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Bad Book Club
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Author:  Noreen [ 04 Jul 2019, 09:28 ]
Post subject:  Bad Book Club

Which are the worst works of fiction you've ever read, and why? Are they (in your opinion) boring, irritating, superficial, manipulative - I'm sure there are some more categories... What (if any) redeeming features might they have? You don't have to stick to just one, by the way, and there may be instances where people will want to defend a book.

I'll start off with Enid Blyton's The Put-Em-Rights. A group of children set off to put things right in their neighbourhood, tackling all kinds of problem situations (including those involving adults) without any qualms that they might not be right in their assessments or actions. Yes, it's good to speak up against wrong-doing like animal cruelty, and to offer to help people, but at the end the characters gather to agree how much nicer and better persons they are for all that nosy-parkering, which for me leaves a bad taste.

Edited to correct grammar

Author:  LucyP [ 04 Jul 2019, 15:28 ]
Post subject:  Re: Bad Book Club

The Da Vinci Code. Tripe of the tripiest kind! And so badly written, as well.
Most of what I read is from a century or more ago, I'm currently reading 'The Sheik', E M Hull's bodice-ripper, which is so appalling in its attitudes that the really rather good descriptions of the desert are subsumed in the story - Stockholm Syndrome, anybody?
I was really disappointed with The Daughter of Time, though I know it has fans on here. It felt terribly awkward to me.
I'll be fascinated to see what other people come up with!

Author:  Alison H [ 04 Jul 2019, 16:38 ]
Post subject:  Re: Bad Book Club

I rather liked The Da Vinci Code :D .

I can't bear anything that's wildly historically inaccurate. I read one last year - and I should probably point out that it was self-published, and I only downloaded it because it was supposed to be about the Peterloo Massacre - which claimed that people in Regency Manchester existed purely on potatoes and went around falling in creeks.

I wasn't keen on The Daughter of Time either. Nor did I like Wolf Hall - I didn't like the style at all. It always feels weird when I don't like a book which is so popular, because I feel as if I've got to be missing something.

Author:  cestina [ 04 Jul 2019, 16:58 ]
Post subject:  Re: Bad Book Club

I quite liked Wolf Hall and Daughter of Time is one of my all time favourite books. It triggered a lifelong interest in Richard III.

My worst book ever was a school story whose name escapes me but I remember it has been discussed, I think both here and definitely on the Girls' Own google group, and identified as appallingly bad.

Someone may remember the name....

Author:  Bobcat [ 04 Jul 2019, 18:52 ]
Post subject:  Re: Bad Book Club

Seconding the nomination for The Da Vinci Code. It was tripe, but what really annoyed me about it was that I couldn't put it down. Stayed up until about 1am one night to finish it, well aware it was load of tosh, but couldn't stop reading.

Author:  Noreen [ 04 Jul 2019, 21:12 ]
Post subject:  Re: Bad Book Club

Bobcat wrote:
Seconding the nomination for The Da Vinci Code. It was tripe, but what really annoyed me about it was that I couldn't put it down. Stayed up until about 1am one night to finish it, well aware it was load of tosh, but couldn't stop reading.
Yes, isn't that annoying? I'm not sure that doesn't count as manipulative. I'll nominate Barbara Hay's House of Echoes to go along with it.

Author:  Annied [ 04 Jul 2019, 22:33 ]
Post subject:  Re: Bad Book Club

Bobcat wrote:
Seconding the nomination for The Da Vinci Code. It was tripe, but what really annoyed me about it was that I couldn't put it down. Stayed up until about 1am one night to finish it, well aware it was load of tosh, but couldn't stop reading.


I never feel guilty reading tripe, some of it is very enjoyable and it makes me appreciate the really good writers all the more. (I was another one who read the Da Vinci Code in a single sitting.) I do find it more of a concern if someone can't tell the difference between the two though.

Bad books for me are any that are written completely in the present tense. I don't even attempt to read them any longer, the style irritates me far too much.

Author:  Alison H [ 04 Jul 2019, 23:18 ]
Post subject:  Re: Bad Book Club

I find books written in the present tense quite annoying too - it feels as if the author thinks I'm about 6! It's OK for a book review or a short story, but not a whole book.

Author:  Nyota [ 05 Jul 2019, 03:34 ]
Post subject:  Re: Bad Book Club

Without challenge, the worst book I’ve ever read was that appalling Fifty Shades of Grey. One of my friends introduced it at a book club, so I tried to read it... I wanted to whip out a red pen and do some editing of the text, and I remember skipping pages in the (vain) hope of finding a plot!

Author:  judithR [ 05 Jul 2019, 09:16 ]
Post subject:  Re: Bad Book Club

The Essex Serpent would be one of mine - I read it on a train journey and it was an act of will to finish it. Likewise The Miniaturist (which I can't spell) - Book Group choice which we all regretted.

Author:  MaryR [ 05 Jul 2019, 11:30 ]
Post subject:  Re: Bad Book Club

judithR wrote:
The Essex Serpent would be one of mine - I read it on a train journey and it was an act of will to finish it. Likewise The Miniaturist (which I can't spell)

Your spelling's fine, Judith. :wink: But I do agree about both books. Like you, I persisted, but felt quite grubby after finishing The Miniaturist.

I'm another who had to read to the end of the Da Vinci Code, because it grasps you and carries you along with it, despite all its faults. There are so very many books like that. And, like Alison, I am not a fan of books written in the present tense.

Author:  Supersal [ 05 Jul 2019, 14:29 ]
Post subject:  Re: Bad Book Club

I really did not like 'The Time Traveller's Wife'. This may have been because my daughter was about seven when I read it; the main character appears naked in front of the child who later becomes his wife. I found it very strange and could not begin to imagine my daughter coping with that!

Author:  exile [ 05 Jul 2019, 16:03 ]
Post subject:  Re: Bad Book Club

I have to agree with the majority about The Da Vinci code. Pure tripe but almost impossible to put down. Angels and Demons is even better/worse.

Have any of you read Eric, or Little by Little? Hideous. Pure and tedious moralising.

Author:  Noreen [ 05 Jul 2019, 17:42 ]
Post subject:  Re: Bad Book Club

exile wrote:
Have any of you read Eric, or Little by Little? Hideous. Pure and tedious moralising.
Oh, YES (and Arthur Marshall's send up summary of it, too, which I did enjoy). I have also plodded through the same author's St Winifred's, or the World of School, which is not a whole lot different.

Author:  LucyP [ 06 Jul 2019, 15:33 ]
Post subject:  Re: Bad Book Club

I've read 'Eric', yes, it's appalling but wonderful in its way, if you want a really bad moral tale then Uncle Tom's Cabin is dreadful.
And how about Lady Chatterly's Lover? Crikey, that's bad!

Author:  Noreen [ 06 Jul 2019, 16:24 ]
Post subject:  Re: Bad Book Club

I always loved this spoof review of Lady C: "Although written many years ago, Lady Chatterley's Lover has just been reissued by the Grove Press, and this fictional account of the day-to-day life of an English gamekeeper is still of considerable interest to outdoor minded readers, as it contains many passages on pheasant raising, the apprehending of poachers, ways to control vermin, and other chores and duties of the professional gamekeeper.

"Unfortunately, one is obliged to wade through many pages of extraneous material in order to discover and savor these sidelights on the management of a Midlands shooting estate, and in this reviewer's opinion this book cannot take the place of J.R. Miller's Practical Gamekeeping" (Ed Zern, Field and Stream, November 1959, p. 142).

Even better, it appears that there is no such book as Practical Gamekeeping by J R Miller...

Author:  lizco [ 06 Jul 2019, 22:12 ]
Post subject:  Re: Bad Book Club

It’s many years since I read the Girl in a Swing by Richard Adams but yet I remember, above all, a feeling of dislike and revulsion. Whether it was badly written or not, I am not sure, but there is no other book which has left me with such a bad taste in my mouth.

Author:  judithR [ 07 Jul 2019, 17:46 ]
Post subject:  Re: Bad Book Club

How about The Hill by Horace Vachell? I haven't read the Richard Adams but our book group looked at an AS Byatt which was so unpleasant I can't remember the title.

Author:  Pado [ 08 Jul 2019, 00:39 ]
Post subject:  Re: Bad Book Club

Fifty Shades of Grey. Bad writing and just awkward.

Author:  mynameisdumbnuts [ 08 Jul 2019, 14:26 ]
Post subject:  Re: Bad Book Club

I'm another who didn't like The Da Vinci Code. I was taking an intro art history class at the time, and it bothered me that I could solve some of the clues before the main characters.

I also struggled with Wolf Hall because of the style. Although I got into it enough by the end that sometimes I think about reading Bring Up the Bodies. (Although not enough to follow through.)

And I did not like Lady Chatterly's Lover because Mellors is a surly, unappealing fellow, and I don't like being lectured about nature vs. industrialization.

I thought Court of the Air by Stephen Hunt was boring and convoluted. The Eragon series by Christopher Paolini got worse as it progressed. Go Ask Alice, the anti-drug tale of a young girl girl who becomes an addict, had the unfortunate effect of making LSD trips sound rather interesting.

I finished them all though because I am one of those unfortunates who feels compelled to finish every book I start.

Anyone read the Meg series by Steve Alten, about the megladon that surfaces from the deep? The movie starring Jason Statham came out earlier this year. The books are tripe of the tripeiest kind but extremely entertaining.

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