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Books that weren’t shit, just underwhelming/didn’t get

(177 Posts)
KenForPM Tue 02-Jan-18 05:54:23

So we’ve had a number of shit books threads... how about a thread for books that we didn’t necessarily hate, but were underwhelmed by/were forgettable, if you get what I mean.

I read Hideous Kinky by Esther Freud a good few years ago. I remember getting to the end and thinking “what even happened in that book?” I remember thinking it just felt like there was no plot. I suppose it’s partly to do with the fact that the narrator is so young (four/five IIRC), but others seem to rave about it when I googled it. It made no sense.

OhWhatFuckeryIsThisNow Tue 02-Jan-18 06:00:32

The Essex Serpent. Felt like a chore to read.

BookWitch Tue 02-Jan-18 06:18:56

His Dark Materials - have read them twice (plus once on Audible) because everyone says how utterly brilliant they are. I'm a fantasy fan as well so I feel I SHOULD love them.
But meh, some interesting characters, but too many to keep track of and engage with, Lyra starts well, but ends up whingy and I just ended up not caring what happened.

BattleCuntGalactica Tue 02-Jan-18 06:33:22

The Little Stranger.
The Testament of Gideon Mack.

BobbinThreadbare123 Tue 02-Jan-18 06:47:38

The Power. I was expecting so much more.... Possibly ridiculous of me but I didn't even see any hype before buying and resting, only found out after.

The Secret History. I found it kind of dull.

Ratinthehat Tue 02-Jan-18 06:52:35

Gone girl it wasn't awful just really didn't hold my interest to well and all seemed a bit to far fetched. It was readable though. I just didn't see what the fuss was about.

LoniceraJaponica Tue 02-Jan-18 07:12:01

Gone Girl here as well. None of the characters were likeable and I couldn't identify with any of them.

IJoinedJustToPostThis Tue 02-Jan-18 07:14:53

To my shame, The Great Gatsby. I just found it dull. Must try again some time.

TossDaily Tue 02-Jan-18 07:15:19

Another one for Gone Girl.

Also A Man Called Ove. Dull.

MumGoneMild Tue 02-Jan-18 07:16:38

Gone girl
Essex serpent
The room

TossDaily Tue 02-Jan-18 07:17:19

Hated The Great Gatsby. I couldn't care less about any of the characters, which I guess is the point, but still.

Also The Old Man and the Sea. Could have died of boredom if I'd finished it, so I didn't.

Jenala Tue 02-Jan-18 07:19:13

The Girl On The Train. Everyone seems to love it? It was fine but just a fun of the mill British thriller to me.

50 Shades - I know the writing is known not to be good but it was so very poor I couldn't get through the first few pages. And I read my fair share of junk novels.

BikeRunSki Tue 02-Jan-18 07:22:16

The Keeper of Lost Things
Girl on the Train

Ratinthehat Tue 02-Jan-18 07:39:40

Girl on the train I just couldn't like any of the characters. It wasn't awful just not very interesting.

The girl with all the gifts was a bit meh!

StealthPolarBear Tue 02-Jan-18 07:42:08

Girl on the train should be exactly my kind of book but I just couldn't get into it. It was difficult to motivate myself to read it. I might try again.

LaContessaDiPlump Tue 02-Jan-18 07:45:59

Hare with amber eyes - dull dull dull.
Plodded my way through Great Expectations.
Never managed to finish Moby Dick blush

BellBookandCandle Tue 02-Jan-18 07:59:08

The Goon Squad - Jennifer Egan- sounded promising was as dull as ditchwater. I'm not a quitter but that book severely tested my patience!

Agree with the Great Gatsby and The Hare with the Amber Eyes (I really wanted to like the latter, but it was sadly very disappointing)

Going against the grain here, but I find Jane Austen's novels turgid with unlikeable characters. Mansfield Park being the worst of a bad bunch in my (unpopular) opinion.

Piggywaspushed Tue 02-Jan-18 08:00:49

I don't think I have read a really inspiring book in years. I almost think there are too many out there these days.

I have a huge pile to get through and every one is a chore.

I agree re Gone Girl and Girl On The Train and every single book with Girl in the title!! The Girls was all atmosphere and no resolution/ plot.

There's that book about the chimpanzee (spoiler sorry but it has a long title and I can't remember it!). Really thought that was overrated.

I always loved Kate Atkinson but I thought the two recent ones were just meh. If they had been her first books I would not have kept reading her. Ditto Zadie Smith. Everything after White Teeth has been meh.

I also just read the Ian McEwan that was on TV (before it was on telly). Don't know why titles are alluding me today. I got to the end of that and thought 'Really??' But I have always had the impression that I wouldn't like any of his other books, Atonement aside , which I do like.

Whyhellodaffodil Tue 02-Jan-18 08:01:32

Agree with the secret history - I just didn’t really care about any of the characters. Am currently struggling through the Hourglass Factory - may not bother to finish, it’s just not clicking with me, feels wrong to give up though...

Piggywaspushed Tue 02-Jan-18 08:06:37

Oh and The Miniaturist : had to force my way through the last 200 pages or so.

I think that's a widely held view though!

I like the concept of a lot of books, and the style (The Essex Serpent is another example) but these writers just can't plot or grip any more!

It's all hook and then nothing else.

BattleCuntGalactica Tue 02-Jan-18 08:07:16

I forgot to add American Gods. My friends are horrified with me for saying that, but after trying four times to get into it? I failed because I got bored.

bluedaze Tue 02-Jan-18 08:08:48

Totally agree with you about Hideous Kinky. I keep seeing Kate Atkinson's Life After Life recommended on here - I don't think I have ever hated a book more. Every time we went back to the start I felt like kicking the book in its metaphorical shins. My friend's favourite book is A Confederacy of Dunces but trying to get through it genuinely made me feel a bit ill.

lastqueenofscotland Tue 02-Jan-18 10:37:07

4 3 2 1 which got loads of good press about 6 months ago. A bit dull and very pretentious.

Piggywaspushed Tue 02-Jan-18 16:04:27

Bill Bryson's follow up to Notes From A Small Island. Oh Bill, you really aren't funny any more . I was disappointed.

SwedishEdith Tue 02-Jan-18 16:22:54

I don't think I have read a really inspiring book in years. I almost think there are too many out there these days.

Agree. And I think too many start with the idea that they can be made into a film.

I started the chimpanzee book you're talking about. I gave up when that bit was disclosed.

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