1. Augusto
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    Augusto Senior Member

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    Worst successful books ever...!

    Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by Augusto, Oct 3, 2015.

    I am amazing this thread didn't exist...!

    Here is my top trash SAGA ever: LEFT BEHIND.

    I don't think there is anything worst than this books, and they are more than 10 novels full of preaching and poor, dumb SHIT.

    Now... there is a videogame of Left Behind, and there are movies of this trash, so... after thinking about it, I think this is the most incredible case of talentless success in human history... but I am curious. Is there a book/saga that you think nobody should ever read, for their own good? Do you have your own top garbage books list?
     
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  2. SilentDreamer
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    SilentDreamer Member

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    50 Shades.

    Not because it's erotica, or because it's popular - but because from what I've managed to wade my way through, it's badly written. Granted some of my 'wading' through is from sitting next to a woman on a plane who was reading it in extra large font on her Nook (extra large enough you couldn't miss what she was reading, even if you weren't looking!), and excerpts shared online - but I have attempted to read it, to see what the hype was about. Maybe just the bits I read were badly written....and hell, I'm not published, so maybe I can't talk....but now there's a movie?? And another off-shoot - Grey? or something...

    @Augusto - I've read a book or two from the Left Behind (lord knows why, I'm a gay agnostic-atheist....curiosity?) - and yep, I agree. THOUGH, they do have a reasonably 'faithful' market who would appreciate a story like that, but I'm not sure 10 books or more is necessary!
     
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  3. Sack-a-Doo!
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    Sack-a-Doo! Contributing Member Contributor

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    Lord of the Rings. It's just plain boring.
     
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  4. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I'm a little older, so....

    The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant

    I should have known to give them a skip when I saw that the trilogy name contains the word chronicles. Just a pet peeve. We all have words that skeeve us and that word skeeves me. If you were a nerdy guy born in the late 60's or very early 70's, this set of books would have been part of the required reading to keep your nerdy name in good standing if you were of the Fantasy rather than Science Fiction bent (that's the successful part of the thread title satisfied). I was a Sci-Fi boy so I never read them when I was younger. Picked them up last year to give them a shot and was dumbfounded at just how bad they were. The writing itself is decent. The author knows how to string a sentence and a paragraph together. What the author did not know how to do was tell a story. The pacing was like pulling teeth with your fingers and there was an event - a horrific, terrible, disgusting event - that the MC perpetrates (a rape) and then the author just glosses past it like no big deal. Seriously, only one character in the story reacts to this event in a way that is in any way honest and real and all the other characters tell that character to chill the fuck out and go home. I couldn't get past that. I know you're not supposed to read the author into the work, but in this case, the handling of the event spoke to me and made me revile the hand that wrote it. Later, in a conversation here in the forum, another member told me that it only gets worse from there in that the MC travels back to the fantasy land where he perpetrated the rape and has a romantic relationship with the child he fathered in the rape. That's beyond the pale.
     
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  5. Lifeline
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    Lifeline The Dark - not in Wonderland Supporter Contributor

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    @Wreybies : Eek! I started with the Chronicles, but only managed the first 50 pages or so before letting it drop. And even that is only a very distant memory. From what I can remember, the story was boring but the writing was decent, basically what you say. I am glad now that I hadn't read further.

    @SilentDreamer : I agree completely. My mother gave me the first volume after she read and I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. The writing in there is terrible and distracted me from the story so that I now are not even able to tell you what happened in terms of plot. I will never understand the fascination people had with this book.

    I think the worst books are the ones who don't even leave a memory behind, one way or another. And if I look at my bookshelves now and remember how many books I have bought over the years, there certainly are a whole lot of them..
     
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  6. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I don't know about the worst, but the Divergent series and The Shadow Hunters series are awful books and yet they are popular and one's now a movie and the other is being made into a TV series.
     
  7. SilentDreamer
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    SilentDreamer Member

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    @Lifeline - I so understand....I used to give colleagues ribbing about reading it, but then realised they thought it was good, well written etc...then I just felt sorry for them.

    @Wreybies - I thought about reading the Chronicles!....probably won't now!
     
  8. LemonadeLover
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    LemonadeLover Member

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    Divergent, I don't understand the hype that surrounded that book. I can't comment too much on the story because I only got about half way through until I gave up but, the characters were annoying and the writing wasn't all that great. It felt like a book that was hurriedly put together to ride the coat tails of teen dystopian fiction.
     
  9. ReproveTheCurlew
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    ReproveTheCurlew Member

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    Anything by T.C. Boyle is rather embarrassing. At least it gives one hope that becoming published is not impossible.
     
  10. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I find him pretty annoying. His prose is good, but he bullies his characters. He seems to hate everyone he writes about and takes great glee in kicking them in the ass at every opportunity. I've given up on him.
     
  11. Lea`Brooks
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    Lea`Brooks Contributing Member Contributor

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    @GingerCoffee I agree about Divergent. I truly enjoyed the first book (and loved the movie). But once I got to the third book? I couldn't believe how ridiculous it had gotten. Worst. Ending. Ever. It's like the author hadn't planned on making a third book, so she just vomited nonsense.

    For me, I truly hated the Witch and Wizard series (though I only read half of one book) by James Patterson. I'm not entirely sure how popular it is, but there are five books, and it's speculated that the first is being turned into a movie. His chapters are about, oh... A page long. And every one of them ends in a "cliffhanger." Yanno, when they're really vague about what happened and you have to look on the next page to figure out what's going on? Yeah. Every chapter. All 104 of them. In three hundred pages.

    To top it off, everything happens so frickin fast. Like, they wake up. Oh now it's lunch time. Oh now she's sleeping! Then suddenly it's a week later. And it all happens in like... one chapter. There is zero tension, because he just skips through it so fast, you never even have the chance to connect to the scene. And, the characters are incredibly boring. They are your typical teenagers who call each other "bro" and "sis" and worry about zits and stuff. Nothing original or interesting about them at all.

    I realize I'm explaining this book very poorly. You'll just have to read it to understand what I mean. Or don't. Because it's bad. Worst book I've ever read. Literally.
     
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  12. Robert Musil
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    Robert Musil Contributing Member

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    I feel that if you were to graph "quality of book" on the y-axis and "enjoyment of book" on the x-axis, you'd get a U-shaped graph. Good books are enjoyable, middling books are boring or frustrating, but really terrible books sort of become enjoyable in a so-bad-it's-good way. The Art of Racing in the Rain is a miserably bad book, but writing a scathing Amazon review of it was some of the most fun I've had in quite a while.

    As for books that answer the OP question, I mean, there are so many. The above-mentioned TAoRitR was pretty successful commercially, and is one of the worst books I've ever read.

    I gotta say, at the risk of sounding snobbish, a lot of Paulo Coelho falls into this category for me as well. But yeah, there's no shortage of candidates.
     
  13. Mordred85
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    Mordred85 Active Member

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    I don't know what well-written has to do with entertainment level. I'm not a fan of Divergent, and I can't speak for 50 Shades, but they don't bother me. Lord of The Rings was originally published in 1954, so I can see why some people might get bored reading it today. If anything, the only reason some of those urban fantasy and paranormal romance books annoy me is because they become pretty trendy and turn into movies. Other than that, I don't find myself crying over the writing quality. If people like it, good for them. Most people are glued to Facebook and T.V. Shows. If a not-so-perfectly written book grabs their attention, that's a miracle in it'self.

    One book that made me irate was Edith Hamilton's Mythology and it was very well written. After finishing what should've been called, "Greek Mythology & a little of Norse", I looked up on goodreads to see that many people were forced to read this crap in school. Some people enjoy it as a reference and I can see that, but you'll only understand what I mean if you read it in its entirety. She keeps referencing poet after poet after poet and it's like she side-tracks like crazy while telling these stories. Every time someone is mentioned, it's like we need to know their family history. Sometimes, it made me feel as if I was reading the Old Testament.
     
  14. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Probably didn't exist because plenty of people realized that devoting a thread specifically to bashing things other people enjoy is inherently uncool ;)
     
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  15. ShannonH
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    ShannonH Senior Member Supporter

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    50 Shades is the most obvious answer.

    Fair play to the author though for making it such a success.
     
  16. WriterMMS
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    WriterMMS Member

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    If something appeals to the masses emotionally it doesn't need to be good from a writer's point of view.

    Flow, technique and breadth of vernacular means very little to the average reader.

    Creating something that charges the masses is an art on its own even if it isnt co sidered good writing
     
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  17. Cave Troll
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    Cave Troll Bite the bullet, do your own thing. Contributor

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    Piers Anthony's Xanth series. Made it through 2 out of the 27 books. The MC is named Bink, and his magic power is that magic does not work on him. I thought this was kind of stupid, when he could have just been called ordinary. Anthony likes to have a decent beginning, and then the rest of the story gets duller and duller. Until some big 'thing' at the end. Basically the majority of the series is filler. Perhaps the extreme minor character that has the power to piss in the colors of the rainbow, can add a little color to those books. It is really strange to me because I enjoy his Bios of a Space Tyrant series. Guess you can't win 'em all.

    Anne Rice's vampire series. Yawn fest. Started one of the books, and it was so boring. Apparently vampires are just like the average person who functions at night, and sleeps during the day.

    Too bad we are limited to 'successful' books, otherwise I could go on. Fairly sure the rest of you could as well. Why limit it to successful, when there are vast numbers of books that are terrible that managed to get published. :p
     
  18. NeighborVoid
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    NeighborVoid Active Member

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    Divergent.
    Hell, this is worse than the hunger games.

    The main idea it introduces is that the norm is to have only a singular personality trait and that anyone who has more than that is going to change the world. Basically, a commercialized wankfest for the blizzard of edgy special snowflakes.
     
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  19. Cave Troll
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    Cave Troll Bite the bullet, do your own thing. Contributor

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    @NeighborVoid You make it sound like the new weird phenomena known as 'Otherkin' (this is a real thing, and people apart of it are off the deep end). :p
     
  20. ancientdragon48
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    ancientdragon48 New Member

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    Twilight.....I took that book apart. Piece by piece.

    Lets start with the villains....they aren't scary enough on their own. Instead of showing how terrifying the bad guys are, other red eyed vampires have to explain it to the reader. Show, don't tell. This goes with other character traits too. If a character is supposed to be funny you only know this by what another character says.

    The on going infatuation. Ok, we get it, you love him. Stopping the story every other page to explain how 'hot' Edward is...unnecessary.

    The battle descriptions, boring! Its like she didn't know how to tell a fight scene so instead she just puts it all into Belle's little view point and leaves it there.

    Element of surprise...or lack there of.

    I could go on but I'd rather read a good book instead.
     
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  21. NeighborVoid
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    NeighborVoid Active Member

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    Recently, otherkin have been festering in the twilight zone of the internet known as Tumblr. Absolutely bizarre like /b/, except they're actually serious about it. Otherkin are nothing new, but Tumblr has provided them an echo chamber to multiply.

    Then again, how would I know? I'm a privileged cis male. Men are pigs, so I'm apparently a ba-kin (bacon) variety of otherkin by default.
     
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  22. Cave Troll
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    Cave Troll Bite the bullet, do your own thing. Contributor

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    Well you are not alone. :p
     
  23. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    I can't say it is the worst successful book I've read, because I really did not manage to get past the first 30-40 pages, despite making several runs at it. But it's Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall. And I was eager to read it, not only because of its notoriety as a prizewinning book, but because it's a historical novel and I generally LOVE historical novels. But I just could NOT get past her writing style. Just couldn't. She didn't keep the reader at arm's length, she was a block away all the time. I got so fed up trying to figure out who was saying what to whom and where it was all happening on the chronological timeline that I gave up.

    Another series of books I cannot stand (for different reasons) is Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series. Just ...orgh. Silly use of Scotland as a setting, a warped view of the 45 Rebellion (which was NOT the 'Sassenachs' versus the Scots!), stereotypically crap 'authentic' dialogue, dingbat characters and situations ...oh, don't let me go on. It was laughable for a while, then just a waste of time. Yet these books are wildly popular. Not so much in Scotland, though, for some reason. Scots are happy that the series is being filmed here, because of the money the filming brings in, as well as the tourist backlash later on. But I haven't run across many Scots who have even read the series, and nobody from Scotland (to date) who actually likes it. There must be a few, because she was a guest this year at the Edinburgh Book Festival ...so maybe this is just me. However it's one of very few books that I didn't pass on to a charity shop, but actually put in the bin.
     
  24. Raven484
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    Raven484 Contributing Member

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    For me, Charles Dickens. Everything he wrote was terribly boring. I was forced in high school to read his garbage. I could never finish more than six pages without falling asleep. Literally. I had to do a paper on Hard Times when I was a senior. A thousand words on what I thought about the book. I went on a tirade on how the school should reimburse me for the cost of that garbage, I received an A+ from the teacher.
     
  25. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    When I was in my early 40s, I decided to go back and read books that had been assigned in school and that I had either not read (i.e. relied on Monarch Notes) or had read and hated. It was an incredible experience. One of my biggest surprises came with Great Expectations, which I had LOATHED as a high school freshman. Not only did I thoroughly enjoy it, I found subtle humor running through much of it.

    The only book by Dickens I would ever require high schoolers to read would be A Christmas Carol.
     
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