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Old 07-10-2012, 08:54 PM   #1
hard-boiled pat
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Worst Book

What's the worst book you've ever read? for me it's a three way tie between 'savages' by don winslow, 'chasers' by Lorenzo Carcaterra and 'black water transit' by carsten stroud. in my mind, i would rather kill myself than re-read those three books.


what are your worst reads?
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Old 07-11-2012, 01:33 AM   #2
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I've certainly read books that I didn't enjoy, but I'd hesitate to call them bad books. I don't think that the fact that they didn't appeal to be personally necessarily equates to bad writing.

I'm sure that there are many badly-written books but, since I don't read self-published books, perhaps I don't come across most of them. One of the most useful roles of the publisher is to filter out the crap.
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Old 07-11-2012, 01:51 AM   #3
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When I come across a relly bad book I usually just stop reading and try to forget about it.
The last time it happened was when I tried to read "50 Shades of Grey". Unbelievably badly written! That becomes clear after very few pages, but I still went on to see what the fuss was about. Still shaking my head...
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Old 07-11-2012, 01:57 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hard-boiled pat View Post
What's the worst book you've ever read? for me it's a three way tie between 'savages' by don winslow, 'chasers' by Lorenzo Carcaterra and 'black water transit' by carsten stroud. in my mind, i would rather kill myself than re-read those three books.
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.

Nevermind the assumption that ideas that look good in their head would appeal to readers. That, too, gets some real winners--and by "winners" I mean "my eyes, my eyes, mygods I cannot unsee the horror"--but the ones who think their drivel is entertaining is nowhere near as bad as the ones who have not mastered the use of the alphabet but think they've managed to put together an Epic Tale Of Something-Or-Other, and I could maybe figure out the genre if I could just figure out what that phrase in the blurb was supposed to mean.

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.
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Old 07-11-2012, 05:06 AM   #5
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*insert random book written by Sandra Brown*

But that I also didn't like were Pet Cemetery or The DaVinci Code.
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Old 07-11-2012, 05:30 AM   #6
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*insert random book written by Sandra Brown*

But that I also didn't like were Pet Cemetery or The DaVinci Code.
I liked the DaVinci code. Garbage factually, but the man knows how to write a real page-turner of a thriller. For me it was one of those proverbial "couldn't put it down" books.
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Old 07-11-2012, 05:43 AM   #7
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I loved The DaVinci Code too. One of the fastest read-throughs I've ever done. Like Harry says there's nothing factual about it, but neither that, the fact that the prose isn't exactly great art and the author being a nutter who actually believes in the underlying premise did in any way detract from my enjoyment of the story.

I have read a few really bad books though - very badly written ones, stories that didn't make sense or go anywhere and whatnot - but thankfully my memory quickly deletes the particulars, so I can't remember what they were.
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Old 07-11-2012, 06:21 AM   #8
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I'll go with GRRM's a Feast for Crows. After splendid books 1 thru 3, book 4 was a real letdown. I plowed through anyway, hoping it would get better, but alas, it really stunk.
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Old 07-11-2012, 07:54 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
I've certainly read books that I didn't enjoy, but I'd hesitate to call them bad books. I don't think that the fact that they didn't appeal to be personally necessarily equates to bad writing.

I'm sure that there are many badly-written books but, since I don't read self-published books, perhaps I don't come across most of them. One of the most useful roles of the publisher is to filter out the crap.
Harry, if you want to read a review of a book that is simultaneously terrible and good, read On Books: The Agony of Reading Franz McLaren’s Clarion of Destiny, which is my review of the "Clarion of Destiny" series. This series should have been a fantasy winner, but isn't.

The series represents what is both good and bad about self-published books. The story is interesting, if not compelling for a fantasy buff, but the English language is abused.
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Old 07-11-2012, 08:31 AM   #10
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Thanks, Richard; I'll certainly take a look at that.
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Old 07-11-2012, 08:42 AM   #11
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Most recent worst book for me was 'Skippy Dies' by Paul Murray. I only read maybe 3/4 of it properly and then just flipped quickly through the rest of the book to see if it got any better. It didn't.

Thankfully, I had borrowed it from the library so it didn't cost me anything.
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Old 07-11-2012, 08:54 AM   #12
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I do read and review lots of indie books and although I've read many great novels, I've read a couple of stinkers too. I religiously read samples before committing to anything now.

The Ark of Adams - Jack Kane

Some interesting ideas but the writing really is atrocious. I only completed it out of stubbornness.

There might have been more contenders but I gave up reading them in a minimum of pages.
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Old 07-11-2012, 09:15 AM   #13
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I've started some really bad ones, but didn't finish them.

One self-published trilogy I did read was probably the worst example of poor spelling and grammar I've seen for sale. It's redeeming feature was the compelling story. I suspended my criticism and zipped through the 3 books. It was marginally worth it. The author has reportedly reissued it, probably with spelling and grammar corrections.

There are trade published books that I have difficulties reading because of what I consider poor or little editing. For example, some of Harry Turtledove's books appear to have been rushed through the editing process. Which is too bad, as I consider several of his works to be stellar examples of parallel world stories.
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Old 07-11-2012, 10:07 AM   #14
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The only self-pubbed books I will read are the ones that get recommended on here (like Wool! Thanks!). So I avoid the worst of the worst that way.

I do try to stop reading if the book is really bad but for some strange reason I have a hard time doing that. Here's one that I read ALL 900 PAGES and then I wanted to throw my ereader across the room: The Passage by Cronin. Man can that guy go on and on, long back-stories about a character who's just going to die soon anyway. I never did enjoy this book, and I had no idea it was a series, so I was MAD at the end.

Go ahead, tell me how much you loved The Passage and you can't wait for the next one! I'm ready for it! But I just don't get it!

eP
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Old 07-11-2012, 10:22 AM   #15
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I really, REALLY hate books where vampires are childlike and have sex with adults, especially when they write about their breastless bodies. [sarcasm]But it's OK because they are really 150 years old. [/sarcasm]. The Fledgling by Octavia Butler is one of the WORST books I have ever read. Cheapest excuse for pedo-fantasy I have ever come across.
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