I didn't expect much from an author trying to cash in on The Da Vinci Code bandwagon of "historical fiction" but I didn't think it would be so bad that I would hurl it across the room in frustration. His main character was a combination of every adventure/professor cliché from Indiana Jones to Robert Langdon to the Hardy Boys with dialog written by Michael Bay and edited by my 12 year old brother.

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Re: Books/series you'll never read again

Postby ConMan » Thu Mar 11, 2010 12:34 am UTC

Six Fingers wrote:The Xanth series, hands down. Its funny because I was actually thinking about this the other day while I was digging through the collection. I was like whoo-hoo! I found one of my Xanth books! And as I was settling down for a beautiful nostalgic moment, disaster struck. About three or four pages in I almost hucked it across the room. The book was riddled with so many shitty puns - I guess ten or fifteen years ago I just didn't notice them? A Spell For Chameleon used to be my favorite book of all time, but now i'm actually scared to go back and read it again. Maybe I'd rather just remember it as really cool, instead of ruining it with my adulthood...Damn you Xanth!

You're probably safe with Spell. I think it was somewhere around Night Mare that he started including so many reader-submitted puns that they got a chapter-length acknowledgement, and at about the same time (and for pretty much the same reason) the books became obviously targeted at a younger audience than the early ones (which I feel were, to some extent, "written for adults but appealed to younger readers" which tend to make for better books most of the time). I actually made it up to about Yon Ill Wind before I got completely sick of them, but then I was a fair bit younger when that happened - and when I picked up one of the later ones in a bookstore and realised that he was running so low on story ideas that he needed to give happy endings to throwaway characters from previous novels, I knew I wasn't going to touch them ever again.

I made it all the way through the First Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, the Unbeliever, and at the end I was shouting "Unclean! Unclean!". I also finished all 6 of the Ancient Future trilogy pair by Traci Harding. Books 1 & 2 were pretty good, 3 was kind of meh, 4 varied (since it was made of stories that filled in gaps between the various books, it tended to be good when covering time periods close to the good books), by 5 I knew I was only going to read the next one for closure, and after finishing 6 I took them all to the second-hand bookstore.
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Re: Books/series you'll never read again

Postby CulturalSolipsism » Thu Mar 11, 2010 6:30 am UTC

Wheel of Time. Couldn't pull it off if I wanted to. I had never previously seen a series start with such promise and decline so far.

Seconding the notions concerning Anthony and Goodkind. What is it about rugged individualistic free market thought that so encourages insane sexual perversion? Also seconding the "great but not worth the second go-around" for most of the heavier classic literature, though most Dostoevsky novels retai nan exemption on this for me. Personal preference.
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Re: Books/series you'll never read again

Postby Kulantan » Fri Mar 12, 2010 12:44 am UTC

Kaleidoscope Century, John Barnes. Cool name, bought it at a second hand book shop. Wouldn't read again. Brain felt dirty after reading. Not in a brain bleach way. It was just deeply disquieting. It's like eating food you really don't like. You won't throw up, but tis not a good feeling in your tummy/brain.
*Mild shudder*.
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Re: Books/series you'll never read again

Postby Mishrak » Fri Mar 19, 2010 7:46 pm UTC

Lord of the Flies - just outright awful message and is extremely depressing.
Night - another really really depressing book. A true story from a Holocaust surviver, but once is enough.

Redwall series - as a kid I really, extremely, enjoyed that series, but as I got older I started to see the repetition and it lost it's appeal.
Dragonlance Legends series - A lot of great stuff in there, but not so much my gig anymore.

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Re: Books/series you'll never read again

Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Fri Mar 19, 2010 7:59 pm UTC

Ditto on Xanth. Wiki'ing the chronology, the series started to get shaky after Crewel Lye, had a good closer with Heaven Cent, and then sank so far out of view that the Twilight books occasionally get Bink's descendants stuck on the bottoms of their feet.

Also, if you've ever read Anthony's Macroscope, Tarot series, or Firefly, or almost ANYTHING ELSE he's ever made, you'd know the guy has some seriously interesting issues with women, sex and the ridiculously detailed descriptions of the organs thereof. If he were a better writer, it wouldn't come off nearly as creepy. Maybe him and Dean Koontz can get together and write a best-seller.

Speaking of which, anything Koontz ever wrote after Intensity just totally. Isn't. Worth. It. Also, about half the books he wrote between Mr Murder and Intensity weren't worth it, either (the traditional Bumpy Road Period.)

EDITED: Got my Xanth books mixed up. Bleargh. I feel dirty.

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Re: Books/series you'll never read again

Postby CorruptUser » Fri Mar 19, 2010 8:19 pm UTC

stormbringer_951 wrote:Anything by Andy McNab, Christopher Paolini or Terry Goodkind.

Apologies for McNab for lumping him in with the other two; his books are all right, but they're rather bland when it gets down to it. Paolini and Goodkind are awfully written (for reasons I will not go into here). If you wish to know, go check out the Goodkind threads on the A Song of Ice and Fire boards (asoiaf.westeros.org).



I'm not signing up for that forum, but I'm quite sure that Goodkind is "Sword of Truth"; "Song of Ice and Fire" is George R R Martin's work. Still waiting on a Dance with Dragons. That was supposed to be released in 2006...

Anyway, Terry Goodkind's book series can be summed up as this; Author's Avatar, which I will refer to as Goodkind, stumbles upon an attractive version of Ayn Rand. He begins an adventure, to save Rand from the evil dark lord, who turns out to be an environmentalist (and whose best friend is a pedophile). He saves the day by tricking evil dark lord into killing himself. It turns out evil dark lord is Goodkind's father, and that Goodkind is also a wizard. Goodkind is then kidnapped by a group of nuns, and sent to a convent, where he convinces half the nuns to work with him. The other half of the nuns happen to be devil worshippers. The convent gets nationalized by Soviet Russia, and the devil worshippers get captured by the Premier, who it turns out can steal thoughts of people not blindingly loyal to Goodkind. Goodkind spends the next 10 books fighting Soviet Russia and its allies. He goes to a place where affirmative action has taken over, and Ayn Rand somehow destroys all of magic or something. Goodkind is then kidnapped by one of the devilworshippers, and sent to Soviet Russia where she tries to brainwash him. She fails, and becomes loyal to him, and one of Russia's cities defects to Goodkind. Goodkind is then kidnapped by pacifists, and he teaches the pacifists the need to fight back. Everyone forgets about Rand, and Goodkind is kidnapped to play soccer for the Soviet Premier. Goodkind beats the Premiers team, because Premier's team were all big and strong but couldn't work together, causing a soccer riot. Goodkind then heads to his castle, and rips the universe apart, forcing all the communists to another world, where they become christains or something.

Also, there is a sequel to the series that I haven't read, where apparently Goodkind's nephew, Goodkind, is being hunted in our world because he inherits Galt's Gulch from Atlas Shrugged or something like that.

There, I saved you $200 and a few weeks of time.
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Re: Books/series you'll never read again

Postby squareroot1 » Sun Mar 21, 2010 6:09 am UTC

City at the End of Time by Greg Bear. The pacing is horrid, best I can call it is stop-and-go. The "future" terminology he comes up with is ridiculous; actually, the entire future culture he presents seems indecipherable and lacking any sort of framework. The climax occurs with about a third of the book left to go, and the rest is an exercise in drudgery/determination.

Violin by Anne Rice, her entire series would be difficult for me to read again (the first time I blame on high-school and associated emo-ness), but Violin in particular is worthy of brain bleach. Best to be forgotten and never spoken of again.

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El Spark
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Re: Books/series you'll never read again

Postby El Spark » Mon Mar 29, 2010 2:31 pm UTC

CulturalSolipsism wrote:Wheel of Time. Couldn't pull it off if I wanted to. I had never previously seen a series start with such promise and decline so far.


This. I kept slogging along for a while, but then I borrowed Crossroads of Twilight (Book 10) from a friend. He gave me a warning before handing the book to me: "I gotta tell you, this book pissed me off. Nothing happens. At all. Nothing." I kinda laughed it off, because we're talking about 800-some pages here, so I sat down and dove in.

Nothing. Happened. At all. Let me underline that: NOTHING. I hurled it across the room in disgust put the book down and vowed to never read another word by him again. A few years later out of morbid curiosity, I picked up the next one, The Knife of Dreams. I spent twenty minutes reading thirty pages, and by the end, I had not recognized a single character nor did I remember a damn thing I'd read during that time. I shrugged, mentally wrote off all the time I'd spent reading the previous books, and moved on.
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Re: Books/series you'll never read again

Postby JayDee » Mon Mar 29, 2010 9:23 pm UTC

El Spark wrote:This. I kept slogging along for a while, but then I borrowed Crossroads of Twilight (Book 10) from a friend. He gave me a warning before handing the book to me: "I gotta tell you, this book pissed me off. Nothing happens. At all. Nothing." I kinda laughed it off, because we're talking about 800-some pages here, so I sat down and dove in.
I rather like the TvTropes way of putting it. The climax of book 9 is listed on the Crowning Moments of Awesome page, followed by "It was a moment so awesome the entire next book consisted of nothing but different characters' reactions to it. It was a terrible book, but still."
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