Saturday, March 16, 2013

Your Least Favorite Book Ever?

Okay, so what are some books that you just despise, for whatever reason?  I've made a pact with myself to read every book that I pick up until the bitter end in the belief that there may be some redeeming quality as I progress through the literature.  This isn't always fun, though; sometimes it can get messy.

Before I name my least favorite choice, I want to say that I have a deep respect for this author.  However, everyone produces something that isn't a masterpiece every once in a while.  That being said, my least favorite book of all time is The Number of the Beast by Heinlein.  This book was so tedious.  Let's just say that the good portion of this many hundreds-of-pages novel are spent whizzing through space and time in a "time machine" (sixth to the sixth to the sixth power is an important mathematical number in this book, hence the title).  However, nothing actually happens.  It bored me to tears.  I had to force myself to pick it up.  Not to mention that the book is incredibly sexist and belittles women.  At one point, one of the main characters even says that she's willing to have sex with her father if he desires it, because she wants to please him.  So yeah.  Heinlein got a bit sex crazed later on in his life, but that wasn't the half of it.

I now quote the words of reviewer Sue K. Hurwitz:  it is "a catalog of Heinlein's sins as an author; it is sophomoric, sexist, militantly right wing, and excessively verbose." She comments that the book's ending was "a devastating parody of SF conventions—will have genre addicts rolling on the floor. It's garbage, but right from the top of the heap."

 Now supposedly this book is a guide on how to write good fiction by showing how bad fiction is written.  It also alludes to many other works of "good" literature.  However, that should have been put in a manual.  If Heinlein was trying to write the worst possible book, then he certainly succeeded.  This wasn't a look back to the pulps -- this book isn't even worthy of being burned as pulp.

Another book that I really don't like was Great Expectations by Dickens. It was extremely dry and I just couldn't get into it.  I was also forced to watch a British film of it in class, which dragged on for hours and hours.  Not recommended.

Just one more.  I have a beef with Moby Dick by Herman Melville, but I haven't decided whether I will re-read it or not.  It seemed to me that most of the book was on the mating and migration habits of whales.  Not exactly my favorite subject.  Anyways, what are some of yours?  And why?

1 comment:

  1. This is a tough one, I'll have to think about it.

    I can say that the most boring book I've ever read was Anathem by Neal Stephenson. Not bad, and actually pretty interesting, but MAN it was dry. I'll have to think about my least favorite, though. That's a good question.