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Good books that piss you off

Posted: Fri Feb 19, 2010 5:47 am UTC
by Dustin
For me, the best example of this is Carolyn Jessop's Escape. It's an autobiography from a woman whom was born into the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Later Day Saints. She's forced to be the fourth wife (of ultimately seven) of a man about three times her age, and has eight children.
Now, naturally this book probably has a large number of omissions in the author's favor, but even if ten percent of it is true, it's still a book that makes me really appreciate that I'm a gay heathen. Imagine the only sex partner in your life being a fifty-five year old man who wears long underwear when he has sex with you. Imagine having to live with six other spouses whom are all stressed, repressed from religion, and given pretty much free reign to beat your children.
It's sickening, but it's one of the best books I've ever read.

Re: Good books that piss you off

Posted: Fri Feb 19, 2010 5:54 am UTC
by poxic
A Thousand Splendid Suns. Rage-making stuff if you're even remotely a feminist, but still a very good story. I've learned many, many things about Afghanistan from this and the author's other book, The Kite Runner.

Re: Good books that piss you off

Posted: Sun Feb 21, 2010 2:30 am UTC
by Jahoclave
Pretty much anything by Achebe or Ngugi; mainly because it just demonstrates how big of dicks Christian missionaries really are, even when they pretend to be doing good works. Turns out, people were getting along just fine without the Western world.

Re: Good books that piss you off

Posted: Sun Feb 21, 2010 3:57 am UTC
by dg61
Jahoclave wrote:Pretty much anything by Achebe or Ngugi; mainly because it just demonstrates how big of dicks Christian missionaries really are, even when they pretend to be doing good works. Turns out, people were getting along just fine without the Western world.

Throw in Soyinka's
Death and The King's Horseman
.

Re: Good books that piss you off

Posted: Sun Feb 21, 2010 9:21 pm UTC
by feedme
The last book in particular of the Chronicles of Narnia. I loved pretty much the rest of the series, but the whole last book was just a frustration to me. I felt like it seemed forced the way he finished the series. But that's just me.

Re: Good books that piss you off

Posted: Mon Feb 22, 2010 3:09 am UTC
by picnic_crossfire
The Sun Also Rises pissed me off while I was reading it. I wrote in my book "I hate Robert Cohn" at least six times.

Re: Good books that piss you off

Posted: Mon Feb 22, 2010 2:58 pm UTC
by Hurt
The man within - Graham Greene.

Nice book, a bit depressing but good character development.

And then the last chapter... The last chapter had to ruin everything. :evil:
I haven't touched anything by Graham Greene ever since. I don't think i can take anymore.

Re: Good books that piss you off

Posted: Mon Feb 22, 2010 6:44 pm UTC
by PAstrychef
Eliot Pattison's novels about Tibet make me want to beat the Chinese Government upside the head.

Re: Good books that piss you off

Posted: Mon Feb 22, 2010 7:11 pm UTC
by Dustin
picnic_crossfire wrote:The Sun Also Rises pissed me off while I was reading it. I wrote in my book "I hate Robert Cohn" at least six times.


A lot of classmates in tenth grade honors English hated it too.

Re: Good books that piss you off

Posted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 2:31 am UTC
by TommyTumnus
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood.

I wanted to punch something for most of my read-through, or at least until I started calming myself down before picking it up. The end just riled me up again though...

Re: Good books that piss you off

Posted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 5:56 pm UTC
by Ixtellor
I mentioned in other treads, but:

Hubris
http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/disp ... 0307346810

What was really behind the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq? As George W. Bush steered the nation to war, who spoke the truth and who tried to hide it? Hubris takes us behind the scenes at the Bush White House, the CIA, the Pentagon, the State Department, and Congress to answer all the vital questions about how the Bush administration came to invade Iraq.


This is the only book I ever put down in anger. I couldn't stand to learn anymore about how badly they manipulated shit to get us into war. It is well written and gives tons of background and detailed information about what DICKS they were.

Re: Good books that piss you off

Posted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 12:20 am UTC
by hawkmp4
Yes. Hubris did that for me. I almost forgot I read that book.
Also, Fast Food Nation. And The Jungle.

Re: Good books that piss you off

Posted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 1:23 am UTC
by RetSpline
1984 for me. Near the end I knew I didn't have a hope of it having a happy ending, but dammit, I wanted him to win so badly :cry:

Re: Good books that piss you off

Posted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 4:37 am UTC
by feedme
RetSpline wrote:1984 for me. Near the end I knew I didn't have a hope of it having a happy ending, but dammit, I wanted him to win so badly :cry:



Completely agree! I really wanted them to somehow overcome the government. Some sort of "the fight lives on" kind of message. But no, it was instead a more realistic "government will crush you" message. Depressing :(

Re: Good books that piss you off

Posted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 4:45 am UTC
by apricity
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. I have NEVER wanted to punch someone as much as I wanted to punch Umbridge. And, come to think of it, Harry when he was being angsty.

Re: Good books that piss you off

Posted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 4:51 am UTC
by feedme
lanicita wrote:Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. I have NEVER wanted to punch someone as much as I wanted to punch Umbridge. And, come to think of it, Harry when he was being angsty.


I didn't really like that book either. I mean, it had its moments but it was just kinda slow and boring. But at the end Umbridge did get hers, which made me SO happy. Half Blood Prince was my jam though.

And Deathly Hallows. Half a book of camping in the woods and bickering. Underwhelming.

Re: Good books that piss you off

Posted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 5:44 am UTC
by Izawwlgood
Starship Troopers. I remember as I read it going, "Yeah, that makes sense, of course only those who have served in the military should get to vote... Wait... Nonononono..."

Well played Heinlein.

Re: Good books that piss you off

Posted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 6:57 pm UTC
by artifex
Makers, by Cory Doctorow, which is about 3D printers and theme park rides, and oddly combines modern geek optimism with a sort of world-weary hopelessness-- the characters all start out with a dream of making something interesting or beautiful, get horribly misused or drift away, and then there's never any sort of resolution. So, it's extremely realistic, but sad as hell, and frustrating.

EDIT: While I'm at it: Permutation City, by Greg Egan-- an excellent speculative science fiction book that postulates a really weird and interesting metaphysics, where anything with structure is a pattern, and patterns aren't so much created as discovered by themselves in the infinite "dust" of the multiverse. His characters eventually use this idea to create a new universe, but at the end, something happens that doesn't make any sense in the context of the weird metaphysics-- almost like Egan just got confused and said "F*** it, nobody's going to understand the idea anyway, I might as well treat it like magic."

Re: Good books that piss you off

Posted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 10:19 pm UTC
by Garm
The whole Thomas Covenant series. You want to punch the main character in the face so hard for most of each book.

Re: Good books that piss you off

Posted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 7:14 am UTC
by LuNatic
World War Z, with the Russian decimations.

Re: Good books that piss you off

Posted: Sun Mar 07, 2010 10:31 pm UTC
by PAstrychef
So are we looking for books whose characters are horribly irritating, like Thomas Covenent, or where the story itself pisses you off, like Handmaid's Tale?
Plenty of non-fiction will get the blood roiling, and the kinds of fiction where you wonder (knowing that it's probably really happened somewhere) why people can be such c**nts. I mean, I hated Covenent from very early on, and didn't bother with much of the series, but that was bad writing as much as anything. But the actions taken by the Chinese Government in Tibet, while used in Pattison's fiction, really are horrible and unsupportable, and make me want to give them a taste of their own medicine.
When John Burnigham (I think) wrote a book about the end of the world as we know it and wrote of the entire African continent with one sentence I was pissed off, and when Steven King ended his Dark Tower saga the way he did I was pissed off. Just for completely different reasons.
So is it the story that makes you upset or the writing?

Re: Good books that piss you off

Posted: Mon Mar 08, 2010 11:53 pm UTC
by Dustin
Well, personally, I can never get pissed off at a fictional story.

You could bring what you want or get what you want out of this thread, but I meant books that are well-written that relate situations or stories that anger you.

Re: Good books that piss you off

Posted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 12:56 am UTC
by feedme
Dustin wrote:Well, personally, I can never get pissed off at a fictional story.

You could bring what you want or get what you want out of this thread, but I meant books that are well-written that relate situations or stories that anger you.


I typically feel the same way, but throughout a series or even just a book, you naturally start to build expectations of where the book should/will go. So when it does something crazy you don't like, it's natural to get annoyed.

Re: Good books that piss you off

Posted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 11:28 am UTC
by Czhorat
Garm wrote:The whole Thomas Covenant series. You want to punch the main character in the face so hard for most of each book.


I'd rather punch the author in the face for trying to manipulate us into forgiving his protagonist for committing rape. It's something that disgusts me about the series to the point that I won't recommend it to others and chose not to purchase the recent followup series.

Re: Good books that piss you off

Posted: Tue Mar 16, 2010 4:28 pm UTC
by sanguine
feedme wrote:
RetSpline wrote:1984 for me. Near the end I knew I didn't have a hope of it having a happy ending, but dammit, I wanted him to win so badly :cry:



Completely agree! I really wanted them to somehow overcome the government. Some sort of "the fight lives on" kind of message. But no, it was instead a more realistic "government will crush you" message. Depressing :(


Same here.
Although, luckily, Alan Morre gave us V For Vendetta. Which, while not being the most uplifting of stories, at least has the protagonist win against the nightmarish government.

I was rather disappointed with how "Brave New World" turned out. It sort of bumbles along in the end.

Actually, there are quite a few books which are, essentially, brilliant, but oh so depressing...

Re: Good books that piss you off

Posted: Tue Mar 16, 2010 4:40 pm UTC
by feedme
sanguine wrote:Although, luckily, Alan Morre gave us V For Vendetta. Which, while not being the most uplifting of stories, at least has the protagonist win against the nightmarish government.


I really liked the V for Vendetta movie, but I never read the comics or whatever it was based off of. And yeah, it doesn't really say "everything's going to be alright" but it shows that people can change things. Whereas 1984 (at least to me) led you on thinking something good was going to happen, and then the inevitable happens. Just didn't sit well with me.

Also, did he ever explain how the fucking "Thought Police" worked? Was that just propaganda to scare people, or could they actually read your thoughts or something?

Re: Good books that piss you off

Posted: Tue Mar 16, 2010 4:43 pm UTC
by sanguine
The comic/graphic novel is much, much darker and more complex; also, everything ends in Anarchy. They lightened it up a lot for the movie.

Maybe the Thought Police were simply very skilled psychologists?

Re: Good books that piss you off

Posted: Thu Mar 18, 2010 1:32 am UTC
by CorruptUser
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand and The Innocents Abroad by Mark Twain/Samuel Clemmens.

While I don't adhere to Objectivism (I'm somewhere between Pragmatism and Libertarianism), it's amazing just how many people fit the description of Rand's Looters and Moochers. How many people do you know that are always saying that they've never been given a chance, that everything bad that happened to them is not their fault? ~Shrugged also makes you think twice about any form of government regulation.

~Abroad makes you hate tourist hotspots. And all of Europe.

Re: Good books that piss you off

Posted: Fri Mar 19, 2010 1:25 am UTC
by mmmcannibalism
Also, did he ever explain how the fucking "Thought Police" worked? Was that just propaganda to scare people, or could they actually read your thoughts or something?


Video screens in the walls, monitored people while they slept, cameras everywhere to watch for odd behavior or anything said. The thought police idea was saying people were monitored to the point they were practically having their thoughts read.

Re: Good books that piss you off

Posted: Fri Mar 19, 2010 9:11 pm UTC
by feedme
mmmcannibalism wrote:Video screens in the walls, monitored people while they slept, cameras everywhere to watch for odd behavior or anything said. The thought police idea was saying people were monitored to the point they were practically having their thoughts read.



That's what I would've thought, but I didn't know if they could legitimately read thoughts. I wonder if anyone in real life does Wilson's (I think that's his name) job.

Re: Good books that piss you off

Posted: Sun Mar 21, 2010 3:57 am UTC
by Sir_Elderberry
Well, the real point of the Thought Police is the concept of thoughtcrime. You don't have to do anything in Oceania to be horribly tortured or killed, you simply have to think "incorrectly". They're not the Thought Police because they read thoughts; they're the Thought Police because they punish them.

Re: Good books that piss you off

Posted: Sun Mar 21, 2010 4:00 am UTC
by SurgicalSteel
Monster of God - amazing book, recommended whole-heartedly. But there are a few points, such as when he's talking about the poaching of Siberian tigers or the bear drives in Romania, and it's just like, Christ, I want to shoot Ceausescu in the face all over again.

Re: Good books that piss you off

Posted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 2:20 pm UTC
by Furburt
Ooh, it would have to be Straw Dogs by John Gray. An amazingly misanthropic book, he basically tears humanism to shreds, using fact after fact to prove that humans are as dumb as every other animal. It's fascinating, but very depressing, especially if you happen to be a human, like me.

Definitely worth a look though, if only to end this whole 'Humans are great!' thing, because it's starting to become a bit annoying.

Re: Good books that piss you off

Posted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 6:51 pm UTC
by Sockmonkey
Animal Farm was annoying in that once the ball got rolling you could clearly see each step towards dictatorship/facism but none of the animals realized what was really happening untill it was too late. I was all like "Kill that little pig bastard!"

Also in Piers Anthony's "For Love Of Evil" the protagonist is a mortal man who gets the job of being the new Devil. In the course of the story he causes untold suffering and at one point is ousted from the job and is replaced by guy who is a pedophile. This is a pretty blatant attempt to make us still favor the main character over the new guy by saying "Hey he may cause the death and suffering of millions (including children) but at least he doesn't touch them directly himself!" Playing the squick factor like that was just too contrived to work.

Also most of Hienlien's stuff. Sometimes it seems like he's being an apologist for mankind being a dick to itself.

Re: Good books that piss you off

Posted: Fri Apr 16, 2010 8:54 pm UTC
by Aardvarki
feedme wrote:I wonder if anyone in real life does Wilson's (I think that's his name) job.

You mean Winston? Re-writing history? Sure, we call them THE MEDIA.

We've always been at war with EurasiaIraq.

Re: Good books that piss you off

Posted: Wed Apr 21, 2010 7:48 pm UTC
by El Spark
Aardvarki wrote:Re-writing history? Sure, we call them THE MEDIA.


/signed, underlined, and sparkles added.

Back on track, more or less anything that Spider Robinson writes. I'll read anything of his, but it usually ends up pissing me off at some point.

Re: Good books that piss you off

Posted: Fri Apr 30, 2010 8:27 am UTC
by Banksy
I get like that with Orson Scott Card; some of his narratives are brilliant (well by some I mostly mean just Ender's Game), but you can feel in some places his homophobic tendancies seeping through.
Could just be me being paranoid, but those books get me angry :x

Re: Good books that piss you off

Posted: Fri Apr 30, 2010 12:33 pm UTC
by BurningLed
Animal Farm, like 1984, has that same "Evil gov't wins" message. It's kind of Orwell's thing, really.

Re: Good books that piss you off

Posted: Fri Apr 30, 2010 3:45 pm UTC
by Dustin
BurningLed wrote:Animal Farm, like 1984, has that same "Evil gov't wins" message. It's kind of Orwell's thing, really.


To be fair, when Orwell wrote it, the government he was talking about pretty much had won.