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Worst HF you've ever read

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sweetpotatoboy
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Post by sweetpotatoboy » Thu November 27th, 2008, 10:39 am

For me, it has to be "Soldier of Gold" by Diane Brenda Bryan.
http://www.amazon.com/Soldier-God-Diane ... 1563152479

A potentially interesting novel about a family of conversos in Portugal/Mexico, but the writing was dreadful and she got SO many things so completely wrong it was almost laughable. Just goes to show you can't rely on a slew of 5-star ratings on Amazon. I wonder if these people read the same book as me.

Ash
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Post by Ash » Thu November 27th, 2008, 2:12 pm

I rarely read books that have nothing but a slew of 5 stars, unless its been recommended elsewhere to me. I usually don't trust them much, esp if there are several in a row of close to the same date. (we've had this conversation before but I can't find the thread)

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Misfit
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Post by Misfit » Thu November 27th, 2008, 2:23 pm

[quote=""Ash""]I rarely read books that have nothing but a slew of 5 stars, unless its been recommended elsewhere to me. I usually don't trust them much, esp if there are several in a row of close to the same date. (we've had this conversation before but I can't find the thread)[/quote]

I have so learned not to trust those five stars, unless its a fellow reader/Amazon friend I'm familiar with. I like the new drop down box on the profiles - if someone's only written one or two reviews I treat them as suspect. I've seen many a circumstance where its most likely family/friends, etc. posting gushing reviews. If I'm not sure I go for it at the library, it's easier to wall bang one you've not paid dearly for.

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Leo62
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Post by Leo62 » Wed December 3rd, 2008, 3:42 pm

Yikes everyone's really hating on "Pillars of the Earth" :eek: I loved it - and I loved "Crimson Petal and the White" too. :D

One of the worst openings of a HN I've ever read was Ben Elton's "The First Casualty". Don't know if it's the worst ever cos I never got past chapter 1. It managed to tick every WW1 cliche in the book - and that was just on page 1! And really badly written too. Stick to Blackadder mate.

I've tried several Phillippa Gregory books and never been able to get into any of them.

Oh yes, and both "Labyrinth" and "Sepulchre" by Kate Mosse (though only got a couple of chapters into Sepulchre. It was, um, sepulchral :rolleyes :)

Ash
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Post by Ash » Wed December 3rd, 2008, 10:28 pm

[quote=""Leo62""]One of the worst openings of a HN I've ever read was Ben Elton's "The First Casualty". Don't know if it's the worst ever cos I never got past chapter 1. It managed to tick every WW1 cliche in the book - and that was just on page 1! And really badly written too. Stick to Blackadder mate.)[/quote]

One of my favorite books from college reading was This Other Eden by Ben Elton. A look at an environmental catasrophe, and how a media mogul is able to guide the course of events. Some of the reading towards the end is a little too much hammering the message home, but I thought it quite excellent. I haven't cared for his other ones tho. Did love Black Adder. Did you know there is a Black Adder Christmas? Not to be missed!

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Carine
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Post by Carine » Thu December 4th, 2008, 6:41 am

[quote=""Leo62""]Yikes everyone's really hating on "Pillars of the Earth" :eek: I loved it [/quote]

I didn't hate Pillars of the Earth Leo, and neither did my partner, in fact we quite liked it :)
Have you read the sequel "World without End" ? I haven't read it yet but my partner did and he says it's even better then Pillars of the Earth.

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AuntiePam
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Post by AuntiePam » Sun December 7th, 2008, 4:01 am

Does The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova count as HF? Whether it does or not, I think it's an awful, awful book. There's no there there, as they used to say about Oakland, CA. Heavily hyped by critics who must have been impressed by a book's weight. "My gosh, a first time author and she wrote all that? It must be really good!"

I didn't make it very far into The Religion by Tim Willocks, because of an unnecessarily graphic rape scene. It was obvious the author enjoyed writing that scene so I figured he'd be doing it again and I dumped it.

I dumped A Conspiracy of Paper by David Liss when one of the characters broke into someone's house and ransacked it in the middle of the day while servants were present.

The Last Town on Earth by Thomas Mullen had a promising plot -- a flu epidemic in a logging community in 1918, but the dialogue was awful, and Mullen would have us believe that the characters didn't know how far it was to the nearest town.

I didn't finish The Brothers of Gwynedd Quartet by Ellis Peters/Edith Pargeter -- entirely too much traveling.

That's enough for now. You guys'll think I don't like anything. :)

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boswellbaxter
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Post by boswellbaxter » Sun December 7th, 2008, 5:16 am

[quote=""AuntiePam""]

I didn't finish The Brothers of Gwynedd Quartet by Ellis Peters/Edith Pargeter -- entirely too much traveling. :) [/quote]

I couldn't finish it either, I'm afraid. I wouldn't call it a bad book by any means, but it could have used something--maybe more dialogue? I found the characters rather stiff too, and I could have done without the fictional ones altogether. Compared to Sharon Penman's novels set in the same period, it just didn't bring it for me.
Susan Higginbotham
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Carine
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Currently reading: Jonkvrouw - Jean-Claude Van Ryckeghem
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Post by Carine » Sun December 7th, 2008, 10:09 am

Boswellbaxter and AuntiePam :

I'm sorry to hear that The Brothers of Gwynedd by Edith Pargeter is not a good read.
Although in a way I'm glad to learn it now, because I'm reading Here Be Dragons at the moment by Sharon Penman and was looking for more books on Wales. In this search I came across The Brothers of Gwynedd and was already looking for the best way to get my hands on it, but I think I'll skip it now.
Thanks for letting us know, you saved me some money here !

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Ariadne
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Post by Ariadne » Sun December 7th, 2008, 1:09 pm

The Brothers of Gwynedd quartet was one I sincerely wanted to like and continue with, but it just didn't happen. I made it a couple hundred pages in, but that's only because I'd brought it with me on a boring temp job and there was nothing else to do all day. It wasn't the worst I've ever read, but the prose was dry, with far too many narrative descriptions.

Willocks' The Religion, though - it hit all the buttons for things I'd normally never read (war novel, tons of gory battle scenes, etc.), but I loved that book and would read the sequel in a heartbeat. Vive la difference :)

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