Author Topic: DON'T READ THAT!!!  (Read 1290 times)

Offline GloryAndCrumpets

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DON'T READ THAT!!!
« on: May 23, 2018, 04:55:59 pm »
Because we've all read that book...you know the one. The one that you hated so much that you just need to warn everybody else off it (and hopefully find a couple other haters in the process). Maybe it was something that one annoying chick in your book group picked out when it was her turn to choose. Maybe it was something you had to read for high school lit class. Maybe it was a best seller everybody else was raving about or maybe it was just something that looked good, dammit, and then it betrayed you! Dish it. Let it out. We're here for all that pent-up book rage.

I'll start...Behind Closed Doors, by B.A. Paris. It sounded like a good, suspenseful domestic thriller where there's a seemingly perfect couple, but something more sinister is going on underneath the facade. But holy bearded Odin on a pogo stick, it was bad. SO. BAD. It was terribly written and ridiculously unbelievable. The main character (I really can't call her a heroine) was infuriatingly stupid and the husband...oh my gosh, Snidely Whiplash would have been a less cartoonish villain. Seriously, this guy marries the main character and then turns to her almost immediately afterwards and basically flat-out says "By the way, I am an evil murderous psychopath and this is my evil plan. Watch me be evil." And that's really not that far off from a direct quote because the dialogue in that book was some of the worst I have ever had the misfortune of reading. The whole way through the book I was just sitting there slack-jawed going "Has this person ever actually had a real conversation? With an actual, real-life human? Nobody talks this way! Nobody in the entire history of the world has ever had a conversation that even remotely resembled this!"

Grrrrr, I still hate myself for finishing it...

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Offline Free Range Hippy Chick

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Re: DON'T READ THAT!!!
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2018, 05:33:40 pm »
The Monogram Murders by Sophie Hannah. The estate of Agatha Christie apparently gave permission for a Poirot novel. Bet they're regretting it now. The plot is indeed gloriously convoluted, in the approved manner but the motive for the murders? Ludicrous. The secondary detective has nothing to recommend him, either. He's constantly having some sort of existential crisis in which he wonders if anybody cares what he thinks. (Spoiler: no, not a soul. Seriously. Not even me.) He doesn't want to do detection, which is a bit of a drawback for a professional police detective. So basically he doesn't do any.

Fortunately I bought the book in a second hand shop. Now it's gone back to one.

 

🔥 ☣️
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Offline Winterlight

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Re: DON'T READ THAT!!!
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2018, 05:48:39 pm »
I just looked that up and apparently Hannah was interviewed and said she had decided not to try to recreate Christie's style. Instead she created an OMC who is apparently the world's most inept police detective. Plus, for a book set in 1929, she's got a poor grasp of the era.

Personally, I'm leery of trying to continue a series after the author is dead- or coauthor in the case of Dick Francis' mysteries. His wife Mary was his coauthor, though this didn't become known till after she died, I believe. His books with Mary were great, the later ones with his son were a grave disappointment. Mary's perspective made the books more three-dimensional characters. I made several attempts to read the later books and have yet to finish one. I always get bored halfway through.
If wisdom’s ways you wisely seek,
Five things observe with care,
To whom you speak,
Of whom you speak,
And how, and when, and where.
Caroline Lake Ingalls

Offline Kimmers

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Re: DON'T READ THAT!!!
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2018, 05:49:21 pm »
Broken Harbor, Tana French.  I loved all her other books, but this one made me blind with rage.  So much set up for no payoff.  None.  One huge plot line literally goes nowhere.  I still get angry talking about it. 

Co-worker and I use it as a measure of how bad a book is...is it as bad as or worse than broken harbor?   

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Re: DON'T READ THAT!!!
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2018, 05:52:19 pm »
The Monogram Murders by Sophie Hannah. The estate of Agatha Christie apparently gave permission for a Poirot novel. Bet they're regretting it now. The plot is indeed gloriously convoluted, in the approved manner but the motive for the murders? Ludicrous. The secondary detective has nothing to recommend him, either. He's constantly having some sort of existential crisis in which he wonders if anybody cares what he thinks. (Spoiler: no, not a soul. Seriously. Not even me.) He doesn't want to do detection, which is a bit of a drawback for a professional police detective. So basically he doesn't do any.

Fortunately I bought the book in a second hand shop. Now it's gone back to one.

Oh, thanks for that. I wondered if the Sophie Hannah books were up to the hype.

This will be a good opportunity to vent about all the books I don't review on my blog. I've promised my subscribers recommendations, so if I can't get behind it, I don't mention it at all.

It will be a relief to unleash the snark.

Offline GloryAndCrumpets

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Re: DON'T READ THAT!!!
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2018, 05:57:04 pm »
The Monogram Murders by Sophie Hannah. The estate of Agatha Christie apparently gave permission for a Poirot novel. Bet they're regretting it now. The plot is indeed gloriously convoluted, in the approved manner but the motive for the murders? Ludicrous. The secondary detective has nothing to recommend him, either. He's constantly having some sort of existential crisis in which he wonders if anybody cares what he thinks. (Spoiler: no, not a soul. Seriously. Not even me.) He doesn't want to do detection, which is a bit of a drawback for a professional police detective. So basically he doesn't do any.

Fortunately I bought the book in a second hand shop. Now it's gone back to one.

Ick, that sounds awful! Have you read Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz? It's a fun read with a mystery-inside-a-mystery twist and it's a wonderful homage to/pastiche of the classic British mystery a la Agatha Christie. You might like that better.

Offline GloryAndCrumpets

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Re: DON'T READ THAT!!!
« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2018, 06:01:00 pm »
Broken Harbor, Tana French.  I loved all her other books, but this one made me blind with rage.  So much set up for no payoff.  None.  One huge plot line literally goes nowhere.  I still get angry talking about it. 

Co-worker and I use it as a measure of how bad a book is...is it as bad as or worse than broken harbor?

I enjoyed Broken Harbor overall. For me, it was In The Woods. It started off SO GOOD and I was completely into it and totally ignoring kids and housework and everything else because I just had to know what happened...AND THEN NOTHING HAPPENED! And she had such a great thing going with the Rob-Cassie relationship, and I was really loving the portrayal of a close male-female friendship that was genuinely platonic (because I feel like you so rarely see that kind of thing in media) and then she threw in that stupid "Oh, let's sleep together, wait, now things are awkward" thing and RUINED it, which I was so desperately hoping she wouldn't do. So yeah that, and the fact that it was a mystery novel that didn't solve the central mystery kind of pissed me off. That was the first Tana French book I read, and in retrospect, it's sort of amazing I read anything else by her after that.
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Offline PaperCrystals

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Re: DON'T READ THAT!!!
« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2018, 07:51:50 pm »
This may be a cliche, but Ulysses. God, I hate James Joyce. So much.
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Offline Tisiphone

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Re: DON'T READ THAT!!!
« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2018, 08:23:48 pm »
The Monogram Murders by Sophie Hannah. The estate of Agatha Christie apparently gave permission for a Poirot novel. Bet they're regretting it now. The plot is indeed gloriously convoluted, in the approved manner but the motive for the murders? Ludicrous. The secondary detective has nothing to recommend him, either. He's constantly having some sort of existential crisis in which he wonders if anybody cares what he thinks. (Spoiler: no, not a soul. Seriously. Not even me.) He doesn't want to do detection, which is a bit of a drawback for a professional police detective. So basically he doesn't do any.

I read that book, too!

The character of Poirot was badly done and the original character was the stupidest, most inept protagonist I've seen in a long time. How he ever became a detective is beyond me.

The book read like it was trying to use Agatha Christie's character to launch her own series with her own character and slowly phase out Poirot.

Offline VorFemme

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Re: DON'T READ THAT!!!
« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2018, 09:39:12 pm »
Supposed to be a "fantasy novel" - Missy the Werecat - dearie me, where to start?  The author isn't writing the novel, the author is more or less writing an explanation of what is going to happen in the book but someone made a mistake and published the rather long synopsis instead of the book.  Seriously - it sounds sorta like one of those people who wants to be a writer and is telling a real writer what their story idea is about...only without jumping back & forth on the time line as they keep rambling on.

It's the best explanation that I've come up with.

But after reading a chapter or two and thinking that "this has to get better", I finally realized that "this isn't going to get better".  I finished the second chapter and deleted it from my reader (it was a free book - all I spent on it was the few minutes that it took to read the first couple of chapters).


« Last Edit: May 23, 2018, 10:29:24 pm by VorFemme »

Offline GloryAndCrumpets

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Re: DON'T READ THAT!!!
« Reply #10 on: May 23, 2018, 09:39:43 pm »
This may be a cliche, but Ulysses. God, I hate James Joyce. So much.

Never got to Ulysses, but had to read A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man for one my lit classes in college. NEVER. AGAIN. The man makes me want to stab my eyeballs out with a spork.

Offline gorplady

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Re: DON'T READ THAT!!!
« Reply #11 on: May 23, 2018, 10:18:11 pm »
I have only one book I had to put down because I just. couldn't. do. it. anymore.

"The Book of Dave" by Will Self. It is written in Will Self's invented language. Some parts were brilliant, but I spent so much time having to decipher the book, I got frustrated and just stopped reading it.

https://www.amazon.com/Book-Dave-Novel-Will-Self/dp/1596913843

If you like literary challenges, this is a book for you.

Offline Queen of the Night

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Re: DON'T READ THAT!!!
« Reply #12 on: May 23, 2018, 11:44:09 pm »
Not so much a book as an author...  but someone please tell me how Tamar Myers ever got a publishing contract?

I am a huge fan of mysteries and cozies especially, and one of her books had a fun, catchy name, so I picked it up. It was awful. I tried another one, and it was also bad. (Big dramatic climax was that they were in a car that was sinking into the mud or something, and then suddenly they were just able to drive away.  Huh?) 

I don't remember the titles as I've blocked them out of my brain, but... 

Offline AngelicGamer

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Re: DON'T READ THAT!!!
« Reply #13 on: May 24, 2018, 12:12:32 am »
Hard hard hard NO to anything by Jodi Picoult. I threw My Sister's Keeper across the room at the ending - thank Deity the movie changed it - and we shall not speak of Nineteen Minutes. It's about a school shooting and, the way she wrote it, it felt like a ton of victim blaming. So, yeah, I will never ever read another thing by Jodi Picoult. She can go about doing her thing and I'll do my thing, but yeah. No. So much no. Let's add another one. NO PUT IT DOWN AND BACK AWAY SLOWLY NO.

Also, unless you can stand annoying male teenagers, pass on Will Grayson, Will Grayson too. I had to DNF it after four chapters. I didn't care if the main characters of the same name but different backgrounds were going to be okay or whatever. If one of them had stopped either whining or focusing on people's size and gayness, I would have stuck it out. Neither did. I am going to try Looking for Alaska and hope it's a fluke on John Green but we'll see. I don't know what to try of David Levithan to see if that was a fluke too but we'll see.


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Offline MariaE

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Re: DON'T READ THAT!!!
« Reply #14 on: May 24, 2018, 12:20:26 am »
Ha! I'm the exact opposite with My Sister's Keeper! I wanted to throw the movie across the room for changing the ending!  ;D

I haven't read WGWG, but Looking for Alaska was rather good, I though. I liked it better than The Fault in Our Stars.

The only book I rage-hate is "50 Shades of should never have been published". Not because it used to be fanfic (that's how many good books got started", but because it's just so bad and totally glorifies an abusive relationship. The only good thing about having read it, is that I got to write the snarkiest review I've ever written  8).

There are other books I hate, but none that actually make me furious got published like that one.
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