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This 49 message thread spans 4 pages:  < <   1  2  3   4  > >  
  • Re: Worst books ever written
    by Dee at 19:43 on 02 November 2003
    Oh, I can remember my worst ever novel so clearly. It was Barbara Taylor Bradford's first one - can't remember the title. It was a rags to riches job and I was tempted by the hype. I got about a quarter of the way through and made a pact with myself that, if she mentioned emerald green eyes just one more time, I would throw the book on the fire. She did, about three pages later. I've never wilfully destroyed a book before or since but, by god, I got more satisfaction from watching that one burn than I did from reading it.
  • Re: Worst books ever written
    by Account Closed at 22:34 on 02 November 2003
    You burnt a book?!!! Oh, that's sinful!!!
  • Re: Worst books ever written
    by Ticonderoga at 00:35 on 03 November 2003

    Right on, waxy! Read Fahrenheit 451 to fully realise why. Books can easily be judged 'bad', by virtue of cliched character or situation, or lacklustre writing, or hackneyed, derivative plot; but, these judgements can only be made relatively - it's not to do with subjective or objective -; if you've read a great deal, you have far more criteria to employ. All reading is potentially good, because it will probably lead you to more reading. I know someone who, in her late fifties & having read Barbara Taylor Bradford etc. for most of her life, discovered Flaubert, and said to me, 'I've been reading crap all this time.' !

    Worst book? Anything by J Archer & committee!
  • Re: Worst books ever written
    by Account Closed at 15:11 on 03 November 2003
    Hmmm. When it comes to that despicable toad Archer, I'm all for burning authors. Their books can be kept to help with insomnia and in extreme case, euthanasia
  • Re: Worst books ever written
    by Ticonderoga at 16:19 on 03 November 2003

    Brilliant idea for a story - death by reading! Any takers?

  • Re: Worst books ever written
    by Sparrow_splitter at 13:04 on 05 November 2003
    I'm glad not I'm not the only who hated captain c's mandolin. I was so bored reading it that I actually threw it out the window of a train
  • Re: Worst books ever written
    by Caregan at 13:47 on 05 November 2003
    I've just finished reading the fifth Harry Potter book and while I agree it is too long, I don't think it's that bad! I can't see why people get upset about the hype, either - personally, I think it's great that a book can still cause this kind of excitement, especially among kids. OK, the Harry Potter books aren't very original and the fifth one definitely could have done with stronger editing, but I don't think they're badly written and kids love them.

    I work for a publisher who has brought out a very high profile kids book recently, that was 'hyped' not by me! - purely on the strength of the author's fame. Personally (& I don't represent the company in any way when I say this!) I don't think that book is anywhere near as good as the HPs, and the children I know who've read both are discerning enough to know that. They won't read something they don't enjoy, so if they're still eager to read the sixth Harry Potter, then JKR must be doing something right, beyond mere hype.

    But then my least favourite book is Jane Eyre (I really loathe that book!) which everyone else seems to love, so I'm probably not qualified to comment!
  • Re: Worst books ever written
    by Account Closed at 14:44 on 05 November 2003
    Well, like I said it's subjective. I just pray to never be subjected to another load of meandering rubbish like Order of the Phoenix. Ok, the first three were alright (whilst copying wholesale from far better children's books and fairytales), I just found the last two unforgivably formulaic and dull, and frustrating to read as even the action parts (which were few and far between) seemed written by someone half asleep.

    It was as though JK, now being a multi millionairess, has lost both the flavour and the love for the general story.
    If I was a parent, I'd be more keen to introduce my kids to the true classics, such as Narnia, The Hobbit, The Secret Garden etc.
    Far more exciting.

    My main problem with JK is her <snip>. I used to collect these comics by Neil Gaiman, entitled 'The Books of Magic'. I don't know if anyone has read them or even remembered them, but hey presto! the main character was a young boy who found out he was a wizard, and had to be trained up in order to fulfill his destiny as the greatest magician who ever lived. Sound familiar?

    Besides that, I guess the hype is good in the sense that it makes Bloomsbury and JK (and all the associated product line companies, including the movie makers) much much richer.
    Most kids will get into whatever is sold to them as cool.
    Sadly, on this occasion, I think in modern times there has been a general 'dumbing down' of kid's literature than in the past.

    You may ask why I bother to read them? Well, I wanted to see what all teh fuss was about and to have an informed opinion about one of the greatest publishing sensations of our time. Well, now I do, and I've written it above.

    Of course, if you like it, I have no problem with that....

    [Edited by david bruce at 10:00 on 05 November 2003
    edited to avoid us getting sued.]
  • Re: Worst books ever written
    by sue n at 20:40 on 05 November 2003
    Sad person that I am, I loved The God of Small Things, Captain Correlli and the Harry Potters.
    In WH Smith's I bought the LP guide to Cuba in the summer which came with a free novel. It was called 'Losing Gemma' or something like that. The cover said 'If you enjoyed The Beach (which sadly I did) you will enjoy this. It was abandoned on a bus in Cuba.
  • Re: Worst books ever written
    by Ticonderoga at 22:21 on 05 November 2003

    Mr wax,
    Much as it irks me to continue agreeing with, the Potter books are derivative, formulaic, cosy, middle-class garbage ( to avoid the obvious aliteration) & kids would do much better to read Philip Pullman, Lemony Snicket, Louis Sachar, Neil Gaiman - who has a superb new 'children's' book out now -, or The Box of Delights by John Masefield, or The Phantom Tollbooth, or The 13 and a half Lives of Captain Bluebear by Walter Moers, or.......or, anything but H.P. and The Great Imposed Continuing Tedium. Mind you, has anyone looked inside Madonna's ghastly, over-hyped ( surprise) excuse for a children's 'novel'? It's a vapid, vacuous, shallow puerile piece of drivel the length of a shortish short story, padded out with noisome illustration and very thinly spread text. Rant over.

  • Re: Worst books ever written
    by Account Closed at 03:00 on 06 November 2003

    It's refreshing to find another Gaiman fan, and someone who obviously sees the erroneously lauded HP books for what they are - diluted tripe. I think HP is for people who buy one book a year, and don't want children to think for themselves. Poor Harry...isn't that the central theme? Poor, poor, poor Harry...

  • Re: Worst books ever written
    by Ticonderoga at 11:34 on 06 November 2003

    Pauvre, pauvre 'arry. R>I>P> Ha!ha!ha! ad infinitum ad nauseam, ad hoc, per adua ad astra..................



    bugger! that's 'ardua', of course.
  • Re: Worst books ever written
    by Richardwest at 19:16 on 14 December 2003
    Well, I've just found it. (Or rather, been given it as an early Christmas present).

    A prime candidate for the title of Worst Book Ever Written.
    The publishing world's equivalent of 'Plan 9 From Outer Space'.

    Presenting. . .


    So bad you'll want to read it twice (it'll only take an hour at most).

    Author: Michel Houellebecq, apparently an internationally acclaimed award winning French writer. Translation is by Frank Wynne though it might've been better if Ed Wood had still been alive to do it.

    Published in July this year by Heinemann; ISBN: 0434009180, it's all about, er, Lanzarote and in its mighty 100-page span delivers a reading experience the like of which I've never previously encountered. Then again, I've never been in a bad car smash, either.

    Available on Amazon, though as I may soon be selling it there for a quid I wouldn't suggest paying retail.

    Seriously though. . . what state has UK publishing come to when a house like Heinemann can produce such unmitigated trash when so many other authors of manifestly greater talent (i.e., everyone on WriteWords) can't get their work into the marketplace.

    Lanzarote. Read it, and weep. And then realise how unfair you are to keep criticising Jeffrey Archer. . .


  • Re: Worst books ever written
    by Dee at 19:58 on 14 December 2003
    Sounds priceless, Richard.
    Don't sell it. There's still time to wrap it up again and pass it on to someone you're not trying to impress at christmas.
    Glad you don't know my address...
  • Re: Worst books ever written
    by Richardwest at 20:28 on 14 December 2003
    'S all yours Dee! Though truth to tell, I'm, getting so fond of its epic awfulness, I'm beginning to think that getting rid of it is not that good an idea. (I'm also beginning to think the 'author' doesn't exist at all and that it's the pseudonym for a dyslexic goat).

    Bonsoir, mes enfants difficile! Je vais Lanzarote!
  • This 49 message thread spans 4 pages:  < <   1  2  3   4  > >