Worst/Overrated books.

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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Mon Aug 16, 2010 3:38 am UTC

When did I say anything about Mother Superior? I said that your post is patronizing, and that your intent, stated or, in this case, unstated, does nothing to change that.
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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby Mother Superior » Mon Aug 16, 2010 9:23 am UTC

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:When did I say anything about Mother Superior? I said that your post is patronizing, and that your intent, stated or, in this case, unstated, does nothing to change that.

Indeed. Similarly to gmal, he felt the post was patronizing, he needed not be the target of it to comment.

Oh, and I'm betting tGB was referring to certain members of the XBox Live community, who are famous for their... *cough* 'vivid rants'...
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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby Sir Novelty Fashion » Mon Aug 16, 2010 10:15 pm UTC

The Castle of Otranto - this book is, in all matters technical, awful. It is unreadable. It is absurd. It is totally without value in and of itself. It's dreary, it's dull, and its only importance is that it invented a genre. And look at that genre. No, really, look. Honestly, now. Title aside, was The Mysteries of Udolpho really worth the banality of "Otranto"?

Agatha Christie's novels as a whole. Her novels. Her short stories are perfectly readable, and her stuff makes for very good adaptation into TV serials (particularly when they star David Suchet). But as works of literature, they're pretty unreadable, I think.

Of Mice and Men - Oh, fuck it, another banally depressing story of the Deep South in the Depression. We get it, life was shit. People weren't anything special. You hate the adjective as the work of the Devil. The world is circumscribed by dust and corn. ENOUGH ALREADY.

The Great Gatsby - sits at the crossroads of two equally awful traditions in American literature - 19th Century insufferable pomposity and 20th Century adjective-hating, textual dessication, in which everything must reflect the dustiness of the road and the dustiness of men's souls, and everyone is a bum with no teeth called Bill McCrick, who's been workin' in pickin' cotton for twen'y years. Don't pretend you don't know what I mean - we've all read this stuff.

It took me two years to manage to get through the first chapter of Gatsby. From there on, I found it predictable, dull, and a rather ham-fisted analysis/unpicking of the hypocrisies of its age. Vile Bodies did it so much better, evoking both the glamour and the reality with far more finesse. By comparison, Gatsby is a dreary second-rater. And for some reason, I insist on comparing them.

Ursula K. LeGuin - specifically, The Wizard of Earthsea. Aside from that her name sounds like she stuck the "K" in to differentiate herself from all those other Ursula LeGuins around, and that it sounds like it's meant to be shouted far louder than the rest of her name to highlight this... I tried Earthsea after completing LotR, when I was about 10. It was like going from a good red wine to cranberry juice. Earthsea is, by comparison, thin, watery, and rather insipid, IMO.

The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad - I managed about 7 pages of this book. Conrad's style is dense with totally irrelevant details, which inform you about neither the world nor the characters. It's simply page after page of filler so useless it's thoroughly infuriating.

A Portrait of the Artist As A Young Man - urgh. The style gets gradually worse as the book goes on, and for such a short book, it certainly drags on a lot. The title really should have been A Portrait of the Artist Having A Wank And Then Moralising Over It.

Sherlock Holmes. Sorry, but Conan-Doyle was just a poor writer. I dare you to read "The Speckled Band" or "The Red-Headed League" and not piss yourself laughing at the absurdity of it all.

HG Wells. I can't remember which of Wells' novels I've tried, but I do remember I found his prose style so unreadable I couldn't make more than about half a page.

Arthur C. Clarke - I got perhaps a third of the way through 2061 before I realised that I really didn't give a toss what happens in the book. Beyond the occasional flashes of humour, I've found nothing likeable in his style. And as for the plots... compare 2001 to 2010, the novels. Now compare the films. The difference between the OK film and the brilliant film, and indeed, between the brilliant film and the passable books, is Stanley Kubrick. I also struggled my way through that "Diaspar" one, and found it pretty forgettable, and written on the basis of such an infantilist anthropology as to be patronisingly paternalistic.

Dorian Gray - This one isn't actually bad, so much as... a wasted opportunity. It wouldhave made a far superior play. The padding, in particular those parts where Wilde simply copied out the contents of museum catalogues, is obvious and irksome. It's a pity; his childrens' stories are really rather good.

A Country Spring by Horace - this poem is just awful in every way imaginable. Also, I agree with the OP on the Aeneid, particularly as I had to read Book X in Latin. Which is a prime example of how not to write - repetitiously, monotonously, and in a deliberately archaising style. Forsooth. The only Latin author I can read any more is Tacitus. The rest, by and large, bore me to tears.

Oh, and "The Lord of the Rings" is definitely overrated. Or rather, mis-rated. People praise it for the wrong things, IMO, and it's really not quite as good as is sometimes made out. It's still pretty important and yes, pretty good. But I dislike that it now totally circumscribes fantasy. By-and-large.
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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby Mother Superior » Mon Aug 16, 2010 11:41 pm UTC

Sir Novelty Fashion wrote:Arthur C. Clarke - I got perhaps a third of the way through 2061 before I realised that I really didn't give a toss what happens in the book. Beyond the occasional flashes of humour, I've found nothing likeable in his style. And as for the plots... compare 2001 to 2010, the novels. Now compare the films. The difference between the OK film and the brilliant film, and indeed, between the brilliant film and the passable books, is Stanley Kubrick. I also struggled my way through that "Diaspar" one, and found it pretty forgettable, and written on the basis of such an infantilist anthropology as to be patronisingly paternalistic.

Despite being a huge fan of Arthur C. Clarke, I am perfectly willing to admit that if you aren't as wildly in love with his writing as I am 2001 has very little good qualities. I do however think that 2010 is a huge step up in terms of quality, both plot-wise and writing-wise, and if you haven't done so I would urge you to read some of his other stuff, such as the Fountains of Paradise or Rendezvous with Rama.
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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby gmalivuk » Tue Aug 17, 2010 1:09 am UTC

pollywog wrote:I liked LotR when I was younger. Then I started reading Sci-Fi, and thought, wow, for long books, Dune is so so much better than LotR.
Well sure, but Dune is pretty much better than everything written ever, so I think that's hardly a fair comparison. (I just started listening to the audio version yet again.)
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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Tue Aug 17, 2010 1:22 am UTC

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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby pollywog » Tue Aug 17, 2010 2:21 am UTC

I like it far more than sci fi set in "more recent times". Uh, hmmmm, sci fi set closer to now. There's a series I read, by someone Hamilton, set quite close to now, and it screwed with my suspension of disbelief. It's just too soon, and I find myself thinking "Man, that would never happen". Then I think of Dune, and it just seems so much more likely to happen if it's set 10,000 years into the future. It's the same for A Requiem for Homo Sapiens, which probably deserves to be in here as well. The further away it is, the more likely I'll enjoy it. Zindell has some cool ideas, and his main character in that series is so humanly broken it's awesome, but I think it's just the fact that it's SOOOOO FAAAARRR AWAAAAYYYYY that makes it.

Actually, worst books is Zindell's fantasy series. Almost exactly the same as the sci fi series, but bad on some extraordinary level. I couldn't even finish the first book.
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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby melladh » Tue Aug 17, 2010 12:12 pm UTC

You certainly go through a lot of books you don't like :D

I remember "reading" Gatsby as a book-on-tape many years ago. But... that's just it. I remember it was books-on-tape. And that's all I can remember of it, apart from the title - the rest went out of my head quicker than it went in. I have some weird vague recollection about a car on a driveway... but I could just be imagining it.
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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby gmalivuk » Tue Aug 17, 2010 2:23 pm UTC

pollywog wrote:it just seems so much more likely to happen if it's set 10,000 years into the future.
More like 20,000, actually. Dates in the book are measured from, I believe, the inception of the Spacing Guild, which itself forms about 10,000 years in our future.
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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby bigglesworth » Tue Aug 17, 2010 3:14 pm UTC

I think that according to Hamilton's timeline, we have about ten years to get the first zero-G factories in orbit set up.
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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby Mother Superior » Tue Aug 17, 2010 3:49 pm UTC

I see the problems in settings things too close to now (ie, where are our space hotels, Clarke?) but to me, the further into the future the more it annoys me. Several thousand years into the future? I have no connection to a world that distant, and it is far too difficult to predict what will happen in that timespan. In 3001, it kinda worked. Unfortunately, very little else in that book did...
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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby bigglesworth » Tue Aug 17, 2010 3:50 pm UTC

Actually, part of what makes Star Wars seem right is that it's set in the past, come to think of it.
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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby Belial » Tue Aug 17, 2010 6:41 pm UTC

I always liked the quote that ran along the lines of "sci-fi is rubbish at predicting the actual future, all it can do is depict the possible futures (dreams of the future) implicit in the present"
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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby Mother Superior » Tue Aug 17, 2010 8:06 pm UTC

Belial wrote:I always liked the quote that ran along the lines of "sci-fi is rubbish at predicting the actual future, all it can do is depict the possible futures (dreams of the future) implicit in the present"

"The goal of science fiction is not to accurately predict changes, it is simply to predict that changes will occur."
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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby SecondTalon » Tue Aug 17, 2010 8:49 pm UTC

Mother Superior wrote:
Belial wrote:I always liked the quote that ran along the lines of "sci-fi is rubbish at predicting the actual future, all it can do is depict the possible futures (dreams of the future) implicit in the present"

"The goal of science fiction is not to accurately predict changes, it is simply to predict that changes will occur."

I thought it was that "The goal of science fiction is to reflect the present time, only with people who have funny ears and/or forehead ridges. Unless they're actually alien, in which case the people who express sexual attraction towards them will be really really creepy. Where was I going with this.. oh, right, the present time, only more idealized because it's got futuretech. Or something."
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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby pollywog » Tue Aug 17, 2010 10:29 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:
pollywog wrote:it just seems so much more likely to happen if it's set 10,000 years into the future.
More like 20,000, actually. Dates in the book are measured from, I believe, the inception of the Spacing Guild, which itself forms about 10,000 years in our future.
There you go. Big big numbers.
melladh wrote:You certainly go through a lot of books you don't like
I don't, honestly. I used to read much more than I do now, and these are all books I read a long time ago. Most of the books I'm reading now, I'm quite enjoying. Silverthorn, Econo-myths, Lolita and a book about a New Zealander that was convicted of murdering his family, but didn't. Or maybe he did. Also, most of what I've mentioned in other posts has been sci-fi and fantasy, because that's what other people are talking about, but really, that forms a small part of what I read.
bigglesworth wrote:I think that according to Hamilton's timeline, we have about ten years to get the first zero-G factories in orbit set up.
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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby Thurid » Tue Aug 17, 2010 11:53 pm UTC

Fahrenheit 451 is complete garbage.

And fuck all of you, LOTR is awesome.
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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Tue Aug 17, 2010 11:55 pm UTC

I say we burn it.
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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby Thurid » Wed Aug 18, 2010 12:13 am UTC

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:I say we burn it.


agreed haha
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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby Zohar » Wed Aug 18, 2010 6:44 am UTC

I just read Fahrenheit 451 last week. I thought it was awesome and thought provoking. I was a bit surprised it was so relevant and creepily, it predicted quite a few things that are happening today.
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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby melladh » Wed Aug 18, 2010 2:31 pm UTC

I love Fahrenheit 451, but it has hints of being a hate-love relationship. It's thought provoking, and the dystopian "future" it presents looks a lot more like a caricature of present day than something that will happen in a hundred years. But then again, part of me wants to say it's not really well written, the story is a bit dodgy and unkempt, but... I guess in the end, I don't care :D Perhaps it's not as much poorly written as it is written in a style I'm not used to - there are a billion rules on "how to write perfectly" that you can apply to your story to make it more appealing, but how fun would that be in the end? I still enjoyed reading it, though part of me wanted to protest. It's "simple to read" ;) I guess the problem is similar to my problem with Tad Williams - he has great stories, but perhaps someone else should have written them. But in this case, that doesn't make me like it any less.
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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby pollywog » Wed Aug 18, 2010 8:48 pm UTC

Ae, there's a real difference between a writer and a storyteller.
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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby Thurid » Thu Aug 19, 2010 1:31 am UTC

In Fahrenheit 451 he tends to over describe everything, and its really annoying. That's probably the main reason I hate it, but also the whole premise always really annoys me, any book like that, The Giver, 1984, Soylent Green, the don't interest me, I don't care if they think the human race is becoming a bunch of morons who can't be entertained by 'intellectual' things. Obviously its not that way, and just because those things entertain you doesn't mean you shut out everything else.
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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby gmalivuk » Thu Aug 19, 2010 1:41 am UTC

melladh wrote:the dystopian "future" it presents looks a lot more like a caricature of present day than something that will happen in a hundred years.
Which is actually a huge mark of success, considering the story first showed up 60 years ago...
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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby Jorpho » Thu Aug 19, 2010 3:43 am UTC

Thurid wrote:In Fahrenheit 451 he tends to over describe everything, and its really annoying.
That's pretty much Bradbury's thing, especially in his more recent "realistic" works. In a way, it's quite impressive.

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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby Zohar » Thu Aug 19, 2010 5:43 am UTC

I thought it matched perfectly with the theme of the story. I didn't read much else of Bradbury, but I loved how he intentionally over-explained everything (being all literary and such) in a world where most people's minds are completely dry and uncreative.
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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby melladh » Thu Aug 19, 2010 11:57 am UTC

gmalivuk wrote:
melladh wrote:the dystopian "future" it presents looks a lot more like a caricature of present day than something that will happen in a hundred years.
Which is actually a huge mark of success, considering the story first showed up 60 years ago...


Touché. I always find it difficult to remember the real world origins of stories, as connected to the story itself.

Thurid wrote:In Fahrenheit 451 he tends to over describe everything, and its really annoying.

And yet, he's not a tenth as bad as Robert Jordan when it comes to that... :D
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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby SecondTalon » Fri Aug 20, 2010 8:04 pm UTC

Hey now, when the Vlexlon War of 3256 burns away the Earth's atmosphere and we retreat to the Biodomes of Mars to launch our counter-assault and reclaim our homeworld in 3686 and begin resetting it, but due to the atmospheric damage most of the plant life is gone and we've just got bioengineered ferns to work with in an attempt to restore something that at least resembles the Earth of legends, SOMEONE has to make sure we all fully understand what a field of grass looks like.

And that someone is Robert Jordan.
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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby kvaks » Sat Aug 21, 2010 10:37 am UTC

First! First to mention The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. It's short and not much waste of time in that sense, but it's terribly overrated. It was recommended to me years ago by a mate who claimed the book had "changed his life", so at least the book tought me not to take life-changes too seriously. New-age superstitious nonsense-philosophy, but I should say that I have low tolerance for stuff like that.

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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby andrewxc » Sun Aug 22, 2010 6:34 am UTC

I know I should have read all 12 pages, but it's 02:22, and I'm going to bed.
Pretty much anything by Faulkner. I can't get into them at all. I tried Intruder in the Dust in high school, and got a D for the semester for not sucking it up and reading it and spewing my true feelings about the book... Oh, no... I had to NOT read it and NOT say anything. I also tried to read As I Lay Dying last year and got through about 50 pages before calling it total bullshit and quitting.

I realize now that my problem with both books, and Faulkner as an author, was something that Douglas Adams always said: "I always tried to be literate, not literary."
Faulkner's approach is to be pretentious and write English "as it should be", in a style that is totally alien to most English speakers, rather than try to identify with the masses, or even somewhat intelligent students. Looking at Intruder, there is a seven-page sentence in the middle of it (yes, using semi-colons apparently means you are still only writing one sentence), which, to me, indicates that he made a bet with someone, perhaps only himself, that he could do it.
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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby melladh » Sun Aug 22, 2010 6:44 am UTC

SecondTalon wrote:Hey now, when the Vlexlon War of 3256 burns away the Earth's atmosphere and we retreat to the Biodomes of Mars to launch our counter-assault and reclaim our homeworld in 3686 and begin resetting it, but due to the atmospheric damage most of the plant life is gone and we've just got bioengineered ferns to work with in an attempt to restore something that at least resembles the Earth of legends, SOMEONE has to make sure we all fully understand what a field of grass looks like.

And that someone is Robert Jordan.


Haha, I see, though I dread to think of what other things they will try to recreate from his books.
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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby andrewxc » Sun Aug 22, 2010 6:47 am UTC

melladh wrote:
gmalivuk wrote:
melladh wrote:the dystopian "future" it presents looks a lot more like a caricature of present day than something that will happen in a hundred years.

Which is actually a huge mark of success, considering the story first showed up 60 years ago...

Touché. I always find it difficult to remember the real world origins of stories, as connected to the story itself.


Yeah, that's kind of Sci-Fi's "thing." The Chrysalids by Wyndham is one I started today. Since it was written in 1955 or so, I can see this going one of two ways for me; either I'll love it or I'll be back to post here later this month.
From the synopsis and the first chapter, I see a lot of parallels between the "unseen terror" of a psychic mutant and the whole "gay rights" issue from today's society.
You definitely see what you want in these "predictive" science fiction areas... Psychohistory wins again!
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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby theGoldenCalf; » Sun Aug 22, 2010 7:22 am UTC

kvaks wrote:First! First to mention The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. It's short and not much waste of time in that sense, but it's terribly overrated. It was recommended to me years ago by a mate who claimed the book had "changed his life", so at least the book tought me not to take life-changes too seriously. New-age superstitious nonsense-philosophy, but I should say that I have low tolerance for stuff like that.


I don't think you can seriously say that the alchemist is overrated. It is new age crap and is usually referred to as the quintessential new age crap, just one that appeals to a large crowd of fluff loving non-readers and new age enthusiasts. This is like saying that 'the secret', McDonalds or the teletubbies are overrated.

And yes, I've read it. I was given that book and another Coelho book ("By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept") by a friend, when going to spend a week in a desolate military outpost with nothing else to read. It was ages ago, but I clearly remember what it felt like to go through these two books in one 4-hour sitting - like the feeling you get from zapping endless TV channels of shit for an entire evening.. depressed, ashamed, desperate and slightly barfy, having no idea where did you go just now. And the messages... follow your dreams, find motivation within, love conquers obstacles... stuff you realize by the time you're twelve. meh. I guess even intelligent people sometimes enjoy some cotton-candy truisms wrapped in mesmerizing fairytale glitter.
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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby melladh » Mon Aug 23, 2010 9:49 am UTC

theGoldenCalf; wrote:I don't think you can seriously say that the alchemist is overrated. It is new age crap and is usually referred to as the quintessential new age crap


Define "usually". That's not a definition I ever heard in the media, like in the news paper culture sections, and various morning shows, which went on and on about it. (those being the only parts that mentioned it at all) I've had all sorts of different people recommend it. I don't like it, new age or not, but still, I wouldn't be able to say people "usually" refer to it as new age crap.

Though I do get the impression that the people who've actually recommended it to me (which isn't the same thing as saying "most people who like it", mind you) only do so because the only way they can handle anything other than Bridget Jones' Diary, or an average detective story, is by it not having anything that forces you to involve your brain... ("But you like strange things, you should looove this, it's so puuuurty")
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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby theGoldenCalf; » Mon Aug 23, 2010 12:24 pm UTC

melladh wrote:Define "usually".


Usually.

Ok, just kidding. You were talking about two different sources that misled you about this new age crap. First, mass media is not the best place to learn about art, unless it is a media source dedicated to art and not an art section of a media source dedicated to money (though the latter can sometimes hit the spot). Morning shows? come on, you're not even trying. Substantial views about art do not come between an item about a new, exciting way of making chicken frittata and another about some celebrity's choice of underwear. If anything, such recommendations are to be avoided.
Then you mention recommendations from people who are not very much into reading, at least not beyond mindless entertainment level. It's entirely possible to be an intelligent person with fine tastes in whatever you find appealing and still not be a big reader. Believe me, I have friends who beat my sorry ass at any strategy game and can teach me about many things, and still rave about Stephen King or Harry Potter. Some people give good advice for cooking or music or relationships, and some for books. You don't just listen to anyone about anything.
Bottom line, something that makes a big media buzz and becomes vastly popular is in no way necessarily rated high among its breed. It isn't like you can say that Miley Cyrus is overrated as a musician. Dali is also a very popular artists, but 100% of serious visual art people I talked to hate his fucking guts.

So when you ask someone who's interest in literature is above average and is a serious reader (you know one when you see one), you will usually get the message that Coelho is new age crap and is to be avoided. It isn't like lord of the rings or catcher in the rye mentioned before, where some serious book people hold it in very high regard, and other serious book people can't stand.
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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby melladh » Tue Aug 24, 2010 9:50 am UTC

Yes, but then you've limited your selection of people to include in your "usually", while my selection included a greater amount of the population, thereby being a greater resemblance to normality (refer to: "normally: under normal conditions; " in your link there). Not because I think mainstream is something to listen to, but as an argument against your claim that you can't call it overrated because people who you'd hold in high regard wouldn't like it... Just because tons of people with bad taste love something, that doesn't mean it's not overrated in general "because they don't count". Refer to Twilight earlier in the thread, it's vastly overrated compared to how much attention it's gotten and how much it's selling, but I've never met anyone in real life who'd admit to liking it, especially not anyone who's opinion I value. It's still overrated.

Also, our morning shows are helluva lot different than your morning shows it seems :D I don't watch ours either, but you zap past them some days - from the little I've seen, american morning shows make our morning shows look like Inside the Actors Studio.
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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby theGoldenCalf; » Tue Aug 24, 2010 11:30 am UTC

You see, I don't object to a discussion about Coelho's work being overrated or not, I just stated a personal opinion, which is a work of art is to be rated by the response of people and media sources which have a significant interest in this form of art and not by popularity or mass media coverage. Just like commercial pop music is known to be cheap crap intended for making profit and then sells millions and gets mass media exposure, Coelho's new age junk is the realization of the same deal in the literary world. It just seems like there's higher regard to literature than there is to music, or any other art form related to show business, so if it is a book and it requires reading skills it is less likely to be acknowledged as the commercial low-grade crap it actually is.

And yes, just like most of the mass media here in Israel, morning shows are more on the American ditzy-housewife-fluff side. I'm pretty sure any book recommendation they come up with is something to be avoided. Good cookie recipes, though.
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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby gmalivuk » Tue Aug 24, 2010 12:08 pm UTC

theGoldenCalf; wrote:so if it is a book and it requires reading skills it is less likely to be acknowledged as the commercial low-grade crap it actually is.
No, because there is still essentially pulp, even if it's no longer printed on significantly cheaper paper. Shitty pop music is generally more like shitty romance novels, which everyone *knows* are shitty but which can be a fun waste of an afternoon nonetheless.
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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby Zohar » Tue Aug 24, 2010 12:21 pm UTC

I liked The Alchemist...

Granted, I was about 12 at the time. I read some other stuff by the same author and realized "Oh, he has one thought and he keeps repeating it in every single book"
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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby kvaks » Tue Aug 24, 2010 12:26 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:No, because there is still essentially pulp, even if it's no longer printed on significantly cheaper paper. Shitty pop music is generally more like shitty romance novels, which everyone *knows* are shitty but which can be a fun waste of an afternoon nonetheless.


Cheap FM radio pop music is like pulp romance novels, or maybe Twilight. Coelho would appear to unfamiliar readers to be a step up qualitywise. More like, I don't know, Jack Johnson? Comparisons to the world of music can't get us very far anyway. It is my firm impression that Paulo Coelho is rated quite highly among quite a few people who read books, and that he's more than qualified for the label "overrated".


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