Author Topic: Really bad books you've read  (Read 9726 times)

Re: Really bad books you've read
« Reply #250 on: 30 January, 2021, 10:58:28 am »
I did a lot of bed-time reading to my children - Dick-King Smith, Clive King, Roald Dahl (these were the authors, not the names of my children) - that sort of thing, when they would have been around 3-5, I think. It was all a pleasure. And then the girl, in particular, developed a liking for Enid Blyton, and it became a chore.

Cudzoziemiec

  • Eating all the pies and drinking all the tea.
Re: Really bad books you've read
« Reply #251 on: 30 January, 2021, 11:04:00 pm »
Reading Roald Dahl to my son was a great pleasure. Also Winnie the Pooh and a whole load of other stuff. At some point I read him The Box of Delights and he was so struck by it, it's still on his 'Christmas tradition reading list' now! Fortunately, he never asked for Blyton, but he did want me to read comics to him – Asterix, that kind of thing – which isn't in itself a chore but they're really not made for reading aloud.
Riding a bike through a city is like navigating the collective neural pathways of a vast global mind.

Cudzoziemiec

  • Eating all the pies and drinking all the tea.
Re: Really bad books you've read
« Reply #252 on: 30 January, 2021, 11:11:17 pm »
Right now I'm reading David Byrne's Bicycle Diaries. They're very interesting and on the whole well written – as a book it doesn't qualify for this thread at all – but there are one or two places where I get the feeling his editor has asked him to dumb down 'hard words'. Or maybe he's just felt the need to explain them and it's nothing to do with the editor. Here's an example:
In a contemporary interview, ... Mrs Marcos is quoted as wishing that her epitaph, what she wants written on her tombstone, should not be her name but the words here lies love.

If you feel there's really a need to explain 'epitaph' then why use it? Why not just say 'what she wants written on her tombstone'? Come to that, if someone really doesn't know the word 'epitaph' and can't even look it up in a dictionary, they probably won't understand a lot of other things in the book. So perhaps there's some other explanation, but whatever it is, it's clunky.

There's also a chortle-tastic typo when he mentions an Istanbul hotel that 'was once, in the days of the Orient Express, the height of elegance. Hemingway, Garbo, Hitchcock and King Edward III stayed here.'
Riding a bike through a city is like navigating the collective neural pathways of a vast global mind.

Re: Really bad books you've read
« Reply #253 on: 01 February, 2021, 03:09:46 pm »
Anything by Nina Bawden, also favoured of school English teachers. Blarg.
Oh goodness, yes. Miserable teenagers Finding Themselves. Grim.
(On the other hand I was a JRRT addict; I think you either really like or totally dislike that kind of thing.)
I was going to say I enjoyed her books as a kid, but on checking, it turns out I've never read a single one. I must have been confusing her with Enid Nesbit or someone with a similar Edwardian-sounding name.

I think you're conflating Enid Blyton and Edith Nesbit. Enid Blyton definitely deserves a place on this thread: I found her unreadable even as a kid (which probably disqualified me from half the children's books at the time). I'm sure I read some Nesbit but found her dull. Quite possibly I read something by Nina Bawden too, if so it was utterly unmemorable. Not even bad.
E. Nesbit I remember as being a little hard going just because her language is older - good books as far as I can recall. I read a lot of Enid Blyton - especially the school stories - I think "they haven't aged well" as the saying is... not that I can remember much about them now.

Re: Really bad books you've read
« Reply #254 on: 01 February, 2021, 05:33:12 pm »
Not only that. The prose was leaden and the stories repetitive. The girl loved them enough that they became the first long, chaptered books that she read herself (partly because I'd come to a point where I refused her requests), so good for Enid.

fd3

Re: Really bad books you've read
« Reply #255 on: 02 February, 2021, 12:07:04 am »
Paint by numbers and the gyppos are the bad guys because, obviously, they're gyppos.
That's about all I remember, but even aged ... 8? ... I remember thinking that I didn't agree with their presuming that people were criminals based on being a bit "not from around here".
Strange things are afoot at the circle K.