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The 7 - Random - What is the WORST book you've ever read?
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HitTheSnoozeButton
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#21 Posted on 27.2.03 0917.10
Reposted on: 27.2.10 0920.19
I'm surprised I haven't seen "The Grapes of Wrath" in this thread...that book was God-awful and I felt bad for the editor that had to proof it. I know it's considered a classic, but really, this book was wretched.
Scooter Trash
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#22 Posted on 27.2.03 0926.12
Reposted on: 27.2.10 0929.03
I don't read too many books, my mouth gets tired.
Zen in the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. I tried, but just didn't get it.

Much like Mild Manner Madman, I was into Anne Rice books up until the last several. Just can't seem to get interested anymore.


dMr
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#23 Posted on 27.2.03 0949.05
Reposted on: 27.2.10 0959.04

    Originally posted by HitTheSnoozeButton
    I'm surprised I haven't seen "The Grapes of Wrath" in this thread...that book was God-awful and I felt bad for the editor that had to proof it. I know it's considered a classic, but really, this book was wretched.


Thik yourself lucky, not only was I forced to read it for Higher English in my youth, our ever considerate teacher insisted on taking us to Glasgow to see the play as well.

Frighteningly the play was even worse. I remember at one point they dragged a wooden cart round and round this pissy little stage in an effort to convey their great journey. Man how I wished I was old enough to nip off to the bar.
JayJayDean
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#24 Posted on 27.2.03 1037.34
Reposted on: 27.2.10 1049.09
Books read in school category: I hated about everything, especially "Watership Down", "Beowulf", and my all-time least favorite "The Old Man and the Sea". Lots of perfectly good trees wasted there.

My most-hated book I read for pleasure is "The Chamber" by John Grisham. The guy writes a good thriller, but I hated it when he gets all preachy. I didn't like "The Street Lawyer" much either, but "The Chamber" was the first time he went off his successful formula, so since I wasn't ready for that it gets my vote.
astrobstrd
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#25 Posted on 27.2.03 1145.18
Reposted on: 27.2.10 1149.17

    Originally posted by Shem the Penman
    Justine by Donatien Alphonse Francois de Sade. When I finished, I really wished he was still alive so I could find him and hit him with a brick.

    Close runner-up: Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. A big heavy book that might be useful for hammering in tacks, but is otherwise useless.



I hate you for reminding me that I once read half of Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead. I had no idea who she was, but they were offering $1000 dollar scholarships for essays about her work at the Ayn Rand foundation, so since I wasn't a minority, woman, gay, or a 4.0 student, I figured it would be the only scholarship I'd be up for. I don't care if they offered $10,000. I'd never be able to write anything other than "Fascist piece of shit." for my essay.

I've never read any De Sade, but I liked him in The Invisibles and I still want to see Salo, as I've heard its one of the most offensive films ever made.
Torchslasher
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#26 Posted on 27.2.03 1210.53
Reposted on: 27.2.10 1221.11

    Originally posted by Excalibur05
    Almost everything I read in English courses. Why I became an English major I'll never know (actually, I'm more into the writing than the reading...)

    Other than that? I read a GOD AWFUL novelization of NES Classic "Master Blaster" one time. Though, I remember liking the Mega Man, Ninja Guiden and CastleVania ones (there were several others).

    As a rule, however, books based off videogames suck (though, I thought the King's Quest ones were pretty good, if generic, fiction).

    Terry Brooks has been one of my favorite authors, but I agree that he can put out some really bad stuff (though I actually really enjoyed his adaptation of Phantom Menace).

    As for the New Jedi Order stuff. I haven't really read a bad on once, though I hold hold a deep hatred for Timothy Zahn for bringing Mara Jade into the continuum (a discussion for another day, perhaps). I like the fact that they're readily killing characters off and putting them in actual danger, but they might be going a little overboard with it.

    (edited by Excalibur05 on 27.2.03 0222)




Oh man, I bought those NES novelizations as well. I remember liking two of them and hating the other two.

Bad Book by Good Authors- The Partner by John Grisham. As I have stated previously, I love Grisham books. This one bored me to tears, and I didn't care about any of the main characters.

Sphere by Michael Crichton- Boring, boring, boring, with an ending so bad it's funny. The movie blew chunks as well.
dunkndollaz
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#27 Posted on 27.2.03 1404.08
Reposted on: 27.2.10 1410.43
I have read far too many on far too many planes and trains to even begin to name them all but Sphere by Crichton - thanks for the memory Tochslasher) was definitely one that stood out in suckdom as did a murder mystery (luckily I can't remember Title or Author) that involved the mob and took place in Lake Placid, NY - it was obvious from page #1 that the author had a street map and his TV memories of the 1980 Winter Olympics because he wasn't even remotely close to what life is really like up there.

(edited by dunkndollaz on 27.2.03 1504)
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#28 Posted on 27.2.03 1409.48
Reposted on: 27.2.10 1412.26

    Originally posted by astrobstrd
    Tess of the D'urbervilles

    I don't care if I spelled it wrong. I don't believe in hell, but I wish their was one so Thomas Hardy would have to read his boring ass fucking book for all of eternity. The first 50 or so pages describe the countryside, and that's the action-packed part.


Sadly, I have to agree with you on that one. The story concept is awesome, and the movie was great, but the NOVEL bored me to tears. The excessive descriptions remind me a lot of "The Hunchback of Notre Dame..." God, I hated "Romantic" literature...

I was always kind of a fan of Ayn Rand...

For me, it would have to be A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man... that book was HIDEOUSLY boring. It was the only book during my entire scholastic career that I actually had to rely on Cliff's Notes to get me through.
emma
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#29 Posted on 27.2.03 1417.55
Reposted on: 27.2.10 1422.07
    Originally posted by Excalibur05
    Almost everything I read in English courses. Why I became an English major I'll never know (actually, I'm more into the writing than the reading...)
What is it about English curricula? (Curriculums? Whatever.) No wonder people don't read. I'm hard pressed to think of much of anything really good that we had to read for English classes, & overwhelmed by the amount of really bad stuff. I did have one class in college where we did "Brave New World" (good) & "Gulliver's Travels" (OK); unfortunately those were in among Plato's "Republic", Moore's "Utopia", Butler's "Erewhon", & a few others too tedious to recall. And that was pretty good compared to most classes. (At least it was a big variety of styles & periods.)

I get the concept that there are "classics" that one should have exposure to in order to be culturally rounded. The kinds of things that subsequent authors play off of. If they don't make you read some of this stuff, you probably wouldn't do it spontaneously. And if you have it crammed at you, *maybe* you'll decide later on that some of it had some redeeming value after all. I'm OK with all that. But the proportions of "stuff they made me read & I hate to this day" to "stuff that was actually pretty good" is way out of line.

The other thing that peeves me is the selections per author that some teachers make. I had a short story class in college. Out of all of Joyce's "Dubliners", they assigned "Ivy Day in the Committee Room" & "After the Race". I'm sure those are peachy if you happen to be an afficianado of European history & the Irish political scene in the first decade of the 20th century. However, out of the 15 stories in that collection, those are the 2 worst selections for a bunch of arbitrary american college students. It turns out that I really like James Joyce, but what the hell were they thinking when they chose those? I still find myself having to justify liking his work to people who only have that kind of exposure.

(That became rather rant-ish, didn't it?)

------
Pool-Boy: We had "Portrait of the Artist" in high school with a horny ex-Jesuit teacher. (And this was not a parochial school!) For him, everything in the book was sexual symbolism &/or religious metaphor. "Let's spend this week examining the symbolism of watter dripping into water." Yeeeesh.

(edited by emma on 27.2.03 1325)
spf
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#30 Posted on 27.2.03 1540.45
Reposted on: 27.2.10 1543.11
Hobbes - Leviathan. The book that single-handedly killed my desire to go to grad school for government.
Excalibur05
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#31 Posted on 27.2.03 1624.46
Reposted on: 27.2.10 1629.03
I think it goes with society's decision that anything really old and/or pretentious is a great work. Movies, books, plays, TV shows, you name it, if it's old or overly intellectual it's a "classic".

I've trudged through something like "Madame Bovary" a bunch of times, and I can honestly say, other than the fact that it's really old and really dry, the book has no more or less merit than "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" which is at the very least entertaining to read.

But education (especially university) is filled with pseudo-intellectuals who believe that the best books are only those that were written at certain times and by certain authors and everything else is massed produced crap. Of course, that's not really limited to the English department either, but we're the ones that are slowest to come around.
shockdown
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#32 Posted on 28.2.03 0129.07
Reposted on: 28.2.10 0130.06
    Originally posted by A Fan
    Anything in the Dragonlance series after Summer Flame. I loved the series, but the new writers really fucked up and then they brought in the old writers who sliced and diced most of what the new writers did. In the ned though, the old writers made an even bigger mess. The lead character was a new female warrior who was basically brainwashed by an evil Goddess and becomes all powerful. In the end, you figure the girl would get killed or turn on the God, but no. She still loves that Evil Goddess even though she tried to destroy the world and was stopped by the whinnest character in the book. At the end, I was hoping the world would be destroyed just to end the maddnes, but no. It is sad when Fantasy books have to use Time Travel to set things right. Only Star Trek should have that power.


I guess I'm the only one who liked the "War of Souls" trilogy, then? Granted, the Mina character was annoying, and it was basically one big set-up to bring the Dragonlance setting into the 3rd edition D&D rules era, but as it retconned most of the dreck writen by Jean Rabe (in the "New Age' trilogy after Dragons of Summer Flame), I'm willing to accept it.

Personal worst book ever? Hands down, "The Catcher in the Rye" --- with the most throughly unsympathetic protagonist in any book i've ever read. Following at a close second are R.A. salvatore's "The Spine of the World" (sorry, Wulfgar is not someone I care about enough to enjoy a book mostly devoted to him), and the novelization of the "Baldur's Gate" series.

(edited by shockdown on 27.2.03 2331)
El Nastio
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#33 Posted on 28.2.03 0142.23
Reposted on: 28.2.10 0143.09
A Seperate Peace is my psersonal choice for worst book ever.

I like the fact Mara Jade is involved in things in the Star Wars universe. Although as long as they keep Wedge alive, I'm a happy man. As for the NJO; Dark Journey was pretty bad.
Nate The Snake
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#34 Posted on 28.2.03 0456.38
Reposted on: 28.2.10 0457.50

    Originally posted by El Nastio
    A Seperate Peace is my psersonal choice for worst book ever.


Random MST3K moment: "A Separate Peace... of crap."
(During, I believe, Red Zone Cuba.)

Anyway. I'll join in on the Rice-hating. I threw out the Lestat series after reading Body Thief, when I realized that she'd started writing like a GM with an inferiority complex. "My character can do anything and everything, the story revolves around him and you're all madly in love with him. Yes, even you, Steve. Oh, and did I mention he's perfect and invincible and has awesome pecs etc, etc..." It was like the literary equivalent of listening to a teenage girl describe a guy she's got a huge crush on.

I decided to change gears and read The Witching Hour, which would have been a million times better minus four hundred or so pages... and, against my better judgement, read Lasher as well. Thank god I didn't actually buy the book.
Excalibur05
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#35 Posted on 28.2.03 0611.31
Reposted on: 28.2.10 0614.36
    Originally posted by Nate The Snake
    when I realized that she'd started writing like a GM with an inferiority complex. "My character can do anything and everything, the story revolves around him and you're all madly in love with him. Yes, even you, Steve. Oh, and did I mention he's perfect and invincible and has awesome pecs etc, etc..." It was like the literary equivalent of listening to a teenage girl describe a guy she's got a huge crush on


You just described everything I've ever thought about Timothy Zahn/Mara Jade. It's like the guy is writing about his wife. Mara Jade WILL be important to the Star Wars Universe, dammit, and she will be in EVERY book. I was thrilled when they teased killing her off, but they never did. I don't have any problem with the character herself, but it was just his insistance that she be his legacy in the books.

He introduced her in the Thrawn Trilogy as the "Smuggler who was once secretly the Emporer's spy". Ok, cool, I can dig that. "Who really wants to kill Luke Skywalker", alright...fine, me too. "Except she's secretly in love with him." Fine. Whatever. "Who...uh...is a Jedi, too!" Uh...hmm...Ok. I guess. Though there weren't supposed to be that many Jedi just hanging around, especially not hanging around the Emporer's court. "And she's really hot and all the guys want her and she's a great pilot andIbetshe'sareallygreatcookandagood
personifyoujustgettoknowherandabooty
thatjustdoesn'tstopOhLordshe's
adancertoocanyouimaginehowflexible
shewouldbeloveMaraJadeorI'llkillyou." And then she disappeared for a while, or would just make special guest appearances as Tallon Karrade's buddy Mara Jade, until Timothy Zahn wrote a short story in the "Tales from Jaba's Palace" collection which was basically his Mara Jade Fan Fic about how she was the coolest person ever and she was working as a spy in Jaba's palace when Luke was there. Then she was suddenly in ALL the novels, and I guess the writers just said "Aw, fuck it, just put her in so he shuts up about it. Hell, marry her off to Luke too, he needs to marry somebody and Chewbacca's set up to die."

I have nothing against Zahn, in general, nor really Mara Jade as a character, but Zahn's determination that she get over and be the new queen of the Star Wars Universe, even after the character had faded into the background because other writers didn't seem all that interested in writing for her was just a tad bit annoying to me. I think he just went WAY out of his way to create a brand new "cool character" that he wouldn't have to kill off (as he did with Thrawn), that he could see in other novels (thus having an impact on the entire Star Wars Universe, which any of us fan boys would love to do). The funny thing is, he did a much better job with Pellaeon, and he wasn't even trying.

EDIT: Then again, I've always kind of had this deep seeded belief that Zahn made her a Jedi Woman/Smuggler so that Luke could just give in and marry Han and Leia already.

Maybe I'm just not imagining Mara to be hot enough?

(edited by Excalibur05 on 28.2.03 0619)
A-MOL
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#36 Posted on 28.2.03 0722.12
Reposted on: 28.2.10 0723.25
Is it me, or does Tolkien blow?
AWArulz
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#37 Posted on 28.2.03 1045.16
Reposted on: 28.2.10 1054.07

    Originally posted by A-MOL
    Is it me, or does Tolkien blow?


It's you, my friend. He's got the finest sentence construction in the genre, he does good character development and his stories have held up for 50 years.

When we started seeing Frodo Lives on the subways in NYC in the 60's, it was because people were tired of the stuff they had to read in English lit and wanted to read something GOOD. For many, that's JRR.

Now, like TV, you got your choices. Read it or don't read it. But I put it up there with Twain and Wordsworth as english speaking classics.
Nate The Snake
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#38 Posted on 28.2.03 2105.54
Reposted on: 28.2.10 2106.41

    Originally posted by Excalibur05
    You just described everything I've ever thought about Timothy Zahn/Mara Jade. It's like the guy is writing about his wife.


I think the Mara Jade thing had a fair amount to do with her being a "book-only" character. She was THEIRS, unlike Luke and Han and all the rest, she was never part of the canon, so she became a symbol of sorts. I do sort of wish that they'd have tried a little harder to make OTHER original characters, instead of going the geriatric route. While I enjoyed some of the stories, reading about Han Solo, Middle-Aged Former Scoundrel left me feeling a little... underwhelmed. Especially when Han Solo, Old Man fought Boba Fett, Old Bounty Hunter. There's a whole freakin' galaxy, you know? I'd kind of like to read some stuff that has NOTHING to do with Luke or Leia or the rest of the old crew.
J. Kyle
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#39 Posted on 1.3.03 0411.32
Reposted on: 1.3.10 0413.59
    Originally posted by A-MOL
    Is it me, or does Tolkien blow?
It's like a thosand geeks will read this at once... and then, typing.

Is A Seperate Piece the bullshit that had the movie with Parker Stevenson? GOD THAT SUCKED.

EDIT~! I had forgot I read ASP and had let go of the bitterness. But being reminded of it brought it all back. FUCK that was a bad story.

(edited by AngryJohnny on 28.2.03 1612)
A Fan
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#40 Posted on 2.3.03 0119.59
Reposted on: 2.3.10 0120.51
I like the New Jedi Order books, because they are cementing new characters in like Corran, the kids, Pellean, Mara and of course, the Vong. I do think Mara got played out as did Zahn, in the sequel to Heir to the Empire. Those two books had payday written all over them. There was only one big fight in two books, weak. I like my Star Wars like I like my women with a lot of action. Mara does get annoying as did the kids, but hey Anakin is dead, so there is hope. Even thought Anakin was my favorite out of all of them. Jacen can drop dead, liberal Vong hugging hippie.

My only problem with the NJO books has been some of the writers. I feel some of the writers are starting to one up each other with putting the characters in such dire straights, the next author has to bail them out. I haven't read the new book yet, but I want this story to end soon. Its been a great read, but enough is enough already. There has been over 10 books in the series time to wrap it up. I know they are ending it in November, but it feels to long away. This party should have been over a few months ago.

I will say Tolkien is not one of my favorite writers but I respect the man. Tolkien has done more for any one genre then any person could expect Jules Verne, but thats another rant. I too found that he was rambling on at times other times I thought he painted a beautiful picture of the world and the charaters he created. He is a mixed bag, but I'll be damned if I didn't say I came out a better reader because of him.

A Fan- Wedge is the man.
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