Books that you're disappointed in after having finished.

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Postby SecondTalon » Wed Aug 01, 2007 3:57 pm UTC

Hammer wrote:
Narsil wrote:He's asking why it sucks so much ass.

Ah. Because it devolves from a reasonably good story into a self-indulgent voyage of who-gives-a-shit.


Oh Oh Oh! You forgot the part where he has revised copies of the earlier books put out because they no longer mesh with the crap he's pulling out of his ass!
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Postby SpitValve » Wed Aug 01, 2007 8:52 pm UTC

I was kinda disappointed when I read some of the HellBoy comics. They didn't really seem any better than the movie to me...

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Re: Books that you're disappointed in after having finished.

Postby semicolon » Thu Aug 02, 2007 5:33 am UTC

rachel wrote:A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genuis - Dave Eggers

Really? I loved this book. It's one of my favorites. And yeah, it did ramble on a lot, but that was the point. It was entertaining. I could see why you wouldn't like it, though.

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Postby kcr » Sat Aug 04, 2007 5:13 pm UTC

Ok, so I just finished a book that didn't disappoint me so much as piss me off. The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien. Has anyone read it? In the writing, he treats it like a memoir, or a collection of stories that tell his experiences in the Vietnam war. This was kind of ruined for me right off the bat because of the fact that it says "fiction" on the back cover. It's not that I have a problem with him fictionalizing his experiences. Fine, that's not uncommon. But to act like it was the truth, and then, towards the end of the book, to spring this "So.. I was in the war, but I made up the stories in this book" thing made me angry. Then for the remaining stories, I was just kind of bitter and my reaction to almost everything was, "Oh, really? Did this really happen?"

And now, 12 hours after finishing, I've decided that his message wasn't about the war but about stories and storytelling (he talks about the meaning and power and point of stories a lot) and that's kind of placated me. Now I think his goal was to say, stories are so powerful that they can fool people and then piss them off and he's just proven it so the joke's on me.

But the bait-and-switch fiction status thing still bothers me.
Last edited by kcr on Sun Aug 05, 2007 1:59 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby mountaingoat » Sun Aug 05, 2007 1:49 am UTC

A Farewell to Arms

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Postby Castaway » Sun Aug 05, 2007 2:19 am UTC

I agree with Narsil about HP7. I was satisfied because the series was over, but the book kinda sucked. Also, I agree with The Fountainhead.
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Postby mrcheesypants » Sun Aug 05, 2007 2:26 am UTC

sean22190 wrote:A Farewell to Arms


Try doing a term paper on it and then being able to only find critics who thinks everyone in the book was gay.

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Postby kcr » Sun Aug 05, 2007 2:55 am UTC

mrcheesypants wrote:
sean22190 wrote:A Farewell to Arms


Try doing a term paper on it and then being able to only find critics who thinks everyone in the book was gay.

What kind of lame critic is only able to come up with "the characters were all homosexual, the end"?

(I started Farewell to Arms and lost interest, but I do plan on finishing it. Mainly because it's required reading for school.)

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Postby Malice » Sun Aug 05, 2007 5:26 am UTC

SecondTalon wrote:
Hammer wrote:
Narsil wrote:He's asking why it sucks so much ass.

Ah. Because it devolves from a reasonably good story into a self-indulgent voyage of who-gives-a-shit.


Oh Oh Oh! You forgot the part where he has revised copies of the earlier books put out because they no longer mesh with the crap he's pulling out of his ass!


Seriously, though, you trying staying in continuity when your series is being written over thirty freaking years.

As I recall, he revised one book. The first one. The one he wrote when he was like 17 or something. And pretty much all he did was add in some foreshadowing for stuff he came up with in that 30-year interim.

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Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Sun Aug 05, 2007 5:31 am UTC

Dean Koontz Books As Follows:

# Brother Odd (November 28, 2006) (Book three in the Odd Thomas Series)
# The Husband (May 30, 2006)
# Forever Odd (November 29, 2005)
# Velocity (May 24, 2005)
# The Taking (May 25, 2004)
# Odd Thomas (December 9, 2003)
# The Face (May 27, 2003)
# From the Corner of His Eye (December 26, 2000)
# Ticktock (1996)
# Winter Moon (1994) (extensive revision of Invasion)
# Cold Fire (1991)
# The Bad Place (1990)
# Midnight (1989)

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Postby Pathway » Tue Aug 07, 2007 5:06 am UTC

kcr wrote:Ok, so I just finished a book that didn't disappoint me so much as piss me off. The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien. Has anyone read it? In the writing, he treats it like a memoir, or a collection of stories that tell his experiences in the Vietnam war. This was kind of ruined for me right off the bat because of the fact that it says "fiction" on the back cover. It's not that I have a problem with him fictionalizing his experiences. Fine, that's not uncommon. But to act like it was the truth, and then, towards the end of the book, to spring this "So.. I was in the war, but I made up the stories in this book" thing made me angry. Then for the remaining stories, I was just kind of bitter and my reaction to almost everything was, "Oh, really? Did this really happen?"

And now, 12 hours after finishing, I've decided that his message wasn't about the war but about stories and storytelling (he talks about the meaning and power and point of stories a lot) and that's kind of placated me. Now I think his goal was to say, stories are so powerful that they can fool people and then piss them off and he's just proven it so the joke's on me.

But the bait-and-switch fiction status thing still bothers me.


So your point is that it was a good book, but you just felt betrayed?

I think that's because you failed to grasp his point.
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Postby Gadren » Tue Aug 07, 2007 5:15 am UTC

Orson Scott Card just can't end his series well -- Homecoming, Ender's Game, Ender's Shadow... the first couple books are great, but the endings never live up to the expectation (I mean, in Earthborn, we were supposed to find out about the Keeper of Earth and all that! But Hushidh just keeps it a mystery...)

There's another book, called Accelerando, which I still think it pretty good, but just messes up near the end. It details the effect of a technological singularity and the resulting posthuman society on a family, generation by generation. It certainly has interesting ideas, but with each generation, it gets so incomprehensible and convoluted that I honestly don't care what happens at the end to any of them. Of course, perhaps the point was to show how the singularity will bring a new world that's unimaginable to our minds... it was the kind of book that, for me, makes me feel a little carsick when reading the end (I often get a carsick feeling when dealing with obnoxiously incomprehensible literature). But still -- Accelerando is still an intriguing Singularity book, and it's available for free online.
http://www.accelerando.org/book/

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Postby Traisenau » Tue Aug 07, 2007 6:12 am UTC

I like some of King's Endings... when they aren't happy ones. For example in Christine I loved how after Leigh and Dennis destroyed the demon car(technically the spirit of Lebay) they split up, and she went off and married a doctor(I think, it was that or a dentist, w/e), or how in The Dead Zone Johnny saved the world but died in doing so.

And on that note, Cell, what the fuck. I loved the premise, and how different the "zombies" were from all other forms of them. But really, after the group got to Kashwak the book just went from awesome to utter fail instantaneously.
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Postby marshlight » Tue Aug 07, 2007 7:29 pm UTC

The Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind.

Started out so strong. And then I hit whichever number book it was that was completely off the storyline, and decided I really didn't care enough to pick another 700+ page brick up. The whole resolution to that one (Pillars of Creation, there we go) was just... half-assed. Oh well.
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Postby Vaniver » Tue Aug 07, 2007 7:33 pm UTC

The Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind.
Didn't he write like 3 different versions of that trilogy, where each time it was the exact same story, with a few details changed? That got old fast.

[edit]I was thinking of The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks. I can never keep the Terrys apart.
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Postby marshlight » Tue Aug 07, 2007 7:48 pm UTC

Vaniver wrote:[edit]I was thinking of The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks. I can never keep the Terrys apart.


Goodkind, Brooks, Pratchett, etc...it's okay, I confuse them all too.
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Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Tue Aug 07, 2007 7:55 pm UTC

marshlight wrote:
Vaniver wrote:[edit]I was thinking of The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks. I can never keep the Terrys apart.


Goodkind, Brooks, Pratchett, etc...it's okay, I confuse them all too.


.... what? What? That's like saying "Crap, ass, awesome... I confuse them all the time." Seriously. The hell?

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Postby ArchangelShrike » Tue Aug 07, 2007 8:19 pm UTC

I have yet to read a book I didn't like, mainly because I have the interwebs to sort out most of the crap :)

Although the Simillarion.... That is the first book I can say I truly gave up on. If I can't read it in one sitting, I never will, and it went on and on... I've yet to find a book that makes me want to burn it and hope for mystical smoke to appear which will take me through a portal to actually see a live action version like that book.

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Postby SpitValve » Tue Aug 07, 2007 10:09 pm UTC

The Rama series. Just finished the fourth book today. Lots of interesting stuff happen throughout the books, but when it reveals at the end what the aliens are all about, it turns out to be pretty silly really.

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Postby Malice » Tue Aug 07, 2007 11:24 pm UTC

Johnthemage wrote:I like some of King's Endings... when they aren't happy ones. For example in Christine I loved how after Leigh and Dennis destroyed the demon car(technically the spirit of Lebay) they split up, and she went off and married a doctor(I think, it was that or a dentist, w/e), or how in The Dead Zone Johnny saved the world but died in doing so.

And on that note, Cell, what the fuck. I loved the premise, and how different the "zombies" were from all other forms of them. But really, after the group got to Kashwak the book just went from awesome to utter fail instantaneously.


Unfortunately, Cell's plot was terrible. And a retread of The Stand and It (the ending, I mean). It was very well written, sentence to sentence, but overall, terrible.

King's written a few bad books... and maybe a dozen great books... and the rest are just really good. That's the nice thing about an author being so prolific...

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Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Wed Aug 08, 2007 2:28 am UTC

Malice wrote:King's written a few bad books... and maybe a dozen great books... and the rest are just really good. That's the nice thing about an author being so prolific...

You missed my Koontz List Of Crap. Here's some: http://mightyjalapenoreviews.blogspot.c ... -dean.html

The pertinent excerpts:

Winter Moon
An evil presense squeezes through a time-space hole for some reason, and a family nearby in a secluded farmhouse overcome their tragic past to trimph over evil, with their psychic-for-no-real-reason son. I've just given you the whole book. Walk away. Just walk away. 1 out of 10

Odd Thomas
There was probably a three-year gap between reading Winter Moon, and reading Odd Thomas. I got it for a buck at Value Village, because the cover art looked intriguing, and it was getting pretty rave reviews from publications I normally respect. I read a few pages at the front, and was impressed with the writing, and the skill, and the pace, so I bought it, along with the book in the following review. I was hooked after a few pages, and I was wholly impressed with the first half of the novel. Although lifted largely from 'The Sixth Sense', the basic premise was pretty good, and the characterization was first-rate. The plot took a bit to get going, but once it did... it stopped again. This, and the next two books I review, among Koontz's three most recent, all have the exact same problems going for them (at least, they all share these): Mr Koontz can't end a book. The plot vanished, the pacing died a horrible death, nothing was explained, fate was questioned and blamed, and then the words just sort of petered out, and I was left sitting on the couch, holding the closed book, thinking "Well, he could have at least finished the book before publishing it." For starting off as awesomely impressive, he gets a couple kudos, but for the ending, his final score works out to a 6.1 out of 10. Read if you have nothing better to do.

From The Corner Of His Eye
This book started off just like Odd Thomas. The writing was, for the first few pages, reigned in and subtle. Pretty soon, it became the absolute worst example of his inability to control the "Word Search" function on his computer. Although Enoch Cain quickly became one of my favorite literary psychos, the writing and the utterly staggering number of main characters combined to give me a pounding headache and a profound sense of joy everytime someone got killed off. Although the entire novel centers around the idea that "If you do good, good things will come back to you, and if you do bad, bad things will come back to you", the only consistent message is that "You can get your head blown off at any time, or maybe die of sudden cancer, so being good doesn't really mean squat". In the end, it all comes down to magic children poking holes in the Universe, and the original message was lost forever in one of these paralell realities. With luck, there is a universe where this book never saw the light of day. The ending was staggeringly bad, and so disjointed that I skipped the last few pages out of sheer boredom. Right after I finished this book I got sick, and I'm not entirely sure it was the fault of the germs. 1.7 out of 10

The Taking
This was it. This was the last Koontz book I will ever read (unless I re-read Mr Murder, or Phantoms). This one actually started off bad, and went quite quickly downhill. Setting new records for obfuscating the plot, not answering questions, leaving giant plot holes, and just generally having no purpose whatsoever, The Taking ranks up there with The Eye Of Argon for disjointed language, scatter-brained messages, and purebred stupidity. There's no way I can finish this review with family-friendly language, so I'll sum it up with a 0.1 out of 10

I need to go lay down.

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Postby Xaith » Wed Aug 08, 2007 2:34 am UTC

The only book I've genuinely not enjoyed at the end was The Once and Future King. I had to read it back in middle school. The book steadily got worse as it progressed.

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Postby Narsil » Wed Aug 08, 2007 2:45 am UTC

SpitValve wrote:The Rama series. Just finished the fourth book today. Lots of interesting stuff happen throughout the books, but when it reveals at the end what the aliens are all about, it turns out to be pretty silly really.
Don't even fucking get me started, on Rama or Arthur C. Clarke in general.

You know what? Too fucking late.

I read "Rendezvous with Rama" in two days. It was a great book, because it focused on the discovery of a completely alien ecosystem, not human in any way. It left plenty of mysteries, but that was okay. There's a sequel.

Rama II. That book was serviceable. Mostly because it was running off the fumes of the excellent first one. Still a lot of mysteries, none of the ones from the first book solved and now a whole other book that opens up questions without answer. So we go to:

Garden of Rama. Arthur C. Clarke, what the fuck? What the fuck is this? News flash. You're a scientist. You write Hard SF. And it's wonderful. Arthur C. Clarke cannot write soft science fiction worth shit. The characters in Rama II and Gardens are all bitchy, vapid, one-dimensional assholes. I did not care about them at all and wanted them all strangled. Rendezvous was not like this. Know why? I don't even remember the name of that book's main guy, because he didn't even matter, because Rama was the main character of that book. Not so with the sequels, and that's why they suck. Now on to:

Rama Revealed: The Ultimate Something
Know what? I don't even fucking care. Suck a cock, Clarke. I put this book down in the library without reading it. Whatever happens, I don't care. Way to ruin a series. Hey, speaking of ruining series, now on to the most disappointing book I have ever read.

3001: The Final Odyssey
I don't know where to start. I really don't. There are so many things wrong here. Part of the book is devoted to explaining about a giant elevator that goes to a sub-orbital ring around the earth where people have lots of sex at crazy parties and velociraptors garden the fucking plants. And he makes it not awesome.

Just so you don't have to actually read the book, it turns out that Dave is actually the Monolith's bitch, and the Monolith is actually God, and HAL has been Dave's completely whipped gay lover all along (no, that at least might be interesting). And their both gods. But not really. And you know that whole warning the monolith went out of it's way to give? About not fucking with Europa? They ignore that. Then something happens and the monolith is destroyed and Dave is trapped inside a petabyte-capacity hard drive and locked in a vault on the moon for the rest of eternity. Yes, that's really how it ends.

Oh but this is also x1000 times more boring and mundane than I put it.

But really, I don't know what I was expecting after 2061: Odyssey Three. Ew.
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Postby Malice » Wed Aug 08, 2007 3:53 am UTC

Mighty Jalapeno wrote:
Malice wrote:King's written a few bad books... and maybe a dozen great books... and the rest are just really good. That's the nice thing about an author being so prolific...

You missed my Koontz List Of Crap. Here's some: http://mightyjalapenoreviews.blogspot.c ... -dean.html


Your point is well taken, sir. Your warning, as well. I have at times been tempted to read Koontz (he's always right next to the King) but I've never quite made it. The only one I own is Phantoms (picked up in a thrift shop) and I've never read it. I know now that I never need bother. Thanks.

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Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Wed Aug 08, 2007 4:15 am UTC

Malice wrote:
Mighty Jalapeno wrote:You missed my Koontz List Of Crap. Here's some: http://mightyjalapenoreviews.blogspot.c ... -dean.html


Your point is well taken, sir. Your warning, as well. I have at times been tempted to read Koontz (he's always right next to the King) but I've never quite made it. The only one I own is Phantoms (picked up in a thrift shop) and I've never read it. I know now that I never need bother. Thanks.

Well, Phantoms isn't a bad read, but TOTALLY see the movie. Totally. Also, Mr Murder and Intensity are both excellent. However, don't handle any of his other books without protective eyewear.

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Postby marshlight » Wed Aug 08, 2007 1:21 pm UTC

Mighty Jalapeno wrote:
marshlight wrote:
Vaniver wrote:[edit]I was thinking of The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks. I can never keep the Terrys apart.


Goodkind, Brooks, Pratchett, etc...it's okay, I confuse them all too.


.... what? What? That's like saying "Crap, ass, awesome... I confuse them all the time." Seriously. The hell?


Obviously one is better than the others. I'm just shit with names. Also, it has been scientifically proven that I am an uncultured swine, despite my best efforts (I'm serious). Please don't kill me?
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Postby Zohar » Wed Aug 08, 2007 1:59 pm UTC

marshlight wrote:Also, it has been scientifically proven that I am an uncultured swine, despite my best efforts (I'm serious). Please don't kill me?


Citation please!
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Postby Narsil » Wed Aug 08, 2007 2:19 pm UTC

Zohar wrote:
marshlight wrote:Also, it has been scientifically proven that I am an uncultured swine{1}, despite my best efforts (I'm serious). Please don't kill me?


[citation needed]
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Postby marshlight » Wed Aug 08, 2007 5:16 pm UTC

Errrr... short of documentation like old deadjournal entries or current facebook profiles, the easy way to explain this is that, provided with just about any "Greatest Movies/Books EVAR" list, I will fail with a very low percentile. Despite the fact that I basically read the entire young adult fantasy & fiction section in our local library when I was younger and do enjoy movies. When asked "Have you seen this movie?" 70% of the time my answer will be no. My friends have all but stopped asking, and just assume I need to see whatever they're renting. I would blame my parents but at this point it's more of a personal life failure.

This is not to say that I'm completely out of the loop. I just blindly yet artfully manage to miss the things everyone else thinks I should know (Pratchett and countless, countless movies come to mind).

So you can cite this post now, I suppose.
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Postby Zohar » Wed Aug 08, 2007 5:41 pm UTC

There's an easy remedy. Just start a list of things you should read/watch (things other people say are good) and start going through it.
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Postby marshlight » Wed Aug 08, 2007 6:12 pm UTC

I'm doing that. It's kind of miles long, and I don't have miles of time. >.>
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Postby bbctol » Wed Aug 08, 2007 7:50 pm UTC

marshlight wrote:I'm doing that. It's kind of miles long, and I don't have miles of time. >.>


I admit it would be impressive if you had a mile of time.

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Postby Narsil » Thu Aug 09, 2007 3:47 am UTC

How would that even work? Light-mile?
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Postby ArchangelShrike » Thu Aug 09, 2007 6:40 am UTC

You'd need a unit with s/m(kinky)... I mean, time over distance, which I think does not have a common unit in use.

1/c * mile?

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Postby roxormancer » Thu Aug 09, 2007 7:29 am UTC

i agree with the last harry potter book. towards the end it just drug like she didnt know what to do and just wrote stuff.

from a buick 8's ending was also crap.

and the most recent book i read that i just couldn't stand enough to get even 1/4th of the way through. tess of the durbervilles. that book was just so dull and do boring.

(i dont believe in correct english)

edit: if it counts the end of the rogue squadron comic series. it just kinda ends without any continuation.

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Postby Malice » Thu Aug 09, 2007 9:21 am UTC

roxormancer wrote:from a buick 8's ending was also crap.


The very very very ending of A Buick 8 is disappointing, yeah, but up until then it's an absolutely smashing book. One of King's best this decade.

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Postby Nimz » Tue Aug 14, 2007 10:53 pm UTC

SpitValve wrote:The Rama series. Just finished the fourth book today. Lots of interesting stuff happen throughout the books, but when it reveals at the end what the aliens are all about, it turns out to be pretty silly really.
Wait a second. Rama has four books? Isn't that breaking the pattern? I only read a little bit of Rama Revealed. All I remember is that everything comes in threes with the aliens.

By the way, I read maths for fun. You might want to skip the rest of this post if that's a problem :P

The only book I can think of right now that I was disappointed with after finishing it is Negative Math by Alberto A. Martínez. I mean, seriously. Repetition of your thesis does not constitute proof. The second part is actually a pretty interesting historical account of the resistance toward negative and imaginary numbers. That was the most satisfactory part of the entire book. However, Martínez punctuates the historical narrative periodically with more repetition of his thesis. He claims to try to make mathematics less ambiguously applicable to the real world, but he ends up using faulty analogies to support his point and describing other algebras that are, in reality, more mathematically ambiguous.
LOWA

Ghona
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Postby Ghona » Mon Aug 20, 2007 2:45 pm UTC

Any book by Piers Anthony that wasn't the first in a series.

Eventually everything devolves into nonsensical puns. "Oh No! We are on the Path of Least Resistance! Ha! Ha! Ha! Oh, wait, we are being saved by the ResistAnts! Ha! Ha! Ha!"

Or completely convoluted characters. "I'm a half-werewolf-half-unicorn wizard who is also an alien amoeboid shapeshifter. Hello, Mrs. Half-vampire-half-werewolf who is also a half-alien half-human android"


Also, Brave New World.
"OK, we've used classical conditioning to make our society function just as the government wants it to. Next order of business - make everyone who does anything the government doesn't want them to do extremely happy."
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Nosforit
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Postby Nosforit » Mon Aug 20, 2007 4:14 pm UTC

SpitValve wrote:The Rama series. Just finished the fourth book today. Lots of interesting stuff happen throughout the books, but when it reveals at the end what the aliens are all about, it turns out to be pretty silly really.

I'll second this. Truly anti-climatic. A.C.C. seems to just brush over the really interesting things with the aliens refusing to say, instead of investing the effort to think something plausible up.


BTW, it's thanks to the Rama series that I really properly learned English and got interested in reading. I've got a lot to thank it for.

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Postby Belial » Mon Aug 20, 2007 4:35 pm UTC

Any book by Piers Anthony that wasn't the first in a series.


While I agree that Xanth was always ridiculous, and Apprentice Adept *got* ridiculous, the Mode Series stayed reasonably decent throughout.
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