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.

Postby MrsSmeagol » Sat Dec 16, 2006 3:56 pm

We got lots of names for them: knickers, crackers, undercrackers, kecks, skids, are the ones that come to mind. :)
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Postby IrisBrandybuck » Sun Dec 17, 2006 8:05 am

:rofl:
[color=blue]HUE!!!!! :hug: Welcome!
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Postby silmarien1379 » Mon Dec 18, 2006 6:52 pm

I have to say that I HATED several of the old classics we had to read in high school. The Odyssey and the Aeneid were torture for me to get through. I also hated Catcher in the Rye. Steinbeck was kind of blah for me, but I didn't loathe it.

James Joyce also didn't inspire me at all, and I found Portrait of an Artist to be rather bland.

I did like almost all of the Latin American authors I read in HS, including Neruda (LOVE his poetry), Allende, and Garcia Marquez. I also liked The Sound and the Fury by Faulkner.

I actually kind of want to read the Eragon series, with all the media hype around the movie. But after reading everyone's posts about it, I dunno if it's worth it.
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Postby IrisBrandybuck » Mon Dec 18, 2006 7:01 pm

Go ahead and read Eragon, just don't expect Lord of the Rings.

As I've said before, I liked the books. I knew better than to expect anything on the grand scale, therefore I wasn't disapointed and actually enjoyed myself.

I also hated Catcher in the Rye. :)

Um...nothing else to report...
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Postby MrsSmeagol » Wed Dec 20, 2006 5:30 pm

Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar. Self indulgent nonsense. I wanted to slap her. :)
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Postby erinhue » Fri Dec 22, 2006 6:00 pm

Ah sweet acknowlegement from one with the beauty and mystery of the stars is indeed a blessing from above
:twisted:

Iris, darlin' thank ya much for the welcome back :lol:
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Postby erinhue » Fri Dec 22, 2006 6:05 pm

Speaking of Catcher in the Rye, can some one tell me why why why is it against some natural law that Chaucer couldn't be put into modern English so someone alive today does not get a nosebleed when forced to read it, same for Bewoulf and piece of literature that they think must be preserved jsut ast he author wrote it. Same goes for a lot of stuff that I just cannot think of right now. I just had a flashback of a particularly awful English class long ago, Uggggh, still give me shivers. :P

Why do they force ya to read so much booooooring stuff in school anyway?
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Postby MrsSmeagol » Fri Dec 22, 2006 6:32 pm

Beowulf and Chaucer are best read in the original, is why. :)

Some of the shorter Old English poems are beautiful even in translation, like The Seafarer, The Wanderer, The Ruin, The Wife's Lament...

A nice (but not accurate) and readable translation of beowulf is by the Irish poet, Seamus Heaney. I'd recommend it for anyone who can't read OE.

A bad teacher can spoil any text for the student, but they can't make an essentially great text bad - and some that have been taught badly may be worth a re-visit. :)
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Postby erinhue » Fri Dec 22, 2006 7:21 pm

you are right Mrs Smeagol and I should learn where to put my over blown sense of humor.

I do not think we have met before dear lady and it is indeed a pleasure. The Warrior/Bard Erinhue of Belfalas at your service. You can call me 'Hue, a lot of people do. 8)
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Postby MrsSmeagol » Sat Dec 23, 2006 10:51 am

Ello Hue :)

When I remember the godawful way we were taught Shakespeare, in school, I cringe. I'm sure it put most of the kids off for life, which is a shame. (Me included. I got a degree in Eng Lit but managed to dodge Shakespeare for 3 years.... Even to this day I love going to see them at the theatre, but could'nt bear to read one!)
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Postby portia » Sat Dec 23, 2006 4:44 pm

Some comments on other people's comments:

Taking something out of its original language is to change it, often not for the better. Who is there alive who can write as well as Shakespeare? Or Chaucer? If I could be sure that the changes were small, only for readability and didn't change the work, I might be OK with modernizing some old works. But I can't be sure.

On Shakespeare, specifically. He was never written to be read, but to be acted. See a play, or a movie, or hear a staged reading. At least try reading it out loud imagining it's a play.

Steinbeck can be depressing, but he is also uplifiting at the same time. I can't explain it. It may be related to the catharsis idea from Greek dramas.

I think Heinlein is a good storyteller, even if he is a little, umm, right wing. He has brought some innovative ideas into Science Fiction, which have caught on in the wider society, to some extent. Conceiving, then postponing the pregnancy, from "Podkayne." Alternate styles of marriage from "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress" and others. If one of the purposes of writing is to make the reader think, I'd say Heinlein does that, if only so that the reader can argue with him.

I am not sure how "Catcher in the Rye" is hilarious. There is a brand of humor, which many stand up comics use these days, that depends entirely on shocking the audience into (what I think is) nervous laughter. "Catcher" might fall into that category.
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Postby Compa_Mighty » Mon Dec 25, 2006 11:13 am

silmarien1379 wrote: I did like almost all of the Latin American authors I read in HS, including Neruda (LOVE his poetry), Allende, and Garcia Marquez. I also liked The Sound and the Fury by Faulkner.


Oh well, Neruda is awesome. I think what I don't get is modern novel... there are some great poets, though.
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Postby Durins_Day » Sat Jan 13, 2007 7:51 am

Oh man, where do I begin?

The foundation series. I barely got a chapter into the book before I had to put it down. Using mathmatics to predict events thousands of years in the future? What?

Wuthering Hieghts. Where every single character is unlikable, especially the main characters. Their only reedeeming characteristics en masse was that some of them had the ability to love....if you can call it that.

I totally agree with the assesment of Robert Jordan. After the third book the series begins to fall apart. The tenth book, aptly named "The Crossroads of Twillight" because absolutely nothing happens in it, is a very long boring book that doesn't advance the overall plot in the slightest. I have since given up hope and abandoned ship. This was a big deal for me since I've been reading The Wheel of Time Series for half of my life already.

I never got the appeal of the Lemony Snickett books. Every single adult is hell bent on destroying the lives of these saintly orphans and it is just really depressing for me.

Three Words: Michael Crichton...ARGH!

Huckleberry Finn didn't appeal to me the way Tom Sawyer did. Although I attribute this to a shift in character rather than a change in writing style or quality. Huck Finn is a great character but a very boring narrator.

I do really like poetry but I cannot stand Emily Dickenson. Cannot stand her. I know, novels not poems. Still, she bugs me.

*Notices post is turning into rant*

Er...thanks for reading?
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Postby MrsSmeagol » Sun Jan 14, 2007 2:32 pm

Talking of poetry, I can't be doing with Sylvia Plath. Just self indulgent poor ickle me me me me me..... 'The Bell Jar' is equally bratty and whingey.

Ted Hughes on the other hand, if one of my absoltue favourite poets. I was lucky enough to see him at his last ever public poetry reading. He was a real poet.
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Postby Neka » Tue Jan 16, 2007 6:04 pm

Oh man Michael Crichton. I have read several of his books hoping they would somewhat resemble Jurassic Park, which I liked. His problem is mostly with characters. They have NO personality and every book has pretty much the same characters. There is always the mathematical prodigy, some explorer type person and a scientist who wants to be taken seriously or something. Also some of his science is rather dubious so you have to be careful when reading it. When I was younger I believed a lot of what he said. Now that I am getting my BSc I realize how off he is on some things.

Michael Crichton is interesting for the information but the characters and story are always the same.

Also I agree with whoever disliked Wuthering Heights. The people in that book are horrible. You don't care what they do cause you don't like them. I had so much trouble reading that thing.
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Postby IrisBrandybuck » Thu Jan 18, 2007 9:36 am

I haven't read all of his books, but Andromeda Strain and Congo definately fit my list of bad books. Congo was one where the movie was actually better, and the movie wasn't all that great to begin with.

My favorite is Timeline, though. I've read it several times already. :)
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Postby daesul_reborn » Fri May 02, 2008 6:09 pm

Dante's Inferno.

The Divine Comedy is such a highly regarded work that I finally decided a few years ago that I should read it. I managed to get through Inferno, but it left me with no desire to even attempt Pergatorio or Paradisio. I have to respect the fact that he manages to make you feel like you really did just take a trip through hell. I felt like I was being punished for some unspeakable sin. Half the damned book seems to be filled with Dante saying something and Virgil turning with tears of joy and face shining with pleasure to say what a good idea it is. Pleh.

If hell was torture, I'm sure purgatory must be the most boring book ever.
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Postby Patera Silk » Wed May 07, 2008 11:18 am

Harry bloody Potter. I'd rather remove my nipples with a cheesegrater than read any more of this fifth-rate " Famous Five have a Wizard Wheeze" dreck.

They are pure 1950's boarding-school stories complete with all the stock characters of that genre but dressed up with horribly cliched "magical" trappings. Wands, broomsticks, pointy hats. Aaaargh. Take it away please!
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Postby Cock-Robin » Wed May 07, 2008 2:37 pm

Catcher in the Rye, of course. I tried to start it but quickly lost interest. I'd add 1984 to that list. I don't know why people rave over it, as I thought Orwell's other book Animal Farm was far superior.
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Postby portia » Fri May 09, 2008 2:06 pm

A few more comments on other people's comments.

I read "Brave new World" and "1984" together in High school for a paper. It was for an English class, but it was really a Political Science paper, analyzing the societies and their ways of controlling people. From that point of view they were both interesting books. But as literature I think they were depressing, and not really well written.

I read a lot of "cozy" mysteries. I keep reading the Agatha Raisin series by M.C. Beaton. I can't figure out why. All the characters (maybe with one exception) are such unpleasant, neurotic people that I just want to hit them with something. Yet I read another one yesterday (well, I was stuck somewhere and that was all I had to read. It was painful).
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Postby Black Serpent » Wed May 14, 2008 10:02 pm

OK, for starters...Tara, I have read a bit of Elsie Dinsmore and felt just the same.

I hated Wuthering Heights because I hated Heathcliffe.

Then there was To Kill A Mockingbird, which I studied in about Year 9. Everyone else in my class loved it, while I sat there and tried to look interested. I can see that it's a good book and I had absolutely no trouble reading it, but somehow it doesn't appeal to me. :roll:

Oh, and I Can Jump Puddles and A Fortunate Life.
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Postby Arassuil » Wed May 14, 2008 11:40 pm

G.R.R. Martin's Game of Thrones. Its been raved about and recommended by a few people whom I respect, but after a few attempted readings, I've given up.
Gene Wolfe's The Shadow of the Torturer... again, it was recommended a number of years ago by a friend when I was heavy into playing D&D. Despite my pushing my way on into it, it never did grasp my interest and I never finished it.
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Postby SilverScribe » Mon May 19, 2008 9:10 am

Actually, GRR Martin's Game of Thrones (Book 1 of The Song of Ice and Fire) was a bit of a chore for me at first . . . but I stuck it out and found that once past the first few "getting acquainted" chapters, it got better . . . a lot better. But then again, it appeals differently to different folks. :)

For me, I've tried twice to get into DragonDoom by Dennis McKiernen and I just can't get past all the darned Thee's and Thou's and all that stilted speech. *sigh*

I agree, Catcher in the Rye was an over-hyped, over-rated chunk o' dreck. I suspect On The Road by Jack Kerouac is pretty much in that ball park too, so I'm not wasting my time on that one either . . . at least not yet. ;)

:D:D:D
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Postby Gamgee Wench » Thu Jun 05, 2008 10:57 am

I agree with the Scribe and others....Catcher in the Rye... :? What in the world did everyone see in this book? I remember putting it down and thinking, "that's it?".

Oh, worst book of all time....Wuthering Heights. I've said it before, and I'll say it again....hated that book. I know it's the joy of many peoples lives, but I question their sanity. :) And I'm glad to see others agree.

Anything Hemingway. Just don't like his style.

I actually like some of Micheal Crichton, but most of them read like movie scripts....which may be what he intends. I liked the premise of State of Fear, liked the idea of some one writing about how I feel about some things for once ..but the book just imploded on itself. He took a good idea and just made it silly.
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Postby GlassHouse » Fri Jun 06, 2008 8:39 am

Patera Silk wrote:Harry bloody Potter. I'd rather remove my nipples with a cheesegrater than read any more of this fifth-rate " Famous Five have a Wizard Wheeze" dreck.

They are pure 1950's boarding-school stories complete with all the stock characters of that genre but dressed up with horribly cliched "magical" trappings. Wands, broomsticks, pointy hats. Aaaargh. Take it away please!
truer words were never spoken :rofl:

welcome Patera Silk
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Postby SilverScribe » Sun Jun 15, 2008 2:51 pm

I'll have to go find "Travels With Charley", it seems to be one of the few Steinbeck books I don't have . . . and although I don't mind Steinbeck I have to agree with whomever listed "The Red Pony" among a list of the most depressing books ever. Man alive . . . I love to read but that book was a chore.

I also hated The DaVinci Code. Pure crappola, thin plot, thinner characters; the whole time I was reading it I was thinking, "Dan Brown sure knows how to turn garbage into greenbacks." Another case where the hype was all there was.

:D:D:D
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Postby Black Serpent » Mon Jun 23, 2008 6:08 pm

Enid Blyton. Looking at the terrible plots (or plot...it seems to be a "one plot fits all") and the annoying overuse of exclamation marks (I say!!! What an adventure!!!) I find it hard see why anyone would like them, but I happen to know a lot of people who do/did.
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Postby Gandalf'sMother » Tue Jun 24, 2008 3:24 pm

I hated The Old Man and the Sea.


Wow. I can't even imagine hating that book....

-GM
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Postby Gandalf'sMother » Tue Jun 24, 2008 3:44 pm

Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. Horrific.

-GM
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Postby Finarphir » Sun Jul 06, 2008 7:06 pm

I personally didn't mind Atlas Shrugged so much, and actually enjoyed Anthem. I also enjoyed Willa Cather's My Antonia, liking it to a more mature Little House on the Prairie. The part where the two Russian's threw the newlyweds off the sled to the wolves was pretty horrifying.

Years ago, back in High School, I did come to despise Thomas Hardy's Return of the Native. It was kind of like a piece of overcooked meat, dry and hard to swallow leaving a chalky nasty taste behind. I actually stopped about a third of the way in and got the Cliff Notes so I could fake an essay for the class.

Not that it was on my reading list, but I'll be sure to stay away from Eragon thanks to all of the feedback
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