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Worst HF you've ever read

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tsjmom
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Post by tsjmom » Sun February 21st, 2010, 4:34 pm

I'm going to add 'The Coral Thief'. Painfully slow, boring, and unrealistic.

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Misfit
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Location: Seattle, WA

Post by Misfit » Sun February 21st, 2010, 4:37 pm

[quote=""tsjmom""]I'm going to add 'The Coral Thief'. Painfully slow, boring, and unrealistic.[/quote]

I think I gave up on that around page 100 or so. It was soooo slow I couldn't even handle it at the gym while doing cardio. And trust me, when that happens that is one slooooooow book.
At home with a good book and the cat...
...is the only place I want to be

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SDMomChef
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Post by SDMomChef » Tue March 2nd, 2010, 5:24 pm

I have to say, the worst historical fiction book I've read - and perhaps one of the worst books that I have read in a very long time, was Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova. There are so many things that I hated about this book and if I could summarize it in one word, it would be BORING. I loved The Historian, which makes this book even more disappointing.

SCW
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Preferred HF: Lately World Two or the time immediately before and after this period
Location: Australia

Post by SCW » Sat November 6th, 2010, 11:34 am

Well here is my list of HF that I shouldn't have spent my money on
The Potato Factory....depressing tale of poverty, rape and the penal colony of Tasmania. (Not as good a read as Tandia or The Power of One)
Ken Follet's: A Place Called Freedom, overload of smut!
Philippa Gregory: The Virgins Lover...Yawn! The Constant Princess (Was glad when Henry divorced her!)

Margaret George: Helen of Troy! I couldn't finish this, gave up after 200 pages.

That's all I can really think of

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wendy
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Post by wendy » Sat November 6th, 2010, 12:20 pm

Not strictly HF - but the worst book EVER for me was The Shack (William P. Young). It was very badly written - predictable - every chapter followed the same unsophisticated pattern - boring - main character was constantly reduced to tears - and I had to complete it for a book club. Still can't believe it was so successful!

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Michy
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Post by Michy » Sat November 6th, 2010, 3:51 pm

The Shack stands out in my memory because of a curious experience related to it......

I bought it at a bookstore shortly after it came out in paperback. Then I read several reviews on Amazon and talked to a co-worker who had read it, and realized it was something I was NOT going to like (yes, I should have read reviews before buying, but.....). So i took the brand-new still-unread book back to the store, intending to quietly return the book for a refund. However, the store owner asked me why I was returning the book (like he couldn't understand why I would ever want to return it). So I said that I didn't want to read it. And he asked me why? And I said that I had read reviews and could tell it was not something I would like. And then he proceeded to argue with me that I shouldn't pay attention to those reviews, people don't know what they're talking about, it was the most wonder, life-changing book, etc. etc. etc. It was almost as though he was personally offended because I didn't want to read the book and thought he could argue me into changing my mind! (Maybe he was the author? :D ) I just stood there and listened and, when he was finished, calmly repeated that I still wished to return the book. Needless to say, I haven't ever gone back to that store. :)

As for worst HF ever read..... it would just be all the books that I couldn't make myself finish. None of then stand out, they are just all lumped together in the murky slush pile of DNF books........

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wendy
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Post by wendy » Sat November 6th, 2010, 4:23 pm

[QUOTE=Michy;73186]The Shack stands out in my memory because of a curious experience related to it......

It must be a love-it-or-hate-it book. The reader who recommended it for book club said it changed her life. So I guess it works for some . . .

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robinbird79
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Post by robinbird79 » Sat November 6th, 2010, 9:07 pm

I'd have to say my worst was Pamela Kaufman's The Book of Eleanor. I can not begin to explain how horrible that one was. The majority of the narrative seems to be completely made up...

PG's The Virgin's Lover is a close second. I can not believe the way she portrayed Elizabeth in it!
Currently Reading: Crown in Candlelight, R. H. Jarmen

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MLE (Emily Cotton)
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Posts: 3564
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Interest in HF: started in childhood with the classics, which, IMHO are HF even if they were contemporary when written.
Favourite HF book: Prince of Foxes, by Samuel Shellabarger
Preferred HF: Currently prefer 1600 and earlier, but I'll read anything that keeps me turning the page.
Location: California Bay Area

Post by MLE (Emily Cotton) » Sat November 6th, 2010, 9:15 pm

I got half-way through the book and was unimpressed with the quality of writing and the story. So I flipped through to see what the fuss was about, and after considering the personal things I knew about those who loved it and the personal things I knew about those who loathed it, came to this conclusion:

Those who absolutely loathe it are offended by the idea that God (the Father, in this case) might present himself as a black woman. It's not that they are necessarily prejudiced; it's that they have a concept of God that is different, and the concept is dear to them, and they don't want it rattled. Others are offended because it doesn't line up with certain parts of scripture (but then, that could be said of many Christian classics) and they are point-pounders. (I too have my points to pound--they just happen to be different from the norm.)

Those who love it do so because it has opened their minds to different possibilities about God than the constricting definition they had been operating under. Which is a good thing, if your God is so small it's giving you cramps trying to stay in your self-made god-box.

I wasn't offended by the concepts, and I didn't find the scriptural misrepresentations any worse than many others. But nothing therein was a new or different thought for me either. The story was predictable and the execution stunk. Moreover, before I take anybody's advice on how to live, I wait to see how THEY are doing in the area of their lecture, and right now everybody involved with the Shack is suing each other.

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Margaret
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Interest in HF: I can't answer this in 100 characters. Sorry.
Favourite HF book: Checkmate, the final novel in the Lymond series
Preferred HF: Literary novels. Late medieval and Renaissance.
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Post by Margaret » Sun November 7th, 2010, 12:32 am

My favorite books offer me new and complex ideas to turn over in my mind. I don't generally gravitate to books that have a particular, over-simplified religious or philosophical point to make. Usually, this sort of point could be expressed in a sentence or two - with novels that are constructed around making this sort of point, I can usually tell what it is within the first page or two, so it makes the book pretty boring. I haven't read The Shack, so can't pass judgment on it, but it sounds like it might fit into this category. For a person who is open to new religious or philosophical ideas but who doesn't like, or who has a hard time following novels that offer the kind of complexity I prefer, I can see how novels of this sort really could be eye-opening and life-changing, by challenging a stale world-view the person has just been going along with out of habit.
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