Author Topic: Truly Terrible Books thread  (Read 16092 times)

tiermat

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Truly Terrible Books thread
« on: March 10, 2011, 09:19:45 am »
Ones to avoid, and why....

My first submission would be not one book, but four in a trilogy (yes I said 4, the last book was split in two as it was too big to be one paperback):

Sorrow, Memory and Thorn trilogy by Tad Williams.

$DEITY alone knows why I struggled through all 4 of these books, and I know that is endless hours of my life I will never ever get back...
I feel like Captain Kirk, on a brand new planet every day, a little like King Kong on top of the Empire State

clarion

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Re: Truely Terrible Books thread
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2011, 09:23:07 am »
Anythign by Agatha Christie or Enid Blyton is a flying start.  I've read several and regretted.

Recently, I've read Wilt On High by Tom Sharpe, which was just dull and formulaic, and The Devil Rides Out by Dennis Wheatley, which is utterly pretentious tosh and so full of holes you couldn't keep a whale in it.
Getting there...

her_welshness

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Re: Truely Terrible Books thread
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2011, 09:27:29 am »
Song of Stone by Iain Banks. DIRE.

The other one which I thought was full of wank was 'C' by Tom McCarthy.

Re: Truely Terrible Books thread
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2011, 09:28:36 am »
Host by that woman who wrote the Twilight books.

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Manotea

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Re: Truely Terrible Books thread
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2011, 09:32:59 am »
Anythign by Agatha Christie or Enid Blyton is a flying start.  I've read several and regretted.

Recently, I've read Wilt On High by Tom Sharpe, which was just dull and formulaic, and The Devil Rides Out by Dennis Wheatley, which is utterly pretentious tosh and so full of holes you couldn't keep a whale in it.

Tom Sharpes stuff can seem a bit formulaic or is it simply a problem of overfamiliarity with the authors style. The problem is that you read one and think it's brilliant, then you read another and another and another and whilst individually they are great by the 5th or sixth a certan sense of ennui sets in. Terry Pratchett suffers the same distinction. To be clear I certainly wouldn't confuse T&T with hack formulaic writers like Dan Brown and Dick Francis (shudder).

Re: Truely Terrible Books thread
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2011, 09:41:07 am »
Jaws, the film, was amusing enough. Jaws, the book, was badly written in a way that shouted it only existed to sell the film rights.

I find Dickens adjectival diarrhoea unreadable.

her_welshness

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Re: Truely Terrible Books thread
« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2011, 09:49:07 am »
Host by that woman who wrote the Twilight books.



Stephenie Meyer. It was bloody awful.

Re: Truely Terrible Books thread
« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2011, 09:54:09 am »
Just to give some people a flavour of the book, part of the story involves a bloke falling in love with an alien parasite who inhabits the brain of a woman who happens to have a really good pair.
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interzen

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Re: Truely Terrible Books thread
« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2011, 09:58:00 am »
Digital Fortress by Dan Brown.

Being a techie, I wasn't sure whether to laugh or cry whilst reading it but there were plot holes you could drive a truck through, not to mention the legendary (for all the wrong reasons) bits set in Seville ... airport-shop tosh of the highest order. Quite how Brown has made his fortune out of writing will forever remain a mystery to me.

I'll also add the 5th and 6th Harry Potter books - never bothered with the 7th.

Mr Larrington

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Re: Truly Terrible Books thread
« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2011, 10:02:45 am »
Song of Stone by Iain Banks. DIRE.

This ^^^^

Most anything by Tom Robbins.
The Everyday Uses Of Portland Cement1.
Any of the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Arse Unbeliever.
The Regiment by Michael Asher.  Stop making up verbs, you pretentious knobber.
The Compleat Works of Dan Brown.  Research?  What's that?
The Silmarillion.  Just.  Fuck.  Off.
Exit Funtopia by Mick Farren.  Mickey, bless his little cotton socks,  is a mostly dreadful novelist2 at the best of times but this is ultra-sub-William Gibson cybertoss of the very worst and most derivative kind.

I dare say I can come up with more given a little time to think.

1 - The film is way better.
2 - I enjoyed the "DNA Cowboys" trilogy, but that's because it's got lots of sex and violence.  In it.
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Re: Truely Terrible Books thread
« Reply #10 on: March 10, 2011, 10:04:16 am »
Host by that woman who wrote the Twilight books.



Stephenie Meyer. It was bloody awful.

You mean she's written worse? :o I was going to nominate Twilight as the worst book in the history of the english language (until I read it, I would otherwise have said that accolade went to the Sookie Stackhouse novels by Charlaine Harris). Was it wise of me to refuse to read anything else written by Stephanie Meyer?
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Manotea

  • Where there is doubt...
Re: Truely Terrible Books thread
« Reply #11 on: March 10, 2011, 10:10:03 am »
Just to give some people a flavour of the book, part of the story involves a bloke falling in love with an alien parasite who inhabits the brain of a woman who happens to have a really good pair.

They mostly do in SF novels. Unless they are slim athletic types.

her_welshness

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Re: Truely Terrible Books thread
« Reply #12 on: March 10, 2011, 10:13:27 am »
Host by that woman who wrote the Twilight books.



Stephenie Meyer. It was bloody awful.

You mean she's written worse? :o I was going to nominate Twilight as the worst book in the history of the english language (until I read it, I would otherwise have said that accolade went to the Sookie Stackhouse novels by Charlaine Harris). Was it wise of me to refuse to read anything else written by Stephanie Meyer?

Host is terrible, Kathy. Whereas the Twiglet books were like crack to me.  :-[

Re: Truely Terrible Books thread
« Reply #13 on: March 10, 2011, 10:13:36 am »
Host is much much worse. All the teenage love/angst drivel without any humour. The benevolent alien brain parasites would be almost funny if it were written as a farce.

I enjoyed reading Twilight, but that's probably because I was reading a copy that had been annotated by a teenage girl. The scrawled commentary was hilarious or made the book funny. In serious bits where the character's angst and lurve is driving them to suicidal stupidity, there would be pencil saying things like "ffs, stupid cow she should just kiss him and get on with it." complete with angry stab marks from pencil.
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Re: Truely Terrible Books thread
« Reply #14 on: March 10, 2011, 10:18:20 am »
Just to give some people a flavour of the book, part of the story involves a bloke falling in love with an alien parasite who inhabits the brain of a woman who happens to have a really good pair.

They mostly do in SF novels. Unless they are slim athletic types.
uhuh. Very few have squat heroines with acne.
Notable exception - Philip Reeves steampunk mortal engines series. The heroine has a disfigured face; nose and part of face sliced off by a sword when a child. I did cry when I read the last book. Great stuff.
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Morrisette

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Re: Truely Terrible Books thread
« Reply #15 on: March 10, 2011, 10:21:55 am »
Dan Brown FTW! Oh, those books are crap! The way his characters can dodge bullets and leap from planes!

Agree about the Sookie novels too - I was very surprised they were so bad as the TV series is really good.

Not read Twilight. Maybe I won't bother. They are my kind of thing but have heard they are Not Great.

Most disappointing books for me were the later vampire chronicles/mayfair witches stories by Anne Rice. The major mistake was putting the two threads together. Lestat should never have met Rowan! The first few were great. Blood Canticle and Taltos are dire.

I like a trashy novel. But it has to be good trashy.
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vorsprung

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Re: Truely Terrible Books thread
« Reply #16 on: March 10, 2011, 10:23:18 am »
Song of Stone by Iain Banks. DIRE.

Yes I'd forgotten about that, truely awful
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border-rider

Re: Truely Terrible Books thread
« Reply #17 on: March 10, 2011, 10:25:52 am »
Song of Stone by Iain Banks. DIRE.

Oh yes

I'm a big IB fan, but that was dreadful.  My copy was borrowed by a former boyfriend of Mrs MV's sister, who was a bit of a tit, and he never gave it back.  A match made in heaven.

interzen

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Re: Truely Terrible Books thread
« Reply #18 on: March 10, 2011, 10:27:45 am »
Not read Twilight. Maybe I won't bother. They are my kind of thing but have heard they are Not Great.
SWMBO is trying to get me to read the Twilight books, and I'm trying like hell to avoid having to do so. Even though the film was actually Rather Good (surprisingly so, in fact)

Karla

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Re: Truely Terrible Books thread
« Reply #19 on: March 10, 2011, 10:31:20 am »
Quicksilver by Neal Stephenson.  After the masterpiece that was Cryptonomicon, he followed with this massive piece of boring, self-indulgent verbal ditchwater.  He interspersed his own characters (with unbelieveable, tenuous links to characters in previous books) with real historical characters such as Isaac Newton, but then didn't do anything with the historicaal guys others except bring them in to act as intellectual wallpaper.  That would be forgiveable if he hadn't used 200 extra pages doing so, and if there'd been any plot in the first place.  

I didn't bother with the rest of the Baroque cycle.

interzen

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Re: Truely Terrible Books thread
« Reply #20 on: March 10, 2011, 10:40:01 am »
I didn't bother with the rest of the Baroque cycle.
IMO, everything he wrote after "Snow Crash" has been a bit shit ... I tried to read "The Diamond Age" but gave up about halfway through.

Another mention for "The Silmarillion" too - I can understand why Tolkien wrote it, but that doesn't stop it from being monumentally dull. Ditto any of the "History of Middle Earth" books - flogging a dead horse raised to the nth degree.

Edit: I'm also going to mention the entire output of William Shakespeare. Now maybe this is a subconscious reaction to the fact that we had it rammed down our throats at school, but every time I've tried to read his works I've found them to be unutterably shite. There's no denying that he made a major contribution to English literature but that doesn't mean I have to enjoy it.

Mr Larrington

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Re: Truly Terrible Books thread
« Reply #21 on: March 10, 2011, 10:44:11 am »
(Returns from Thinks)

Did I mention the brain-buggeringly awful London Fields by Martin Amis?

(Checks)

No, I didn't.  Well, I am now.  IIRC I'd just finished it when Tibor Fischer gave Yellow Dog one of the most serious pastings in the history of all things evvah and serve him right no fate is too bad.  If Yellow Dog was even a quarter as dreadful as London Fields then this:

Quote from: Tibor Fischer
Yellow Dog isn't bad as in not very good or slightly disappointing. It's not-knowing-where-to-look bad. I was reading my copy on the Tube and I was terrified someone would look over my shoulder… It's like your favourite uncle being caught in a school playground, masturbating.

is thoroughly deserved.

My Idea Of Fun ~ Will Self.  Not my idea of fun.  I bought it in San Francisco airport coz I wanted something to read on the flight home, but it took me about a year to finish.

Parfum ~ Patrick Süskind.  TWFKAML thinks this is so good that she's given it to me for my birthday.  Twice.  I have no idea why.  It's tosh.

Brock Yates' biography of Enzo Ferrari.

Bill Hicks: Agent Of Evolution.  There may be a good biography of Bill Hicks out there, but this isn't it.

Spycatcher ~ Peter Wright.  I went to a lot of time and trouble to get a mate to smuggle this into the country after a trip to New York, and then wished I hadn't bothered.
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Karla

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Re: Truely Terrible Books thread
« Reply #22 on: March 10, 2011, 10:59:23 am »
I agree about Dan Brown.  I read The Da Vinci Code and it would have been alright for aircraft filler, had my suspended disbelief not come crashing down every page due to a mundane factual error.  I didn't even bother with Digital Fortress, as a techie I could tell from the blurb that I'd be able to drive a truck through the plot holes.

I didn't bother with the rest of the Baroque cycle.
IMO, everything he wrote after "Snow Crash" has been a bit shit ... I tried to read "The Diamond Age" but gave up about halfway through.
Hey, I liked Crypto!  I think it was between these two books that his ego went over the edge and he started being self-indulgent, or maybe just drowned in a sea of geekiness.  

Gorky Park by Martin Cruz Smith.  A lot of people like it but that doesn't stop it being third rate.  If you want soviet spy fiction, there are so many better authors to choose from.  Give it a miss.

Quote
I'm also going to mention the entire output of William Shakespeare. Now maybe this is a subconscious reaction to the fact that we had it rammed down our throats at school, but every time I've tried to read his works I've found them to be unutterably shite.
That's because they're plays, not novels.  They're meant to be watched rather than read!

her_welshness

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Re: Truely Terrible Books thread
« Reply #23 on: March 10, 2011, 11:02:06 am »
London Fields was awful. All I seem to recall from it was this woman who was setting herself up to be killed  ???

Re: Truely Terrible Books thread
« Reply #24 on: March 10, 2011, 11:08:22 am »
Good to be God by Tibor Fischer. Many years back I read and enjoyed The Thought Gang. Then I read Voyage to the end of the room, followed by The Collector Collector. I thought they were rubbish but I still went back and read Good to be God. I only finished it in the vain hope that it would improve, but it didn't. Just to prove how stupid and irrational I am I still have Don't read this book if you're stupid in the midst of the unread book pile; it's been there for some considerable time.

Maybe I should have another look at The Though Gang to see if it was actually any good or if my memory is at fault.

*spookily I was just typing this as Mr Larrington posted about Tibor Fischer above.


<pedant> P.S. Re: the title; there's no 'e' in truly </pedant>
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