Books that pissed you off [spoiler boxes]

Odd Thomas has be to one of the worse of Dean Koontz’s books.

Every single character in the book annoyed the hell out of me, particularly Odd himself. Koontz recycled the Satanic-baddie plot that worked for Hideaway. I hated the way everything conveniently worked out for Odd’s investigation, particularly that the bad guys just so happened to carry plastic cards with synonyms for Satan, and there just so happened to be a blind DJ in that ever-so-perfect town who could read them for the main character.

The main character of Kazuo Ishiguro’s When We Were Children irked me to no end.

[spoiler]Christopher, the main character, is a London detective who returns to Shanghai in the 1930s, 25 or so years after his parents were kidnapped from their home and he was sent to live with a relative. The Japanese have invaded, and the house where he believes his parents are being held is in Japanese-controlled territory.

Christopher tells a Chinese officer that he must be given escorts to the house, because “My parents are in there!” In my fantasy version of the book, the officer replies “Look, dumbass, even if they were there after 25 damned years, I’m not wasting a second of my or my men’s time helping you when we’re fighting for our lives.” [/spoiler]

Tipping the Velvet was nothing but a series of hurts that the protagonist inflicted on everyone who loved her.

Disagree about Tipping the Velvet. Who did she hurt that didn’t hurt her first? Kitty cheated and left her. The rich bitch treated her like shit and kicked her out. The last girl was scared she would run away with Kitty, but she didn’t. I don’t understand what you mean.

Anyway. The latest Goodkind book in the Sword of Truth series really, really pissed me off. The first book was great, the next couple not so good, and now it’s all just the same formula. I read the synopsis on the back cover for the very latest one, put it back on the shelf, went home and then sold all the books in that series that I had except for the first one. I’m really pissed off at him for turning a pretty good fantasy into a really shitty franchise. I refuse to read any more of them.

The ending of North Dallas Forty pissed me right off.

The Time Traveler’s Wife (MAJOR spoilers):

[spoiler]Listen up, time traveler! So instead of using your time-traveling powers for good, you instead use them merely to talk to the childhood version of your wife, and you don’t even fucking tell her about 9/11! It’s not that you can’t, since it was never established that the traveler couldn’t alter history; it’s that you won’t. And the wife! Shrill, clingy trust fund baby who has no life outside of her unstuck-in-time husband. So okay, then they have this baby, and the doctor tells them that the fetus has the time traveling gene, and the wife insists that he not rescramble the fetus’ genes, since time traveling will make the baby “special.” And the husband goes along with it, even though he KNOWS that time traveling will kill him at a young age, and regards it as more of a curse than a gift! Doormat, much? The wife doesn’t know how it is to be a time traveler, he does. She should have listened to him.

And the ending? Oh my fuck it sucked. Dickweed time traveler leaves wife with the promise that she’ll see him for two minutes when she’s eighty, which forces her to spend her life as a spinster. Which I didn’t mind so much since I hated the character, but still, it seems a waste. And WTF was up with the “ah so” Korean landlady? And the sass-talkin’ black cook? This book was published in 2004! And this book was so unoriginal, which I wouldn’t normally mind except that ever reviewer was gushing about how “unique” it is. No it isn’t! It’s the oldest SF stereotype in the book! But NYTimes reviewers don’t read genre fiction, I guess.

Also, some of the worst sex scenes ever written. Also, this book has a study guide at the end, how pretentious is that.[/spoiler]

Sure am glad I didn’t buy it. I really want my couple of hours back though.

Gump & Co., by Winston Groom.

Forrest Gump was a good book, but I’ve heard that he was upset at someone over the way in which either the movie itself was made, or the way his publisher sold off the rights to make it. I don’t know exactly what the story was, but Groom obviously shit this novel out to satisfy an obligation or something. It completely sucked. One of the few books I actually threw in the garbage after reading.

The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova may not be the worst book ever written, but it’s probably the worst to hit the best seller lists. (I haven’t read The DaVinci Code.)

Repetitiveness and flat characterization aside, she should not be forgiven for using amnesia as a plot device – selective amnesia – he only forgets ONE very important thing – and this amnesia is induced by liquor!. For pete’s sake! How juvenile and brainless is that?

Oh! And then! And then! – I didn’t read to the end (stopped at page 560), but the ending reveals the purpose for someone’s bad behavior – Count Dracula needs someone to catalog his library.

It was so tempting to forget how to spoiler box. There’s no way this piece of crap could be more spoiled than it was when Kostova first put pen to paper.

The only two books in high school I never finished:

The Merchant of Venice

All Quiet On The Western Front

I love books, but they were like book diarrhea to me.

Memoirs of an Invisible Man – by H. F. Saint. As with my comments for movies I hate (i.e. Alien, the hero was a moron. I wanted to smash his face in for being so stupid.

[li]The hero is caught in an explosion and turns invisible. An evil army general clearly wants to find anyone there in order to perform experiments (the lab where it happened turned invisible, so anyone near it might have, too). But he isn’t sure anyone’s alive. So the hero goes up and talks to him.[/li][li]The hero wonders whether he should contact his girlfriend (who he had sex with on the way to the lab). He decides not to. But she is a reporter for the NY Times. Wouldn’t his most obvious chance of escaping the army be getting on their front page?[/li][li]The hero is in his apartment afterward. He looks out. The bad army guy is slowly building a trap for him – surrounding the building, covering every exit, finally covering the stairs so he can’t get by. He spends twenty minutes watching this, without considering that maybe he should try to escape before they fully sealed off the building.[/li][/ol]

This is the point I threw the book against the wall. I hated it.

I agree with most of what you wrote. I stuck around just because I’m a sucker for time travel, especially when it’s not too sci-fi, but I couldn’t help but feel the whole way through that both of the main characters were whiny assholes.

I had just bought Tipping the Velvet and was just about to start reading it, thank you very much… What about the spoiler boxes you promised?

My nominees:

A Separate Peace by John Knowles. A grim, pointless story, and the characters are all weenies. Waste of good trees.

The Magus by John Fowles. The author toys cruelly with the reader just as the magus toys with the English guy. Both keep promising a great payoff that seems just around the corner, and both come up empty. The trick ending to this book isit has no ending. The author just makes some lame excuse and quits writing.By that time he’d given up trying to figure out what to do with the novel. Clearly, he’d come up with a great initial idea for a novel, but was unable to see it through. He ran out of real ideas before he was halfway through the book. He should have left it in a drawer instead of giving it to a publisher.

John Fowles, John Knowles: What’s going on here? A league of demons taking on the form of authors to plague my life with yucky novels?

Haunted by Chuck Palalalalanhioanavickuk ( :stuck_out_tongue: ).

I bought it when it first came off, because I found it for about 40% off the cover price, and have enjoyed every other book I’ve read of his. I started reading, and got about halfway through before I just couldn’t read anymore.

The book is about a bunch of writers who go on a retreat to finish their great novel. They get there, and turn into a bunch of whiney self-loathing bitches. Which is the point of the book. You’re supposed to hate the characters, but I just had to put the book down because I couldn’t develop an attachment to any character.

The incidents that really irked me were her vanishing with no word to her family and her taking off with no explanation from the house where the woman and her daughter were so nice to her.

Scarlett annoyed me by existing in the first place, and then by being way too long.

I really enjoyed Philippa Gregory’s The Other Boleyn Girl, until the end when she had Anne Boleyn actually guilty of the crimes for which she was executed - witchcraft, incest, etc., which was ridiculous and ruined the book for me.

I thought maybe that was a fluke, so I read Wideacre, which was utterly vile. The “heroine” did horrible, unforgivable things and the author obviously expected you to sympathize with her.

Now I am very reluctant to pick up any of her other books, even though her two new ones, The Virgin Queen and The Constant Princess, look appealing. I’m just sure she’ll find a way to work incest in there somehow.

Zen & the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

Pure torture.

The Wheel of Time series. After 8 books, I got so pissed off at the constant formulaic writing, the half-page descriptions of women smoothing down their dresses, the sniffing, the introduction of 6 million more cast members at the beginning of each book, the need to stereotype all citizens of a country to act the same way, the 600 pages of superfluous character development followed by 50 pages of actual story, I washed my hands on the whole thing.

David Gerrold’s “War Against the Chtorr” series.
First of all, he has never and most likely WILL never finish it.
Second, while Gerrold is a talented writer with the ability to draw you into his characters, he also has a habit of delving into pointless sexual tangents that frankly creeped me out.

I wonder if that might be a nod to the Hammer film (HORROR OF) DRACULA as that was Harker’s pretence for his visit.

The Novel “World According to Garp” annoyed the heck out of me. I finished it and said to myself, “Why is this book so thick, and WHY did I bother to finish it?”

What bothered me even more was in the early 80’s a lot of high school english teachers were having their classes read this overblown drivel and removing “Huckleberry Finn” because of its politically incorrect nature.

Og knows why they weren’t reading “To Kill A Mockingbird” but that wasn’t being read either.

The Wayfarer Redemption by Sara Douglass. Only book I’ve gotten so frustrated with I haven’t read it through.

[spoiler]I may sound like a whiny teenager for saying this, but I did start reading the book when I was a whiny teenager, so…

I loved Faraday, she was a wonderful character, and I was totally into the idea of her and Axis together.

And then I read the Amazon reviews for the rest of the series, and read far enough into the book to meet Azhure. The combination of what Douglass does to Faraday in the later books and the Mary Sue-ishness of Azhure (bad childhood, gorgeous girl who is generous and spunky and everyone comes to love her and the main male characters falls in love with her and leaves the lead female) turned me off.

The Last Herald Mage trilogy by Mercedes Lackey. I know the book is meant for teens, but I read it when I was about 16 and felt like tearing the books apart. Vanyel is whiny, immature, selfish and the biggest bucket of angst this side of CLAMP.

That, and the fact that Tylendel’s death scene was so oddly written I was laughing my ass off. Running around like a chicken with its head cut off and jumping off a cliff all because a magical horsey died? Poor boy. :rolleyes:

It’s title is The Virgin’s Lover. No incest, but I think Elizabeth would have sued for libel.

She makes her look like a wishy-washy, vapid, hand-wringing, helpless woman who needs Cecil to keep her from destroying herself through her own selfish stupidity.

I liked The Constant Princess only because of it’s stellar depiction of Catherine of Aragon. Her character is spot-on-- steely, determined and sometimes blinded by her convictions. However . . .

Gregory posits that Catherine and her first husband Arthur were deeply in love and consummated their marriage (numerous times, I might add.) On his deathbed, Arthur begs Catherine to deny the consummation and marry Henry so she can be queen and fulfil their dreams of a great kingdom.

My favorite of Gregory’s books was The Queen’s Fool which recounts the reign of Mary Tudor through the eyes of a young Jewish girl who becomes Mary’s servant because she has occasional visions of the future. Gregory’s depiction of Mary is good-- a frustrated, sad woman, dissapointed with love, and fanatical in her faith that her destiny is to bring England back to the One True Church. Her depiction of Elizabeth is better in this book than it is in The Virgin’s Lover