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Old 17-09-2009, 18:05   #41
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Whilst on an ancient history reading spree I picked up a copy of River God by Wilbur Smith.

Didn't know anything about the author except I'd often seen his novels knocking about in charity book shops, really I should have taken notice of that warning, but it had 5 stars and 70+ reviews at Amazon, so I thought it must be alright.

It's a story about ancient Egypt told from the perspective of a slave, who is without doubt the biggest 'Mary Sue' (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Sue) I've had the misfortune of reading. After about the 97693592569th time of him saving the day with advanced skills and knowledge in every area you'll be wishing you had a Tardis so could go back in time and beat him to death with his own sandals (which he probably made himself with his indepth knowledge of sandal making).

Now you could give Wilbur the benefit of the doubt and make the excuse that he's playing around with a self aggrandising unreliable narrator, but nothing in the quality of his writing suggests he's capable of that depth.
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Old 17-09-2009, 18:29   #42
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Wilbur Smith! I'm scared of Wilbur Smith books. He has a rabid following, though.
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Old 17-09-2009, 18:40   #43
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However much I like the Dexter TV series, I thought the novels (at least the one and a half I could bear to imbibe) were absolute drivel. Unbelievably badly written.
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Old 17-09-2009, 19:56   #44
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Ramsey Campbell - Midnight Sun

Easily the worst book I've ever read...it dragged on and on, no matter how much I seemed to read it wouldnt finish (these were the times when I always tried to finish a book no matter how bad it was)

Plodding gibberish, and at times borderline unreadable

Put me off reading any more of his novels (and reading full stop for about 3 months) although looking on Amazon he's still writing them 19 years later so he cant be doing that badly

Special mentions go to Dreamcatcher by Stephen King which I never managed to finish, and Black House by King and Peter Straub which remains unfinished (I'm about 3/4 of the way through on the third attempt)

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Old 17-09-2009, 20:04   #45
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I remember really hating the much acclaimed The Secret History by Donna Tartt, which was a well written but ultimately rubbish thriller. I read it to the end hoping that whatever qualities the critics saw in it might marterialise at some point, but to no avail.
I loved that. Her second book (The Little Friend) is rubbish though.
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Old 17-09-2009, 20:06   #46
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However much I like the Dexter TV series, I though the novels (at least the one and a half I could bear to imbibe) were absolute drivel. Unbelievably badly written.
Really? That's a shame, as I was looking to pick those up.

Only watched the first series (although have S2 waiting to be watched).
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Old 17-09-2009, 20:09   #47
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Really? That's a shame, as I was looking to pick those up.

Only watched the first series (although have S2 waiting to be watched).
Season 2 is the best of the three so far

I didnt find the first two books that bad (I've read much worse), have skipped the third one after the reviews on here and have the 4th one coming through the post

Last edited by sleep4ever; 17-09-2009 at 20:09.
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Old 17-09-2009, 22:57   #48
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Oh dear, I've not read Midnight Sun, but am a fan of Ramsey Campbell. He is an acquired taste at times, mind.
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Old 18-09-2009, 10:15   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harsin View Post
Whilst on an ancient history reading spree I picked up a copy of River God by Wilbur Smith.

Didn't know anything about the author except I'd often seen his novels knocking about in charity book shops, really I should have taken notice of that warning, but it had 5 stars and 70+ reviews at Amazon, so I thought it must be alright.
That's one of my favourite books: it's trashy, but I've probably read it half a dozen times. I always though Taita was meant to be self-aggrandising and a bit of a ****, and that was how he was deliberately written. The rest of Wilbur Smith's books are pretty gash though, and the sequels to River God do turn into wish-fulfillment nonsense.

Worst book I ever read (well, got two-thirds through before abandoning) was The Traveler by John Twelve Hawks. It was like a thriller, with no thrills. Or literary ability. Of any kind.
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Old 18-09-2009, 12:12   #50
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Reading John Twelve Hawks Wikipedia entry is probably more entertaining than his books.

I'd heard elsewhere that he is actually a pseudonym for one or more known writers. Anyone got any idea?
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Old 18-09-2009, 12:32   #51
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I'm normally a big fan of Dean Koontz but couldn't stand Ticktock as I thought it was so crap. It must be the only book I've never finished reading.
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Old 26-09-2009, 21:05   #52
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Another vote for Patricia Cornwell - her latest books have been awful, especially the plot twist mentioned by cjanderson - completely unbelievable and unnecessary.

Also have to add Twilight to the list of shame. Even bearing in mind it's aimed at teenagers, it's still appallingly bad writing. I'm a huge devotee of paranormal romance, and this book brings shame to a guilty pleasure of a genre.
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Old 27-09-2009, 09:03   #53
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Slayer: the latest P Cornwall is atually quite good, a return to the past tense and a good story. so perhaps she has listened to her critics? Scarpetta

have just read James Patterson's Sail, which was very bad. most reviews on amazon are 1/5. Luckily it was from the libary and the 450 pages only took me 110 mins to read. So i did at least finish it.
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Old 27-09-2009, 11:02   #54
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The late Robert Jordan's "Crossroads of Twilight".
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Old 28-09-2009, 09:03   #55
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I read a book called "Deathworld" by Harry Harrison. I liked the sound of it from the description on the cover but it was shockingly poor. I couldn't finish it.
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Old 28-09-2009, 11:10   #56
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I tend to fully research books before I buy them as I dont read too many.

One I never got on with "The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, the Unbeliever".

Heard lots of people rave about the series but I found it unreadable and very difficult to get into so after several goes gave up for good.
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Old 28-09-2009, 11:14   #57
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I tend to fully research books before I buy them as I dont read too many.

One I never got on with "The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, the Unbeliever".

Heard lots of people rave about the series but I found it unreadable and very difficult to get into so after several goes gave up for good.
He does have a distinct writing style, you either love it or hate it.

I love it!
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Old 29-09-2009, 01:23   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr starface View Post
I tend to fully research books before I buy them as I dont read too many.

One I never got on with "The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, the Unbeliever".

Heard lots of people rave about the series but I found it unreadable and very difficult to get into so after several goes gave up for good.
Is that the one with a rape scene totally out of the blue? If it is then I had to stop reading after that scene. I think the unexpectedness of the scene that disgusted me. I have read books and stories with more horrific acts than this and not battered an eyelid at them.
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Old 29-09-2009, 08:03   #59
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Is that the one with a rape scene totally out of the blue? If it is then I had to stop reading after that scene. I think the unexpectedness of the scene that disgusted me. I have read books and stories with more horrific acts than this and not battered an eyelid at them.
Yep, that's the one.

I never got one with Thomas Covenant either. I was intrigued by the premise certainly, a cynical anti-hero with lebrosy, but it just didn't grab me at all. I'm not crazy about fantasy anyway, and I admit all that goofy 'Illearth War' & 'Gilden-Fire' speak gets on my tits.

That scene was quite unexpected, and I gave up reading not long after it.
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Old 29-09-2009, 19:49   #60
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Slayer: the latest P Cornwall is atually quite good, a return to the past tense and a good story. so perhaps she has listened to her critics? Scarpetta

have just read James Patterson's Sail, which was very bad. most reviews on amazon are 1/5. Luckily it was from the libary and the 450 pages only took me 110 mins to read. So i did at least finish it.
Maybe I'll give it another go then. I did read about the first 50 pages and got annoyed by all the Benson stuff and the leaps of logic where it was clear I was meant to know what was going on, but I didn't! I gave up and went back to my Katie MacAlister vampire fiction - ah, bliss in a book!
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