February 12th, 2008, 05:37 PM
Kay is one of my favorite authors and I agree with this general sentiment: his later books are better than Fionavar, which is good but not great epic fantasy.
Originally Posted by Bear
February 12th, 2008, 05:41 PM
Wow, that is the first time I've every heard this about the Belgariad, which is known for its strong characterization.
Originally Posted by Randy M.
And yeah, I completely disagree with you I found the characters in the Belgariad to be extraordinarily...alive.
February 12th, 2008, 05:47 PM
boss of several cats...
There's been a few...
The Belly of the Bow by K.J. Parker
Anything by Goodkind - hence the dumping of the books I had into the bin. Upon reflection, burning would have been much more fun. (Fell into the trap of 'I started the series, I...must...finish...~pant, wheeze~)
A spoiler for anyone who cares: Number three of Dart-Thornton's silly series...what was it...The Battle of Evernight. I quite liked number one, until the marvellous mute, ugly girl turned into a freaking barbie princess at the end...
Sean William's The Crooked Letter. I blame the bookclub...
Hm...I did actually burn a book once...a tedious story for anyone who wasn't there involving a book of the fantasy artwork of Boris Vallejo, an ex who left it at my house while he took my Tad William's MS&T series, which he never returned, and me burning his ugly book in retaliation...lots of fun...
(I have since replaced MS&T...)
February 12th, 2008, 06:14 PM
Ah Bear, isn't it funny how half the books on your hate list I totally agree with, the other half I love!
Originally Posted by Bear
I'm a fan of WOT, Fionivar intorduced me to GGKay, & Belgariad was my childhood favourite fantasy,
February 12th, 2008, 06:24 PM
For me at least, the books I want to burn usually consist of minor annoyances that I can't get past. These "little things" can get in the way of my enjoyment of a novel, to the point where I loathe it. The minor annoyances could be repetitive use of words, problems with certain characters, grammar or structural problems and many other similiar types of things. When I read a bad book, whether it had underdeveloped characters, a boring or not involving plot, I usually just put it down and forget about it. When there is something that bugs me throughout the novel, on the other hand, I can't move past it and literally want to burn the book.
An example of this would be "Ysabel" by Guy Gavriel Kay. In my opinion, Kay is a great author. He has written some of my favourite fantasy books. I loved "The Lions of Al-Rassan", "Last Light of The Sun", among others. Unfortunately, I had a number of problems with "Ysabel".
The first problem was the number of references he painstakingly had to go out of his way to add. I guess, since this was aimed at a more YA audience, he felt the need to identify with that market by adding "hip" references to pop culture and technology. Also, he was trying to develop how our modern world is so connected to our past, therefore always added lines like "It's hard to imagine, a thousand years ago the Romans were marching down this road"...And it got really really repetitive the hundredth time he did it. Anyways, back to the pop culture. As a teenager, I found it quite annoying (and at times funny) how he was trying so hard to add a hundred references per chapter. Ned, the main character, couldn't be just listening to music. Instead, he had to be described as listening to "Stairway to Heaven" on his 8GB Ipod Nano. I guess Kay was just trying to get the young audience of this novel to feel like they could identify with Ned, but I honestly don't think most teenagers would. The character of Ned almost killed me, since he tried to make him act like a teenager, but it just turned out as a lame half effort of some sort. The characters also seemed so phony--maybe as a result of them being so damn shallow.
There were other problems with the novel (weak story, stiff dialogue, disappointing compared to his others works), but the small things are what made me hate the novel.
I haven't checked on what Kay is planning to do next...But please, go back to historical fantasy.
Last edited by cheese; February 12th, 2008 at 06:26 PM.
February 12th, 2008, 09:48 PM
I feel like most have already been mentioned. Stranger in a Strange Land by Heinlein, first and so far last Heinlein I have ever picked up. Fionavar Tapestry, I love Kay but this one was horrible. Goodkind after maybe 4 books, don't know why I lasted that long but he is a page turner despite his many faults. Jackle of Nar by Marco, first and so far last by him too.
February 12th, 2008, 10:25 PM
Back in the old days before the internet, I used to stand for hours (it seemed) looking at book covers in stores. I used to pick out books all the time that turned out to be losers.
Now I find that I can usually get enough information prior to purchase at least improve the odds significantly.
Beyond the Pale by Mark Antony - It was going OK but I realized that the series was several books long and there was no way I could read more than one so I got out while the getting was good.
JV Jones Cavern of Black Ice - It was OK but (it has been a while) the protagonist almost died I don't know how many times in just the first book. Enough already.
Terry Goodkind: The Sword of Truth - I read this (first book only) many years ago. The protagonist was an idiot and kept visiting places for no reason than to exhibit the authors imagination.
February 12th, 2008, 11:13 PM
I think you'd be surprised at what Mieville does with that "discredited ideology"- if anything, he's extremely critical about revolutions and how they actually turn out. Of course, you would have to finish the book to find that out.
Originally Posted by suciul
February 12th, 2008, 11:15 PM
I eat fish.
There's no accounting for taste, mine included.
Originally Posted by Self
But I stopped with WoT around book 6. His characters and ever wandering plot ran me off.
I like Kay, but Fionvar reads like fan fiction compared to his later work. Luckily, I read The Lions of Al-Rassan first, so I already knew what he was capable of.
And I think I just read the Belgariad much too late. I'd read a healthy bit of fantasy by the time I gave it a whirl, and I wasn't terribly impressed. Randy M's impression wasn't far off from mine:
"I thought it blandly written with clumsy, unconvincing characterization and settings, and a trite plot. It stands, for me, as the benchmark against which I judge all bad epic fantasy."
But this last sentence might change if you read some folks like Goodkind, Randy. Yikes.
February 13th, 2008, 06:56 AM
Give me liberty!
Some other additions-
-KJ Parker's 'Scavenger' trilogy. Aimless pap. Stopped at the beginning to the second book.
-JV Jones' 'The baker's boy'. Bit strange considering that her 'Sword of Shadows' series is a winner in my book.... I found 'The baker's boy' pretty much unreadable. In parts I felt like I was reading the worst kind of grubby erotica.
-'The last rune' by someone whose name escapes me. Terrible all-round.
-Anything by David Eddings that I've read since I was a young teenager.
February 13th, 2008, 07:46 AM
I think i've never wanted to burn a book because it was bad, but there are a few i stopped (or finished only the first volume of a series), that put me off reading the author completely.
Goodkind's SoT (read one book)
Modesit's Soprano sorceress (half a book)
Edding's Redemption of Anthalus (after reading 16 others)
JV Jones Baker's boy (one book)
Sara Douglas's Wayfarer redemption (one book)
Cecilia Dart-Thornton's Bitterbynde trilogy (one book)
All of which were terribly trite and badly written.
WoT and Feist's books i gave up on later in the series, so aren't really in the same category.
February 13th, 2008, 08:04 AM
East Indian NASCAR dad
I've never hated a book enough to want to burn it, but as I've aged, I give up on books, or if I'm interested in the plot, I'll skim along to see what happens by reading just the first sentence of each paragraph.
So, books I've given up on:
Gene Wolfe: I've tried book 1 of Book of the New Sun and The Knight and neither held my interest. Sacrilege, I know.
Sharon Shinn: I think I've been fair to her. I've given her 2 chances. Summers at Castle Auburn and Mystic and Rider. Both, I skimmed and the last convinced me to steer clear.
Cecilia Dart-Thornton: I ended up skimming the first book of the Bitterbynde Trilogy. I really thought I would love it because her writing is so lush and beautiful at times. Too lush, though.
David Keck: In the Eye of Heaven. Skimmed. No interest in re-visiting his world.
David Eddings: Redemption of Althalus. Skimmed and did only that out of loyalty over how much I love The Belgariad.
George R.R. Martin: Read Game of Thrones and liked it alot. Didn't see where all the fuss was that he was the greatest fantasy writer since Tolkien, but it was a very strong debut. Still, it's an incomplete series, and there is no sign it will ever be complete, so I absolutely will not read anything further until it is complete. Fell for that trick with WoT.
February 13th, 2008, 08:24 AM
What's taters, Precious?
It's funny you mention this book. I would almost agree. It's not near as good (IMO) as the Recluse series, but something makes me want to finish it. I've read the second book. It's the same stuff. A weird concept but being a musician myself, this series has a kind of a quirky attraction for me, although I realize that most readers would think it's junk.
Originally Posted by Yobmod
Huh, I'd never though of burning a book, but hmmm...interesting idea for to handful of crappy books on my shelf. Maybe next time we fire up the wood fireplace?
Some of mine:
I'd have to agree with other's assessment of Goodkind's Sword of Truth. I finished it but won't continue the series. Burn!
Shannara by Brooks. Yeah, it's a LotR ripoff. I didn't mind the first book too much. It was ok. The second, eh, just soldiered through it. I started the third book and just stopped maybe 10 pages in...same ol' stuff. Toss! It's possible I may try again, but it'll be a while.
Stranger in a Strange Land. Not my cup of tea at all. Didn't finish it. Burn!
KSR's The Years of Rice and Salt. I know, it's scifi and not fantasy but I wanted to throw it in here. I like KSR's writing a lot, but this book was just so unappealing and abhorrent to me...ugh. Stopped when my reincarnation meter went overfull. Can't burn it...I threw it away a long time ago. The only book I've ever tossed.
I usually enjoy what I read, though. It's just a handful of books that might become ash and heat energy.
February 13th, 2008, 09:44 AM
I did actually burn my review copy of Laurell K. Hamilton's 'Danse Macabre', made me feel better after the time I'd wasted reading it...
David Bilsborough's 'The Wanderer's Tale' is another contender for the bonfire...
February 13th, 2008, 10:52 AM
Protector of the Realm
I agree with those who've mentioned Goodkind, steadily downhill for some time now, and I can't even remember which one I stopped right in the middle and said, "forget it!"
Dhalgren has been hyped to no end as great SF, but I hated that book. Got about halfway through it, and nearly burnt it to a crisp. (but I didn't since it was a library book.)