The worst book you have ever read.

The worst book you have ever read.

Author
Discussion

MikeStroud

3,259 posts

63 months

Thursday 1st April
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Clockwork Orange

I bought a brand new copy as I want to work through the classics that you hear a lot about but have never read.

Then I read the premise of the story, something along the lines that it is better for a man to live the life he wants even if that means he does all the evil criminal acts that come into his head than be coerced by the authorities to lead a good law abiding life. The whole premise that the author seemed to be arguing for grated on me so I just gave the book to charity without turning a page.

Whilst I'm here:

War & Peace - Got to page 100 and decided life is too short.

Crime & Punishment - Read to the end but felt it never got going as it covered the crime bit in extreme detail but the punishment bit wasn't covered at all (I had assumed the punishment bit was to be his life in prison etc but in fact it was all the emotional turmoil before he got arrested so I got to the end of the book feeling half was missing).

Derek Smith

40,246 posts

217 months

Friday 2nd April
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I said a couple of years ago that I'd read Nostromo. Didn't like it. I've reread three of his books as an adult and got really into them, but Nostromo lost me. I started it three times, thinking I’d missed something, but all I missed was doing something useful.

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance has come in for a bit of pounding on here. I enjoyed it as a 40-year-old and then read it again when I was suffering from clinical depression. It became much clearer then, but that’s not to say helpful. Slaughterhouse 5 is the same. I sympathised with both authors, but I was more concerned with my own problems. I keep meaning to read Zen again now I’m out the other side, oddly enough, helped by writing a book.

Johnnytheboy

22,867 posts

155 months

Friday 2nd April
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MikeStroud said:
Clockwork Orange

I bought a brand new copy as I want to work through the classics that you hear a lot about but have never read.

Then I read the premise of the story, something along the lines that it is better for a man to live the life he wants even if that means he does all the evil criminal acts that come into his head than be coerced by the authorities to lead a good law abiding life. The whole premise that the author seemed to be arguing for grated on me so I just gave the book to charity without turning a page.
Shame, it's a great book (once you get the hang of the slang). And that's not quite the message, but close enough I guess smile

AW111

7,141 posts

102 months

Saturday 3rd April
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MikeStroud said:
Clockwork Orange

I bought a brand new copy as I want to work through the classics that you hear a lot about but have never read.

Then I read the premise of the story, something along the lines that it is better for a man to live the life he wants even if that means he does all the evil criminal acts that come into his head than be coerced by the authorities to lead a good law abiding life. The whole premise that the author seemed to be arguing for grated on me so I just gave the book to charity without turning a page.

Whilst I'm here:

War & Peace - Got to page 100 and decided life is too short.

Crime & Punishment - Read to the end but felt it never got going as it covered the crime bit in extreme detail but the punishment bit wasn't covered at all (I had assumed the punishment bit was to be his life in prison etc but in fact it was all the emotional turmoil before he got arrested so I got to the end of the book feeling half was missing).
I don't think that's really the whole premise.

I hate the guff that comes with reprints of classics these days - a preface, an introduction, some waffle about how significant the book was, blah blah blah.

Just let me read it and make up my own mind!

MikeStroud

3,259 posts

63 months

Wednesday 7th April
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AW111 said:
MikeStroud said:
Clockwork Orange

I bought a brand new copy as I want to work through the classics that you hear a lot about but have never read.

Then I read the premise of the story, something along the lines that it is better for a man to live the life he wants even if that means he does all the evil criminal acts that come into his head than be coerced by the authorities to lead a good law abiding life. The whole premise that the author seemed to be arguing for grated on me so I just gave the book to charity without turning a page.

Whilst I'm here:

War & Peace - Got to page 100 and decided life is too short.

Crime & Punishment - Read to the end but felt it never got going as it covered the crime bit in extreme detail but the punishment bit wasn't covered at all (I had assumed the punishment bit was to be his life in prison etc but in fact it was all the emotional turmoil before he got arrested so I got to the end of the book feeling half was missing).
I don't think that's really the whole premise.

I hate the guff that comes with reprints of classics these days - a preface, an introduction, some waffle about how significant the book was, blah blah blah.

Just let me read it and make up my own mind!
From Google (so I'm not saying it's right):

"“Is it better for a man to have chosen evil than to have good imposed upon him?” Anthony Burgess posed this question in his novel, A Clockwork Orange, which explored the free will of humans to choose between good and evil, and the cost of attempts to restrain that freedom."

It was the "guff" as you call it that prefaced the book that put me off actually reading it so you make a valid point ! As the premise (as I interpreted it from the preface) and the slang (described again in the preface) grated with me I decided I'd read another book instead from my huge list of "must reads".

Magikarp

278 posts

17 months

Sunday 25th April
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Levin said:
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."
I will always give a recommendation a go, but past experience tells me I might find Fitzgerald every bit as plodding as I did before. I will read The Great Gatsby again as it's been over twenty years since I read it. it may be time has been kind to it.

Yertis

16,328 posts

235 months

Friday 7th May
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I've read some complete horrors, but the most disappointing book I've read recently was 'Earth, my Friend' by Group Captain Peter Townsend (fighter pilot and Princess Margaret b/f etc). It's the story about how having been forced to break up with Princess Maggs he circumnavigated the world in a Land Rover to clear his head. It should have been a great adventure, but there's no humour, little passion, the whole thing is desert-dry and dull. A shame because I thought I was going to love the book.

PomBstard

4,730 posts

211 months

Monday 10th May
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Johnnytheboy said:
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
I've tried Tess three times - not yet finished it...

The Naked Lunch was another that I struggled to finish - and I like quirky, leftfield stuff.

Catcher in the Rye was passed to me by my English teacher - I think he thought it would make me realise there are other teenage idiot boys out there, but I thought it was just dull.

But the one book that was so wrapped up in itself, and has been sold as being some sort of high-end literature when it is in fact just the author tossing himself off is American Psycho. What a bag of ste, its like a teenager who's been allowed to swear in front of the adults. I tried reading one of his other books, Glamorama, and that was clearly a self-completed proctology exam - I got about 50 pages in and realised life is too short.

coppice

6,823 posts

113 months

Monday 10th May
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Tess - sublime. Did it for A level and enjoyed it so much I read everything I could by Hardy , and years later I even visited his cottage in Dorset.

Catcher , like On the Road, appears to divide opinion like few other novels . I read Catcher when I was sixteen and adored it and sometimes wonder how I'd find it now . On the Road I read over the course of a 3day Grand Prix weekend and couldn't put it down - except when cars were on track obvs