Books I Loathed discussion

Loathed a Prize winner?

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message 1: by Bookchica (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:59PM) (new)

Bookchica | 2 comments I read "Life of Pi" about 2 years back and just hated it. I don't think I've disliked any book ever, but this one made me feel so strongly about it that I was surprised!

I think it was the theological references that did it for me. But I will definitely revisit it later to see if I feel different.. but quite later :)

message 2: by Jason (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:59PM) (new)

Jason (gireesh42) Agreed. For me it was the excessive hype that Pi couldn't live up to. Everyone was like "it's so amazing, you have to read it, yada yada yada." And i read it and i'm like, " allegory with a kid and a tiger at sea....boring..."

message 3: by Chrystal714 (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:59PM) (new)

Chrystal714 | 47 comments I think I was fortunate in not hearing all the hype. It just looked interesting. It was ok, but not amazing. I didn't hate it either though. I didn't feel like it was a complete waste of time. It was boring in a few places, but I felt like over all it was decent.

message 4: by Bookchica (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:59PM) (new)

Bookchica | 2 comments True, reading hype doesn't help. I usually don't read the books till the hype has died down.. which is why I'm usually the last person to read really popular books too.. :)

Any other prize winners that you've hated?

message 5: by Foxthyme (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:00PM) (new)

Foxthyme | 17 comments Oh, man, King! I just read an article in the Globe & Mail about Martel, and there's some talk of _Life of Pi_. The book's been translated into numerous languages and has sold tons of copies. The article notes that the author is just as stunned with the success of the book as anyone. Considering that a bestseller in Canada is something like 5000 copies, you see what sales numbers Canadian authors usually aspire to.

I read _Life of Pi_ as a story. I didn't bother with relating it to anything else at all. And I absolutely loved this book! As most everyone notes, it does open slowly though, so stick with it.

message 6: by Nikki (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:00PM) (new)

Nikki Boisture I haven't read Life of Pi. But I didn't really care for Empire Falls by Richard Russo. I generally like his books (especially Straight Man!) but Empire Falls just didn't do it for me. Hate or loathe is probably too strong a word for it though.

message 7: by Claire (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:00PM) (new)

Claire (deborahclaire) | 17 comments I have to admit that I think I'm basically the one person in the world that couldn't stand Huckleberry Finn. I still can't get over it, and when I hear that it's someone's favorite book I automatically judge. I read it sophomore year of high school, so maybe it just wasn't a good time for me? I dont' know. I just couldn't get into the language of it, either. Maybe it's also because I grew up and live in the South, so I've been forced to read Southern literature for years and years (although I do love a lot of it). I just know that I couldn't even finish the book, which REALLY says a lot, since I always just try to grit my teeth and deal with it until the end.

message 8: by Maria (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:00PM) (new)

Maria | 19 comments I am not a huge fan of Huckleberry Finn, either. But I suspect I'd enjoy it more if I read it again.

Never cared much for Maniac Magee, that darling of elementary school libraries.

message 9: by Dustin (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:00PM) (new)

Dustin | 5 comments I haven't read Life of Pi, but as far as prize-winners go, I couldn't stand Middlesex. It did nothing for me. The first half was pretty good, but after awhile Cal just really annoyed me, and the fact that the family just so happened to be involved in every major historical American event that occured in the last century made me feel like I was watching Forrest Gump instead of reading a supposedly great book.

message 10: by Toni (new)

Toni berkshire (starcookie2verizonnet) | 32 comments We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver is very offputting. The book is about a boy who kills several of his classmates. After reading the thing, I just wanted to use the book for target practice.

message 11: by Lynette (new)

Lynette (crazywolf) Thirteen Moons The book jacket says it is steeped in history. I'm sorry but mentioning a few historical figures and some battles that the character wasn't even in doesn't classify as steeped in history. It also says it is an UNFORGETTABLE work of fiction. It's unforgettable alright. It was boring!!!!

message 12: by Lori (new)

Lori Anderson (lorianderson) Toni said: We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver is very offputting. The book is about a boy who kills several of his classmates. After reading the thing, I just wanted to use the book for target practice.


This book creeped me out so much that I had to get it out of my house.

message 13: by [deleted user] (new)

i loathed hatchet! i hated that book! and we had to read it for skool! it was awful!

message 14: by [deleted user] (new)

i also loathed tuck everlasting!!

message 15: by Allison (new)

Allison Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea; a short book about a man's battle of wills with a fish that is way too long.

message 16: by Kelly (new)

Kelly I absolutely hated Ethan Frome. I had to read it in 11th grade, and it made me depressed and angry for days.

message 17: by ROSALIE (new)

ROSALIE (justmerosalie) Kelly, I don't blame you for being depressed over Ethan Frome. It bothered me for months trying to figure out what it was trying to say. It had to be saying something!!!
What I loved was Wharton's description of the cold nights, with the snow and the stars. I can really feel it. It was awesome.
And I believe I figured out that the book is a statement of the times on marriage. That makes sense and it was very depressing.

message 18: by Kelly (new)

Kelly Rosalie, thanks for your comment!
I think it's one of those books that is assigned in high school but is only truly understandable to adults. It would probably mean more to me now that I'm older and have been married. I doubt I had the critical thinking skills for it back then. What a strange book to assign to 11th graders!

message 19: by Becs (new)

Becs | 1 comments I make a point to never read anything that was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize or the Booker Prize. These are bound to be depressing and are much to be avoided. At the moment, I refuse to read Life of Pi or anything that smacks of magical realism. (It's either magic or it's real - which is it?)

I read Barbara Ehrenreich for humor because I find her completely clueless. (Nickel and Dimed was so...wrong.)

I am a literary curmudgeon.

message 20: by Charles (new)

Charles What was so wrong about Nickel and Dimed?

message 21: by Kimberly (last edited Jul 31, 2008 03:39PM) (new)

Kimberly Hmm...I know that SOMEONE out there's going to fight with me and say that The Giver is the absolute greatest book, but I have to say that I definitely don't like it!

message 22: by EvilNick (last edited Aug 08, 2008 04:30AM) (new)

EvilNick | 1 comments I think I loathe The Reluctant Fundamentalist, a nominee for the 2007 booker, if that counts.
Really, perhaps loathing is too good for it. I seem to be heavily in the minority on this one, but I didn't find it engaging at all. the writing device of writing it as a one-sided conversation begins to grate after the third or fourth page, and really, it doesn't add anything to my understanding of the universe at all.

message 23: by Fire-fish (last edited Aug 09, 2008 02:28AM) (new)

Fire-fish | 6 comments I have absolutely loathed The Gathering by Ann Enright. The person who is the main character is awfully sick, she is disgusted of everything and everyone, hates her own family because her brother was abused as a child by her grandma's friend. It took me many many days to get through this book. No idea why so many people have like it! It is especially disturbing when she writes about people bodies to make them look ugly.

message 24: by ROSALIE (new)

ROSALIE (justmerosalie) I read Lord of the Flies in high school. I hated it then and I still hate it now. It is very unrealistic and it is so hostile and degrading to humanity. I know there's this sociological study that goes with it, but, that is also unrealistic. Yes, I hate that one and I have enjoyed saying so.

message 25: by Summer (new)

Summer | 28 comments I wouldn't say loathe is in order, but I didn't understand why Looking For Alaska by John Green was a Printz Award Winner. Maybe I'm just getting too old.

message 26: by Leigh (new)

Leigh (leighb) Oh, wow. I hated Maniac Magee, and The Giver. Both are dull and pointless. Frankly, alot of Newbery winners are stinkers. We Need to Talk About Kevin was excellent and the ending was shocking. Really chilling book.

I, too, generally avoid award winners. Too much nonsense,not enough good writing.

message 27: by Toni (new)

Toni berkshire (starcookie2verizonnet) | 32 comments We need to Talk about Kevin was not excellent to me. It was weird and unbelievable as was the mother who didn't get serious help when her kid wasn't toilet trained by age of 4. The mother and the author were all weird. The book was creepy and the only likeable character was the little sister. Would not read anything else by this nut.

message 28: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie I HATED Lord of the Flies.

I also really didn't like Huck Finn. BLAH.

I liked Life of Pi, but I read it RIGHT when it came out before it started getting a lot of attention. I can see why some were put off by it.

And, as a side note, the kids in my high school read Ethan Frome and a lot of them like it. I haven't read it yet, but it's on my list.

message 29: by Emma (last edited Aug 26, 2008 09:16PM) (new)

Emma The Inheritance of Loss was impossibly bland and pretentious but it still won the Booker. Not sure how that happened...

But I enjoyed Life of Pi quite a lot, and it doesn't seem to be getting much love here. Many of my friends seemed to LOVE it, though they couldn't explain anything about the book which puzzled me. In grade 11, it seemed like everyone in my grade who read, read it and then managed to spend hours proclaiming its genius without actually coming up with specifics.

message 30: by Mouse (new)

Mouse | 18 comments I could not get into Blindness. The basic idea is good and there are some flashes of brilliance, but the damn thing keeps meandering every which way and after awhile, you want to build a fire beneath the plot in hopes of getting it moving again.

message 31: by Heather (new)

Heather (hpduck) | 10 comments I absolutely loathed Atonment by McEwan. I read it because it got a bunch of hype and all, and I thought...if other people liked it, then maybe I would too. Boy was I ever wrong! I couldn't stand that book. It made me want to wretch.

message 32: by Sallie (new)

Sallie | 2 comments I don't think it takes much to hate Dave Eggers, but I loathe that Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius book. I actually put it in the trash. I have never ever ever done that before.

message 33: by Mary (last edited Dec 09, 2008 04:41PM) (new)

Mary Crabtree (boonebridgebookscom) | 5 comments I LOATHED "The Giving Tree". I don't know if it exactly qualifies as an award winner but after all it's in it's 40th anniversary edition!!!! Yes - can you believe it?
Why do I Loath it so? Because the Tree just gives and gives and gives and the little boy just takes and takes and takes and (this is a spoiler) in the end he chops the tree down. He KILLS the TREE!!!! Why do we think there is a moral for children in this story? I'm a giver not a taker but if being a giver means I'm gonna get chopped down, you might have to hang on a second while I decide whether the merits of your case move me to give.

message 34: by Jackie (new)

Jackie | 27 comments Mary wrote: "I LOATHED "The Giving Tree". I don't know if it exactly qualifies as an award winner but after all it's in it's 40th anniversary edition!!!! Yes - can you believe it?
Why do I Loath it so? Becau..."

I'm also not the biggest fan of The Rainbow Fish. He seems kind of co-dependent as well. Giving away his scales? C'mon. Maybe I'm selfish, but that seems a tad pathetic. Or am I not giving this story its due?

message 35: by Sallie (new)

Sallie | 2 comments The Giving Tree...yeah that tree is co-dependent for sure.

message 36: by Esther (new)

Esther (eshchory) A S Byatt is a highly feted writer but 'Virgin in the Garden' was alternately boring, depressing and irritating.
All her characters were unappealing and she could not bear to let them have the slightest drop of happiness.
The blurb calls it 'erudite entertainment' but you could sense her taught muscles as she strained so hard to be erudite but only achieved pretentious.

message 37: by Pat (new)

Pat Yes Sarah, I agree on The Catcher in the Rye. I read it in highschool and thought it was the stupidest book I had ever read. Over the years ,it was was still coming up as one of "the most favorite books of all time," so I decided to give it one more chance last year. I thought I had missed something significant and thought provoking when I was a teenager. But noooo, it was still stupid!!

message 38: by Jamie (last edited Jan 22, 2009 12:43PM) (new)

Jamie (verydressypants) | 11 comments I'm on the same page with Sarah and Pat-- I loathe The Catcher in The Rye. I kind of chalked it up to reading it at the wrong time in my life...but there's no going back and reading it at 14 or 15, so it looks like I'll just be loathing this one indefinitely.

I also agree with Jackie on The Rainbow Fish. I think its supposed teach that generosity is a good quality, but it just comes off (to me) to show that who is person (or fish, heh) is doesn't matter so much as your capacity to give people material objects. With which they can be beautiful. Haha...well in any case, I just think the book missed its mark.

message 39: by Jackie (last edited Jan 22, 2009 02:14PM) (new)

Jackie | 27 comments Thanks Jamie!! I'm a 2nd grade teacher and am constantly critiquing children's literature. I've had some problems with stories that have been included in our anthology (Namely Hedgehog Bakes a Cake)--and so I take the discussion in directions that I'm sure neither the book editors nor the authors ever intended.

If you've read Hedgehog Bakes a Cake--I believe it's supposed to be about giving of yourself in friendship, once again. But it comes off as another extreme case of co-dependence and this time with rude and demanding "friends" who take advantage and then take undue credit. UGH!!!

We turn it into a discussion about lying. Is it ever appropriate to lie? I'm interested in the number of children who feel it is okay to lie if you don't want to hurt people's feelings. That can be taken in so many unpleasant directions. But we re-write the ending of Hedgehog after a lot of "turn and talks," (c; ultimately leading to my rewritten ending which involves two cakes--one badly burned and one beautifully constructed (for anyone who has read the book and is curious). (c;

message 40: by Bad Penny (new)

Bad Penny (badpenny) | 2 comments Sallie wrote: "The Giving Tree...yeah that tree is co-dependent for sure."


message 41: by Thirrin (new)

Thirrin | 2 comments I hated Lord of the Flies, I was like well yeah boys are gonna roast each other if there's no Big -Y in the vicnity, please tell me something i don't know

message 42: by Erica (new)

Erica | 66 comments Jackie, we had "Hedgehog Bakes a Cake" for my daughters! Glad you rewrote the ending.

Thirrin, what's a Big-Y?

message 43: by Jackie (new)

Jackie | 27 comments Erica, Did your daughters like Hedgehog? (c;

message 44: by Kat (new)

Kat (oxfordcomma) | 7 comments I hated To Kill A Mockingbird. It was a good book, I know that, and I loved Atticus to death, but I got tired of Scout after a while. And I hate books that are written in a dialect, so I got extremely annoyed with Huckleberry Finn too.
(Shakespeare doesn't count, because...well.. I don't know why he doesn't count, but he's still amazing to me.)

message 45: by Ari Half Angel (new)

Ari Half Angel (arihalfangel) | 3 comments I agree about Huckleberry Finn. I mean COME ON!!! The two kids just went through all the trouble of setting Jim free (in increasingly irritating ways) and then Twain just comes out with 'yeah, he was already free'. I don't like any other books by him either.

message 46: by Stuart (new)

Stuart (asfus) | 20 comments I am glad I read from an earlier post that I was not the only person who did not enjoy Atonement by Ian McEwan. I remember sitting in my book club thinking "did we read the same book?"

message 47: by Emily (new)

Emily  O (readingwhilefemale) | 76 comments I really liked Life of Pi. I am the kind of person who can really enjoy a book with almost no plot if the character is likable, and I really liked Pi, so I enjoyed it quite a bit. And the ending was fabulous. I had to re-think the whole book after that, which was great. Of course I read it before I had ever heard anyone talk about it, so I don't know what kinds of expectations other people had going in.

But I hated The Dark is Rising with a passion, and I want to say that's a very popular book. Could it get any more boring? Ugg. And it didn't really even make sense.
I hated The Red Badge of Courage. It was possibly the worst book I've ever read (ok, that's Twilight, but whatever.)

And I agree, I never really liked The Giving Tree.

message 48: by Randi (new)

Randi (The Artist Formerly known as Guitar Chick) (guitarchick) | 79 comments I'm trying to think.
I liked Manic Magee for it's simplicity. But It's another one of those books I haven't read in a while.

message 49: by Sallie (new)

message 50: by Carrie (new)

Carrie (cattuck13) | 2 comments I don't remember if it was a "prize winner" but I absolutely cannot stand Julie and Julia! I made the mistake of watching the movie before reading the book. Loved the movie, but I have been trying for over a year to finish the book and I just can't do it! I don't think there is any single characteristic I can pin down as to why I loathe the book, I just do! Anyone else feel that way?

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