The WTF? Book Club discussion

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message 1: by Richard (new)

Richard | 47 comments Mod
So often, you pick up a book while doing some random shopping in Borders, Waterstones or where ever you tend to buy books and get drawn in by what such and such a body said who works for the Guardian or one of those shiny Richard & Judy stickers (personally they are more a warning sign for myself).

So after you have been blown away by the praise laid upon the book, you pick it up only to find out it sucks big time!! :banghead:

With this in mind I just wondered what books are worth avoiding.

For me recently it would have to be

Donna Tartt - The Little Friend, 555 pages later and you feel like little has been achived

Tom Wolfe - I am Charlotte Simmons Horrible ending which made me want to throw it across the room and characters that you just want to throttle the life out of

Nick Hornby - How to be Good I love his other books, but this was just a big disapointment and the young daughter was plain irritating.

Dan Brown - Angels & Demons Ok to be honest this was an enjoyable piece of Airport trash and worth picking up, its just he throws it away on the last 50 pages with all that stuff with the character jumping out of the helicopter, which kinda made me think "Errr yeah right"

Ok so whats yours??


message 2: by Gracebukowski (new)

Gracebukowski | 8 comments I will actually have to think on this and get back to you... however one does stick out. snuff by palahniuk. I love his books so much for the disgusting detail and the endings. Snuff seemed to only go for shock appeal. and while I'm on chuck... Pygmy, as well. The dialect format makes it impossible to get into further than the first chapter. I push through a book even if its not that great... pygmy is the exception to that rule.


message 3: by Richard (new)

Richard | 47 comments Mod
I would say that I only really didn't like "Diary" or "Tell All" when it comes to Palahniuk, both which just felt so lazily written, while I actually liked the randomness of "Snuff" even with it's totally bizarre ending. "Pygmy" is really just another example of the experimental nature of his writing, especially with his later books which frequently see him playing around with writing styles, though I can see how frustrating his attempt at writing in broken English could be.


message 4: by Gracebukowski (new)

Gracebukowski | 8 comments really? diary?? I love diary. I am actually getting ready to ramp up on a chuck marathon. Every two years I go through and reread them all... all except pygmy(lost along the years, not heartbroken) and survivor. I loved survivor.. I read up until the last 30 pages and my dog used it as a chew toy while I was at work. I finished it by piecing the torn up pages. I looked ridiculous/crazy reading my pile of page bits. Worth it.


message 5: by Richard (new)

Richard | 47 comments Mod
I think it's because "Diary" just feels like a rip off of "Rosemary's Baby" also "Lullaby" I also struggled to get through, even though it could now not be considered the worst in reflection. For myself he has only recently returned to form with "Damned" which I'm really looking forward to the sequel for which is due to be the next book he releases.


message 6: by Steph (new)

Steph (smulrine) | 10 comments I've not read ANY Palahniuk and have been meaning to for ages! Good to see those I should avoid. Is it really just best to start with the obvious Fight Club?


message 7: by Richard (new)

Richard | 47 comments Mod
"Fight Club" is the one I started with and gives you a gentle introduction to warped world view of Palahniuk. I would follow it with either "Survivor" or "Invisable Monsters" due to them both being written around the same time, though he is an easy author to get into and he appeals to my warped sense of humour :)


message 8: by Gracebukowski (new)

Gracebukowski | 8 comments I still stand by lulliby and diary! I would start with something other than fight club. The twisted endings are chucks bread and butter... but nearly all know fight club. It is an amazing book but I would start with Choke or Invisible monsters.


message 9: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Dennis | 6 comments No book could be worse than Saturday by Ian McEwan. Utter drivel from a half decent writer.


message 10: by Kelly (new)

Kelly Kemp Lullaby is great. I did not like Haunted at all though.


message 11: by Gracebukowski (new)

Gracebukowski | 8 comments I think I liked haunted solely for the story Guts. It evoked such revulsion in me that I instantly loved it. Haha.


message 12: by Richard (new)

Richard | 47 comments Mod
You should join in our book discussion for "Haunted" if you haven't already given your thoughts. Personally I really liked it, especially as it's essentially Chuck playing a game of repulsion one upmanship with himself.

http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/1...


message 13: by Morgenn (new)

Morgenn Hester (maryjannne) | 2 comments I liked the stories for the characters in "Haunted" but overall I didnt enjoy the book. I think it wasnt as good as his other books. I really liked Snuff though. It was a far out story and I loved it.


message 14: by R. (new)

R. Milt (rmiltonquibner) | 2 comments Yes, how Ian McEwan ever got that piece of ... published, I'll never know. "Saturday" is clunky, there's no real development and it's just annoying. Sorry, this one was crap, and yeah, he's better than that.


message 15: by R. (new)

R. Milt (rmiltonquibner) | 2 comments I just finished "Bossypants," by Tina Fey, and while I love her live on SNL, she just shouldn't have written this; it doesn't connect, though there's humour in there but you get the sense she's trying to perform, and in an arena where it just feels like she isn't comfortable. Probably her publicist thought it would be a good idea, 'grab it while you're hot', and I really wanted to like this book but it just falls flat.


message 16: by Wesley (new)

Wesley Clarke | 4 comments Pygmy - just too much work for me, and American Psycho by Bret, just way to much filler. A chapter on genesis? I know I am supposed to like it...


message 17: by Emory's Defunct Profile (last edited Mar 08, 2013 01:02PM) (new)

Emory's Defunct Profile | 3 comments Wesley wrote: "Pygmy - just too much work for me, and American Psycho by Bret, just way to much filler. A chapter on genesis? I know I am supposed to like it..."

I've heard similar things about Pygmy, but American Psycho is intentional in it's boringness/monologues on pointless things such as 80s music and people's clothing. It's part of Bateman's characterization (the book is told in first person, so Ellis put stuff like this directly in the text instead of saying "he was obsessed with conformity and trivial trends", etc. It's the sort of stream-of-consciousness nihilist thing he does in most of his works, not just AP). It is hard to get through at certain parts, but it's there for a reason and the author doesn't expect you to enjoy it, so I wouldn't call it 'filler'. But of course you're entitled to your opinion.


message 18: by Wesley (new)

Wesley Clarke | 4 comments I loved Less than Zero and others of his. You know it might just be the hype. I might have just expected more.


message 19: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Hall | 3 comments You know I thoroughly disliked a history of witches by Deborah Harkness...It was like twilight whiny but for adults, with a slow plot and unremarkable female lead.


message 20: by Andrew (new)

Andrew | 1 comments I'm new to this group. Sharing hates and spitting vitriol seems a charming way to see if we'd get along.

So then: hello, I'm Andrew, and I hate Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Saffran Foer.

In part, I hated it because a lot of other people seemed to like it, and I am bitter and difficult like that.

Mostly, though, I find it mystifying that it is possible to attempt to write a humorous book about the Holocaust and have it end up both unfunny and disrespectful. You would think you'd have to get one or the other right.

I think Saffran Foer mostly pulls it off by being so twee, trying to be cute... the comedy of the book seems predicated on the idea that if you said the sort of things you say to make girls think you are adorably clumsy, but about the Holocaust, that would be funny.

Hello again, seems the best note to end on. On second thought, it must be saying one more time how I hated that book.


message 21: by Christine (new)

Christine | 1 comments For some reason I couldn't get through Rant by Chuck Palahniuk... read maybe a few chapters and didn't even attempt to finish it, just didn't grab me like the other books. Survivor is definitely my favourite, brilliant book. Haunted was another good one, ending was a bit much for me but loved the individual stories all the way through.


The Angry Lawn Gnome (mostlyharmlessreviews) Light by M. John Harrison.

It most certainly did have me saying "WTF?," though not in what I'd consider a positive way. And it had so many elements that would typically appeal to me, I'm still not quite sure why it didn't work. In no particular order:

*Glowing blurb from Neil Gaiman

*Flips from the present to the future

*Time-traveling serial killer

Some spoilers, giving an idea just how loopy this one was:

(view spoiler)

And all that before I bailed about page 150 or so. I mean, what's not to like about that? Yet, I simply couldn't take any more. WTF, indeed. A book I simply couldn't make myself finish, but one that has stuck with me.

And I actually left OUT some more oddities that just occurred to me. The whole thing seemed a bit like Kilgore Trout crossed with Richard Stark crossed with Bret Easton Ellis.


The Angry Lawn Gnome (mostlyharmlessreviews) Richard wrote: "For myself he has only recently returned to form with "Damned" which I'm really looking forward to the sequel for which is due to be the next book he releases. "

I liked Damned the first time I read it, but was more disappointed than anything else by it upon a re-read. Second time through it seemed to me like Chucky P. was more interested in showing the reader how durned clever he is than in doing much else.

Not the vibe I got upon the first reading, I'll admit, though. And Palahnuik does happen to be QUITE clever, but even when the author manages to pull something like that off it still bothers me. Personal foible of mine, probably.


message 24: by Bobby (new)

Bobby Nelson | 2 comments When I heard Damned would follow a dead girl's experience in hell, I said "I'm in"....

It was a let down for me that that it wound up having toilet humor. I prefer the darker tone that you find with Invisible Monsters, Fight Club and Snuff.....

I agree with what Lumpenprole just said as well...


message 25: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan (durtybumz) | 8 comments On the Road kind of sucks.


message 26: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan (durtybumz) | 8 comments Although I can justify its place in this club, as in "WTF am I reading this again for?"


message 27: by Rattling (new)

Rattling | 1 comments Jonathan wrote: "On the Road kind of sucks."

You gave it 4 stars...I think you're just trying to make trouble.


message 28: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan (durtybumz) | 8 comments Oh that was because Jim Morrison loved it and I wanted to appear deep, like the Lizard King.


message 29: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan (durtybumz) | 8 comments I amended that to 2 stars. I ate a whole sleeve of oreos when I was giving out stars that day. I was flying.


message 30: by Risse (new)

Risse | 4 comments have any of you read and finished The Catcher in the Rye? i can't seem to get through it. everytime i pick it up i read a page, maybe 2. it just isnt too appealing to me... ive heard alot of people enjoyed the book but i find myself looking for something else to read. also, Uglies was a little weird to me. i mean maybe because i'd like to live forever ( i have a large list of books to read) and be beautiful at the same time. i just didnt find it realistic.


message 31: by Sam (new)

Sam Funderburk (1sam1) | 7 comments Risse wrote: "have any of you read and finished The Catcher in the Rye? i can't seem to get through it. everytime i pick it up i read a page, maybe 2. it just isnt too appealing to me... ive heard alot of people..."

I agree 100% on The Catcher in the Rye. I read it recently thinking I was missing out. Man, was I wrong.


message 32: by Risse (new)

Risse | 4 comments Sam wrote: "Risse wrote: "have any of you read and finished The Catcher in the Rye? i can't seem to get through it. everytime i pick it up i read a page, maybe 2. it just isnt too appealing to me... ive heard ..."

i feel weird not completing the book but at the same time its so blegh... howd you through the damn thing? haha


message 33: by Sam (new)

Sam Funderburk (1sam1) | 7 comments Risse wrote: "Sam wrote: "Risse wrote: "have any of you read and finished The Catcher in the Rye? i can't seem to get through it. everytime i pick it up i read a page, maybe 2. it just isnt too appealing to me....."

Shear determination, but it really wasn't worth it other than just to say I've read it. It is a good thing if you don't like the book in my opinion people who can relate to Holden Caulfield should seek psychiatric help.


message 34: by Risse (new)

Risse | 4 comments Sam wrote: "Risse wrote: "Sam wrote: "Risse wrote: "have any of you read and finished The Catcher in the Rye? i can't seem to get through it. everytime i pick it up i read a page, maybe 2. it just isnt too app..."

I've only hit chapter 2 and i don't want to read it anymore haha Holden doesn't seem to be a very interesting character. He's a punk a$$ kid with no depth to his character whatsoever.


message 35: by Sam (new)

Sam Funderburk (1sam1) | 7 comments I totally agree! It blows my mind this is considered classic of American literature.


message 36: by Jenn (new)

Jenn Harris (Reader of Things) Just read a three of Ellen Schreiber's werewolf books for a series review.

Such. Brain-trash.

No words can describe it.


message 37: by Emory's Defunct Profile (last edited Aug 24, 2013 02:03PM) (new)

Emory's Defunct Profile | 3 comments I've read Catcher In The Rye and enjoyed it, but I think it's a hard book to get into for a lot of people because it was meant to represent the thinking of young adults/adolescents at the time- i.e. teens in 1951 would pick up the book and go 'I get this guy completely; his situation is just like my situation', etc. But people reading it 60 years later just don't connect to the character the same way, so he comes off like a spoiled self-obsessed brat most of the time.

However, a classic I REALLY hate is The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. I can't stand Mark Twain or his stupid in-dialect writing.

I haven't tried Uglies, but I've been turned off by pretty much every YA series that's been recommended to me lately (If you honestly like City of Bones and you're over the age of 12 then I fear for you) so I doubt I'll be taking a look at it.


message 38: by Sam (new)

Sam Funderburk (1sam1) | 7 comments Oh also Crash. Just plain horrible.


message 39: by Alex (new)

Alex Vermeulen | 5 comments 50 shades of gray. Just words put together.


message 40: by Richard (new)

Richard | 47 comments Mod
"Vernon God Little" I know people who rave on about this book, but honestly I have made two attempts at it and failed each time to finish it.

I would also note that James Joyce is possibly one of the most overated authors alongside Alan Bennett, whose books recive such unjustified praise.


message 41: by Brittany (new)

Brittany | 2 comments I just finished "Choke" by Palahniuk. I hated every second of it. I started with "Invisible Monsters" and "Damned" and lived them both. I moved on to "Diary" and "Choke" and was less than impressed. I'm starting "Haunted" tonight and I'm hoping it's not a waste of time.


message 42: by Morgenn (new)

Morgenn Hester (maryjannne) | 2 comments Yeah, Choke was bad, but I hated Haunted too. Good luck^.^


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