Your least favourite moments in otherwise good books.

Oh, dear. If you don't like Honor or the treecats, it's definitely not worth the trouble of slogging through the ship stuff! I read past the ship stuff because of Honor and the treecats, and the other characters. :)
For me the reason to read Weber isn't the ship info, or Honor herself, or her weird cat, it's actually the space battles. These are superlative.
 
The rape scene in Lord Foul's Bane. Even though it's pivotal; and it intentionally and fundamentally changes how you view the main character and the series I almost stopped reading the book. I'm glad I continued but it was almost a show stopper.
 
As much as I love the ASOIAF books, I've got to admit that there have been a bunch of times I just wanted to stop reading. I mean, way too much detail at some not-so-integral points, and then there's all the "extra" characters. Not a huge fan of Sansa in the first few books, but then she changes. I also hated that Arya's changing so much.
 
In the Painted Man /the Warded Man by Peter V Brett -

The main female character is gang raped. For which the only point seems for Arlen to extract bloody revenge.

She certainly doesn't seem that bothered about it when she has sex with him not long after.

I find rape scenes really off putting anyway but especially when simply having the woman beat up would've done equally as well.
 
The last 100 pages of Beyond the Shadows by Brent Weeks. Its felt like a rehash of the second book, and all that self pity and complaining from the main character.
 
Re some of the suggestions:

Tom Bombadil is a central character, the only one over whom the Ring holds no power. It shows that the Ring is fallible, and that Good is always stronger than Evil.

Weathertop; well, yes this is strange Aragorn and 4 hobbits vs. the Dark Lord's most fearless minions. Within easy reach of securing the Ring and winning the war before it had even begun. They are, however, shown to be complete cowards, and prepared to flee at the first sign of personal danger; quite odd really when they seem to be immortal (their spirits if not their bodies). This is also shown in other parts of the books. Their key weapon is fear (this is starting to sound like a sketch from Flying Circus!), and any time that anyone stands up to them they run away. As I said , this is demonstrated many times in the books. I think the question has to be quite why Sauron puts so much trust in these most untrustworthy of lieutenants.

The Scourging of the Shire is for me the most poignant part of the whole trilogy. It demonstrates how the returning Hobbits have grown from being peace-loving happy-go-lucky folk into fearless warriors, who despatch their opponents with consummate ease. It's also quite sad, as return of a former foe ends with tragic consequences.

The rape scene in the Thomas Covenant Chronicles was very brave; making the reader despise the main character in the smae way that the character despises himself. Over time we grow to forgive and respect him, and I guess he follows us on a similar journey. A very clever move, and one I have not seen repeated elsewhere.

Yes, King's books are great, but (far be it from me to criticise a world-wide best-seller) his endings tend to suck , and The Stand is one of the worst. He doesn't like to let go of characters (as was seen with the reappearance of many in the Dark Tower series) and most of his books have a predicatbly happy ending. A few exceptions mind, The Cell has a good ending , so does The Running Man and The Sun Dog has one of my most favourites endings of all.

Worst sections of any books for me though are the poems/songs in Tolkein's and Donaldson's novels; not highlights for me.
 
I'd have to say that Asimov's last two foundation books left me wanting, both Foundation's Edge and Foundation and Earth feel (to me) like a desperate attempt to tie in other Asimov's books series together with the Foundation, when I was perfectly happy to have them be independent. I'd like to go further but don't want to spoil anyone's read.

By the way, I absolutely loved the way Second Foundation ends! Perhaps Asimov should have left the series end there.
 
An old (1970) book by John Brunner Quicksand would have been one of my favorite reads if not for a silly ending that wasn't just a downer but also a deus ex machina that just made no sense at all. The main female character is still one of the most erotic I've ever seen in SF but the ending just ruins the book to the point where I can't reread it and don't recommend it to others.


Another like that is Philip Pullmans His Dark Materials trilogy. Again, why do some authors feel compelled to pull unhappiness out of a story that doesn't seem to merit it at all? It's as if Sheila Burnford's Incredible Journey was to end with all three pets being run over by their master as she pulls out of her new residence's driveway
 
Re some of the suggestions:

Tom Bombadil is a central character, the only one over whom the Ring holds no power. It shows that the Ring is fallible, and that Good is always stronger than Evil.

I understand why Tolkien included Bombadil, but I don't think it fixes the pacing problems the chapter causes, or the way its mood clashes with the rest of the novel. One major problem is that it effectively repeats the same scene twice; Hobbis get into trouble they can't handle and Tom bails them out.

That said I do have a soft spot for the Barrow scene. Allowing Frodo a moment where he's willing to run out on his companions was a very brave choice on Tolkien's part. It's easy to talk about courage, but the scene shows that when we're on the firing line our selfish side can easily bull **** us. We rationalise our cowardice, pretending we're making tough but noble choices even when it’s someone else who’s suffering for them.

Seeing that Frodo has these very human impulses but still manages to overcome them makes him a lot more relatable and admirable. While Jackson was right to cut out Tom, I still wish he'd found a way to include the Barrow scene (maybe in-between Bree and Weathertop, with Aragorn taking Bombadil's role perhaps?).
 
The prologue/epilogue scenes if Absolution Gap by Alastair Reynolds. Without giving too much away, they have literally zero bearing on the plot other than to suggest it might have been irrelevant.
 
Tom Bombadil.

That is all.

I'd like to know your reasoning. I find Tom fascinating in that he demonstrates that the ring (and therefor Sauron) are not invinsible. Clearly his power is far greater than that of Galdalf who dared not touch the One Ring.

"Eldest, that's what I am... Tom remembers the first raindrop and the first acorn... He knew the dark under the stars when it was fearless - before the Dark Lord came from Outside."
—Tom Bombadil (from Fellowship)
 
Minor spoiler, as it happens in the very beginning of the series.


The rape scene in Lord Foul's Bane. Even though it's pivotal; and it intentionally and fundamentally changes how you view the main character and the series I almost stopped reading the book. I'm glad I continued but it was almost a show stopper.
And the rape that sets the stage for the beginning of Donaldson's Gap series is even worse.

And while we're on the topic of Donaldson and things that make you want to stop reading great books...

For me, it's not a single part, but rather a practice. I otherwise greatly enjoy almost all of Stephen Donaldson's work, but his unswerving habit of forcing his characters to relive their greatest mistakes/failings 27 times over the course of each book causes me to grind my teeth.
 
I like Tom Bombadil, if only because he reminds us that not everything in the world has an easy explanation. He is hard to "fit" in Middle Earth, but there are always mysteries and he adds a new element. He also helps with the transition between the light adventure story of The Hobbit with the darker feel of LOTR.
 
Late to the party, but I will throw in my 2 cents. Overall I love the ASOIAF storyline, but the amount of detail that GRRM puts into his writing makes it really tough for me to read them. I actually had to switch to the audiobooks at one point, because I was taking so long to actually read them.

The Scourging of the Shire is for me the most poignant part of the whole trilogy. It demonstrates how the returning Hobbits have grown from being peace-loving happy-go-lucky folk into fearless warriors, who despatch their opponents with consummate ease. It's also quite sad, as return of a former foe ends with tragic consequences.

I agree with this in that I really loved the chapters looking back on them, but at the time (IIRC) everything is getting wrapped up nicely and you are in closing the book out. Then boom. We are hit with the Scourging of the Shire part. It just came as a big surprise to me and at that point I was already wrapping things up nicely and was completely unprepared for it. It just felt out of place based on the way the story was being wrapped up and everything was concluding to have it thrown in there. I can see why its there and I actually thought that it was great, but it has a strange feel to it.
 
I'd have to say that Asimov's last two foundation books left me wanting, both Foundation's Edge and Foundation and Earth feel (to me) like a desperate attempt to tie in other Asimov's books series together with the Foundation, when I was perfectly happy to have them be independent. I'd like to go further but don't want to spoil anyone's read.

By the way, I absolutely loved the way Second Foundation ends! Perhaps Asimov should have left the series end there.

I totally agree. I loved the original foundation trilogy, but I felt Foundation and Earth was a completely redundant exercise.
 

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