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PostPosted: Sat Apr 10, 2004 9:54 pm 
gwalla wrote:
Oh man, I hated the Scarlet Letter. I wanted to smack every single character in it.


That book was terrible.

And on another note, some books are just bad. I have read quite a few books for school that I enjoyed. The bad ones are simply accented in loathing because I was forced to read them.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 10, 2004 9:58 pm 
Part of the problem many people seem to have with the "classics" is in dealing with the changes in language. I unreservedly love Moby Dick and read it every other year or so, even though the language is so archaic by today's standards as to take a bit of getting used to.

Also, Melville is pretty damn long-winded.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 10, 2004 10:17 pm 
Animal wrote:
Part of the problem many people seem to have with the "classics" is in dealing with the changes in language. I unreservedly love Moby Dick and read it every other year or so, even though the language is so archaic by today's standards as to take a bit of getting used to.

Also, Melville is pretty damn long-winded.


I have no problem with the language. I love Macbeth, and that is Shakespearean. The problem I have with some of the older books is that the authors choose boring subject matter and somehow make it even more dull.

That being said, I love Moby Dick. I need to re-read that book


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 10, 2004 11:33 pm 
Most of Shakespere's plays are published with the play on the right-hand page and footnotes on the left page. It makes it much easier to read.

One book I read that was in really archaic English was Beowulf. lThe book had the original early English on the left page, and a modern translation on the right. It was impossible to read the original. It was like another language.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 11, 2004 2:19 am 
It pretty much was a different language. :P


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 11, 2004 3:25 pm 
Raif wrote:
It pretty much was a different language. :P


Exactly. Old English is also called Anglo-Saxon. It still had a case system, a subjunctive for verbs, and the old Germanic spelling system. It predates the influence of Old French, which had a major impact on spelling, grammar, and lexicon (many Latin borrowings in English came by way of Old French, and more English words have their origins in Old French than you'd probably think), and also the Great Vowel Shift, which is why English vowels sounds are spelled so differently from other European languages.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2004 9:02 pm 
I recently bought a book named Infectress at a used bookstore because it was cheap and it looked interesting. It was a horrible book, but I'm going to keep it just because it was written by Lt. Commander Cool.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2004 9:43 pm 
MaskedHuzzah wrote:
I recently bought a book named Infectress at a used bookstore because it was cheap and it looked interesting. It was a horrible book, but I'm going to keep it just because it was written by Lt. Commander Cool.


I was in the Army with a guy named Richard Kuhl. (Pronounced Cool. Really. No kidding.) He was a CPT when I first knew him, and being "Captain Cool" was OK, but then he got promoted - then he was "Major Cool."


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2004 9:53 pm 
Animal wrote:
I was in the Army with a guy named Richard Kuhl. (Pronounced Cool. Really. No kidding.) He was a CPT when I first knew him, and being "Captain Cool" was OK, but then he got promoted - then he was "Major Cool."


Like, totally!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2004 11:02 pm 
The Commanding officer of the 8th Marine Corp district's name is Col. Kulow.


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PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2004 10:20 pm 
The lastest book in the Redwall series. I couldn't even finish it. Brian Jacques has run out of plots.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2004 5:23 pm 
Which one's that? Lord Brocktree? I can't remember, but I believe I liked that one.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2004 5:35 pm 
No. Loamhedge.

I got through 166 pages from sheer momentum, then gave up because it was annoying me.

I'm not sure if I have Lord Brocktree...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2004 7:16 pm 
My advice?? Avoid works by Phillip Athans. I may be a collector, but his work is just atrocious, and considering that most Fantasy series in a corperately owned setting aren't exactly highbrow to begin with, that's saying something.


Last edited by IS_Wolf on Thu May 27, 2004 8:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2004 6:54 pm 
kadharonon wrote:
No. Loamhedge.

I got through 166 pages from sheer momentum, then gave up because it was annoying me.

I'm not sure if I have Lord Brocktree...

I didn't know there was another one...

Of course, he churns them out at a rate of about 1 per year.


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PostPosted: Fri May 21, 2004 5:18 pm 
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The worst book I ever attempted to read was "The Old Man and the Sea." A few pages in, I fell asleep. When I woke up an hour later, I vowed never to touch that book again.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 22, 2004 6:52 pm 
kadharonon wrote:
The lastest book in the Redwall series. I couldn't even finish it. Brian Jacques has run out of plots.


He pretty much did with "Mattimeo". Nearly everything since has followed a formula (some of them can be enjoyable because of "little things", but not because of any originality to the plots). A riddle-based treasure hunt for some artifact must figure prominently (even when it ends up not having any effect on the outcome).


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2004 5:57 pm 
gwalla wrote:
kadharonon wrote:
The lastest book in the Redwall series. I couldn't even finish it. Brian Jacques has run out of plots.


He pretty much did with "Mattimeo". Nearly everything since has followed a formula (some of them can be enjoyable because of "little things", but not because of any originality to the plots). A riddle-based treasure hunt for some artifact must figure prominently (even when it ends up not having any effect on the outcome).


Some of the riddles are fun.
I liked them up until The Long Patrol. Which had some merits. But... it just kept getting worse.
The first Castaways of the Flying Dutchman book was passable... but the second deserves to be burnt.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2004 2:26 pm 
Maveric wrote:
One book I read that was in really archaic English was Beowulf. lThe book had the original early English on the left page, and a modern translation on the right. It was impossible to read the original. It was like another language.

I tried reading Tolkien's "Sir Gawain and the Grene Knight", but it's impossible :)

Where werre and wrake and wonder
Bi sythe3 hatz wont therinne,
And oft bothe blysse and blunder
Ful skete hat3 skyfted synne.


As for the worst book, I read only books that I know won't disgust me. Only time-tested works :)
Well, I did read a silly book about a couple trying to restore an old hotel in the Carribbean, and ripping off the Mafia, and getting away with it, which was not as bad as much too silly and unlikely...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2004 5:11 pm 
Simon Jester wrote:
"Lord of the Flies" by William Golding. I hate that book.

For those of you who haven't read it, here's the abbreviated version:

William Golding wrote:
"I say! We are a bunch of British schoolboys trapped on a desert island! Let's make a few cursory attempts at survival, and then go insane and kill each other!"

"Can the cursory efforts at survival involve unneccesary cruelty to animals?"

"But of course!"

"Jolly good! I'll start sharpening the sticks!"


I actually didn't hate that book.
Instead of a test over it, we had four questions to essay on. One asked us to write an alternate ending. I think most people just wrote out what they thought would happen, but I could see where the book wanted to go, and wrote it out as part of the story. Mimicking William Golding's style as close as I could.
It was fun, so that may be the only reason I like the book, though...
I killed Ralph. Bloodily. In front of adults.
It was both depressing and amusing at the same time.


I have an edition of Beowulf with that too... It's great fun to read out loud.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 13, 2004 2:22 am 
Maveric wrote:
The thing I never understood though was that the teachers all knew that we would hate the books (my grade 9 english teacher in particular was sympathetic to our plights), but they still forced them on us. Why not alter the curriculum until books we might appreciate better are found. I'm not saying don't teach Dickens, just read a different one (we read A Christmas Story immedeately after Great Expectations and nobody complained about it).


That's because the purpose of reading those books isn't entertainment, they're books with a message that, at least at one time, has been very important to the society. Grapes of Wrath, for instance, probably won't be as boring if you reflect that for all its fictional characters, it's not fiction. And Uncle Tom's Cabin was allegedly one of the sparks that ignited the American Civil War.

The problem with these books is that as often as not, they have to be read in a context, which the schools are really bad at supplying. I myself had to read "On the West Front, Nothing New" in grade school, and even with my teacher standing over me I never did get through it. But I don't see that as a problem with the book, but with me, at that time. Now, years later, when I have learned a lot more history and become interested in military history in particular, I'm thinking about going back and reading it again.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2004 2:47 am 
Another thing to take into account is that it is really not the teachers' fault that the curriculum is boring. The English curriculum now a day is almost entirely decided by The College Board.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 01, 2004 8:26 pm 
Mravac Kid wrote:
Maveric wrote:
One book I read that was in really archaic English was Beowulf. lThe book had the original early English on the left page, and a modern translation on the right. It was impossible to read the original. It was like another language.

I tried reading Tolkien's "Sir Gawain and the Grene Knight", but it's impossible :)

Where werre and wrake and wonder
Bi sythe3 hatz wont therinne,
And oft bothe blysse and blunder
Ful skete hat3 skyfted synne.




Old English is quite easy to read and understand, provided you know either Dutch, Flemish or German. Lot of the words you find in Old English have a modern counterpart in those languages. True, sometimes it's a bit of guesswork, but nothing impossible.

True, having the translated version on the other side as found for example in: A choice of Anglo-Saxon verse by Richard Hamer, makes it easier. But it's hardly impossible.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2004 9:25 pm 
Animal wrote:
MaskedHuzzah wrote:
I recently bought a book named Infectress at a used bookstore because it was cheap and it looked interesting. It was a horrible book, but I'm going to keep it just because it was written by Lt. Commander Cool.


I was in the Army with a guy named Richard Kuhl. (Pronounced Cool. Really. No kidding.) He was a CPT when I first knew him, and being "Captain Cool" was OK, but then he got promoted - then he was "Major Cool."

At one point, my father's commanding officer was Colonel Christmas. Great guy, except he named his daughter Mary...

When I moved two years ago, I purged my library, so I can't really say I own any really bad books. Worst book I used to own was 1945 by Newt Gingrich and a couple of other twits. I really enjoy "alternate history", but this book truly reeked. The plot line wasn't that bad, but the characterization was awful. Worst AH novel I ever read. Turtledove's latest was disappointing (at least up to the point where the pages are missing from my copy, and Borders can't seem to get me another one), but Turtledove at his worst is far better than this piece of dreck.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 21, 2004 1:40 pm 
Anything by Terry Goodkind. I read up to Pillars of the Earth cos I was just that stupid. Then I got some Wheel of Time novels, and say what you will about the stuff (I don't read them anymore either, except to revisit the earlier books now and then) Jordan at least came up with some of the ideas there.

Goodkind ripped him off so blatantly I keep expecting to see Rand al'Thor in them or something. And his dialogue sucks. They go on for pages and PAGES just soliquizing (especially Richard) about whatever, laying out their plans and justifications thereof. And they do it in such boring prose. Bah.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2004 4:31 pm 
As another person said, I tend to stop reading books early if they're bad, and thus don't own any really bad ones.

As far as school is concerned though, I consider Ethan Frome to be the worst book I've read to date. I really get into a lot of the "classics," but that one went from being unable to stand the characters to simply loathing the entire thing.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2004 11:53 am 
But What of Earth by Piers Anthony. Not so much because of the writing and story, but because of what the publishers did to it.

He released a "corrected" version within the last 7-8 years or so that included all of the junk that the original release had in the footnotes. If he had simply re-released his version without the hissy fit it would have been a good book, but with all the other junk and his personal diatribe (however justified it was) it was a frustrating read.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2004 1:31 pm 
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Oh, I donno.

The cool thing about the re-release is that you can just read the book and totally ignore the footnote markers.

Or you can read the book and turn to the footnotes very frequently for explanations of what the editors did to the book.

I think it's kind of fascinating to see just what the editors did to the book.

They certainly fouled it up, that's for sure. They were *WAY* out of line.

But then again, I kinda have a soft spot for the ranting of the old ogre. :)




I do wish they'd quit making him write Xanth, though. The first few Xanth books were quite good, but then the series went downhill. And now, it's quite obvious from just reading the books that Anthony hates to write Xanth.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2004 11:37 am 
I've got somethin here called Sweet Whispers, Brother Rush. It is supposed to be some kind of ghost story but I never managed to get past the first few pages.

The Harry Potter books definately get better as they progress. The first one was just plain awful.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2005 2:13 am 
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"Space War Blues" by Richard A Lupoff.

Yes, I read it all and I still have it. I'd throw it away but I don't like to destroy books. I haven't schlepped it off to a used bookstore because I don't want to inflict the pain of reading it on anyone else.

"Neverness" by David Zindell.

Very thick, very weird and ultimately very boring, with a large chunk that you think is going to have some point but turns out to be a total waste of time for the main characters. I don't have this book, having dumped it at some shop immediately after finishing it.

All of the "Stardance" series by Spider and Jeanne Robinson.

They're just bad. Bad science, bad plot, bad story, and suffering from the law of sequels too. I don't have them in book form but I do have all of Starmind serialized in issues of Analog and all but part one of Stardance II serialized in Analog. When I had a subscription, I had a rule to not read any of a serial until I had all the parts. I was eagerly waiting to read Starmind because I like Spider Robinson's stuff. It was so horrible that I broke my rule to see how bad Stardance II was. That was enough torture and I have no desire to try and find Stardance to read.

I can think of only three books (not including encyclopedias and dictionaries) that I've started but not finished. "Lord of the Rings", "Gulliver's Travels" (bogged down in politics I wasn't interested in during gradeschool), and the Bible.

Sometimes I just get this desire to read some really awful SF book. Why? to better appreciate the good ones! :) Oddly enough, the desire and starting such a book usually happen simultaneously. When they don't, I slap a bookmark in and get back to it when I'm in a fouler mood.

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