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Old 4th October 2010, 09:22 AM   #81
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Originally Posted by Loss Leader View Post
Moby Dick is probably the worst book to encapsulate otherwise great ideas.
But Ron Jeremy is so good in the role of...

Oh. Wait. Wrong Moby Dick. Sorry....
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Old 4th October 2010, 09:23 AM   #82
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I see a few David Eddings mentions. I'm pretty much a fan but The Dreamers series was absolutely horrible. I purchased the whole series and felt obligated to wade through it but it was so painful. The character were poor copies of his other work but the worst thing was the endless repetition. Any time any of the dozen or so main characters got together they would repeat everything that happened. I wish I had read the reviews before purchasing it.
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Old 4th October 2010, 09:39 AM   #83
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I picked up Only Begotten Daughter when I saw it was discussed on Prisoners of Gravity. The story of a Jewish Man who has God's only bego... well you get it. I read it through, and I don't know why. Irreverent, heretical ... it was still crap.

Walt


P.S. Has anybody hit Ctrl-Shift-I in the quick reply with something high-lighted. Didn't know it would do that.
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Old 4th October 2010, 09:44 AM   #84
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The Great Gatsby wasn't very good. I hated The Old Man and the Sea even more.
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Old 4th October 2010, 10:03 AM   #85
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Originally Posted by catsmate1 View Post
Originally Posted by Brainache View Post
I am actually reading "And Another Thing" at the moment. It's not great, in the same way that treading on slugs while wearing socks is not great, but I don't think it's the worst I've ever read. That honour goes to "Battlefield Earth".
Yeah, Battlefield Earth was bad though the 'Invasion Earth' series are worse.

Call me odd, but I liked 'Battlefield Earth'.

'Invasion Earth', on the other hand... *shudder*
I was going to mention it among the worst I've ever read, but you beat me to it.
I still have all 10 books. Don't know why.



There is another book, though, which vies for the honour.
I can't recall the title. I read it in High School. It was the story of an elderly woman, as she slowly went senile. Told from her point of view for the most part.
I recall it being very boring and very strange.
The only scene I can recall is when she went to the beach and got a little lost. Then she thought the seashells were pretty, and put them in her hair.

That little snippet isn't enough for me to find out the title of the book.

IIRC, it was by a Canadian author.



As for bad books I never finished, 'White Fang' takes that prize.
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Old 4th October 2010, 10:42 AM   #86
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Originally Posted by Loss Leader View Post
Moby Dick is probably the worst book to encapsulate otherwise great ideas.
I was going to pop on here to nominate that one. I could only finish it by skipping whole chapters as I struggled to find some sort of interesting thread.

It's really a hard call to make. I'm a prolific reader and there's been so much that I've read and forgotten about. Stephen King's Dreamcatcher was OMFG bad and made me swear off reading any more of his novels, and then I fell off the wagon and read Cell. Boy, did I regret that decision.

There's also Mutiny on the Bounty, which I regarded as swimming in concrete. Horrible book to finish, and pretty well did in any attempt by me to investigate the classics on my own until, once again, I fell off the wagon and read Moby Dick. I must learn to keep my promises.

But to be honest, the one book (or series of books) that I absolutely loathed, and which I'm sure I'll get called upon, was the Lord of the Rings. Not just because the story was long, meandering, and boring as hell, but when I got to the end I was actually pissed. "This? I've slogged through three novels and this is how you've decided to wrap it up? Really?"
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Last edited by patchbunny; 4th October 2010 at 10:43 AM. Reason: Spelling. Always the spelling
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Old 4th October 2010, 10:42 AM   #87
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Recently - Nick hornby "A Long Way Down" Simply awful. Try it
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Old 4th October 2010, 10:50 AM   #88
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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 didn't like Stephen Kings "The Tommyknockers" much.
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Old 4th October 2010, 10:53 AM   #89
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Originally Posted by X View Post
Call me odd, but I liked 'Battlefield Earth'.
Yep, thousand year old military equipment, and learning to use it on simulators, that's pretty cool. I gave the movie to a Harrier pilot once. I thought he was going to kill me after he saw it.
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Old 4th October 2010, 10:59 AM   #90
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Originally Posted by TubbaBlubba View Post
I think I was bored once, maybe I was waiting at the hospital or something, and my mother told me to read it. It was so shockingly boring I don't think I made it past the first quarter.

Right? In the part you read, you probably found that he meets a character, who says, "follow your dream." Then me meets another character, who says, "follow your dream." And so on. I have news for you, that's all that happens in the entire book. It's like watching a background landscape go by in a Hanna-Barbera cartoon.
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Old 4th October 2010, 11:05 AM   #91
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Originally Posted by shawmutt View Post
The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan started strong, dwindled to some sort of meandering nonsense around the 5th book
I think they call that L. Frank Baum Syndrome; since his Wizard of Oz books fell into the same sort of pattern.

Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I make it a point not to finish the worst books. Not enough hours in the day to waste on bad trash.
That is usually my attitude. I made an exception with the book in the opening post.

Originally Posted by DC View Post
Koran, stopped on page 40 or so....
I have not started that one, yet.

But, I have read the entire King James edition of the Bible: Old Testament, New Testament, and all the others in between. Took a while. And, it was bad stuff. But, And Another Thing was worse. Much worse. Even though it was a lot shorter.

Originally Posted by Yithmas View Post
The Book of Mormon
I started reading it, in a Marriot hotel room. But, there was no way I was going to finish it. Even the letters of witness are asinine! Ugh.

Originally Posted by Prometheus View Post
Dianetics. Cover to cover. Made me want to open my skull and pour bleach directly on my brain. Makes the Bible seem divinely inspired by comparison.
I was thinking of tackling that one, as part of my yearly "woo-woo book" reading project. But, according to those rules, someone else who believes in it, is going to have to challenge me to read it, first.

But, it does sound bad. I feel for you.

Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
It's a book about the wrestler Rikidozan called "I Am a Korean!" and it was published in North Korea as anti-Japanese and anti-US propaganda.
If they ever manage to invent Rifftrax for Books, this sounds like a good candidate.

Originally Posted by Brainache View Post
I am actually reading "And Another Thing" at the moment. It's not great, in the same way that treading on slugs while wearing socks is not great, but I don't think it's the worst I've ever read.
I do not know how far you got into it, but by now, you might start becoming aware of what the "Guide Note" indicators are really for.

They serve as a warning system to the reader. While all of the jokes in the book are stupid, the words "Guide Note" actually mean this: "WARNING: The following jokes are going to be especially stupid!"


Originally Posted by Guybrush Threepwood View Post
I read The Da Vinci Code and thought nothing could be worse,
Believe it or not, I actually liked The Da Vinci Code!

Angels & Demons was not as good, but I had no specific problems with it, at the time I read it.

I guess I just like puzzles integrated into my mysteries, or something. I dunno.

Maybe there is something wrong with me, afterall.

Originally Posted by Guybrush Threepwood View Post
Other honourable mentions are the Left Behind series and all Clive Cussler's works
Ugh. I heard about those. I feel your pain, there.

I know someone who read the entire Twilight Saga. It did him (yes, it was a guy) no end of good.

Originally Posted by timhau View Post
Try The Lost Symbol. It's worse.
have not read that one, yet. But, I know a few Dan Brown fans who were not impressed with it. So, I might as well skip it, for now.

Originally Posted by Denver View Post
Also Of Mice and Men, just because I was depressed for weeks afterward.
For me, this would go into a large pile of books I was supposed to read for school, but never did. Or at least not very much of it.

Therefore, I cannot really include them in this thread.

Just wanted to give a quick shout out to Ethan Frome, by Edith Wharton; probably the worst book in that pile. I don't care how many awards it got! It still gave me agony whenever I tried to read through it. So much agony, I am pretty sure that even my mother remembers the impact of that one.

Originally Posted by Madalch View Post
The Great Gatsby wasn't very good
That also goes into the pile described above.

Originally Posted by Schrodinger's Cat View Post
Heh, never heard of this. But Eoin Colfer does write the children's book series "Artemis Fowl," which I really quite enjoy, actually. Maybe he should stick with kid lit.
I would rather see him stick some forks into himself. No offense. But, if you do read AAT, you will understand.

Originally Posted by Schrodinger's Cat View Post
For me, the worst book I ever finished was Ayn Rand's "The Fountainhead."
Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Atlas Shrugged. I can't even get started on what's to hate about it. It would be easier to list the things that were good about it: the copy I read wasn't actually radioactive so it didn't give me cancer. It just felt like it had.
I once tried to read the first few pages of each Ayn Rand book, but it always oddly felt like getting smacked in the head with a brick wall. Why is that?

Originally Posted by Cainkane1 View Post
The Book of Mormon. I couldn't understand how anyone could buy into that brand of nonsense. I donated the book to the library.
Did you mark it up with your own commentary before doing so?
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Old 4th October 2010, 11:11 AM   #92
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For books I chose to read, seemingly for enjoyment, Next by Michael Crichton stands out as painfully bad. I know, it's "beach reading," but I found it to be incredibly stupid and poorly written, with a "phoned it in" feeling to it (that said, I read it on vacation just literally minutes after finishing The Road by Cormac McCarthy- that's a tough one to follow on many levels).

I recall finding Rolvag's Giants in the Earth really tedious and boring when I was made to read it in High School. Same year that we were made to read Silas Marner and Mill on the Floss- two very dated and plodding works, in my opinion.

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Old 4th October 2010, 11:13 AM   #93
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Only book (that I can remember) that I started but didn't finish: The book of Mormon. It's got all the stylistic flaws of the bible, and none of the redeeming qualities.
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Old 4th October 2010, 11:25 AM   #94
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The worst book I ever read was "the Celestine Prophesy". Given to me by a girlfriend who loved it. Terrible dreck with a bunch of new-age woo-woo crap mixed in. I only read it to 1) see how bad it got, 2) see if there was going to be any real point and 3) I felt obliged since my girlfriend loved it. At least it was a quick read...

BTW - I only dated her for about 3 months...
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Old 4th October 2010, 11:38 AM   #95
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Originally Posted by Zax63 View Post
I see a few David Eddings mentions. I'm pretty much a fan but The Dreamers series was absolutely horrible. I purchased the whole series and felt obligated to wade through it but it was so painful. The character were poor copies of his other work but the worst thing was the endless repetition. Any time any of the dozen or so main characters got together they would repeat everything that happened. I wish I had read the reviews before purchasing it.
That was tolerable, if a long way down from his previous works. What really made me want to flush the whole damn series down the drain was the ending... everything simply never happened! Can you imagine a dumber way to conclude a series?
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Old 4th October 2010, 11:51 AM   #96
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The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant. Not just one book, but the whole series. All of them. I'd read everything else in the library's meager fantasy section by that point. It's part of what got me into being an author, as it looked like they'd publish ANYTHING.
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Old 4th October 2010, 11:51 AM   #97
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Originally Posted by patchbunny View Post
I fell off the wagon and read Moby Dick.
I heard a clever joke about that book, regarding how most classic lit. folks never actually finish it. I wish I could remember how it went.

Anyone know the joke I am referring to?

Originally Posted by jskowron View Post
For books I chose to read, seemingly for enjoyment, Next by Michael Crichton stands out as painfully bad.
Oooo! I read that one! It was pretty bad! I remember most of the "action" took place in the form of really angry phone calls, or something. The talking parrot, though, was kinda cute.
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Old 4th October 2010, 12:00 PM   #98
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Originally Posted by Chaos View Post
That was tolerable, if a long way down from his previous works. What really made me want to flush the whole damn series down the drain was the ending... everything simply never happened! Can you imagine a dumber way to conclude a series?
I'd actually managed to remove that part from my brain.

Thanks, Chaos!
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Old 4th October 2010, 12:11 PM   #99
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Originally Posted by Gawdzilla View Post
Yep, thousand year old military equipment, and learning to use it on simulators, that's pretty cool. I gave the movie to a Harrier pilot once. I thought he was going to kill me after he saw it.

I'm not talking about the movie. That was indescribably horrid.
Nothing like that happened in the book.

I'm not saying the book was good, let's get that clear. But I find it an enjoyable "mental junk food" read.
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Old 4th October 2010, 12:17 PM   #100
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Originally Posted by The Shrike View Post
A lot of people love it, but I thought it was some of the whiniest, most aimless drivel I've ever read: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.
Agreed. The whole of the book would have been too long as a short story. Completely awful. Not to mention that "the big problem" was just a simple misunderstanding of the scientific method.

Also, Sanctuary by Faulkner. Not at all pleasant.
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Old 4th October 2010, 12:19 PM   #101
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Originally Posted by X View Post
I'm not talking about the movie. That was indescribably horrid.
Nothing like that happened in the book.

I'm not saying the book was good, let's get that clear. But I find it an enjoyable "mental junk food" read.
I got two pages into the book, so I can't discuss that. I'm just relating what happened to me with regard to the movie made from the book.
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Old 4th October 2010, 12:24 PM   #102
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Originally Posted by Zax63 View Post
I'd actually managed to remove that part from my brain.

Thanks, Chaos!
My pleasure. Shared agony is lessened agony.
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Old 4th October 2010, 12:25 PM   #103
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Originally Posted by SezMe View Post
A book whose title I can't remember it was so bad.

I'm a huge fan of the Robert B. Parker series of Spenser books.
.
.
.
Then Spenser gathers all the tough guys from all the previous novels into one group to battle a gang of thugs. It was so contrived, the plotting so idiotic, the characters so overdone that it must surely serve as the ultimate example of how not to end a series.
.
.
.
ETA: Can't find it in wiki and it's not worth the effort to find this piece of bilge.
IIRC it was called Potshot. But I could be wrong.
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Old 4th October 2010, 12:41 PM   #104
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Originally Posted by Wowbagger View Post
I heard a clever joke about that book, regarding how most classic lit. folks never actually finish it. I wish I could remember how it went.

Anyone know the joke I am referring to?
Sorry, no. I do know that Moby Dick was a running gag in Jeff Smith's graphic novel, Bone. Whenever he tried describing the book to someone they'd fall asleep.
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Old 4th October 2010, 12:52 PM   #105
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Easy. Gömda (Buried Alive) by Liza Marklund. That is one godawful writer and no mistake. No adjective is left unused. No adverb is left lying. But personal pronouns? Fuggedaboudit. Why use pronouns when you can repeat the full name of your protagonist more times than an LdB Rich comercial mentions LdB Rich.

And now she is selling on the English language market. You guys have to understand that just because John Ajvide Lindkvist (Let the Right One In) and Henning Mankell are decent writers, that doesn't mean that anything Swedish is not awful. Marklund's language is worse than Dan Browne's. She ought to be incarcerated for crimes against the Swedish language.
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Old 4th October 2010, 12:56 PM   #106
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Originally Posted by Aitch View Post
IIRC it was called Potshot. But I could be wrong.
Could be. Wiki only has a stub on it.
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Old 4th October 2010, 12:56 PM   #107
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Originally Posted by whatthebutlersaw View Post
Easy. Gömda (Buried Alive) by Liza Marklund. That is one godawful writer and no mistake. No adjective is left unused. No adverb is left lying. But personal pronouns? Fuggedaboudit. Why use pronouns when you can repeat the full name of your protagonist more times than an LdB Rich comercial mentions LdB Rich.

And now she is selling on the English language market. You guys have to understand that just because John Ajvide Lindkvist (Let the Right One In) and Henning Mankell are decent writers, that doesn't mean that anything Swedish is not awful. Marklund's language is worse than Dan Browne's. She ought to be incarcerated for crimes against the Swedish language.
Speaking of Swedish literature, if I could stomach more than one sentence of Björn Ranelid's books, that'd been the worst ones I'd ever read.
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Old 4th October 2010, 01:06 PM   #108
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Robert Heinlein's The Number of the Beast. I didn't know at the time that in order to appreciate it, you had to have already read pretty much all of Heinlein's body of works, most of Burrough's Mars novels, and a lot of other stuff, as it is loaded with in-jokes, parodies, anagrams, and homage. All I remember about it is that the characters seemed to spend an inordinate amount of time discussing food and taking showers. I did slog through to the bitter end only out of morbid curiosity--the same kind that makes you want know just how many cars were derailed in that train wreck.
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Old 4th October 2010, 01:15 PM   #109
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Originally Posted by Wowbagger View Post

I guess I just like puzzles integrated into my mysteries, or something. I dunno.
Wowbagger, you may know - or not know - that I have the utmost respect for you and your intellect. If you don't know, just let me say that I do and believe me that I am sincere.

That said: where in the name of the Flying Spaghetti Monster do you find any puzzles in The Da Vincin Code?
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Old 4th October 2010, 01:20 PM   #110
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Originally Posted by TubbaBlubba View Post
Speaking of Swedish literature, if I could stomach more than one sentence of Björn Ranelid's books, that'd been the worst ones I'd ever read.
I haven't read any Ranelid. But ask me once I go menopausal. (It will be easy to spot, when my type goes gently into that dark night, my hair will go henna and my entire wardrobe will mysteriously transmogrify into wall to wall Gudrun Sjödén.)
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Old 4th October 2010, 01:29 PM   #111
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The Celestine Prophecy.

Yes, I finished it. How sad is that?
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Old 4th October 2010, 02:12 PM   #112
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Originally Posted by whatthebutlersaw View Post
That said: where in the name of the Flying Spaghetti Monster do you find any puzzles in The Da Vincin Code?
Those cryptex thingies, for one thing.

The clever use of anagrams, for another, etc.

Gave the book a sense that you, too, could help them solve the mysteries along the way, (as long as you were Mensa eligable or something, which I am not).
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Old 4th October 2010, 02:18 PM   #113
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Originally Posted by whatthebutlersaw View Post
I haven't read any Ranelid. But ask me once I go menopausal. (It will be easy to spot, when my type goes gently into that dark night, my hair will go henna and my entire wardrobe will mysteriously transmogrify into wall to wall Gudrun Sjödén.)
Quote:
"Amelie är en pågående kontinent i en tämligen kort skugga, när Den Dagens första sol gäller och hon hotas och jagas av virologer och filologer så länge språket om henne inte lever hos de många."
I'd translate it for our foreign viewers, but it's some sort of pseudo-poetry that fails to transfer any sort of meaning from the text to the reader.
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Old 4th October 2010, 02:20 PM   #114
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Originally Posted by Morrigan View Post
Naked Empire (Terry Goodkind), followed by the rest of Sword of Truth (I haven't read any past Naked Empire though, it's quite possible they get even worse),
I think Naked Empire was the worst, the last 3 were significantly better IMO.
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Old 4th October 2010, 02:21 PM   #115
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Originally Posted by Wowbagger View Post
Those cryptex thingies, for one thing.

The clever use of anagrams, for another, etc.

Gave the book a sense that you, too, could help them solve the mysteries along the way, (as long as you were Mensa eligable or something, which I am not).
Ok, now I know you're joking. Poe's law and all that.
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Old 4th October 2010, 02:23 PM   #116
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Originally Posted by Wowbagger View Post
Those cryptex thingies, for one thing.

The clever use of anagrams, for another, etc.

Gave the book a sense that you, too, could help them solve the mysteries along the way, (as long as you were Mensa eligable or something, which I am not).
That made me think of Angels and Demons (which I enjoyed more than Da Vinci Code, which in my opinion was pretty awful) where they are astonished over those invertible words with EARTH, WATER, etc on them, because no one knows what they looked like and no one could possibly create images like that again!

... Yet there are images of them which Dan Brown had an artist make.

I have to admit that I thought Digital Fortress was pretty good.
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Old 4th October 2010, 02:37 PM   #117
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I have no idea what the title was. I had just buckled on a flight from LA to London when I realized that I had forgotten my books on the counter while measuring my carry-on. Catastrophe! I ran to the front of the plane, was told it was too late and asked to return to my seat. But,seeing my despair, the kind flight attendant offered to bring me her book.

It was a romance novel set in Scotland during some completely undefinable era. There was a nod to historical fiction, some unnamed king was at war with England, the hero (brooding, determined to never marry after heartbreak) wore a kilt and sporran, etc. The only good thing about it was the length, 5000 pages or so but I had to read it carefully. No skimming or I would be lit-less. Painful.

Other than that, the first two books of the Twilight series which I read to see what my niece (then 13) was so infatuated with. The writing is so poor and the message so incredibly horrible that they left me enraged. The niece and I had several long talks about how Edward is actually a creepy stalker. It was a bonding experience, so I got that out of it. But I wouldn't read the rest of the books in that series if you paid me.
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Old 4th October 2010, 02:42 PM   #118
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From a Buick 8 (great start ... only about 1% of the total pages, though) and The DaVinci Code (a Hardy Boys mystery for grownups) have already been mentioned.

But, I think the worst book I every read all the way through was Night Fall by Nelson DeMille.

First, it's not a very good thriller. A big problem is that the improbable twist ending is telegraphed several chapters earlier - which saps it of any emotion or excitement. It is just silly.

Second, the book is based on real events ... as interpreted by a CTer. I found it pathetic that the author would create a silly fantasy around an incident which killed 230 people. The insensitivity shown by DeMille for the families of the victims of TWA Flight 800 is amazing.

-- Roger
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Old 4th October 2010, 02:44 PM   #119
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Originally Posted by Schrodinger's Cat View Post
Heh, never heard of this. But Eoin Colfer does write the children's book series "Artemis Fowl," which I really quite enjoy, actually. Maybe he should stick with kid lit.

For me, the worst book I ever finished was Ayn Rand's "The Fountainhead."

Though I would say "The Great Gatsby" was pretty God awful. I probably wouldn't have hated it so much if it wasn't supposed to be one of the best pieces of American literature ever written. I finished it thinking, "Are you KIDDING me? THAT was 'The Great Gatsby?' Really??"
Gatsby!? Blasphemy! It can be an uncomfortable book but it's very difficult to carry off the balancing act between love and loathing of your own characters.

As for Ayn Rand, I loved her stuff but my lord, the dinner parties! Those interminable dinner parties where no one eats, they just sit around lecturing each other for 30 pages at a time. Wretched and dull.
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Old 4th October 2010, 03:28 PM   #120
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OMG, y'all, I had a lengthy post all worked out about "great works of literature that I have hated," but then I remembered The Golden Notebook, and everything paled in comparison. It was in the only women's lit. class I ever took: I came to the conclusion that--uterus, schmuterus--I wasn't cut out for women's lit. I don't necessarily blame women writers for this. It's not their fault that they only really broke into the world of literature during the "whinge about feelings and describe crap at excruciating length" era. It probably didn't help that I had a migraine pretty much the whole semester, with several visits to the ER and occasional IV fluids, but after Jane Austen (my second-least favorite Austen, by the way), I loathed absolutely everything. The Golden Notebook, though, was in a class by itself. Not enough Demerol in the world to make that tolerable.
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