The Sword and Laser discussion

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What books make you - want to toss it across the room

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message 1: by Stan (new)

Stan Slaughter | 359 comments I can think of only one (genera) book which I have ever read which left me so disgusted that I actually threw it across the room and swore never to read anything by that author ever again.

The Fata Morgana by Leo Frankowski

I totally agree with one of the reviewers when he said,

"..It started out promising, I thought - I enjoyed what appeared to be a quirky writing style and interesting main character. Don't be fooled by these first pages, however. The writing quickly turns into hackneyed schlock. The plot becomes a teenage boy's wet dream (literally - the main character remarks on how low-cut one female character's dress is, and revels in the fact that it even shows the tops of her nipples)..."

Anybody else ever read a genera related book which generated the same reaction ?


message 2: by Halbot42 (new)

Halbot42 | 185 comments After i read the idiotic Sword book that attempted to indict communism i sold the whole damn series to the bookstore. Just sad to see where he went with what started out fairly cool. How bout frakking twilight i read about 50 pages of that crap before dropping and laughing, and i read alot of crappy vamp fiction.
Last few Anita Blake books have been lame porn, with way too much detail about the guys and hardly any zombie slashing, dull but i havent tossed yet, the book that is


message 3: by Kevin (new)

Kevin Ashby | 111 comments "The Kite Runner" by Khaled Housseini. Not because it was bad, it was in fact a wonderful book. But an event at the end of the book so angered me that I actually flung the book against the wall in disgust.

Khaled Housseini . . . you sir, are an asshole. (but an excellent writer).


message 4: by Matthew (new)

Matthew Cranley | 20 comments There have been a couple that I can think of one is by Fiona McIntosh and her Percheron trilogy. It was one of those series where everyhing goes wrong for the books main character, nothing goes right, nothing at all. I came so close to throwing it against the wall, and have culled the series from my collection, in fact if anyone wants the books after my glowing review, I am happy to give them to someone.


message 5: by terpkristin (new)

terpkristin | 3794 comments Kevin wrote: ""The Kite Runner" by Khaled Housseini. Not because it was bad, it was in fact a wonderful book. But an event at the end of the book so angered me that I actually flung the book against the wall in disgust.

Khaled Housseini . . . you sir, are an asshole. (but an excellent writer). "


That was a great book. It was also one that was, in many times, extremely difficult to read, and one I'll never read again.


message 6: by Tamahome (new)

Tamahome | 5224 comments Kevin wrote: ""The Kite Runner" by Khaled Housseini. Not because it was bad, it was in fact a wonderful book. But an event at the end of the book so angered me that I actually flung the book against the wall in ..."

Sounds like Iain M. Bank's Use of Weapons.


message 7: by Sean (new)

Sean O'Hara (seanohara) | 2353 comments Stan wrote: "I can think of only one (genera) book which I have ever read which left me so disgusted that I actually threw it across the room and swore never to read anything by that author ever again.

The Fata Morgana by Leo Frankowski"


You're probably a liberal, feminist or homosexual -- at least, that's who Frankowski says hate his books:

If you admire people who have intelligence, courage, and drive; if you like heroes who are tough and competent, but also decent; if you care about humanity, love the ladies, and give a damn about your country; well, then, you'll probably like my stuff. If you are a Feminist, with their desire for all the benefits and none of the responsibilities of citizenship; if you are a Liberal who thinks that productive people exist for the sole purpose of supporting non-productive people (and most especially Liberals); if you think that Political Correctness is just wonderful, and that The Cult of The Victim is justice----

Well then, you'd probably be a lot happier spending your money somewhere else.


Luckily, I read that before buying any of his books.


Jenny (Reading Envy) (readingenvy) | 2420 comments Wetlands has got to be the single book I had the most visceral reaction to. Ugh.

Moby-Dick or, The Whale got thrown across the room because I would be reading about these characters and then end up confronted with a chapter on the bone structure of whales, or the history of the whaling industry, and it just made me want to kill myself or Melville. I did read the entire book, but his obsession made me crazy.


message 9: by Will (last edited Sep 06, 2010 03:44AM) (new)

Will (w13rdo) | 37 comments RE: Frankowski

Yeah, have to say that kind of jacket would send me looking in another section. I can handle the opinionated, even those that disagree with me, but someone who wishes to preach only to their choir misses the point of literature.


message 10: by Remington (new)

Remington | 38 comments Jenny wrote: Moby-Dick or, The Whale got thrown across the room because I would be reading about t..."

I completely agree. I couldn't finish the damn book because, once I finally started to get into the story, one of these chapters about the whaling industry would pop up and slam on the breaks.


message 11: by Al (new)

Al | 159 comments Try listening to Moby Dick (I think Audible ended up with the old red & white Books on Tape stuff). I gave up reading it a few times and then tried listening to it. The digressions ended up being some of my favorite parts!


message 12: by Welwyn (new)

Welwyn Wilton Katz | 46 comments I threw "Dr. Turtle's Babies" across the room once when my daughter hadn't sleep for four months and the book said it was my fault.


message 13: by Melissa (new)

Melissa Railey | 4 comments I did toss Gone with the Wind across the room - all 1057 pages of hardback. It hit the wall, knocked a picture off the other side and broke it. I was 14 and convinced the book would have a different ending than the movie. Alas, it didn't.


message 14: by Paul (new)

Paul (PaulCavanaugh) | 51 comments So, I'm a programmer, all the academic foofa, too, and enjoy sf and techno-thrillers when they use computers in interesting new ways (e.g. Gibson, Stross). Twice I've tossed books across the room, or at least dashed them to the floor and stomped on them. One was Tom Clancy's first "Op Center" (I think that was the name) in which he wrote about the protagonists deciphering some computer bitstream that was coded in binhex. Which doesn't exist. Binary and hexadecimal? He was trying for verisimilitude there, too -- but he grabbed the name of a file compression tool used on Apple back then and he was using an Apple to write with -- he used it probably because it sounded cool. Then Dan Brown has this Digital Fortress with a completely bonkers supercomputer and very aggravating notion of encryption. Hey, guys, just a little research?
That was all a while ago. My memories dim...

Moby Dick people: get an electric fan, an aerosol filed with salt water, and a CD of whale songs. And practice cleaning grouper. The techno-whale parts will be much more fun.

Welwyn, I would think after four months your daughter would've been really tired.


message 15: by Robert (new)

Robert | 6 comments Late in reply - but the ones that really make me want to toss 'em are the pseudo-intellectual-historical nonsense like The Da Vinci Code; make it maybe 5-10 pages into it and the inaccuracies made me return it directly to the library (wasn't going to waste a nickel on it - but my sister urged me to read it).


message 16: by Brian (new)

Brian | 67 comments I would throw George RR Martin's book A Dance with Dragons across the room and hit the the wall to the north. Then I would pick it up and read it. That was for making me wait.


message 17: by Paul (new)

Paul (PaulCavanaugh) | 51 comments Arrgh! After the last post, another book came back to me, no doubt a nightmare when I was asleep. Temple by Matthew Reilly -- now, I have had fun with a bunch of his books (Contest comes to mind) but this! I couldn't actually throw it across the room because it was a library book, but I came close. MR starts of with a Jesuit monastery, an abbey, complete with Jesuit monks, in the Pyrenees. Now, before I devolved into a programmer, I actually was a Jesuit. THERE ARE NO JESUIT MONKS. Or ABBEYS. Despite any of the faults of the Jesuits and the Catholic Church, by golly, the Jesuits tried to live in the secular world and interact. Abbeys, hah! As before, come on writers, do a little research! (Jesuits tend to have residences, and don't stick them in completely out of the way places like deep in the Pyrenees. Carthusian? Carmelites? Maybe.)

I got ten pages in before I (nearly) tossed the book across the room.

And for all us ebookers...how the heck can we have a satisfying visceral response to a book without throwing the ereader? $7 dollar paperback and $10 drywall repair--okay. $100 plus ereader? I don't think so.


Jenny (Reading Envy) (readingenvy) | 2420 comments Maybe delete it very dramatically?


message 19: by Micah (new)

Micah (onemorebaker) | 1071 comments Jenny wrote: "Maybe delete it very dramatically?"

That made me laugh out loud....that is all!


message 20: by terpkristin (new)

terpkristin | 3794 comments Funny Dan Brown is mentioned. I didn't mind DaVinci Code and Angels & Demons, but I took them for what they were--cheap entertainment.

But when The Lost Symbol started with Langdon seeing the Washington Monument en route to Dulles Airport from the New England area, I got annoyed. Then when he said it took 20 minutes to get downtown, I was even more annoyed. By the time the constant references to Twitter and Blackberry devices came, I was beyond annoyed. And when the book had a place where it SHOULD have ended, and it went on for about 50 pages more, I realized that any shark that had been left was jumped.


message 21: by Michael (new)

Michael Minutillo (wolfbyte) Royal wrote: "I would throw George RR Martin's book A Dance with Dragons across the room and hit the the wall to the north. Then I would pick it up and read it. That was for making me wait."

Indeed. The previous book was hurled a few times for showing tantalizing glimpses of what was going on with my favorite characters (such as them being murdered) but never showing me them directly and instead presenting frustratingly annoying stories featuring ALL of the characters I couldn't give 7 hoots (allowing for inflation) about.


message 22: by Michael (new)

Michael Minutillo (wolfbyte) Paul wrote: "Arrgh! After the last post, another book came back to me, no doubt a nightmare when I was asleep. Temple by Matthew Reilly -- now, I have had fun with a bunch of his bo..."

Yeah, I enjoyed Ice Station because it sauntered up to the edge of the believability cliff and danced a jig on the edge. That is, it was silly but fun and I accepted it as such. When I started Temple I got about 100 pages in and realized that I was reading a book about a guy reading a book and I gave it up. All other Matthew Reilly books I've tried I've given up. They seem a little too pulpy and I end up ditching them with extreme Whisky Tango Foxtrot!


message 23: by Patrick (new)

Patrick (halfadd3r) I'm pretty close to doing that with The Magicians. It reminds me of a HORRIBLE movie called Meet the Feebles, which took the early Muppet show episodes and "dirtied" it.

Why can't some things be innocent and fun without someone feeling it needs to be made "gritty" or "realistic"?

I liked Harry Potter (though I dislike the eponymous character) a lot, and this story is, so far, just ripping it without reason.


message 24: by terpkristin (new)

terpkristin | 3794 comments Wasn't Meet the Feebles a Peter Jackson flick?


message 25: by Tamahome (new)

Tamahome | 5224 comments Michael wrote: "Yeah, I enjoyed Ice Station because it sauntered up to the edge of the believability cliff and danced a jig on the edge."

Ice Station Zebra? Good flick.


message 26: by Patrick (new)

Patrick (halfadd3r) terpkristin wrote: "Wasn't Meet the Feebles a Peter Jackson flick?"

Yes...yes it was. Ye gods! Had I known that I probably would have avoided LOTR. I'm amazed at the difference between the two! LOTR is so well done.

Actually my only complaint about the series was that they glossed over the "good" side. Too much of the elvish lands and other people's were cut out (Tom Bombadil, Beron, ect)


message 27: by Stan (new)

Stan Slaughter | 359 comments Patrick wrote: "I'm pretty close to doing that with The Magicians....Why can't some things be innocent and fun without someone feeling it needs to be made "gritty" or "realistic"?..."

Well - when the synopsis of the book starts with:

"Mixing the magic of beloved children's fantasy classics (from Narnia and Oz to Harry Potter and Earthsea) with the sex, excess, angst, and anticlimax of life in college and beyond..."


message 28: by Paul (new)

Paul (PaulCavanaugh) | 51 comments Indeed, Stan is on the mark. I didn't actually throw The Magicians, I just gave up halfway through and gave it to our daughter. Let her throw it across her room.


message 29: by Jennifer (last edited Sep 17, 2010 04:16AM) (new)

Jennifer Cavanaugh (jcavanaugh) Paul wrote: "Indeed, Stan is on the mark. I didn't actually throw The Magicians, I just gave up halfway through and gave it to our daughter. Let her throw it across her room."

Yeah...so I made it halfway through before that happened. I liked the first third...but, seriously? I don't even want to donate The Magicians to the library lest some poor soul reads it. Blech. Thanks, dad. No more book hand-offs from you.


message 30: by Bill (new)

Bill | 2 comments The beginning of the Magicians had promise, but I just couldn't bring myself to finish it. There are too many books I want to read to take the time to finish one where I don't care about, or come to distain, every character in the book.


message 31: by Bill (new)

Bill | 2 comments I actually did throw Thomas Harris's "Hannable" at the wall. And then in the trash. Sure, let's have Clarice do a complete personality shift in the last two chapters (after consistent characterization through 1 and 7/8 books) and call that a clever ending. Awful.


message 32: by Mike (new)

Mike Basinger (technoviking) | 11 comments The parts of Lucifer's Hammer where it showed its age and 70s attitude.


message 33: by Andre (last edited Sep 22, 2010 04:47AM) (new)

Andre (andreb) | 34 comments One Hundred Years of Solitude, I finally just gave up on it. I found it more interesting to read about the book, than it was to read the actual book.


message 34: by Micah (new)

Micah (onemorebaker) | 1071 comments I just finished Chronicles: Volume One by Bob Dylan. This book made me want to throw it across the room multiple times. It is written out of order and does not give years or dates. Even if you lived thorough that time period (late '50s- early '90s) you will have no idea of when or where the heck he is writing about. Totally incomprehensible. Unfortunately the book was on audio and the most I could do was turn it off by pressing the button very forcefully.


message 35: by Ricky (new)

Ricky Bates | 14 comments Pretty much anything by Stephen King for me. I spent the last 10 years trying to read The Stand. I'm on Chapter 18. I can't even bring myself to read it in comic book form :(


message 36: by Glen (new)

Glen | 10 comments My least favorite is Lord Foul's Bane. I don't mind some anti-heroes (Elric for instance) but I really couldn't stand this one.


message 37: by Alan (new)

Alan (professoralan) | 72 comments my weakness as a reader is the ability to NOT FINISH what I've started. Too much time spent reading books I WISH I had tossed across the room!


message 38: by Stan (new)

Stan Slaughter | 359 comments Alan - if you want practice at the book tossing - read The Fata Morgana by by Leo Frankowski and you'll learn how to toss books like the big guys !


message 39: by Chris (new)

Chris Maler | 11 comments Anything by David Eddings...my god those Belgariad stories are utter garbage.


message 40: by David (new)

David | 2 comments A Storm of Swords by George Martin. By the end of this thing, I was ready to throw the *author* across the room.


message 41: by Matthew (new)

Matthew (masupert) | 209 comments Chris wrote: "Anything by David Eddings...my god those Belgariad stories are utter garbage."

Here, Here to that.

In August and September I was trying to make my way through
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. I could not believe how this made it onto the best seller list. May be it was a translation issue, but if I had to hear the main character talk about how he was going to make a sandwich and some coffee again I was going to scream. Also, why did the author need to take almost two pages to describe the Powerbook that Salander needed to purchase? Who cares!!!!!!

Instead of throwing it across the room I nearly threw it in the trash before I remembered I was borrowing it.


message 42: by Brett (new)

Brett McNew | 35 comments Any of the Twilight books. I decided to give it a chance, since adults I knew were saying they were good. If I want whiney, hormonal, lovesick teenagers I'll turn on the CW. I was listening to the audio so, I saved my ipod from my wrath, and just deleted the file.


message 43: by John (new)

John (jacor) Tigana, not because it is poorly written, but because the arrogance of the characters infuriated me. This is one of the few books I started but did not finish.


message 44: by Michael (new)

Michael Mitsuda | 15 comments Two books I can think of right now:

1) Lord of the Rings Trilogy that was one one bound book... Yeah, I hated reading the whole series! Took me over a year to finish it. Then I left it on the community bookshelf at my local coffee shop. The only reason why I finished it at all was because I paid full price for the book.

2) Shelters of Stone by Jean Auel... Waited years for this book and... Nothing of substance occurred! Let a co-worker 'borrow' this hardcover that I bought the first day it was out... The ONLY thing I miss about this book is the $1.00 I could of gotten from the used book store! This was such a tragic book that I am not sure I am going to buy Land of Painted Caves when it comes out in March '11.


message 45: by Alexander (new)

Alexander Draganov (darthsparhawk) I can't read books in which I fail to relate with the characters. I can't read fundie books, especially rightwing.
But I hate books in which everything seems to be cool, but then the plot is moving so slow that I have to give up. :(


message 46: by Serenity (new)

Serenity (Wren88) | 8 comments Halbot42 wrote: "After i read the idiotic Sword book that attempted to indict communism i sold the whole damn series to the bookstore. Just sad to see where he went with what started out fairly cool. How bout frak..."

I keep holding out hope that Hamilton will get back to some decent vampire staking and zombie bashing. I'm really tired to the books being all about Anita's love-life woes. I've thought about putting the series down; however, I've never been one who could just stop before a series is finished. I might stop for a while, but I always come back.


message 47: by Serenity (new)

Serenity (Wren88) | 8 comments "Great Expectations" is the one I wanted to just BURN! I had such a hard time getting through the self-entitled crap that I thought about just letting myself fail that part of Sophomore English. In the end I pulled myself through it and even aced the final test, but it pushed me to my limits.


message 48: by David Sven (new)

David Sven (gorro) | 1582 comments The ending to the last book in Stephen King's Dark Tower Series. Then I went ahead and listened to all 7 books again on audio book. It was one of those stories where the fun was in the journey and I didn't really want it to end.


message 49: by Matt (new)

Matt | 29 comments Battlefield Earth. I checked it out of the library, read several hundred pages constantly thinking this has to get better. returned it feeling I had overpaid for it.


message 50: by Todd (new)

Todd (tbschaus) Anything by Dan Brown.


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