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Old 04-25-2008, 06:33 AM   #46
GeoffC
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Originally Posted by jplumey View Post

I really don't think you can put one of the best selling books in all of history on the bottom of the totem pole.
Very easily .....

I can stomach the films no problem , but the style of writing -------
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Old 04-25-2008, 06:36 AM   #47
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youre talking about the "Da Vinci Code" now ?
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Old 04-25-2008, 07:02 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by Lobolover View Post
I realy think this should be closed.it'l just bring people to bicker.
Then please, don't.

We say here what we dislike. Have a bit of respect to other people' opinions. If you cannot restrain yourself from bickering then just ignore the topic
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Old 04-25-2008, 07:42 AM   #49
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Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
I entirely agree. Look at Asimov's "Foundation" trilogy, for example. It's regarded as one of the all-time classics of SF, but despite that, many people who would consider themselves to be SF fans don't like it because it has almost no "action" in it - virtually the whole of the three books consists of conversations between people. All the "action" happens invisibly in the background.
But things happen so I would say there is action in the book.
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Old 04-25-2008, 07:56 AM   #50
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I've really enjoyed several Russian authors (Dostoevsky, Gogol, Tolstoy). Lots of action in a book is not a requirement for me - it's usually a distraction from the real activity.

Anyone read Thomas Hardy's Far From the Madding Crowd? I wish I had been. Dreadful. But it was a long time ago and in the right mood maybe I'd change my mind. It's malleable.

Aside: An impressive 50 posts so far in less than 24 hrs. If there was a "The 10 Best Books" thread, I'm guessing it was not this active.
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Old 04-25-2008, 08:16 AM   #51
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Originally Posted by vivaldirules View Post
Anyone read Thomas Hardy's Far From the Madding Crowd? I wish I had been. Dreadful. But it was a long time ago and in the right mood maybe I'd change my mind. It's malleable.
I've read and I enjoyed it ; I didn't think it was as good as 'Tess of the d'Urbervilles' though, which is still my favourite Hardy novel.
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Old 04-25-2008, 08:34 AM   #52
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Originally Posted by Lobolover View Post
yes.youve surely done worse things then crushing a newborns head against a stone.

Sorry,but that just shows your lack of knowledge/inteligence.If you don't like it,fine,but im afraid you haven't the right to say its "the worst".Actualy,the wery idea of this thread is biased and will lead only into conflict,cause someone, who has barely even read something will go on bloody hell for being it "such crap".

Mr. whatever your name is,Dunsany,Chambers,Howard,Smith,Merritt-writers who (except of Chambers) all acknowledged Lovecraft.Writers of "modern" horor,like Gaiman,Barker or even King say what a master he is.So if EVERY single authority on horror says it IS good,youre qualified to judge-what?How many sucesfull world spaning books/stories have you writen till today?

(sorry for the angry tone,but this is just a syndrom of "tardness",like I had the misfortune of meeting at NF-people saying "Ive never read it,but its sh*t")
When a person dislikes a book, it does not show a lack of intelligence. There may be other mitigating factors involved, such as lack of critical thinking skills. For example, when I was teaching English Literature I [One] at Miami University, I told my students that it's ok to like or to not like a piece of writing, but you must examine why or what it is that makes you think this way. It's not enough [I would tell them] to say "I hate this" or "I like that." They were to explain the reasoning behind the expression.

This thread is not biased, but rather subjective in the opinions that one expresses on his or her dislike for a particular author or book. Any dialogue that examines why we like/dislike a work is a useful tool for discussion and critical thinking. Keneth Burke, a language theorist and rhetorician, talks about Terministic Screens and how these barriers that we all have - including me - can often result in misunderstandings and sometimes a closing-down of dialogue at a crucial point when dialogue is most necessary for a better understanding of issues. [I must add that Terminisitc Screens also refers to how societal and class distinctions, in addition to education, all play a part in how we percieve and then (re)translate another person's information into the realm of our own understanding.]

Sometimes, as I mentioned, we close our minds too soon to other opinions. When this happens, we may be unable to understand why an individual responds to a particular book the way he or she does.

Your tone is one of anger - as you admit - but I'm at a loss to understand fully where your anger comes from. I do understand your "discomfort" when someone makes a summary judgement while NOT having read the book in question, especially if it's an author you admire. This is irritating; however, you might ask that person WHY he or she has that opinion, thus opening up a discussion. At the very least, you're able to explain to this person why you like the author's work.

Also, I must disagree with you that a successful author's opinion on another writer's work is somehow a barometer for what is "good" in our society - whether that successful author be a bestselling author or even a hugely popular author.

It is with respect to your opinions that I have structured my response to you. I feel it's ok to disagree on issues, Lobolover, but to engage in critical thinking on WHY people disagree is really the important issue of this thread.

Also, we're having fun here!!



Don
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Old 04-25-2008, 08:51 AM   #53
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Anything by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman belong up near the top.

L. Ron Hubbard is an odd case: I personally don't primarily consider him a science fiction writer but rather a pulp writer. As pure SF his books lie near the middle of the pack, but as pulp they are very good.

As to this thread, I think it may have been mis-titled. It probably should have been books people hate rather than the worst. It's perfectly reasonable (though perhaps incomprehensible) for people to hate Lovecraft, but his works were powerfully influential and acclaimed within the genre. That puts his work much more in line with being disliked than being bad.

Anyway, there's my two cents-- take them for what they're not worth.
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Old 04-25-2008, 09:18 AM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Drib View Post
When a person dislikes a book, it does not show a lack of intelligence. There may be other mitigating factors involved, such as lack of critical thinking skills. For example, when I was teaching English Literature I [One] at Miami University, I told my students that it's ok to like or to not like a piece of writing, but you must examine why or what it is that makes you think this way. It's not enough [I would tell them] to say "I hate this" or "I like that." They were to explain the reasoning behind the expression.

Don
I have heard it before.
I just cannot remember when and where...give me a moment.




Ah. Yes. My wife.


She used to be an interior designer many years ago. She could not stand some of her clients. They would order something, then after perhapr 4-6 months of hard work she would present the project to them. Some of them would look at it and say: I don't like it. That's it.
She explained to me: I would not mind if they disliked the project but explained what in particular they didn't like. An answer I like/dislike really drives her nuts.

Looks like people are the same all over the world because my example originates from Minsk, Belorus

Unfortumatelly,
Quote:
lack of critical thinking skills
is one of the main reasons. I believe I belong to this group and I know many people who have the same problem.
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Old 04-25-2008, 09:55 AM   #55
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Originally Posted by Lobolover View Post
yes.youve surely done worse things then crushing a newborns head against a stone.
Really? Baby...head...stone? Is that it? Not exactly toe-curling in this context, is it? Nice opening though, I'm sure (if only it made any sense).

Quote:
Sorry,but that just shows your lack of knowledge/inteligence.
Ahh, sweetie, rather than rushing in with your odd grammar to berate my intelligence, why don't you take more than knee-jerk reaction to actually look through the thread. You might have noted my suggestion that I believe "it's a personal view of the worst books" that was intended, rather than stupidly declared a count on my knowledge or IQ. To suggest that someone is somehow an idiot for not appreciating literature that you do appreciate shows that you're demonstrating a rather shallow tolerance for other people's views.

Quote:
If you don't like it,fine,but im afraid you haven't the right to say its "the worst".
I have every right to say it's "the worst". All of it that I have read (and I have read far more than you so oh-so-dramatically assume) was some of the worst fiction I have read, anytime. Someone here found partial redemption in inadvertent humour, but not even that could compensate for the dullness of H.P.Lovecraft for me. For me it is of the worst.

Quote:
ctualy,the wery idea of this thread is biased
Well, of course it is biased (by which I assume you mean "subjective"). We have been asked our subjective opinions of the worst books we have read. Of course people are going to have different "worsts". Of course people are going to disagree. Which leads to...

Quote:
and will lead only into conflict,cause someone, who has barely even read something will go on bloody hell for being it "such crap".
The difference is, almost no-one here has stated their disagreement with the seriously angry vitriol of the "You are stupid" kind, which is what you have done. If that's how you regularly comport yourself, no wonder you blame the thread for causing "conflict". I suggest you keep out of them, because you're always going to find "conflict", and getting angry and telling someone they're unintelligent reflects more on yourself than them.

Quote:
Mr. whatever your name is
My name is "Marc". It's on the bottom of all my posts. It's on the bottom of the post you replied to. You know what it is.The dismissive "Whatever your name is" as an attempted insult is just silly.

Quote:
Dunsany,Chambers,Howard,Smith,Merritt-writers who (except of Chambers) all acknowledged Lovecraft.Writers of "modern" horor,like Gaiman,Barker or even King say what a master he is.
Which is great. Iris Murdoch is almost universally praised for her philosophy and novels, and rightly so, by people far more knowledgeable and intelligent than myself (and, I daresay, you). Nevertheless The Sea The Sea was tripe to me. Most people here, with rationality rather than angry insult at their side, understand that my opinions might be in contrast to those more learned, and will pick the "winning side". It won't change my opinion though, and that book, and H.P.Lovecraft, will remain on my list unless I read something more execrable in future.

Quote:
So if EVERY single authority on horror says it IS good,youre qualified to judge-what?How many sucesfull world spaning books/stories have you writen till today?
I am qualified to judge the books I have read as being good and bad, yes. Whether my opinion reflects those of other people is neither here nor there in that judgement, any more than people can tell me how brilliant Tom Waits is - I still can't listen to the miserable bugger. Dr. Dribs, the initial beginner of this thread, asked for your list of the "10 Worst Books" you have read. I gave mine, in full understanding it was "one man's opinion". I rightly didn't expect serious personal attack and insult (though I fully expected disagreement), and, as expected, I got disagreement (and acknowledged it), and, as expected, didn't get serious personal attack and insult...

...except from you.

Quote:
(sorry for the angry tone,but this is just a syndrom of "tardness",like I had the misfortune of meeting at NF-people saying "Ive never read it,but its sh*t")
See, sweetie, this is where you fall on your face. Almost every book on my list (obviously I haven't read every Piers Anthony book, nor every H.P.Lovecraft story - when I hit my thumb with a hammer, I stop hammering) I have read, front to back. You finish here, (is that meant to be "tardiness"?) insulting my intelligence by broadbrushing me with the premise that I haven't read what I've judged.

You are just wrong.

Quote:
I realy think this should be closed.it'l just bring people to bicker.
Really? You disagree with someone's opinion; close the thread. Is that how you think it should go on the forum? It brought you here to "bicker" and insult - it bought others here to disagree and discuss. The problem is with you and not the thread.

So, here's the dealy, mate. Have you ever heard the phrase "Everything was going just fine until you came in"? Well, there you are.

You seriously insult my intelligence. You accuse me of not having read what I've put forth an opinion of. You dismiss any of my opinions, not with your own, but with the elitist catchall of "smarter people than you...". I don't expect you to agree. I don't mind if you strongly disagree. I don't mind if you vehemently disagree.

However, don't let the sum total of your rejection be your half-arsed, barely readable spray of anti-grammatical, ad hominem slur and inaccuracy. Them's fightin' words, and I might not be as intelligent as "Every single authority on horror", but as sure as hell is as black as my heart I am good at fighting words, and in your corner you don't look like you're up for a single round against some bloodthirsty, cheating, biting, screaming, suckerpunching, brassknuckle verbiage.

See, you're flailing-angry. As at this time, I am "restrained".

Yours most sincerely,
Marc (this is my name - if you choose to use "Mr." then the surname is "Lawrence", but my first name has always been here to use rather than pejoratively dismiss)
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Old 04-25-2008, 10:20 AM   #56
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Lobolover:

Here's a peace-offering:

I assembled The Were-Wolf for you, the story you said you enjoyed. It's fully illustrated and is available in the Sony upload section.

Enjoy!


Don
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Old 04-25-2008, 10:55 AM   #57
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Gentlemen,
There's a Latin proverb:

De gustibus non disputandum.

('There's no disputing matters of taste')

If I like apples and you like oranges then we are not disagreeing. We just like different things.

Lobolover likes Lovecraft. I like Proust. It's the same sort of thing. We are expressing different preferences. We can explain our different preferences (--maybe I like long descriptions of soirees at duchesses' houses) but, fundamentally, there's no disagreement

This is because we all make value-judgements about books, fruit, pies etc. These are expressions of opinion, not fact. Personally, I'm quite happy to live in a diverse world where people have different tastes. It means that there's always the possibility of trying something new and, maybe, liking it.
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Old 04-25-2008, 11:32 AM   #58
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Originally Posted by GeoffC View Post
Very easily .....

I can stomach the films no problem , but the style of writing -------
Interesting, I rather enjoy her writing style. It's fast paced, witty, and detailed. Plus, and this is what I like the most, it's almost entirely from Harry's perspective. I've read books by other authors where the perspective changes every paragraph. Dan Brown is notorious for this and his inability to stay inside one character for more than a single chapter is a major reason why I can't stand his books. Call me a chickenhead, but it was so confusing to read The DaVinci Code, half the time I was saying, "wait, how can SHE say that? Oh ok, now it's HE that's talking...and talking...and talking..."

J.K. Rowling's books use all of the great hooks of a good mystery. She's a fan of the best literature (classic and modern) and their influence is on her is visible, though not overpowering.

It may be a matter of taste, but I really think that in years to come people will go back and read the books after all of the hype has died down and they'll find some hidden jewels.
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Old 04-25-2008, 11:32 AM   #59
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Originally Posted by Dr. Drib View Post
When a person dislikes a book, it does not show a lack of intelligence. There may be other mitigating factors involved, such as lack of critical thinking skills. For example, when I was teaching English Literature I [One] at Miami University, I told my students that it's ok to like or to not like a piece of writing, but you must examine why or what it is that makes you think this way. It's not enough [I would tell them] to say "I hate this" or "I like that." They were to explain the reasoning behind the expression.

This thread is not biased, but rather subjective in the opinions that one expresses on his or her dislike for a particular author or book. Any dialogue that examines why we like/dislike a work is a useful tool for discussion and critical thinking. Keneth Burke, a language theorist and rhetorician, talks about Terministic Screens and how these barriers that we all have - including me - can often result in misunderstandings and sometimes a closing-down of dialogue at a crucial point when dialogue is most necessary for a better understanding of issues. [I must add that Terminisitc Screens also refers to how societal and class distinctions, in addition to education, all play a part in how we percieve and then (re)translate another person's information into the realm of our own understanding.]

Sometimes, as I mentioned, we close our minds too soon to other opinions. When this happens, we may be unable to understand why an individual responds to a particular book the way he or she does.

Your tone is one of anger - as you admit - but I'm at a loss to understand fully where your anger comes from. I do understand your "discomfort" when someone makes a summary judgement while NOT having read the book in question, especially if it's an author you admire. This is irritating; however, you might ask that person WHY he or she has that opinion, thus opening up a discussion. At the very least, you're able to explain to this person why you like the author's work.

Also, I must disagree with you that a successful author's opinion on another writer's work is somehow a barometer for what is "good" in our society - whether that successful author be a bestselling author or even a hugely popular author.

It is with respect to your opinions that I have structured my response to you. I feel it's ok to disagree on issues, Lobolover, but to engage in critical thinking on WHY people disagree is really the important issue of this thread.

Also, we're having fun here!!



Don
its more that when someone drags something aclaimed by people who make a LIVING writing Horror,and a wery good living at that,in the mud,someone whose personal achievements in said field are not exactly world-shatering,then I say:HUH?

montsnmags -that was a few word description of a sacrifice scene,starting a ritual in Robert E. Howard's "The Black Stone".The wording there was better,but I wouldn't wanna look it up just now.

Patricia-yes.

Problem is,said person probably doesn't WAN'T to adapt to a mind frame of one of the most well-read authors of his time,the author of the first summary of literary horror in modern times,etc.Whatever,I don't want to argue,but saying that its the worst cause of the "writing down theese events" way of narration-which is about as absurd as the omnipresent,
omniscient,bodiless,impassible narrator of a great number of fiction,then-why?

but lets stop the bickering.
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Old 04-25-2008, 11:47 AM   #60
NatCh
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Posts: 11,605
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Republic of Texas Embassy at Jackson, TN
Device: Nook STGR
Okay, folks, deep breath time.

We're discussing our opinions of books, they are inherently subjective and largely matters of taste. While the opinions here haven't all been phrased in ways that make them clearly opinions, the whole thread makes it pretty clear that it was asking for opinions.

Whether something is well written or not doesn't really enter into it. I acknowledge that some of Dickens' work, for instance, is extraordinarily well written, but I really, really don't like it. It didn't make my personal list of "worst" but only because there were other things I liked less.

The best way to end the 'bickering' is for each person to recognize that the opinions expressed here aren't really comments on the value of a given book, but rather are comments on the poster's view of it and to respect that each of us has a right to have their own view.

I very much agree that uniformed opinions are pretty valueless, and that those who stridently proclaim their ignorant opinions can be extremely frustrating, but let's work from the assumption that the opinions here aren't based purely on conceit. We have an astonishingly well educated and well read group of folks here -- what did that recent poll show? Something more than 40% of us either have graduate degrees or are in the process of getting them? (I ain't one of those) That's pretty impressive to me, and it also suggests that assuming that folks have based their opinion of various books on something is more likely than not to be a reasonable move.



So anyway, now that I've banged the old "respect" drum a bit, let's go back to a discussion based on the assumption that we're not making actual value judgments of books, but rather expressing and discussing our reactions to and views of them.
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