What's The Worst Book You've Ever Read?

Mrs Migs

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I read one of Mo Hayder’s books years ago on holiday. Can’t remember which one, but dear god, it was AWFUL. Graphic, evil cruelty, child abuse, unappealing characters. It was a horrible nightmare of a book, and I’m never going to read another of hers.
Failed to read LOTR on a number of occasions, and as others have said, I totally fail to understand the appeal of Stephen King. Too many characters and no depth.
 

Souleater

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I read one of Mo Hayder’s books years ago on holiday. Can’t remember which one, but dear god, it was AWFUL. Graphic, evil cruelty, child abuse, unappealing characters. It was a horrible nightmare of a book, and I’m never going to read another of hers.
Failed to read LOTR on a number of occasions, and as others have said, I totally fail to understand the appeal of Stephen King. Too many characters and no depth.
I have read most of Mo Hayders books and i like them, but i do like a dark book.
One book i really didnt like or really get why it was written, was 'The Children Act' by Ian McEwan, i really dont know how they got enough story to make a film out of it.
 

Mrs Migs

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@Souleater - I don’t mind a dark book, but I can’t read about cruelty to animals or children. Or old people.... those who can’t defend themselves. Adults? Absolutely fine... and true crime. I am fascinated by true crime.
 

GNC

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Yes, I felt massively cheated by that series.

Woah, the TV series was indeed dreadful, but aside from the first episode or two had nothing to do with the plot of the book (which I loved in a watching toppling dominos kind of way).
 

Mythopoeika

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Woah, the TV series was indeed dreadful, but aside from the first episode or two had nothing to do with the plot of the book (which I loved in a watching toppling dominos kind of way).
I only ever watched the show.
 

Kryptonite

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I really hate to say anything negative about our own beloved Rev Lionel Fanthorpe, but dear me, Galaxy 666 was a hard slog of a read...
 

Naughty_Felid

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Fucking slow Ents, rumination on bushes and shit Tom Bombadil’s unbearable songs.


To the tune of Mr TB


Old Analogue Boy is a miserable fellow
His Avatar from memory was subnautically more mellow
He pens angry posts like he's firing a Star Wars blaster
But no one does snark like him
In that, he is our master.


:)


Written with affection as I know I can be as snarky, angry, and irritable as the best.
 
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Yithian

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For all those struggling with Dickens and wondering whether they're at fault, I prescribe one of the unabridged audiobook versions by Anton Lesser. He's simply a superb reader, and all those nuances that you weren't sure what to make of will ring out clearly at last.
 

Dinobot

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I've ranted about Wuthering Heights on here before - the only book it took me at least five attempts to read. I would like to add Cloud Atlas, as I got a copy as a freebie from a colleague on the adult equivalent of World Book Day one year. I think I'm the only person in the lab who actually finished it, but it was hard going.

I've never finished Les Miserables, although I have the two volumes stolen from ym Its in the bookcase upstairs...
So, you work in a lab, do you?:loveu:
bride-of-frankenstein-1935-004-ernest-thesiger-elsa-lanchester-boris-karloff-colin-clive-00m-df3.jpg
 

bugmum

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By the way, contrary to what you might have expected, I'm obviously the one with the bolt through the neck...
 

SimonBurchell

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Back around 1990ish, I was a member of a mail order book club. If you didn't put in an order on time, they would send out the "editor's choice"... The one time I forgot, they sent me some Vietnam War romance novel by Danielle Steel. I thought, "Oh well, I've paid for it, I might as well read it. How bad can it be?"

Drivel. Utter, utter drivel. I don't think I got through three chapters. Shudder.
 
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Analogue Boy

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Back around 1990ish, I was a member of a mail order book club. If you didn't put in an order on time, they would send out the "editor's choice"... The one time I forgot, they sent me some Vietnam War romance novel by Danielle Steel. I thought, "Oh well, I've paid for it, I might as well read it. How bad can it be?"

Drivel. Utter, utter drivel. I don't think I got through three chapters. Shudder.
Well, oddly that’s a Mandela Effect. A lot of people refer to the author Danielle Steele.

https://medium.com/@nathanielhebert/danielle-steele-values-ed177c96c8c8

1622929915842.png

1622929945231.jpeg
 

Krepostnoi

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EnolaGaia

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Not enjoying the grocer's apostrophe at the bottom, there. I'm not sure I want to read it, now.
Perhaps you mean you're not sure you want to see it ...

That's a poster (or a graphic derived from a poster) for the 1983 Australian film, not the novel. In addition to the "their's" mistake it misspells Robert Coleby's name.
 

Krepostnoi

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Perhaps you mean you're not sure you want to see it ...

That's a poster (or a graphic derived from a poster) for the 1983 Australian film, not the novel. In addition to the "their's" mistake it misspells Robert Coleby's name.
Oh, the embarrassment! I've tried to pass myself off as a connoisseur of Ms. Steel(e)'s ouevre, and my complete ignorance has been exposed...

In any event, the poster doesn't strike me as particularly solid evidence that its creators had a reliable grasp of the basics of grammar and orthography. I'll consider the spelling controversy unproven for now.
 

SimonBurchell

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pandacracker

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This is an interesting thread. I had to think hard about my worst book but remember that I disliked "Strait is the Gate" by Gide.

I was about 17/18 and had been given it as a gift. On finishing it I seem to remember being really cross at how bleak the book had made me feel.

I read all the Harry Potter books because my niece and nephew were reading them and I thought it would give us a connection and something to talk about when I visited them (I was living in Japan at the time so saw them infrequently) I was pissed off to discover that they'd stopped reading them after the third book because "all he ever does is go to school, have an adventure and win"
 

Cochise

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Worst of course has several interpretations. I would put forward any of Robertson Davies's trilogies as being sufficiently well written that you feel compelled to read the books in order to have the mysteries therein resolved but containing characters so morally repugnant as to leave a permanent stain on the soul, disgust with the pretentiousness and hypocrisy of the the so called civilised races, and no desire to repeat the experience of ploughing through them again.

That may of course have been his intention. Except probably the last.

The ones I've read are the Salterton, Deptford and Cornish trilogies - there is an incomplete one that I've no intention of reading at my time of life.

In an odd way their bleakness reminded me of the Thomas Covenant books that I have previously execrated, but with a level of cold cynical depravity added which is , in retrospect, still disturbing.

edit: Some people apparently think they contain great comedy. Well, their sense of humour ain't mine. Mind you, I've never seen what was so knock-about hilarious about Shakespeare's comedy either. Brian Rix did farce better.
 
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Souleater

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Worst of course has several interpretations. I would put forward any of Robertson Davies's trilogies as being sufficiently well written that you feel compelled to read the books in order to have the mysteries therein resolved but containing characters so morally repugnant as to leave a permanent stain on the soul, disgust with the pretentiousness and hypocrisy of the the so called civilised races, and no desire to repeat the experience of ploughing through them again.

That may of course have been his intention. Except probably the last.

The ones I've read are the Salterton, Deptford and Cornish trilogies - there is an incomplete one that I've no intention of reading at my time of life.

In an odd way their bleakness reminded me of the Thomas Covenant books that I have previously execrated, but with a level of cold cynical depravity added which is , in retrospect, still disturbing.

edit: Some people apparently think they contain great comedy. Well, their sense of humour ain't mine. Mind you, I've never seen what was so knock-about hilarious about Shakespeare's comedy either. Brian Rix did farce better.
They cant be all bad if you have read 9 of his books :)
 

Cochise

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They cant be all bad if you have read 9 of his books :)
I might be a masochist :) But in two cases I was kind of stuck with nothing else much to read. (the trilogies are published as single paperback editions)

But no, as I've said, they are well written and they draw you in, especially as the trilogies are not like LOTR - each book is written of the same inter-related characters but from a different person's perspective.

It's partly because they are well written that they've left me such a lasting impression of nastiness.
 
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Souleater

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Im a big fan of Kathy Reichs 'Tempe Brennan' novels, about forensic pathology, someone suggested i might enjoy Patricia Cornwells 'Kay Scarpetta' novels, i read one and that was more than enough for me, although the story was ok, the writing left a lot to be desired, about half the book was nonsence about the main character, the other half about the particular case she was working on, with maybe the last chapter dedicated to the actual solving of the case, it seemed to me that her publishers gave her a maximum word count for the book and by the time she had written all the nonsense she realised she didnt have enough words to finish the story in a satisfactory manner, and the last 2 chapters were just written in a rush to end the story.
 

Cochise

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Im a big fan of Kathy Reichs 'Tempe Brennan' novels, about forensic pathology, someone suggested i might enjoy Patricia Cornwells 'Kay Scarpetta' novels, i read one and that was more than enough for me, although the story was ok, the writing left a lot to be desired, about half the book was nonsence about the main character, the other half about the particular case she was working on, with maybe the last chapter dedicated to the actual solving of the case, it seemed to me that her publishers gave her a maximum word count for the book and by the time she had written all the nonsense she realised she didnt have enough words to finish the story in a satisfactory manner, and the last 2 chapters were just written in a rush to end the story.
Similar reaction to my wife. Although she reckoned the first couple of PC's output were OK and then rapidly became formulaic and full of ridiculous emoting. The latter to an extent is a problem for any series author. In a different genre exactly the same happened with John Norman's Gor series, though in that case replace 'emoting' with 'pervy lust'.

The missus was also very fond of Linda Farstein's stuff.
 
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