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Worst book

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GUEST,Gizz 15 Sep 00 - 09:48 PM
hesperis 15 Sep 00 - 09:59 PM
Bill D 15 Sep 00 - 10:05 PM
richlmo 15 Sep 00 - 10:26 PM
Bill D 15 Sep 00 - 10:28 PM
Melani 15 Sep 00 - 10:50 PM
Lepus Rex 15 Sep 00 - 10:53 PM
DougR 15 Sep 00 - 11:01 PM
rabbitrunning 15 Sep 00 - 11:37 PM
hesperis 16 Sep 00 - 12:14 AM
Chanteyranger 16 Sep 00 - 12:50 AM
Chanteyranger 16 Sep 00 - 01:15 AM
Callie 16 Sep 00 - 01:25 AM
GUEST,Kryptonium 16 Sep 00 - 01:27 AM
The Beanster 16 Sep 00 - 03:16 AM
BigDaddy 16 Sep 00 - 03:51 AM
Micca 16 Sep 00 - 07:23 AM
kendall 16 Sep 00 - 07:43 AM
GUEST,rabbitrunning 16 Sep 00 - 09:20 AM
Mbo 16 Sep 00 - 09:28 AM
Callie 16 Sep 00 - 09:33 AM
sophocleese 16 Sep 00 - 09:45 AM
guinnesschik 16 Sep 00 - 10:56 AM
Uncle_DaveO 16 Sep 00 - 12:45 PM
Susan from California 16 Sep 00 - 01:50 PM
SINSULL 16 Sep 00 - 02:19 PM
Ely 16 Sep 00 - 02:30 PM
Bill D 16 Sep 00 - 02:37 PM
Dave (the ancient mariner) 16 Sep 00 - 03:10 PM
SINSULL 16 Sep 00 - 04:41 PM
Mbo 16 Sep 00 - 04:49 PM
Hutzul 16 Sep 00 - 05:17 PM
The Beanster 16 Sep 00 - 05:40 PM
The Lighthouse 16 Sep 00 - 06:52 PM
GUEST,Luke 16 Sep 00 - 07:05 PM
GUEST,equalrice 16 Sep 00 - 07:14 PM
GUEST,Ceitagh (away at school) 16 Sep 00 - 08:05 PM
Little Hawk 16 Sep 00 - 09:27 PM
Little Hawk 17 Sep 00 - 01:12 AM
Dave (the ancient mariner) 17 Sep 00 - 07:23 AM
P05139 17 Sep 00 - 07:37 AM
Escamillo 17 Sep 00 - 07:51 AM
Little Hawk 17 Sep 00 - 11:36 AM
Carlin 17 Sep 00 - 12:48 PM
khandu 17 Sep 00 - 01:32 PM
GUEST,Jim Dixon 17 Sep 00 - 02:30 PM
hesperis 17 Sep 00 - 03:36 PM
Peter T. 17 Sep 00 - 04:28 PM
GUEST,Kevin Wilson (GUEST) 17 Sep 00 - 07:08 PM
Little Hawk 17 Sep 00 - 09:26 PM
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Subject: Worst book
From: GUEST,Gizz
Date: 15 Sep 00 - 09:48 PM

Great answers, great response to the best book question. Glad to see others love To Kill a Mockingbird, and Dr. Suess (Are we spelling that correctly?). But what is the worst books you have read? I love Dean R. Koontz, yet I hated "Fear Nothing". The characters were excellently done, but the story fell flat. I actually wrote him expressing my disappointment and ask for my money back. (Ha! I even included the receipt!) I received no response. Not that I cared about getting my money back, it just seemed that that would have been the honorable thing for him to do. I also think John Grisham (though he was a fellow Mississippian) is a Harper Lee wannabe. But he will never be! Gizz


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: hesperis
Date: 15 Sep 00 - 09:59 PM

I don't remember the books I don't like. They just find their way into the garbage (if they're despicable) and disappear...
Books that aren't that great get cleared out to the 'Sally Ann' every so often. Someone else might like them.

Unfortunately, I only remember the books I like because I reread them several times. That makes it hard to give books back to the library or my friends sometimes.
(Yes Little Hawk, you will get your books back. The question you should be asking is: when?)


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: Bill D
Date: 15 Sep 00 - 10:05 PM

easy one...sci-fi novel .."Exiles of Time" by Nelson Bond...a trite, piece of trash about a old professor and his beautiful daughter going into an Egyptian tomb and somehow ending up in Atlantis! With a group of fellow refugees that include a little Jew named Hymie, a weasel of an Arab, a pompous playboy...etc...you get the idea...all the stereotyped blather you can imagine..with wise, golden skinned Atlantians freting about their dying civilization.....etc...etc


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: richlmo
Date: 15 Sep 00 - 10:26 PM

I rarely finish them if I don't like them, but I just read, "Hearts in Atlantis", by Stephen King. I was glad to finish.


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: Bill D
Date: 15 Sep 00 - 10:28 PM

I tried for years to read "Giles Goat-Boy" by John Barth...never could finish it...wonder if it was really that bad?


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: Melani
Date: 15 Sep 00 - 10:50 PM

I never finished "Giles Goat-Boy" either, but did manage to plough my way through "The Sot-Weed Factor"--probably because of the historical setting, which made it a little more palatable to me. I've never bothered with John Barth since.

Now for the great heresey: At the risk of mortally offending all you Dickens fans, I hated "Great Expectations" so much that I stopped somewhere in Miss Havisham's dusty parlor and didn't even care when I failed the exam (it was assigned reading in high school). I couldn't even stand the Cliff Notes. The recent movie version was okay, if only because it didn't suffer from the same degree of wordiness. I am told Dickens developed his style when he was being paid by the line as a journalist. The only one I ever finished was "A Christmas Carol"--it's short.

As for James Fenimore Cooper--don't even go there. He makes Dickens look succinct.


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: Lepus Rex
Date: 15 Sep 00 - 10:53 PM

"Lord of the Flies" by William Golding. Sorry, I know this is on many people's 'best book'list, but I HATE this book. Seems like one of those books people say they love because they're told it's a great book in 9th grade. But it's pure crap. No offence, eh, Golding fans? ;)

---Lepus Rex


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: DougR
Date: 15 Sep 00 - 11:01 PM

Can't tell you. I'll watch a bad movie believing until the last scene that it will get better, but I won't a book.

DougR


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: rabbitrunning
Date: 15 Sep 00 - 11:37 PM

The novelization of "E.T." by William Kotzwinkle.

Only book I've ever met that made me want to go find a match.

(For my own copy only, of course...)


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: hesperis
Date: 16 Sep 00 - 12:14 AM

Lord of the Flies is a good book.............I just hate it!!!

Though it does describe very well what people can do if they've been too repressed all their lives and suddenly have 'freedom' thrust on them.


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: Chanteyranger
Date: 16 Sep 00 - 12:50 AM

Lord Of The Flies seems like one of those cases where the movie (original version) was better than the book. The movie made an impact on me, but not the book. I guess I'm not alone in that. Choosing the worst book is hard, because I never finished a book I found I hated, but I would have to put Intruder In The Dust By Faulkner in the category of "probably a good book but very hard to read" category. Couldn't finish it. I'll have to put The Thin Red Line in that category, but I attempted to read that many years ago. Worth a second try, maybe. Loved the recent movie.


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: Chanteyranger
Date: 16 Sep 00 - 01:15 AM

"in the category of probably a good book but very hard to read category." One of these days I'll proofread my entries BEFORE I click submit. Redundant office of redundancy, here.


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: Callie
Date: 16 Sep 00 - 01:25 AM

It's a big toss up between "The Horse Whisperer" and "Bridges of Madison County". I'm sure there are trashier books, but both of these were hailed as great 'classics'. Pass the bucket.


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: GUEST,Kryptonium
Date: 16 Sep 00 - 01:27 AM

I would have to say my High School english book i hated that thing and its at the top of my list


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: The Beanster
Date: 16 Sep 00 - 03:16 AM

I did like Lord of the Flies because it was sociologically interesting--the way some kids became bullies, some became victims and some tried to just mind their own business and stay out of trouble--just like real life.

But as far as really crappy books go:

The Women's Room - (don't know the author) Real men-hating, self-pitying baloney by one of the women who gave feminists a bad name

Bright Lights, Big City - by some flash-in-the-pan, twenty-something, pseudo-author from the 1980's. Oh--was Brad Easton his name?? Horrible.

Any book by a guy named Gary Ezzo who writes child care books. He has no relevant professional credentials, espouses corporal punishment (for kids as young as 18 months!), encourages what amounts to neglect of the child and doesn't "believe" in attachment theory. A dangerous man who writes books for well-meaning, unsuspecting parents.

There. I feel much better now, thank you.


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: BigDaddy
Date: 16 Sep 00 - 03:51 AM

Worst book I've read recently is Steven King's "Bag of Bones." I gave up on this writer about eighteen years ago. Decided to give him another chance with this one. All the things I disliked about him are still there. Misogynistic, self-absorbed, vulgar, verbose... I won't make the mistake of reading him again. Makes me realize that there probably is a correlation between popular taste (Best-seller lists, Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan's re-elections and "top ten" or "top forty" songs) and good taste/intelligent choices. Speaking of verbose, I'll sign off for now. Didn't mean to rant.

J.


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: Micca
Date: 16 Sep 00 - 07:23 AM

Any Thomas Hardy!!!!! he was required reading on a course I took once and the feeeling of beautifully written and verbose impending doom, just too much!!!and I find Dickens equally tedious...except for Christmas Carol...War and Peace ( when I was at sea on a particular trip it was the only book in the ship I had not read and I gave up after 100 pages).I could go on....and I have a copy of "The Stuffed Owl" which is an anthology of the worst poetry EVER written (makes the Vogons sound good)


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: kendall
Date: 16 Sep 00 - 07:43 AM

Great Gales and Dire Disasters on the Maine Coast by Edward Rowe Snow. He has to be the worst writer of all time. I also hated Tale of two cities by Dickens in high school. I was not mature enough at that time. I now see it as a classic.


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: GUEST,rabbitrunning
Date: 16 Sep 00 - 09:20 AM

There are a lot of books that we get forced to read in high school that should have waited for college.

The Bell Jar, for one.

Bleah!


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: Mbo
Date: 16 Sep 00 - 09:28 AM

Not the worst, but two books I thought would be good but turned out to be so boring I had to stop, were Tristam Shandy by Laurence Stern, and Life of Johnson by Boswell.


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: Callie
Date: 16 Sep 00 - 09:33 AM

"Bright Lights Big City" was by Jay McInerney. I agree it was trash. He's written tons better, and he's by no means a flash in the pan - he's got about a dozen books to his credit.

Funny how our tastes differ. I loved the Bell Jar AND Great Expectations!


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: sophocleese
Date: 16 Sep 00 - 09:45 AM

Anything by Barbara Cartland. A highschool friend and I thought we might try writing a romance novel, so we went and picked up a couple to see what they were like. Irritating and hilarious trash, makes you respect all recycling programs.


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: guinnesschik
Date: 16 Sep 00 - 10:56 AM

I tried to read a Star Wars novelization to Himself one time. I threw it down and said "This sucks! Read it yourself!" The worst book I've ever read was Wuthering Heights. Crappy, boring, long-winded; I don't care if it is a classic.

I usually don't finish 'em if they're bad.


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 16 Sep 00 - 12:45 PM

Worst book (that is to say, novel)? ATLAS SHRUGGED, by a long margin! It's really a piece of social/philosphical preachment thinly disguised as a novel. The characters are about as deep as the sheet of paper they're printed on, and events happen only because Ayn Rand says they happen--no natural flow, no inevitability.

I love and will run to read anything by Barth.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: Susan from California
Date: 16 Sep 00 - 01:50 PM

Ethan Fromme by Willa Cather


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: SINSULL
Date: 16 Sep 00 - 02:19 PM

It's funny that the same books that showed up on the "Best Books" list are showing up here. Worst for me or maybe biggest disappointment: "Catcher in the Rye". I think the problem is that I read it for the first time at 50 and saw it as a piece of self indulgent adolescent crap.
"The Horse Whisperer" was total bilge: The legless daughter goes on to a perfectly normal high school career, the Whisperer probably commits suicide so that the unfaithful wife is saved the decision of leaving her husband, the husband takes back the wife and never questions the paternity of the baby that is obviously not his. Made for TV crap.


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: Ely
Date: 16 Sep 00 - 02:30 PM

_Lord of the Flies_, _A Separate Peace_. My boyfriend sent me one that he loved called _The Roaches Have no King_. Now, I'm from Houston where we have a superabundance of roaches, so I couldn't sympathize anyway, but it was one of the most pretentious, shallow, pedantic books I've ever read.

I hated _Wuthering Heights_. All that needless misery because a lot of people were self-centered, pigheaded, and spoiled. I know that degrees of this kind of thing are common in Victorian literature, but it's not absolutely necessary and it certainly didn't need that kind of overkill.

I also hated _The Fountainhead_ (Ayn Rand_. A friend was going to write a parody of it and call it _the Showerhead_. All the people I know who truly follow the ideals of Objectivism are virtually impossible to engage in any kind of stable friendship. I don't mean just admirers of Ayn Rand, I mean people who could BE Howard Roark.


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: Bill D
Date: 16 Sep 00 - 02:37 PM

"Lallah Rook" was a naughty book
By Tommy Moore, who has written four.
Each warmer than the former
So the most recent is the least decent.

As I was lying on the green,
A small English book I seen.
Carlyle's Essay on Burns was the edition,
So I left it lie in the same position.

Edgar A. Guest
Was never at his best.

"I'd rather flunk my Wasserman test
Than write a poem like Edgar Guest"


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 16 Sep 00 - 03:10 PM

The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie...


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: SINSULL
Date: 16 Sep 00 - 04:41 PM

Dave,
Did you actually read that thing? I AM impressed. Most of us didn't get past the reviews.
Very clever, BillD. Will you put it to music soon?
"'Tis" is on my least liked list. All that unresolved bitterness and he takes it out on his students.


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: Mbo
Date: 16 Sep 00 - 04:49 PM

WRONG! Edgar A. Guest a a brilliant poet! What did he ever do to you?


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: Hutzul
Date: 16 Sep 00 - 05:17 PM

The Bridges of Madison County was actually insulting to me. What drivel! Almost made me hate the National Geographic.

The Women's Room by Marilyn French however, was excellent in all its male-bashing splendor.

All the later James Michener was a waste of time. Seems he kept cleaning out old desk drawers and publishing the pages within.

But worst of all recent publications, The Kiss. that smarmy story of a young woman's sexual affair with her father that went on for years.


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: The Beanster
Date: 16 Sep 00 - 05:40 PM

Thanx, Callie--yeah, Jay McInerney. Maybe he was having a bad...six months while he wrote it or maybe he needed some quick cash. I've never read anything else by him, so I'm only judging this one book. The other guy I was thinking of was Brad Easton Ellis (I think) who wrote "Less Than Zero"--about a snot-nosed kid living the fast life fueled by cocaine and alcohol.


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: The Lighthouse
Date: 16 Sep 00 - 06:52 PM

"Tobacco Road". Can't believe I kept reading this piece of crap, but it finally came in handy for this thread!


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: GUEST,Luke
Date: 16 Sep 00 - 07:05 PM

Peter Staub wrote the most frightening book (And books never frighten me!) that I have read..."Ghost Story" (The movie sucked, would have sued the producers!) Since then, I have not found a very good Straub book. The worst... "Shadowlands"


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: GUEST,equalrice
Date: 16 Sep 00 - 07:14 PM

C'mon all you Dickens bashers! Maybe you're just reliving those dread Middle School years. Guilt by association and all that. What about the vivid, engaging scene in Tale of Two Cities where the cask of wine breaks and the poor wretches scramble into the streets for a taste. And Great Expectations, don't ask! The scene in Miss Havisham's parlor is one of the most memorable in all fiction.

Now, you want over-rated? How about Hemingway's To Have and Have Not. All that melodramatic, half-baked interior dialog crap. Just dreadful!

Was glad to see The Roaches Have No King on someone's list. Had hope for that one. It does have an interesting, novel premise. But not only is it indulgent, it's also misogynistic and more than slightly racist.


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: GUEST,Ceitagh (away at school)
Date: 16 Sep 00 - 08:05 PM

What a fun thread! I hated Catcher in the Rye myself Sinsull, and I read it at 13 in teh midst of adolescence. What a navel-gazing, immmature, base piece of fiction.
I love sci-fi, but I couldn't stand "Stranger in a Strange Land" classic Heinlein or not, it wasn't worth the time it took to read it.

Ceit


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: Little Hawk
Date: 16 Sep 00 - 09:27 PM

The following are all well written books, but I detest each one of them...

Lord Of The Flies

Animal Farm

1984

Brave New World

I believe that human beings are the outright sons and daughters of God, essentially good in their nature, and I detest any book that espouses a cynical and utterly defeatist view of the human possiblities on this world. Mind you, if that book serves to wake someone up, fine...that doesn't mean I have to like it.

By the way, Orwell and Huxley were a bit off the mark. It isn't centralized socialism that has corrupted and dominated this world...it is militarism and money driven commercialism by major corporations that has done so, and is even now doing so in places like "Communist" China, as well as capitalist America. "When men live just for money that's when life goes down the drain." (from a song I wrote)


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: Little Hawk
Date: 17 Sep 00 - 01:12 AM

Oh...forgot to mention this simply abysmal book I came across at the NYCFTTS. It was entitled "Wild Flatulations I Have Blown", and the author was some lunatic named Spaw. It stank. Literally. Some publishers have no shame!


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 17 Sep 00 - 07:23 AM

Sinsull, You are quite right, I never did finish the book, so cannot claim to have read it. Yours, Aye. Dave


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: P05139
Date: 17 Sep 00 - 07:37 AM

I started reading Tolkien's "The Hobbit" but got bored by Chapter 5. Mind you, I was only 9 at the time.

It could be worse. My set books for A Level English are "Alice In Wonderland" and "The BFG" !


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: Escamillo
Date: 17 Sep 00 - 07:51 AM

I was still a child when every boy in the school was talking about an erotic book entitled "Memories of a Russian Princess" full of stories of weird sex, but none had put his hands on it.

One day I saw the book in a lousy kiosk in the street, and bravely asked for the book, paid and took it home, awaiting the opportunity to read in privacy.

There was no sex in the first part. Nothing in the second, a stupid end-of-century story, nothing.. even nothing in the most anxiously awaited chapter, "Adventure with a Small Ass".. a total swindle.

I did never tell my school mates. But I was so angry! That's why I wrote so many false weird sex books in my life.

Un abrazo - Andrés


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: Little Hawk
Date: 17 Sep 00 - 11:36 AM

Andres, that must have been a thoroughly frustrating experience. Que pena!


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: Carlin
Date: 17 Sep 00 - 12:48 PM

Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy.

Had to read it highschool.....I would rather have my tongue nailed to the dining room table than read it again.

Anything by Dickens. Why use one word when five will do?

I tried to read Atlas Shrugged and just couldn't make it past the first chapter.


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: khandu
Date: 17 Sep 00 - 01:32 PM

"My Big Book Of Baby Names" by George Foreman It was very short!


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: GUEST,Jim Dixon
Date: 17 Sep 00 - 02:30 PM

While reading this thread, I kept wondering, why would anyone hate a book? I mean, what would make you keep reading once you realized you didn't like it? Well, OK, if you're a kid in school. Or if you were snowbound in a mountain cabin and there was nothing else to read.

Which reminds me: When I was married to my first wife, and we used to go visit my father-in-law, I was desperate for reading material. The only books in his house were religious (he was a fundamentalist Lutheran) or in German (he was a retired high-school German teacher) or else very conservative political publications like the National Review and Human Events. The least objectionable thing I could find was the Reader's Digest, so I mostly read that. So what do you suppose he bought me as a Christmas present? A subscription to the Reader's Digest! Eew! Gag me with a spewn!

I have to admit though, that there are a lot of books I started reading and never finished. I don't necessarily blame the book, though. I mainly blame my own short attention span, and the fact that I got interested in something else. In case anybody's interested, here are some of the books that I've read a good chunk of, then put aside, but may pick up again some day:

Moby Dick. Tom Brown's School Days. Remembrance of Things Past. Lark Rise to Candleford. Two Years Before the Mast. Old Jules. The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. The Pickwick Papers. Lucky Jim. Boswell's Life of Johnson. Dracula. Pride and Prejudice. The Mysterious Stranger. The Ginger Man. Life on the Mississippi.

I wouldn't say I hated any of these books. They all had something attractive about them and I enjoyed the part I read. I just didn't "get into" them enough to keep the momentum going.


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: hesperis
Date: 17 Sep 00 - 03:36 PM

I used to be unable to put a book down once I started reading it. I could even make myself a sandwich while still reading the book, I'd twist around in the chair when my legs got cramped from sitting too long, or walk down the hall. School was hell, the teachers would often rip books out of my hands when I was three_pages_from_the_end. God, it hurt!

Thank goodness I can put them down now. It took me five years to develop that skill.


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: Peter T.
Date: 17 Sep 00 - 04:28 PM

WARNING: TOTALLY ELITIST BOOK LOVER COMMENT FOLLOWS.

I find it interesting that the best books thread caused me to wonder if I had been insufficiently generous to a number of books that I have never thought much of; while this thread confirms my suspicion that there are many books that are better than many of their readers. I used to think I overvalued books at the expense of people -- my mind has been changing over the years, and this thread is no help.

yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: GUEST,Kevin Wilson (GUEST)
Date: 17 Sep 00 - 07:08 PM

I will read a book I don't particularly like on occasion and I will even finish a book that I hate enough to throw across a room sometimes, although usually, once it's thrown that's the last time I ever read that author again. But absolutely the worst book I can remember ever suffering through is A Piece of My Heart, by Richard Ford.


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Subject: RE: Worst book
From: Little Hawk
Date: 17 Sep 00 - 09:26 PM

I also tried reading Atlas Shrugged, and it made me sort of nauseous in a weird kind of way, so I quit after maybe 20 pages...not my cup of tea at all.


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