Author Topic: Really bad books you've read  (Read 8322 times)

Tim Hall

  • Victoria is my queen
Re: Really bad books you've read
« Reply #25 on: December 21, 2020, 12:40:40 pm »
'Filth' by Irvine Welsh.

Not badly written or anything, but it was only about a third of the way though that I realised that I didn't need this shit and had absolutely no interest in how the story progressed.
Nail smacked firmly on the head by our Welsh (not Irvine) correspondent.
There are two ways you can get exercise out of a bicycle: you can
"overhaul" it, or you can ride it.  (Jerome K Jerome)

Tim Hall

  • Victoria is my queen
Re: Really bad books you've read
« Reply #26 on: December 21, 2020, 12:42:52 pm »
Are we allowed to nominate an "author's" entire output?  If so anything and everything by E. E. Smith.  Even a sci. fi. obsessed 14 yo could tell they were dreadful. I'm still trying to work out why I bothered reading more than one*.  Thinking they couldn't *all* be that bad I flicked through a few others as I came across them.  They were.


*I read two.  It may be because I'd read every other sci. fi. book the library had, some several times.  Remember libraries? Wonderful invention, wonder what became of them?
I had the whole "Lensman" series. Killthe filthy thinly disguised commies aliens with frickin lasers, badly made up science and colliding planets.
There are two ways you can get exercise out of a bicycle: you can
"overhaul" it, or you can ride it.  (Jerome K Jerome)

citoyen

  • Occasionally rides a bike
Re: Really bad books you've read
« Reply #27 on: December 21, 2020, 12:45:28 pm »
American Psycho.

I know this is an entirely subjective exercise but you're wrong on this one.
"The future's all yours, you lousy bicycles."

Re: Really bad books you've read
« Reply #28 on: December 21, 2020, 01:39:29 pm »
The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant

I ploughed through the first trilogy, got half way through the first book in the second trilogy and just decided I did not care at all about Covenant.
In some ways a shame as there were some good ideas and concepts.

MrsC however enjoyed the whole set.
"No matter how slow you go, you're still lapping everybody on the couch."

Cudzoziemiec

  • Eating all the pies and drinking all the tea.
Re: Really bad books you've read
« Reply #29 on: December 21, 2020, 02:28:41 pm »
The Celestine Prophecy. A mix of bad novel and tin-foil pseudo-hippy ideas. Luckily it was written before 5G.
Faster than a walk, slower than a train, often slightly higher than a person. (David Byrne)

ElyDave

  • Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society member 263583
Re: Really bad books you've read
« Reply #30 on: December 21, 2020, 02:43:40 pm »
I quite liked Moby Dick.

War and Peace got a bit tedious, but I did manage to finish it
“Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.” –Charles Dickens

ian

  • feat. Undead Jess & Finestre, Queen of Hell
Re: Really bad books you've read
« Reply #31 on: December 21, 2020, 02:52:48 pm »
American Psycho.

I know this is an entirely subjective exercise but you're wrong on this one.

I quite enjoyed (if that's the word) American Psycho, but I didn't much like any of his other books (I think I tried two others, can't say I was anything more than bored).
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T42

  • *** fool in a hurry
Re: Really bad books you've read
« Reply #32 on: December 21, 2020, 03:03:13 pm »
Amis isn't an awful writer, but he's atrociously smug and is cursed by the belief that he's a far better writer than he is.

Found that with Salman Rushdie. Reading his stuff made me so angry I always baled after a chapter, if I got that far.  Uncle Hamish in the BBC version of The Crow Road has a good line about him that I can't quite remember - something about "heathen and smart-alec".

Could never read Amis the younger, but enjoyed his dad's stuff until he committed Jake's Thing.
I've dusted all those old bottles and set them up straight.

Tim Hall

  • Victoria is my queen
Re: Really bad books you've read
« Reply #33 on: December 21, 2020, 03:11:02 pm »
It was young Prentice that said it:
Quote
I jumped. I'd almost fallen asleep while Uncle Hamish had been droning on. I opened my eyes. The Tree was looking expectantly at me.

"Oh," I said. "Umm… I'd just like to put in a word for Salman Rushdie. Or at least take one out for old Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini… " I looked at Uncle Hamish, who was making quiet signals that I should clasp my hands and close my eyes. We were in the front lounge of Uncle Hamish and Aunt Tone's Victorian villa in the attractive Gallanach suburbette of Ballymeanoch, facing each other over a card table. I closed my eyes.

"Ah," I said. "Dear God, we pray that as well as suffering whatever part of the general physical unpleasantness involved in the Iran-Iraq war you may judge to be rightly his, you can find a spare area in his suffering, er, anti-create, for Mr R. Khomeini, late of Tehran and Qom, to experience at least some of the, umm, despair and continual worry currently being undergone by the novelist Mr S Rushdie, of Bombay and London, heathen and smart-alec though he may well be. Amen."

Spot on all the same.
There are two ways you can get exercise out of a bicycle: you can
"overhaul" it, or you can ride it.  (Jerome K Jerome)

tiermat

  • According to Jane, I'm a Unisex SpaceAdmin
Re: Really bad books you've read
« Reply #34 on: December 21, 2020, 04:10:41 pm »
A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon Jones just left me cold.

Anything by Charles Dickens gets a wide berth from me.

There has been others, I just can't remember them right now (nor do I ever want to!)
I feel like Captain Kirk, on a brand new planet every day, a little like King Kong on top of the Empire State

fd3

Re: Really bad books you've read
« Reply #35 on: December 21, 2020, 04:29:56 pm »
What the Dickens?!?

...

(Vic and Bob tumbleweed moment)

...

Sorry
And we know the flag of love is from above/And we can force you to be free

Re: Really bad books you've read
« Reply #36 on: December 21, 2020, 05:22:37 pm »
I've only read two James Bond novels; From Russia With Love and Goldfinger. Utter shite!

They read like a combination of a pretentious petty bourgeois shopping list, psychotic revelling in violence,
misogyny and snobbery.
 

Cudzoziemiec

  • Eating all the pies and drinking all the tea.
Re: Really bad books you've read
« Reply #37 on: December 21, 2020, 06:14:04 pm »
Amis isn't an awful writer, but he's atrociously smug and is cursed by the belief that he's a far better writer than he is.

Found that with Salman Rushdie. Reading his stuff made me so angry I always baled after a chapter, if I got that far.  Uncle Hamish in the BBC version of The Crow Road has a good line about him that I can't quite remember - something about "heathen and smart-alec".

Could never read Amis the younger, but enjoyed his dad's stuff until he committed Jake's Thing.
One of the Kingsley's books contains the most realistic description of a hangover I've ever read. It made me feel queasy reading it stone cold sober.
Faster than a walk, slower than a train, often slightly higher than a person. (David Byrne)

Re: Really bad books you've read
« Reply #38 on: December 21, 2020, 06:29:54 pm »
Amis isn't an awful writer, but he's atrociously smug and is cursed by the belief that he's a far better writer than he is.

Found that with Salman Rushdie. Reading his stuff made me so angry I always baled after a chapter, if I got that far.  Uncle Hamish in the BBC version of The Crow Road has a good line about him that I can't quite remember - something about "heathen and smart-alec".

Could never read Amis the younger, but enjoyed his dad's stuff until he committed Jake's Thing.
One of the Kingsley's books contains the most realistic description of a hangover I've ever read. It made me feel queasy reading it stone cold sober.


Yes, but that was his good one; The Old Devils is OK, but two of his others are terminally dull (so dull that they put me off risking the others.

fd3

Re: Really bad books you've read
« Reply #39 on: December 21, 2020, 06:48:21 pm »
I've only read two James Bond novels; From Russia With Love and Goldfinger. Utter shite!
Made me thunk of books to be classed with BeastQuest and Bond: "The Destroyer".  So bad that I believe the movie was better than the books (and the movie was not good either).
And we know the flag of love is from above/And we can force you to be free

ian

  • feat. Undead Jess & Finestre, Queen of Hell
Re: Really bad books you've read
« Reply #40 on: December 21, 2020, 06:58:36 pm »
It's one of those things, but the evidence strongly suggests that it's just as possible to be a very adept writer but have nothing interesting to say as it is to be a less adept writer and have a good, engaging story to tell.
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fd3

Re: Really bad books you've read
« Reply #41 on: December 21, 2020, 07:16:48 pm »
^ In the second set a lot of Sci Fi writers get away with it because the innovative story makes up for the poor telling.
And we know the flag of love is from above/And we can force you to be free

Cudzoziemiec

  • Eating all the pies and drinking all the tea.
Re: Really bad books you've read
« Reply #42 on: December 21, 2020, 07:43:51 pm »
Amis isn't an awful writer, but he's atrociously smug and is cursed by the belief that he's a far better writer than he is.

Found that with Salman Rushdie. Reading his stuff made me so angry I always baled after a chapter, if I got that far.  Uncle Hamish in the BBC version of The Crow Road has a good line about him that I can't quite remember - something about "heathen and smart-alec".

Could never read Amis the younger, but enjoyed his dad's stuff until he committed Jake's Thing.
One of the Kingsley's books contains the most realistic description of a hangover I've ever read. It made me feel queasy reading it stone cold sober.


Yes, but that was his good one; The Old Devils is OK, but two of his others are terminally dull (so dull that they put me off risking the others.
I think it must have been in Lucky Jim, which is pretty good, but I've also read The Old Devils and Jake's Thing.
Faster than a walk, slower than a train, often slightly higher than a person. (David Byrne)

citoyen

  • Occasionally rides a bike
Re: Really bad books you've read
« Reply #43 on: December 21, 2020, 08:37:12 pm »
I think it must have been in Lucky Jim, which is pretty good, but I've also read The Old Devils and Jake's Thing.


“Dixon was alive again. Consciousness was upon him before he could get out of the way; not for him the slow, gracious wandering from the halls of sleep, but a summary, forcible ejection. He lay sprawled, too wicked to move, spewed up like a broken spider-crab on the tarry shingle of morning. The light did him harm, but not as much as looking at things did; he resolved, having done it once, never to move his eyeballs again. A dusty thudding in his head made the scene before him beat like a pulse. His mouth had been used as a latrine by some small creature of the night, and then as its mausoleum. During the night, too, he'd somehow been on a cross-country run and then been expertly beaten up by secret police. He felt bad.”

There’s also a really good passage in Lucky Jim about greengages. And the drunken speech scene is laugh-out-loud funny.

Never read any other Kingsley Amis books though. Not sure why.
"The future's all yours, you lousy bicycles."

Cudzoziemiec

  • Eating all the pies and drinking all the tea.
Re: Really bad books you've read
« Reply #44 on: December 21, 2020, 09:11:57 pm »
Yeah, that's what you'd point a teetotaller to if they wanted to understand a hangover. But we seem to have swung the topic round 180 degrees.
Faster than a walk, slower than a train, often slightly higher than a person. (David Byrne)

citoyen

  • Occasionally rides a bike
Re: Really bad books you've read
« Reply #45 on: December 21, 2020, 09:40:56 pm »
This is yacf. Give it another page or two and we’ll be talking about narwhals.
"The future's all yours, you lousy bicycles."

ian

  • feat. Undead Jess & Finestre, Queen of Hell
Re: Really bad books you've read
« Reply #46 on: December 21, 2020, 09:43:27 pm »
I think it must have been in Lucky Jim, which is pretty good, but I've also read The Old Devils and Jake's Thing.


“Dixon was alive again. Consciousness was upon him before he could get out of the way; not for him the slow, gracious wandering from the halls of sleep, but a summary, forcible ejection. He lay sprawled, too wicked to move, spewed up like a broken spider-crab on the tarry shingle of morning. The light did him harm, but not as much as looking at things did; he resolved, having done it once, never to move his eyeballs again. A dusty thudding in his head made the scene before him beat like a pulse. His mouth had been used as a latrine by some small creature of the night, and then as its mausoleum. During the night, too, he'd somehow been on a cross-country run and then been expertly beaten up by secret police. He felt bad.”

There’s also a really good passage in Lucky Jim about greengages. And the drunken speech scene is laugh-out-loud funny.

Never read any other Kingsley Amis books though. Not sure why.

He's a good example of my thesis. He obviously has a brilliance with words, but then mostly ran out of things to do with them (as said, his post-Lucky Jim books were a game of diminishing returns as you tried to root out a gem that shines like that above). That said, there's no reason why a good storyteller must be a good writer, they're in many ways different skills.
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Cudzoziemiec

  • Eating all the pies and drinking all the tea.
Re: Really bad books you've read
« Reply #47 on: December 21, 2020, 09:45:33 pm »
This is yacf. Give it another page or two and we’ll be talking about narwhals.
"Really bad narwhals you've swum with."
Faster than a walk, slower than a train, often slightly higher than a person. (David Byrne)

Re: Really bad books you've read
« Reply #48 on: December 21, 2020, 09:49:00 pm »
RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAWWWWWWWWWWWRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!!!!1!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AIN'T NO HOOVES ON THIS BOOK!!!!!!!1!!!!!!

He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And if you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss also gazes into you.

Mrs Pingu

  • Who ate all the pies? Me
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Re: Really bad books you've read
« Reply #49 on: December 21, 2020, 10:01:26 pm »
Do not clench. It only makes it worse.