The worst book you have ever read.

The worst book you have ever read.

Author
Discussion

coppice

6,584 posts

108 months

Wednesday 3rd March
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A Moveable Feast - written as an older man , looking back to his younger days in Paris. He was on the cusp of success , short of cash but with generous friends . On my first trip to Paris, I went to Shakespeare and Co , and bought a new copy . His cultural survival was aided by Sylvia Beach , who ran the bookshop then , in the early Twenties . We then went to Le Cafe Deux Magots , where he wrote . I don't mind confessing that it was a very emotional thing for me - I write myself , and it was Hemingway who inspired me to do so , more than anyone.

20 years later , and a glass of wine in Harry's bar in Venice nearly had me blubbing again . Yes I am a fan....

Levin

1,397 posts

88 months

Wednesday 3rd March
quotequote all
coppice said:
A Moveable Feast - written as an older man , looking back to his younger days in Paris. He was on the cusp of success , short of cash but with generous friends . On my first trip to Paris, I went to Shakespeare and Co , and bought a new copy . His cultural survival was aided by Sylvia Beach , who ran the bookshop then , in the early Twenties . We then went to Le Cafe Deux Magots , where he wrote . I don't mind confessing that it was a very emotional thing for me - I write myself , and it was Hemingway who inspired me to do so , more than anyone.

20 years later , and a glass of wine in Harry's bar in Venice nearly had me blubbing again . Yes I am a fan....
I didn't realise you were a writer by trade too! That, I think, imbues your appreciation of Hemingway with even greater meaning. I imagine if I was in the trade, and Hemingway resonated with me, I would be similarly appreciative. I don't have any professional outlet as a writer, much as I enjoy assembling words in a manner I find readable. There are authors I return to, time and time again, but I don't think any of them have the same weight behind them as in your case.

I shall give Hemingway another go! I've read 'A Moveable Feast' but I remember wanting to tackle a collection of his short stories a few years ago. When I get a chance, I might follow that line of thinking up. Thanks for giving a bit of insight into what makes Hemingway so enduring, too!

leglessAlex

3,963 posts

105 months

Wednesday 3rd March
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AstonZagato said:
coppice said:
Sounds like I need psychiatric help as I loved Catch 22
Me too. The non-linear timeline took some getting into though.
It took me several attempts to push through the midpoint of the book and my dislike of Yossarian, but I feel like past about halfway through it really does all start making a lot more sense.

Ace-T

7,156 posts

219 months

Wednesday 3rd March
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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.
You chose L Ron over The Gideons Bible? Rookie mistake. hehe

havoc

25,669 posts

199 months

Thursday 4th March
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leglessAlex said:
It took me several attempts to push through the midpoint of the book and my dislike of Yossarian, but I feel like past about halfway through it really does all start making a lot more sense.
I don't think Yossarian is supposed to be likeable. Hell, I'm not sure any of them are...Heller did a very good job of writing dysfunctional characters.

Mr Tidy

13,729 posts

91 months

Saturday 6th March
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Apologies if it has been mentioned before but for me it was "To Kill A Mockingbird" - it just dragged aimlessly on and on with no real destination in sight.

No wonder Harper Lee never had another book published in her lifetime!

paulguitar

Original Poster:

10,983 posts

77 months

Saturday 6th March
quotequote all
Mr Tidy said:
Apologies if it has been mentioned before but for me it was "To Kill A Mockingbird" - it just dragged aimlessly on and on with no real destination in sight.

No wonder Harper Lee never had another book published in her lifetime!
Interesting, to me that's one of the most perfect books ever written.



vincom500

30 posts

166 months

Saturday 6th March
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Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

Robert Persig sounds like the most annoying tw*t you could ever hope to meet !

Levin

1,397 posts

88 months

Saturday 6th March
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vincom500 said:
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

Robert Persig sounds like the most annoying tw*t you could ever hope to meet !
I actually enjoyed ZAMM, although I don't know if I appreciated all of its depth. That doesn't mean this Guardian article didn't have me laughing, though: it's much, much funnier to see ZAMM savaged than to read it. Pirsig struck me as an interesting guy I would liked to have seen more from, excepting the fact he's dead and that.

vincom500

30 posts

166 months

Saturday 6th March
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Guardian Article

laugh

Thanks for that

Gary C

7,668 posts

143 months

Saturday 6th March
quotequote all
Ace-T 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.
You chose L Ron over The Gideons Bible? Rookie mistake. hehe
biggrin

Gary C

7,668 posts

143 months

Saturday 6th March
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Levin said:
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.
Christ

read the Steinbeck's the red pony

To me it was utter, utter ste.

Can't stand books that are all about the way something is written rather than what is written, or something that 'discusses the human condition' but fk all happens.

Must be the engineer in me because I miss out reading about 30% of the individual words on a page and take in sentences as a visual flash and not always in the order they are on the page.

It does allow me to read a book more than once though smile

spikeyhead

12,398 posts

161 months

Saturday 6th March
quotequote all
Gary C said:
Christ

read the Steinbeck's the red pony

To me it was utter, utter ste.

Can't stand books that are all about the way something is written rather than what is written, or something that 'discusses the human condition' but fk all happens.

Must be the engineer in me because I miss out reading about 30% of the individual words on a page and take in sentences as a visual flash and not always in the order they are on the page.

It does allow me to read a book more than once though smile
I read that again last year, as part of a book with a few of his shorter stories in and enjoyed it.

GliderRider

906 posts

45 months

Saturday 6th March
quotequote all
Gary C said:
Christ


Must be the engineer in me because I miss out reading about 30% of the individual words on a page and take in sentences as a visual flash and not always in the order they are on the page.

It does allow me to read a book more than once though smile
That reminds me of when my brother and I were sent to stay with my grandmother for half term. Once we had built all the Airfix kits and read the books and magazines we had taken with us, we would be left at a loose end.
My brother was so bored he then decided to try reading my Grandmother's extensive collection of Mills & Boon. It didn't take him long to realise that if he only read the top line on each page he could follow the whole story without reading the rest of the froth.


Edited by GliderRider on Saturday 6th March 20:42

Gary C

7,668 posts

143 months

Saturday 6th March
quotequote all
spikeyhead said:
Gary C said:
Christ

read the Steinbeck's the red pony

To me it was utter, utter ste.

Can't stand books that are all about the way something is written rather than what is written, or something that 'discusses the human condition' but fk all happens.

Must be the engineer in me because I miss out reading about 30% of the individual words on a page and take in sentences as a visual flash and not always in the order they are on the page.

It does allow me to read a book more than once though smile
I read that again last year, as part of a book with a few of his shorter stories in and enjoyed it.
I think its just me smile

Oddly I just tried to read an old favourite (LOTR) from when I was 10 that I read often until mid 20's and found it a bit uninspiring. Think its because I have read it too much, or maybe the films have damaged the visuals in my head.

Still, did read Hyperion again which was fun.

TheNewBoy

298 posts

2 months

Wednesday 24th March
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Far From the Madding Crowd

I’ve had a couple of cracks at it, but gave up

Will try again soon!

GM182

1,031 posts

189 months

Thursday 1st April
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Crace's skewering of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance in the Guardian is masterful. I still enjoyed the book first time around though.

Several books I've given up have been mentioned. War and Peace - I read about 900 pages of it and got bored. Anyone want to tell me the ending? Bleak House ditto. I really enjoyed Anna Karenina and David Copperfield though.

Conrad - Lord Jim I enjoyed and Heart of Darkness, but I gave up on Nostromo.

Of more recent writers - David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest - 100 pages of showing off and unclear characters have seen it put back on the shelf.

I've tried James Joyce as I know I won't get through Ulysses or Finnegan's Wake.

For truly rubbish books I think Colin Forbes takes the biscuit. What utter tripe. Agree Dan Brown is ste too.

I don't see how anyone can say Hemmingway is crap though. The Old Man and the Sea is probably the most exquisite novella I've ever read.

spikeyhead

12,398 posts

161 months

Thursday 1st April
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TheNewBoy said:
Far From the Madding Crowd

I’ve had a couple of cracks at it, but gave up

Will try again soon!
It's a great book.

Johnnytheboy

22,013 posts

150 months

Thursday 1st April
quotequote all
TheNewBoy said:
Far From the Madding Crowd

I’ve had a couple of cracks at it, but gave up

Will try again soon!
That's like 'My First Hardy'.

Try Tess of the D'Urbevilles.

eek

coppice

6,584 posts

108 months

Thursday 1st April
quotequote all
GM182 said:
I don't see how anyone can say Hemmingway is crap though. The Old Man and the Sea is probably the most exquisite novella I've ever read.
Too right - and A Moveable Feast is even better . As is HeMingway !