Worst/Overrated books.

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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby rachel » Fri Oct 26, 2007 12:59 pm UTC

A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius. I honestly couldn't bear to read that book. I forced myself through in hopes that maybe it would get better and I figured that if it didn't, by the time I figured that out it'd be too late anyway. I heard such wonderful things from people who'd read it already and the reviews I read were all praise as well, but it was really boring and stupid. Don't read this book.
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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby Angelene » Fri Oct 26, 2007 1:53 pm UTC

Hmm, AHWOSG really seems to divide people. I loved it, but then, I love Eggers anyway.
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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby The Spherical Cow » Fri Oct 26, 2007 6:00 pm UTC

OmenPigeon wrote:
sethicus wrote:I actually burned the book 1984.


But I get a little nauseous when I just think about burning a book.



Indeed. Any mention of burning books, even when said tongue-in-cheek, makes me feel very uneasy. The fact that apparently otherwise intelligent people can do such a thing worries me. I don't care how much you disliked the book. Burning it is a marker of ignorance, and oppression of ideas.

As for over-rated books - Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas was a book I was told would be excellent... it wasn't. Instead it appeared to be a list of drugs. And nothing else.

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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby bigglesworth » Fri Oct 26, 2007 8:56 pm UTC

It's not excellent, no. But it did get me a laugh from my English teacher and befuddlement as for why she was laughing when I named one of my poems Fear and Loathing in 18th Century France.
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Re:

Postby waltwhitmanheadedbat » Wed Nov 07, 2007 11:09 pm UTC

Narsil wrote:
platypus01 wrote:
@trophy wrote:And as for books that I was forced to read in school and think were over-rated:

one of these books for me was the scarlet letter. the storytelling seemed... bad...... :?
Yes, The Scarlet Letter is a terrible, terrible book.

It sucks in every way possible.

Which reminds me of how the other day, I told my english teacher that if I ever teach an English class, I'm throwing out The Scarlet Letter and teaching Fight Club.

I am 100% serious.

My brother is being home schooled right now, and I'm teaching him, somewhat. I'm doing exactly this.

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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby rachel » Thu Nov 08, 2007 12:44 pm UTC

I feel like everyone is probably gonna be pretty pissed about this, but nearly everything Chuck Palahniuk has written seems far over-rated to me.

Let me explain. I've read all of his books, with the except of one (maybe two), and I do enjoy them. Do I think they deserve all the attention they receive? Not at all. I just feel like he has the potential to be such an amazing writer, if he would get over just trying to use shock value to make everyone think about what he's writing. In some cases, it's okay and more than okay, but then sometimes he is writing gruesome terrible things just for the sake of writing them. He wants the reader to say "what the fuck" and then step back and examine what's really going on, but instead most people say "what the fuck, that's fucked up" and don't have the presence of mind to actually think about things because they've just been assaulted by some sort of crazy, disgusting, messed up imagery. I fully support Chuck and I do like his work, but I feel like I can't love it for this reason.
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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby Pai » Fri Nov 09, 2007 8:03 am UTC

Eragon. One of the worst fantasy books I've ever read (and there's a lot of mediocre fantasy books that I've read) -- the praise for this series is some of the most bogglingly undeserved hype I've ever seen. The writing style is bland, the characters are boring, the setting is yawningly cliche, and there are entire plot points lifted wholesale from other books I've read before. It's just plain bleh.
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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby bigglesworth » Fri Nov 09, 2007 9:54 pm UTC

I thought it was ok, actually, but I read it on an aeroplane. Apparently the sequel is far worse. (O.o)
Generation Y. I don't remember the First Gulf War, but do remember floppy disks.

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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby Ghandi 2 » Fri Nov 09, 2007 11:54 pm UTC

I'm going to agree with most of them, except that I liked Heart of Darkness a lot, although I admit it was extremely difficult to read and not always in a good way.

I hated Neuromancer. I am in awe of his imagination, but I didn't like the prose all that much (too Hemmingway-esque), the plot wasn't too great (and I thought it was too confusing), and I hated the characters. There wasn't a single major character that I could sympathize with, even a little bit. And that just ruined it. It was worse that he tried so freaking hard to make me sympathetic sometimes. For example, I almost felt sorry for Stepping Razor when she was talking about her husband's death, and then I realized: wait, they were living off blackmail and extortion. Why should I feel bad that they got fucked when they were fucking over other people, people who were paying him. And it pissed me off immensely when main character guy got a new liver at the end. Fuck that, he was free.

The Old Man and the Sea was boring. I don't understand at all why Hemmingway is rated so highly.

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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby Narsil » Sat Nov 10, 2007 9:29 pm UTC

Belial wrote:1984 was one of those books like Animal Farm that wasn't *enjoyable*, but it was *important*.

I actually did enjoy this one. Quite a bit. Then again, I seem to be developing a frightening tendency to be drawn towards long and dry books. Lord of the Rings was positively riveting to me.

I did however skip the part of 1984 that was in the middle, with an excerpt from that one handbook.
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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby quintopia » Wed Nov 14, 2007 2:32 am UTC

In order from the most boring to the slightly less boring:
The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, The Silmarilion, A Tale of Two Cities, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy.

None of these are really overrated though. Most people realize how dry these reads are. Probably TTC comes the closest to being overrated (by English teachers mainly).

Now, about the Bible: I think we could spice it up a bit. Looking for actors who want to star in an epic trilogy:

New Testament: A New Hope
New Testament: The Jews Strike Back
New Testament: (The Eventual) Return of the Jesus

If that works, we can do a few more:

John: The Phantom Baptist
John: Attack of the Antipas
John: Revenge of the Jews (okay, so they didn't take revenge, but I don't mind rewriting the preachy bits)

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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby dnL » Wed Nov 14, 2007 12:43 pm UTC

The Hobbit. (And there and back again) *spoiler-ish-but-it's-a-book-topic-anyways*

I have no idea, the book made me sleepy. The subplots ended so fast, leaving no memory, and the battle at the end was a bore. The only reason I wanted to finish it was because I was interested in the dwarf lineage. XD
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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Nov 20, 2007 5:19 pm UTC

Any and all victorian era literature.
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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby b.i.o » Tue Nov 20, 2007 6:58 pm UTC

Narsil wrote:
Belial wrote:1984 was one of those books like Animal Farm that wasn't *enjoyable*, but it was *important*.

I actually did enjoy this one. Quite a bit. Then again, I seem to be developing a frightening tendency to be drawn towards long and dry books. Lord of the Rings was positively riveting to me.

I did however skip the part of 1984 that was in the middle, with an excerpt from that one handbook.


I really don't see how people find LotR dry either--I've read the entire series somewhere around 5-6 times and listed through it twice on CD. The Silmarillion is certainly a very very hard read.

I really got drawn into 1984 as well. It wasn't a happy read, but once I started I kept wanting to read more and more.

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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby Malice » Tue Nov 20, 2007 9:01 pm UTC

1984 is ten times more fun if you read it out loud in a British accent.
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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby Jesse » Wed Nov 21, 2007 1:01 am UTC

Very easy for me to do that.

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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby Angelene » Thu Nov 22, 2007 1:45 am UTC

I've yet to read a Bret Easton Ellis book that's left me understanding what all the fuss is about, and I've read 4/5.
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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby liza » Thu Nov 22, 2007 3:15 am UTC

Narsil wrote:I did however skip the part of 1984 that was in the middle, with an excerpt from that one handbook.

Goldstein's political manifesto/Orwell's thinly disguised political manifesto? Yes, the most boring bit of that book. I slogged through it, and while it's rare I will advocate skipping any portion of a book, I think people would be more able to enjoy the book if they did.
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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby paperbird » Thu Nov 22, 2007 11:07 am UTC

journey to the centre of the earth, horrible book.

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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby Prole » Thu Nov 22, 2007 11:30 am UTC

Anything and everything by ben elton.

I read two of his books this year, hoping the first was a fluke.

There must be SOME reason for the popularity of his books.

i am confused.
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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby bigglesworth » Thu Nov 22, 2007 9:22 pm UTC

liza wrote:
Narsil wrote:I did however skip the part of 1984 that was in the middle, with an excerpt from that one handbook.

Goldstein's political manifesto/Orwell's thinly disguised political manifesto? Yes, the most boring bit of that book. I slogged through it, and while it's rare I will advocate skipping any portion of a book, I think people would be more able to enjoy the book if they did.


Orwell's political writing is actually quite good if you read one of his books where he set out to put a political argument.
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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby william » Fri Nov 23, 2007 3:31 pm UTC

bigglesworth wrote:
liza wrote:
Narsil wrote:I did however skip the part of 1984 that was in the middle, with an excerpt from that one handbook.

Goldstein's political manifesto/Orwell's thinly disguised political manifesto? Yes, the most boring bit of that book. I slogged through it, and while it's rare I will advocate skipping any portion of a book, I think people would be more able to enjoy the book if they did.


Orwell's political writing is actually quite good if you read one of his books where he set out to put a political argument.

Goldstein's book was actually a parody of Trotsky's writing.
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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby bigglesworth » Fri Nov 23, 2007 5:22 pm UTC

Is it now? Didn't know that, but it adds something to my enjoyment of the book. Thanks.
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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby paperbird » Fri Nov 23, 2007 5:41 pm UTC

how to be good

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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby Malice » Fri Nov 23, 2007 10:11 pm UTC

CaraInFrames wrote:I've yet to read a Bret Easton Ellis book that's left me understanding what all the fuss is about, and I've read 4/5.


Lunar Park is his absolute best, if you haven't read it.

List of things to like about Ellis:
-Non-mainstream content: extreme violence, sex, drugs, etc. Good both in terms of shock value and uniqueness.
-Laser satire, pointing out the dark sides of such disparate things as the 1980s (American Psycho), the fashion industry (Glamorama), college (Rules of Engagement), and himself (Lunar Park).
-Extremely dark humor.
-An interesting prose style; most prominently, using lists and details to show obsession (example: Patrick Bateman's obsession with his clothes and personal appearance in American Pyscho).
-Morally-questionable protagonists (Bateman again for the win, but they're in all the others).

I've liked some of his stuff more than others, and still haven't read it all, but Lunar Park and American Psycho are masterpieces and I love them. LP, again, is his best, not least for actually having a heart and a strong emotional impact.
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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby Angelene » Sat Nov 24, 2007 12:48 am UTC

Malice wrote:
CaraInFrames wrote:I've yet to read a Bret Easton Ellis book that's left me understanding what all the fuss is about, and I've read 4/5.


Lunar Park is his absolute best, if you haven't read it.

LP, again, is his best, not least for actually having a heart and a strong emotional impact.


Ah see this is the one I've not read, and the heart/emotional investment element tended to be what I missed most in his writing, so I'll look into Lunar Park, thanks.

His books were entertaining and all, but I like something to tug at me, a bit, or just be beautifully written, though preferably both, and his were neither, for me anyway.
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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby liza » Sat Nov 24, 2007 8:26 am UTC

bigglesworth wrote:Orwell's political writing is actually quite good if you read one of his books where he set out to put a political argument.

It really wasn't as bad as I implied, I just didn't want to wade through political discourse when there was a STORY to get to. :)
william wrote:Goldstein's book was actually a parody of Trotsky's writing.

Huh, that'd make sense. That adds another dimension to the entire Goldstein theme (nonconformist crusader-vigilante or tool of Big Brother? I lean toward the latter, myself) and fits in with Orwell's personal beliefs neatly.
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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby bbctol » Sun Nov 25, 2007 4:51 am UTC

The Giver. Hated that piece of fucking crap. To make matters worse, no one else on the entire planet thinks it's anything less than godly.

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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby Narsil » Sun Nov 25, 2007 5:48 am UTC

bbctol wrote:The Giver. Hated that piece of fucking crap. To make matters worse, no one else on the entire planet thinks it's anything less than godly.

I didn't think it was amazing, per se. Certainly good, but in terms of plot and characterization it read like good dystopian fiction mixed with crappy moral preteen fiction.
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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby william » Sun Nov 25, 2007 6:00 pm UTC

Narsil wrote:
bbctol wrote:The Giver. Hated that piece of fucking crap. To make matters worse, no one else on the entire planet thinks it's anything less than godly.

I didn't think it was amazing, per se. Certainly good, but in terms of plot and characterization it read like good dystopian fiction mixed with crappy moral preteen fiction.

That's what it was.
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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby Cytoplasm » Sun Nov 25, 2007 7:21 pm UTC

Pai wrote:Eragon. One of the worst fantasy books I've ever read (and there's a lot of mediocre fantasy books that I've read) -- the praise for this series is some of the most bogglingly undeserved hype I've ever seen. The writing style is bland, the characters are boring, the setting is yawningly cliche, and there are entire plot points lifted wholesale from other books I've read before. It's just plain bleh.


I agree with you, partially. It was cliche and I found Eragon and Saphire a bit boring; though I found some of it interesting. The second book however, I couldn't finish. The beginning was really slow and kind of boring.
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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby Bakemaster » Mon Nov 26, 2007 8:41 pm UTC

CaraInFrames wrote:I've yet to read a Bret Easton Ellis book ... I've read 4/5.

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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby b.i.o » Tue Nov 27, 2007 7:12 pm UTC

bbctol wrote:The Giver. Hated that piece of fucking crap. To make matters worse, no one else on the entire planet thinks it's anything less than godly.


I didn't like it at all either.

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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby Cytoplasm » Wed Nov 28, 2007 12:51 am UTC

"Bite" by various different authors was a really bad book of short stories.

My friend got it for me because it was a vampire book, though she didn't look through it...

I read it and was like, "AAAHHH SEX EVERYWHERE!!! I need to read something a little more innocent now...adhfalsdkjfladskf...I feel so dirty..gaaaahhh..."

Though that wasn't the whole reason why it's a really bad book. A lot of the stories were crappy...
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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby Rysto » Wed Nov 28, 2007 4:54 am UTC

The Giver was a good book that completely came off the rails at the line "I heard music."

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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby jamanjaman » Wed Nov 28, 2007 5:01 am UTC

Mitch Albom is overrated. Part of the whole let's-be-inspirational-and-talk-about-our-feelings new-age crap.

Also, Nicholas Sparks. The "I have leukemia" bit in "A Walk to Remember" had me laughing out loud.

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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby royalfire » Thu Nov 29, 2007 3:59 am UTC

Overrated?
Eragon. I could tell what the characters would do about a chapter beforehand by consulting Star Wars. I didn't even bother with Eldest.
Also, Catcher in the Rye. I don't get what's the big deal.

On the subject of good stuff ruined by reading it in school, Shakespeare is admired for a reason. I wish all middle schools were required to read a Shakespearean comedy in the last month of school and not write a paper on it. I had a 8th grade teacher who had us read The Merchant of Venice because she enjoyed "sick and twisted" writing, and my entire class decided that Shakespeare was good.

Of Mice and Men was a really good book until I had to write a paper on it.

The Da Vinci Code is pretty bad, but Angels & Demons is much better, mostly because there's less sensationalism.
EDIT: Also, I am unable to like Tom Sawyer or Huckleberry Finn no matter how hard I try. It stops being amusing at about page 15 and I can't bring myself to keep reading.

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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby Malice » Thu Nov 29, 2007 4:31 pm UTC

royalfire wrote:Also, Catcher in the Rye. I don't get what's the big deal.


No. No, you don't.
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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby LDJosh » Thu Nov 29, 2007 5:08 pm UTC

When I first read something about Eragon, i thought either they mis-spelled "Dragon" or this was some kind of super dragon, so it got a one letter upgrade to E-Ragon.

Having recently finished the Sword of Truth series, I can recommend reading books 1,2,4, and then the last 3 chapters of book 11.

The rest were garbage. He pretty much repeats himself over and over and over and gives such long winded lectures about freedom and life that I want someone in the book to just kill the speaker, regardless of their good guy / bad guy standing.

And I thought the ending was awful.

I fear for the last Wheel of Time book.
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Re: Worst/Overrated books.

Postby jamanjaman » Thu Nov 29, 2007 5:09 pm UTC

Malice wrote:
royalfire wrote:Also, Catcher in the Rye. I don't get what's the big deal.


No. No, you don't.


Yes, shame.


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