I'm Sorry, But That Book is Rubbish!

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Cygnus Prime
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What are the worst books you have ever read?

It can be a huge bestseller - or a bookshop flop.


The important thing is, you thought it was rubbish.






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Cygnus Prime
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Valentine Michael Smith is a human being raised on Mars, newly returned to Earth. Among his people for the first time, he struggles to understand the social mores and prejudices of human nature that are so alien to him, while teaching them his own fundamental beliefs in grokking, watersharing, and love.

I just couldn't get into this.

Just thought (what I read of) it was over-written, pretentious (and far too long) rubbish.

I don't think it's my fault as THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH was most readable, prose-wise. Unlike this seeming pile of stodge.
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June 16, 1904; Dublin.
As the day begins, Stephen Dedalus is displeased with his friend and remains aloof. A little later, he teaches history at Garrett Deasy’s boys’ school.
Leopold Bloom begins his day by preparing breakfast for his wife, Molly Bloom. He serves it to her in bed along with the mail.
As their day unfolds, Joyce paints for us a picture of not only what’s happening outside but also what’s happening inside their minds.
Drawing on the characters, motifs and symbols of Homer’s Odyssey, James Joyce’s Ulysses is a remarkable modernist novel. It has lived through various criticisms and controversies and has undergone several theatre, film and television adaptations. It continues to remain a literary masterpiece.


Stephen Dedalus and Leopold Bloom should both have stayed in bed that day and never gotten up.

Think how many trees would have been saved if they had done so.


It can happily "continue to remain a literary masterpiece".

I shall continue to think of it as a load of deliberately nonsensical rubbish.


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Cygnus Prime
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As Harlan Ellison pointed out, inside this book, Joan Collins, through her official biographer, remembers Edith Keeler in THE CITY ON THE EDGE OF FOREVER as "a woman who had fallen in love with Hitler".

That's already enough for me to avoid it. :lol:


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Cygnus Prime
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Peter Raeder was an ace pilot in the war against the Mollie rebels until he lost a hand in combat. Now he's Flight Engineer on the Invincible -- and has to find the saboteur who is plotting to destroy the ship....


A thinly disguised Scotty/James Doohan has Paramount-copyright avoiding adventures in this shlock trilogy aimed at prising some loose-change out of "buy-anything" Trekkies/Trekkers.

I suspect Jimmy threw some ideas for the storylines at S.M. Stirling in between drinks at a convention.

Either way, no thanks. :(


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Cygnus Prime
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Unfair perhaps, but I also think that some books are far too long. Or form a chain of fat books that I will never invest the time to read.

Stephen King's books such as IT and THE STAND, also DUNE, THE CHRONICLES OF THOMAS COVENANT, GAME OF THRONES on and on.

So, while these books may not be awful, they are far too fat for me to ever bother finding out their quality. :(
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I agree with you about Ulysses, it's a dreadful load of old sh*te.

Anything by Terry Pratchett is well beyond my tolerance level.

Any "serious" sci-fi by the likes of Asimov or Heinlein. I also think Shaun Hutson is a bloody awful writer. I read a few of his books a long time ago and all I can really remember is every time someone used a gun, he'd mention the smell of cordite. I have a memory that may or may not be accurate of reading a description of smelling sh*t and cordite in more than one book.

But the worst book I have ever read?

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f*****g pointless.
The key to usable HUMINT (Human Intelligence) is distinguishing the real, highly placed sources from the bullsh*tting wannabes who pretend they’re highly placed sources by making sh*t up

“What Brussels doesn’t understand is low power vacuum cleaners are no good if you want to put your willy in them."

So unprotected oral sex is responsible for the rise of super gonorrhea.. that's it then. I've given my last blowjob!
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I agree with THE WASP FACTORY (and much else by Banks) and STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND, not to mention I WILL FEAR NO EVIL (also by Heinlein). However I wouldn't put all his works in the rubbish bin, ORPHANS OF THE SKY is rightly a classic, as are the time travel stories BY HIS BOOTSTRAPS and ALL YOU ZOMBIES. As for Asimov, oddly enough I'd say his time travel story THE END OF ETERNITY is also a high point, but I certainly wouldn't re-read most of his work. Of course these guys (and Arthur C Clarke, who wrote nothing good after 2001 in my opinion) were writing a long time ago.

I'm also not very taken with Terry Pratchett - mildly amusing at best.

And I haven't yet read a book by J K Rowling that I liked, admittedly I mostly gave up after a few pages...

Stephen King's short stories that I've read are underwhelming, although some of his books made good films.

Alfred Bester's EXTRO was rubbish, even though I loved his earlier work. One of the few books I got to the last chapter, put it down, and never bothered to finish, which for a confirmed bibliophile like me says a lot.

I complete went off George RR Martin after TUF VOYAGING - which wasn't very good - but I have to say his earlier THE ARMAGEDDON RAG was one of the worst books I've ever read. (So I never read any GAME OF THRONES.)

I was a huge fan of Michael Moorcock but GLORIANA was awful.

As for the later sequels to THE HITCH-HIKERS GUIDE TO THE GALAXY, that guy really only had one joke, which he described as "looking through the wrong end of a telescope". It worked OK for a while but got very thin eventually.

One of the worst book I've read was DEFEATING DARWINISM BY OPENING MINDS by Phillip E Johnston - which purports to be a scientific dissection of evolution that fails on just about every front but is still used by bears of little brain to "prove" the theory is wrong (I read it because I was writing reviews for a scientific journal at the time).

However the very worst books I've read (the first two in translation) were...

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Cygnus Prime
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Feels almost sacrilege to say it, but I think A CLOCKWORK ORANGE might just be a load of pretentious tripe too.

Yes, Kubrick saw some spark in it and ran with it, but think it might be a case of the film being better than the book?

I tried tackling it more than once - honest I did - but couldn't get past the invented language and then realised that I was only trying to read it so I could say "I've read the novel" to people when discussing the film.

But I gave up on the novel, instead, twice.

Maybe third time lucky? Until then I suspect it just might be rubbish.


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It's flowery nonsense imo - and any horror is diluted by the turgid writing style.

It was difficult to go from GHOST/HOUSE/CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN to this book.

Am so tired of characters telling novels through a series of letters and diary entries too.

That said, I still find it a fascinating work from the perspective of all the countless things that sprang from it - and I am constantly meaning to tackle it again.

Stoker's Dracula seems much more engaging from a prose perspective imo, even though he too used the diary/letters approach.

I suspect I am severely missing what the original novel was saying though - and will probably deserve any rebuttals defending this tome. :)
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I think one has to make some allowances for works that were seminal influences, but I admit I've never read "Frankenstein, or the modern Prometheus".

However I have read, with great effort, the huge doorstop that is THE LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy, and that wasn't exactly seminal (plenty of heroic fantasy came before it) although it does appear to have captured the imagination of the reading public for some reason I could never fathom.

The one good thing to come from TLOTR in my opinion was Michael Moorcock's Elric and subsequence fantasy series' that were written, at least to start with, as deliberate "anti-Lord-of-the-Rings". (Much as the best thing to come out of the Bible is Moorcock's "Behold the man", come to think of it.)

And while we're on this topic, speaking of the Bible...
I cannot and will not cut my conscience to fit this year’s fashions -- Lillian Hellman

My crosswords are on my homepage & Android phones - install Alphacross and select "Māyā's Cryptic Puzzles" :D
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A new selection of books out next year that could end up just being a load of rubbish (despite any glowing reviews and huge sales)...... 8-)

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainmen ... ting-story


Books 2020: What you could be reading



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Cygnus Prime wrote:Feels almost sacrilege to say it, but I think A CLOCKWORK ORANGE might just be a load of pretentious tripe too.

Yes, Kubrick saw some spark in it and ran with it, but think it might be a case of the film being better than the book?
I actually prefer the book to the film, but other than the strange story and the inventive language there isn't that much to it, and was Burgess' least favorite book out of all the ones he wrote. The characters are all kind of flat and there's no real explanation of why society went downhill. I'll bet Burgess fleshed it out more in his (unused by Kubrick) screenplay.

ETA: I read the first Harry Potter book, and while I thought it was a good yarn, I didn't think it was well-written so I never read another one. And Rowling turned out to be a garbage human being anyway so I'm glad I didn't get into them. Why's she writing books under the pen name "Richard Gailbreath" when everyone knows it's her? Talk about pretentious.
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LizR
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I believ JKR wrote as Robert Galbraith in the hope of findnig out whether she was really a good writer, or just got lucky. Sales were minimal, and after a while someone at the publisher leaked the real identity of the writer. Having read LETHAL WHITE in all its padded out and in places quite badly written glory, I'm sticking with Val McDermid.

I was never a big fan of Anthony Burgess, most of his books were nonsense in my opinion, however I have to say that EARTHLY POWERS was staggeringly good. Also IMHO, obviously.

It also has one of the best opening sentences I've read, aside from 1984 and Rebecca...
It was the afternoon of my eighty-first birthday, and I was in bed with my catamite when Ali announced that the archbishop had come to see me.
I cannot and will not cut my conscience to fit this year’s fashions -- Lillian Hellman

My crosswords are on my homepage & Android phones - install Alphacross and select "Māyā's Cryptic Puzzles" :D
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I read Burgess’ last book and liked it, so I’m definitely going to have to give EARTHLY POWERS a try.
We hope that our early successes make up for the embarrassing mess we’ve become. Like Facebook. Or America.
Eleanor Shellstrop
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