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When did you feel the most let down or disappointed by a book? Spoiler alerts! (1 Viewer)

Llyralen

Senior Member
For me, The Hunger Games series.

SPOILER ALERT!

1. For the second book, the way it was set up, Katniss and Peta would have to play the part of Hamish-- the mentor part-- and watch while either Gail or Prim (or someone) would be in the 2nd games. And to me that would have been more interesting psychologically and just different. I felt like I was reading round 2 on book 2 and I felt robbed.... but that wasn't as bad as when...

2. Prim was killed and I felt like someone had punched me in the stomach. The author was able to make characters I really cared about... and after all Katniss went through it just felt like "Why?" We got through so much and didn't get to enjoy victory for a second. After the battle, why do we have to deal with so much pain? I bet soldiers feel like this. Abandoned and betrayed after they come home and start dealing with PTSD, find their spouse had an affair? Start to deal with addiction, but I really didn't want to deal with it. Especially in a young adult book. And getting together with Peta in that way didn't make up for it at ALL.


The "happily ever after" ending of the Harry Potter series felt a bit thrown on as well-- as if J. R. Rowlings was running to be free. i'm sure those last books were a lot of pressure, but it really wasn't satisfying.
 

druid12000

Senior Member
'The Iron Dragon's Daughter' by Michael Swanwick. I got it through a book club. I wish they had just sent me a club instead. It was a tough read to begin with, confusing, with no apparent point. Then the last chapter dropped the 'oh, none of that was real, ha, ha, got you good didn't I'. I threw it across the room. It deserved no less.
 

Foxee

Patron
Patron
I'm not a Stephen King fan (I'll give you a second to recover after that statement)...however, much like giving oysters a chance, I occasionally have a look and see if I can't live without what he's offering.

I have tried oysters three times. Three times running they've had the texture of bitter snot with sand in it.

My latest "no thank you helping" of King was when I was struggling to find an audiobook from my library and they had Under the Dome. Sounded a bit more out there in SF territory so I figured why not, the opening sample was interesting. However, as I got into the opening chapters with King remorselessly (and pretty boringly) showing one disaster after another in graphic detail where the dome came down I started to wonder when the story was going to start. It was hard to connect with any of the characters even in their horrible circumstances as they were flung at me one after the next.

When a character was dragging herself down the road on her elbows I couldn't do it anymore and returned the audiobook.

I hate oysters.
 

epimetheus

Friends of WF
My disappointment in any book is proportional to how hyped up/strongly recommended it was. I thought The Great Gatsby was OK, but such is its prodigious status it was a let down.

The converse is also true - i read 50 shades of grey expecting the worst thing i'd ever read. It's less than OK, but compared to what i was expecting i was pleasantly surprised - i've certainly read worse.
 

Matchu

Senior Member
I read Stephen King at school, and then 'Dome' came out hundreds of years later on, and I bought it for my wife because maybe it was Christmas Eve. The cover fell off the book, that's not his fault but it was pretty basic stuff inside that cover, and we are quite elevated intellectually, it's not really for us [types]. Maybe the little people? She said it
, not me.

Alan Ginsberg? I found his poems - like reading writingforum.org poetry challenge.

I agree about Tender Is The Night. I nearly dropped out of school because of that one, but these days am drawn significantly to 20s/30s stuff, probably requires 'aging process' to enjoy F. Scott Fitzgerald [shudder]. Researched Oxford Bags today.

Harry Potter...as I said before...I am generation victim of Harry Potter, being a parent, and bedtime stories. I just hate him for every reason.
 

indianroads

Staff member
Global Moderator
I'm not a Stephen King fan (I'll give you a second to recover after that statement)...however, much like giving oysters a chance, I occasionally have a look and see if I can't live without what he's offering.

I have tried oysters three times. Three times running they've had the texture of bitter snot with sand in it.

My latest "no thank you helping" of King was when I was struggling to find an audiobook from my library and they had Under the Dome. Sounded a bit more out there in SF territory so I figured why not, the opening sample was interesting. However, as I got into the opening chapters with King remorselessly (and pretty boringly) showing one disaster after another in graphic detail where the dome came down I started to wonder when the story was going to start. It was hard to connect with any of the characters even in their horrible circumstances as they were flung at me one after the next.

When a character was dragging herself down the road on her elbows I couldn't do it anymore and returned the audiobook.

I hate oysters.

Oysters: snot with an extra helping of buggers served on a shell. Yeah, no thank you. Never tried them, I couldn't get beyond the appearance.

I read a lot of Stephen King in the 80's. Carrie was ok, Cujo was depressing, Salem's Lot was ok. He's a pantster - and it seems at times that he gets near the end and doesn't know how to conclude the story and just sort of winged it (badly). IT was his best IMO, The Stand was the worst.

Stephen Pressfield is an author I like - but it's been my experience that women don't like his books. Gates of Fire and Tides of War were especially good.

In my generation, everyone read Kerouac's On the Road, but I thought it was tiresome.

Pierce Brown wrote a pretty good SciFi series: Red Rising, Golden Son, Morning Star - but all the books had identical plot lines so I lost interest.

Occasionally the first 10% of a book (the free sample size Amazon lets you download for free) is good - but falls off the cliff later.
 

Foxee

Patron
Patron
I have The Lion's Gate: On the Front Lines of the Six Day War that I bought because my husband is really into historical books AND I am a fan of Pressfield's The War of Art and Do the Work...both very helpful. Husband liked the Lion's Gate, it's on my lengthy list of "I have it and will eventually read it"...most of which I didn't get to when the libraries were shut down. Nothing against Pressfield, though!
 

Matchu

Senior Member
Oysters are very wonderful things to eat. Seaside, maybe red onion, maybe vinegar dressing, seagulls overhead, chew, and slurp your expensive wine. It's good stuff. First course - obviously means you miss your lobster bisque alternative - and straight to Dover sole and chips, but so be. Essential element to all fish fantasy.
 

indianroads

Staff member
Global Moderator
I have The Lion's Gate: On the Front Lines of the Six Day War that I bought because my husband is really into historical books AND I am a fan of Pressfield's The War of Art and Do the Work...both very helpful. Husband liked the Lion's Gate, it's on my lengthy list of "I have it and will eventually read it"...most of which I didn't get to when the libraries were shut down. Nothing against Pressfield, though!

Of all Pressfield's books, I prefer Tides of War. It chronicles the 27 year Peloponnesian War from the eyes of a hoplite that is a friend to Alcibiades, a controversial general of the Athenian Army.

I made the mistake of recommending The Last of the Amazons to the wife of my best friend... she hated it. Well, to each their own. She got her revenge by recommending Game of Thrones.
 

luckyscars

WF Veterans
Tolkien. Incredibly overrated and overall unimaginative.

I felt a little bit let down by Harry Potter but I don't fault the books for that as I think they're written just fine. I feel like almost any book hyped as much as Harry Potter is going to be a slight let down.

I have been disappointed by Stephen King more times than I can count and I'm actually quite a big fan of his. The man just drones for days. It's not the length of the books, mind, but the pacing of them I find horrible. That isn't all that new, either. The only thing I didn't like about 'Salems Lot was how long it took to get anywhere. It is another ass-numbingly long book that does not need to be. I will say, though, that when King isn't given free reign to bore you to death with twenty-nine chapters of set up that he is REALLY good. These days, I tend to only read King books if they are novellas. His novellas are much better than his novels overall.

Most disappointing of all? Probably Harper Lee's Go Set A Watchman. What a waste.
 

Pamelyn Casto

WF Veterans
What did your friend's wife hate about The Last of the Amazons? I've not read it but that time has always interested me. If the work about it is no good, though, I want to be spared the misery. Thanks. (Love her revenge on you.:-D)
 

indianroads

Staff member
Global Moderator
What did your friend's wife hate about The Last of the Amazons? I've not read it but that time has always interested me. If the work about it is no good, though, I want to be spared the misery. Thanks. (Love her revenge on you.:-D)
I think there was too much military subject matter.
 

Taylor

Staff member
Global Moderator
Cristina Algers, The Banker's Wife. She is a wonderful writer, and I had really enjoyed The Darlings. The basis for the story was the real life 2015 exposure of Swiss Bank accounts to the IRS by an insider. I was intrigued by a story about banking. And one of the characters was a wealthy entrepreneur turned politician. I thought it was a great premise for a story. She explores the motivation of the rich and unethical trying to avoid paying tax at all moral cost.

However, it is written from the POV of two FMCs, both of whom had someone close to them, a husband and a best friend get murdered early on. And then it just turned into a bit of a whodunit. Still a good read, but I would have enjoyed it more with less murder.


 
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thepancreas11

New Writers' Mentor
WF Veterans
Two books come to mind:

First is The Sun Also Rises. I'm a fan of very sparse prose. I would always rather read what's happening than the omniscient narrator's opinions on a character's thoughts and feelings. I almost like my books to be like the closed captions on a movie, really. Everyone said I would love Hemingway because that's his style too, apparently. He doesn't spend a lot of time on the frilly language. He just puts down the facts on paper and lets the reader infer what they will. Yeah, maybe, but he's also a dill-hole that annoys the crap out of me. I've said it before and I'll say it again: he reminds me of the beret-wearing boyfriend from "Uncle Buck", and he gets a big "No Thank You" from me.

Second is the Book of the New Sun. I read maybe seventy pages of that book. It took me like a month to do it. I don't necessarily mind a little work (see Lincoln in the Bardo) but I don't get my jollies from army-crawling through the mud or the literary equivalent of said practice. That book is just heavy. I kept finding reasons not to read it, and when I did, I would read the same sentence over and over again either because it was extremely dense or because my mind was wandering and I had missed something important. It's the first book I've ever stopped reading.
 
Harry Potter, definitely. It had been described to me as comparable to Narnia, but it was really only passable for a one-time read--and not even in the same vein, for that matter. At least the first is more school story than fairy tale.

That Hideous Strength.
It's not an awful book. But it happens to be both written by one of my favorite authors, and the third book in an otherwise incredible trilogy. So I was expecting much better. Tedious segments, useless villains who seemed to be there just for the evils (I'm looking at you, Miss Hardcastle), and cloudy philosophic ideas (which are not, by the way, inherently cloudy, but somehow got tangled in their transfer into fiction).

The Return of Don Quixote.
This was another book where I was disappointed mostly because I otherwise love G. K. Chesterton. Not to mention that the opening premise is hilarious--a librarian, by way of a ladder-stealing prank, gets trapped for three days in the Medieval shelf, and as a result becomes irreversibly obsessed with the Middle Ages. But the premise, unfortunately, kind of just dissipates instead of blossoms. And it's one of the only books that I'd describe as 'dated,'--there's a lot of things which I'm sure made sense to early 20th century British intelligentsia that were completely lost on me.
 

Ralph Rotten

Staff member
Mentor
I actually just had the inverse of this scenario.
I absolutely adored Catch 22 by Joseph Heller, but hated the movie (Alan Arkin as Yosarian? WTF???)
But then Hulu made a multi-episode version of Catch 22 and I thought "Finally, they'll make it a miniseries and do it right!"

No. I sat thru 2 DVDs and was disappointed every step of the way. It was supposed to be BASED on the book...but really it was INSPIRED by the book.
This thing was about as much Catch 22 as Taco Bell is Mexican food.
They ruined everything...changed the best parts, almost completely deleted Nately's whore, telegraphed Orr's escape, left out Doc Danika's conundrum, screwed up Major Major's promotion, and essentially made Yosarian a snivelling little coward right from the beginning (in the book he grew into it.)
Basically, every part that made you laugh in the book was changed to a less-funny version.
Idiots.
 

Matchu

Senior Member
In the non-fic genre of 'man sails a 10 foot boat' to Antarctica/Norway/Nowhere/Iceland - there are classics - Wayfarer to Norway springs to mind, and Ice Bird (?) written by the Kiwi. Tho' the other, the famous Kiwi one is rather dull, the chap who collects a tree, makes a boat and sails the Pacific. Forgotten the title. A Kiwi will know. [South Sea Vagabonds]. Anything by Don Crowhurst, of course, is an inspiration.

- Jack de Crow
1. Firstly he's a prep school teacher.
2. He makes teacher jokes.
3. He sails a mirror dinghy along canals, moors up, knocks on rich people's doors, the people from his address book. And they all say, 'oh no, come in, have a meal, a bottle of wine and be off by morning, you boring d*ckhead.' And he always reflects, 'the Major and I discussed Heroditus, mysteries of Marco Polo, Finnish linguistics into wee small hours...hoh...I drank two gin and tonics, delicious guinea fowl occasion.'
4. It turns out he's actually Australian, so the teacher voice utilised up to page 200 is completely wrong, never mentioned on back cover.
5. He wears tweed.
6. Everybody on Amazon says 'this is the best book ever written.'
7. I don't like it.
 
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