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Member's Chat > Worst/Most Disappointing Book You've Read This Year?

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message 1: by Terence (new)

Terence (Spocksbro) | 97 comments As Ben remarked in the "Best of the Year" thread, 2009 looms on the horizon and it's time to make New Year's resolutions that won't be kept.

What was the worst and/or most disappointing book you read (or tried to read) this year?

My two nominations are:
Pushing Ice, Alastair Reynolds
The Name of the Wind, Patrick Rothfuss (I couldn't finish this one)

message 2: by Brooke (new)

Brooke The worst book I read this year was Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klaus, I'd owned it for a decade and never got around to reading it, although my friends kept talking about how it was a really great paranormal YA book.

In reality, it was like really, really bad fanfiction.

message 3: by bsc (new)

bsc (bsc0) | 251 comments Most everyone I know loved it, but I just didn't like Little Brother. Never did warm up to the protagonist and overall it just came off as very amateurish.

message 4: by Manuel (new)

Manuel | 49 comments By far the worst book Ive read is "Dies the Fire" by SM Sterling.

too many happy coincidences. An over the top enthusiasim for wiccan and new age philosphy as your family is slaughtered and civilization collapses.

message 5: by Jon (new)

Jon (jonmoss) | 894 comments The one I hated - and I'm going to be flamed for this one - A Game of Thrones. One I couldn't finish, because I hated it, The Gathering.

Other than those two, everything else has been above average if not excellent.

message 6: by Becky (new)

Becky (Beckyofthe19and9) | 731 comments I would have to say that mine would be The Cider House Rules. I read about 100 pages (less than 1/4 of the book) and I kept falling asleep. I just could not get into it at all.

A close second would be The Devil and Miss Prym. I did finish this one, but it was pointless and predictable in my opinion.

message 7: by Nick (new)

Nick (ndoerrabbott) | 55 comments The Host: A Novel

Murky. This has been a great year for new SF titles, but _The Host_, hugely successful commercially, is not one of them.

message 8: by Kevinalbee (new)

Kevinalbee | 188 comments Nick I have to disagree. I really enjoyed the host.

And Jon I can believe there is realy someone else out there that hated game of thrones. It is one of the few books I actually did not finish

message 9: by Jon (new)

Jon (jonmoss) | 894 comments Kevin - the only reason I finished Game of Thrones was because it was a selection here for this group a couple of months ago.

Otherwise, I would have tossed it at page 100 (if not before).

message 10: by Sandi (new)

Sandi (Sandikal) I think Shannon hated "Game of Thrones" too. I didn't hate it, but I didn't love it either.

message 11: by Rusty (new)

Rusty (RustyShackleford) | 27 comments "Down and Out in The Magic Kingdom" - now that was a stinker. It did have the decency to be short, though.

message 12: by Kevin L. (new)

Kevin L. (Imkevbo) | 2 comments Terence?

You didn't fall completely in love with "The Name of the Wind"? WOW! I found the book enthralling from start to finish. I actually read it because I thought the sequel was coming out in November, but having finished I heard the release had been pushed back to '09.

Here's to variety, eh? :o)

message 13: by Leslie Ann (new)

Leslie Ann (LeslieAnn) | 185 comments Only goes to show how subjective taste in books is. I happened to really love [book:A Game of Thrones|13496, but I can understand why some folks wouldn't like it. It has very few of the typical fantasy tropes, except at the very end. Through most of it, it reads like an historical novel set in an alternate Europe.

message 14: by Laurel (new)

Laurel Name of the Wind and Game of Thrones both made my top list for the year. They'd both be books whose sequel I'd be at the store for on release day. But, that's what is great about this site. So many points of view!

My hate this year was Pillars of the Earth. I read more than a third of it, wanting to scream "when does the story start!" before finally putting it down. Everyone says its amazing, but I just couldn't get into it.

To each their own, I guess.

message 15: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (thelastwolf) The Road.
I know many people liked it but I found it boring and monotonous. I thought it would be much better than it actually was. I was highly disappointed.

message 16: by Nick (last edited Dec 05, 2008 01:37PM) (new)

Nick (ndoerrabbott) | 55 comments Jackie wrote: "The Road.
I know many people liked it but I found it boring and monotonous. I thought it would be much better than it actually was. I was highly disappointed."

Agree: for all the Hype, _The Road_ was a knock-off: try _Parable of the Sower_ by Octavia Butler. Better characterization, better prose (this is entirely subjective, but I too found _The Road_ quite...diffuse from a writing style perspective). Lots of other novels out, better written, that tackle the same subjects in _The Road_.

message 17: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (thelastwolf) Nick,
Good to know I'm not the only one who felt that way.

message 18: by Kathryn (new)

Kathryn | 5 comments Fablehaven
I'd heard SO many great things about it, but I found it really annoying and boring--the characters got on my nerves, the descriptions sometimes weren't really that great. The ending saved it a little, but overall I was not impressed and don't plan to read the rest of the series. (Also, I wished there had been more focus on the caretaking of magical creatures.)

message 19: by Kai (new)

Kai (wlow) | 64 comments i absolutely hated The Pillars of the Earth too!

the most disappointing book i read this year was Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto

it was alright, but the only chapter i really liked was the one about star wars and reality bites

message 20: by Sandi (new)

Sandi (Sandikal) I agree with both of you about the road, Jackie and Nick.

message 21: by Brooke (new)

Brooke Me too, regarding The Road

message 22: by Nick (last edited Dec 05, 2008 09:47PM) (new)

Nick (ndoerrabbott) | 55 comments Brooke wrote: "Me too, regarding The Road"

These are both out-of-print, but much better than _The Road_, IMO:


message 23: by Danielle (last edited Dec 06, 2008 07:06AM) (new)

Danielle (queentess) I'd have to nominate Foundation's Fear by Greg Benford. It's the first in a trilogy of post-Asimov Foundation books.

I expected the characters to at least be interesting - they were created by Asimov after all! But the story was poorly written and bloated. I found myself skipping entire chapters just to get to the ending so I could move on to book 2 in the series (written by a different author). I probably only read about 50% of the book.

message 24: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (thelastwolf) Danielle,
I hate Benford! I read his 'Timescape' a few years ago and it was the ONLY time I ever threw a book in the trash. In good conscience, I couldn't inflict it on anyone else. How could someone so talent-less be published?
Maybe the next one will be better since it's a different author.

message 25: by Terence (new)

Terence (Spocksbro) | 97 comments Danielle,

If you're interested in Asimov's Foundation, I'd highly (stratospherically) recommend Donald Kingsbury's Psychohistorical Crisis. Simply brilliant.

I can't guarantee it, but I don't think it would end up on your Worst list.

message 26: by Danielle (new)

Danielle (queentess) Jackie - Glad to know I'm not the only one who didn't like Benford! I haven't read any other books by him; I had hopes that maybe he would be better writing his own characters instead of someone else's. But judging by your post, it's probably for the best if I stay away from him.

Terence - Thanks for the recommendation! I've added it to my list. The title alone sounds intriguing!

message 27: by Jeffrey (new)

Jeffrey | 202 comments The most disappointing books I read were the:

Gatehouse by Nelson DeMille - too long too repetitive and just too unthrilling

While I really loved Game of Thrones, it is Hunter's Run by George Martin and a couple of other sf legends that I hated -- this crappy tale of an alien encounter just has a really unlikeable character

Keepers Child by Leslie Davis - a first novel I picked up at the library again brings into question how librarians pick books -- this novel has a cast of really unlikeable characters and the story is not pleasant

message 28: by Robin (last edited Jan 15, 2009 11:18AM) (new)

Robin (RobinSullivan) | 348 comments Ohhh I love seeing all the "anti-road" sentement. You can heap me on there as well. As for another "well respected book" Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell. Not done with it yet so can't say for sure but it's not looking good for this one. VERY SLOW.

-- Wife of fantasy author Michael J. Sullivan: The Crown Conspiracy | Avempartha (04/09)

message 29: by Wes (new)

Wes | 19 comments It gets much, much better. Give it time.

message 30: by Jeanna (new)

Jeanna | 4 comments Rusty wrote: ""Down and Out in The Magic Kingdom" - now that was a stinker."
I didn't love it either, but I have to say that my husband and I really enjoyed the concept of "whuffy" (plus, it's fun to say!). Now, when we do dishes or clean the car or whatever, we talk about earning whuffy. We're rich!

message 31: by Carolyn (new)

Carolyn (seeford) | 203 comments
I was *really* disappointed by The Last Days of Krypton by Kevin Anderson.

message 32: by Michael (new)

Michael (bigorangemichael) | 189 comments I'm sure I'll incur some wrath on this one, but the last three installments of the "Twilight" series left me cold. I found them utterly disappointing. In fact, my lack of love for the series began in the final third of "Twilight" and Myer never won me back over.

message 33: by Wes (last edited Jan 21, 2009 05:28PM) (new)

Wes | 19 comments I didn't read those but The Host A Novel was disappointing to say the least.

message 34: by Wes (last edited Jan 21, 2009 06:07PM) (new)

Wes | 19 comments I also completely disagree with the original poster. I just finished The Name of the Wind in one of the most satisfying late night reads I've had in years. At first, there were some eyeroll inducing moments, but I found myself coming around to like the young Kvothe and really dug into the story at the University. Can't wait for the second installment.

message 35: by Ryan (new)

Ryan | 27 comments It's not sci-fi, but I considered Anthony Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly to be fantasy. I didn't believe five-sixths of his tales of sordid food-related affairs, and his writing was packed with too much ridiculous alpha-male posing and faux self-deprecation. Plus, it was riddled with typos. Ugh.

To snag some other threads: I got stuck halfway through The Host , thought The Name of the Wind was probably the best book I read last year (twice), enjoyed The Road (even if the Pulitzer committee plays favorites to grammar-busters and format-flaunters: see The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao), and have been meaning to start something by George R. R. Martin, but am holding out until I find a copy of the first book in the Wild Cards series he edited.

message 36: by Kevinalbee (new)

Kevinalbee | 188 comments Wes wrote: "I didn't read those but The Host A Novel was disappointing to say the least."

I am suprized to here this but it takes all kinds. I realy liked the Host. it was the first meyers book I read and I look forward to more. having devoured teh twilight series.

message 37: by Carolyn (new)

Carolyn (seeford) | 203 comments Ryan wrote: "and have been meaning to start something by George R. R. Martin, but am holding out until I find a copy of the first book in the Wild Cards series he edited."

I loved that series! I think I read the first seven or so of them, then I fell off the wagon.

message 38: by Liz (last edited Jan 22, 2009 12:36PM) (new)

Liz (Vorlizzie) | 13 comments I picked up Devices and Desires, by K. J. Parker, in my library and was interested in it for about fifty pages before I began to get impatient with the author to actually start caring about any of the characters. I just never got the impression that the author was remotely interested in these people. I could barely get through it because I had no connection to anyone at all in the book.

message 39: by Mitchell (new)

Mitchell (mbjorgensen) | 3 comments Brooke wrote: "The worst book I read this year was Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Kla..."

Oooh gotta disagree on that one. I spotted the book about a decade ago and never got to it either. When the movie came out I was interested again but when given the choice I always watch the movie then read the book. I actually thought the ending to the book made a lot more sense than the ending to the movie, although I still liked the movie too. Guess I am not that discerning. It wasn't spectacular fiction I agree. I like In the Forests of the Night quite a bit better and liked Blood Trail as a treatment of Werewolves better although Tanya Huff can be a bit more than I normally suggest for YA.

message 40: by Christopher (new)

Christopher | 41 comments The Black Company by Glen Cook. A friend swore by it, and I gave it a good solid 150 pages before I put it down in utter disgust.

I've known sixth graders with better writing skills.

message 41: by Deanna (new)

Deanna | 30 comments The worst so far...The Mirrored Heavens and The Dreaming Void...Had to put them both down as a maybe finish when I have absolutely NOTHING left to read. Best so far, Princeps Fury and Wizards First Rule.

message 42: by Cassie (new)

Cassie (cassielo) | 36 comments Mine carries over from 2008. I am STILL trying to get through the Eye of the World and it is not working. I'm going to give up eventually, I just keep hoping it'll get easier to read.

message 43: by Lori (new)

Lori Terence, haven't yet read Pushing ice, I saw that got meh ratings and reviews, and I don't want to destroy my fondness for Reynolds. Thus I'll pass.

message 44: by Harrison (new)

Harrison | 6 comments I came into reading Anathem with extremely high expectations, but no matter how hard I tried I just couldn't get into it. maybe I will take a crack at it again later, but as it stands now it is one of my biggest disappointments.

message 45: by John (new)

John Beachem | 50 comments I'd have to go with [Book: Way of the Wolf] by Eric Knight. Man oh man... I can't believe there are about a dozen more books in that series.

message 46: by John (new)

John Beachem | 50 comments Oh, almost forgot one. Scott Gamboe's [Book: The Piaras Legacy]. It was like reading a D&D campaign, complete with descriptions of the critters' powers and weaknesses. Ye Gods.

message 47: by Catamorandi (new)

Catamorandi (wwwgoodreadscomprofilerandi) I have to agree with all of those who picked The Road. It was a total wipe out. I was very disappointed.

message 48: by Stuart (last edited Mar 01, 2009 04:23AM) (new)

Stuart (stuartellis) | 28 comments Quicksilver, the first book of Neal Stephenson's Baroque Cycle. I liked Snow Crash and the Diamond Age, so was really looking forward to reading it.

It's very well written, and I found the historical background fascinating, but it's a real endurance test. Stephenson does the "mostly unlikeable and humorless characters dragged through unrelenting grimness" thing for the whole book, and it's nearly a thousand pages with a lot of characters and incidents. Unlike A Song of Ice and Fire, no characters are permitted moments of happiness or success. The plot also develops glacially slowly - even at the end we still only have a few hints of the larger plot. Amazing work, but I can't face struggling through the rest of the series.

message 49: by Sandi (new)

Sandi (Sandikal) Stuart wrote: "Quicksilver, the first book of Neal Stephenson's Baroque Cycle. I liked Snow Crash and the Diamond Age, so was really looking forward to reading it.

It's very well written, and I found the histor..."

You made me feel so much better. I started this in December (I think), then I set it aside when I had my surgery in January. I'm on crutches and it's a really big book, so I haven't picked it back up. I think the history in it is fascinating and I I do like what I've read so far. It's just that it's sooooooo much book and it doesn't have much happening.

message 50: by Robin (new)

Robin (RobinSullivan) | 348 comments For me it would be Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell. I know many people loved it but it was just too dense for me. It became a chore rather than a joy and I would have given up on it if it wasn't for the fact that I was reading it for a book club here. Now I wear it as a badge of persistence.

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Books mentioned in this topic

The Name of the Wind (other topics)
Pushing Ice (other topics)
Blood and Chocolate (other topics)
Little Brother (other topics)
The Gathering (other topics)

Authors mentioned in this topic

Larry Niven (other topics)
Michael J. Sullivan (other topics)
George R.R. Martin (other topics)
Tanya Huff (other topics)
Iain Banks (other topics)