Books you hated and everyone else loved.

What other authors do Tolkien fans enjoy? Come on in and enter into a broadened conversation on the great literature of this and other times.

Books you hated and everyone else loved.

Postby IrisBrandybuck » Sun Jul 16, 2006 8:41 pm

I looked for a similar topic and couldn't find it. But if it needs moved, mods know best!

Ok, a better title might have been: Books that should never have been printed, Books that should never have been series and Author's who should have quit while they were ahead, but I didn't have enough room.

Post your list of bad books here! The ones you were forced to read in a class and still twitch over. Books that someone recommended, and were just horrible (and then you had to tell your friend why you hated it.) Series that started out good, then got really, really bad. Authors who started out with a good first or second book, and then seemed to forget how to write.

Post 'em here! Have at it! It's cathartic, you'll feel better!


That said, I'll start with a couple of my own.

The Catcher in the Rye was just horrible. Good concept, bad writing. The same with 1984. Great concept, badly written. And he did so well with Animal Farm!

The Left Behind series started out so well...and just fizzled. By the last book I was nearly crying out of boredom. (Yes, I stuck with it. I thought for sure that it would get better.)

Mercedes Lackey can stop at any time now. So can David Eddings.

Ok, eveyone, have fun!!
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Postby elf-maiden » Sun Jul 16, 2006 8:54 pm

The Great Gatsby and A Farewell to Arms. Had to read them both for school and thought there stories and the writing sucked. In fact, the only novel I've had to read for school that I've even slightly enjoyed is To Kill a Mockingbird.

And...um...I'll get back to you on the rest later perhaps. :)
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Postby Ugluk » Sun Jul 16, 2006 8:59 pm

I think I know what Luthy and Elsha are going to post about in here. Still.


I liked the book Eragon. Had a few flaws, but it was written by a teenager and it's his first book so I can forgive that. But it had a fresh, exciting plot, a very creative concept, and a number of other benefits.

Then I'm currently reading the second book, Eldest, in which it's apparent that Paolini wrote far too fast and with much less care, has virtually every fantasy cliche that exists, and irritates me on a number of levels at once.
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Postby elfshadow » Sun Jul 16, 2006 9:12 pm

Ugluk, you totally read my mind. :rofl:

I have some major, major problems with Christopher Paolini. I can hardly stand his writing, it's so awkward that it makes me cringe. Every time I read some of it, it sounds to me as though he just took half of his words from a thesaurus. I don't think his world is very original, since he seems to have taken most of his main ideas from other fantasy authors. I know a lot of people say that it was very good for a 15-year-old, and I can see that, but he only got it published because his parents own a publishing company, and they did it for him. Too much nepotism for my taste. :P I don't believe that the youth of the author should increase the value of books, I believe that each book is only as good as what's inside. And Eragon had nothing inside of it that was particularly captivating to me.
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Postby IrisBrandybuck » Sun Jul 16, 2006 9:19 pm

:rofl: Talk about opening a can of worms! I almost agree with Ugluk...Eldest was ok, but not quite as good as Eragon IMO.

Sooo, if I don't like A Farewell to Arms I won't be too disapointed! I figured The Great Gatsby was going to be pretty bad, though. I don't know, 6th sense maybe? :)
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Postby AlexSnitzel » Sun Jul 16, 2006 10:31 pm

Anything by Jane Austen.

:P

(and I'm very aware I'll probably be pelted with various objects but there it is ;) )

Mists of Avalon... I have tried reading that book so many times because I love different variations of the King Arthur story, but I've never been able to get through it.
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Postby A_Simple_Poet » Mon Jul 17, 2006 7:02 am

Oh you guys that are slamming Austen, Hemingway and Fitzy ... you're killing ME! :( That is some of the best stuff meant for older people to read well after high school because I hated them all then too, but love them now.

I never thought To Kill a Mockingbird was a big deal myself, and I'm certain there are a few more that escape my mind at the moment....
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Postby divya » Mon Jul 17, 2006 10:56 am

Surely not Austen please. She's brilliant. I agree that Eragon was mediocre, but compared to Terry Goodkind its practically a classic. Any suffering SOT readers out there?
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Postby Ugluk » Mon Jul 17, 2006 12:07 pm

AlexSnitzel wrote:Anything by Jane Austen.



Speaking as someone who has, as a general rule of thumb, despises romantic comedies, and particularly romance books, I have to say that Pride and Prejudice is pretty darn funny. And well-written.


It's the only book of hers that I've read, so...
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Postby lady*of*rohan » Mon Jul 17, 2006 1:25 pm

I hated of Mice and Men! The end drove me insane. We had to read it for school.

I love the Great Gatsy and To Kill a Mockingbird.

Eragon I don't know I tried to read it but couldn't.

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Postby AlexSnitzel » Mon Jul 17, 2006 2:35 pm

Surely not Austen please. She's brilliant.


There's just something about her style that really gets under my skin. And everyone else seems to love her, I see, so it fits quite well into the thread. ;)

Let's see... The Count of Monte Cristo is another one I've never made it through, which is surprising because I think the storyline's amazing, from what I know of it when we studied it in school.
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Postby IrisBrandybuck » Mon Jul 17, 2006 4:04 pm

I can understand not likeing Austen, I didn't like her the first time I read her either. It took maturity to become a fan.

Not that you're not mature, Alex. That was just me. :D

I had another one, but I've forgotten. I'll remember later.
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Postby elf-maiden » Mon Jul 17, 2006 9:57 pm

Augh, Rohy, I didn't like Of Mice and Men either. Or The Pearl. :puke: Hemingway's A Farewell to Arms had an okay plot, but a sixth grader could have come up with better dialouge. Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby had a stupid plot and stupid characters, but was written fairly well. Maybe it's just me, but I really don't find it entertaining to read about dumb alcoholics with virtually no morals.

The reason I liked To Kill A Mockingbird was because I could sympathize with the characters, the plot was good, it was well written, and had a good message. Plus it was clean.

Never read any Jane Austen. Just isn't my type of novel...

Mists of Avalon... I have tried reading that book so many times because I love different variations of the King Arthur story, but I've never been able to get through it.

I've also heard it has...awkward moments. I didn't ask for details though. :shock:

As for Eragon/Eldest, I found them both fun books. There were quite a few cliques, but it was expected. And to be honest, I'm really not that picky. I like to give Paolini the benefit of the doubt, these being his first novels and and him being so young and all. I really think he has potential. And I liked that little twist he threw in at the end of Eldest. Reminds me of Vader saying "Luke, I am your father". :D

If you want some books with cliques though, you should try reading Terry Brook's Shannara series. :wink:
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Postby elfshadow » Mon Jul 17, 2006 11:32 pm

I love Jane Austen's works, but she does have a very unique tone. I could definitely see how some people wouldn't like it. My mother is a huge Austen fan, and I think I inherited that from her. P&P was my favorite!

Rohy, I'm with you, I loved The Great Gatsby. I have to intensely disagree with Elfy that it was about a dumb alcoholic with virtually no morals, because that's not who Gatsby was at all to me. He was an ambitious kid who had the misfortune of being born into a humble family, and grew up to be someone who tried as hard as he could to forget his background. That's how I read it, at least. I liked the character of Gatsby. :)

I know that a lot of people dislike Hemingway's style, but I find his writing really captivating. I love that he makes most of his plot come out through dialogue rather than dense description. Description is fine for some things, but it can get a little wearisome. Hemingway is a refreshing change. For some reason his writing always makes me think of warm, dry days.

I'll try to think of more books that I disliked that everyone else seemed to like, but it's tough because I like most of what I read. There are definitely some, though, I'll find them. :D
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Postby elf-maiden » Tue Jul 18, 2006 10:20 am

Gatsby wasn't a bad character, no. But come on, he has to be pretty dumb to keep going after what's-her-name. :roll:
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Postby rowanberry » Tue Jul 18, 2006 11:41 am

The Pearl and Madame Bovary were two classics that I had to read at school and intensely disliked. The first one was so depressing, and the second one - what a stupid woman with an equally stupid husband... :x
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Postby portia » Tue Jul 18, 2006 1:48 pm

Henderson the Rain King

The Catcher in the Rye

Any Dickens except A Christmas Carol, and I can see in it elements that I dislike so much in the others.

I happen to adore Steinbeck, but I agree that the ending of Of Mice and Men was a downer (my tenth grade English teacher would read from Of Mice and Men sometimes, doing all the voices. He was brilliant).

Dune and all sequels.

Stranger in a Strange Land
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Postby lady*of*rohan » Tue Jul 18, 2006 2:13 pm

Elsha- I agree. I loved the charecter of Gatsby. He was so mysterious at points. I especially loved the ending of the book and how he ended up. Depressing yes, but so good. Also one thing I enjoyed about the book was how much symbolism was in it. The fact that the entire book and Gatsby's life was a symbol of the reality of the American Dream was awesome. Spoiler I loved the irony also when the first time Gatsby used his pool was also his last.

Portia- You didn't like Stranger in a Strange Land? Why? I thought it was very intresting. At points it was a little hard to follow like when the sections of the book switched.

OH! I completely forgot about a book that I HATED! But everyone seems to love, in fact they made a bunch of movies out of them. The Lord of the Rings.























































































































:P


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Postby elfshadow » Tue Jul 18, 2006 9:12 pm

Rohy, I really liked the ending to Gatsby too! And the last two paragraphs :shock: I swoon for FSF when I read then. They're amazing.

Oh! I've thought of one. Wuthering Heights. I've heard a lot of people rave about this book, but I thought it was just about the most boring and tedious thing I've ever read. It seemed so dense, and not in the way that Heart of Darkness was dense. I could hardly get through it because it just went on and on and ON. I had no sympathy for any of the characters, they were simply too distant. The whole book dragged on forever.
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Postby elf-maiden » Tue Jul 18, 2006 10:01 pm

I've thought of another one, too. Stargirl. I'd gotten lots of good reviews about it and it was getting popular so I decided to see how it was. Did not enjoy it. Especially the ending. It was just kind of like...okay... :roll:

I just hate bad/depressing endings I guess. Even good stories, if they have a bad ending, I usually don't end up liking. Like Bridge to Terabithia...it was so sad!! :shock: The ending is the most important part of the story after all. *is watching Secret Window* 8)
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Postby AlexSnitzel » Wed Jul 19, 2006 11:30 am

Oh! I've thought of one. Wuthering Heights . I've heard a lot of people rave about this book, but I thought it was just about the most boring and tedious thing I've ever read. It seemed so dense, and not in the way that Heart of Darkness was dense. I could hardly get through it because it just went on and on and ON. I had no sympathy for any of the characters, they were simply too distant. The whole book dragged on forever.


Yep. That book is... depression. Seriously. :shock:
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Postby IrisBrandybuck » Wed Jul 19, 2006 1:39 pm

Oh, my, Heart of Darkness was awful!

I have another one, I though of it yesterday. John Jakes. Now, I've only read 3 books because the third book made me give up. I read The TOS violation (bunnyslipper!) and thought it was pretty good. The one after that was ok, but starting to get a little...hard to believe. The third book was a load of tripe and impossible to believe...I'm sure real people do go through that many tragedies in a short period of time, but authors need to remember that their readers have a point where they're just going to stop believing it could possibly get that bad.

Mists of Avalon wasok, and I understood why she did what she did in places, but I doubt I'll ever read it again. Actually, I'm heasitant to pick up anything by MZB anymore. For the many good stories she wrote there were many that weren't, some that were downright stupid I'll never forget the book that, in order to save the world, the had a mass orgy. What was that all about?

David Eddings started out really good. But after a while all his characters sounded like all the other characters from the previous books and the plots were really thin. I got disgusted with Regina's Song and decided I'd never buy another book.

Mercedes Lackey has just forgotten how to write a good story. She should have stuck with the Tarma and Kethry stories and quit when she went dry.

I have yet to read Wurthering Heights, but since I've been on an Austen kick I probably will soon (the Bronte's were her contemporaries I believe.)
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Postby Taramire » Thu Jul 20, 2006 9:13 am

Any of you read Elsie Dinsmore by Martha Finley? I couldn't finish the first book; I just couldn't stand that self-righteous little imp. Everywhere I turn around people are saying what great books these are for your little girl :puke: .

Christy was another book that I couldn't get through, I made my friend tell me how it ended because I wasn't going to finish it.
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Postby lady*of*rohan » Thu Jul 20, 2006 11:17 am

I read Stargirl when I was in 7th grade. I liked it back then but I don't really remember it know.

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Postby IrisBrandybuck » Thu Jul 20, 2006 12:37 pm

Did anyone read (or try to read) Shadowmancer by G. P. Taylor? Ugh. I quit about 1/3 of the way through, I couldn't even force myself to finish it. He can't write, his characters were dumb (the bad guy wasn't even that bad, comparatively) and they did things no human being could possibly do, even if they ate their Wheaties. :roll:
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Postby The Nameless Thing » Thu Jul 20, 2006 1:49 pm

I have to agree with an eariler post. Catcher in the Rye. I hated it in High School. Then, in my 40's the hype got to me and I read it again. Hated it again.... :P
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Postby ambershadow » Thu Jul 20, 2006 4:00 pm

heart of darkness and Secret sharer we read at the same time both were really hard to get through. Never did like john jakes. I did read EROGON and ELDEST . almost all of it reminded me of other authors works and the fact that the author was only 15 came through very clearly in the books
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Postby K.Evenstar » Fri Jul 21, 2006 4:18 am

AlexSnitzel wrote:Anything by Jane Austen.

:P

(and I'm very aware I'll probably be pelted with various objects but there it is ;) )


*Pelts Alex with cabbages*

Well, I couldn't disappoint you, could I? ;)

Heart of Darkness was awful. I had to bribe myself to read it for English: "If I read X amount of pages I'll let myself have some chocolate/lunch/rest my eyes."

Didn't like Tess of the D'Urbervilles. It could have been a great book, but everything interesting that happened, happened between the lines of in between hapters. Everything was implied and boy, does that man waffle about the scenery!!! Gimme a break!!!

I liked Eddings' Elenium trilogy, but that was the first series of his I read. All the others I read afterwards seemed horribly familiar in plot, characters, etc.

Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time. Flippin' 'eck! Another waffler - 11 books (so far) each of 800-1000+ pages, and still not done! And it goes so slowly. There's too many subplots, characters. The guy needs a serious editor to cut down anything that isn't strictly necessary. Then he could probably have a reasonable 5 or 6-book series. Now, I like long books, and trilogies of long books, even multiple series of long books. But I do not have the patience to read to the end of a long series of long books, and wait probably at least 5 more years to get to the end of the story. I think one story should not stretch longer than five books, max.

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Postby Ivriniel » Fri Jul 21, 2006 5:28 am

elf-maiden wrote:The Great Gatsby and A Farewell to Arms. Had to read them both for school and thought there stories and the writing sucked. In fact, the only novel I've had to read for school that I've even slightly enjoyed is To Kill a Mockingbird.

And...um...I'll get back to you on the rest later perhaps. :)


I agree with you on the Great Gatsby. I had to read it for school too. Normally when I would be given a book to read for English class I'd read the whole thing in one night, but with the Great Gatsby I had trouble keeping up with were the rest of the class was, and resorted to reading it in the car on the way to school.

Another book that I hated from School was Margaret Laurence's "The Stone Angel". Unfortunately my Grade 12 teacher loved that book and despite the fact that we had also read Macbeth and part of the Oddessey the entire Midterm was on the Stone Angel. :x
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Postby Ivriniel » Fri Jul 21, 2006 5:32 am

AlexSnitzel wrote:(and I'm very aware I'll probably be pelted with various objects but there it is ;) )

Mists of Avalon... I have tried reading that book so many times because I love different variations of the King Arthur story, but I've never been able to get through it.


Here, I'll stick my neck out, to divert some of the objects away from you. :)

I dislike Mists of Avalon also. I don't see what the big fuss is all about.
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