Social Question

KateTheGreat's avatar

Who do you believe are some of the most overrated authors?

Asked by KateTheGreat (13635points) May 12th, 2011

Self explanatory.

But my vote is for Nicholas Sparks!

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63 Answers

etignotasanimum's avatar

Dan Brown. I read The Da Vinci Code and thought it was great. That is, until I read his other books and realized that he used pretty much the exact same plotline for each book. I don’t like authors who do half-assed writing like that.

optimisticpessimist's avatar

I gave you a great question because I agree with your answer.

JilltheTooth's avatar

Stephen King. His very early stuff (before The Stand) was well and cleanly written, then he got lazy with his style. I hate to see talent like that wasted.

Blackberry's avatar

Charles Darwin, that guy didn’t know what the hell he was talking about lol. I second Stephen King, though.

crisw's avatar

Stephen King and Dean Koontz.

@Blackberry – you are kidding, right?

Michael_Huntington's avatar

Definitely Nicholas Sparks.
Stephanie Meyer and J.K Rowling are both overrated as well.
For classics, I have to say Charlotte Brontë.

Vunessuh's avatar

Jane Austen
Tom Clancy
Stephenie Meyer
Dan Brown
William Faulkner
Hemingway

Blackberry's avatar

@crisw Hahaha, yes. I’m kidding about Darwin, but serious about King.

Blueroses's avatar

Dostoevsky- I’ve tried and tried but he’s never gonna do it for me.
Nathaniel Hawthorne
James Fenimore Cooper
Thomas Pynchon
John Updike
Tom Robbins
John Irving

More votes from me for Sparks and Dan Brown

Ladymia69's avatar

Nicholas Sparks claimed he had a lot in common with Hemingway(!)...what he doesn’t realize is that he writes loves stories for third graders (and in a third-grader’s writing style).

Besides him, there is Nora Roberts, Danielle Steele, Dan Brown, James Patterson, all the miscellaneous formulaic mystery authors, the miscellaneous formulaic crime authors, romance authors, etc.

names escape me, but usually on the cover you will find the author’s name in much, much bigger font than the title. That’s a very bad sign that the writer is mediocre.

Ladymia69's avatar

@Blueroses NO!! I love Tom Robbins!

Blueroses's avatar

@ladymia69 well then you should be happy you don’t have to share him with me!

jerv's avatar

Another vote for Stephen King.

tedibear's avatar

Mary Higgins Clark – EVERY story is the same! And another vote for Dan Brown and Nicholas Sparks.

koanhead's avatar

I nominate L. Ron Hubbard as possibly the most overrated author ever, and certainly the most overrated of the last 50 years.

Pele's avatar

Anne Rice

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@etignotasanimum I had the exact same experience. He really should have done just the Da Vinci Code, and then stopped. Possibly gotten a time machine to wipe out Angels and Demons (at least the woman in Da Vinci Code wasn’t quite as obviously supposed to be the epitome of all female sexuality).

weeveeship's avatar

Dan Brown for the same reason as @etignotasanimum
Lemony Snickey for the same reason

J.R.R. Tolkien. I tried reading Fellowship of the Ring and fell asleep after the first chapter. It was so tremendously boring…

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

Jane Austen. I respect and admire her as a woman, and I think that, grammatically, her writing is very tight. However, I just find that she has nothing at all to say. I cannot begin to tell you how little I care about the romance “dramas” (come on, gimme some real drama) of some snooty upper-class women and their snooty, upper-class men in will-they-won’t-they fictions. Seriously, every time I read her stuff I just want to drive a fork into my thigh just so that there’s something to entertain me.

MissAusten's avatar

@Vunessuh OH NO YOU DIDN’T!! Take Jane off that list right this second! :P It’s OK Mr. Darcy, she didn’t mean it!

Ahem. Sorry.

My list would include many who’ve already been mentioned. Recent Stephen King, Stephanie Meyer, Nicholas Sparks, Dan Brown.

A current popular writer I can’t stand is Jodi Picoult. I read “My Sister’s Keeper” and felt cheated by the easy out at the end. I started to read another book of hers and just couldn’t get into it at all.

There are some classics I tried to read and couldn’t like. The Grapes of Wrath, Red Badge of Courage, the Lord of the Rings books, Moby Dick, and others I had to read in school that were supposed to be wonderful works of literature. I can appreciate literature as much as the next person (it’s OK Jane Austen, don’t cry, Vannesuh didn’t mean it!) and read so, so much of it as a writing major in college. I even still read it today, but some of it is such dry, dull stuff. Not like that hot English biscuit Mr. Darcy.

MissAusten's avatar

@MyNewtBoobs Oh no, not you too! It’s not just the romance, it’s the social commentary. Women who have no options because they are women. Class distinctions, rigid expectations, gender roles, and so much more! Although to be honest, there are only three Austen books that I think live up to the Jane Austen reputation: Pride and Prejudice, Emma, and Sense and Sensibility. The first time I read Emma, I didn’t really get it. Luckily I had a professor who took the time to make sure we all “got” the humor, which made it easy to read other Austen books and also see what, at that time, was funny. Kind of like how Shakespeare doesn’t seem to make sense until you study it a bit and kind of learn the language.

Or, just carry on with the fork stabbing. To each his/her own. Dammit Mr. Darcy, stop pouting!

Vunessuh's avatar

@MissAusten lmao. XD

I feel like I’m going to be sniped if I walk out my door.

filmfann's avatar

Melissa Rosenberg, who wrote the Twilight books.
James Joyce. He was an amazing writer, but he fails the first test: “Readablity”.

MissAusten's avatar

@Vunessuh Pay no attention to the man in breeches lurking in your bushes.

KateTheGreat's avatar

@MissAusten I definitely have to agree with @Vunessuh and @MyNewtBoobs on this one. I loath reading any of that woman’s books.

Michael_Huntington's avatar

@Vunessuh I’ll be your body guard.
And IIIIIIIIIII will always looooveee yooooooooooouuuuuuu….

janbb's avatar

Another vote for Dan Brown.

MissAusten's avatar

Wow, now I know how Twilight fans feel when people like me trash those silly books!

janbb's avatar

I got your back @MissAusten ! You and I and Mr. Darcy will just ignore those plebs.

Vunessuh's avatar

This is like one of those childish games you play in school where a group of kids all pick on the one “different” kid just to get a reaction out of em’. This is fun! :D

Michael_Huntington's avatar

I’d be wary of that penguin if I were you, @Vunessuh Her beaks are pretty sharp

Vunessuh's avatar

@Michael_Huntington You clearly forgot about my secret weapon. The spatula. DUN DUN DUUUUN.

MissAusten's avatar

@janbb Thank you my dear!

janbb's avatar

@Michael_Huntington Only one beak but it is sharp.

sliceswiththings's avatar

@filmfann Is Stephanie Meyer just a nom de plume or are you confused? She wrote the Twilight books. Gotta make sure you know who’s responsible for that atrocity :)

The guy who wrote Wicked. I forget his name.

filmfann's avatar

@sliceswiththings My mistake on a quick google search. You are correct. Stephanie Meyer is responsable for that horrible series.

Blueroses's avatar

oh @sliceswiththings I like Gregory Maguire. The Wicked series isn’t the best but Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister and Mirror, Mirror were better.

ddude1116's avatar

I second.. pretty much every author listed on here ..I’m too lazy to list them.. and I’m adding Ayn Rand and George Orwell to the list.

sliceswiththings's avatar

@filmfann However, now as I do a google search, it seems Rosenberg wrote the movies, which just might happen to be worse than the books. I read the books while on percoset, I should have done that for the movies too.

SuperMouse's avatar

I am leaping on th Dan Brown bandwagon! I will also add Jonathan Franzen and John Grisham.

Neurotic_David's avatar

I guess I am the only one, but I think Steig Larsson’s books are pedestrian. He’s my #1 overrated author right now.

janbb's avatar

@Neurotic_David I agree with you! I didn’t know what all the fuss was about.

keobooks's avatar

Jodi Piccoult – relies on oversappiness and sucker-punch endings to force tears out.

Stephenie Meyer – VERY shallow characters, major plot holes, just plain bad writing

Dean Koontz – Worst dialog I have ever read in my life.

Christopher Paolini – He’s not terrible, but was VERY overrated for a while. He’s not getting the attention he used to, but for a good while people talked about how amazing his books are. They are ..ehh. OK and he needs to learn the wonders of EDITING.

klutzaroo's avatar

I despise Stephanie Meyer. Didn’t she have a editor somewhere? Or did she just get paired with people as horrible at their jobs as she is?

Nicholas Sparks… haha. My favorite quote from this site: “It’s like if M. Night Shyamalan started every movie with the main character being shot to death by one of the New Kids on the Block and then criticized Steven Spielberg and George Lucas for always making the same movie over and over.”

@keobooks Christopher Paolini needs to give full credit to Anne McCaffrey as the source of most of “his” ideas. Not only did he lift a lot about dragons from her Pern series, he lifted the name “Eragon” as well, though McCaffrey spelled it “Erragon.” Not to mention Tolkien, but at least he isn’t alive to see his life’s work misappropriated.

keobooks's avatar

@klutzaroo Anne McCaffrey also did it MUCH better. I couldn’t remember where I heard the name Eragon. I thought it was just the Tolkein soundalike, but I totally forgot Erragon. AUGH!

I hate Stephenie Meyer for so many reasons. I could go on and on and on. I could probably write a Breaking Dawn sized book about everything I hated about her writing. I won’t go into it because I get worked up just thinking about it.

klutzaroo's avatar

@keobooks I just read “The Skies of Pern” the other day and then checked the publication dates. 2001 for hers, 2003 for his. Obvious what happened there. Erragon was in books before that one, but he was more important and prominent in the last few.

And, of course, there’s Aragorn.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@MissAusten I also can’t stand John Steinbeck. Or really, any of the “great American authors” – I think I may fail to give a damn about the American early 1900s. Same for The Great Borsby Gastby. These books real claim to fame is that they should speak to me, as an American, but America’s changed so much by the time I get to them that I’m just like snooze-ville. And in general, I don’t care for American history. Sometimes, I can do pre-1800, but after that… I don’t know why, but I don’t care about it.

Raven_Rising's avatar

Yet another vote for Stephen King, Stephanie Meyer and Jane Austen. Michael Crichton deserves to be on this list as well. Ugh, I think he’s a horrid writer

King_Pariah's avatar

Herman Hesse. (just kidding! you can put the stones down… don’t throw them at me! I was kidding!)

but honestly, L. Ron Hubbard, Dan Brown, Stephanie Meyer, Stephen King of Horror Present (Richard Bachman and Stephen King of Horror Past can live though, Stephen King of Horror Future still can redeem himself though), and maybe John Steinbeck.

weeveeship's avatar

@MyNewtBoobs The US declared independence in 1776. So, pre-1800 lit only covers 24 years of lit. If you count from Jamestown’s founding in 1609(?), then pre-1800 covers nearly 200 years if that’s what you meant.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@weeveeship Right. I know. I mean, I like the Revolutionary War and the lead up to it, and a little bit after the founding. But it’s more like… 30 or 40 years of lit. The 200 years before… sometimes. Maybe. But even if you do all of American history, it’s still only 400 years total.

Sunny2's avatar

Danielle Steele. I read one of her books out of curiosity. Really poor writing with repeated word images. Asinine plot. She’s in love with her own voice. She’s made millions and thinks she’s wonderful, but she is a waste of time.

weeveeship's avatar

Just in general:

I do not understand why so many authors fill up pages of either:
back-and-forth dialogue (with the exception of plays, where this is the main point)
OR
descriptive narrative (often with flowery language)

I know schools generally teach students to “show not tell” with their writing. However, I think that too much description detracts from the story, especially when the description does not add anything to plot, setting, or characterization.

Seelix's avatar

Dan Brown
Danielle Steele
Stephenie Meyer
Nora Roberts
Dr. Phil
Dr. Oz
Louise Hay
Wayne Dyer
Jodi Picoult
John Grisham
James Patterson
Mary Higgins Clark
Janet Evanovich
Jeffrey Deaver
Meg Cabot
Mitch Albom

The list could go on…

Pele's avatar

Agatha Christie as cute as she was. The stories were good, but the writing is dreadful. Example, on a book I read she must of typed “nowadays” a thousand times. Her foreshadowing is the first half mixed with details about certains in every book. She was the supermarket book writer of her time.

MonstrousPeace's avatar

Definitely Anne Rice and Stephen King. As for more teen-marketing authors, Stephenie Meyer has definitely milked her 15 seconds of fame for all it’s worth.

King_Pariah's avatar

Oh, how could I forget? JK Rowling

Raven_Rising's avatar

Thanks, @Seelix for reminding me about Dr. Oz and Dr. Phil! How could I forget those two hacking quacks (or is it quacking hacks)?

filmfann's avatar

@Neurotic_David I agree with you, in general, here. However, I hate to bash the guy when the writing may be botched by the translator.
The first book bored me to tears.

Ladymia69's avatar

@Neurotic_David In Larrson’s defense, I believe most of the trilogy was posthumously published. Posthumous publishing is something I just don’t agree with at all.

keobooks's avatar

Another one : Robert Jordan. He was another “dude.. get an EDITOR” author. How could he have written all those megalithic novels with thousands of pages and yet time managed to crawl in them? Also, why did he give all the characters names that sounded so similar that it was hard to keep track of them? His die-hard fans I know have shown me websites where you can download huge character lists with arrows and diagrams so you can use them to help you remember who is who. I say if you need charts and diagrams to read a book, you wrote a crappy book.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@keobooks I feel that this applies to Tolkien as well.

@filmfann Sorry, there is just no way all that bad writing is because of a translator. Translators just… translate. They don’t come up with focusing on what people ate (coffee and sandwiches, we get it) instead of advancing the plot at any point in time. He writes like a journalist – which is good, when you’re a journalist, which he was. But it’s a drastically different style when you’re going from “just the facts, ma’am” to spinning a story of deceit, betrayal, love, suspense, etc – you need to go in the opposite direction from a factual, unbiased account.

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