Thursday, March 08, 2007

Burning Question: Worst Books You've read

Hilly recently posted a meme that consisted of a list of 100 books, and other readers were supposed to examine the list and do their own variation on it. While I am not doing the meme, it did make me stop and think about some of the great books I read, and then as a sidenote, I began to think about the worst books I ever read. Now, this doesn't mean that they are in fact bad, and I have to be clear about that since at least one of my selections is likely to be someone's favorite, so keep that in mind.

Now because of the commitment involved, you most likely didn't finish some of the worst books you ever tried to read, and I understand that, so they count. I mean, there are a lot of books that I started and didn't finish. And there are others that you've probably forgotten(or repressed) that you can't or won't talk about either. Novels you've read for school count as well.

When thinking about the question, the first title that came to my mind was this book called World Without End by Sean Russell. I read it about a decade ago, and I did manage to finish it, but, wow, it really did not appeal to me, despite the fact that at the time I was into both fantasy and the history of early modern science. It just didn't captivate me.

I also recalled my grade 10 English class where we had to read both A Separate Peace by John Knowles and Salinger's Catcher in the Rye, and I hated them both. The less said about A Separate Peace the better, but I would like to note that the reason I don't like Catcher in the Rye is Holden Caufield isn't really the most likable of characters. I think my words at the time was that he was "a whiny bitch", and to this day I feel comfortable with that assessment.

So, what are some of the worst books you ever read?

8 comments:

Schadenfreude said...

Oh no doubt about it, Joseph Heller's Something Happened. When I read Catch-22 I just could not put it down. I loved the insanity, the flipped upside down way of looking at everything and the writing made me want to be a writer. So when I realized Heller had this immediate follow-up book, I scarfed it up... and I was bored to freakin tears. Couldn't finish it, I respected myself too much. Maybe now that I'm married with a kid I could look upon it differently, but naw...

David Litvak said...

Nevermind that Salinger's Caulfield is a hypocritical sack of crap. He's as "phony" as the ones he calls phony.

Jeremy said...

The most recent bad book I read was Bad Twin and was part of the whole Lost Experience game. I did it for a review and it was terrible, terrible, terrible. I think it caused the publication it was for to fold early, just so those words would never grace another piece of paper. Let's just say I wasn't fond of it.

I put down Will Self's My Idea of Fun after the second page where a graphic description of having sex with a headless corpse put me off for good.

As for literature, I haven't finished On the Road or Heart of Darkness, but I did read the entirety of The Odyssey, so I figure that I'm even.

MC said...

Schad: Yeah, I think you may have been correct in your original assessment, because boredom is something that is hard for a book to overcome.

David: Exactly. Good to finally meet you btw, as I notice you've had me linked for a bit now

Jeremy: Well, I have read Heart of Darkness and bailed on the Odyssey, so I guess it works out.

Bluesky_Liz said...

I think the only book I've ever finished reading and felt angry with is: Who Moved My Chesse - absolute nonsense, with no realistic application whatsoever and a condescending tone towards the reader.

It sounds crazy to be angry with a book. But I guess it's because I realise it was such a waste of time by the end of it.

MC said...

After reading about the book just now, I can see being angry at it as a reasonable response.

It's Me, Maven... said...

I'll get some flak here from American Lit folks, but I loathed (excuse the pun) how dry The Grape of Wrath was. It just didn't hold my interest.

MC said...

I think that is an entirely appropriate selection.