Advertisement
Private Profiles - an update on how they will be changing here
We've partnered up with Nixers.com to offer a space where you can talk directly to Peter from Nixers.com and get an exclusive Boards.ie discount code for a free job listing. If you are recruiting or know anyone else who is please check out the forum here.

Books to avoid like a bookworm on a diet

12021222426

Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 117 ✭✭ binncheol


    The Magicians - Lev Grossman.
    Not worth the time of day


  • Registered Users Posts: 119 ✭✭✭ wantacookie


    Eat, Pray, Love - somehow ended up owning it, the longest thing I've every read and absolute crap.

    Anything by Jodi Picoult - except maybe My Sisters Keeper
    Anything by Nicholas Sparks
    Two authors that don't know how to end a book other than "I don't want a cliche happy every after so lets kill off one of the main characters and the other is sad forever"


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 72 ✭✭✭ FiachDubh


    Insomnia- Stephen King.
    The only book of his I've disliked so far. It was a job to finish it. The first half of the book is about an old fella worried about the fact he losses a few minutes of sleep each night and the pain of losing his wife. This part of the book could have been condensed to a few chapters but it just goes on...... and on....... and on. It does get going eventually but it just isn't worth it.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 4,134 Tom Joad


    ..


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 5,997 ✭✭✭ Ipso


    The Red Riding Quartet( 1974,1977,1980, 1983) by David Peace. While there is no doubt that Peace is a talented writer and indeed the topics raised in the books were interesting with regards to police corruption in Yorkshire set against the backround of Yorkshire Ripper murders.

    The major flaw i had with the books was the disjointed characterisation in each novel, where for no apparent reason, some of Peaces characters would suddenly be subconcioulsy expressed on the pages, like some sort Shakesperean eulogy thats bears no resemblence to the character or even the story. The story would completely chop and change from each character, which sort of ruined the essence of the plot.

    Its like as if Peace went on a weekend binge of consuming a load of Thesaurses and decided to throw it down on paper without taking into account the whole flow of the story itself.......

    I love those books, sure what you highlighted are issues but I think the positives out weigh the negatives.
    It was a great bleak look at corruption and abuse of power showing in all ugliness the collateral damage that gets left in its wake.


  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 117 ✭✭ binncheol


    I actually loved that book and recommended it all over the place, anyone else I know who read it loved it too, different strokes and all that.

    I cannot believe that The City of Bohane won the IMPAC last week, I have a lot of time for Kevin Barry and think he is the best writer of short stories that there is but that book was rubbish, 250 pages too long.
    cloudatlas wrote: »
    I hated 'The Art of Fielding' by Chad Harbach. I can't believe this was a bestseller. It was plodding, pastiche, with lifeless stereotypical characters and a dead end plot.
    I was surprised by how much I loved The Art of Fielding!


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,304 Lucena


    "Dexter in the Dark"

    I was given the first three Dexter books as a gift, and have read them at about a year’s interval. I don’t remember much about the first two; apart from that they were ok and easy enough to read.

    Recently read ‘Dexter in the Dark’, which I didn’t finish, but I felt like throwing it in the bin. Every time Dexter has to travel anywhere, the author has to mention that the traffic is really bad, that people in Miami drive like maniacs, and that you’re risking your life taking the motorway. Every. Single. Time. It’s almost as if he realized the story was paper thin so he had to fill up some pages with useless detail.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,134 ✭✭✭ nyarlothothep


    Yup, I have a few

    Mansfield Park, utter, utter rubbish, a narrative about Victorian conformity and manners with a 1 dimensional utterly forgettable, insipid heroine, Fanny who does little more than articulate her inner most feelings on feeling either embarassed/shamed or appalled by Mr. Crawford being a cad.

    Bleak House, more Victorian rubbish, with a long drawn out pursuit sequence for Lady Dedlock which goes on and on and on much like the case of Jarndyce and Jarndyce, utter crap. Dicken's needed an editor, the characters are your typical Victorian stiffs, expostulating on the importance of God, manners and yadda yadda.

    Robinson Crusoe: 18th Christian propaganda, you are subjected to hundreds of pages of Crusoe going on about he's been punished by God for his social trangressions as a sailor. Then you have incredibly boring and detailed descriptions of how he makes corn and sheepskin clothes on his own. The offensiveness of the racism was funny even though it's equally deplorable , eg Friday, a native he rescues from Cannibals is instructed to call him "master." Then where it should end, when he gets off the island, the novel goes on (my problem with reading novels) and he rambles on about further adventures, one involving a pointless altercation with a bear in some mountains.

    Jane Eyre, rubbish but it has some redeeming traits, namely that Jane Eyre seems to harbour a certain contempt for Victorian society, good on her! It also has some interesting flights of fancy, I wouldnt say avoid this one so much but it does get boring after the first 150 pages with only intermittent moments of interest afterwards.

    The Wide Sargasso Sea: avoid, fan fiction at its worst and it's offensive in that it takes the universe of Jane Eyre and exploits it for its own 20th century political agenda. I dont have a problem with criticising 19th century literature, most of it is either rubbish or contemptible in terms of its politics, but nonetheless I find it's a violation of the universe of another author when you impose you own one on it.

    I have wasted 2 months of my life reading these books, this is why I recommend you avoid them.

    Oh yeah The Stand, great start, human race almost goes extinct, wahey! But therein the problem lies, from the ridiculous "come eat chicken with me, it's so dark" line of a ghoul, to a Lassie, superdog moment when Stu survives the fallout radius of a nuclear bomb and is nursed back to health by his trusty dog. Also Fanny, (why is it the worst female characters have this name) is utterly irritating, a weak, self centered protagonist who we're meant to sympathise with? Wtf?! The only characters who were likeable were Harold and Nadine and they were killed off as transgressor outcasts, a demonstration if anything Stephen King's insidious social conservatism. Additionally a folksy Maine knowledge of mechanics was seemingly enough to restart power plants and maintain/fly fighter jets. My arse.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,383 ✭✭✭ emeraldstar


    Mansfield Park
    Bleak House
    Jane Eyre

    Well, that's you on my ignore list! :p

    Mansfield Park, utter, utter rubbish, a narrative about Victorian conformity and manners

    Jane Austen, Time Traveller. Who knew?


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,134 ✭✭✭ nyarlothothep


    Well, that's you on my ignore list! :p




    Jane Austen, Time Traveller. Who knew?

    Ah, I see, Georgian or Romantic or whatever, it felt like a Victorian novel all the same with its obsession on decorum and all that "she was ever so embarrased by lady or lord such and such noticing that she had held her fork at a 70 degree angle which bye the bye was a grevious trangression of table manners. I just cannot get into the headspace that Austen was in when she was writing whatever it is she writes, and the worst bit is that it goes on and on like that for 500 + pages! Like really?! Do you really need to write 540 something pages on how characters feel about social situations and...relationships? I didn't read it so much as looked at the lines and turned the pages. I hate that style of writing, novels lend themselves to a focus on realism and the present, things I shun. Bleak House may as well have been 19th century Eastenders.


  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 230 ✭✭ tinyk68


    Les Miserables by Victor Hugo. I was looking forward to reading it but I was so bored. It's very, very long winded. At one point in the story Jean Valjean is wrestling with his conscience for about forty pages! I gave up about half way through it and I never give up on a book no matter how much I dislike it.

    Have to say I disagree with the previous comment about Jane Eyre. I enjoyed it. At the moment I'm reading Emma by Jane Austen and that is quite tedious. There is a lot of time devoted to what is or is not "proper" in any situation. However I will persevere. I'm not giving up again.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,134 ✭✭✭ nyarlothothep


    Don't get me wrong, compared to Mansfield park, Jane Eyre was a breath of fresh air, I enjoyed its attack on Victorian values and it's momentary gothic elements and flights of fancy, I much preferred those moments to the realism aspect. I just wouldn't go out of my way to read it.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 996 HansHolzel


    Jane Eyre is alright, the secret in the attic is a classic example of horror. Mr Rochester was more loquacious than I'd expected (or thought necessary) but the monstrous element of the cold fish St. John Rivers was quite effective too, as a prelude to the climax. Poor Rochester’s literally barely left with a leg to stand on in the end.

    As for Bleak House, three quarters of it should have been cut but the spontaneous combustion chapter is fantastic, creepy and yet very funny.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 400 ✭✭ Harvey Low Fat Milk


    Going through the books that I've read this year and easily the worst is 'Penpal' by Dathan Auerbach. Rubbish.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,556 ✭✭✭ the_monkey


    Alone in Berlin

    Rubbish, overrated and boring - my brother went on and on about it, I was so bored, couldn't even finish it.

    The catastrophist

    Utter ****e of the highest order - read it thinking I'd like it as it's set in the Congo in an interesting time - Rubbish.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,114 ivytwine


    the_monkey wrote: »
    Alone in Berlin

    Rubbish, overrated and boring - my brother went on and on about it, I was so bored, couldn't even finish it.

    The catastrophist

    Utter ****e of the highest order - read it thinking I'd like it as it's set in the Congo in an interesting time - Rubbish.

    I thought I was alone (har-har) with Alone In Berlin. Couldn't get into it at all. I wondered was it the translation, but I just found it quite clunky and heavy-handed. Anyway I gave up too!


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,148 ✭✭✭ Wyldwood


    Eloise by Judy Finnigan.
    Bought it at half price (still a waste of money). I have found quite a few good reads on Richard & Judy's bookclub recommendations so was curious to know if all the praise for Eloise was justified. It is a really poorly written book, it would never have made the shelves if Judy Finnigan's name wasn't on the cover. Immature dialogue, fickle characters with no depth & overlong descriptions of the Cornwall area.
    Money & reading time wasted.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 192 ✭✭ BlutendeRabe


    tinyk68 wrote: »
    Les Miserables by Victor Hugo. I was looking forward to reading it but I was so bored. It's very, very long winded. At one point in the story Jean Valjean is wrestling with his conscience for about forty pages! I gave up about half way through it and I never give up on a book no matter how much I dislike it.

    Have to say I disagree with the previous comment about Jane Eyre. I enjoyed it. At the moment I'm reading Emma by Jane Austen and that is quite tedious. There is a lot of time devoted to what is or is not "proper" in any situation. However I will persevere. I'm not giving up again.

    Parts of Les Mis are extremely long winded and it is rather sentimental. However I just love how it's so bloody and gloriously descriptive, especially about the Battle of Waterloo and early 19th century Paris. Some of the scenes, mainly to do with Marius's grandfather and grand aunt are hilarious.
    It's 10^10 times better than that awful bastard musical.

    As for Jane Austen:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gTchxR4suto


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,623 ✭✭✭ thegreatgonzo


    Since when were chick flicks satires?

    I wish I had avoided Lolita. Repulsive characters, plot peters out after 120 pages or so and the lavish writing style really grates from that point.

    I didn't like Lolita either, I don't remember much about it except that it was full of literary references and in-jokes that I didn't get. Maybe I'd appreciate it more if I did.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,623 ✭✭✭ thegreatgonzo


    I dont have a problem with criticising 19th century literature, most of it is either rubbish or contemptible in terms of its politics, but nonetheless I find it's a violation of the universe of another author when you impose you own one on it. [/QUOTE]

    Isn't that how you are critiquing these books though, by looking at them purely through a 21st century experience?


  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 5,134 ✭✭✭ nyarlothothep


    I dont have a problem with criticising 19th century literature, most of it is either rubbish or contemptible in terms of its politics, but nonetheless I find it's a violation of the universe of another author when you impose you own one on it.

    Isn't that how you are critiquing these books though, by looking at them purely through a 21st century experience?[/QUOTE]

    Well I find a lot of idelogies/attitudes extant in the 21st century, par exemple neo liberalism, corporatism or austerity economics, utterly dismissable. What I find intriguing is how uniform attitudes were in the 19th century. Take Indians, on one side you had Americans who supported race war and genocide, on the other you had those who supported assimilation but generally both sides saw the Indian as inferior to the white man. On the other hand in terms of race politics you did have some dissenting voices who vouched for the equality of black people and argued that they were equal to whites. So even in the incredible bigotted 19th century there were some people who thought ahead, even though they were a bit ethnocentric, ditto for this time period.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,623 ✭✭✭ thegreatgonzo


    . So even in the incredible bigotted 19th century there were some people who thought ahead, even though they were a bit ethnocentric, ditto for this time period.

    I disagree with your opinion of 19th century literature but that's besides the point. What is the problem with Wide Saragasso Sea and 20th century criticism?


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,134 ✭✭✭ nyarlothothep


    I disagree with your opinion of 19th century literature but that's besides the point. What is the problem with Wide Saragasso Sea and 20th century criticism?

    Ah 20th century criticism/WSS is always fixated with Freudian theory, feminism, Marxism and gothic repression, redressing 19th century quaintness with a gritty 20th century deconstruction that reveals the kind of gross oppression that went on in the 19th. I don't mind that, I just didn't like someone going into someone else's world and reconfiguring it. Also WSS was boring and I got nothing out of reading it, yeah, Antoinette is driven to madness due to colonial attitudes and the big twist is that she's actually Bertha from Jane Eyre :eek: I was like yeah whatever, this is hijacking Bronte's world. I dunno that style of fiction just isn't for me, I'm going to read Weaveworld and it better be good.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 192 ✭✭ BlutendeRabe


    Ah 20th century criticism/WSS is always fixated with Freudian theory, feminism, Marxism and gothic repression, redressing 19th century quaintness with a gritty 20th century deconstruction that reveals the kind of gross oppression that went on in the 19th. I don't mind that,

    I'm with Harold Bloom regarding what he dubs the "School of Resentment". That sort of feminist/marxism/deconstruction criticism produces utter dreck and I can't see any use for it.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,623 ✭✭✭ thegreatgonzo


    Ah 20th century criticism/WSS is always fixated with Freudian theory, feminism, Marxism and gothic repression, redressing 19th century quaintness with a gritty 20th century deconstruction that reveals the kind of gross oppression that went on in the 19th. I don't mind that, I just didn't like someone going into someone else's world and reconfiguring it. Also WSS was boring and I got nothing out of reading it, yeah, Antoinette is driven to madness due to colonial attitudes and the big twist is that she's actually Bertha from Jane Eyre :eek: I was like yeah whatever, this is hijacking Bronte's world. I dunno that style of fiction just isn't for me, I'm going to read Weaveworld and it better be good.

    It's years since I read WSS so I won't dispute with you over the theory. I loved that it took a character whose past was a mystery and gave her a real story. I'm not so fond of books that write about the future events of a character' life though, I just watched Death in Pemberley the other night and didn't like it.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 202 ✭✭ johnthemull


    After the critical acclaim given to the Spinning Heart I felt it my duty to go and read the book, which I duly did.
    I was somewhat amazed at how little I enjoyed it.
    The book was frankly a misery feast from start to finish.
    It was devoid of any inspiration, insight or hope and from the early pages all I could think of was here comes another Angela's Ashes.
    I am clearly very out of touch with the mainstream of public opinion lauding this book as a masterpiece.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,623 ✭✭✭ thegreatgonzo


    After the critical acclaim given to the Spinning Heart I felt it my duty to go and read the book, which I duly did.
    I was somewhat amazed at how little I enjoyed it.
    The book was frankly a misery feast from start to finish.
    It was devoid of any inspiration, insight or hope and from the early pages all I could think of was here comes another Angela's Ashes.
    I am clearly very out of touch with the mainstream of public opinion lauding this book as a masterpiece.

    That's disappointing, I've heard so many good reviews of it. I've no interest in miserable Irish stories:(


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,134 ✭✭✭ nyarlothothep


    I'm with Harold Bloom regarding what he dubs the "School of Resentment". That sort of feminist/marxism/deconstruction criticism produces utter dreck and I can't see any use for it.

    I would need to read further on Bloom's argument but I kinda partially agree with it. Marxist/feminist critical approaches can be quite useful in unravelling the socio-economic and gender politics of novels like Jane Eyre or Mansfield Park, the latter in particular is very overt in its defence of a caste-like society and the social values that go along with it. I just get annoyed when critics attempt to fit novels into their argument or are preachy about certain elements that are offensive to our 21st century values, even though they are just comically bad and of their time. Also the use of maths/pseudo formulas in critical essays is the biggest offensive abomination and the ultimate sign of pretension. Feminist critique I would criticise for being deliberately oblique and indecipherable. Chakravorty Spivak's seminal essay on Jane Eyre, WSS and Frankenstein is one such example. I prefer if they say what they mean and back up their outside references with explanations, simply invoking the Kantian categorical imperative and not elucidating on it is erroneous writing imo as it leads the reader astray.


  • Registered Users Posts: 19,351 ✭✭✭✭ Harry Angstrom


    It's at times like this that I remember what an old aunt of mine once told me, "Everything is relative, Harry".


    She only knew Chakravorty Spivak to see. She'd never engage in conversation with her.


  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 6,734 ✭✭✭ Swiper the fox


    After the critical acclaim given to the Spinning Heart I felt it my duty to go and read the book, which I duly did.
    I was somewhat amazed at how little I enjoyed it.
    The book was frankly a misery feast from start to finish.
    It was devoid of any inspiration, insight or hope and from the early pages all I could think of was here comes another Angela's Ashes.
    I am clearly very out of touch with the mainstream of public opinion lauding this book as a masterpiece.

    I haven't enjoyed any book as much this year, that's the thing about books I suppose, different strokes for different folks. I'm not sure I understand what you mean when you say " devoid of any inspiration, insight or hope and from the early pages" or the comparison with Angela's ashes, I cannot think of a single thing that those books have in common. I'm just gobsmacked with that review, sorry!


Advertisement