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Books you really hated?

Discussion in 'Novels & Stories' started by Devouring Wolf, Nov 19, 2015.

  1. Devouring Wolf

    Devouring Wolf Sage

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    Sorry if this has been done before, but there are plenty of threads about the best/most gripping/most influential and while that's all well and good, I'm really curious about the books you didn't like as well.

    The books we hate can teach us as much, if not more than the books we love. They tell us what not to do.

    Please try to be constructive and civil, just because you hate a book doesn't mean someone else can't love it. In the end it all comes down to personal preference.
     
  2. Devouring Wolf

    Devouring Wolf Sage

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    Okay, I'll go first.

    The Last Stormlord by Glenda Lark. Didn't finish this one, which is a shame because I really liked the world building and it was written on a very relevant topic, severe drought. All the minor characters as well as the villain were seemed like cardboard cut-outs, but what made me put the book down was the female main character, Terelle. She knows if she runs away, her sister who actually works hard will have to pay off her debt and will never be able to retire, but she leaves anyways and we're supposed to like her when she just betrays her sister like that? I don't care if it all gets sorted out later, I find that behavior inexcusable. Also, her powers add so many plot holes, I can't even comprehend.

    This book made me so mad, because for the first few chapters, I adored it. It didn't go to waste though, my mother really enjoyed it.
     
  3. Miskatonic

    Miskatonic Auror

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    IT. Too long and anything involving sex in King's books is usually bizarre. Especially the group sex part in IT. Not sure how he tried to justify that.

    There were a handful of good parts and a whole lot of zzzzzzz.
     
  4. Incanus

    Incanus Archmage

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    One of the biggest disappointments for me in recent years was Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card. I didn't consciously have expectations about it one way or another when starting it, but with the awards it won and the fans it has, I assumed it would be a pretty decent read at least. Didn't like anything about it. The ending was so predictable, so obvious. Logical problems everywhere. Petty, unbelievable characters. I guess if I had read it when I was a kid, it would have worked better.

    To make it worse, I had this book with me when I was stuck in a waiting room for five hours while having a catalytic converter installed. Of all the times to have only (what I consider) a poor book on hand... I was quite grumpy that day.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2015
  5. Tom

    Tom Istar

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    It takes a lot for me to hate a book. In the case of the Twilight Saga and the Inheritance Cycle, I dislike them rather than hate them. Both of them are the sort of badly written, unfortunate implication-strewn tripe I relish disliking. But I don't hate them. I might rant about them, but I don't hate them. They aren't worth my hatred.

    On the other hand, there are those books I hate. Usually they're the ones built up and built up until my expectation of them was of near-perfection. They're the books people recommend to me, gushing about how "you'll love this book! It's so your type of book!" (As an aside, I don't really feel I have a type. I like a lot of different books, each very different from the others.) I get so excited about those books, and when I open them I think, "This is going to blow my mind." And more often than not, I'm disappointed. That's what makes me hate a book.

    One book I hated was Graceling. I went into that book thinking I was going to love it, and came out of it severely disappointed. Maybe because it was one of those "Tom, this is totally your type" books, or for some other reason, I don't know. Often when I really hate a book, I can't pinpoint the specific reason why I hate it. I dislike Twilight and Inheritance Cycle, and I can point out myriads of reasons why. For those books that have garnered my true hatred, I can't show you the passages that made me hate them. My book-hatred is less outrage at a specific instance and more a vague sense of growing antipathy as I read.
     
  6. Incanus

    Incanus Archmage

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    Yeah, I agree with you, Tom, that the word 'hate' here is probably a bit over-much. I chose to respond to the spirit of the thread, rather than the literal meaning. It's about disappointment, not hatred.
     
    Tom likes this.
  7. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    I liked Graceling well enough, but Fire and Bitterblue are much better books. I've been disappointed in some hard sci-fi recently because of great premises but disappointing execution.
     
  8. Devouring Wolf

    Devouring Wolf Sage

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    Maybe hate is too strong a word for most people, so disappointed might have been a better title. Personally, I'm one of those people who gets really attached to the characters in a book so when I'm reading something and I love the first few chapters at least and then something happens that ruins it for me, it just makes my blood boil. I just think "how could the author do this to such a good book?" It's not just disappointment for me, it's a literal rage.
     
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  9. Devouring Wolf

    Devouring Wolf Sage

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    Oh I almost forgot to mention my most hated book of all time. I forgot about it because I try to erase it from my memory.

    Hatchet by Gary Paulsen. In fifth grade my teacher made us read it. I've never met anyone who's read it and liked it. The repetitious writing style of the author is so unbearable and the main character is an annoying, angst-filled teenager. I am quite honestly perplexed that this book had three squeals and someone made a movie based on it (which we had to watch) It's one of the few books with absolutely no redeeming qualities to it.
     
  10. Tom

    Tom Istar

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    I remember that book. I found it so boring I never finished it, and I usually make it a point to finish books, even those I don't like. Gary Paulsen is definitely on my "authors to avoid" list.
     
  11. Manalodia

    Manalodia Sage

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    Dracula the Undead. I can't get back the moments I spent on that, even after skipping the duller parts.
     
  12. Caged Maiden

    Caged Maiden Staff Article Team

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    I've posted it before, but The Kiterunner. Now to say I hated it would be an overstatement, so I didn't hate it, but what I felt was real disappointment. The beginning was so good. Really great. It was real, and raw, and the details were perfectly balanced to create the right imagery a child would experience and it felt so awesome I was hooked. But the second half had nothing the first half had for me. The first half had rivalry and childish pride. It had fingers stained from pomegranates, and bloody hands from glass shards on kite strings. It had mystery and family tension, and the most vivid imagery about a setting that was new and fresh to me.

    The second half was rushed and striving for a dramatic goal it never hit, because it laid out facts in a plain way, like I was being slapped with a dead fish. It wasn't colorful, it was crude and rough-hewn, so very unlike the first half. It felt as if the author gave up halfway through and just threw any old thing in there to fill out the pages (like I felt the ending of the Harry Potter series just tapered off into something unexpectedly disappointing rather than a a grand crescendo that rocked me to the core). Yeah, disappointing. I do recommend it to people who want to know how to write a great character, but only the first half, where the details were magical and the characters were compelling. It's a wonder to me how anyone can write such a gripping beginning, only to lose a reader at the halfway point, when the drama picks up pace. I think for me, the character was what became less believable, and when that happened, I was out.
     
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  13. Chessie

    Chessie Guest

    Have you read the original? That one goes on my list of hated. It's written entirely in journal form and I couldn't really get into the story (which is a bad ass idea btw).
     
  14. kennyc

    kennyc Inkling

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    I don't usually allow myself to 'hate' a book. If I don't like it after the first chapter or two I just put it away, sometimes I'll come back and try again but if the same thing happens then I don't typically come back. Neuromancer by Gibson was/is that way for me. Ulysses/Anything by James Joyce is that way....a few others that escape my memory - thank gawd!

    Same goes for short stories....if the don't grab me (or annoy me) in the first few pages.....bye-bye!
     
  15. kennyc

    kennyc Inkling

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    You must get a Kindle (or other ebook reader) so this never happens again!
     
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  16. Mythopoet

    Mythopoet Auror

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    Agreed! Having a whole library with you wherever you go is the best thing ever.
     
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  17. Incanus

    Incanus Archmage

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    Of course, that has only happened once in my life so far. I could probably justify a bomb-shelter for similar reasons.

    Still, I probably will have to get an ebook-thing at some point. The advantages are pretty obvious. I'm not young, and I just like the tactile feel of paper for some reason. But I'm sure I'll to want to read something available only on ebook at some point.

    And, strangely, I like to read a poor or mediocre book every once in while too. Mostly so I can say to myself something along the lines of, "Wow. How did this get published? I'll make sure my book is better than this."
     
  18. kennyc

    kennyc Inkling

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    Oh there's tons of those on the self-published ebook sites including amazon. Another thing about ebooks you might consider is all the free classic and out of print books that are available!
     
  19. Incanus

    Incanus Archmage

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    Far too many. I only do this every once in a while, so I'll never, ever run out.

    But I'm finding that there are a number of out-of-print items that are not in ebook form. Or that they're terrible. Used copies are the only option.

    Can't find Tanith Lee's Tales of the Flat Earth. And the Clark Ashton Smith stories are only poorly scanned versions--chock full of typos--a real travesty, he was one of the greatest.
     
  20. Heliotrope

    Heliotrope Staff Article Team

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    I loved Hatchet :) I like those sorts of wilderness adventure stories. And I liked the repetitive writing style and the combo-descriptions fell-ran stuff.

    A book I hated and was super disappointed about was Name of the Wind. What a major disappointment for me. I was so engaged in the writing… and then… nothing. Literally nothing. Kvothe was a total Gary Sue, he was great musician, then… what? He went to school and did some stuff, then saved a village from a dragon… hundreds of pages of nothing.

    Has anyone ever read anything by SheriLyn Kenyon? I picked up one of hers in the waiting room and it was also awful…
     
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