Famous books/series that you hate?

alexvss

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Which famous (best-selling, highly-awarded, classical) books or series of books--or authors for that matter--you hate? Which ones did you still have to read for study purposes?

The first one that comes to my mind is Neuromancer. I just cannot stand this book. I started by reading a translation, than tried the original. It only got worse. The pace, the Canadian dialect, the lack of the description of the scenario, the fact that it won so many prizes, the reader don't knowing if MC is in the Matrix or not... It all drives me crazy. But I had to read it, for I was researching cyberpunk. (disclaimer: I do know that Gibson did all of this on purpose; therefore, I won't say that he's a bad writer. It's just not for me).

Another one is Throne of Glass. I only read the first one and don't know how I was able to finish it. It's full of plot holes. The MC's actions are contradictory. The reader is constantly told that she's badass, but is never shown that. I mean, she's supposed to be the most famous assassin of the underworld and know a lot of languages (at age 18!), but she starts the book in a prison and vomits when other character tells her that a group of people were murdered!

I don't like Neil Gaiman's prose. Period. I love his comics though; and was after reading Sandman that I went on to read his books. I read The Graveyard Book and Coraline. I almost defenestrated myself yelling, "Goodbye shitty world!!!". Seriously, how is this even famous? I absolutely hate his descriptions. He describes like: "Coraline lived in a house and the house was big and the house had a garden and the garden was also big." That's it. That's all you get. (his repetition of the word "and" also infuriates me).
The Graveyard Book has absolutely nothing special about it. And it's so contradictory. There's also no sense of danger at all: the reader is never in dread of the Man Jack coming to get the boy (seriously, these guys are painfully incompetent). That, for me, kills the book.
Maybe the hype was the reason of my anger. The Graveyard Book won every prize imaginable, the version I bought featured a foreword by Margaret Atwood, Gaiman is pretty much universally considered to be one of the best writers of our generation and has a huge fandom (that put, should I fear for my life?). So I was utterly disapointed since chapter one, because it just doesn't deliver.

Thoughts?
 
Agree on WOT. Clan of the Cavebear equally excruciating.

Afraid I like Gibson and Gaiman a lot. Gibson requires some work and I can see that that can be annoying. Gaiman writes good accessible prose: the first chapter of The Graveyard Book is very effective. His novels are engrossing and frequently very witty. Graveyard Book and Coraline are children’s stories, btw.
 
I can't bear GRRM. Too dark, too rapey and too much killing off characters. Plus, I don't like four million points of view in one book.

Although I ended up reading all she'd written, it took me ages to be able to cope with the way Cassandra Clare writes. Not sure what it is, but though I enjoyed the story, I really had to fight my way into the prose.
 
Agree about GRRM, for the same reasons, plus I just don’t particularly like faux medieval fantasy these days with its annoying gender stuff. I find ASoIaF to be an unbearably pessimistic view of humanity, that people are willing to shank their own mums for some power.
 
The Wheel of Time. The only way I managed to muscle through the gag reflex those books engender was to get to the only Brandon Sanderson books (so far) I'll never read again.
Agree on WOT. Clan of the Cavebear equally excruciating.
This is a surprise. I never read WOT myself, but it was on my list. There's this youtuber called Daniel Greene who reviews fantasy books; WOT is his all-time favorite series. I think I'll proceed with caution now.
 
This is a surprise. I never read WOT myself, but it was on my list. There's this youtuber called Daniel Greene who reviews fantasy books; WOT is his all-time favorite series. I think I'll proceed with caution now.
A lot of epic fantasy is criticised for being derivative of Tolkein. WOT is derivative of fantasy that is derivative of Tolkein.
 
Highly controversial, but I hated Dune. I only read the first book, but I found it to be a dull, clunky read. It's been too long for me to remember specifics, but I remember finding the prose and dialogue poor, and the plot generic and predicable (reading it when I did). I can appreciate the scope of the world-building; there were some interesting elements, but while being an important and influential book, my impression was that it didn't hold up at all.
 
As I've said before, never get too attached to characters whose fate lies in the hands of GRRM or Joss Whedon...
At least with Joss Whedon, there might be a song along the way... ;)
I can't say I hate the books, but The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant. I read the first three because I was ill and I'd read everything else. When I was bought the next trilogy I couldn't raise the enthusiasm to even start. I can't see why anyone likes them.
 
As I've stated elsewhere, I was disappointed with Ender's Game though I do like Speaker for the Dead. EG felt like a prolonged Twilight Zone episode, about which I had a notion of the ending but convinced myself Card was too polished a pro to write anything that hackneyed. No, he wasn't.

By the way, Alexvss, I disagree about Gaiman. :)
 
Which famous (best-selling, highly-awarded, classical) books or series of books--or authors for that matter--you hate? Which ones did you still have to read for study purposes?

The first one that comes to my mind is Neuromancer. I just cannot stand this book. I started by reading a translation, than tried the original. It only got worse. The pace, the Canadian dialect, the lack of the description of the scenario, the fact that it won so many prizes, the reader don't knowing if MC is in the Matrix or not... It all drives me crazy. But I had to read it, for I was researching cyberpunk. (disclaimer: I do know that Gibson did all of this on purpose; therefore, I won't say that he's a bad writer. It's just not for me).

Another one is Throne of Glass. I only read the first one and don't know how I was able to finish it. It's full of plot holes. The MC's actions are contradictory. The reader is constantly told that she's badass, but is never shown that. I mean, she's supposed to be the most famous assassin of the underworld and know a lot of languages (at age 18!), but she starts the book in a prison and vomits when other character tells her that a group of people were murdered!

I don't like Neil Gaiman's prose. Period. I love his comics though; and was after reading Sandman that I went on to read his books. I read The Graveyard Book and Coraline. I almost defenestrated myself yelling, "Goodbye shitty world!!!". Seriously, how is this even famous? I absolutely hate his descriptions. He describes like: "Coraline lived in a house and the house was big and the house had a garden and the garden was also big." That's it. That's all you get. (his repetition of the word "and" also infuriates me).
The Graveyard Book has absolutely nothing special about it. And it's so contradictory. There's also no sense of danger at all: the reader is never in dread of the Man Jack coming to get the boy (seriously, these guys are painfully incompetent). That, for me, kills the book.
Maybe the hype was the reason of my anger. The Graveyard Book won every prize imaginable, the version I bought featured a foreword by Margaret Atwood, Gaiman is pretty much universally considered to be one of the best writers of our generation and has a huge fandom (that put, should I fear for my life?). So I was utterly disapointed since chapter one, because it just doesn't deliver.

Thoughts?

It pains me to confess I'm also not a Gaiman fan, for these exact reasons. I like *him* as a person, and The Ocean at the End of the Lane was decent, but American Gods was a DNF for me. I think he is at heart a children's writer, or maybe comics is his true medium. But also, I dunno, there's kind of too much hype around him. I felt the same about Clive Barker way back; so much build up that they can only ever disappoint. Barker's prose and writing seemed to me to go along the lines of: "Here's X'qq'glorrr'rth. He's a mad cockney [redacted] with ten heads. He has four arms, each wielding a club." (then, in the next scene). "Here's Zkll'llorr'th. He's a even madder Irish [redacted] with eleven heads. ELEVEN! Each of his SIX arms wields TWENTY swords!" Every moment seemed crafted solely to out-ludicrous the one before it, all while somehow remaining agonizingly tethered to the real world.
 
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I'm yet to read Gaiman, but I've been recommended him so many times that I picked up a copy of Neverwhere. It's sitting there, staring at me, waiting... and I just have this notion that I'm going to absolutely hate his writing. I don't know how I can judge having not read anything of his work, but I somehow have this image of him being Tim Burton in book form (and I really dislike the entire tone and aesthetic that comes with a Tim Burton movie).
 
I'm yet to read Gaiman, but I've been recommended him so many times that I picked up a copy of Neverwhere. It's sitting there, staring at me, waiting... and I just have this notion that I'm going to absolutely hate his writing. I don't know how I can judge having not read anything of his work, but I somehow have this image of him being Tim Burton in book form (and I really dislike the entire tone and aesthetic that comes with a Tim Burton movie).
Nothing like Tim Burton.
 
I'm yet to read Gaiman, but I've been recommended him so many times that I picked up a copy of Neverwhere. It's sitting there, staring at me, waiting... and I just have this notion that I'm going to absolutely hate his writing. I don't know how I can judge having not read anything of his work, but I somehow have this image of him being Tim Burton in book form (and I really dislike the entire tone and aesthetic that comes with a Tim Burton movie).

I liked The Graveyard Book and Coraline as children's stories, the latter particularly because it read like Bradbury written for girls, something there should be more of. I enjoyed Neverwhere but wasn't overwhelmed. I suspect a reread of American Gods would increase my regard for it -- I thought it was okay.

I greatly admire the short stories I've read by him and his writing isn't the literary equivalent of Tim Burton (though I suspect he could do that if he wanted). He reminds me more of John Collier. His stories may start in the real world, but he comes from a skewed perspective. And he can change tone as needed from story to story.
 
I liked The Graveyard Book and Coraline as children's stories, the latter particularly because it read like Bradbury written for girls, something there should be more of. I enjoyed Neverwhere but wasn't overwhelmed. I suspect a reread of American Gods would increase my regard for it -- I thought it was okay.

I greatly admire the short stories I've read by him and his writing isn't the literary equivalent of Tim Burton (though I suspect he could do that if he wanted). He reminds me more of John Collier. His stories may start in the real world, but he comes from a skewed perspective. And he can change tone as needed from story to story.
I think Anansi Boys is my favourite of his.
 
There's not much I really hate, but there's quite a lot that I find mediocre.
 

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