Bestsellers that don't live up to the hype

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Nomad0404
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Re: Bestsellers that don't live up to the hype

Post by Nomad0404 » May 20th, 2010, 2:40 pm

Angels and Demons - Published 2000

Da Vinci Code - Published 2003

Which book is a rewrite of which? So many people read the Da Vinci code first, I'm so glad I read them them in the correct order.

Deception point is his best book and the Lost Symbol by far his worst.

Jessica Peter
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Re: Bestsellers that don't live up to the hype

Post by Jessica Peter » May 21st, 2010, 2:40 am

Hm, yeah, I'd definitely say the Da Vinci Code. In my mind, it was poorly written and filled with ridiculous ideas.

Personally, I also don't understand the Chuck Palahniuk novels that keep popping up on bestseller lists, and people's lists of favourite authors/books/etc. I just can't read his books, and I've struggled with it!

And Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Cool idea, since I love both P&P and zombies... but I couldn't finish it. It was like they took away the biggest things I like about Elizabeth Bennet (bookish-ness, etc) and replaced them with ninja-like zombie-fighting skills. Do ninja skills really have a place in zombie literature? Come on, I'm on team pirate.
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karenbb
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Re: Bestsellers that don't live up to the hype

Post by karenbb » May 21st, 2010, 10:26 am

not to turn this into Dan Brown Haters Club, but I thought Angels and Demons was one of the worst books ever. I struggled to make it through the first 50 pages and then I just gave up in anger and disgust at the thought of the time I'd wasted (not that I'm bitter or anything). I made it through Da Vinci Code, but I'm not sure how.

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Re: Bestsellers that don't live up to the hype

Post by writeaskew » May 31st, 2010, 9:11 pm

Oh, i'm joining in!

I feel bad, because I'm with the Davinci Code haters. I will say this, I think it's well written. I like the concept. What drove me crazy was all through the book I could hear Dan Brown's smug voice saying "I did so much research. I am so witty and intelligent. Wasn't that plot twist great?" I want to hear the voices of the characters and all I could hear was the screaming tone of Dan Brown's intelligence. Props to him for being brilliant. I just don't want to remember it every time I turn the page.

I know this is going to get me blacklisted, but honestly, i really didn't understand why Rick Moody's The Diviners was so great. Of course, this might have something to do with me hating Dickens. I think he's a modern Dickens. The opening of that book was riveting. For the first two pages. And then I got really sick of it. Plowing through that book was an accomplishment for me. Again, great writer, but his style totally put me off.

And I know we're avoiding Twilight hate, so I won't say I hate it. I don't. I have dog-eared copies of all four books and I own the two movies that are out so far, but Iw ill say this: if you played a drinking game where the only two rules were drink at exclamation points and comma splices, you'd have alcohol poisoning by halfway through the first book.

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mmcdonald64
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Re: Bestsellers that don't live up to the hype

Post by mmcdonald64 » June 1st, 2010, 5:51 pm

I just finished Cormac McCarthy's The Road. Now, don't get me wrong, it's a thought provoking book and written in a unique style, but, I couldn't help thinking it was kind of like Mad Max, without the cars. The theme of it, I mean. Everyone is out to get everyone else, it's bleak,it's depressing, and the ending kind of sucked.

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Re: Bestsellers that don't live up to the hype

Post by craig » June 3rd, 2010, 8:55 pm

marccolbourne wrote:
craig wrote:I'm currently slogging through "The Cellist of Sarajevo" -- don't know about down in the US, but it was a big seller up here in Canada. I find it... a sluggish chore of a read.
Craig, I absolutely loved the Cellist of Sarajevo but I read while in Sarajevo during a backpacking trip through Eastern Europe. That might have added to the experience. I thought the description and emotion was right on.

Marc
Yo! (Sorry for not replying for so long, I forgot I was registered here...)

I was in Sarajevo a couple years ago, so I was excited to read this. But I found that having been to places like Mostar and Srebrenica (which are still very much in the initial stages of healing, whereas I found Sarajevo to be a little further along), the emotional tone didn't really resonate with me. Mostar and Srebrenica are still very much in pain, more so, I thought, than was represented in the Sarajevo of the book.

Hope that made sense...

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"The Shining"

Post by Daryl_Blonder » June 6th, 2010, 9:54 am

"The Shining" by Steven King in that the 1980 Kubrick film was far more chilling and disturbing. Ironically King himself didn't like the film and produced a 1997 television miniseries that was subpar. This is one of the few instances where I believe a film adaptation to be better than the book, and given that it's King that's all the more surprising. But horror is meant to frighten, and the movie did that, and then some, whereas the book fell short. "The Shining" isn't one of his best.

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J. T. SHEA
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Re: Bestsellers that don't live up to the hype

Post by J. T. SHEA » June 6th, 2010, 6:22 pm

I don’t agree with Daryl regarding THE SHINING. Kubrick’s movie was excellent but Jack Nicholson’s character Jack Torrance looked half-crazy from the start and Shelley Duvall’s Wendy Torrance was a bit of a doormat all through as well. Not much character development. No fault of the actors, by the way, it’s clear that’s how Kubrick wanted things.

I do like King’s 1997 mini-series (filmed in and around the real hotel that inspired the novel) and found his DVD audio commentary very interesting. Incidentally, there are several published versions of Jack Torrance’s book ALL WORK AND NO PLAY MAKES JACK A DULL BOY(!)
Last edited by J. T. SHEA on June 7th, 2010, 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Bestsellers that don't live up to the hype

Post by L.M. Pruitt » June 7th, 2010, 8:31 pm

I'll admit, I'm like a book junkie. Even when a book is not great, a disappointment, what have you, I still tend to enjoy it. That being said, I just finished Laurell K. Hamilton's Bullet, and I have no problem saying that when I finished it, I went, "Eh?" Part of that is the simple fact that the author herself hyped the book as being the answer to a lot of unanswered plot questions from previous books, and really, she just left more things unanswered, and the entire novel served as a setup for the next one. The other part of that is that the main character did something that just made me go, "I kind of really don't like you anymore. You're a selfish, whiny, domineering, thinks she knows it all but doesn't, bitch." I think I'm more upset about that part than about the lack of forward plot movement.

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Re: Bestsellers that don't live up to the hype

Post by BrokenChain » June 8th, 2010, 2:02 pm

Brisingr sucked. Bad.

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Re: Bestsellers that don't live up to the hype

Post by dios4vida » June 10th, 2010, 12:45 pm

BrokenChain wrote:Brisingr sucked. Bad.
I couldn't make it through the first two chapters of Eragon! The story seemed okay, but I couldn't believe how juvenile the writing felt. The whole time I wanted to take my red pen to it. Yes, I know he was 15, but there's a reason that most of the novels WE wrote when we were 15 are trunked and will never see the light of day. (It helps to have an uncle in the business after all, I guess.)
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Re: Bestsellers that don't live up to the hype

Post by wildheart » June 11th, 2010, 6:08 am

Let me see...

1) Twilight. There were so many writing mistakes in this, but looking past that was an even bigger issue I could not ignore. I did not like the portrayal of Bella or of Edward. And the relationship between them gave me the freakin creeps. And before anyone says I am just bitter because she made all this money...its not that. I LOVED J.K Rowlings books, and she is richer than the queen of England. Twilight just wasn't my cup of tea, simple as that.

2) Anything by Dan Brown. The one I remember having the most of a pain with was Angels and Demons. I just really hated his writing, although the story was kinda interesting. He just ruined the idea though with his execution of the whole thing.

3) Eragon by Christopher Paloni. (And probably his other books. It was overlong and just...boring.)

There are others, but these are off the top of my head.

Oh, and I should mention I am a book lover of all genres. I don't just read bestsellers. I read whatever catches my eye. It's quite an adventure that way.
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Nathan Bransford
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Re: Bestsellers that don't live up to the hype

Post by Nathan Bransford » June 11th, 2010, 8:01 pm

Hey all,

I'm going to leave this thread open, but I do hope people will abide by the golden rule of speaking about other writers' books - speak about others' books as you'd have them speak about yours. I think there's a way of registering your opinion about a book without being unduly rude.

There are authors behind these books who are doing the best they can, and they deserve a bit more than just a quick pithy denouncement. Even if they're megabestsellers who are rich beyond their wildest dreams and don't inspire your sympathy, well, at the very least you might want a blurb from them someday.

Carry on!

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Nathan Bransford
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Re: Bestsellers that don't live up to the hype

Post by Nathan Bransford » June 26th, 2010, 6:32 pm

Hey all,

From here on out I'm deleting posts that don't represent a thoughtful critique of a book that didn't work for you. If it's just "such and such is trash" or the equivalent, well, there are other places for that. It's really not fair to the author, no matter how successful they are and no matter how little you thought of the book.

Elevated discourse, people!!

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Matthew MacNish
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Re: Bestsellers that don't live up to the hype

Post by Matthew MacNish » June 28th, 2010, 6:21 am

Nathan Bransford wrote:Hey all,

From here on out I'm deleting posts that don't represent a thoughtful critique of a book that didn't work for you. If it's just "such and such is trash" or the equivalent, well, there are other places for that. It's really not fair to the author, no matter how successful the are and no matter how little you thought of the book.

Elevated discourse, people!!
Bravo!

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