Books you least enjoyed (but managed to finish)

Discussion in 'TV & Media' started by suarezguy, Dec 8, 2013.

  1. Asbo Zaprudder

    Asbo Zaprudder Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Das Glasperlenspiel by Hermann Hesse. I forced myself to finish it. I still have no idea what it was about. I guess it might make more sense under the influence of LSD.
     
  2. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I think I agree about Farenheit 451, but I liked 1984.

    Other classics I didn't like: Dune, anything I've read by Asimov. A lot of the classic scifi authors just don't appeal to me because the dialog and character behavior comes off as so forced and contrived it's all way too on the nose about what the author is trying to express.

    Do books you're forced to read in school count? Most of the books I've made it all the way through I've enjoyed on at least some level.

    I suppose I didn't get into Libra the same way I enjoyed Delillo's other books. It was just kinda meh to me, though it was an interesting concept. Maybe because JFK is before my time, I just don't care about all the conspiracy theories and mystique surrounding his assassination.
     
  3. Robert Maxwell

    Robert Maxwell so far this is a dumb future Premium Member

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    I loved Dune, although I actually preferred some of the later books.

    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.

    Arthur C. Clarke's Imperial Earth was interminably dull, a peculiar feat given how entertaining Clarke usually is. It was a book that had nearly no plot, and very little of interest going on. Not one of his better works. It was also a bit lacking in the sex department. :(
     
  4. Foxhot

    Foxhot Commodore Commodore

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    MOBY DICK just did not work for me.

    But SIDDHARTHA, also by Hermann Hesse, not only worked but was finished in two days. 150 pages if memory serves.
     
  5. Owain Taggart

    Owain Taggart Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yeah, I definitely wanted more wonderment. You get a lot of that throughout the first book, and it really was a great concept. And by the end, you really want to find out what happens on the other side. But when you get to the other side... pzzzzt, fizzle fizzle. You're right, and I didn't realize it until what you said, but part of the problem is that the magic is gone, and the story changing track is part of that problem. I happen to think that too much time was spent in our world, which took away from the story. 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. I liked the first movie well enough, but whatever comes after wouldn't carry very well in terms of content presented. Plus you'd likely get people complaining about the same thing in the end, ie where's the magic. 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. I also think the first book had the best characters. Hell, you could make a great spinoff featuring Lee Scoresby.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2013
  6. Bisz

    Bisz Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Man In The High Castle. I enjoyed the beginning of it because I though it was going somewhere... but then I realized that its not. I finished it but did not enjoy the overall experience in retrospect.
     
  7. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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.
     
  8. Coloratura

    Coloratura Snuggle Princess Premium Member

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    It usually takes me less than a day to read a Star Trek novel. This trilogy took me well over a month. I kept falling asleep.
     
  9. Gov Kodos

    Gov Kodos Admiral Admiral

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    That just goes with Hardy. A background of German history helped give context for appreciation of Buddenbrooks. I have almost nil about South America and Colombia, so the allusions 'Solitude' was concerned with were lost on me.
     
  10. sidious618

    sidious618 Admiral Admiral

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    I rarely finish a book that I hate, but there are a few that slip through, especially if I had to read them for school such as Catcher in the Rye. I'm trying to think of something I finished more recently that I really disliked, but nothing comes to mind. I was reading a book by Ed McBain that I found atrocious and put it down lest I roll my eyes too hard.
     
  11. Shurik

    Shurik Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    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.
     
  12. Bisz

    Bisz Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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!
     
  13. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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.
     
  14. Relayer1

    Relayer1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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 !

    Very true. Dull as ****.

    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...
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2013
  15. Gaith

    Gaith Vice Admiral Admiral

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    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.


    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.


    You might like the short novel/long short story Once Upon a Time in the North, then; it tells of Scoresby first meeting Iorek.
     
  16. Australis

    Australis Writer Admiral

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    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.
     
  17. Owain Taggart

    Owain Taggart Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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.


    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.

    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.
     
  18. Orac Zen

    Orac Zen Mischief Manager Super Moderator

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    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. :scream:

    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.
     
  19. Bisz

    Bisz Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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.
     
  20. Mistral

    Mistral Vice Admiral Admiral

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    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.