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The worst reads of 2011


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Showing 26-46 of 46 posts in this discussion
In reply to an earlier post on 7 Jan 2012, 02:45:25 GMT
Bernard J. says:
One good point. You can't comment properly on book's (or author's) quality of writing if you are not reading the book in its original language. Some translations can be bad.

In reply to an earlier post on 7 Jan 2012, 19:41:20 GMT
Jacquie says:
Bernard J. Ryan

You make an excellent point. Very good books can be poorly translated and the poor reader (unless he is multi-lingual) will never know the difference. The good thing is that if you read enough translated books you get to know which translators are the best.

Probably the greatest dissapointment of 2011 for me was The Leopard by Jo Nesbo. I have read all of Nesbo's Harry Hole series and really enjoyed them. The Leopard was so over-the-top gory and unrealistic it really turned me off. I know quite a few people who agreed with me on that. I hope he notches it down a bit with the next one.

In reply to an earlier post on 7 Jan 2012, 22:08:30 GMT
Last edited by the author on 7 Jan 2012, 22:13:04 GMT
I Readalot says:
Ripple - I am really pleased that you enjoyed City of Bohane, I really hope that this book gets the recognition it deserves, and thanks for the compliment, I try my best.

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Jan 2012, 11:24:52 GMT
I'm reading the Leopard just now, more than half-way through and finding it nowhere near as gory as The Snowman - I imagine it will get gorier? I don't want to read it before bed if that is the case! But I am enjoying it, I love Jo Nesbo.

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Jan 2012, 16:13:40 GMT
Jacquie says:
Karen Stewart

Be sure and post when you've finished with The Leopard. I'm interested in the opinion of another Nesbo fan. I love the Harry Hole character. Have you read anything by Arnaldur Indridason? Icelandic author whose main character is a very interesting fellow named Erlendar (sp?). Some of the titles are Jar City, Silence of the Grace, Draining Lake and others. I recommend.

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Jan 2012, 18:14:02 GMT
Hi - I will do. Just put it down after the avalanche - very exciting stuff!

Our bookgroup choice was Jar City, however we all got a bit muddled as the girl who chose it had a copy called Tainted Blood, and we didn't realise it was the same book, so we all had trouble getting hold of it and the library copy I ordered came too late for me to read it in time so a long answer to your question, I didn't get around to reading it. I wish I had though.

Posted on 8 Jan 2012, 20:11:23 GMT
monica says:
Like several others here, I simply skim or leave off reading altogether if a book seems to have no redeeming qualities. The book I read last year that I gave up on fastest, though, was The Disappearing Spoon, by Kean. It dealt with periodic table, about which I know nothing but wanted to learn, but the tone of the writing was so godawful that I began skimming on page 14 and stopped doing even that on page 50.

In reply to an earlier post on 9 Jan 2012, 08:31:11 GMT
Maggie D says:
Karen, I agree with you about Lupton's 'Afterwards' - and for the same reasons!

Posted on 9 Jan 2012, 09:08:20 GMT
Karen Lowe says:
I've still got 'Leopard' and 'Snowdrops' to read... so now approaching them with trepidation! I agree re the Julian Barnes - it was far better as a Radio 4 adaptation. I think I've enjoyed to some degree pretty much everything I read in 2011 but, as others have said, why bother reading something you're not enjoying. If the sample or opening chapter doesn't impress, I won't waste any more time.

Posted on 10 Jan 2012, 20:15:25 GMT
bookaddict says:
The worst read of 2011 was One Day by David Nicholls. I perservered until the last 100 pages and gave up. I really didn't understand what all the hype was about. It bored me senseless.

Posted on 10 Jan 2012, 22:05:50 GMT
KOMET says:
By far, "A SOLDIER OF THE GREAT WAR" (Mark Helprin) was the WORST BOOK I read in 2011.

Never was I MORE RELIEVED to be done with reading a book as I was with this one. This tale, in which Alessandro Giuliani, an aging First World War veteran in his dotage, speaks about his life to a young lad (Nicolo) in his late teens while the 2 make their way on foot from the countryside to Rome during August 1964, is ponderous and tiresome. Alessandro, who grew up and lived a life of ease and comfort up til the First World War, loves to pontificate on just about any subject. In this respect, he comes across as very annoying and pompous.

The prose also had a tendency to be clunky and superfluous. This novel I had had in a closet for almost a decade. But it was only a few weeks ago that I felt compelled to read it because it touched on the First World War (a subject I am more eager to learn about) and it had been a New York Times Bestseller. So, the more I read this novel, the more I found myself fighting it, hoping that I would find a more engaging tale. Alas, it was not to be.

Thankfully, I was able to donate this book to the downtown library.

Posted on 11 Jan 2012, 00:03:08 GMT
Steven King's The Dome, never have I taken so long to read a book, started in October and ended up putting it down start of November and reading another book, hate not finishing a book I've started though, so went back to it in December and only finished it at Christmas. I'm normally a very fast reader. And it was such a disappointment, a lot of it just didn't make sense and all that babbling about the "leatherheads" That's a good few weeks of my life i'm not getting back!

Posted on 11 Jan 2012, 08:59:02 GMT
Karen Lowe says:
After I'd posted before, I did go back and check my database (yes I know, I should get out more... but it's actually quite useful. If alarming, as I can see how much I've spent on books in the year - money well spent, of course) and there was really only one title I finished reading that was disappointing and that was one of my favourite authors, Donna Leon. I did think Beyond Belief was rather a weary offering. And I did struggle to finish Hare with Amber Eyes, I'm afraid. It was very worthy, and good in parts. Just wish it had been shorter!

Posted on 11 Jan 2012, 10:31:06 GMT
@Jacquie and @Karen Lowe - I finished The Leopard this morning over my Special K, and I was almost late for work as I just had to finish it. I have to agree that it was pretty gory and far fetched at times, and maybe a bit too long, but overall I did enjoy it. There was still enough twists and turns to keep me guessing. I just love Harry Hole, and am looking forward to the Phantom.

In reply to an earlier post on 11 Jan 2012, 10:32:59 GMT
Last edited by the author on 11 Jan 2012, 10:33:24 GMT
I have a database too... Thankfully I don't record money spent otherwise I may have a bit of a heart attack, but dates read and how much I enjoyed the books, wishlist and books I didn't finish. It is very useful, and the geek in me really enjoys completing it and then looking to see how many books I have read as the year goes by.

Posted on 12 Jan 2012, 12:52:40 GMT
Last edited by the author on 12 Jan 2012, 12:56:48 GMT
The worst was Connie Willis' Blackout/All Clear, which actually won the Best Novel Hugo. Idiot plotting, nauseating paens to the Blitz spirit, and worst of all it was one of those books which loudly proclaims with every page how well-researched it is, but it had literally *thousands* of blatant errors (the Jubilee line existing in the 1940s, Manchester being in the Midlands etc).
Willis has apparently written good books in the past, but this was the most godawful thing I've ever read in my life.

Doctor Watson Investigates: The Case Of The Scarlet Neckerchief - my newest story.

Posted on 14 Jan 2012, 18:21:53 GMT
Karen Lowe says:
Just reporting back... I enjoyed 'Snowdrops', no complaints. I loved the Russian setting and sort of knew how he felt being played as an outsider. And really enjoyed 'Leopard' - I think it's one of his best. Fast paced plot and I do enjoy Harry Hole's company. The gory bits? Well, it doesn't really dwell on them, they're more of a plot device. So I'm happy. On to the next on the TBR pile...

In reply to an earlier post on 14 Jan 2012, 22:01:25 GMT
Last edited by the author on 14 Jan 2012, 22:04:23 GMT
It's not worth anyone's time to finish a book that's not really keeping one's interest. I started a few books and stopped reading shortly after.

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Jan 2012, 13:22:58 GMT
PookieHayes says:
I agree totally

Posted on 15 Jan 2012, 13:25:31 GMT
PookieHayes says:
Pissed of parent club by mink Elliott was the not just the worst book of 2011 but the worst book I have ever read!!

Posted on 24 Feb 2012, 11:53:33 GMT
toad says:
The Pregnant Widow by Martin Amis gets my top negative vote. It may well have improved by page 30, but life was (and still is) too short to find out . . . .
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Initial post:  1 Jan 2012
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