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Old 10th October 2010, 01:36 PM   #281
John Jones
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Dyanetics?

ETA: The Center of the Cyclone By John Lily.

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Old 10th October 2010, 02:49 PM   #282
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I wouldn't call "And another thing" the worst book ever, although it was pretty bad. It might seem like a cheap shot just to point out that it's not Douglas Adams, and leave it at that. Colfer did manage to make the biggest ***hole in the universe the most likeable character in the book, if that says anything.
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Old 10th October 2010, 03:15 PM   #283
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Originally Posted by MarkCorrigan View Post
Ok, two that might make some people mad.

The Colour of Magic. My god is this an awful awful book. It's badly written (sorry PTerry, I love you but this is dreadful) and I read it thinking "and now something funny will happen...something funny will happen...any minute now" for maybe a quarter of the book before I threw it across the room in frustration. I've tried reading it twice since then and it's STILL not funny.

The 5th HHGTTG book is simply dreadful utter nonsense lazily spilled out on paper that could have been used for much greater things. Like tissues. I have the first 4 in one book and while I felt they dramatically went downhill from first to fourth, I still enjoyed all of them. This one though was simply dreadful. I didn't care for any of the formerly wonderful characters and it made me really rather angry. I was amazed that it was actually written by Adams. Ugh.
Actually, I agree with both of these, though it pains me to say so.

The Colour of Magic was terrible. I still love it, though, because you get a few glimpses of the stuff that the Discworld will become. I read it and loved it for the same reason that I read and loved The Dark Side of the Sun and Strata - not because they were good - or even adequate - books, but because I loved watching Terry Pratchett develop as a writer.

I have to cut Adams some slack on Mostly Harmless, though. In the collection of essays published after his death (collected in The Salmon of Doubt), Adams himself said that he hated Mostly Harmless. He hadn't read it for a while after its publication, and when he did, he despised it. His explanation: he was suffering from major medical depression at the time, and he didn't want his characters to be enjoying themselves if he wasn't. He was feeling dark and nasty, and he made the book reflect that.
Now, here's the sad bit: in that same essay, Adams revealed that he had plans for a sixth Hitchhiker's Guide book in the works. Y'know, one that wouldn't suck. But he died before he could begin work on it.

Sigh... one of the greatest tragedies of our time...
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Old 10th October 2010, 03:30 PM   #284
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I guess Colour of Magic might seem bad if you read other Discworld books before it, but it was the first one I read and I really enjoyed it, even if it felt very fragmented in the storytelling.
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Old 10th October 2010, 04:33 PM   #285
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Originally Posted by Doghouse Reilly View Post
No, her ascendancy is not a new phenomenon. She has always had a very strong following. I find it surprising that you would not have heard of her earlier, especially considering your
age, which would have placed you at a point in time where she was perhaps at her height of popularity.
What point in time would that be then?
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Old 10th October 2010, 05:07 PM   #286
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Originally Posted by Damien Evans View Post
The Lord Of The Rings is my favourite book.
I was kidding...I actually plan on trying to give it another try when I retire. However, seeing the movies didn't help. I thought they were just violence without and substance.

glenn
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Old 10th October 2010, 07:19 PM   #287
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Originally Posted by Hindmost View Post
I was kidding...I actually plan on trying to give it another try when I retire. However, seeing the movies didn't help. I thought they were just violence without and substance.

glenn
I disagree strongly, but it's pretty much all opinion and off-topic anyway.

So I shall let it drop with this remark: Boromir's death scene was amazing.
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Old 11th October 2010, 12:32 AM   #288
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Originally Posted by MarkCorrigan View Post
The Colour of Magic. My god is this an awful awful book. It's badly written (sorry PTerry, I love you but this is dreadful) and I read it thinking "and now something funny will happen...something funny will happen...any minute now" for maybe a quarter of the book before I threw it across the room in frustration. I've tried reading it twice since then and it's STILL not funny.
Just in case you feel lonely, I really don't rate any of the first three Rincewind books, and I only read them out of loyalty and curiosity. Mort and Equal Rites are quite good, but it wasn't till somewhere around Wyrd Sisters or Guards! Guards! that Pratchett really hit his stride.

Dave
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Old 11th October 2010, 01:56 AM   #289
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Originally Posted by Dave Rogers View Post
Just in case you feel lonely, I really don't rate any of the first three Rincewind books, and I only read them out of loyalty and curiosity. Mort and Equal Rites are quite good, but it wasn't till somewhere around Wyrd Sisters or Guards! Guards! that Pratchett really hit his stride.
Joining the huddle in the kitchen, I was completely baffled by Making Money. It felt... rote. Dangling plot ends, or frayed sutures at best, and half-developed stock characters. It's the first and only Pratchett book that really disappointed me.

But, that's still a basically good book that underperformed. For actual worst read, I'll go with Heinlein's Time Enough for Love. Boy, he was insufferable when he put his Lazarus Long hat on and started preaching. Based on that, I never did bother with The Number of the Beast and similar late efforts, choosing to preserve the good memories.
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Old 11th October 2010, 02:30 AM   #290
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Originally Posted by Dave Rogers View Post
Just in case you feel lonely, I really don't rate any of the first three Rincewind books, and I only read them out of loyalty and curiosity. Mort and Equal Rites are quite good, but it wasn't till somewhere around Wyrd Sisters or Guards! Guards! that Pratchett really hit his stride.
I really enjoyed The Colour of Magic and The Light Fantastic when first read them. The first one suffered from being too obviously parody.

That said, I loathed Wyrd Sisters. I read it (along with FaustEric and either Mort and/or Reaper Man) and gave up on Discworld for many years. I didn't start reading Pratchett again until a friend lent me a copy of Feet of Clay, mentioning that heraldry plays a role in the plot.
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Old 12th October 2010, 02:27 PM   #291
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Originally Posted by bookitty View Post
You might want to try Geek Love by Katherine Dunn. Nothing like Dunces at all but compatible. Also, not classic fiction or anything, just very rich and readable.
I'll keep that in mind. The premise of that book sounds absolutely amazing.
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Old 12th October 2010, 02:40 PM   #292
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Worst book - Norman Mailer, Harlot's Ghost. I wasted a whole summer slagging through it, for no good reason.
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Old 14th October 2010, 02:12 PM   #293
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Originally Posted by four elevener View Post
Stephen King's From a Buick 8.

I'm a big fan of his and I'll finish the good ones in a matter of days, but this one was so boring, I couldn't read any more than a chapter or two at a time. I would pick it up periodically after going a while without reading it (to see if it would get any better), but it never did, so back on the shelf it went. Eventually, I finished it after almost three years. Definitely one of his worse.
I checked that one out from the library and my dog ate it. I had to pay $30 to replace it.
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Old 14th October 2010, 03:17 PM   #294
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Originally Posted by carlitos View Post
Worst book - Norman Mailer, Harlot's Ghost. I wasted a whole summer slagging through it, for no good reason.

It's famous for being the first newly issued hardcover novel to retail for $30 or more.
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Old 14th October 2010, 03:50 PM   #295
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Originally Posted by hgc View Post
It's famous for being the first newly issued hardcover novel to retail for $30 or more.
And for having a dangling participle in the first sentence:

Quote:
On a late winter evening in 1983, while driving through fog along the Maine coast, recollections of old campfires began to drift into the March mist, and I thought of the Algonquin tribe who dwelt near Bangor a thousand years ago.
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Old 14th October 2010, 04:00 PM   #296
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The Celestine Prophecy. I read it out of curiosity and it was so poorly written, I can't even believe it was published.. and he's published other books. Makes me believe that I could just write a first draft of a ridiculous story and shop it around. I felt the same way about The DeVinci Code though at least the background ideas of the story were somewhat interesting (for the same reasons I like watching Monster Quest... wouldn't it be fun if it were true?). When the movie came out, my sister and I were discussing a few points and my very Catholic mother kept saying "It's just a story. It's just a story." to which we replied, "Gee mom, really? Cause I thought that's exactly how it all went down." (insert eye roll here)
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Old 15th October 2010, 01:19 AM   #297
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Welcome to the forum Theplu.

I said Battlefield Earth before and I still think it is pretty damn horrible, but now that I've finished the pile of crap that inspired the thread, I might agree with Wowbagger. It should never have been written.

Having said that, I'll add my vote for Tommyknockers, one of the few books I couldn't finish along with West Of Eden.


Oh yeah, and Less Than Zero, I got about a quarter of the way into it and just hated every single character.
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Old 16th October 2010, 11:13 AM   #298
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Jose Farmer mashup of Tarzan and Doc Savage doing strange sex things with a secret organization - fortunately the title escapes me - one of the few books I not only didn't finish reading but threw away.
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Old 16th October 2010, 11:42 AM   #299
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I must agree with the choice of 'Catcher in the rye', its inexplicable how it became a classic. The lord of the Rings films are awful, just unrecognisable toss.
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Old 16th October 2010, 11:44 AM   #300
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Oh and sorry for forgetting, but this was a laughably bad book ; http://img1.fantasticfiction.co.uk/images/n6/n32831.jpg.
Still not as arse retchingly awful as 'Battlefield Earth@ though.
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Old 16th October 2010, 02:04 PM   #301
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Originally Posted by Lucian View Post
And for having a dangling participle in the first sentence:
Thanks for reminding me. Not to mention, the opening line is almost a parody of a bad opening line - "It was a dark and stormy night..."

Seriously, "recollections of old campfires began to drift into the March mist?" I should have put it down and watched the OJ trial, but it cost me $30 and I was unemployed at the time.
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Old 16th October 2010, 02:45 PM   #302
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American Psycho was grueling, but not badly written. However, I felt like I wanted to take a shower after every time I picked it up. I had expected it to be the brilliant black comedy that the movie was. But it was just the horror without the humor.
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Old 16th October 2010, 09:54 PM   #303
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Hard one...Mein Kampf was the worst book I made myself fight thru. I'd have to say I can't pick a worse book that I've finished reading. (and I do like to read)
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Old 17th October 2010, 07:01 AM   #304
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Originally Posted by bjornart View Post
From the OP:


For me it's The Iron Tower. I borrowed it from a friend in a pile of other SF and fantasy, and put it down after 20 pages the first time because that was enough to tell me this was an unimaginative Lord of the Rings rip-off.

I later decided to finish it, since I was returning the pile of books and returning one unread just felt wrong. It's not that it's badly written, in fact, at times I enjoyed it and thought things like "Hey, this bit is good. Nice to have some realistic females in your LOTR. And you haven't plagiarized stoff for a whole chapter." But then he'd do things like have the heroes enter the mines of Moria, only he changed the names.

And I don't mean he used common fantasy elements a lot. I mean he took LOTR, put tracing paper on top, and drew his own version. There's only something like 25% of the book... sorry, trilogy, this one really was written and published as a trilogy... 25% of the work that makes any pretense at being original.
This. Also "Jurassic Park" by Michael Crichton was painful. Made a better movie than book I thought.
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Old 17th October 2010, 07:17 AM   #305
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The "Bible Code" books were horrid. A 200-page demonstration of the Law of Large Numbers, with a little fudging thrown in (ignoring a couple of letters in Hebrew so that the "codes" would fit).
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Old 17th October 2010, 08:33 AM   #306
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American Assassination by James Fetzer. He claims that Paul Wellstone's death in a plane crash was a government plot. Fetzer claims everything is a conspiracy - JFK, 9/11, even the faked moon walk. He's certified looney.
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Old 17th October 2010, 06:09 PM   #307
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Actually many years ago I read Hannibal the sequel of Silence of the Lambs and I thought it was the worst thing I had ever read in my life. It was basically violence porn trash.

I did read all the way through Danielle Steele's novel of the "real Hollywood", Stranger in the Mirror, which was so cliche ridden as to be infested with cliche rot.

In terms of pretentious crap American Psycho was basically violence porn dresed up as pretentious literary art, and failing totally. I got the impression the author was was getting his rock* off writing this crap.
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Old 18th October 2010, 12:41 PM   #308
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Originally Posted by Hans View Post
Jose Farmer mashup of Tarzan and Doc Savage doing strange sex things with a secret organization - fortunately the title escapes me - one of the few books I not only didn't finish reading but threw away.
I contrived to miss that one, but I did read his earlier Tarzan/Sherlock Holmes crossover, The Adventure of the Peerless Peer, which is based on the notion that the only thing more sidesplittingly hilarious than having Holmes get airsick and throw up all over Watson is giving Holmes the brilliant, incisively in-character line "Watson, isn't that a****** firing a machine gun?" -- a level of high-larity that can only be topped by a Pseudo-Scholarly Footnote observing that either Watson, in typing up this manuscript, used one asterisk too few, or Holmes was using the American idiom since the a****** under discussion was in fact American.

This, btw, is the book that climaxed with the heroes stranded in the jungle about to be attacked by a swarm of African killer bees -- a swarm which Holmes lured away by stripping nude, daubing himself with two shades of mud into black-and-white stripes, and dancing around bent over and waggling his ass in an imitation of the bee dance so the bees mistook him for a giant bee and flew away.

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Old 18th October 2010, 01:37 PM   #309
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Originally Posted by Cactus Wren View Post
This, btw, is the book that climaxed with the heroes stranded in the jungle about to be attacked by a swarm of African killer bees -- a swarm which Holmes lured away by stripping nude, daubing himself with two shades of mud into black-and-white stripes, and dancing around bent over and waggling his ass in an imitation of the bee dance so the bees mistook him for a giant bee and flew away.
Please tell me you're joking.
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Old 18th October 2010, 05:21 PM   #310
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How I wish I were.
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Old 18th October 2010, 11:06 PM   #311
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Originally Posted by Cactus Wren View Post
This, btw, is the book that climaxed with the heroes stranded in the jungle about to be attacked by a swarm of African killer bees -- a swarm which Holmes lured away by stripping nude, daubing himself with two shades of mud into black-and-white stripes, and dancing around bent over and waggling his ass in an imitation of the bee dance so the bees mistook him for a giant bee and flew away.
That is the sound of my ocular muscles tearing from trying to point both of the eyes away from the screen in different directions.
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Old 20th October 2010, 09:51 AM   #312
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Originally Posted by jhunter1163 View Post
The "Bible Code" books were horrid. A 200-page demonstration of the Law of Large Numbers, with a little fudging thrown in (ignoring a couple of letters in Hebrew so that the "codes" would fit).
Aaaargh! I can empathize with you on that one. I flipped open one of those books, once. It was like opening up a fresh, cranial can of crazy.
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Old 20th October 2010, 10:17 AM   #313
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Shiva's Messenger by Russell Twyce

It was a gift.

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Old 21st October 2010, 04:27 AM   #314
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In the Shadow of Mecca by Dr O David West; I was sent this is book about a white, American Christian doctor who goes to Saudi Arabia, and recounts his tales living there and meeting the people. It was written about his times in the late 70's to early 80's and his time during the 90's but it reads like a turn-of-the-last-century colonial explorer's diary. The man couldn't have been more condescending in his tone if he had tried. Almost hilarious, but not quite.

I was also sent by the same person at the same time (a biblical almost literalist who wasn't certain the Bible was all true, but didn't ever question it much) a book called something along the lines of "Where is God when it Hurts" which tried to handwave away the pain of the world being inconsistent with an all loving god by basically invoking "God works in mysterious ways" and "It all happens for a reason".

Finally, this hilarious book on dreams that I was given by my psychology teacher back in sixth form. No matter what you think about looking at dreams to psychoanalyse someone, trust me, this book is worse. It claims you can predict the future with your dreams. An example:

"Pagoda. If you see a Chinese pagoda in your dream, it is a sign that you will plant a lovely garden."

No, I did not make that up. Another example:

"Dreams. To dream that you dreamed is a sign that your dream will come true sometime in the future."

This book isn't joking. It's serious.
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They for example thought that slavery was perfectly fine, absolutely OK, and then they didn't and what is the point of the Catholic Church if it says "Oh we couldn't know better because no one else did" THEN WHAT ARE YOU FOR? - Stephen Fry
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Old 21st October 2010, 06:38 AM   #315
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Originally Posted by MarkCorrigan View Post
"Dreams. To dream that you dreamed is a sign that your dream will come true sometime in the future."
Wait a minute... If you had a dream that you were dreaming, doesn't that imply that the dream already had come true, even while you were dreaming it?

Also: How does he know you're not being inceptioned.
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Old 22nd October 2010, 04:51 AM   #316
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Originally Posted by Cactus Wren View Post
This, btw, is the book that climaxed with the heroes stranded in the jungle about to be attacked by a swarm of African killer bees -- a swarm which Holmes lured away by stripping nude, daubing himself with two shades of mud into black-and-white stripes, and dancing around bent over and waggling his ass in an imitation of the bee dance so the bees mistook him for a giant bee and flew away.
In any creative activity it's always worth considering the idea that maybe, just maybe, there's a reason that nobody ever used that idea before.
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Old 22nd October 2010, 06:06 AM   #317
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The World According To Garp by John Irving.
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Old 22nd October 2010, 06:22 AM   #318
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Originally Posted by Abe_the_Man View Post

The only book I ever stopped reading because it was terrible was "The Sword of Shanara". When I got to the "Council of Elrond"... I mean the part of the book that was Totally NOT the "Council of Elrond" I actually threw it in the garbage. I have NEVER before or since thrown a book in the garbage. It was that bad.
Only books I've ever given away. I bought the whole trilogy in one go because I was so convinced I'd like it and it got rave reviews. Yes most fantasy is derivative but he'd barely bothered changing anything from LOTR.
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Old 22nd October 2010, 07:17 AM   #319
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Apart from a Mills & Boon book I tried to read once at the girlfrinds place (got about 5 pages in) the only other one that I that I remember throwing away in disgust was a Mickey Spillane novel. When the central character (presumably the hero - it was written in the first person) basically raped a female messenger about ten pages in I decided it wasn't a book that warranted any more of my time.

Mind you, I managed to struggle through Sartre's Roads To Freedom trilogy. That was a waste of effort too.
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Old 22nd October 2010, 07:20 AM   #320
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The World is Flat.

State your point and back it up!
Don't belabor it.

Good idea, good concept...but...UGH!
Someone needs to make Thomas Friedman read some Barbara Tuchman.
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