General Question

jlm11f's avatar

What books did you not care for that everyone else seemed to love?

Asked by jlm11f (12403points) July 22nd, 2008

Inspired by this question of course. The recent book series that I have hated is the Twilight series. I might just be too old for them, but oh those books make me so mad! >,<

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60 Answers

SuperMouse's avatar

The Bridges of Madison County – blech, blech, blech.

nina's avatar

Hemingway, James Joyce, Da Vinci Code, to name a few

shilolo's avatar

Catcher in the Rye. What a depressed kid… uggghhh.

susanc's avatar

Lots of people hated The Bridges of Madison County. These people were known as “literate” people.

I hate the Ann Rice vampire books. I think they’re stupendously boring and pretentious. I hate John Grishams because they’re always marked by intense anticlimax.

Kay's avatar

Anything by Ayn Rand.

jlm11f's avatar

Oooh also, I didn’t like Brave New World. I know many people adore that book…but I found it to be a waste of my time. It HAD potential but the author messed it up.

@ shilolo – Catcher in the Rye was an OK book for me, but it made a lot more sense in the end.

tinyfaery's avatar

Everyone will hate me, but I have never had any desire to pick up any Harry Potter book. I haven’t even seen the movies.

But since the question involves something I have read, the most notable are Huckleberry Finn and The Old Man and the Sea (or anything by Hemingway).
And since I just saw kay post it; yes, anything by Ayn Rand.

tinyfaery's avatar

Catcher in the Rye=so so.

robmandu's avatar

Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code.

I did enjoy his Angels & Demons, though.

jlm11f's avatar

Angels and Demons was better than Da Vinci Code, I agree!

flyawayxxballoon's avatar

To Kill a Mockingbird. I’m only fourteen, but I’m extremely literate. However, I just couldn’t get into it. Though the writing was fantastic and it has a great message, it was just too boring for me.

@PnL; The Twilight Series are definitely directed toward young-ish teenagers, so you might be too old to be interested.

@tinyfaery; I loved the Harry Potter books! They’re extremely vivid, and the writing is amazing.

marinelife's avatar

Ulysses by James Joyce

El_Cadejo's avatar

HATED to kill a mockingbird.

SuperMouse's avatar

@robmandu I agree 100% I couldn’t even get through Da Vinci! A couple more bestsellers I loathed, The Bonfire of the Vanities, and The Firm. I love the Harry Potter books, but cannot stand A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket.

nicko9y's avatar

Da Vinci code. wow…

Also, in a vice versa of this, a book that I read in highschool and everyone including the teacher seemed to hate was The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Everyone seemed to enjoy the movie though.

syz's avatar

The Lovely Bones
The Da Vinci Code (idiotic)
Anything by Anne Rice

tinyfaery's avatar

I second marina.

lindabrowne1's avatar

The Da Vinci Code

Knotmyday's avatar

Green Eggs and Ham, Dr, Seuss.

Plot, sub-plot, uninteresting plot twist, anticlimax. Blah blah blah.

I would not read it, Sam I am.

poofandmook's avatar

The Great Gatsby… it was torture. Torture. Plus, I absolutely cannot stomach any Harry Potter anything.

poofandmook's avatar

@syz.. wow. I absolutely loved The Lovely Bones. I’m quickly becoming a big fan of Alice Sebold. To each his own though! I was just surprised it was mentioned :)

gailcalled's avatar

@Marina; ma semblable, ma soeur? Ulysses? My best-beloved book, the one I would take on a dessert island or on a cruise ship…

emilyrose's avatar

DaVinci Code——I am so happy to finally have company! I read the first 20 pages maybe and thought, “drama rama, who cares!” And that I didn’t care at all what happened so why keep reading!!!

St.George's avatar

Crash – the J.G. Ballard one.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@poofandmonk oh man i forgot about gatsby that book was HORRIBLE.

marinelife's avatar

My darling Gail. I suspected that based on your posts in earlier threads and hesitated wounding you with my truth. I cannot tell you how many times I have tried, and then abandoned, wondering why I keep trying. If, however, you can find me a dessert island, I will agree to take that book with me. A cruise ship (my idea of hell) is out of the question though. ;)

emilyrose's avatar

I never liked Charles Dickens. I always had a terrible time with reading comprehension in high school.

poofandmook's avatar

I also hate Shakespeare. Well, no. I always like contemporary versions that people seem to hate, like Romeo & Juliet with Leonardo DiCaprio and Clare Danes. I am very smart and love literature and words and such, but I could never manage to wrap my head around the language.

gailcalled's avatar

@Marina; I would consider a cruise my idea of hell also – hence the novel, Greek, Latin, Italian and German dictionaries, a concordance of the bible and a detailed description of the Catholic Mass. I could then lock myself in my cabin.

Did you ever read David Foster Wallace’s essay on that subject?

“A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again is the title of a 1997 collection of non-fiction writing by… Wallace.
In the namesake essay, originally published as “Shipping Out” in Harper’s, Wallace describes what he sees as the middlebrow excesses exhibited during his one week trip aboard a cruise ship… in the Caribbean. His ironic displeasure with the professional hospitality industry and the “fun” he should be having unveils how the indulgences of the cruise turn him into a spoiled brat, leading to overwhelming internal despair.
. . . .. Another essay in the same volume takes on the vulgarities and excesses of the Illinois State Fair.
This collection also includes Wallace’s influential essay “E Unibus Pluram” regarding television’s impact on contemporary literature and the use of irony within American culture.(from

@Poof: I felt the same way about Will when I was young. In the past 10 years, I have reread many of the plays and finally “got” them. (I am pretty old.)

poofandmook's avatar

@gail: I don’t know… I’m only 25. I definitely don’t consider myself too young to grasp it, but on the other hand, maybe that’s just another thing that comes with time. Whenever I think of the wording used throughout his Shakespeare’s work, I think of a great quote from Tom Petty in reference to music: “Please don’t bore us, just get to the chorus.”

sarahsugs's avatar

The Unbearable Lightness of Being.
The Jonathan Safron Foer books.

blakemasnor's avatar

Blue like Jazz.
Through painted desserts

aidje's avatar

Harry Potter = to me, the acme of vapidity

There was nothing about that series that I found engaging, and there were plenty of things that turned me off (the inanity of house points, the shallow characterization, etc.)

While I was struggling to get through the first two, everyone told me not to worry: it would get better with the third book. Then when I wasn’t enjoying the third book either, everyone told me that the fourth one was where the series really took off (the same thing they’d previously said about the third book). I read the first few chapters of the fourth book, and then decided that I was really just wasting my time.

augustlan's avatar

Not that these are supposed to be literary gems, but anything by Mary Higgins Clark or Jackie Collins…blech! With such AWFUL writing, I don’t understand how they are all best sellers…

MacBean's avatar

I can’t stand Hemingway or Twain.

Catcher in the Rye is my least favorite book of all time. It’s the only book I’ve ever thrown away instead of selling/trading/giving away.

The DaVinci Code was crap.

Anne Rice is not only a poor writer, but also a thoroughly unpleasant person.

I love Discworld and Terry Pratchett in general, but the Rincewind books (the ones I’ve read so far, at least) bore me.

Everyone says Peter S. Beagle’s first novel, A Fine and Private Place, was sooooooooo wonderful, but it’s less than 300 pages long and it took me almost a month to read because I just couldn’t get into it.

Foolaholic's avatar

Crime and Punishment. My English class ate it up, but I just couldn’t get into it…

shrubbery's avatar

The Alex Rider series. They were supposed to be awesomely engaging and action packed like a kids James Bond, but I really struggled to get into Stormbreaker at all and never finished it.

on a side note, PnL, I reluctantly picked up Twilight expecting to hate it, or not expecting much at all, and to my complete surprise I loved it, and I couldn’t even tell you why…

dragonflyfaith's avatar

The Time Travelers Wife – I bought it when it first came out, couldn’t get into it. Then it got popular and I tried it again…nothing.

The Davinci Code – I just couldn’t get into the characters and found myself thinking about other things while reading it.

Wuthering Heights – I was never made to read it in school but since I liked other books from that time I decided to try…no, no and no!

BronxLens's avatar

The DaVinci Code – haven’t read it, nor do I plan to.

molly's avatar

i, like many apparently, cannot stand the harry potter books. i love the movies and consider myself a harry potter fan but i find the books to be terribly boring. my biggest mistake was buying the last book the night it came out for 50 dollars because i was provoked by a friend who was a huge fan of the books. i read about a third of it, then skimmed through the rest of it to find what happened. it sits on my shelf, mocking me. :(

emt333's avatar

Anything by Phillip Roth. What a snooze!

robmandu's avatar

The books of Neal Stephenson’s Baroque Cycle.

They’re audacious in scope. And a total whip to get through (the first one is over 900 pages long).

gailcalled's avatar

@emt:Roth’s “Portnoy’s Complaint” set the world of English language readers on its ear when it was published in 1969. Do you include that one on your snooze list.

robmandu's avatar

The books of Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time.

If I have to read another stupid explanation about how women are better than men, or men are superior than women, or which Ajah is more devious, or whether the Aiel are more badass than anyone else, I might just go crazy.

I gave up on the series when I noticed the books were getting longer and longer, but with less meaningful content… except for wham-bam cliffhanger action right at the end.

emt333's avatar

@gail: lol all the classics that have been mentioned on this thread and i get called out on Roth? what about Salinger? Shakespeare????? but i get singled out for my dislike of Roth. Ulysses set a few readers on their ear too ya know. but in answer to your question I find all of Roth’s prose, Portnoy included, to be one big zzzzzzzzz….

ezraglenn's avatar

Hate Hemingway, Ayn Rand, and Jane Austen. I wasn’t a huge Tolstoy fan either. And Joyce’s Portrait left me cold. Beloved by Toni Morrison did little for me as well.

marinelife's avatar

@emt333 Not by me. I gave you lurve. I hate Roth and especially Portnoy’s Complaint. How could anyone read that eat liver again? I think Roth is a sexist pig. He celebrates sexual obsession in men. His women characters are all vapid and really only exist as objects for men’s lust and obsessions.

chaosrob's avatar

I enjoy some science fiction, and the whole Lensman series was supposed to be this great classic sci-fi. Turned out to be terrible, as did almost all of the Edgar Rice Burroughs books. Oh, and Ray Bradbury was awful, too. Never seen someone take four pages to describe the color “green” before. Ech.

St.George's avatar

re: Roth. I enjoyed the Human Stain. I like the way he uses words.

noraasnave's avatar

The purpose driven life. Christian fads are crazy. I stay away from books that all the Christians I run into tell me to read, because I look at their life, it must make them feel good or something, because I don’t see a difference from before they read it. I can’t see all, but that is my opinion.

dragonflyfaith's avatar

I almost forgot…

The Secret. Although I saw the dvd, I never would have read that whole thing myself. A friend ambushed me with the movie. No reason to throw things at me for saying I disliked The Secret, just think I’m going to get headache or something and maybe, just maybe it’ll happen.

gailcalled's avatar

@Marina: at the time that P’s Complaint appeared, in several sections of a literary magazine, it stunned the community because of its openness. (Speaking of liver, I hated it before and now know that it is the body’s toxin receptacle so would never touch it .)

And Roth was funny; Portnoy was pretty pathetic also. If I reread the book today, which I would not do, I would be much more analytical.

Plus, Ali McGraw was in my college dorm for one year and was so impossibly gorgeous and symmetrical, even in her Madras Bermuda shorts, that I watched the movie subjectively.

Add me to the Da Vinci Code list…ridiculous story and wooden prose.

aaronou's avatar

Da Vinci Code seems to be a nearly unanimous decision. But I’ll have to disagree with all the Catcher in the Rye haters. I think Salinger’s use of extreme pessimism actually allows the reader to clearly look at some major issues from a different perspective. Perhaps, Holden Caufield is almost too honest. As naturally skeptical as many of us flutherers are on here, I’d expect this to be like a Bible to a few. Then again, I suppose that’s just my take.

janbb's avatar

Have to hand in another vote for The Da Vinci Code. It was so obvious, hackneyed and dumb. I had a lot of trouble with Atonement too – just too slow and I thought the ending, which I can’t even remember now, was a cheat. I’m reading Loving Frank for a book club and finding that really slow going. Wasn’t crazy about The Time-Traveller’s Wife either. Among the classics (which I generally love) I’m not a big fan of George Eliot, particularly Daniel Deronda. Her plots are good, but she spends far too much time “telling” and not “showing.” I love Dickens, Austen and Anthony Trollope; not a big fan of Wuthering Heights.

@ezraglenn – Beloved is worth giving a second try some time. I think it’s one of the best American novels of all time; but i took me two goes (and I was teaching it) to understand a lot of it.

Anyone else read The Story of Edgar Sawtelle yet? It’s a new novel and it’s terrific!

@gail – Where did you go to college?

babygalll's avatar

Harry Potter…I just never got into it.

Dorkgirl's avatar

The English Patient—awful, self-absorbed people—who could care about these characters? (The movie was also barely watchable.)
Anything by Hemingway
Thomas Pinchot’s work—pretentious
Less Than Zero—ack! What awful dreck!

emt333's avatar

@dorkgirl i’m with you on hemingway…blech

sands's avatar

Alice in Wonderland. I simply COULD NOT read that book although I tried. And I LOVE to read.

Kar's avatar

Wicked – about halfway through the book I felt like I was dragging through a swamp. I know it’s very popular now, and I forced myself to go till the end, but I felt such RELIEF when it was over!

tedibear's avatar

“Son of a Witch” which was the sequel to “Wicked.” I liked “Wicked” but “Son of a Witch” was awful.

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