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Old 10-28-2009, 12:05 AM   #1
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Anti-recommendations: Read any terrible books lately?

I just finished Petite Anglaise by Catherine Sanderson. It was terrible. I finished it because it was a fast read and because I paid for it, but it was an awful book. The writing was amateur (she fastens the coat with 'an impatient finger' on on page, for example; I heard my college writing teacher's voice in my head whining 'fingers can't be impatient!' as I read) and overuses the adverbs in a way a good editor should have been able to weed out. And to top it off, she's an annoying character. She's a blogger in Paris who starts an affair with one of her readers, and some of her more annoying moments include:

- She admits she often exaggerates her stories when she posts them, and in the book she more than once narrates a true event then muses about how she will alter it when she posts

- She posts events from years ago as if they had just happened. In short, her whole blog is fake and exaggerated

- She tells her daughter's father she is leaving him, and when he is upset about not living with his daughter, she calls after him 'But what about me?'

- She complains that her partner's reaction to her leaving him is not dramatic enough and that she wishes he was more sad

- She refers to her blog name in the third person as if it were another character, separate from herself

- She chickens out on sharing key life events with friends, figuring it will be easier if they just read it on the blog

- She resents her child for interfering with her adulterous trysts by requiring being picked up from the nanny's home

In short, she is vapid and self-centered and selfish. And she can't write either! Avoid this book. Oh, and apparently she followed it up with a novel. No!

So there is my anti-recommendation. Anyone esle read an awful book lately?
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Old 10-28-2009, 02:01 AM   #2
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I'm currently reading Stephen King's Bag of Bones... I find it totally BORING, but force myself to keep reading... Stephen King is a brilliant author, right? This is the first book I've read of his.
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Old 10-28-2009, 07:58 AM   #3
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I have just read God, Speak, by Frank Buchan. There are lots of things that are good about the story, the premise and the plot are good, the characterisations are good - it could of been a really good book.

But - and there is a but, it is so poorly written that it drove me mad reading it. I t appears that it was not even spell checked let alone proof read. I lost count of the number of times there was a 1 instead of an I, and the number of times the wrong word was used in a sentence. In one sparagraph near the beginning there are 3 writing errors,

Quote:
He prodded a pair of buttons and the room dimmed. With an apologetic smile, he said, “I am afraid my eyes are light sensitive. I cannot see holograms when there is a background glare of natural light.”
Infact the room did not dim, it became dimmer or the room lights dimmed. If his eyes were not sensitive to light they would not be eyes, it is a basic function of eyes to be sensitive to light, he meant to say he had an eyesight problem explained in the next sentence. Turning the room lights lower does not affect natural light, the room lights are artificial light he meant to say he could not see holograms when there was a high ambient light level.

Later in the book there is someone who stood, sitting on the edge of a desk balancing a notepad on her knee. I think I know what the author meant but at first reading it sounds like a deformed person. There are many more oddities throughout the book.

The book is available from Smashwords for free, which may be more than it is worth.
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Old 10-28-2009, 08:24 AM   #4
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Don't read "The Princes of Ireland" by Edward Rutherfurd. He explains and explains and explains ad nauseam, and it was one, long, slog through mud to finish it (I was just about enough interested in the history to not stop reading).

I remember "The Forest and "London" being quite good, and better than "Sarum", and I thought he'd simply gotten better over time, but no. I don't know if I should read part two - I bought both together.
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Old 10-28-2009, 11:14 AM   #5
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One of my all-time favorite authors, Orson Scott Card, wrote a weak effort in Magic Street. Not my favorite work of his.

And though I thought Weave World by Clive Barker was fabulous, steer clear of Mister B Gone.
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Old 10-28-2009, 11:15 AM   #6
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Old 10-28-2009, 11:17 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lene1949 View Post
I'm currently reading Stephen King's Bag of Bones... I find it totally BORING, but force myself to keep reading... Stephen King is a brilliant author, right? This is the first book I've read of his.
Oh....his early books are treasures.

You might want to put this one aside, and start with "The Stand",(end of the world) "salems Lot" (vampires, but great character development) or "Night Shift", a collection of short stories.

I didn't care for Bag of Bone either.
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Old 10-28-2009, 11:19 AM   #8
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I'm currently reading Stephen King's Bag of Bones... I find it totally BORING, but force myself to keep reading... Stephen King is a brilliant author, right? This is the first book I've read of his.
Maybe it's better to read something written before the nineties...
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Old 10-28-2009, 11:19 AM   #9
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Oh....his early books are treasures.

You might want to put this one aside, and start with "The Stand",(end of the world) "salems Lot" (vampires, but great character development) or "Night Shift", a collection of short stories.

I didn't care for Bag of Bone either.
"Pet Sematary" or "It" are also great books. I'm kind of fencesitting when it comes to "The Dark tower" series though.
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Old 10-28-2009, 11:23 AM   #10
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Just Read 'The Shakespeare Secret' by J.L.Carrell. Ridiculous Plot & Inane Characterization. Only reason I finished it was for the 5hr Train ride.
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Old 10-28-2009, 11:25 AM   #11
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Oh....his early books are treasures.

You might want to put this one aside, and start with "The Stand",(end of the world) "salems Lot" (vampires, but great character development) or "Night Shift", a collection of short stories.

I didn't care for Bag of Bone either.
One of my favourites was 'It'.
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Old 10-28-2009, 11:27 AM   #12
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Just Read 'The Shakespeare Secret' by J.L.Carrell. Ridiculous Plot & Inane Characterization. Only reason I finished it was for the 5hr Train ride.
Quite agree. I'm not sure why the review (in the paper) I read was so positive. It made it sound like a much more serious novel.
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Old 10-28-2009, 11:34 AM   #13
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One of my favourites was 'It'.
As long as you don't confuse it with the absolutely terrible film version........
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Old 10-28-2009, 11:37 AM   #14
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As long as you don't confuse it with the absolutely terrible film version........
Of course not, tho, Tim Curry was about the only good thing in an otherwise very bad adaptation.
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Old 10-28-2009, 11:38 AM   #15
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I recently had to concede defeat to 'The Turn of the Screw' by Henry James .

Rather annoying since a) it's a short book, and b) the actual story is intriguing.
I got half way but, boy, was it a slog!!
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