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Worst book

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GUEST,Gizz 15 Sep 00 - 09:48 PM
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Bill D 15 Sep 00 - 10:05 PM
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Subject: Worst book
From: GUEST,Gizz
Date: 15 Sep 00 - 09:48 PM

Great answers, great response to the best book question. Glad to see others love To Kill a Mockingbird, and Dr. Suess (Are we spelling that correctly?). But what is the worst books you have read? I love Dean R. Koontz, yet I hated "Fear Nothing". The characters were excellently done, but the story fell flat. I actually wrote him expressing my disappointment and ask for my money back. (Ha! I even included the receipt!) I received no response. Not that I cared about getting my money back, it just seemed that that would have been the honorable thing for him to do. I also think John Grisham (though he was a fellow Mississippian) is a Harper Lee wannabe. But he will never be! Gizz


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: hesperis
Date: 15 Sep 00 - 09:59 PM

I don't remember the books I don't like. They just find their way into the garbage (if they're despicable) and disappear...
Books that aren't that great get cleared out to the 'Sally Ann' every so often. Someone else might like them.

Unfortunately, I only remember the books I like because I reread them several times. That makes it hard to give books back to the library or my friends sometimes.
(Yes Little Hawk, you will get your books back. The question you should be asking is: when?)


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: Bill D
Date: 15 Sep 00 - 10:05 PM

easy one...sci-fi novel .."Exiles of Time" by Nelson Bond...a trite, piece of trash about a old professor and his beautiful daughter going into an Egyptian tomb and somehow ending up in Atlantis! With a group of fellow refugees that include a little Jew named Hymie, a weasel of an Arab, a pompous playboy...etc...you get the idea...all the stereotyped blather you can imagine..with wise, golden skinned Atlantians freting about their dying civilization.....etc...etc


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: richlmo
Date: 15 Sep 00 - 10:26 PM

I rarely finish them if I don't like them, but I just read, "Hearts in Atlantis", by Stephen King. I was glad to finish.


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: Bill D
Date: 15 Sep 00 - 10:28 PM

I tried for years to read "Giles Goat-Boy" by John Barth...never could finish it...wonder if it was really that bad?


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: Melani
Date: 15 Sep 00 - 10:50 PM

I never finished "Giles Goat-Boy" either, but did manage to plough my way through "The Sot-Weed Factor"--probably because of the historical setting, which made it a little more palatable to me. I've never bothered with John Barth since.

Now for the great heresey: At the risk of mortally offending all you Dickens fans, I hated "Great Expectations" so much that I stopped somewhere in Miss Havisham's dusty parlor and didn't even care when I failed the exam (it was assigned reading in high school). I couldn't even stand the Cliff Notes. The recent movie version was okay, if only because it didn't suffer from the same degree of wordiness. I am told Dickens developed his style when he was being paid by the line as a journalist. The only one I ever finished was "A Christmas Carol"--it's short.

As for James Fenimore Cooper--don't even go there. He makes Dickens look succinct.


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: Lepus Rex
Date: 15 Sep 00 - 10:53 PM

"Lord of the Flies" by William Golding. Sorry, I know this is on many people's 'best book'list, but I HATE this book. Seems like one of those books people say they love because they're told it's a great book in 9th grade. But it's pure crap. No offence, eh, Golding fans? ;)

---Lepus Rex


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: DougR
Date: 15 Sep 00 - 11:01 PM

Can't tell you. I'll watch a bad movie believing until the last scene that it will get better, but I won't a book.

DougR


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: rabbitrunning
Date: 15 Sep 00 - 11:37 PM

The novelization of "E.T." by William Kotzwinkle.

Only book I've ever met that made me want to go find a match.

(For my own copy only, of course...)


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: hesperis
Date: 16 Sep 00 - 12:14 AM

Lord of the Flies is a good book.............I just hate it!!!

Though it does describe very well what people can do if they've been too repressed all their lives and suddenly have 'freedom' thrust on them.


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: Chanteyranger
Date: 16 Sep 00 - 12:50 AM

Lord Of The Flies seems like one of those cases where the movie (original version) was better than the book. The movie made an impact on me, but not the book. I guess I'm not alone in that. Choosing the worst book is hard, because I never finished a book I found I hated, but I would have to put Intruder In The Dust By Faulkner in the category of "probably a good book but very hard to read" category. Couldn't finish it. I'll have to put The Thin Red Line in that category, but I attempted to read that many years ago. Worth a second try, maybe. Loved the recent movie.


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: Chanteyranger
Date: 16 Sep 00 - 01:15 AM

"in the category of probably a good book but very hard to read category." One of these days I'll proofread my entries BEFORE I click submit. Redundant office of redundancy, here.


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: Callie
Date: 16 Sep 00 - 01:25 AM

It's a big toss up between "The Horse Whisperer" and "Bridges of Madison County". I'm sure there are trashier books, but both of these were hailed as great 'classics'. Pass the bucket.


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: GUEST,Kryptonium
Date: 16 Sep 00 - 01:27 AM

I would have to say my High School english book i hated that thing and its at the top of my list


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: The Beanster
Date: 16 Sep 00 - 03:16 AM

I did like Lord of the Flies because it was sociologically interesting--the way some kids became bullies, some became victims and some tried to just mind their own business and stay out of trouble--just like real life.

But as far as really crappy books go:

The Women's Room - (don't know the author) Real men-hating, self-pitying baloney by one of the women who gave feminists a bad name

Bright Lights, Big City - by some flash-in-the-pan, twenty-something, pseudo-author from the 1980's. Oh--was Brad Easton his name?? Horrible.

Any book by a guy named Gary Ezzo who writes child care books. He has no relevant professional credentials, espouses corporal punishment (for kids as young as 18 months!), encourages what amounts to neglect of the child and doesn't "believe" in attachment theory. A dangerous man who writes books for well-meaning, unsuspecting parents.

There. I feel much better now, thank you.


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: BigDaddy
Date: 16 Sep 00 - 03:51 AM

Worst book I've read recently is Steven King's "Bag of Bones." I gave up on this writer about eighteen years ago. Decided to give him another chance with this one. All the things I disliked about him are still there. Misogynistic, self-absorbed, vulgar, verbose... I won't make the mistake of reading him again. Makes me realize that there probably is a correlation between popular taste (Best-seller lists, Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan's re-elections and "top ten" or "top forty" songs) and good taste/intelligent choices. Speaking of verbose, I'll sign off for now. Didn't mean to rant.

J.


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: Micca
Date: 16 Sep 00 - 07:23 AM

Any Thomas Hardy!!!!! he was required reading on a course I took once and the feeeling of beautifully written and verbose impending doom, just too much!!!and I find Dickens equally tedious...except for Christmas Carol...War and Peace ( when I was at sea on a particular trip it was the only book in the ship I had not read and I gave up after 100 pages).I could go on....and I have a copy of "The Stuffed Owl" which is an anthology of the worst poetry EVER written (makes the Vogons sound good)


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: kendall
Date: 16 Sep 00 - 07:43 AM

Great Gales and Dire Disasters on the Maine Coast by Edward Rowe Snow. He has to be the worst writer of all time. I also hated Tale of two cities by Dickens in high school. I was not mature enough at that time. I now see it as a classic.


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: GUEST,rabbitrunning
Date: 16 Sep 00 - 09:20 AM

There are a lot of books that we get forced to read in high school that should have waited for college.

The Bell Jar, for one.

Bleah!


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: Mbo
Date: 16 Sep 00 - 09:28 AM

Not the worst, but two books I thought would be good but turned out to be so boring I had to stop, were Tristam Shandy by Laurence Stern, and Life of Johnson by Boswell.


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: Callie
Date: 16 Sep 00 - 09:33 AM

"Bright Lights Big City" was by Jay McInerney. I agree it was trash. He's written tons better, and he's by no means a flash in the pan - he's got about a dozen books to his credit.

Funny how our tastes differ. I loved the Bell Jar AND Great Expectations!


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: sophocleese
Date: 16 Sep 00 - 09:45 AM

Anything by Barbara Cartland. A highschool friend and I thought we might try writing a romance novel, so we went and picked up a couple to see what they were like. Irritating and hilarious trash, makes you respect all recycling programs.


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: guinnesschik
Date: 16 Sep 00 - 10:56 AM

I tried to read a Star Wars novelization to Himself one time. I threw it down and said "This sucks! Read it yourself!" The worst book I've ever read was Wuthering Heights. Crappy, boring, long-winded; I don't care if it is a classic.

I usually don't finish 'em if they're bad.


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 16 Sep 00 - 12:45 PM

Worst book (that is to say, novel)? ATLAS SHRUGGED, by a long margin! It's really a piece of social/philosphical preachment thinly disguised as a novel. The characters are about as deep as the sheet of paper they're printed on, and events happen only because Ayn Rand says they happen--no natural flow, no inevitability.

I love and will run to read anything by Barth.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: Susan from California
Date: 16 Sep 00 - 01:50 PM

Ethan Fromme by Willa Cather


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: SINSULL
Date: 16 Sep 00 - 02:19 PM

It's funny that the same books that showed up on the "Best Books" list are showing up here. Worst for me or maybe biggest disappointment: "Catcher in the Rye". I think the problem is that I read it for the first time at 50 and saw it as a piece of self indulgent adolescent crap.
"The Horse Whisperer" was total bilge: The legless daughter goes on to a perfectly normal high school career, the Whisperer probably commits suicide so that the unfaithful wife is saved the decision of leaving her husband, the husband takes back the wife and never questions the paternity of the baby that is obviously not his. Made for TV crap.


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: Ely
Date: 16 Sep 00 - 02:30 PM

_Lord of the Flies_, _A Separate Peace_. My boyfriend sent me one that he loved called _The Roaches Have no King_. Now, I'm from Houston where we have a superabundance of roaches, so I couldn't sympathize anyway, but it was one of the most pretentious, shallow, pedantic books I've ever read.

I hated _Wuthering Heights_. All that needless misery because a lot of people were self-centered, pigheaded, and spoiled. I know that degrees of this kind of thing are common in Victorian literature, but it's not absolutely necessary and it certainly didn't need that kind of overkill.

I also hated _The Fountainhead_ (Ayn Rand_. A friend was going to write a parody of it and call it _the Showerhead_. All the people I know who truly follow the ideals of Objectivism are virtually impossible to engage in any kind of stable friendship. I don't mean just admirers of Ayn Rand, I mean people who could BE Howard Roark.


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: Bill D
Date: 16 Sep 00 - 02:37 PM

"Lallah Rook" was a naughty book
By Tommy Moore, who has written four.
Each warmer than the former
So the most recent is the least decent.

As I was lying on the green,
A small English book I seen.
Carlyle's Essay on Burns was the edition,
So I left it lie in the same position.

Edgar A. Guest
Was never at his best.

"I'd rather flunk my Wasserman test
Than write a poem like Edgar Guest"


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 16 Sep 00 - 03:10 PM

The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie...


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: SINSULL
Date: 16 Sep 00 - 04:41 PM

Dave,
Did you actually read that thing? I AM impressed. Most of us didn't get past the reviews.
Very clever, BillD. Will you put it to music soon?
"'Tis" is on my least liked list. All that unresolved bitterness and he takes it out on his students.


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: Mbo
Date: 16 Sep 00 - 04:49 PM

WRONG! Edgar A. Guest a a brilliant poet! What did he ever do to you?


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: Hutzul
Date: 16 Sep 00 - 05:17 PM

The Bridges of Madison County was actually insulting to me. What drivel! Almost made me hate the National Geographic.

The Women's Room by Marilyn French however, was excellent in all its male-bashing splendor.

All the later James Michener was a waste of time. Seems he kept cleaning out old desk drawers and publishing the pages within.

But worst of all recent publications, The Kiss. that smarmy story of a young woman's sexual affair with her father that went on for years.


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: The Beanster
Date: 16 Sep 00 - 05:40 PM

Thanx, Callie--yeah, Jay McInerney. Maybe he was having a bad...six months while he wrote it or maybe he needed some quick cash. I've never read anything else by him, so I'm only judging this one book. The other guy I was thinking of was Brad Easton Ellis (I think) who wrote "Less Than Zero"--about a snot-nosed kid living the fast life fueled by cocaine and alcohol.


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: The Lighthouse
Date: 16 Sep 00 - 06:52 PM

"Tobacco Road". Can't believe I kept reading this piece of crap, but it finally came in handy for this thread!


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: GUEST,Luke
Date: 16 Sep 00 - 07:05 PM

Peter Staub wrote the most frightening book (And books never frighten me!) that I have read..."Ghost Story" (The movie sucked, would have sued the producers!) Since then, I have not found a very good Straub book. The worst... "Shadowlands"


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: GUEST,equalrice
Date: 16 Sep 00 - 07:14 PM

C'mon all you Dickens bashers! Maybe you're just reliving those dread Middle School years. Guilt by association and all that. What about the vivid, engaging scene in Tale of Two Cities where the cask of wine breaks and the poor wretches scramble into the streets for a taste. And Great Expectations, don't ask! The scene in Miss Havisham's parlor is one of the most memorable in all fiction.

Now, you want over-rated? How about Hemingway's To Have and Have Not. All that melodramatic, half-baked interior dialog crap. Just dreadful!

Was glad to see The Roaches Have No King on someone's list. Had hope for that one. It does have an interesting, novel premise. But not only is it indulgent, it's also misogynistic and more than slightly racist.


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: GUEST,Ceitagh (away at school)
Date: 16 Sep 00 - 08:05 PM

What a fun thread! I hated Catcher in the Rye myself Sinsull, and I read it at 13 in teh midst of adolescence. What a navel-gazing, immmature, base piece of fiction.
I love sci-fi, but I couldn't stand "Stranger in a Strange Land" classic Heinlein or not, it wasn't worth the time it took to read it.

Ceit


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: Little Hawk
Date: 16 Sep 00 - 09:27 PM

The following are all well written books, but I detest each one of them...

Lord Of The Flies

Animal Farm

1984

Brave New World

I believe that human beings are the outright sons and daughters of God, essentially good in their nature, and I detest any book that espouses a cynical and utterly defeatist view of the human possiblities on this world. Mind you, if that book serves to wake someone up, fine...that doesn't mean I have to like it.

By the way, Orwell and Huxley were a bit off the mark. It isn't centralized socialism that has corrupted and dominated this world...it is militarism and money driven commercialism by major corporations that has done so, and is even now doing so in places like "Communist" China, as well as capitalist America. "When men live just for money that's when life goes down the drain." (from a song I wrote)


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: Little Hawk
Date: 17 Sep 00 - 01:12 AM

Oh...forgot to mention this simply abysmal book I came across at the NYCFTTS. It was entitled "Wild Flatulations I Have Blown", and the author was some lunatic named Spaw. It stank. Literally. Some publishers have no shame!


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 17 Sep 00 - 07:23 AM

Sinsull, You are quite right, I never did finish the book, so cannot claim to have read it. Yours, Aye. Dave


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: P05139
Date: 17 Sep 00 - 07:37 AM

I started reading Tolkien's "The Hobbit" but got bored by Chapter 5. Mind you, I was only 9 at the time.

It could be worse. My set books for A Level English are "Alice In Wonderland" and "The BFG" !


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: Escamillo
Date: 17 Sep 00 - 07:51 AM

I was still a child when every boy in the school was talking about an erotic book entitled "Memories of a Russian Princess" full of stories of weird sex, but none had put his hands on it.

One day I saw the book in a lousy kiosk in the street, and bravely asked for the book, paid and took it home, awaiting the opportunity to read in privacy.

There was no sex in the first part. Nothing in the second, a stupid end-of-century story, nothing.. even nothing in the most anxiously awaited chapter, "Adventure with a Small Ass".. a total swindle.

I did never tell my school mates. But I was so angry! That's why I wrote so many false weird sex books in my life.

Un abrazo - Andrés


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: Little Hawk
Date: 17 Sep 00 - 11:36 AM

Andres, that must have been a thoroughly frustrating experience. Que pena!


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: Carlin
Date: 17 Sep 00 - 12:48 PM

Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy.

Had to read it highschool.....I would rather have my tongue nailed to the dining room table than read it again.

Anything by Dickens. Why use one word when five will do?

I tried to read Atlas Shrugged and just couldn't make it past the first chapter.


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: khandu
Date: 17 Sep 00 - 01:32 PM

"My Big Book Of Baby Names" by George Foreman It was very short!


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: GUEST,Jim Dixon
Date: 17 Sep 00 - 02:30 PM

While reading this thread, I kept wondering, why would anyone hate a book? I mean, what would make you keep reading once you realized you didn't like it? Well, OK, if you're a kid in school. Or if you were snowbound in a mountain cabin and there was nothing else to read.

Which reminds me: When I was married to my first wife, and we used to go visit my father-in-law, I was desperate for reading material. The only books in his house were religious (he was a fundamentalist Lutheran) or in German (he was a retired high-school German teacher) or else very conservative political publications like the National Review and Human Events. The least objectionable thing I could find was the Reader's Digest, so I mostly read that. So what do you suppose he bought me as a Christmas present? A subscription to the Reader's Digest! Eew! Gag me with a spewn!

I have to admit though, that there are a lot of books I started reading and never finished. I don't necessarily blame the book, though. I mainly blame my own short attention span, and the fact that I got interested in something else. In case anybody's interested, here are some of the books that I've read a good chunk of, then put aside, but may pick up again some day:

Moby Dick. Tom Brown's School Days. Remembrance of Things Past. Lark Rise to Candleford. Two Years Before the Mast. Old Jules. The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. The Pickwick Papers. Lucky Jim. Boswell's Life of Johnson. Dracula. Pride and Prejudice. The Mysterious Stranger. The Ginger Man. Life on the Mississippi.

I wouldn't say I hated any of these books. They all had something attractive about them and I enjoyed the part I read. I just didn't "get into" them enough to keep the momentum going.


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: hesperis
Date: 17 Sep 00 - 03:36 PM

I used to be unable to put a book down once I started reading it. I could even make myself a sandwich while still reading the book, I'd twist around in the chair when my legs got cramped from sitting too long, or walk down the hall. School was hell, the teachers would often rip books out of my hands when I was three_pages_from_the_end. God, it hurt!

Thank goodness I can put them down now. It took me five years to develop that skill.


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: Peter T.
Date: 17 Sep 00 - 04:28 PM

WARNING: TOTALLY ELITIST BOOK LOVER COMMENT FOLLOWS.

I find it interesting that the best books thread caused me to wonder if I had been insufficiently generous to a number of books that I have never thought much of; while this thread confirms my suspicion that there are many books that are better than many of their readers. I used to think I overvalued books at the expense of people -- my mind has been changing over the years, and this thread is no help.

yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: GUEST,Kevin Wilson (GUEST)
Date: 17 Sep 00 - 07:08 PM

I will read a book I don't particularly like on occasion and I will even finish a book that I hate enough to throw across a room sometimes, although usually, once it's thrown that's the last time I ever read that author again. But absolutely the worst book I can remember ever suffering through is A Piece of My Heart, by Richard Ford.


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: Little Hawk
Date: 17 Sep 00 - 09:26 PM

I also tried reading Atlas Shrugged, and it made me sort of nauseous in a weird kind of way, so I quit after maybe 20 pages...not my cup of tea at all.


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: Lyrical Lady
Date: 18 Sep 00 - 01:34 AM

I'm ashamed to say I even picked it up ...but Kathie Lee Gifford's autobioghraphy ......What was I thinking...?


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: Amergin
Date: 18 Sep 00 - 01:54 AM

I thought 1984 was very boring.....it seemed like only 50 pages out of the whole book had anything to do with the story.....the rest were just some political philosophical bullshit that no one (at least me) seems to be able to understand.....

Amergin


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 18 Sep 00 - 04:40 AM

Dunno about bad books - never got round to finishing one. The two I have had most difficulty with simply due to the language usage are Owen Glendower and Gormanghast. Never got past chapter 2 or 3 of either. My loss I guess...


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: katlaughing
Date: 18 Sep 00 - 05:13 AM

Couldn't stand Women Who Run With the Wolves.

Luke, I agree with you on Peter Staub. Ghost Story was incredible; nothing else was as good.

Same thing happened with Eric von Lustbadder; his first several were really good, then they just started to blur. I still look for new ones by him, though.


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: Thomas the Rhymer
Date: 18 Sep 00 - 05:20 AM

Bridges of Madison County. I found a parody of it called "The Ditches of Madison County" and it was fun. The Picture on the cover is a color print of a roadside ditch.

Dune

I'm pretty careful about what I choose for reading, so I don't have much of a list for you all...


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: Gervase
Date: 18 Sep 00 - 09:51 AM

The most disappointing book of the past month or so was J.M.Coatzee's Disgrace. It was hugely hyped in the Booker, but - for me - it was a tawdry book which succeeded only in making me detest both central characters to the extent that I wished them a painful and bloody death within the first 30 pages!
As for the worst book ever written - hmm....
But, at the risk of sticking my neck so far out that I'm crusing for a bruising, I'd suggest the Bible, insofaras more people have been killed as a result of its misuse than any other book (though Kapital and the Thoughts of Chairman Mao could probably run it a close second)
Failing that, anything published by the 'Church' of Scientology or that old fraud and fantasist L.Ron Hubbard.


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: IanS
Date: 18 Sep 00 - 09:53 AM

I found 'Tis by Frank McCourt just tedious. I quite enjoyed Angela's Ashes, but it seems that in his second book he just ran out of ideas and decided to repeat everything ad nauseam to fill the book up and cash in.

I couldn't finish the book because I found I was getting wound up every time I read the phrases "me with the sore eyes" and "what's left of him, poor thing" which seem to appear in every sentence.

Contrary to a number of people here, I would put Wuthering Heights" as one of my top books. It's full of some amazing imagery and no repitition :).

"Unquiet slumbers for the sleepers in that quiet earth".


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: Kim C
Date: 18 Sep 00 - 10:55 AM

I said in the Best Book thread that I had not enjoyed Cold Mountain. It's not bad, really, it just didn't deliver what the hype had promised.

I am a big Stephen King fan, have read 25 of his books (although not lately), and I hated the Tommyknockers. Too sci=fi for me.

I also did not like Larry McMurtry's Streets of Laredo, the sequel to Lonesome Dove. He should have quit while he was ahead. (I did not like the movie of Dead Man's Walk, and I have yet to finish Comanche Moon, supposedly the last of the Lonesome Dove series. Gawd, I hope so...)

I tried to read Satanic Verses once and got through the first ten pages before I took it back to the library out of sheer boredom.


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: Little Hawk
Date: 18 Sep 00 - 11:23 AM

Gervase - interesting that you would mention the Bible on your list. You have the courage to go where angels fear to tread. :-) I personally regard the Bible as a very valuable document in many ways, but I get your drift.

I think the problem historically with the Bible has been people's tendency to interpret highly symbolic metaphor in a completely literal fashion...or to conveniently interpret whatever piece of it is handy to them, in order to support their current agenda, while blithely ignoring the actual teachings of Jesus which may utterly invalidate that same agenda.

The basic teachings of Jesus are very simple. Love God. Trust God. Love one another. Love yourself (in the sense of having a healthy sense of self-esteem). Be harmless unto others. Treat others as you would wish to be treated. Forgive those who have caused you harm. Do not judge others, but have the courage to stand up for what you feel is right. Forgive, forgive, forgive, but do not yield your own integrity in the process.

Then there's all the other complicated stuff...the history, the accounts of kings, kingdoms, warfare, deceit, betrayal, greed, and so on.

Some of it is simply historical account. Some of it (I would assert) is self-serving political propaganda by this or that group, seeking to justify and glorify themselves at the expense of others (whom they may have slaughtered).

Some of it is sacred and inspired poetry that lifts the spirit high (read the Psalms!).

Some of it is the blazing words of genuine prophets afire with revelation (read Isaiah or Ezekial or Revelation, etc).

Some of it is mind-numbing lists of rules, names, numbers, and more rules...which are utterly archaic and have no application in today's society. They had application several thousand years ago, but not anymore.

Therefore, you can find anything you want in the Bible...the Word of God, the words of men, the words of prophets or whatever. Everyone from the outright fascist murderer to the outright humanitarian saint has drawn inspiration from the Bible, according to his chosen interpretation of it.

For these reasons, it is a fascinating and valuable document...but it must be read with great care and discretion...and the essential teachings of Jesus (which are most humanitarian) had best be kept in mind all the while.


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: GUEST,James
Date: 18 Sep 00 - 11:28 AM


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: GUEST,James
Date: 18 Sep 00 - 11:33 AM

ANY of the chicken soup drivel....Jonathan Livingstone...aghhhh. Sabines notebook.....dreadful rubbish..I consider most of this sort of pseudo sociology a right waste of paper. I also dislike Stephen King.. I think he is highly over rated as writer and under rated as a commodity producer. Ayn Rand should just have kept quiet and Ms. Dillard should simply have enjoyed the Creek and not mentioned it to a soul.


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: Bert
Date: 18 Sep 00 - 11:34 AM

I agree with Melanie that "Great Expectations" is crap. We were forced to read a lot of Dickens at school but that one stands apart from the lot. UGH!.

Usually I don't bother finishing a book if it's really bad, so I never got through all that Hobbit rubbish.

The only books I've finished that I hated were "Winds of War" - I kept thinking that something was going to happen eventually but it just fizzled out. What a bloody waste of time.
The other one was a computer science book that we HAD to read in class "Databases" by Chris Date. It was awful, how that guy ever got to be an author I don't know. It is complete gobbledegook. The guy has 'sentences' without verbs in 'em for crying out loud.

Bert.


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: GUEST,Fretless
Date: 18 Sep 00 - 03:25 PM

The absolutely BEST worst book (really an extended essay) is Mark Twain's A Cure for the Blues, in which Twain takes his candidate for worst book, trashes it gloriously line by line and page by page, then reprints the entire monstrosity (an early nineteenth century romantic novelette with the same title as Twain's essay). It is one of the few pieces of truly laugh out loud literature penned during the 19th cent.


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: GUEST,pattyClink
Date: 18 Sep 00 - 04:26 PM

The Celestine Prophecy. What little I could stand to read. Made you want to hunt the author down and slap 'im.


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: Little Hawk
Date: 18 Sep 00 - 04:45 PM

Hmmmm...cool. I like Jonathan Livingstone Seagull, but I expect many would not. I also like the Hobbit, but ditto. I was similarly disappointed with "Winds of War". I thought "Celestine Prophecy" was quite amateurishly written, but had some very valuable ideas in it, so that made it worthwhile.

I read Pickwick Papers at about age 18 and absolutely loved it. Haven't read Great Expectations, however.

Why do I have quotes on some titles above and not on others? Who knows? Call it an "act of God" or something. I just noticed. No purposeful plan there.

It's most intriguing that some people's "best" books are other people's choice for "worst". Just shows to go (ha, ha) what very curious and unique creatures we humans are.


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 18 Sep 00 - 04:58 PM

Here's a link to the complete text of Mark Twain's essay A Cure For The Blues, which was mentioned by Fretless above. As I am a great fan of Twain, I plan to read it soon.


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: Melani
Date: 18 Sep 00 - 05:31 PM

Oh, gee, I forgot James Joyce. I loved "Dubliners", but started "Ulysses" three times, years apart, and quit after two pages. It certainly contained fascinating and unforgettable characters, but as with Dickens, the writing style got to me. His earlier stuff is a lot more like normal English writing.

I loved "The Hobbit" and "Lord of the Rings" in high school, but I'm not sure if I could reread them now with the same enjoyment.

It's wonderful to see people's different tastes unfolding here.


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: Patrish(inactive)
Date: 19 Sep 00 - 03:42 AM

I had to read "Bleak House" - Dickens, for A-level at school. I hated every minute of it. I have read many other Dickens since including Expectations and thoroughly enjoyed them. I have tried to read Bleak House again, but I cant, I think it is the worst book he ever wrote. I agree with Kat -anything shmaltzy like Barbara Cartland makes me want to puke. Be grateful the European Commission dont write novels, if they were anything like some of the reports and guidelines I have to read, they would very definitely be on everyones list.
Patrish


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: kendall
Date: 19 Sep 00 - 08:54 AM

While I hate to trash Maine authors, I must say that most of Steven Kings books are rubbish, (two exceptions, The Green Mile and Dolores Caliborn) but The Beans of Egypt Maine by Carolyn Chute was very poorly written making it very slow going. When I finished it I wanted my time back that I used on it. I kept waiting for something to happen but it was like watching cans rust.


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 19 Sep 00 - 10:29 AM

The only book that I've ever read that I couldn't stand was Margaret Lawrence's "The Stone Angel." We had to read it in high school and I found every page to be tedious. I have heard many people whose opinions I respect say that it's a wonderful book, perhaps I should revisit it.


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: GUEST,Roger the skiffler
Date: 19 Sep 00 - 11:17 AM

I blush to admit it but on the much-delayed journey home from holiday last week I tried reading Jilly Cooper's "Score" that my wife had been reading on the beach. She warned me it was rubbish but, oh boy, it was worse than that! And no doubt sold millions!
RtS


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: Bert
Date: 19 Sep 00 - 12:16 PM

Just thought of another one - 'The Water Babies' - Yeeeuch.


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: Ely
Date: 19 Sep 00 - 03:49 PM

I used to be a big Stephen King fan, too. My favorites were Carrie and Christine (big car nut, me). I didn't like Tommyknockers, either. Wasn't it about aliens? Where were the bloody tommyknockers? (if you're not familiar with them, tommyknockers are the souls of miners killed on the job. THey take the forms of little gnome-like old me with colorful shirts and long beards. They're known for being mischievous and can be mean if you make them mad, but can also be helpful, leading miners to big veins of ore or to safety before a cave-in). Little bit of Colorado folklore.

I liked David Copperfield much better than Great Expectations. We named our fetal pig in biology class "Estella" in honor of the little swine in the book.


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: hesperis
Date: 20 Sep 00 - 12:19 AM

My mother didn't like the Hobbit, and she read it after reading the Lord of the Rings. I read it as the first book in the series, and as a child, and I love it! It was actually written for Tolkien's children, so please don't use the same standards on it as on 'good' literature.

kat - You didn't like Women Who Run With The Wolves???!!!!
I loved it so much! Of course, it took me a week to read it, because I kept having to put it down and think about it, and I can usually finish a book of that thickness in a few hours... So a 'normal' person would take a few months to read it.

I used to hate the story of Bluebeard, her interpretation really helped me understand the story, and understand why I had hated it previously.
That illumination happened with several of the stories that she tells in it. I particularly liked Vassalisa, as my dad used to tell me that story. He was part Russian. That story is one of the few good things I've inherited from that side of the family.

~*sirepseh*~


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: WyoWoman
Date: 20 Sep 00 - 01:22 AM

"Celestine Prophecy," hands down. There might have been an actual book in there somewhere, but it was seriously in need of an editor. And laced through and through with death-defying leaps of logic and plot holes large enough to drive a lorrie through. I am utterly astounded at the popularity it achieved.

But then, "Bridges of Madison County," an equally inane and terribly written piece of poof, also did quite well, so I and the popular marked seem to be seriously out of step.

ww


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: L R Mole
Date: 20 Sep 00 - 11:26 AM

"Lord Foul's Bane": was that the first one of those Thomas Covenant things? Boy, that never started to go anywhere. I, too, throw things across the room when they're obviously not going to engage me, but that one was just crafty enough to promise, then not deliver. I also disliked "Smilla's Sense of Snow", but I find reading in translation is like making love on the phone.


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: JulieF
Date: 20 Sep 00 - 12:43 PM

I rather like books which don't do anywhere. I think I really dislike books where there has to be action on every page or where the story ends and every loose end must be tied up.

Similary, I have may books which I have given up reading because they need a long session rather than twenty pages on the bus. Ulysses is waiting for a few days of self indulgence.

I can't think of books that I absolutely hate. I think I must put them out of my mind. I am rather unfond of pseudoscientific books trying to claim logic and i have thrown them across the room. eg any book on creationism

Julie


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: Sorcha
Date: 20 Sep 00 - 01:59 PM

Tie for First Worst--Celestine Prophecy and Bridges of Madison County
Horse Whisperer runs a real close second.
Barbara Cartlandish/Romance stuff by anyone. IMO, the crap should be banned.............all it's good for is cluttering up used book stores that otherwise might have room for some decent stuff. (sorry, romance lovers)


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: Little Hawk
Date: 20 Sep 00 - 04:08 PM

"The Hoarse Whisperer" was pretty tedious too...I got a sore throat from reading that one.

Romance novels are good now and then for a laugh. You can remove all the pages from 3 or 4 of them, then mix them up at random like when you shuffle a deck of cards, and then assemble 3 or 4 new books! Or combine them all into one huge romance novel...like something Dostoyevsky would have written if he'd been kicked in the head by a mule in his youth. It not only reads great, it sometimes results in a better book than the original when you employ this editing technique. I recommend it. Heaving bosoms, torn bodices, rippling biceps, and sidelong glances from granite-jawed heroes who look like Fabio on steroids... What??? He already is on steroids? Omigod, I am SO, like, devastated!!!


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: GUEST,dan evergreen
Date: 20 Sep 00 - 05:08 PM


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 20 Sep 00 - 06:25 PM

In a Humanities class in college I had to read Thomas Mann's _The Magic Mountain_. We had three months in which to read it (along with all the other materials in the course). Now you should understand that received critical opinion is that Thomas Mann was a great master of literary style. I found this the most dull and depressing book I could possibly imagine. I kept putting it down, picking it up later, putting it down, and so on ad nauseam. Finally, three days before the final, in desperation I put on full steam--No-Doz and Cokes, until four in the morning, just trying to drudge through this wearying mess.

Finally, at 5:30 in the morning, with the final test for the quarter at 11:00, I realized that I'd do better to get some sleep because there was no way I was going to be able to finish the durn book.

I found my way through a fog of left-over sleep to the exam room. The exam, as it applied to _The Magic Mountain_, gave a choice of four questions on which to write. One choice, to my joy, was something like, "Does Settembrini represent the voice of Thomas Mann himself?" Oh, frabjous day! Calloo! Callay! I remembered an actual quote from THE VERY LAST PAGE I HAD READ AT 5:30 THAT MORNING that, quoted directly with some little comment on my part, gave the answer (which, in short, was yes").

I'm happy to say that I got an A in the course, and the instructor had marked the _Magic Mountain_ section of test booklet with a flattering comment. Thank god for having quit where I did!

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 20 Sep 00 - 06:48 PM

"Strange Interlude", by Eugene O'Neill, has got to be the worst play ever written by a major playwright. (If you think "The Iceman Cometh" is tedious, you ain't seen nothin' yet.) I once belonged to an amateur theater group that actually got together for a party for the express purpose of reading "Strange Interlude" for laughs. I don't think we were able to finish it.

I figure "Strange Interlude" must have been written when the concept of "interior monologue" and "subtext" were new, and Freudianism was all the rage. O'Neill's technique -- and the whole point of the play, actually -- was to make the subtext explicit. Every time an actor delivers a speech -- in the normal way, addressed to another character -- he immediately delivers an "aside" to the audience, and says what he "really" thinks.

The plot is pure soap opera. Will Nina run off with Ned, or stay with her husband, Sam? It's so hard to decide when she's secretly mourning Gordon, her true love, who was killed in the war!

This play might have seemed profound at a time when people were just considering for the first time the possibility that people might routinely say one thing and mean (or think) something else, but the idea is so familiar in our day that the play seems ridiculously naïve.

In our time, the technique is used sparingly and usually for comic effect. Just think of the narrator's voice-overs in "The Wonder Years." But O'Neill was deadly serious, and the asides ran through the WHOLE FRIGGIN' PLAY.

It seems hard to believe, but "Strange Interlude" was made into a movie in 1932 and again in 1987. I can't say how faithful the films were to the original script, but I believe the asides were transformed into voice-overs in the 1932 version.

There is a brief scene in a Marx Brothers movie - I forget which one - in which Groucho begins to talk to himself and then says, "I think I'm having a strange interlude."


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: Burke
Date: 20 Sep 00 - 07:11 PM

I hated Catcher in the Rye (read in school) & resented the fact that in a midwest public school the girls were in some way expected to identify with a spoiled east coast private school boy.

I really liked Jean Auels' Clan of the Cave Bear. Each of it's sequels was worse than the one before. The Plains of Passage was one of the worst books ever. I haven't seen one of hers since then, so I hope she quit. She did have a contract for 1 or 2 more at the time Plains came out.

I haven't read most of the other books mentioned. I think I read 2 chapters of Women who Run with Wolves & have forgotten why I did not like it.

I read all of Lord Foul's Bane but hated it enough to go no further on the series or to any of Donaldson's other books.

Some other books with good recomendations, that I read a lot of but could not finish are The Witching Hour by Anne Rice; Oldest living Confederate widow tells all by Allan Gurganus; Independence day by Richard Ford.

I remember liking Jonathan Livingston Seagull, but it was very much of it's time & I doubt I'd like it much now.

I liked Bleak House & most of Dickens that I've read but for some reason never had to deal with him as required reading so I could do it when I wanted to.


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: rabbitrunning
Date: 20 Sep 00 - 07:37 PM

Hey! (says the indignant Children's librarian) children's books ARE the 'good' literature! It's the depressing Arty stuff that's bad.

;p


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: Doctor John
Date: 21 Sep 00 - 04:08 PM

T. H. White's The Sword in the Stone , a wonderful legend turned into garbage. Anything by Terry Pratchet - sounds like reject chapters from Lord of the Rings performed by the Month Python team on an off day.
Trying to read Dickens is like trying to read Homer in Greek: try one in English and the other on BBC Television, then you'll enjoy them! Dickens's books were popular serials in Victorian times which is always a puzzel to me; did people think in longer sentences then or just have more time? Dr John


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: WyoWoman
Date: 21 Sep 00 - 09:08 PM

I have to admit though, as a professional writer, I would give my eye teeth to have written just one of the mega-bestseller books mentioned above (under a pseudonym, so I could hold my head high and go on to write real and well-respected prose. AND live in the style to which I'm dying to become accustomed.

And, even though I don't care for romance novels, my darlin' sister has had ten or so published and they sell like hotcakes. I've long maintained that if men want to make themselves more pleasing to women (Hey! it happens...) they might want to read some romance novels to see what the appeal is. Might get some tips. (and not all of them do involve bosom-heaving or bodice-ripping, nor even icky muscle-y Fabio type heros.

ww


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: Mbo
Date: 21 Sep 00 - 09:27 PM

Dickens is a master. He writes like artists paint. I love his long sentences. Sorry if that is too taxing for your short attention spans. But somehow you all seem to enjoy those 50 verse ballads...a strange thing mystifying.


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: CBjames
Date: 21 Sep 00 - 10:43 PM

Oh for gawd's sake! The worst book ever written (in the english language at least) is "Jonathon Livingston Seagull" Hitchcock chose them well when he featured them in "The BIRDS" (is coming said said MAD Magazine). Vicious foul and and filthy creatures - any seabird biolologist would tell you.

As for Barth - "Giles" didn't pass the thirty year test (though I suspect I read it). "Sot Weed Factor" however was memorable, if only for the eggplant.


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: Lepus Rex
Date: 21 Sep 00 - 10:57 PM

Aw, I like seagulls. Just fed them about 1/8th of my lunch today. 3 different species showed up. And they didn't shit on my car. :D

---Lepus Rex


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: annamill
Date: 22 Sep 00 - 01:27 PM

I love reading Dickens. It's like the history of Old England even though his characters do tend to be a bit black and white with little grey. Thing is, I get tired of him sometimes and it's hard to read. What I do in that case, is put down the book for a couple of days and start another author. Then when I need to know what was happening, I go back and start reading him again. I often read more than one book at a time, leaving them open to the page I was on. I read the book I'm in the mood for right now. This can be pretty interesting.

Does anyone else do this? Read more than one book at a time, I mean.

Love, annamill


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: GUEST,Mbo_at_ECU
Date: 22 Sep 00 - 01:33 PM

My sister and I can quote The Pickwick Papers backwards and forwards. A few weeks ago we put our Dad in a state of confusion when we just burst out proclaiming "Ode To A Dying Frog". Ver good, ver good!


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: Bert
Date: 22 Sep 00 - 01:52 PM

I'm glad I'm not the only one who does that Annamill. I've got about four on the go at the moment. One in the bathroom, one by the bed and a couple of others scattered around.


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: bbelle
Date: 22 Sep 00 - 02:06 PM

"One man's treasure is another man's junk."

I read both The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged in high school and loved both, but I might think differently now.

I thought the book, Dances with Wolves, was deadly boring. I tried like hell to get through it and finally gave up the ghost. I couldn't even use it to put me to sleep!

Couldn't make it through The French Lieutenant's Woman because it was just "flat."

I stay away from any book written by a romance writer cum mystery writer.

annap ... I like Agatha Christie for the same reason you like Dickens ... her books reflect the signs of the times.

Science fiction bores me to death!

And, please, deliver me from people who say to me "Oh, but you just gotta read this one, it's so much better than his/her other books." NOT!


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: Bert
Date: 22 Sep 00 - 02:16 PM

But Moonbaby, that's true with a lot of authors. They can have ONE masterpiece amongst quite an ordinary selection.

But I think that deserves a thread of it's own.

Bert.


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: Jim the Bart
Date: 22 Sep 00 - 02:26 PM

Yes one man's meat is definitely another man's dog food.

I read everything by John Barth that I could get my hands on until I read that book "Letter", where he started each section with the next letter in the title. This wasn't literature as much as a word game.

Loved both Atlas Shrugged and the Fountainhead

Read about six books in the Dune "trilogy" and then decided to get a life. And what a God-awful movie!

Didn't like the Hobbit as much as the trilogy because I read them before I read it. The Hobbit is a children's book; the Lord of the rings is much deeper. The Silmarillion is strictly for the insatiable.

Tried to read the Gormenghast Trilogy after Tolkein's and absolutely hated it. Grim, dark, no fun.

Anyway, what's all this talk about books? As Egon Spengler said in Ghostbusters "Print is Dead". And I am just kidding.


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 22 Sep 00 - 02:38 PM

"The Silmarion is for the insatiable." Perhaps so, but I'm one of the insatiable. I've read The Hobbit once only, but LOTR six times so far, and the Silmarilion about four times. Plus the various tales set out in The Unfinished Tales (two or three volumes) three times. You MIGHT say I'm a Tolkien fancier.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: bbelle
Date: 22 Sep 00 - 03:06 PM

Of course, just because I didn't like a particular book, doesn't mean that it's not a good book. It boils down to "taste." And, bert, I agree with you that an author can have one great book and 50 dogs.

I read and thoroughly enjoyed all of Grisham's books, until The Chamber, and haven't been able to read one since. There's been, in my opinion, one dog in Patricia Cornwell's Kay Scarpetta series, but I was able to get through it. The same thing, in my opinion, in John Sanford's Lucas Davenport series.

Do you see a pattern, here, I'm a mystery/forensics buff, with a few biographies and John Douglas' tossed it.)


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: Little Hawk
Date: 22 Sep 00 - 06:13 PM

Moonjen - You just have GOT to read "Jonathan Livingston Seagull"...it is SO much better than Richard Bach's other books! :-))) (Actually, I do think it's a great book, unlike some of the others who have posted here.)

And what was that comment about dogs supposed to mean? We do not have the right to speak abusively of dogs in an inclusive forum like Mudcat. My dachshund is so upset that he is thinking of committing some rash act, like attacking the neighbour's cast, which if he does, he will indeed be very sorry, I can guaran-damn-tee that!

Ahhhhh....now back to "Worst Books". I have to nominate a book I have just remembered, which my father read to me when he was 10 years old. It was called "Bomba the Jungle Boy", and was a blatant and awful rip-off of the Tarzan books, which in themselves are not what I would call "great literature", although they are quite imaginative and unique. At any rate, Bomba was a sort of 14-year-old version of Tarzan. He had a hapless Negro tribesboy of the same age as a companion...I think his name was Dombi or something like that. Dombi was there simply to get in trouble and be rescued by the gloriously blue-eyed, blond-haired, and Aryan Bomba...who would probably have been wearing a Gap loincloth if such a thing could be had in the jungle.

These books were so incredibly bad, and so full of stereotypes (racial and otherwise) they it really beggars description.

If you haven't felt really ill in some time, mudcatters, pick up a Bomba the Jungle Boy book. There are about 50 episodes of pure drivel to choose from.


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: GUEST,Phantom Lurker
Date: 22 Sep 00 - 07:29 PM

THE WORLD'S 20 THINNEST BOOKS

20. BEAUTY SECRETS by Janet Reno
19. HOME BUILT AIRPLANES by John Denver
18. HOW TO GET TO THE SUPER BOWL by Dan Marino
17. THINGS I LOVE ABOUT BILL by Hillary Clinton
16. MY LIFE'S MEMORIES by Ronald Reagan
15. THINGS I CAN'T AFFORD by Bill Gates
14. THINGS I WOULD NOT DO FOR MONEY - by Dennis Rodman
13. THE WILD YEARS - by Al Gore
12. AMELIA EARHART'S GUIDE TO THE PACIFIC OCEAN
11. AMERICA'S MOST POPULAR LAWYERS
10. DETROIT - A TRAVEL GUIDE
9. DR. KEVORKIAN'S COLLECTION OF MOTIVATIONAL SPEECHES
8. EVERYTHING MEN KNOW ABOUT WOMEN
7. EVERYTHING WOMEN KNOW ABOUT MEN
6. ALL THE MEN I'VE LOVED BEFORE - by Ellen DeGeneres
5. MIKE TYSON'S GUIDE TO DATING ETIQUETTE
4. SPOTTED OWL RECIPES - by the Sierra Club
3. THE AMISH PHONE DIRECTORY
2. MY PLAN TO FIND THE REAL KILLERS - by O. J. Simpson
1. MY BOOK OF MORALS - by Bill Clinton


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: P05139
Date: 22 Sep 00 - 07:38 PM

Just to make it to 100, I'm currently reading Debbie Harry's biography "Platinum Blonde" and it's not that good!


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: Mbo
Date: 22 Sep 00 - 08:23 PM

Oh I AM insatiable! I've read the Hobbit about 6 times, The Lord of The Rings 3 times, the Silmarillion twice, Lost Tales, Part I&II twice, Unfinished Tales twice, The Tolkien Reader twice, Roverandom, the Humphrey Carter biography, Tolkien's Language, Tolkien Scrapbook, Tolkien Bestiary (several times), Guide To Middle Earth (several times), the Tolkien Companion (several times), Sir Orfeo/The Pearl/Sir Gawain & The Green Knight, tons of Tolkien poetry I've collected from various sources, listened to the NPR production of The Hobbit & LoTR about 200 times since 1995, and am currently waiting for The War of The Jewels, which is Volume 11, and the second to last volume in the History of Middle-Earth series. I've loved them, every one.

--Matt


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: Marion
Date: 22 Sep 00 - 10:47 PM

Is there anyone here who read the Hobbit, and as a direct result, has refrained from reading the Lord of Rings?

If so, let me PLEAD with you to forget the Hobbit and start fresh with the trilogy. It really is very different and very superior. And if you haven't read any Tolkien yet, skip the Hobbit and go right to Lord of the Rings. It has an introduction that tells you everything you need to know from the Hobbit.

I hear that often when I try to talk to people about Lord of the Rings:"Well, I read the Hobbit, and didn't really like it." It breaks my heart. I'm so thankful that I found the Lord of the Rings first, or I might not have read it either. There but for the grace of God go I...

Mbo, have you ever read C.S.Lewis' essay about Lord of the Rings? It was in a book of essays - I don't remember the title exactly, but it contained the word "stories". Anyway, it's well worth a look if you have access to a university library.

Marion


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: Mbo
Date: 22 Sep 00 - 11:01 PM

I read the Hobbit first, and loved it. Read the Trilogy next, and loved it. Read the Silmarillion's first pages, and hated it! 2 years later i read it again and wondered what in the HELL was the matter with me 2 years ago! The Silmarillion is just beautiful. I love them all equally. I'm a true Tolkien scholar, I'm not some casual reader out for some cheap quick read. I love something I can really dig into. BTW, by the last couple chapters, The Hobbit stops being a children's book.


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 23 Sep 00 - 11:22 AM

Mbo, I KNEW you were a gentleman of good taste and fine discrimination! Actually I've read a number of the other Tolkien-related books you mentioned too, but didn't go to the bookshelf to inventory them. And actually I lumped the Unfinished Tales with the Lost Tales.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: Little Hawk
Date: 23 Sep 00 - 12:25 PM

Mbo, you are the best. All I can say is, MBO RULES!!!!

Phantom Lurker - great list of slim books. I am still laughing!

By the way, I've been slipping deliberate weird typos into some of my massages, but no one seems to have noticed...so far...

What s'matter, Spaw? Didja fall asleep?


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: Little Hawk
Date: 23 Sep 00 - 01:09 PM

WyoWoman - excellent point that men could learn a few useful things about pleasing women from reading romance novels...you are right. Although there's a lot of silly stuff in romance novels, there is also a wealth of information about courtship and whatever it is that makes a woman feel beautiful, valuable, and appreciated.

Similarly, one could learn a lot by going to a few Julio Iglesias concerts or listening to his records. Say what you will, Julio has a real knack for pleasing women, and he's got a whole lot of class (aside from that rather silly song he and Willie Nelson teamed up on). Willie is no slouch either, by the way...women adore Willie Nelson and he adores them, although his style is very different from Julio's. I believe that's why they collaberated on the song...they are both masters of the art of romance...and they know it.

I'm gonna go and read some romance novels right now, by golly!

Of all the things a person could be in this life, I think to be a great lover (in a whole general sense...not just sex) has got to be one of the best possible uses of one's time that there is. Make love, not war.

Sure beats hell out of being a CEO.


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: WyoWoman
Date: 23 Sep 00 - 01:58 PM

Awriiiight, Little Hawk. Read away, then get over to the Sgt. Kat thread and start rippin' some bodices. Bodicae? No, that makes it sound like the Celtic commanda ...

Yes, yes, Annamill. I was just wondering the other day whether all the books I have in various stages of being read in various locations in my house are the sign of an exceptionally agile mind, or just another symptom of my multiple personalities. Two in the bathroom, two here at my desk, four on my bedside table, and even one on the kitchen cabinet. Plus CDs all around, with the covers open and unfolded so I can learn the words to songs ...

As you might imagine, my list of household chores grows, but reading will almost always be more fun than cleaning. Except (see "Celestine Prophecy," above...)

ww


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 23 Sep 00 - 08:02 PM

Really it shoudl be a highly regarded author to belong in a thread like this.

So my vote goes for D.H.Lawrence. Anything by D.H.Lawrence. Very versatile lad - fiction, non-fiction, poetry, paintings. All destined for Room 101 (where you find the worst things in the world).

And I don't like the way he heaved a log of wood at that inoffensive snake, once its back was turned, and then wrote a poem about it.


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