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Old 07-12-2012, 05:55 PM   #46
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The worst book that I ever read was Papillon by Henri Charrière (...)
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Another one that I enjoyed. I seem to have a shocking taste in books .
I'm right there with you, HarryT .
Thought it was very good indeed (I read it in the original French, not in translation). I also enjoyed the movie. Although "enjoy" is probably the wrong word. Let's say it "affected me", rather.

It's difficult to recall the "worst" books I read, I try hard to forget them - and I'm succeeding admirably in the case of "popular" drivel! I very rarely abandon a book halfway even if I don't like it.

For Literature however... I remember that I never managed to finish Victor Hugo's "Les Misérables" and Thomas Mann's "Buddenbrooks". Oh, and I absolutely hated Samuel Beckett's "Waiting for Godot". But does that make them "bad" books?
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Old 07-12-2012, 08:23 PM   #47
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"Journey to Ixtlan" by Carlos Castaneda
"Titus Alone" by Mervyn Peake
"Sophie's Choice" by William Styron

Reading these was like three on a match...
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Old 07-12-2012, 09:32 PM   #48
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While not the worst in quality, by far the book that most made me hate the author by the end was Expanded Universe by Robert A. Heinlein. It was my third Heinlein book and is a collection of essays and shorts.

By the end of it, I was one pithy saying away from setting it on fire and thoroughly became convinced that Heinlein was mainly a boorish a-hole that was pretty doggone impressed with himself.
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Old 07-13-2012, 02:04 AM   #49
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I don't know about the book, but the movie Papillon was good.
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Old 07-13-2012, 09:11 AM   #50
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Has anyone considered age to be a factor in liking and disliking certain books? I remember when I was in 9th grade I had a passion for Serge Brusollo and Stephen King but thinking about their works now they all seem very silly and not something I;d recommend to others.
I agree. It was more than 15 years the last time I read Sidney Sheldon, and I use to love his books. I have to say it is a tight toss up for worst book ever read between the shades of grey books and morning noon and night. I was in shock at how badly written it was, no character depth, just dreadful. I have had more than 10 years as a non reader due to vision problems and so hope my taste for Anne Rice and Stephen King have not changed. They are on my next to try again when I finish the last game of thrones book.

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Old 07-13-2012, 02:28 PM   #51
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If you haven't delved into the marvelous world of self-publishing, you have NO IDEA what "bad writing" really means. None. As much as mainstream publishers allow books to get sloppy or go to print without a much-needed final proof pass... it all pales in comparison to some of the dreck people release onto the web with the assumption that, since the idea looked good inside their head, they've successfully conveyed that idea to the reader.
...
I'm not giving examples because I hope those authors get an education at some point and become deeply ashamed that they ever thought they could make money from *that* collection of nearly-random words with punctuation assigned as if by blender-splatter.
WORD!

I'll give an example: Kindle freebie:

http://www.amazon.com/Unsuspecting-M...dp/0984312722/

Oh god, it was terrible. For people coming up with stuff like GRR Martin's Feast for Crows ... if you didn't like it, you can argue that it was maybe the hugest disappointment. Or those terrible Twilight books others pointed out - I'm sure they are literary dreck (how I feel about Dan Brown novels). But the worst books ever? Come on.

There's a lot of terrible writing out there and you have to have read something that isn't that at least arguably well-written (GRR Martin) or at least tolerably written dreck (Brown, Twilight). Stuff that is terrible - plot, writing, concept and all.

Seriously, grab and read the first few chapters of the Unsuspecting Mage I linked to above. It's soooo terrible. It makes [insert random terrible TSR D&D novel here] look like a literary masterpiece.

Short of self-pub that's probably where I would come up with my worst - I know I read a few terrible TSR-published fantasy novels back in the day that were pretty bad - but nothing matches bad self-pub.

Last edited by GreenMonkey; 07-13-2012 at 02:33 PM.
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Old 07-13-2012, 03:25 PM   #52
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Anything written by Ursula K. Le Guin is going to be a struggle to read and not enjoyable.
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Old 07-13-2012, 03:33 PM   #53
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Anything written by Ursula K. Le Guin is going to be a struggle to read and not enjoyable.
I see you have a tooth against Le Guin since you posted the same in two different topics. What makes her so bad? I've only read Rocannon's World and The Left Hand of Darkness and they were both good books in my opinion.
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Old 07-13-2012, 03:38 PM   #54
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I see you have a tooth against Le Guin since you posted the same in two different topics. What makes her so bad? I've only read Rocannon's World and The Left Hand of Darkness and they were both good books in my opinion.

And A Wizard of Earthsea is one of my favorite books.
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Old 07-13-2012, 03:40 PM   #55
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How has no one mentioned The Greek Seaman by Jacqueline Howett? I thought that was the default "bad writing" book.

I am glad to see she no longer has it available for "another proof-edit" cycle. From what BigAl had to say it wasn't a bad plot so maybe she can get it up to the quality it needs.
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Old 07-13-2012, 04:12 PM   #56
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Anything written by Ursula K. Le Guin is going to be a struggle to read and not enjoyable.
I loved the entire Earthsea series. The Left Hand of Darkness was ok... I didn't like anything else of hers I've read.
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Old 07-13-2012, 04:26 PM   #57
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Outlander by Diana Gabaldan was a pretty bad book.

The Silmarillian by J.R.R Tolkien was a chore to get through and it was just so dull.

Someone should have slapped L. Ron Hubbard for Battlefield Earth and then slapped his agent and then slapped whomever is was at the publisher that approved it and finally slapped everyone involved in the movie version and double slapped Travolta for staring in it. It's a story with an interesting premise that's flushed down the toilet. The story has a serious case of runonitius. It keeps going long after it should have ended. This is a good example of what not to do with an interesting idea.
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Old 07-13-2012, 04:28 PM   #58
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Battlefield Earth by L Ron Hubbard. And the movie was worse.
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Old 07-13-2012, 05:02 PM   #59
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Battlefield Earth by L Ron Hubbard. And the movie was worse.
I like Battlefield Earth (in fact, not so long ago I bought the Kindle edition ). It's a fun romp of a space opera. Hubbard may perhaps have had a screw loose when it comes to religion, but he was a decent enough SF writer in his time.

The film version, on the other hand was dire. In fact it's so bad that it's worth watching for its very awfulness, if you see what I mean .
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Old 07-13-2012, 05:37 PM   #60
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The Universe in a Nutshell by Stephen Hawking. Actually, I enjoyed the book, but this was an audio version: as read by Stephen Hawking. Atrocious.
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