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TV & Media Non-Trek television, movies, books, music, etc.

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Old December 10 2013, 05:34 PM   #31
Shurik
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Re: Books you least enjoyed (but managed to finish)

JirinPanthosa wrote: View Post
Also, as much as I love Gene Wolfe, sometimes I wish over the course of four books his plots would go somewhere and stay there for more than five minutes.
You mean The Book Of The New Sun series?

I finished the first book but gave up after reading half of the second. The world is interesting, but the characters were boring and plot (whatever it was) got just too weird and random for me to care about anything in those books.
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Old December 10 2013, 07:30 PM   #32
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Re: Books you least enjoyed (but managed to finish)

I knew there was another one, I had just repressed the memory.

Consider Phlebas, the first Culture novel.

I had read a lot of good things about the Culture series and the concept seemed like it would be something I would really enjoy. Wow was I wrong. There is a good chunk in the middle that I outright skipped because it was just downright foul and with no purpose, but continued reading after that particular situation was over with... it dodn't get any better. The worst part is I had bough almost all of the books in the series before I got to reading Phlebas... what a waste of money that was!
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Old December 10 2013, 07:36 PM   #33
JirinPanthosa
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Re: Books you least enjoyed (but managed to finish)

Shurik wrote: View Post
JirinPanthosa wrote: View Post
Also, as much as I love Gene Wolfe, sometimes I wish over the course of four books his plots would go somewhere and stay there for more than five minutes.
You mean The Book Of The New Sun series?

I finished the first book but gave up after reading half of the second. The world is interesting, but the characters were boring and plot (whatever it was) got just too weird and random for me to care about anything in those books.
I also read the Book of the Long Sun series. It's just as random. I think his characters are really good, but the plot just keeps going in such random directions.
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Old December 10 2013, 07:46 PM   #34
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Re: Books you least enjoyed (but managed to finish)

Aldo wrote: View Post
'The Subtle Knife.' I loved 'The Golden Comapass' so much I immediately jumped into this one, it took me a few months to finish it because I put it down for a while. I never did pick up the third book in the series do to my disappointment with the second.
I gave up after the first one, and I'm surprised I finished that.

Dracula : The Undead by Dacre Stoker and Ian Holt is almost certainly the worst book I've finished - it's quite possibly the worst book ever written. My finishing it was all the more remarkable as I gave up on the original Dracula about half way through !

Mistral wrote: View Post
Dune. I finished it but it was a major effort.
Very true. Dull as ****.

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MOBY DICK just did not work for me.
Nope - quit after about thirty pages. Life's too short.

I had to read The Mayor of Casterbridge and Far From The Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy at school. Painful doesn't cover it.

There's a bunch of bad Trek novels, but a special mention must be made of Gemworld - by the time you get to the end of the (thoroughly rotten) book, you still have part 2 to read...
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Old December 10 2013, 08:14 PM   #35
Gaith
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Re: Books you least enjoyed (but managed to finish)

Owain Taggart wrote: View Post
Just so much a change in mood between the books. I was actually pretty frustrated at times while reading the second book. I think it's one of those trilogies that would really be hard to film.
No argument from me on that last point, but I imagine that Pullman very deliberately frustrated reader expectations with the grimmer and less magical Subtle Knife to give readers a similar sense of disillusionment and disorientation to what Lyra herself was experiencing, and of course the fact that Will is from our world helps us understanding him without having to read a whole book about his background.


Owain Taggart wrote: View Post
I would've loved to see more of the technology available in Lara's world, because what it had presented in the first book and what was seen on screen had lots of potential which was never really used.
Actually, in the books "anbaric power" is just plain electricity, and Lyra's world is still in Victorian-era technological times due to the suffocation of science by the Church; the movie's glowing power balls and sh*t was likely a ploy to sell toys and make the previews look more whimsical and Harry Potter-like than the story actually is. So I'm afraid that if one of your main takeaways from the books is "we didn't get enough of the magic-tech from Lyra's world", you may just have missed the point of the trilogy entirely.


Owain Taggart wrote: View Post
I also think the first book had the best characters. Hell, you could make a great spinoff featuring Lee Scoresby.
You might like the short novel/long short story Once Upon a Time in the North, then; it tells of Scoresby first meeting Iorek.
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Old December 11 2013, 03:48 AM   #36
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Re: Books you least enjoyed (but managed to finish)

Bisz wrote: View Post
I knew there was another one, I had just repressed the memory.

Consider Phlebas, the first Culture novel.

I had read a lot of good things about the Culture series and the concept seemed like it would be something I would really enjoy. Wow was I wrong. There is a good chunk in the middle that I outright skipped because it was just downright foul and with no purpose, but continued reading after that particular situation was over with... it dodn't get any better. The worst part is I had bough almost all of the books in the series before I got to reading Phlebas... what a waste of money that was!
There is a section of 'Consider Phlebas' that is shockingly violent (the bit with the cannibals, you know the one), but aside from that. I quite liked it, and most of the others in the series. The ending is moving. The last one, 'The Hydrogen Sonata' is pretty good too. I would suggest 'Excession' might be more your speed, or 'Look to Windward' (sequel to 'CP'). But don't go to 'Use of Weapons', while it's very well written, there's a section I find downright horriifc, same with 'Surface Detail'.

But if I had to choose between living in the Culture or the Federation, the Culture would win every time.
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Old December 11 2013, 08:41 AM   #37
Owain Taggart
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Re: Books you least enjoyed (but managed to finish)

Gaith wrote: View Post
No argument from me on that last point, but I imagine that Pullman very deliberately frustrated reader expectations with the grimmer and less magical Subtle Knife to give readers a similar sense of disillusionment and disorientation to what Lyra herself was experiencing, and of course the fact that Will is from our world helps us understanding him without having to read a whole book about his background.
Yeah, you're likely right, and it's funny that if he did intend it, that it's the part that many hated most about it.


Actually, in the books "anbaric power" is just plain electricity, and Lyra's world is still in Victorian-era technological times due to the suffocation of science by the Church; the movie's glowing power balls and sh*t was likely a ploy to sell toys and make the previews look more whimsical and Harry Potter-like than the story actually is. So I'm afraid that if one of your main takeaways from the books is "we didn't get enough of the magic-tech from Lyra's world", you may just have missed the point of the trilogy entirely.
Was speaking more in terms of the airship we had seen in the first movie. I liked the design of that quite a bit in terms of visuals. Can't remember it was referred to in the book though, though I'm faintly remembering one in the last one. Either way, I'm surprised I stuck all the way through the trilogy as it was rather unsatisfying, but I'm one to rarely give up on a book and often try to keep reading to see how bad things get.

You might like the short novel/long short story Once Upon a Time in the North, then; it tells of Scoresby first meeting Iorek.
Thanks. Yeah, I saw that upon looking something up, though at this point I'm not sure I really want to venture more into his writing.
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Old December 11 2013, 10:39 AM   #38
Orac Zen
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Re: Books you least enjoyed (but managed to finish)

A ghastly piece of crap called Voss springs immediately to mind, although as it was required reading at school it probably doesn't qualify. The hell of it was that our teacher detested it (and all Patrick White's works, for that matter) as much as any of the students and didn't teach it, so I needn't have bothered reading the frelling awful damned thing in the first place.

I struggled through The Handmaid's Tale so as not to offend the friend who wanted me to read it. I should have just gone ahead and offended said friend. At least that wouldn't have been boring.
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Old December 11 2013, 07:25 PM   #39
Bisz
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Re: Books you least enjoyed (but managed to finish)

Australis wrote: View Post
There is a section of 'Consider Phlebas' that is shockingly violent (the bit with the cannibals, you know the one), but aside from that. I quite liked it, and most of the others in the series. The ending is moving. The last one, 'The Hydrogen Sonata' is pretty good too. I would suggest 'Excession' might be more your speed, or 'Look to Windward' (sequel to 'CP'). But don't go to 'Use of Weapons', while it's very well written, there's a section I find downright horriifc, same with 'Surface Detail'.

But if I had to choose between living in the Culture or the Federation, the Culture would win every time.
I might give Excession a try since the concept of the Culture really appeals to me and I hate giving up on things, and I mean... I already have these books sitting around and all

Thank you.
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Old December 11 2013, 09:45 PM   #40
Mistral
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Re: Books you least enjoyed (but managed to finish)

I should mention anything by Alastair Reynolds. I gave the guy a chance- I read 3.5 novels by him. I then went and curled up with a Xmen graphic novel to get the taste out of my brain. Everyone kept telling me how great he was-I really didn't see it.
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Old December 13 2013, 04:15 PM   #41
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Re: Books you least enjoyed (but managed to finish)

The prequels in the Left Behind series.

I liked the "main" novels very much, but the prequels were hyper-lame.

(As for novels so bad I couldn't finish them? Anything by Myrshak & Culbreath. )
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Old December 13 2013, 04:24 PM   #42
Alidar Jarok
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Re: Books you least enjoyed (but managed to finish)

bigdaddy wrote: View Post
Other classics I hate the writing style of are 1984 and Children of Men. 1984 I made it to page 11... 6 times and fell asleep every time.
I found 1984 difficult at first, but the story picks up about halfway through. I liked it by the end, but it takes some work to get to that point.

There are plenty of books I've read that were painful to get through, but they were all required back when I was in High School (fuck you Scarlet Letter). I can't think of a book I read for fun that was just bad. Certainly, I didn't finish any and then managed to push them out of my mind.

Solstice wrote: View Post
The only thing I liked of Asimov's were his Norby Chronicles, but those are light and fluffy and not "serious" science fiction. They were pretty amusing, as I recall.
I read Norby when I was a kid. I don't remember how many stories I read, but they were definitely fun. I actually like the Foundation Trilogy. I think my history background helped. The newer books were disappointing, but I don't think they completely ruined by enjoyment. The last several chapters of Foundation and Earth came damn close, though. It also came close to retroactively ruining everything that came before, but, fortunately, I don't believe in retroactively ruining something.
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Old December 13 2013, 08:13 PM   #43
Owain Taggart
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Re: Books you least enjoyed (but managed to finish)

Alidar Jarok wrote: View Post
The last several chapters of Foundation and Earth came damn close, though. It also came close to retroactively ruining everything that came before, but, fortunately, I don't believe in retroactively ruining something.

Oh geez, forgot about this one. Is this the one that had the hermaphrodite character? Yeah, I remember really hating Foundation & Earth and wondered what the heck he was thinking. Fortunately the prequels that followed were much better.
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Old December 13 2013, 08:27 PM   #44
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Re: Books you least enjoyed (but managed to finish)

Catcher In The Rye- Maybe I read it too late in life for it to have the right impact, but Holden really did strike me as just a whiny douche.

I, Claudius- Huge fan of the mini-series, but just couldn't get into the book. All I remember was ponderous descriptions that went on for pages.

The New Atheism and the Erosion of Freedom- My first encounter with the fact that there are some fundamentalist Christians who are just bat-shit crazy, lying sociopaths.
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Old December 13 2013, 10:47 PM   #45
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Re: Books you least enjoyed (but managed to finish)

Espedair Street by Ian Banks.

I read the same few pages several times without taking anything in, and quit.

Weird.
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