The worst book you have ever read.

The worst book you have ever read.

Author
Discussion

mikey_b

119 posts

9 months

Saturday 6th February
quotequote all
The Hypno-Toad said:
The first book was good. I thought the second was even better. The third was just conspiracy theories and a rambling obsession about Swedish biker gangs if I remember rightly. Awful.
You do remember rightly, although I thought the second wasn't as good as the first. The third was just rubbish, with great chunks of it reading like the most foaming-mouthed comments on the Guardian's Opinion website section. I didn't know much about him until I read his Wikipedia page after finishing the third book, but I wasn't surprised to learn that his will left everything to the Communist Workers League - or tried to, anyway.

I think some of my other least-favourites have been mentioned: Catch-22 - tried it 3 times, given up 3 time, A Clockwork Orange - couldn't get into it at all either.

I absolutely loved Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. For a while afterwards I was endlessly pondering the classical vs romantic view of things, the concept really clicked with me and I found myself analysing my friends and their various personalities, putting them in one category of the other. Terrific book I thought, although I can understand why others would struggle with it.

MC Bodge

15,442 posts

139 months

Sunday 7th February
quotequote all
The first half of "Zen and the art of..." - great. The second half, Phaedrus etc. - Terrible.

Levin

1,396 posts

88 months

Monday 8th February
quotequote all
I'd like to nominate J.G. Ballard's 'Crash,' an utterly dreadful piece of literature I picked up solely because of the Joy Division song 'Atrocity Exhibition' being named after another of his novels. It wasn't in Waterstone's when I went looking and I ended up buying 'Crash' instead to get a feel for the author. I only wish I had saved the money for something more worthwhile, like a pick and mix.

Stuart70

2,391 posts

147 months

Tuesday 9th February
quotequote all
Levin said:
I'd like to nominate J.G. Ballard's 'Crash,' an utterly dreadful piece of literature I picked up solely because of the Joy Division song 'Atrocity Exhibition' being named after another of his novels. It wasn't in Waterstone's when I went looking and I ended up buying 'Crash' instead to get a feel for the author. I only wish I had saved the money for something more worthwhile, like a pick and mix.
Great review. I agree, I too like pick and mix. And don’t like Crash

Halmyre

9,068 posts

103 months

Tuesday 9th February
quotequote all
Stuart70 said:
Levin said:
I'd like to nominate J.G. Ballard's 'Crash,' an utterly dreadful piece of literature I picked up solely because of the Joy Division song 'Atrocity Exhibition' being named after another of his novels. It wasn't in Waterstone's when I went looking and I ended up buying 'Crash' instead to get a feel for the author. I only wish I had saved the money for something more worthwhile, like a pick and mix.
Great review. I agree, I too like pick and mix. And don’t like Crash
I've read it once, and it was strong stuff for a teenage lad. Forty-odd years later I keep meaning to read it again.

The wife of Ballard's publisher read 'The Atrocity Exhibition' and declared that he was "beyond psychiatric help". Ballard took it as a compliment.

plasticpig

12,300 posts

189 months

Tuesday 9th February
quotequote all
Halmyre said:
I've read it once, and it was strong stuff for a teenage lad. Forty-odd years later I keep meaning to read it again.

The wife of Ballard's publisher read 'The Atrocity Exhibition' and declared that he was "beyond psychiatric help". Ballard took it as a compliment.
I imagine spending some of your childhood in a Japanese internment camp might unhinge you somewhat.

Levin

1,396 posts

88 months

Tuesday 9th February
quotequote all
Halmyre said:
I've read it once, and it was strong stuff for a teenage lad. Forty-odd years later I keep meaning to read it again.

The wife of Ballard's publisher read 'The Atrocity Exhibition' and declared that he was "beyond psychiatric help". Ballard took it as a compliment.
Would you like a copy? I can't put it in a charity shop due to the lockdown and I'm not likely to miss it, so let me know!

Randy Winkman

9,487 posts

153 months

Tuesday 2nd March
quotequote all
mikey_b said:
I think some of my other least-favourites have been mentioned: Catch-22 - tried it 3 times, given up 3 time, A Clockwork Orange - couldn't get into it at all either.
Catch-22 is the only book I've given up reading in my 56 years. I liked A Clockwork Orange though.

sociopath

1,333 posts

30 months

Tuesday 2nd March
quotequote all
perdu said:
The Long Earth

I am a fan of Terry Pratchett and quite like many of Baxter's books but...

Together it and its offspring/offstaggers are turgid dross


Mind you I accept my own weirdness, I didn't like No Country For Old Men either
I'm going to reply to this 4 year old post just to say I absolutely agree, what a turd of immense proportions. I got it for free at a book swap and i still think I over paid.

Still not as bad as the books Anne McCaffrey's son wrote to keep the money flowing in once she's shuffled off this mortal coil

Magikarp

157 posts

12 months

Tuesday 2nd March
quotequote all
Most of Brett Easton Ellis - puerile and superficial, although my first reading of American Psycho was memorable.
Catch 22 - a wafer thin joke stretched a very long way.
The Great Gatsby - vain, vacuous twaddle,

Levin

1,396 posts

88 months

Tuesday 2nd March
quotequote all
Magikarp said:
The Great Gatsby - vain, vacuous twaddle,
Whoa. I've always found Fitzgerald's prose mesmerising! What didn't you like about Gatsby? I'm not sure I've read another full-length book of his that I have enjoyed more, and the concluding paragraph is one of the most beautiful he ever managed. Fitzgerald's short stories are tremendous. If you find yourself with the time would you consider giving one or two of them a go? One that leaps out to me is 'The Four Fists.' It might not be an incredibly intellectual story, but - to misquote comedian Frank Carson - "it's the way he tells 'em."

Gary C

7,667 posts

143 months

Tuesday 2nd March
quotequote all
anyone suggested Battlefield Earth ?

Written by the fruit loop that brought you Scientology Ron L Hubbard and maps the rise of a child with no education or even language on an earth invaded by aliens who manages to overthrow the entire alien race, including destroying their entire home planet then enters into inter galactic negotiations with all the other races in the galaxy.

Its utter pants and only read as it was a book left in the hotel room when I was away working with nothing else to do in the evening.

I believe it also made a really really crap film too.

David_M

190 posts

14 months

Tuesday 2nd March
quotequote all
Magikarp said:
Most of Brett Easton Ellis - puerile and superficial, although my first reading of American Psycho was memorable.
American Psycho is one of the few books that I have started reading and deliberately stopped part way through. It is just torture porn.

techguyone

2,377 posts

106 months

Tuesday 2nd March
quotequote all
Gary C said:
anyone suggested Battlefield Earth ?

Written by the fruit loop that brought you Scientology Ron L Hubbard and maps the rise of a child with no education or even language on an earth invaded by aliens who manages to overthrow the entire alien race, including destroying their entire home planet then enters into inter galactic negotiations with all the other races in the galaxy.

Its utter pants and only read as it was a book left in the hotel room when I was away working with nothing else to do in the evening.

I believe it also made a really really crap film too.
Yes I did, a yr or so back, but you're not wrong, and the film was really really st too.

GliderRider

901 posts

45 months

Wednesday 3rd March
quotequote all
Browsing our local 'library in a telephone box' I spotted 'Woke: A Guide to Social Justice' by Titania McGrath. From further research it transpires that it actually written by Andrew Doyle, a Spectator columnist.

Looking back to my first encounter with the book, its pristine condition, with a completely crease-free spine, and not even so much as a microscopically bruised corner, were the dead giveaways that I missed.

Expecting a satire, I really don't know what it is meant to be, but I do know it was excruciatingly bad. By the second page I was seriously considering getting on with unpleasant tasks that I had been putting off for ages, as a welcome escape from such dross.

If you ever find yourself having to buy a present for someone you really can't stand, then look no further, this is it.


Gary C

7,667 posts

143 months

Wednesday 3rd March
quotequote all
techguyone said:
Gary C said:
anyone suggested Battlefield Earth ?

Written by the fruit loop that brought you Scientology Ron L Hubbard and maps the rise of a child with no education or even language on an earth invaded by aliens who manages to overthrow the entire alien race, including destroying their entire home planet then enters into inter galactic negotiations with all the other races in the galaxy.

Its utter pants and only read as it was a book left in the hotel room when I was away working with nothing else to do in the evening.

I believe it also made a really really crap film too.
Yes I did, a yr or so back, but you're not wrong, and the film was really really st too.
Poor old John Travolta being told he had to star in it or they would let his secret out.

coppice

6,583 posts

108 months

Wednesday 3rd March
quotequote all
Sounds like I need psychiatric help as I loved Catch 22 and as for F Scott ... just masterful prose . If not as perfect as his Paris chum Hemingway's was . And if you don't like Hemingway , sorry , but we can never be friends ...,

Super_G

838 posts

62 months

Wednesday 3rd March
quotequote all
50 shades of grey. Two hours of life I won’t get back.

AstonZagato

10,203 posts

174 months

Wednesday 3rd March
quotequote all
coppice said:
Sounds like I need psychiatric help as I loved Catch 22
Me too. The non-linear timeline took some getting into though.

Levin

1,396 posts

88 months

Wednesday 3rd March
quotequote all
coppice said:
Sounds like I need psychiatric help as I loved Catch 22 and as for F Scott ... just masterful prose . If not as perfect as his Paris chum Hemingway's was . And if you don't like Hemingway , sorry , but we can never be friends ...,
Tragically, Hemingway's prose has never clicked with me. For form, I couldn't place him anywhere near Fitzgerald. For function, I couldn't place him anywhere near Steinbeck. I am aware Hemingway is adored, but nothing I've read has stood out as being on the same level. What book do you recommend? Honourable mention must be given to Pilar's description of the massacre in the Spanish town during 'For Whom the Bell Tolls' for being spellbinding. Easily my favourite chapter of Hemingway's.