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Old 16th January 2021, 02:43 PM   #481
jimbob
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Originally Posted by JayUtah View Post
Ditto here on The Silmarillion. It's like a history textbook for a place you don't care about.

Revisiting Stephen King, I have to admit that many of his books I loved as a teenager aren't as exciting or sophisticated when I reread them as an adult. And I thought he sold out far too casually to the screen adaptation.

(Full disclosure, though: I'm in one of those adaptations. In the old TV miniseries version of The Stand -- not the new one that just released -- you can see me as one of the corpses they clean out of the church. King was on set then and complimented me and the others as the best corpses he'd ever seen. )
Yup, when I was a teenager, I was a *very* fast reader. LOTR was just about bearable at a skim reading speed - ignoring anything in italics as being mindnumbing mediocre poetry (regardless of the technical arguments about it, the subject matter wasn't engaging because nobody believed it at any level)

The Silmarilion was still about as exciting as reading the begats in the Old Testament
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Old 17th January 2021, 11:34 AM   #482
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I must have missed this thread 10 years ago, so I decided to read the whole thing. My choice, which has been discussed in another thread, is Stars and Stripes Forever, by Harry Harrison.

Originally Posted by SpitfireIX View Post
Worst I've ever read is unquestionably Harry Harrison's Stars and Stripes Forever. I love AH, the American Civil War, and Great Britain, so a book where Britain gets involved in the ACW seemed like a natural, especially because I'd read and enjoyed several of the Stainless Steel Rat books when I was in high school and college. What an incredible disappointment. It was so bad that I didn't even read the other two books in the trilogy. The book contains several ridiculous plot twists, such as the North's and South's miraculously working out their differences, including slavery, in order to face the common British enemy (the British rape and pillage Galveston, Texas, mistaking it for a Union fort, thus leading to Britain's being at war with both sides). Also, the characterization and dialogue often don't ring true. From what I've read the other two books aren't any better.
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Old 17th January 2021, 11:36 AM   #483
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Originally Posted by SpitfireIX View Post
I must have missed this thread 10 years ago, so I decided to read the whole thing. My choice, which has been discussed in another thread, is Stars and Stripes Forever, by Harry Harrison.

That sounds about as bad as Harry Turtledove. Who seems to have ideological issues, that Harry Harrison didn't usually.
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link is 2015 data (2013 Data below):
UK 8.5% of GDP of which 83.3% is public expenditure - 7.1% of GDP is public spending
US 16.4% of GDP of which 48.2% is public expenditure - 7.9% of GDP is public spending
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Old 19th January 2021, 01:00 PM   #484
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The Land of Painted Caves (Book 6 of the "Earth Children" series, by Jean Auel.)

The book series is set in pre-historic Europe (where modern humans are replacing neanderthals), and mostly follows a woman trying to survive and then integrate with various tribes.

The first few books in the series were OK. There were flaws (the main character is a sort of "Mary Sue", and they had hints of characters with psychic ability), but the character's situations were interesting enough to make it worth reading. But by this last book, anything that had made the series interesting was gone. Instead of the characters having unique experiences (travelling across the continent, trying to survive in a harsh world), the last few books had her living in one spot (thus removing most of the spirit of adventure), and the focus was on how she was trying to get along with her neighbors, like a "Real Housewives of the Paleolithic".

And perhaps the worst part of Land of Painted Caves was the repetition....

Over and over again, you had the main character describe the paintings inside caves. You had various verses of a ceremonial song repeated. And if simply repeating stuff inside the book wasn't bad enough, it had to repeat plot points from earlier books. (Once again, her and her mate had issues with fidelity, just like book 3. Once again, she figures out that "sex causes children", something that she already figured out back in book 1.)
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Old 19th January 2021, 03:41 PM   #485
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Originally Posted by Segnosaur View Post
The Land of Painted Caves (Book 6 of the "Earth Children" series, by Jean Auel.)

The book series is set in pre-historic Europe (where modern humans are replacing neanderthals), and mostly follows a woman trying to survive and then integrate with various tribes.

The first few books in the series were OK. There were flaws (the main character is a sort of "Mary Sue", and they had hints of characters with psychic ability), but the character's situations were interesting enough to make it worth reading. But by this last book, anything that had made the series interesting was gone. Instead of the characters having unique experiences (travelling across the continent, trying to survive in a harsh world), the last few books had her living in one spot (thus removing most of the spirit of adventure), and the focus was on how she was trying to get along with her neighbors, like a "Real Housewives of the Paleolithic".

And perhaps the worst part of Land of Painted Caves was the repetition....

Over and over again, you had the main character describe the paintings inside caves. You had various verses of a ceremonial song repeated. And if simply repeating stuff inside the book wasn't bad enough, it had to repeat plot points from earlier books. (Once again, her and her mate had issues with fidelity, just like book 3. Once again, she figures out that "sex causes children", something that she already figured out back in book 1.)
I think I read only one of Auel's books when they first came out, and though it wasn't awful, it wasn't terribly impressive either. Interestingly, at almost exactly the same time, another author, Bjorn Kurten, wrote one (Dance of the Tiger), and later another, covering the same period. But Kurten, a paleontologist, actually had some idea of what he was talking about, and though it's many years since I read them, my recollection is that they were quite good.
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