Books you wish you'd never bothered to finish?

(167 Posts)
FuntimeFuschia Tue 04-Sep-12 22:46:07

Hello, hope its ok me posting on here, I very rarely post. Had a chat with a friend today which has made me think - have you ever finished a book and then thought what a phenomenal waste of my time that was? I recently read 'The Haunting of James Hastings', which I wanted to bin about halfway through, but persevered and regretted it.

I read a lot, many different genres and have never actually thought anything I read was a waste of time before this book. I would be very interested to hear what books anyone actually resents giving the time to and if anyone can tell me what the hell actually happened at the end of the above mentioned novel I'd be very grateful

rubyslippers Tue 04-Sep-12 22:47:41

Fifty shades trilogy

I skipped 50% of the final book too

puffylovett Tue 04-Sep-12 22:50:16

50 shades.

Oh no, hang on - I didn't bother finishing it grin

FuntimeFuschia Tue 04-Sep-12 22:52:00

Ah, I started skipping the sex scenes in Fifty Shades by the second book, got through the rest pretty quickly after that!

This will probably be unpopular but..... Sophies choice. I really detested that book.

The Unconsoled by Kazuo Ishiguro. WTF was that all about then?!

Fifty shades of shite

Girl with the dragon tattoo

SlightlySuperiorPeasant Tue 04-Sep-12 23:14:53

Cecilia. An enormous tome of a classic that goes on and on and on about the same thing. Dire.

The Europeans. To sum it up:
- Promising start involving rich young aristocrats and a possible love story.
- Nothing much happens.
- Nothing much continues to happen.
- For the grand finale, nothing happens.

I bought The American in case I had got a duff one and Henry James really was a genius. Nope, went exactly the same way. Yawn.

alto1 Tue 04-Sep-12 23:15:54

When I was about 18 I read Ivanhoe. I still thought you had to give a book a chance and if you started you should finish.

I used to promise myself that the next time someone swore by God's eyes I could go to bed.

What a waste of time - after that I allowed myself to give up on books that were real no-hopers.

FuntimeFuschia Tue 04-Sep-12 23:16:42

I have a feeling I might have actually started The Unconsoled and then gave up...is it something to do with a bloke in a hotel then things go a bit bonkers? It will have been many years ago...

readyforno2 Tue 04-Sep-12 23:19:07

Fifty shades trilogy - complete waste of time
Room - the most boring book ever.

Yes, it's totally surreal. Basically like one of those dreams where you're trying to get somewhere and can't - total head fuck and mind-numbingly tedious. WHY did I read it all? Because I was trying to impress my boyfriend at the time, who's actually a total idiot so even more of a waste of time

Happybunny12 Tue 04-Sep-12 23:25:14

Da Vinci Code. I whined for the whole second half about how poor the writing was but finished it as have a thing about finishing books I've started. Read last page, said 'well that was crap'and put it down. Why?! I knew it would be from a few chapters in!

The twilight saga.

Salmon fishing in the yemen

the memory keepers daughter

worldcitizen Tue 04-Sep-12 23:25:47

Brick Lane

and the film was even worst.

worldcitizen Tue 04-Sep-12 23:27:09

worse I mean grin

tethersend Tue 04-Sep-12 23:27:33

The Slap.

I'll never get the time spent reading it back, and that makes me ANGRY.

RagingDull Tue 04-Sep-12 23:27:34

the suspicions of mr whicher.....the most boring book i have ever waded through....how i managed to finish it ive no idea.

worldcitizen Tue 04-Sep-12 23:30:07

tether I think I watched the series. Was it Australian?

Twilight! the first three I stuck with them in the hope that they would improve. They didnt! Awful, awful books.

mama01 Tue 04-Sep-12 23:34:52

The Life of Pi - never finished
One by Paulo Coelho - can't remember the name

flibbergibbet Tue 04-Sep-12 23:37:53

Fifty shades book one and two. What a pile of poop! I've given up now as I just couldn't face reading such utter crap a third time.

mummybookworm Tue 04-Sep-12 23:38:20

Sister by Rosamund Lupton. Utter rubbish. And the Da Vinci Code - dreadful

SailorVie Tue 04-Sep-12 23:41:23

SlightlySuperiorPeasant do you mean Cecilia or Clarissa? I remember Clarissa as an enormous tome in which nothing much happens grin

tethersend Tue 04-Sep-12 23:41:45

yy, worldcitizen, was Australian.

The series was bad, but not as dire as the book- they managed to inject a bit of life into it and made you care slightly about whether the characters lived or died.

RagingDull Tue 04-Sep-12 23:42:34

i now have a rule - if im not into it by page 50 i give it up as a bad job.

i have yet to finish girlfriend in a coma by Douglas coupland....i think i got about 50 pages from the end and never went back.....DH says i have to finish it! i think ive been reading it for about 4 years.....

DioneTheDiabolist Tue 04-Sep-12 23:43:40

AD-After Dachau. Worst bunch of shite I have ever had to endure. It's quite well written but the worst anti climax since I took 4 Es and had..... (I won't conclude this sentence, I'm sure you all know what I mean).

No doubt the Da Vinci Code has made it into the top ten. I haven't read it. I did read The Holy Blood and The Holy Grail. I found it awful enough. I didn't feel the need to read The Book Based on The Book That Left you Feeling Unsatisfied.

worldcitizen Tue 04-Sep-12 23:44:00

tether grin

worldcitizen Tue 04-Sep-12 23:47:23

RagingDull that's good to hear. I have sort of adopted the same attitude in the past few years, and it has actually freed me of any obligation I used to feel as I now think "It's you and not me" grin

The Lovely Bones.

Dire.

50 shades and the Da Vinci code.

There have been others but I seem to have blocked them from memory. grin

Oh and PS I Love You. Sentimental twaddle.

The Twilight Books

Raging - It took me aaages to finish Girlfriend In A Coma too, in spite of the fact that it's relatively short.

LadyHortensiaBloom Wed 05-Sep-12 07:25:29

One Day - average at best until the incident and then limped to a damp splat at the end.

marshmallowpies Wed 05-Sep-12 07:37:59

The Magus by John Fowles. They're on a Greek island, weird stuff happens, then...it all just peters out.

The Book Thief was a pile of tosh too.

50 shades of shite, never finished the first one.
The da Vinci code.

rowingdowntheriver Wed 05-Sep-12 07:44:55

The first twilight book, I didn't bother with the rest.

Have been meaning to try 50 shades but am put off by this thread (and other Mumsnet feedback) as I know if I start I'll have to finish and will probably be a waste of my life. I need to get over having to finish books that I have started.

MrsLettuce Wed 05-Sep-12 07:45:36

Everything I've ever read by Haruki Murakami. Excellent books one and all but the endings? Pah.

halfnhalf Wed 05-Sep-12 07:52:11

I'll second Ivanhoe. We had to read it for a book group and everybody else liked it. It's good to hear that someone else agrees with me.

MrsSchadenfreude Wed 05-Sep-12 08:01:16

Brick Lane. Utterly awful and dull.

The Room. Badly written tosh.

On the Other Hand. Possibly one of the worst books ever published.

Oh and "I heart New York" - utter tripe - how on earth did she get published? (I got it free with a magazine and read it on Eurostar - where I left it.)

Kveta Wed 05-Sep-12 08:15:11

I never finish a book if it doesn't grip me. Ever since having to read bloody Jane Austen tedium at school, I vowed then not to waste more of my life on books that don't hold my attention.

DH agrees with Ivanhoe, they had to read it at school, translated into his language. Quite why that book was chosen, above any of his own country's literature, god alone knows!

SlightlySuperiorPeasant Wed 05-Sep-12 08:34:21

SailorVie it was definitely Cecilia. I donated it to my local library grin

NicknameTaken Wed 05-Sep-12 10:42:26

100 Years of Solitude. It was a relief when I suddenly realized that I didn't actually like magic realism and didn't have to read it.

DuchessofMalfi Wed 05-Sep-12 10:48:41

The Historian - tedious, awful. Da Vinci code - dire. Really struggled with Brick Lane. Wanted to like it and it should have been good but was so dull.

Oh GoD! Id blanked out all memory of The Historian!
I had The Crimson Petal And The White, on audiobook. After the first hour of suicide inducing boredom, I gave up!

RikersBeard Wed 05-Sep-12 11:06:45

Damn, marshmallow beat me to it with The Magus. It actually starts really well, I enjoyed the first half. And then it just kept going on and on, and I just wanted it to stop.

Anything by Dan Brown

I like JG Ballard but I think reading more than about 4 could be classed as a waste of time. As they mostly follow the same pattern.

greenhill Wed 05-Sep-12 11:07:36

The Da Vinci Code was so bad it was good IYSWIM. I had a friend at work that insisted on giving me every Dan Brown book she had, it was kind of her, but after 2 of them I begged her to stop. Fortunately I'm a speed reader so there wasn't much time wasted.

The Book Thief was derivative too.

The Slap was full of hateful, unsympathetic characters. I was impressed that the author could have me fuming for so long.

I'm struggling with some John Grisham stuff, I just don't care about the characters or the plot.

RikersBeard Wed 05-Sep-12 11:08:20

Oh yes, I never finished Brick Lane either, it was really dull!

I also rather disliked 7yrs in Tibet. Didn't warm to him at all.

Vagaceratops Wed 05-Sep-12 11:08:36

The only book I havent ever finished was so dull I cant even remember the name. I am sure it was turned into a film with Keira Knightley but it wasnt atonement.

Brick lane was awful

Lovely Bones was boring.

NicknameTaken Wed 05-Sep-12 11:08:41

I quite liked The Historian, which I know puts me in a minority here. It probably helped that I was travelling in South-Eastern Europe at the time and it "rhymed" quite well with the places I was seeing.

The Labyrinth by Kate Mosse is another matter entirely, and I yield to no-one in my contempt.

greenhill Wed 05-Sep-12 11:09:22

YY I hate magical realism too.

I don't get Terry Pratchett either, I can't get past the smart arse humour.

NicknameTaken Wed 05-Sep-12 11:09:33

Didn't like The Slap, either. It didn't seem to have much point to it.

Vagaceratops Wed 05-Sep-12 11:11:02

It was 'Never Let Me Go'

It was like walking through treacle.

Ephiny Wed 05-Sep-12 12:42:33

The Time Traveller's Wife. I kept going in the hope that the main characters would get less annoying, not only did that not happen, but they went and had an annoying kid as well hmm.

It was such a disappointment - fantastic concept, but whiny boring characters (including a blatant Mary-Sue/self-insert), and no plot.

Lottapianos Wed 05-Sep-12 12:49:10

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas. Possibly the worst book I have ever read. The writing was just so dire and clunky - full of stuff like 'Oh Heavens' said mother, clutching her hands together' hmm I had heard so much hype about how the ending will shock you like nothing before - it was totally unbelievable drivel, like the rest of the book.

I started a book recently called 'A Siberian Education', a true account of a young boy growing up among a Siberian criminal gang. Sounds vaguely exciting by my god it was dull, gave up after about 100 pages.

Thumbwitch Wed 05-Sep-12 12:57:17

Labyrinth. Fucking awful.

The Famished Road by Ben Okri. I really liked the first couple of chapters and hoped that the book would return to that at some point - nope. Didn't make it more than halfway through the first time, but thought I should give it another go - wish I hadn't.

The Boring history of Ukrainian Tractors, or somesuch.

Shopaholic. Worse, I can't believe I actually tried another one just to make sure - I really really should have stopped after the first one.

Sons and Lovers - DH Lawrence. Again, tried reading that a second time in case it was immaturity that made me hate it the first time - still hated it the second time.

(OTOH, I love Terry Pratchett but the first 3 books aren't that well written, I have to say).

Ephiny Wed 05-Sep-12 12:58:32

Labyrinth was absolutely dire, but I didn't finish it. I skipped to the end to see if it finished the way it was obviously going to - it did.

I thought in the whole of my life I would never be able to read a worse book than Kate Mosse's Labyrinth. Until 50 shades. Oh my goodness. I finished the first book but what utter and complete bollocks.

I feel so strongly about it <whispers> I judge people who think it's good as clearly being very stupid...even members of my own family...

Lots of books do polarise people though.

I loathed Cloud Atlas - that's about 6 hours of my life I'll never get back grin

I also loathed The Shipping News, Remains of the day, Never let me go, 100 years of solitude.

Loved Brick lane and The Crimson Petal and the White.

JiltedJohnsJulie Wed 05-Sep-12 14:15:33

When God was a Rabbit and 50 Shades. Total waste of time.

JiltedJohnsJulie Wed 05-Sep-12 14:16:38

Oh and Before I Go to Sleep. That one was so dire I have tried to forget I ever read it.

Thumbwitch Wed 05-Sep-12 14:24:51

I haven't bothered to read 50 shades of shite grey or others - I've enjoyed the critical reviews though! grin

Sophie's World is another one - I read that twice as well, trying to "get it" - but I guess having it as a loo book wasn't ideal - it just didn't really work for me. Not the worst book ever but I really wish I hadn't wasted so much time on it.

PetiteRaleuse Wed 05-Sep-12 14:41:27

I enjoyed The Historian but hated The Labyrinth. Everyone said if I liked one I must like the other. Ha!

The Stieg Larssonn trilogy I found mind numbingly dull, and gave up just before the end - I tried watching a Tv series of the books and gave up on that too, as well as the film with James Bond (can't for the life of me remember his name - I want to say Danial Radcliffe but I KNOW that is very wrong smile )

I regret bothering finishing with the Da Vinci Code. Other than that (I was sure that was going to have an incredible ending) I tend to not force myself to finish books - as someone upthread posted being forced to read stuff at school put me off. Now when I read it is for pleasure, with one or two exceptions.

Wolf Hall I did read to the end - and don't regret reading to the end - but it is the least enjoyable book I have read since Da Vinci Code. The story was great, but I hated the use of the present tense. Found it very off putting and took me twice as long to read because it annoyed me so much.

monal Wed 05-Sep-12 14:44:59

I paid money for and read When God Was A Rabbit and I'm very bitter. What was the point?

RedBlanket Wed 05-Sep-12 14:49:56

The second twilight book, mind you at least it put me off the third one.
Loads and loads of free kindle books, they're fee for a reason!

Thumbwitch Wed 05-Sep-12 14:51:13

That'll be Daniel Craig then, Petite. smile

Ephiny Wed 05-Sep-12 15:07:46

Actually Wolf Hall is one I'm glad I bothered to finish. On the first attempt I gave up a few chapters in as the style annoyed me (present tense and aversion to using the narrator's name) but came back to it and ended up finding it actually quite wonderful and compelling.

Smellslikecatspee Wed 05-Sep-12 15:22:57

A Suitable Boy

Oh My God

I'm known for always finishing books even if I then set fire to it grin, but that oneI just

even writing about it makes me fume

Oh bugger, I really want to read A Suitable Boy, and I can't wait for it to be released on the kindle. Is it really really awful? I don't even know why I want to read it, but I do.

Lavenderhoney Wed 05-Sep-12 16:20:37

Captain corelis mandolin
Oscar and lucinda
Labyrinth
Life of pi
just read last chapter when realised a couple of chapters in how crap they were.
Numerous others but they stick.

I liked an unsuitable boy, enough to read it twicesmile

SoniaGluck Wed 05-Sep-12 16:23:59

Agree about Brick Lane.

My other one is The Great Gatsby. I don't remember anything about it, really, except that feeling of being underwhelmed when I'd finished it.

dogsbreath Wed 05-Sep-12 16:25:54

The Tiger's Wife. Why, how did that win the Orange Prize?

Salbertina Wed 05-Sep-12 16:31:09

Oh I love a suitable boy! One of my v favourite books, one of the v few would re-read! I admit it's a v slow starter though and v long

Salbertina Wed 05-Sep-12 16:33:11

But hate dickens-all the overladen description and all those caricatures...

Also lord if the rings

Pat barker
Virginia Woolf which makes me feel guilty towards the sisterhood

Salbertina Wed 05-Sep-12 16:35:09

Oh yes and agree Da Vinci code dire

dublindee Wed 05-Sep-12 16:43:06

I got the 50 shades trilogy and read book 1 in a few hours. I despised it and Christian Grey and vowed to leave the other books unread. A friend who I thought had taste was reading book 2 and told me to give it a chance as it explained why he was such a prick Christian's angst.
Got through it, just about but then (in Magnus Magnusson fashion) I had to finish the trilogy.

I wanted to gouge my eyes out with a blunt spoon by the end. NEVER again will I give a book the benefit if the doubt to that extent again!

Salbertina Wed 05-Sep-12 16:53:06

Oh it's absolute drivel, I just read the sex bits grin

TopCuppa Wed 05-Sep-12 17:08:10

I stuggled with one day- I had to skim a fair few chapters. Also couldn't get into the book thief or the latest Sophie Hannah (can't remember what it's called)

Allalonenow Belgium Wed 05-Sep-12 17:09:00

Norwegian Wood
Mother's Milk

Both total dross.

Schnarkle Wed 05-Sep-12 17:09:24

P.S. I Love you ( I wasn't in my right mind obviously)
The Dan Brown books - holiday reads, the local Tesco had nothing else and was before the days of my kindle.
50 shades all of them - read out of nosiness just to see what everyone was talking about.

DuchessofMalfi Wed 05-Sep-12 17:19:46

I think you and I are probably in the minority with Before I Go To Sleep, Jilted smile I hated it too.

I liked When God Was a Rabbit, monal. I know it was a slow moving story but I rather liked it, and it was quite humorous in places - appealed to my sense of humour anyway!

I'm struggling with the book I'm reading at the moment - Jubilee by Shelley Harris. It's well written, but I just don't like any of the characters, and the story is dreary.

LOTR
Da Vinci Code

Life is too short to wade through unenjoyable bks

snigger Wed 05-Sep-12 17:40:47

To The Lighthouse

I felt like an uneducated nyaff for hating it and I forced myself to finish it and then I wondered about the stew and I asked for another helping of soup and I found myself endlessly wittering on and on and on about inconsequential crap until I found I had to to come back to MN

On the whole, I'd rather have been in Philadelphia

Brices Wed 05-Sep-12 18:20:05

A Suitable Boy I found a really excellent read

marshmallowpies Wed 05-Sep-12 18:36:59

Salbertina read some V Woolf non-fiction if you haven't tried that - A Room of Ones Own, Three Guineas, etc - much more readable & entertaining than her novels and very thought-provoking.

festereagain Wed 05-Sep-12 18:40:40

The Riddle of the Sands sad. So dull it reminded me of the review on the back of 1066 And All That..."we look forward eagerly to their last publication"....

Salbertina Wed 05-Sep-12 18:45:07

Like that review, fester!
Marshmallows- thanks, vaguely think I bay have tried Room of One's own but if so a good 2.5 decades ago so nay have another read.

kweggie Wed 05-Sep-12 18:53:03

Paulo Coelho's Witch of Portobello. You just know you should give up when you don't give a tinker's curse what happens to ANY of the characters they are so wooden.
I read Da Vinci code on the beach and I embarrassed the family by screaming, as I'd promised I would, if I had to read that they 'gunned' the car up or down another sodding street once more AAAAArgh
Primo Levi's Periodic Tables-a reasonable idea stretched to mind-numbing transparency and yawn-inducing boredom......

kweggie Wed 05-Sep-12 20:06:27

snigger----
on the whole I'd rather be eating 'Philadelphia'
a whole one
in a field
(WC optional)

jkklpu Wed 05-Sep-12 20:08:18

Cloud Atlas

marshmallowpies Wed 05-Sep-12 20:15:41

fester well that quote applied to the Riddle of the Sands came true...the author got caught up in the Irish struggle for independence (ie after the Easter Rising) & ended up in front of a British firing squad.

My dad is a fan of the book, or at least talks enthusiastically about it, but I think it's the film or TV adaptation he actually remembers...

RedBlanket Wed 05-Sep-12 20:35:20

My sister lent me Cloud Atlas to read when I was on maternity leave, despite numerous attempts I still havent got past the first chapter and my DTs are 8.
Perhaps I shouldn't bother now!

Nigglenaggle Wed 05-Sep-12 21:13:07

Midnights Children by Salman Rushdie - dont know what all the fuss was about with him, his books are far too dull to ever be read!!

FuntimeFuschia Wed 05-Sep-12 21:16:32

Ooh wow, loads of responses! I am slightly ashamed to admit I have read quite a few of the rejected books, and even enjoyed some of them blush but also heartily agree with others...I am plodding through Wolf Hall at the moment, oof, it's a toughie.

RagingDull Wed 05-Sep-12 21:22:29

now i quite enjoyed Cloud Atlas, and One Day, and i managed to get through Labrinth, but i have tried to read the Historian twice and i just cant get into it - same with The Lovely Bones....

i quite fancy reading Never Let Me Go but i saw the film the other week and it left me feeling so sad, im not sure i could manage it.....

i really must make some time to read again - when i commuted to work by train it was great - i could read for an hour a day....now i find it hard to find the time to do it!

greenhill Wed 05-Sep-12 21:23:19

It is a shame that Wolf Hall is mentioned as a book that is being plodded through. I read it over 2 days and was gripped, as was my DH and he never usually reads fiction.

I persevered with Midnight's Children and thought the end was rewarding, but as mentioned earlier I hate magical realism, so would not seek it out again. It felt like I'd ticked a big gun off my serious author list.

Geekster Wed 05-Sep-12 22:11:41

The latest Sophie Hannah one. Can't even remember what it was called now but was utter shite.

Last of the Mohicans, and every other book by James Fenimore Cooper. The film was bearable, but the books were atrocious. Wish I'd never bothered.

Beamur Wed 05-Sep-12 22:16:58

I know this much is true- by Wally Lamb, I really enjoyed 95% of it but the ending was just awful.
Loved Wolf Hall. Loved Midnights Children too. But I do rather like magic realism.

BeeBawBabbity Thu 06-Sep-12 21:16:45

Salmon fishing in the Yemen - awful awful awful. Also East of Eden seemed never-ending.

I like a lot of the rejected ones though, the book thief, never let me go, Norwegian wood, a suitable boy, the boy in the striped pyjamas - all good for me!

evenkeel Thu 06-Sep-12 23:00:51

Ha, just came on this thread to say that godawful Wally Lamb book, then saw someone else had nominated it. Absolute self-indulgent tosh.

Also, 'Perfume'. It was a book club choice so I had to read it, but good grief...appalling.

Sadly I've wasted far too much of my life ploughing through terrible books. These days I discard without guilt if I'm not enjoying them; there's too much that I do want to read.

Thumbwitch Fri 07-Sep-12 08:01:35

What was bad about Salmon fishing in the Yemen? I quite fancied reading that - is it just interminably dull?

kweggie Fri 07-Sep-12 15:14:31

I'm going to start a new thread-
Books I'm too embarrassed to say I've never read........

Minstrelsaremarvellous Fri 07-Sep-12 15:17:23

Atonement - I thought it self indulgent, yuck

gazzalw Fri 07-Sep-12 15:18:41

American Psycho - it's the only book I've ever knowingly consigned to the dustbin too - horrible, horrible book!

kweggie Fri 07-Sep-12 15:23:49

The Stranger in the Mirror....
supposed to be an exploration of what it 's like to be a middle aged woman -oh misery!

Trazzletoes Bosnia-Herzegovina Fri 07-Sep-12 15:28:37

Another vote for The Magus. Had to read it for school. Dreadful.

gazzalw Fri 07-Sep-12 15:35:59

I really liked The Magus when I was 19 but not sure I would now!

MamaMary Fri 07-Sep-12 15:39:29

The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver. I still feel resentful and almost angry about the time I wasted on that rubbish. ploughed my way through most of it before abandoning it before the end

Agree with The Memory Keeper's Daughter, The Historian and Brick Lane - would also add White Teeth.

MamaMary Fri 07-Sep-12 15:43:47

I did like Salmon Fishing, Tiger's Wife and Life of Pi though - and Never Let Me Go is definitely worth a read - I liked it a lot.

NicholasTeakozy Fri 07-Sep-12 16:56:49

How Late It Was, How Late. The single most tedious 'novel' I've ever had the misfortune to plough through.

A Suitable Boy bored me to tears.

BeeBawBabbity Fri 07-Sep-12 17:19:24

Thumbwitch it was really the ending of SFITY, it felt rushed and desperate. I won't spoil it for you. I also thought the characters were stereotyped. It just seemed amateurish to me.

It does start quite well....

snigger Fri 07-Sep-12 17:53:19

kweggie grin very witty.

WerthersUnOriginal Fri 07-Sep-12 18:04:37

I would say the Life of Pi but I did give up on it. A load of rambly old supposition about what animals are supposed to think.

I read a Freya North book once - it was all there was in a campsite 'library' (load of paperbacks left behind) in France and I had nothing to read. Gawd I hated it.

Remarkable Creatures - it stated off ok but never really hit the spot. Something or other about the woman who discovered fossils.

I liked Brick Lane but I felt it ran out of steam about 2/3 of the way in and fizzled out.

White Teeth- Zadie Smith, absolute tosh

Chocolate- Don't remember the author

Still thinking of you- Adele Parks, so tedious.

gazzalw Fri 07-Sep-12 18:15:26

I have a copy of The Lacuna somewhere up in the loft, unread and unloved. Never fancied it....

Read Life of Pi and enjoyed it although rather a quirky read. Looking forward to the film though!

Salmon Fishing In The Yemen was a very easy read and perhaps rather lazily written but so quick to read that I can't imagine anyone not finishing it!

Ephiny Fri 07-Sep-12 18:36:17

The Lacuna was tedious. Surprisingly so, since I've loved everything else Barbara Kingsolver has written. It was very well researched and historically interesting, but she seemed to have forgotten to write any interesting characters or actual plot.

I adored the Poisonwood bible so when I bought The Lacuna I couldn't wait to get right in. I tried. And tried again. And tried again. Then officially gave up.
Sorry Barbara Kingsolver I think your book is pants. I wanted to like it.

SlightlySuperiorPeasant Fri 07-Sep-12 20:28:11

Thought of another one - My Lord John by Georgette Heyer. It's a real shame because that was the book she really wanted to write but oh my goodness, what tedious stuff. She crammed in so many historical facts and detail that the story was completely lost.

Ullena Fri 07-Sep-12 22:25:02

Z For Zachariah, by Robert C. O'Brien. Awful book - was made to read it at secondary school. Really creeped me and my friends out...

Mansfield Park, by Jane Austen. There were no positives to this apart from the fact that it ended. Again, I had to read it for school. Twice...

Kill Me Once, by Jon Osborne. Completely unbelieveable plot, nasty, far too graphic scenes of murder, etc. Also had an unconvincing female lead, and the bad guy had way too much in common with the author's own backstory. The message seemed to be that horrible things happen to nice people for no reason and there is no justice...

Perfect People, by Peter James. Started well, then just ran out of steam and the ending was a complete let down! Also, poor guinea pigs...

Oh God, we did Z for Zachariah too! It was horrible. I spent years blanking out the memory of when my Darling Mother made me sit through 'Threads' as a 9yo! only to have it all brought back into focus by that book! sad

greenhill Fri 07-Sep-12 23:41:52

ullena at least Perfect People was a quick read. My DH rarely reads fiction but managed it in 4 hours too. We thoroughly enjoyed ripping the plot flaws to pieces, was it the James Bond style set up a the end or the irritating thickness of the couple you disliked most?

Asmywhimsytakesme Fri 07-Sep-12 23:54:37

The slap - didn't finish it either

Asmywhimsytakesme Fri 07-Sep-12 23:56:21

Oh yes and Freya north, perfume like pp smile

Thumbwitch Sat 08-Sep-12 00:04:36

SlightlySuperior - yes! I have a copy of it but it's not one I choose to re-read, unlike all the others bar Penhallow, a terrible book with no sympathetic characters in it at all. Apparently she wrote Penhallow in spite, because her publishers wouldn't let her out of her contract with them. They did after that.
And of course she died before she finished Lord John, so I like to think that she would have gone back over it and made it better if she hadn't died.

Beebaw thanks for that, I'll maybe get it from the library then and that way I won't feel so cheated if it's crap! wink

randomfemale Sat 08-Sep-12 00:11:23

I love Philippa Gregory's Tudor novels but Widacre was pure dross - I thought I would like it - I didn't.

JustSpiro Sat 08-Sep-12 00:20:34

The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway.

Sadly I had to finish it as it was part of my GCSE coursework. 20 years later I am still gobsmacked at what a tedious pile of drivel it was.

Far From The Madding Crowd - I am glad I finished it, but it took about 5 months (I'd normally read a book that size in 5 days!). What really got to me was Hardy's long-winded intricate descriptions of the geology, geography, history etc of Wessex - soooo boring. Yet his characters and dialogue when they got going were brilliant. Apparently it was a kind of insecurity thing with him as he wasn't particularly well-educated and so felt the need to prove himself by adding all this superfluous rubbish hmm.

I am now even more in awe of my Dad who left school at 14 with little formal education, and when I was growing up read pretty much everything Hardy had ever produced.

chinley Sat 08-Sep-12 00:20:52

Picture of Dorian Gray.

DuchessofMalfi Sat 08-Sep-12 08:02:08

The Picture of Dorian Gray is my school gate read atm. A couple of pages a day only but I quite like it so far. Not a difficult read.

ToothyMcTooth Sat 08-Sep-12 08:22:00

P.S. I love you - I'd suspected it would utter tripe but a friend whose opinion I used to respect on these things recommended it.

One Day - took me ages but I kept hoping it would improve. I could not give a monkeys what happened to either of them. I was truly angry that I'd wasted so much time on that bilge.

tiggy114 Sat 08-Sep-12 09:04:41

This is soooo interesting! All the books people can't stand are my faves!!! I loved the lovely bones and room. And girl with the dragon tattoo is in my top 5 can't put it down -ers! I also liked 50 shades and dan brown! Clearly i have really poo taste!!! Tge number one hate book for me is lord of the rings. I tried and tried to make it through the endless walking through the forest bit but failed sad

chinley Sat 08-Sep-12 13:02:49

To be fair Duchess, I think I would have enjoyed it a whole lot more if I didn't already know the story well before I even read the book. Although I didn't really get on with the style of writing either.

LeeCoakley Sat 08-Sep-12 13:13:55

greenhill - I noticed you mentioned a John Grisham. If it's The Associate put it down now and drop it off at the nearest charity shop. Read the Amazon reviews if you are in any doubt. grin Shame as some of his stuff is quite enjoyable.

isleangel Sat 08-Sep-12 15:59:16

The girl with the glass feet - the most terrible book I,ve ever had the misfortune to read

Labyrinth held the spot before it

Stephen King once said that life was too short to spend reading books that are rubbish, and after reading the girl with the glass feet I agree grin

greenhill Sat 08-Sep-12 16:19:52

Thanks leecoakley it is The Summons and I bought 2 others as they were on special offer at Sainsbury's. Its been gathering dust for 3 months.

kitkatco Sat 08-Sep-12 16:36:04

Chesapeake by James Michener.. I was bleeding from the eyeballs reading all his dreary scenery descriptions. But his book Caravans is one of my favourites.

SoniaGluck Sun 09-Sep-12 11:21:11

SlightlySuperiorPeasant My Lord John was what I was reading during early labour with DS3, I always thought that was what put me off it but maybe it was, as you say, just not readable. Wasn't it unfinished?

It's a shame because John of Bedford was an interesting character. I would love to read a good novel about his life.

TyrannoWearsGoldKnickers Sun 09-Sep-12 20:31:50

The Time Traveller's Wife. I actually read it twice because so many people expressed astonshment that I hadn't enjoyed it, so I thought I ought to check that I'd not missed something compelling. I hadn't, if anything it was even more trite upon second visit.

The Notebook. As fat as a pamphlet, thank God, and that's the only nice thing I can say about it.

So surprised that more than one person has named Brick Lane, I love that book, I think the writing is wonderful!

brass Sun 09-Sep-12 21:00:34

kite runner
boy in the striped pyjamas

I've avoided these because I KNOW they will irritate me:

50 shades
twilight
time traveller's wife
eat pray love
the room

showtunesgirl Sun 09-Sep-12 21:02:08

Captain Corelli's Bloody Mandolin. Stupid book with a stupid ending.

JustSpiro Sun 09-Sep-12 22:29:36

I barely managed to start Captn Corelli, felt like I needed a book of Ancient Greek legends and a dictionary to unravel what the first few pages were on about.

I didn't get far with One Day either. I know a lot of people who've read out and it send to be a real 'Marmite' book.

I enjoyed The Kite Runner, but found it more of a struggle to plough through and ultimately disappointing compared to A Thousands Splendid Suns.

Thumbwitch Mon 10-Sep-12 00:21:56

I hated the Kite Runner but am glad I finished it. Wasn't very happy with the ending but it could have been worse. Never bothered with 1000 Splendid Suns because of it (Possibly silly but I don't care. Life's too short)

I also hated We Need to Talk About Kevin and wish I'd never read that. But again I had to finish it to get some resolution. I hate books like that. I can't read anything more by Karin Slaughter either after the first one of hers (no idea what it was called and I don't need to be reminded). My imagination is too vivid to cope with the sort of violence that is encapsulated in these books, so I avoid them to save my sanity.

BumgrapesofWrath Mon 10-Sep-12 00:40:34

The Crimson Petal and the White - kept reading as it was highly recommended, but it was just long and dull.

Empusa Mon 10-Sep-12 00:45:10

Another one for Cloud Atlas. What the bollocks was all the fuss about? It was crap!

Empusa Mon 10-Sep-12 00:45:32

Oh and Dracula, yep the one by Bram Stoker. So over rated!

brass Mon 10-Sep-12 07:33:13

Thumbwitch I don't like the violence in them either, but with Kite Runner it was more how contrived the plot was and how the characters were mechanically intertwined from childhood through to adulthood.

Agree that Corelli's Mandolin had a dire ending although I enjoyed the beginning describing island life it was like the author got bored half way through.

jessirobin Mon 10-Sep-12 22:30:36

Natasha Solomons wrote a book I loved called Mr Rosenblum's List. So I read her follow-up, The Novel in the Viola, which was such a shocking pot-boiler that I raged about it for days afterwards. I felt like writing to the author with my fury, telling her that she can do so much better! It has a sad holocaust story at it's heart, but the characters are so thin and unreal, the descriptions of the scenery so overblown and the central love story is utterly unbelievable that I felt cheated by faked sentimentality. It was a Straight to DVD novel.

Oh, and The Girl on the Landing by Paul Torday. Do your research properly before writing a book!

TwllBach Mon 10-Sep-12 22:41:41

Anything and everything by jodi picoult I have all her books it's like reading the same thing over and over and over.

I hated one day too.

I would also like to nominate 'The Shack' by William something or other. I have never been so enraged.

Selki Mon 10-Sep-12 22:42:52

Has to be the White Mughals by Wiilliam Dalrymple. Tried hard' even moved it to bathroom thinking I could read it in small bites. Stayed in there for three years til I finally gave up!(very closely followed by the first fifty shades - save your money and buy a woman's own instead, far more gripping!)

Selki Mon 10-Sep-12 22:45:29

Isleangel I read girl with the glass feet too, totally surreal!

Thirstysomething Tue 11-Sep-12 02:43:36

The Slap, ugh. Can't stand books without a single sympathetic character. Bonfire of the Vanities, that sort of thing.
Mansfield Park - have read it about five times (school, uni, because I thought I ought to, because there is something weirdly compelling about it) and I haaaaaaate fecking Fanny fecking Price, the mewling prawn. I know this will bring wrath down on me and I DON'T CARE. Oh, hang on, was this supposed to be about books we couldn't finish?
I compulsively finish all books, even '50 shades of boring magnolia pretending to be fire engine red', but there was one we read for book club that was so boring I can't even remember its name. I literally threw it out of the window. Of a train. And if it hit you on the head, I'm sorry.

MentalOriental Tue 11-Sep-12 10:30:37

Anything by Ira Levin!! Read The Stepford Wives, Rosemary's Baby and another one I can't remember as part of a "Bestseller" set, and really couldn't believe I'd wasted my time on them.
Also, Tess of the d'Urbervilles ... Tried reading it so many times but it's just uuurgh!

Flakita Tue 11-Sep-12 15:12:53

Just finished The Unconsoled the previous week! Still undecided as to whether it was a waste or not, though... :-)

WipsGlitter Tue 11-Sep-12 15:23:57

Agree re Eat, Pray, Love. This book actually caused a rift in our Bookgroup and someone left. shock

More recently, the Kathryn Flett one - bilge. And Where d'you go Bernadette. My sister raved about it. Boring and unappealing main character.

FoFeeFiMum Tue 11-Sep-12 17:59:08

More votes for Kite Runner, White Moghuls (had managed to wipe that from memory until saw it above) and anything by Jodi Picoult or Nicholas Sparks - both appear to churn out the same Unremitting crud time and again.

Also, The Count of Monte Cristo - about 8 times as long as it needs to be;
Ruth by Elizabeth Gaskell;
Valley of the Dolls by Jacqualine Susann - just mindnumbingly tedious, despite so much happening; and
The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorn - had to read it for A Level and it is awful

whatkungfuthat Wed 12-Sep-12 09:39:33

Can't remember the name but it was a book by Jane Moore the journalist. It was terribly written and the story was cobbled together from a million chic-lit clichés.

greenhill Wed 12-Sep-12 10:50:16

whatkungfuthat do you mean Four Play about a woman abandoned by her husband who is chased by 4 men, in spite of the children?

I have this, the fact I don't remember it suggests it has been gathering dust for nearly 10 years.

NaiceSpam Wed 12-Sep-12 11:01:08

I once found a sequel to Gone With The Wind in a charity shop, written by another author after Margaret Mitchell's death. It was horrible. Boring, stupid, absurd plot, and worst of all, if the idiot woman had even read GWTW then she was clearly senile and forgot immediately what Scarlett's character was, because she wrote a completely different character and then got Scarlett and Rhett back together and they lived happily ever after. I honestly think that book should be banned, GWTW was a perfect story which ended exactly as Mitchell wanted it to and it's a crushing ending but the only one there could ever be for that story and those characters. She'd be sick if she knew what this woman had done, it's an absolute traversty to her creation. Her estate clearly wanted an extra few bucks so paid some talentless moron to piss all over her grave angry angry angry

cjbk1 Wed 12-Sep-12 11:07:56

I'll tell you one right now; The Promise of Happiness by Erin Kaye, how many times can a modern person "clutch their breast" or have their "hand fly to their breast" ? and I think she's crediting the modern Irish man with a bit too much sophistication IME iv abandoned it

NicknameTaken Wed 12-Sep-12 11:10:42

I clutch my breast all the time, cj.

<reluctantly withdraws hand from bra>

ladydepp Wed 12-Sep-12 11:12:27

Before I go to sleep - unbelievably bad and actually got worse as it went on

the Room - similar to Before I go to sleep

Luckily stopped the Accidental by Ali Smith which was awful

I quite liked Salmon fishing in the Yemen though!

ladydepp Wed 12-Sep-12 11:18:08

I also LOVED the Kite Runner and the Crimson Petal and the White.

Another one that was a waste of many hours: The English American

I am currently plowing through Shantaram (have made it to p.400), kind of liking it but kind of thinking I will never finish it (900 pages+). Anyone have an opinion on whether it gets better/worse/stays the same??

whatkungfuthat Wed 12-Sep-12 11:30:42

greenhill that sounds familiar, in my defence I think I got it free with a mag and I was on a long train journey blush

greenhill Wed 12-Sep-12 11:48:46

whatkung ditto free with a magazine.

BoerWarKids Wed 12-Sep-12 11:58:20

A couple of people have mentioned Girlfriend in a Coma, Douglas Coupland. I bought a withdrawn library copy for 20p recently, I'll give it a go grin

I thought One Day was alright, just a holiday read, really.

Sophie's World - I had this book for years, never managed to get past the first couple of chapters and eventually gave up.

The Mayor of Casterbridge - wading through treacle, I willed it to end sad

I've tried to start Beloved by Toni Morrison a few times, I just can't get into it. I'll have another crack before it goes in the charity bag.

CleoSmackYa Wed 12-Sep-12 12:44:23

Wuthering Heights and Fifty Shades of Grey (at least I think I finished it. It's too repetitive to tell).

CaptainHoratioWragge Wed 12-Sep-12 18:49:10

The Museum of Innocence. Between pages 50-300 it is the same page 250 times with the words slightly moved around.

I clearly have no taste as some of my favourite books of all time are named on here like the shipping news and the famished road. Oh dear.

Ladydepp- Shantaram definitely gets worse. The first 200 pages or so of life in Bombay are great, after that not so much. Give up before it gets to fighting in caves in Afghanastan.

Thirstysomething Wed 12-Sep-12 23:56:19

oh my god, The Museum of Innocence - had forgotten the tedium, the tedium, the tedium.... the teeeeeddiiiiiiiuuuuuum.
Shantaram - I hated him. He loved himself so much, the smug git.
Sorry, I seem to get really opinionated late at night.

I adored Shantaram, but was put off by reading interviews with the author. And, now that I think about it, I did skim over a lot of the 'philosophical' conversations which dragged on forever blush

Yyyy to The Slap, also The Wisdom of Crocodiles which I found horrible.
Anything by Jodi fecking Picoult-drivel!

And a god awful 'sequel' to Pride and Prejudice, called something like 'The Independance of Miss Mary Bennett' OH MY FUCKING GOD who published that????? Please do not waste even 5 minutes of your life on this book!!

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now