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Author Topic: Top 5 worst reading experiences of your life  (Read 31687 times)

Offline tenlegdragon

Top 5 worst reading experiences of your life
« on: May 16, 2013, 02:32:28 AM »
Yes, most people do research into the Amazon reviews or what have you before getting into bed with a fantasy novel but sometimes too you just want to jump in blind and pull a book off the library shelf based on the binding, right? Whether or not you went into it with your eyes wide open or not - whats the very worst 5 you can come up (that you read from beginning to cover) - including poor plotting, poor pacing, disappointment following a previous installment. I'm talking filled you with blinding rage - the WORST of all.


I spent all week thinking about my top 5 and I think the award goes to
1) 50 shades of grey in first place winning by a mile - ridiculous and offensive

2) somebody help me with the name, but it involved a dog made out of lightning - ridiculous in a not funny way.

3) the vampire diaries novels - either pointless, or I'm too old for it

4) Not a Fantasy strictly but Vanity fair - a novel sometimes needs a hero, yeah?

5) Don't hate me here, but ASOIAF 5 - Too much expectations on my part, too much cuisine and naked turtle swimming on GRRM's part

And just randomly, I've been looking forward to finding somebody to tell me that Malazan is a must read, and most places I come up with a "meh" review. Any Malazan fans out there strong enough in their faith to recommend me buy these audiobooks? Don't throw me out of the site, but I confess, I haven't read further than the first page of Wheel of Time, Malazan or Farseer. After Dune - I just don't think I have one of those sagas left in me,

As a person who read The Heroes and loves it above all else, I'm finding it kinda easy to put books in the crap pile now. I have half of Red country to go, but I have this sense of forboding that if I finish it, I'd have technically sold my soul to the man. But five minutes into Mortal instruments and it's already on the crap pile. My compass is def broken. How do you guys manage to drek through it all? Should I lower my standards?  For the sake of enjoying reading again, if only?

And just in case you guys don't use it. Amble for android is awesome. The best. Better than audible.

But bottom line - the five worst novels - fantasy or otherwise, that you've read from cover to cover.
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Offline Bahl

Re: Top 5 worst reading experiences of your life
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2013, 05:17:03 AM »
1 Jonathan Strange & Mr norrel. Did nothing for me.
2 Book written by David Zindell. Bad fantasy with knights on armour covered in diamonds.
3 the add on dune books written by Anderson and Herberts son. Moneyspinners and nothing else.

That's about it.
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Offline Elfy

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Re: Top 5 worst reading experiences of your life
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2013, 07:23:38 AM »
1 Jonathan Strange & Mr norrel. Did nothing for me.

I was a little like that with JS&MN for a long time, then I reread it and while I wouldn't jump on the greatest thing ever train I did appreciate and enjoy it a lot more and could see a lot of what those who adored the book were talking about.
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Offline Francis Knight

Re: Top 5 worst reading experiences of your life
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2013, 08:54:06 AM »
Naming no names...

But I've come to the conclusion I shouldn't read award winners*. I rarely like them (not to say they aren't 'good' just that it shows there's a lot of Not For Me books out there! However, some I have actively hated, they made me come over all stabby). I tried one yesterday that possibly would end up in my top ten worst experiences. I should have known it was trouble when my eyes started glazing over two pages in. I mean, I usually get further than that, often I even finish and think 'meh', but lawks...by the end of the second chapter, no characters as such (except ones I was dryly told about in passing) and no plot at all. Is it possible to die from exposition? Certainly felt like it! So I lobbed it.

I've got to the point where I don't bother carrying on if it's that far away from what I like. Life's too short. No book is for everyone, and I'm not for every book. Best to read things I'll like -- there's plenty out there.


Although for the purposes of this thread, I'm prepared to say Slave Girl of Gor was number one (and at least not an award winner!).


*ETA: One reason I don't often bother with reviews. The book I tried yesterday? Retroactively looked at reviews after I lobbed it. Gushing with praise. Glowing in fact. Why I usually stick to personal recommendation.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2013, 08:59:31 AM by Francis Knight »
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Offline Jian

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Re: Top 5 worst reading experiences of your life
« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2013, 09:31:29 AM »
Naming no names...

But I've come to the conclusion I shouldn't read award winners*. I rarely like them (not to say they aren't 'good' just that it shows there's a lot of Not For Me books out there! However, some I have actively hated, they made me come over all stabby). I tried one yesterday that possibly would end up in my top ten worst experiences. I should have known it was trouble when my eyes started glazing over two pages in. I mean, I usually get further than that, often I even finish and think 'meh', but lawks...by the end of the second chapter, no characters as such (except ones I was dryly told about in passing) and no plot at all. Is it possible to die from exposition? Certainly felt like it! So I lobbed it.

I've got to the point where I don't bother carrying on if it's that far away from what I like. Life's too short. No book is for everyone, and I'm not for every book. Best to read things I'll like -- there's plenty out there.


Although for the purposes of this thread, I'm prepared to say Slave Girl of Gor was number one (and at least not an award winner!).


*ETA: One reason I don't often bother with reviews. The book I tried yesterday? Retroactively looked at reviews after I lobbed it. Gushing with praise. Glowing in fact. Why I usually stick to personal recommendation.

Think I'm in the same boat as Francis on this one. I still normally read reviews before reading a book, but I generally don't like award winners, either. I mean, they must be good, but not for me. Worst reading experience by far has to be when I flipped through Twilight because a girl I knew recommended 'em to me. Gouged out my eyes afterwards.
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Offline pornokitsch

Re: Top 5 worst reading experiences of your life
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2013, 11:44:46 AM »
Although for the purposes of this thread, I'm prepared to say Slave Girl of Gor was number one (and at least not an award winner!).

You have quietly won the internet.

I think you guys have hit the nail on the head - sometimes it isn't the terrible book itself, it is coming out of the terrible book and then seeing that everyone else liked it. It makes you think you've gone insane. I had a few terrible, terrible books last year, both of which were books that got so much praise - lots of people citing them as examples of their favourites, of great writing, etc.

But, as weird as it is, c'est la vie. The more opinions the better, I think.

Offline thedoctor

Re: Top 5 worst reading experiences of your life
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2013, 03:14:08 PM »
Reading Neuromancer by William Gibson was probably the most painful reading experience I have ever had. I had always wanted to read it, so when it came up in the book club here I jumped on in. Unfortunately I found it truly awful and ever page was a real chore to read.

I was also really disappointed with Phillip Pullman's Golden Compass books. Perhaps not painful as such, but I remember being incredibly disappointed with them because of how hyped up they are.
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Offline Idlewilder

Re: Top 5 worst reading experiences of your life
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2013, 04:25:42 PM »
Reading Neuromancer by William Gibson was probably the most painful reading experience I have ever had. I had always wanted to read it, so when it came up in the book club here I jumped on in. Unfortunately I found it truly awful and ever page was a real chore to read.

Agreed! I couldn't even bring myself to finish it.
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Offline Bahl

Re: Top 5 worst reading experiences of your life
« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2013, 06:25:03 PM »
I'll add wise man's fear. First time I got so frustrated with a book that I actually shouted at it. For reasons, the review on Pornokitch sums up my feelings pretty well.
Give a man a fire and he's warm for the day. But set fire to him and he's warm for the rest of his life.
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Offline Noona

Re: Top 5 worst reading experiences of your life
« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2013, 06:41:31 PM »
It is strange when you dislike a book and everyone else loves it, but I also find people seem to dislike books I did like! I often stay away from book club reads if it's something I liked, in case everyone hates it :-P

Anyway, I don't have a top 5, but I've been unable to finish Wool by Hugh Howey. I got fed up of seeing the twists miles away, and just couldn't care what happens to the characters. I tried to make myself read the last 100 pages by hiding my other books, and that didn't work because I just got cross. I can understand why it's popular, but it's not for me I guess.

There's also one particular series that I thought went really downhill and I had to force myself to finish, but I will be lynched if I say it!

I don't tend to check reviews before I buy though, I go with "this looks interesting" and/or "someone I follow on twitter said it was good"
« Last Edit: May 16, 2013, 06:48:08 PM by Noona »

Offline Neila

Re: Top 5 worst reading experiences of your life
« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2013, 06:42:31 PM »
1: Vampire Hunter: One Foot in Darkness.
       It had some neat ideas, a vampire slayer with a prosthetic leg, an evil older vampire pulling the strings of a nefarious plot etc, but the book suffered from a dire need of another round of edits. A couple chapters seemed out of order, and various other grammatical errors and logical leaps hurt the book a lot. I made myself finish reading it though since I met the author while buying it and she was super nice. I thought about emailing her some critiques but worried that it wasn't my place to do so and so I never did. I do hope she's still writing and has hooked up with a good editor.

2: Amarillo by Morning.
      Another book I got upon meeting the author. This book was based on a song and follows the story of an old rodeo rider trying to raise enough money to pay for a sick kid. The characters are super super flat. The main love interest muses at one point on how she loves to cook food for men and that her home is in the kitchen, which made me audibly groan. The only other female character is a crazy stalker woman that shows up in a sports car at first (which mysteriously is absent later) and then is found hiding in the Rodeo Rider's truck when he and his older mentor are about to leave on their quest. The day is saved in the end because the Rider guy is able to raise enough money and save the little boy you learn nothing about other than the kid is sick with something. What confused me on this book was how it could be so flat and monotonous.

3. Transformers: Ghosts of Yesterday
     I got this book because I didn't read the cover correctly (there was a sticker over it) to know it was a Prequel to the first Transformers movie. The character descriptions are vague as hell, which I guess was due to the character designs being sort of secret before the first movie came out. This made the book confusing to follow, who was fighting whom? I'm still not sure.

4. Terminator Salvation
    This book made me not want to see the movie, and when I saw the movie a year or two later I concluded I had made the right decision. The characters were flat and there were lots of logical leaps. I'm not sure if it's a problem of the author writing it and that it's his style (he apparently wrote the Transformer's Prequel in place at number 3), or if it was due to the script he was working off of. There was at least some internal characterization of the main character but not a lot.

5. To be Determined
    My brain has blanked out trying to think of 5 books right now. I know I've read some bad ones but I may have scrubbed the memories of them out of my mind with steel wool.

Offline ScatteredK

Re: Top 5 worst reading experiences of your life
« Reply #11 on: May 16, 2013, 07:34:11 PM »
1.) Twilight......all FOUR of them. I have yet to understand the appeal of Bella, Edward and Jacob's deranged relationship let alone the entire story. I spent a lot of time trying not to rip the pages out while reading Bella's endless stupid antics.

2.)All the annoying Vampire/Love based novels that followed Twilight.

3.) Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson -Was recommended by an ex-boyfriend. Did not finish it to save my sanity, I'm not really into a story written through the eyes of a cracked-out moron. The book lacks a solid voice based on the fact that the narrator is literally high throughout the entire story.

4.) Fallen- Another YA love triangle that replaces vampires with fallen angels.

5.) I agree that The Wise Man’s Fear was a little disappointing. I love the way both books in the series have been written but I felt the second book was full of excess crap and didn’t live up to its hype. I’m staying optimistic for the last book though.


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Offline Sean Cunningham

Re: Top 5 worst reading experiences of your life
« Reply #12 on: May 16, 2013, 08:27:45 PM »
How do you guys manage to drek through it all? Should I lower my standards?  For the sake of enjoying reading again, if only?

I read a lot more Kindle samples than I do books. A lot more.

The reading experiences with which I'm most unhappy are almost all going to be licensed properties. If I do pick up a book from a licensed property these days, it's cautiously and because it's written by the very small number of writers who work in these fields I like and trust.
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Offline Bane of Kings

Re: Top 5 worst reading experiences of your life
« Reply #13 on: May 16, 2013, 09:13:13 PM »
Twilight, although I'm not sure that the free preview pages are sufficient enough to count.

The Final Warning, Fang, Angel Nevermore by James Patterson. Congratulations, Patterson - you successfully destroyed any faith that I had that the Maximum Ride series could once be held as my favourite books that were one of the books responsible for getting me into reading. Just horrible. Same goes for most stuff that Patterson's 'co-written', and the only books by him that are actually remotely decent are the Alex Cross novels.

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins. After the incredible success of The Hunger Games, Collins followed it up with a book that was basically a re-hash of the first only with more romance. I loved the first book but now, the second has put me off even wanting to finish the Trilogy, of which I'm told is more of the same.
 
Battle for the Abyss by Ben Counter. If you want to see an example of why tie-in fiction is so bad, look no further than the 8th book in the multi-authored Horus Heresy series. It seems slightly weird as this same series (although not the same author) has produced some of my favourite sci-fi books as well, but this was poor. all action, bland characters, stupid bad guys, etc.

The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown. Hated it. I liked The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons, but it was a real chore getting through this. I'm trying out Inferno at the moment as I picked it up at a discount price, but I don't hold up much hopes for this.

Offline Nighteyes

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Re: Top 5 worst reading experiences of your life
« Reply #14 on: May 16, 2013, 09:20:24 PM »
This all seems rather dramatic. If I found myself reading an awful book I would just stop. Generally don't read poor books as know what I like and follow recommendations closely. Especially from people here. As for the person who read Transformers Prequel and Terminator Salvation. What on earth were you expecting from film tie in novelisations?  They are notoriously always awful!
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