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Books to avoid like a bookworm on a diet

  • 09-08-2006 3:19pm
    #1
    Moderators, Arts Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 9,155 Mod ✭✭✭✭ BossArky


    We have threads for:

    - 10 books to read before death
    - books we are currently reading
    - general book threads and queries.

    How about a thread which highlights books to be avoided at all costs? - i.e. waste of reading time, no educational value, biased, waste of ink, paper and some poor writers nerves.

    Of course, most books no matter how bad teach us something.... but there must be a few gems out there ready to clobber the unwary reader into an early snooze.

    Try to give a brief desciption of why you want the book on this list.


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Comments

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 41,957 _blank_


    Mills and Boon.


  • Registered Users Posts: 595 ✭✭✭ Deer


    Rule of Four - oh what inconsistent rubbish....


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 41,957 _blank_


    Really?

    It's here beside me waiting for me to read it - should I not bother?


  • Registered Users Posts: 595 ✭✭✭ Deer


    It just didn't do it for me - I'll put it like that. There are two writers and I just felt that even if I hadn't known that before it I read it that was blatently clear. A lot of people I know felt the same.


  • Moderators, Arts Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 9,155 Mod ✭✭✭✭ BossArky




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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,598 ✭✭✭ cashback


    Dan Brown - Deception Point - Quite liked Da Vinci Code but this is muck.
    Jonathan Frantzen - Strong Motion - Unpleasant.


  • Registered Users Posts: 19,590 ✭✭✭✭ Karoma


    Any tripe from Dan Brown.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,578 ✭✭✭ BopNiblets


    Doris Lessing - The Grass is Singing.

    Depressing bore fest.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 354 ✭✭ punka


    Deer wrote:
    Rule of Four - oh what inconsistent rubbish....


    Agreed! Shockingly written and essentially a poor man's da Vinci Code (incidentally, does one capitalise the "da" when referring to the book/film?). The best of those "literary detective novels" is Matthew Pearl's The Dante Club, btw, but this thread is meant to be about awful books, so...


    Atomised by Houellebecq. Sorry, but I detested it. I really expected to like it, but it was the first book in a long time I found difficult to finish. Mid-life crisis pseudo-intellectual nonsense.

    The Lake of Dead Languages by Carol Goodman. Avoid at all costs. A "mystery" set in a private all-girls high school. It's very self-conscious (in the bad sense) about its debt to The Secret History, and by drawing attention to the (tangential) plot connection (it's about a Latin teacher) simply serves to highlight its own deficiencies. One of the worst books I've ever read. In particular, the use of Latin is inserted into the narrative in an incredibly contrived way that seems merely intended to show off the author's erudition and doesn't feel natural.

    I also hate Gibson's Neuromancer with a passion, but I'm sure I'm in a minority on that one.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,077 ✭✭✭ theCzar


    Something Happened by Joesph Heller, I just. Can't. Finish. I have never ever ever not finished a book so technically, I'm still reading it. been reading it for two years now, woeful.

    What disappointment from the man who wrote my fav book. :(


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  • Administrators Posts: 33,521 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭ dudara


    I tried to read Quicksilver by Neal Stephenson, and I got 300 pages into it, but I had to give up. It moved at the pace of a very very slow snail on crutches.


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 25,537 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Dades


    I found "The Historian" by Elizabeth Kostova really turgid.
    A lot of words but very little happening.

    Half way through now, I only read it when I can't sleep.


  • Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators Posts: 42,408 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Beruthiel


    Do womens magazines count?
    I weep for the poor trees wasted on that muck


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 357 ✭✭ Tchocky


    I loved Atomised :)

    Patricia Cornwell managed to make me angry after 7 pages, I'm not sure why but I won't be reading her again.
    The aforementioned 'code.
    Any Dickens at all.
    Most 'crime' novels I find dull...
    Wilbur Smith


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,692 ✭✭✭✭ Earthhorse


    Dracula - influential and incredibly boring.

    Terry Pratchett - unfunny and can't write to save his life.

    Charles Dickens - bloated prose and heavy handed social commentary! Fun!

    Lord of the Rings - the template for fantasy literature and a seminal book but it's lack of proper characterisation coupled with the infinite detail makes for a slow and uninspiring read.

    Tom Clancy - just write essays about the CIA so we can cut out the crap.

    Mentioning the likes of Brown on these threads is an insult to the reader's intelligence. I think it would be better if people focused on literature that's been popular for sometime rather than faddy stuff which is easy to avoid.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,313 Vicente Lemon Moose


    I thought Ian McEwan's Atonement was a complete waste of my time. Some serious rubbish toward the end and it was never really enjoyable to read. It's been a long time since I read it, though, so I forget exactly why I found it so bad and I shan't be rereading it!
    wrote:
    Terry Pratchett - unfunny and can't write to save his life.
    Seconded.


  • Moderators, Arts Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 9,155 Mod ✭✭✭✭ BossArky


    Steer well clear of Paulo Coelho's "The Valkyries", a joke of a book.

    It is his autobiographical notes on going to a desert with his wife in an attempt to meet his angel. He meets his angel alright, she is the leader of a group of skanger bikers who drive around the desert. The book culminates with a cermoney where he climbs into a cave and the bikers wave mirrors around.

    Absolutely the worst book I've read in a long time. Paradoxicaly I'd actually recommend reading it to see how bad it is. It will make you cringe turning the pages.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,077 ✭✭✭ theCzar


    Earthhorse wrote:
    Tom Clancy - just write essays about the CIA so we can cut out the crap.

    Mentioning the likes of Brown on these threads is an insult to the reader's intelligence. I think it would be better if people focused on literature that's been popular for sometime rather than faddy stuff which is easy to avoid.

    I'd agree there
    Earthhorse wrote:
    Terry Pratchett - unfunny and can't write to save his life.

    Charles Dickens - bloated prose and heavy handed social commentary! Fun!

    Lord of the Rings - the template for fantasy literature and a seminal book but it's lack of proper characterisation coupled with the infinite detail makes for a slow and uninspiring read.

    Dickens, Tolkein and Pratchett listed as authors to be avoided! You can't say that! I've reported the your post to the thought police who'll be along shortly to start all sorts of muppetry.:eek:

    I'll simply say that while I disagree with what you say I'll defend to the death your right to say it.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 40 ✭✭✭ Shaybo


    Labyrinth by Kate Mosse - an absolute disgrace that this ever saw the light of day and a real indictment of the media mafia in the UK that Mosse's (who's a literary biwig at the Sunday Times and in the UK in general) book has been so lavishly praised. Bady written, badly plotted and badly edited.

    The Good Life by Jay McInerney - a major disappointment. The middle section is particularly badly written and the most clichéd piece of fiction dealing with a relationship that I've ever read.

    And, of course, The Da Vinci Code.


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 25,537 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Dades


    Earthhorse wrote:
    Mentioning the likes of Brown on these threads is an insult to the reader's intelligence. I think it would be better if people focused on literature that's been popular for sometime rather than faddy stuff which is easy to avoid.
    Not sure why you'd get your knickers in a scholarly twist when Dan Brown is mentioned on a thread called "Books to avoid like a bookworm on a diet".

    Or maybe there should be a different forum called simply "books" for the plebs who think reading is for enjoyment. ;)


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  • Registered Users Posts: 829 ✭✭✭ case_sensitive


    The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand.. billed by a godo friend as one of the best books he'd ever read, I've been trying to finish it for months, but every time I pick it up I'm irritated or bored with it.

    The story is absolutely preposterous, the characters are fantastical and impossible to relate to or like, and lives of the main protagonists flow in a way that makes your head spin.
    Oh, and on a personal note, the architecture references the book is stuffed with leave me very cold. Yuck yuck yuck.


  • Registered Users Posts: 27 ✭✭✭ chigli


    Shaybo wrote:
    Labyrinth by Kate Mosse - an absolute disgrace that this ever saw the light of day and a real indictment of the media mafia in the UK that Mosse's (who's a literary biwig at the Sunday Times and in the UK in general) book has been so lavishly praised. Bady written, badly plotted and badly edited.

    Just finished that book and would have to agree with you - it is absolute rubbish


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,692 ✭✭✭✭ Earthhorse


    Not sure why you'd get your knickers in a scholarly twist when Dan Brown is mentioned on a thread called "Books to avoid like a bookworm on a diet".

    Or maybe there should be a different forum called simply "books" for the plebs who think reading is for enjoyment. ;)

    I'm not really getting my knickers in a twist. I just think there have been enough warnings about the Da Vinci Code for people to take note. The thread will be better service by sacrificing a few sacred cows.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 16 ✭✭✭ Bigeamo


    Bridget Jones Diary. What a load of tripe. God it was terrible.

    I have to say, I quite like Pratchett, don't see much to admire in Dan Browne, can appreciate Dickens (Tale of Two Cities is brilliant)...

    I remember a number of years ago reading Force Majeure by Bruce Wagner and being so angered by it that as soon as I finished it, I ripped it up and put it in the bin.


  • Registered Users Posts: 595 ✭✭✭ Deer


    Although I personally enjoyed the book I think that one to avoid if you are in anyway squemish would definately have to be American Psycho. It can be quite disturbing.


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 4,382 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Tree


    ALRIGHT, whoever dissed pratchett stand up while i slap your knuckles


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 342 ✭✭ JaneHudson


    Tree wrote:
    ALRIGHT, whoever dissed pratchett stand up while i slap your knuckles

    I always expect Pratchett to be funnier because of all the hype. Enjoyable to read though. But I digress.. My most hated author must be Jane Austen.
    "Naked Lunch" although criticaly acclaimed was a bit of a non-starter for me.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,856 ✭✭✭ Valmont


    theCzar wrote:
    I'll simply say that while I disagree with what you say I'll defend to the death your right to say it.

    Voltaire?

    :D


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 60,000 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Tar.Aldarion


    Earthhorse wrote:
    Dracula - influential and incredibly boring.

    Terry Pratchett - unfunny and can't write to save his life.

    Charles Dickens - bloated prose and heavy handed social commentary! Fun!

    Lord of the Rings - the template for fantasy literature and a seminal book but it's lack of proper characterisation coupleot bd with the infinite detail makes for a slow and uninspiring read.
    You can not be serious, I actually wont believe you.
    You've even listed two of my favourites out of the thousands of books I have read... :(
    Tom Clancy - just write essays about the CIA so we can cut out the crap.
    Agreed.


    Voltaire?
    :D
    Hyperchicken from Futurama? :D


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,294 Mrs. MacGyver


    Anything by connolly the crime writer, what a lot of rubbish...avoid!!!


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