Books I Loathed discussion

Books I strongly dislike

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message 1: by Rebekka (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:27PM) (new)

Rebekka | 2 comments Nickle and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America by Barbara Ehreneich

For some reason this book pissed me off like crazy reading it. I think it is because this is by a wealthy woman who trully has no idea to be the working poor. She did it for a very short period of time... and gave herself starter money. I give her credit for trying it, but I think this book idea could be written by someone with REAL EXPERIENCE BEING POOR.

Perhaps it is because I am part of the working poor, that I found it in poor taste.

message 2: by Curlykerry (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:27PM) (new)

Curlykerry | 1 comments i agree. couldn't get thru the book.

message 3: by Tara (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:27PM) (new)

Tara (tara_n) | 66 comments The title was enough to turn me off. Now, I'm glad I didn't bother.

I was not a big fan of Queen by Alex Haley. I enjoyed Roots and was just a bit disappointed in the story about Queen. I was also disappointed in the TV movie versions too.

message 4: by Erica (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:27PM) (new)

Erica Poole | 65 comments Queen, yeah, that one was not good, and you are right, the made for tv movie (with Halle Berry) was pretty awful too. Good call!

message 5: by Elizabeth (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:27PM) (new)

Elizabeth Nickel and Dimed was awful. She gave herself start up money for one, as well as "safety money," and got all self-righteous as she began "realizing" how tough it was for the working poor.

Another book I couldn't even get through one chapter is Birdsong by Sebastion Faulks.

message 6: by Rebekka (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:28PM) (new)

Rebekka | 2 comments ooo, Queen... I never made it past the first quarter of that book.

I just thought of another one today:

The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros

Very disconnected by events and subject matter...but according to a few people it is a "classic." Originally I thought it was being written in the style of a journal but it isn't. I think anyone could have written the series of chapters... they aren't even like essay style either. It literally is just a bunch of random things without a story or direction.

message 7: by Summer Rae (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:29PM) (new)

Summer Rae Garcia | 45 comments I just read Nickel and Dimed and I really liked it. I am also a member of the working poor, so was everyone I knew growing up. I waited tables for 12 years, and worked dozens of jobs on the side. I liked the book because it reminded me how hard that life was. No, she couldn't possibly know what it is really like, and I am confident she would admit that. She usually pointed out that she was cheating and that she was lost without her security blankets.

I enjoyed this book so much because I am a full time student now thanks to loans and grants, but I get this nostalgic feeling sometimes that it was easier to just work the daily drudge. That thinking is crazy, and this book reminded me how there was nothing simple about that life, but sometimes I miss the familiarity.

I understand why she can be viewed as this rich lady that tried slumming it in rental cars and hotels, but it was the actual jobs, the figures, and the people that reminded me of what I am still getting away from.

message 8: by Andrea (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:47PM) (new)

Andrea (outlanderbookfan) | 10 comments This is my first post, so forgive me if I am way behind, but I HATED Cold Mountain. I have been waiting years to get that on record somewhere. I am all about metaphor, but this one bordered on the tedious for me. I enjoyed aspects of this book very much, but for the most part I wish I hadn't bothered!

message 9: by Andrea (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:47PM) (new)

Andrea (outlanderbookfan) | 10 comments This is my first post, so forgive me if I am way behind, but I HATED Cold Mountain. I have been waiting years to get that on record somewhere. I am all about metaphor, but this one bordered on the tedious for me. I enjoyed aspects of this book very much, but for the most part I wish I hadn't bothered!

message 10: by Tara (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:47PM) (new)

Tara (tara_n) | 66 comments Lolita was another one I just couldn't get through. I know several people didn't like it because of the subject matter, but I didn't like it cause it dragged on. I felt like I had lost 200 years of my life reading it, and I didn't even finish it. I wasn't really disgusted by it, I just didn't think it was that great a piece of literature. I think I want to read other books by Nabokov though.

message 11: by ABC (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:47PM) (new)

ABC (mary6543) | 10 comments Andrea, I am with you on Cold Mountain. Horribly boring. I forced myself through it, and then wondered why because the ending was pointless.

I've heard the movie was bad, too.

message 12: by Heather (new)

Heather (bigheather) | 5 comments Two books that I finished, but only because they pissed me off so bad:

(1) Wicked - I delayed buying this for a few years because of all the hype, but eventually broke down and bought it in the O'Hare airport for lack of anything else to read during a business trip. The concept of having the Wicked Witch of the West be the sympathetic character was appealing to me, but when she went underground, I was just angry at how badly the author had wasted a perfectly decent main plot idea, and I just wanted to know what it would be that would push the Witch over the edge to make her go after Dorothy & Friends. When I *finally* got to that turn of events, I found it COMPLETELY implausible. And I wasted all my time for THAT?!?!

(2) Angel of Darkness by Caleb Carr, sequel to The Alienist. For not being a mystery fan, I enjoyed the Alienist, mainly becuase of my fondness for historical fiction. Hoping I'd enjoy the 2nd book (same characters, etc), but was very sadly disappointed. Not only did he turn his previously 3-D characters back into 2-D characatures of themselves, his language and grammar style just did NOT fit the persona of the chosen narrator, and it made me VERY angry. I kept reading just to find out how they eventually caught the killer so I could be done with it...

message 13: by Suzanne (new)

Suzanne | 3 comments I agree on Wicked! The premise is fantastic but the execution was...tedious. I got lost somewhere in the plot and I did not care about anyone in the book at all.

Glad to know it was not just me.

message 14: by Tom (new)

Tom I liked the idea of WICKED< but agree that the book itself is sub-par. I wish Angela Carter had stumbled on to that idea.

message 15: by Anna (new)

Anna Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. I thought she was whiny and thought perhaps a good therapist would have been more beneficial--of course, than she wouldn't have made all the money for her book deal!

message 16: by Alie (new)

Alie | 8 comments The Bridges of Madison County
That book about the burned aviator living in a cave.

Everything by Charles Dickens. Stop throwing tomatoes! Just too many words for a short attention span gal...

message 17: by Andrea (new)

Andrea (norareign) Hannibal by Thomas Harris. This was the sequel to Red Dragon and The Silence of the Lambs. This guy only writes one book every eleven years, so I had been waiting a very long time to read it. Plus, I was in college at the time so unassigned reading was a luxury I did not possess. When summer break came along, I grabbed this book with baited breath. The writing was great, same as always. But then Mr. Harris did the unforgivable. He wrote a character into doing something she WOULD NEVER DO. I was so pissed I actually threw the book across the room and I seldom resort to physical violence with inanimate objects. Mr. Harris, on the other hand, had better thank his lucky stars this was not revealed to me as he gave a reading.

message 18: by Kimberly (new)

Kimberly Loser by Jerry Spinelli.
Thirsty by M.T. Anderson.
Who Put That Hair in My Toothbrush? by Jerry Spinelli.

Not a big Jerry Spinelli fan. I have yet to read Wicked though.

message 19: by Rob (last edited Aug 01, 2008 07:56AM) (new)

Rob (kanata) Oh my! I had the exact same reaction about Hannibal by Thomas Harris. I loved that series and then was so disgusted at the way he completely betrayed his own characters. I was so happy that he had written another book and then to just have the lead character act the way that she would never ever ever do ruined my opinion of Harris forever.

message 20: by Spike (new)

Spike | 5 comments Interesting. I felt so entirely betrayed by the characters actions (especially in the end) that I literally threw the book against the wall. I've never done that before or since. A bad book by a bad writer just makes me wince (Mack Bolan series, Nicholas Sparks, Mary Higgins Clark), but Harris is not a bad writer.
I felt betrayed, and not surprised that Jodie Foster refused the role in the sequel. The rumor was she believed Clarice would never act that way.
She was right.


message 21: by Lori (new)

Lori Anderson (lorianderson) Andrea -- ditto on Hannibal. I was majorly disappointed. Right now I'm reading the non-fiction book "The Monster of Florence", and in it they talk about the many times Thomas Harris came to Florence to sit in on trials and take notes -- I would have thought that he could have come up with better stuff in his book because the Monster of Florence was a sicko.

message 22: by Alie (new)

Alie | 8 comments Add me to that list too. Only thing worse than the book was the movie.

Is The Monster of Florence worth the read?

message 23: by Lori (new)

Lori Anderson (lorianderson) I just finished it last night -- it was interesting, but not spell-binding. It was very detailed about the process of finding the Monster, rather than what the Monster did. The details of the murders weren't the focus at all.

David Preston went to Florence to reseach a novel and by chance moved into a villa right next to a vineyard where one of the murders took place, and he and an Italian journalist, Spezi, met up and decided to write a book about the Monster.

There was a lot of information about how the Italian police force worked (or didn't work!) and there were multiple arrests and jailings but they were never (?) the right person. And in the end, even Spezi and Preston were under suspicion.

message 24: by Andrea (new)

Andrea (norareign) Well, Monster of Florence sounds interesting. I am glad to hear that others were as offended as I was by an author just abandoning such a wonderful character they had created. I had forgotten that Jodie Foster refused to do the second film for this reason, but I completely stand by her decision. Hannibal Rising was okay (interesting to learn about Hannibal's youth), but I was oh-so-leery when I picked it up. My expectations were as low as they could be (probably like Spike's when he picks up a Nicholas Spark's novel). Such a shame!

message 25: by Fire-fish (last edited Aug 11, 2008 05:51AM) (new)

Fire-fish | 6 comments I really Hated "World According to Garp" by John Irving. I have read another book by him and seen a movie and they were alright, in this one he runs out of ideas very soon but writes about everything that he hates in people making them only-negative to the point of absurd. The main character is a very miserable person who has no job and no talent for anything, marries a girl who liked him "because he wants to have a free time instead of looking for sex and tired of getting syphilis".
The book is more dity then Henry Miller, more perverse then Justine, more boring then Leo Tolstoy - and the story line is fake. It is a shame to sell this piece of crap.

message 26: by Tom (new)

Tom Sorry folks, I love HANNIBAL. I saw it as Thomas Harris' comment on the culture that turns Hannibal Lecter into a pop-culture icon. If we're going to make him into a hero, we shouldn't blame Thomas Harris for rubbing our faces in it.

message 27: by Susan (new)

Susan Lantz (susanlantz) | 4 comments I agree, Tom. I was pretty grossed out by the discussion of Hannibal's little sister. . . but I thought the end was a riot. I have some bosses I'd like to do that to. . .

And besides, Hannibal was the only decent person *in* that book, in his own special way. Too funny.

(I do feel like Thomas Harris was making fun of the people who glorified Lecter. He was also, probably, using the proceeds to pay for a new house or something.)

Too funny.

message 28: by Meghan (new)

Meghan ooh, i hated the historian. it was one of those books i liked for the first 650 pages, then the end was so ridiculously *stupid* -- i was so mad i'd just wasted a *week* reading the damn thing that it was all i could talk about for days. what a dumb book.

message 29: by Lori (new)

Lori Anderson (lorianderson) The Historian -- interestingly, the first time I read it I loved it and marked it as one of my favs. I re-read it not long ago and had a hard time with it. Makes me wonder if sometimes it's all about timing, or what book we read right before, that makes the difference.

message 30: by Angela (new)

Angela (bookgirlindc) Women about Town has the distinction of being my hands down least favorite book. I read it all the way through because I actually thought something was going to happen "in just a few pages."


message 31: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie I, too, could not make it past several pages of Wicked. I had tried to read other books by the author, and while I thought they had a great premise, I thought they were terrible. Wicked was just the same. (although the show is fantastic!)

Get ready to condemn me, but I hated Beloved by Toni Morrison. And while we're at it, Brave New World. Three attempts at that book got me nowhere. The funny thing is, when I started teaching at my new school, the room had been emptied out...except for in my closet...a lone copy of Brave New World. It is still sitting up there. Haunting me. Taunting me.

message 32: by Christine (new)

Christine (hatorisblindeye) The Dogs of Babel was so horrible, I felt like throwing the book against the wall when I was done.

message 33: by Jennie (new)

Jennie | 38 comments Wicked was definitely not all it was cracked up to be. I won't say I loathed it, but I felt the premise was much better than the actual book, too.

Put me on the "hated it" list for "The Historian". It was so sloooowww. That's another one where the premise was much better than the book itself.

Did anyone read "Him, Her, Him Again, The End of Him"? That book had excellent reviews printed all over it about how hilarious it was (according to really funny writers, too) and I couldn't stand it. I thought it was so pretentious! "God-Shaped Hole" by Tiffane DiBartolo (sp?) is another one that came highly recommended that I thought was too pretentious for words. How about "Run, Catch, Kiss" by Amy Sohn? Ugh!

Alie, I used to think Dickens was a cure for insomnia when I was in high school, but I read Great Expectations and Tale of Two Cities in the past year and loved both. Maybe someday you'll find you like him, too. Or not.

message 34: by Manuel (last edited Aug 29, 2008 11:03AM) (new)

Manuel | 19 comments In high school they made us read a lot of books for a variety of reasons. As I grew up I learned to appreciate most of them.

The book I loathed with a passion
"A Seperate Peace" by John Knowles.

A piece of crap about teenaged agnst.
The first and ONLY book I would choose to take to a book burning rally.

I didnt find the characters sympathetic or appealing in anyway. When the antagonist dies by falling off a tree, I was acutally glad, his whimpering friend will be free of him.

There are so many other and better books about growing up as a teenager. This book was a total waste of time, space, paper and ink.

message 35: by Tom (new)

Tom For the record, in A SEPARATE PEACE, Finny does not die "by falling off a tree." He survives the fall. Did you even finish the book?

message 36: by Kate (new)

Kate (katiebobus) | 136 comments Mod
Hi Starlight,

I read Him Her Him Again The End of Him. I thought it read as very much a freshman novel. The only thing keeping it from being too pretentious for me was that the narrator was not a smart-ass but was a big mess instead. That kept it innocent or something -- I had enough sympathy for the narrator to read to the end (which was too sudden and not that well constructed).

I LOVE Tale of Two Cities. It's so layered and crazy.

I also loved Wicked, but I read it when it first came out, before I heard any hype about it. Not that that necessarily influences people's opinions, but it seems to influence mine. I thought it was a brilliant concept and I loved the whole political world of Oz.

message 37: by Manuel (new)

Manuel | 19 comments Yes Tom,
I finished the book.
Yes I know he dies later in the hospital from a blood clot.
I was trying to save time by summarizing as much as possible.

I loathed it!!!!

message 38: by Tom (new)

Tom Hey Manuel. Yeah, I know what you mean about swiftly compressing the experience of something you dislike.

I'm not a big fan of the book, either. I didn't loathe it, but I don't think it is a good book to assign to young people.

message 39: by Jennie (new)

Jennie | 38 comments Hi, Kate. I suppose I found some sympathy for the main character, too because I did finish "Him, Her ...". It's probably a book I would have been okay with had it not had such rave reviews attached to it. Sometimes the expectations are too great...

Speaking of, I loved Tale of Two Cities, too! That to me is the perfect example of a book that school almost ruined for me. Is your average 15-year-old really ready for that book? I think no. But, at 34 I loved it. Have you read Great Expectations? I think I actually liked that more.

message 40: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (mayflowrs05) Citizen Girl- by Emma McLaughlin .
i was tired with this book about half way through. half price books owns it now.

message 41: by April (new)

April (escapegal) | 4 comments A Million Little Pieces. I hated this book so much, it is the only book I haven't finished EVER, IN MY LIFE. In all my 30 years of reading leading up to this moment have I never loathed a book this badly. You may think this is over the top, but this book made me want to call a dentist, gynecologist and urologist to schedule a root canal, pelvic exam and colonoscopy all at once just to not finish this book.

message 42: by Manuel (new)

Manuel | 19 comments I never read Million Little Pieces, but did your dislike come before or after or during the book scandal between the author and Oprah?

message 43: by Kate (new)

Kate (katiebobus) | 136 comments Mod
Starlight, I tried Great Expectations once or twice and hated it -- but I had to read it when I was younger than I was when I read ToTC. And I have seen stage productions of GE that were FABULOUS, so I can't say for sure I wouldn't like it now.

message 44: by Jennie (new)

Jennie | 38 comments Kate, you may want to try it. I also HATED Great Expectations in school. Since you enjoyed ToTC, GE is probably worth a look. Let me know if you decide to read it. :)

message 45: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie I liked Citizen Girl - I listened to it on audio book. I like how those two women write. Maybe I shouldn't admit that, but I am anyway.

message 46: by April (new)

April (escapegal) | 4 comments Manuel: I picked the book up before, didn't get into it then; and tried again recently. My dislike was in no way urged on by the Oprah craze. I don't watch Oprah and I never even heard all that much about the "scandal" but picked up the book wanting to like it. I just can't.

message 47: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl | 7 comments I loathed 'Beautiful Children' so deeply that I couldn't sleep for days after I finished it. The ending was so...well, the author tries SO hard to be shocking, but it just made me re-read the ending two or three times because I couldn't understand what he was talking about. Just because you write about unsavory people doesn't mean your book is gritty and cool. Reading this was like being in a room full of people you hope to never see again.

message 48: by Erica (new)

Erica | 66 comments Well, that is exactly the sort of identification that is so useful! Thanks so much; I'll never read it. Your time was not completely spent in vain.

There are too many cool/gritty wannabes already.

message 49: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl | 7 comments Erica, you just made me laugh out loud. I guess I took one for the team by reading this! Any recommendations for an actual cool/gritty book? I'm so desperate for something good to read.

message 50: by Heather (new)

Heather | 1 comments I did the same thing-- threw Hannibal across the room. I eventually threw it out. Sometimes it means the work is well written if it makes you angry, but this was not the case. Just an awful ending that made no sense what so ever and destroyed the credibility of everything that came before in the previous books.

I can't even remember if this was in the book (I read it a long time ago but saw the movie again recently), but in Silence of the Lambs there is a brilliant scene where Hannibal strokes her fingers as she takes the file from him through the bars and there is this moment between them. A slight unnerving connection-- it works, it makes you hold your breath. Clarice being his cannibalistic love zombie--oh please.

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