Overrated Books

Discussion in 'Non-WOT - Literature and Fiction' started by Toral Delvar, Aug 20, 2012.

  1. Jodea Kegan

    Jodea Kegan Aes Sedai

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    I think a book can be overrated but still perfectly enjoyable. For me I suppose that means most fall into that category :p

    The Name of the Wind. I liked it, but it didn't strike me as a masterpiece type of thing all the people who made me read it were claiming it was.

    Same with LotR. I loved The Hobbit, so naturally I read LotR, but it took FOREVER to get through the first section. Man, Tolkien could really write dull, and hobbits are DULL.

    Time to throw stones at some classics. To Kill a Mockingbird. I hate that book.

    ANYTHING Hemingway ever wrote. The Old Man and the Sea is coma inducing drivel at best.

    The Scarlet Letter. Meh

    Wuthering Heights makes me want to vomit

    Catcher in the Rye is also sucktastic.

    I feel better now :p

    Also on the list,

    The last WoT book
    Dance with Dragons (seriously, THAT is what we waited for?)
    I would agree with Terry Pratchett in general
    The Sword of Truth novels. I got through 5 maybe before I had to stop the torture... my torture.


    and my most overrated books of all time? The Twilight novels. I have read them, and all I can say is... WHY does Stephanie Meyers hate women and like abusive men so much and WHY would someone ever read the first book and say "yes, please write more?" Also, in extension any published fan fic of the garbage that is Twilight is an auto loser. I am lookin at you 50 shades of pathetic.
     
  2. Ealandrelle Melyma

    Ealandrelle Melyma Aes Sedai

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    As a Pratchett fan, I'd say that the problem tends to be the books which people start with. Pyramids is a bit of a standalone, and it's not his best work. I enjoyed it more after having read a lot of his other stuff. Same with Small Gods, it's more interesting if you've read some of the books where Omnians appear. And for all that The Colour of Magic and The Light Fantastic are where it all starts, they're not my favourite books. I tend to prefer the "wizard/Rincewind" books later on - The Last Continent is a good one, though Interesting Times is one I'll happily re-read. Same with the books that feature the Witches. I actually didn't get into them until "Carpe Jugulum", at which point I then went back and read all the older ones. I do love the Vimes books - "Guards! Guards!" would be a great starting point, in my opinion. In terms of the Death books, I really like "Soul Music", and you can certainly read it without having read earlier ones. What I love about Pratchett is that the majority of his books can stand alone. But if you've read the earlier ones, you just have a few snippets more of knowledge which can make some things funnier.

    I sometimes wonder if Pratchett's humour just doesn't translate well. I'm never sure of how Brit-centric it is, but quite a few of my non-UK friends "just don't get it" which is why I'm wondering if it's a cultural thing.
     
  3. Taika Vinh

    Taika Vinh Aes Sedai

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    Exactly. And it's all about different tastes anyway. Badly written books are one thing but books written in a style one personally doesn't like is another. I don't know if it's possible to objectively define which book would be overrated or bad (or perhaps in some cases, I don't know :p).


    This, too. I've never read any Pratchett, but I don't "get" Dickens, and I think it's not just because I don't like the style, but also because it's not my cultural inheritance as much as for the English-speaking folks. Translations affect too, for example the Finnish WoT translations are horrible (I've read a couple of the first books in Finnish, then switched into English), and the books have a totally different feel in Finnish and in English.
     
  4. Amaryla Leper

    Amaryla Leper Novice

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    Well all the books have different feel in Serbian (my native language) and English for me, but that seldom affects my opinion on the book as whole. I'm used to reading Serbian WoT, so English seems funny. Also with Pratchett, I did read it in Serbian but I like the translations, so I don't think it's that. I understand the references and whatnot, but I just don't find them all that...masterpiece-y as other people I know do. And note that those other people have also read it in Serbian. When it comes to Dickens, I've read Great Expectations in English and didn't have any language related problems, but I don't think I would have even if I had read it in Serbian. Same goes for Pride and Prejudice. English/Serbian doesn't really make all that difference to me in terms of understanding for a vast majority of times :cheese
     
  5. Taika Vinh

    Taika Vinh Aes Sedai

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    For me it's not about understanding, though. Granted, I have to check some words sometimes when I read in English or more in German (yay for Kindle's dictionary function!) but to me the books have a very different atmosphere, or mood in different languages. It's mostly about the language structure, I think. For me the atmosphere is a major aspect in whether I like a book or not, and that's why the language matters so much. For example, I always read fantasy in English, because fantasy novels feel more childish, or sometimes even out of place in Finnish. And if they translate the names (like in Harry Potter's Finnish translations) it makes the whole reading quite cringe-worthy to me.

    But to be honest, with WoT it was mostly that it wasn't edited properly in Finnish. :p Whole lot of inconsistencies in names, and also typos and whatnot.
    I've read Dickens years ago, and only the Finnish translations, so maybe I should check if I'd "get" it in English? :scratch
     
  6. Ealandrelle Melyma

    Ealandrelle Melyma Aes Sedai

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    Exactly as Taika Sedai said, it's not so much about the understanding of the language. It's the context of the books, in a lot of ways. Take "Jingo", for example. You can understand the concept of racism. You can even understand the aspects of British Colonial attitude which appear in the book. But would you find it so funny if you weren't British, having grown up in Britain, lived with that kind of attitude around you etc? I don't know, I could be completely off on the wrong tack here (and making it sound like Sir Pratchett's books don't travel well to boot :lol) But Pratchett's books are as much social commentary as they are comedy, and I feel that this would have to have some kind of impact.
     
  7. Jodea Kegan

    Jodea Kegan Aes Sedai

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    I get his humor, and actually think Pratchett is quite funny. The stories themselves just kind of bore me. I don't think he is bad, but I do think he is overrated.
     
  8. Elorenya d'Rahien

    Elorenya d'Rahien Aes Sedai

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    This, exactly, sums up my feelings on Pratchett, based off of what I've read so far of his (The Color of Magic, Interesting Times, Equal Rites). I had a lot of trouble getting engaged with the stories themselves; I felt like I was waiting basically the entire book for the point of it to start.
     
  9. Ithilluin Aldaran

    Ithilluin Aldaran

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    With respect to Pratchett, there's wide variation among his books. I started with Good Omens, written with Neil Gaiman. It was amazing. Then I tried Colour of Magic and thought, "Blargh. That was pointless and plotless. Gaiman must have been all the genius in Good Omens." Giving him another chance, I picked up Going Postal and Making Money. Brilliant. (OK. That may be hyperbolic.) I've read several others, and they all fall somewhere between the two extremes. The witch stuff tends to be pretty good. So if you want to give Pratchett a fair chance, don't start with the Color of Magic.

    All in all, though, Good Omens is undoubtedly a Lennon/McCartney sort of thing. Lennon gave McCartney's unbridled enthusiasm a cynical edge and McCartney kept Lennon's songs from degenerating into soul-bearing misery. Good Omens combines Pratchett's silly humor with Gaiman's "No. Really. There's a deep story worth telling here." The result is a thoroughly amusing "Well, what would happen if the forces of evil botched the apocalypse?"
     
  10. Toral Delvar

    Toral Delvar Archivist Gaidin

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    I do think the first two were by fat the weakest, little more than standard D&D/fantasy parody. Equal rights and Mort,both of which are also fairly early are pretty good IMO
     
  11. Ciaran al'Trystan

    Ciaran al'Trystan Gaidin

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    Just about anything that RA Salvatore writes. I liked his writing a lot, as a kid. I picked something up at a bookstore a while back, flipped through it, and put it back. It's like candy; no real substance to it.
     
  12. Fremendis Charin

    Fremendis Charin

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    I can't stand Clive Cussler, I can't even finis a few chapters. Harry potter was good..? but the final was a let down. I even read the whole Twilight series, and the ending there was a huge let down.. no magical vampire/werewolf battle! They talked their problems out? What a load of garbage.
     
  13. Yarrow Al'Vare

    Yarrow Al'Vare Aes Sedai

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    I love LotR.

    Many people have already said this, but Twilight was completely overrated. I only read the first one, and it was a waste of my time. That's the only one I can think of off the top of my head. The Paolini books weren't top-notch literature, but they were all right if you just wanted fantasy fluff. :p
     
  14. Dieda Eriu

    Dieda Eriu Aes Sedai

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    Yes :look :p

    But maybe it has to do with having grown up with loads of British literature and movies and being pretty well acquainted with the culture. Yay for globalzation! :p While I was reading Jingo for the first time, though, I remember I kept thinking: I don't think this would be so funny to someone who hasn't seen Lawrence of Arabia and such :) Jingo used to be my absolute favourite. And then Nightwatch came out :D (and it was French Revolution meets Easter Rising etc. and if you're not acquainted with those, it's, again, not as funny, I guess :cheese)

    Yes, yes, yes, this, SO this :D Especially the late ones, like Nightwatch, Thud, Monstrous Regiment etc. They have next to nothing to do with the first few books, except that they nominally take place in the same world... But I felt they were really poignant and important!

    EDIT: But, y'know, I'm a big fan, and would always put TP's books in the 'underrated' category because many people think they're just funny and silly ;)
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2013
  15. CitezenOfAringill

    CitezenOfAringill

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    In regards to Pratchet's 'disguised' humour, I think some of the connections he make are from such iconic origins that someone would not necessarily have to had a passing acquaintance with these events because they are so iconic, almost clichéd, that even a young reader might be able to read the books, not truly understanding the origins of most of the events, and still find it funny because even the concept of what Prachett refers to has found its way into our basic culture.
    But I am Scottish so you might actually have a point about your talk of 'British culture'. Hey, I don't know what you Europeans or Yanks learn before you go to school
     
  16. Deleios Cherchenuit

    Deleios Cherchenuit Necroposter Aes Sedai

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    Royal Assassin. I was really disappointed in this series.
     
  17. Rhyulthorn Darkfoe

    Rhyulthorn Darkfoe

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    I have a few that I find to be overrated.

    Grapes of Wrath - There's a story there but I won't go into it. Suffice to say its a terrible book, not just overrated.
    Icewind Dale Trilogy - Do not get me wrong, I like these three books generally more than I do the Drizz't books. R.A. Salvatore is a good writer, I do believe that. However, the original series was not that good, just generally better than the other gaming fiction at that time. It began a cult for the Dark Elf and IMHO he was not even the most interesting character.
    Death of a Salesman - Well yeah I am not a fan of Arthur Miller.
    Great Gatsby - A bunch of characters I do not like and some of them die. I am okay with that.
     
  18. Aleyna Kay'merin

    Aleyna Kay'merin Citizen

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    Oh man... I'm not normally one to put a book down after I started it, but just recently I attempted to get into The Way of Shadows by Brent Weeks. It was suggested to me because I enjoy Brandon's other works, Scott Lynch, and Patrick Rothfuss (enjoyed, but it's not a masterpiece to me). I made it all of three chapters... bleh.

    Terry Goodkind's stuff felt extremely derivative after 5 books of the same plot. I had to get off that ride for my sanity.

    I agree with many here in that the Great Gatsby just didn't do it for me.

    I'm a long-time fan of A Song of Ice and Fire, but after so many years George is losing me...
     
  19. Eccadairius

    Eccadairius

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    I have been wondering about "A Game of Thrones" by George R. R. Martin myself... I still don't get the plot in the story so far...
     
  20. Taika Vinh

    Taika Vinh Aes Sedai

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    I didn't like them either. :lol I think the "classic" status of this book comes from the fact that it's the first novel that describes the "jazz age". I.e. it's value is historical, not particularly because of the story or language. It was a quick and easy read though. :p (And I happen to be interested in the between-world-wars period, or 1920's in particular).