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The Worst Books of All Time

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The Worst Books of All Time

Old 12-17-09, 12:47 AM
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The Worst Books of All Time



Have at it...

http://www.goodreads.com/list/show/2...ks_of_All_Time
Old 12-17-09, 02:36 AM
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Re: The Worst Books of All Time

Hmmm, welcome to BooK Talk, JumpCutz. I note that this has the appearance of a "hit and run" post rather than you sharing with the good folk here your own thoughts on the list to which you've linked. A missed opportunity, perhaps....?

From the replies at the linked to site:
Either you people are crazed psycho-maniacs, or this list was made by some egotistical, conceited, not well read person who reads only during a small portion of the day. I, however, read at least three hours a day and some of my favorite books appear on this list. My Sisters Keeper? The Five People You Meet In Heaven? Harry Potter? Anne Frank? Tuesdays With Morrie? The Giving Tree? Twilight? And that's only off the first page! I think maybe some people are judging books on whether or not they liked them. Instead, we should judge them on whether or not they are a good piece of writing, and whether or not they are destined to be a classic, like we learned about in my Honors English class, taught by the most wonderful English teacher in the world, Mrs. Bartholow. So please, try to not be opinionated, and only judge the writing.
I'm sorry, but I just don't get this list. How can we take a 'worst book' list seriously that has Catcher in the Rye, One Hundred Years of Solitude and The Scarlet Letter on it? I mean, really! I understand that some people hate Harry Potter, and I don't have a problem with that, but just because you happen to not like a book that is a classic, doesn't mean that it is a bad book. Honestly - Don Quixiote?? There is a reason that it has been read for CENTURIES.
.... I'm sure that DVDtalkers generally and Book Talkers in particular can "play nice" with something like this, and avoid the obvious pitfalls when discussing subjective opinions.
Old 12-17-09, 03:44 PM
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Re: The Worst Books of All Time

I think those two posts pretty much sum up what's going on with that list. You've got a bunch of people big on light reading that are voting classics as the worst and a bunch of people who scoff at things that aren't 'literature' voting popular works as the worst. There are enough people on each side that the list is mostly just a mish mash of books that have no business being there.
Old 12-18-09, 09:48 PM
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Re: The Worst Books of All Time

The Man That Killed The Deer-Frank Waters
Old 12-18-09, 09:57 PM
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Re: The Worst Books of All Time

Looks like there were a lot of liberals, needing to voice their opinions in yet another forum.
Old 12-19-09, 04:35 AM
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Re: The Worst Books of All Time

No matter how high the actual quality of writing, a poor story can't be saved because the author can string together a few sentences. Some of the more recent ones that I've read that were awful:
  • You've Been Warned by James Patterson
  • The Murder Of King Tut by James Patterson
  • Dexter In The Dark by Jeff Lindsay

If the category was most disappointing, I'd have to include the following:
  • The Catcher In The Rye by JD Salinger
  • The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen

I know that many see these books as classics (especially CITR), but they didn't come close to what I was expecting based on years of hearing how great they were.
Old 12-21-09, 02:28 AM
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[Taking no Prisoners]

Originally Posted by John Drake
Looks like there were a lot of liberals, needing to voice their opinions in yet another forum.
These days I have zero patience for people that come to Book Talk to snipe politically when:
a) I already asked people to "play nice";
b) they have no history of posting productively in Book Talk, and
c) we have a forum for politics of which they are well aware.

So.... here's a posting holiday until 4 Jan. Enjoy the break!
Old 12-24-09, 09:51 AM
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Re: The Worst Books of All Time

The problem with finding the worst books, is most people give up on them before they even finish. Which of course makes it hard to judge something when you don't have the whole picture.

Now if we include poets, it is hard to beat William McGonagall. Woof!
Old 12-24-09, 10:43 AM
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Re: The Worst Books of All Time

The actual "Worst Books of All Time" are never even published. Read fan fiction or similar to experience truly atrocious writing.
Old 12-24-09, 10:50 AM
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Re: The Worst Books of All Time

I think, in order to get eyeballs, they're rattling off books that are sort of famous; books that even people who haven't read have at least heard about. If it were a list of truly awful books, no would care about, as no one would have heard of most of those books. I suppose a better title would be "the worst popular books of all time", perhaps topped by the DaVinci Code.
Old 12-25-09, 11:14 PM
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Re: The Worst Books of All Time

That is the worst list of any kind that I have ever seen. Obviously determined by morons or orangutans.
Old 12-26-09, 12:21 PM
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Re: The Worst Books of All Time

This list is incomplete without Silas Marner and The Return of the Native.
Old 12-26-09, 04:06 PM
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Re: The Worst Books of All Time

Originally Posted by Hank Ringworm
That is the worst list of any kind that I have ever seen. Obviously determined by morons or orangutans.
Or moronic orangutans; give credit to the intellectually-sound orangutan!
Old 12-26-09, 09:32 PM
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Re: The Worst Books of All Time

Originally Posted by slop101
I suppose a better title would be "the worst popular books of all time"
The problem with that list is that it would be solely populated with James Patterson novels.
Old 12-28-09, 02:05 AM
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Re: The Worst Books of All Time

Originally Posted by Groucho
The actual "Worst Books of All Time" are never even published. Read fan fiction or similar to experience truly atrocious writing.
I haven't actually read this one, but it's infamous:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eye_of_argon

Last edited by dugan; 12-28-09 at 02:36 AM.
Old 12-28-09, 12:29 PM
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Re: The Worst Books of All Time

Originally Posted by Groucho
The actual "Worst Books of All Time" are never even published. Read fan fiction or similar to experience truly atrocious writing.
That's really unfair. How you can not enjoy reading about a four-way Hobbit fuckfest in Rivendell?
Old 01-06-10, 07:53 PM
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Re: The Worst Books of All Time

That list seems like it's made by people who hate something that they haven't read. I'll be honest and say I have a strong anti-ness about the Twilight books, but I've never read them. The Secret is another one of those types of books that people just hate because, even if they've never picked it up. The rest is just a bunch of 20 and 30 somethings taking digs on the books they had to read in middle and high school. Silly list.

I will say the worst book I read this decade was Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn. People on amazon like it well enough, but I had an almost violent reaction to that book's story. So much so that I almost want to read it again to see if I really hated the book, or if I was just reading it at a weird time in my life. Normally, I don't hate books, I just get a general sense of "blah" about something that isn't good. I think that's because I'm doing a lot of the work, so even if a book isn't good, I'm using my imagination to make things how I want them (how i imagine the characters, the voices, etc), which makes even the worst book more tolerable than the worst movies or tv shows.
Old 01-10-10, 11:36 AM
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Re: The Worst Books of All Time

Originally Posted by dugan
I haven't actually read this one, but it's infamous:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eye_of_argon
The Eye of Argon is worth reading. The writing isn't merely bad . . . the world is full of bad authors. No one would have remembered it if it didn't offer more.

It's entertaining and well-paced, it includes every known sword-and-sorcery cliche stacked up like a deck of cards, and it has turns of phrase that would have made you wince before you ever knew about good writing. It also ends abruptly after about twenty pages, when the joke has worn out its welcome.
Old 01-10-10, 03:13 PM
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Re: The Worst Books of All Time

I was about 1/4 through Eragon before I realized it was a blatant Star Wars rip-off and decided not to continue.

The last two Hannibal Lecter novels by Thomas Harris were atrocious to the point the movies were a step upward.
Old 01-10-10, 07:52 PM
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Re: The Worst Books of All Time

I was about 1/4 through Star Wars before I realized it was a blatant Hidden Fortress rip-off...
Old 01-14-10, 08:37 PM
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Re: The Worst Books of All Time

Lord of the Flies is Number 13? what?

Sounds like some kids are still angry about their homework assignment
Old 01-18-10, 08:27 PM
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Re: The Worst Books of All Time

While I disagree with many of the picks on this list, there are several with which I definitely agree. Apologies to those who love them, but I personally find My Sister's Keeper and Twilight to be awful. Jodi Picoult writes very well and creates memorable characters, but her work after the late '90s has become repetitive (every book turns into a courtroom drama), and My Sister's Keeper has an ending so ludicrous and infuriating that I literally threw the book at the wall.

Twilight is just a bad book, period. The characters are two-dimensional. The dialogue is wooden. Every time Bella described Edward as "perfect" (about 500 times it seemed) without a shred of reasoning for why he was "perfect," I rolled my eyes. The book reads like something written by a 15-year-old who has never been in a real relationship. I pride myself on finished the books I start, and I slogged through Twilight, but I wanted to quit. The only saving grace was Meyer's well-thought-out twists on the vampire myth. I found her angle on that interesting.

I am a bit of a book snob, but I do enjoy popular fiction (Stephen King, Sophie Kinsella and Jennifer Weiner are a few of the authors I read regularly). I just think these two books have serious issues!
Old 01-25-10, 07:12 PM
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Re: The Worst Books of All Time

This is very difficult because, of course, how do you choose the worst books when few of us have heard of or read the vast majority of books. Maybe we can debate the most overrated books.
Old 01-28-10, 11:33 AM
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Originally Posted by terrible chong
Lord of the Flies is Number 13? what?

Sounds like some kids are still angry about their homework assignment
I confess that I was assigned Lord of the Flies and hated it. I don't get the love some have for the book. But it has been more than four decades since I've read it, so I don't really consider myself a "kid" anymore. Nevertheless, the hate for Lord of the Flies remains...

Originally Posted by lamphorn
This is very difficult because, of course, how do you choose the worst books when few of us have heard of or read the vast majority of books. Maybe we can debate the most overrated books.
I think you have that right. "Most overrated" makes much more sense. In addition to LotF mentioned above, I am going to nominate that old standby Catcher in the Rye. It is one of only a couple of books, out of many hundreds, I got so disgusted with that I didn't finish it. I found Holden Caufield a completely unsympathetic character and had no patience for his story. So, I didn't "get" it, I guess.
Old 01-28-10, 12:16 PM
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Re: The Worst Books of All Time

This list makes no sense. First of all, there's over 2,000 entries; second, there's no explanation of what makes these the worst books of all time. They should just rename it Worst Authors of All Time, because that seems more in line with the mission of their list.

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