The book you don't like that most everyone else seems to like ...

Nuomer1

Journeyed there and back again
#81
Returning to the main theme . . .
There are some books that provoke enormously strong support from some readers - and the opposite from others!
Left Behind by Jenkins & LaHaye ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Left_Behind ) is the first in a series based on the Christian mythology of The Rapture. The first book is reasonably well written, though I'm afraid I regard the premise as Fantasy, but I suspect the authors regard it as prediction. The second book does not sustain the promise, it is too much of the same and more of the same (and if you already familiar with that particular Christian mythos, you will find the events too easy to predict). I haven't read any further - it just stopped being funny.
 

Danica

Queen of the boards!
Staff member
#82
How old were you when you read the books? somewhere in my early twenties

Did you finish them? i've started the first like three times now. The furtherest I got was tom bomberwhatever

How old are you now? late twenties

Did you read them in your native language? lol old man english is native language? no. but yeah, english

Where they the first fantasy books you've ever read? not by a long shot

Did you read any other works by Tolkien? Tried the hobbit, couldn't finish it
I know exactly why I don't like them. They are a product of their time and I don't particularly like that time. I can't read Moorcock for the same reason. Excessive description and info dumping. I loved the movies and have watched them heaps, becuase they take out the info dump. Where I can laugh at the montage of hobbits trekking over long hills in The Hobbit and fast forward through the trips the main characters take after the fellowship breaks up I have to read a freaking chapter or more in those damn books. Too much effort for too little reward.

I think most people view LoTR nostalgically and I think people who get all aggressive and mean (or which you have done neither) are silly.
 

ofer

Journeyed there and back again
#83
Personally, I loved LOTR, but I can totally understand why someone else can't get into it. Like Danica said, the books are a product of their time, reflecting the writing style, moral code, and social themes that were dominant then and less so now. So, nothing to be ashamed of, @sonnet :)

Just to be a little bit contrarian, I think that one specific issue Danica raised - infodump - is more of a problem in books today then it was in the past. Am I the only one who noticed that fantasy books I read today are almost double in length than fantasy books I read 20 years ago? Only instead of a more descriptive prose, today you get books which focus on anything but the main plot, and describing in length everything which happens to minor characters that I don't give a shit about.
 

YordanZh

A Poet of the Khaiem
#84
The Shadows of the Apt series from Tchaikovsky, as well as Vernor Vinge's A Fire Upon the Deep (sci fi, not fantasy). I also didn't like Herald of the Storm by Richard Ford, but everyone else around me seems to love it. I even annotated it for a big publishing house in Bulgaria and advised them against translating and publishing it and they listened but another publisher grabbed it and did it. No clue how the sales are going, but people seem to like it if word-to-mouth is an indicator.
 

Danica

Queen of the boards!
Staff member
#85
Only instead of a more descriptive prose, today you get books which focus on anything but the main plot, and describing in length everything which happens to minor characters that I don't give a shit about.
That's an interesting point. I think what you is describing is a more a case of authors honestly thinking that they can hold an audience's interest. Like songs that go on for 10 minutes. I think info dump is more a paragraph or more that just dumps the sites or a city or describes a house for a page. Where now you can describe an igloo in a couple of lines, modern audiences can fill in the blanks, I have seen countless igloos .. thanks to the internet. A forest that goes on forever, only needs a few lines and I have the picture in my head thanks to all the movies I have seen. That wasn't so possible before and I think that might be why I feel as though LoTR is so overly descriptive, I have the picture in my head and want to move on, but he just keeps describing.
 

Jakyro

Journeyed there and back again
#86
I still need to read LoTR and I'm planning to in the future, but it's not a priority as I've already seen the movies when they came out (and I loved them enormously :)). I've also seen The Hobbit movies and thought that they were ok but I didn't like them as much as LoTR. After I saw the first Hobbit movie I also read the book and thought it was an ok read as well, but nothing amazing. I gave it 3 stars on Goodreads. I don't know anymore why I didn't like it that much, maybe the writing style bothered me a bit, but I also thought that the overall story lacked a bit

I'm not sure if this will already indicate that I wont like the LoTR books? :p
 

Alucard

In the name of the Pizza Lord. Charge!
Staff member
#88
I never read LotR either, same as @Jakyro . Maybe we can read them together? They aren't priority for me either.
I've seen the movies, and I loved them.
Read the Hobbit last year and I really liked it, it's one of my favorite books. It's basically an adventure story and I always like a good adventure book. Even more so if it's geared toward kids and middle grade age group than adults. I've seen the movies as well, and I liked the first one because it followed the book most closely, but the second and third movie not so much due to all the additional content, added characters, added romantic subplots and stretched storytelling.
 

Nuomer1

Journeyed there and back again
#89
To Sonnet, who doesn't like LOTR . . . .
This thread has got a bit complicated - I had to go back two pages to track the original comments!
Griffin (above) has defined the problem, possibly without knowing it!
JRR originally wrote The Hobbit for his children - and it is very much a childrens book. They cried out for more, and he started LOTR - and got to roughly where Sonnet gave up, the Tom Bombadil episode.
Then The War happened. By the time it was over, JRR and his children were different people, changed by their experiences of five years of war. So once you are past The Prancing Pony at Bree the style is very different.
Sonnet, if you ever try it again, bear that in mind!
 

sonnet

Is a wondrous friend of modest Kruppe
#90
I have the picture in my head and want to move on, but he just keeps describing.
I think this sums up my feelings about what I tried to read of LOTR. I never really get drawn in by things that are overly descriptive, I'm more likely to get lost!

I imagine there will come a time when I try again, Nuomer1, I will remember what you've said. :)
 
#91
I'm with you Tom. I just couldn't get on with it all. To be honest I couldn't stand Jorg.

Also and this is going to be controversial...but I wasn't bowled over by The Name of the Wind. Maybe it was the built up hype from so many others before reading it but I just found it to be disappointing and slow-going.
 

TomTB

Super Moderator
Staff member
#92
I'm with you Tom. I just couldn't get on with it all. To be honest I couldn't stand Jorg.

Also and this is going to be controversial...but I wasn't bowled over by The Name of the Wind. Maybe it was the built up hype from so many others before reading it but I just found it to be disappointing and slow-going.
Jorg was actually the part of the trilogy I liked the most - it was the rest of the characters I thought were poor.

And The Name of the Wind BETTER NOT BE CRAP ... I'VE BEEN SAVING READING THIS FOR YEARS.

(Rant over)
 
#93
Jorg was actually the part of the trilogy I liked the most - it was the rest of the characters I thought were poor.

And The Name of the Wind BETTER NOT BE CRAP ... I'VE BEEN SAVING READING THIS FOR YEARS.

(Rant over)
Well i'm most definitely in the minority on this. Loads of people I know love this book and it was recommended by people who have loved the same books as I have. Don't let me put you off. I like cheese and marmalade on toast...many don't!
 

Silvion Night

Sir Readalot
Staff member
#95
I know exactly why I don't like them. They are a product of their time and I don't particularly like that time. I can't read Moorcock for the same reason. Excessive description and info dumping. I loved the movies and have watched them heaps, becuase they take out the info dump. Where I can laugh at the montage of hobbits trekking over long hills in The Hobbit and fast forward through the trips the main characters take after the fellowship breaks up I have to read a freaking chapter or more in those damn books. Too much effort for too little reward.

I think most people view LoTR nostalgically and I think people who get all aggressive and mean (or which you have done neither) are silly.
I understand your point. It's just that everyone in my social circle has read and loves LOTR. When someones says they don't really like it (or haven't read it at all like @Alucard ), I feel incredulous. It's a gut reaction though, no rational thought behind it whatsoever.
 

Boreas

Journeyed there and back again
Staff member
#96
I think a lot of these books that everyone seems to love aren't necessarily books that everyone gets along with well. They just seem to because they have a lot of rabid fans that will go after you for not liking their favorite book. I'm thinking Malazan, Tigana, Hobb's stuff, Mieville's stuff, and Broken Empires. None of these are universally loved. However, there was one book I recently read that is universally loved, which for some reason having to do with maybe a disconnectivity in my brain, I didn't get along with well at all. That book is the Martian, which I did not finish and I didn't even bother to rate on Goodreads. I thought parts of it were very entertaining and I liked the voice of the narrator but that wasn't enough to keep me engaged. The science parts seemed too plausible and mundane for my taste. I just don't get science so when I see science in a novel I like it to be the fake kind.
I didn't find "The Martian" to be that spectacular, either. Watney's narrative voice grated on me pretty quickly (by the third use of 'yay', in fact). The science was pretty well thought out - loved the conversion of hydrazine bit and the potato growing process. I think the reason you might have found the science mundane was because it focused so much on technical minutiae, it's the kind of stuff engineers will love. If anything, I found the action at NASA much more compelling than Watney's situation. I will say that the ending was very good, but I'd wouldn't have missed much if I hadn't read it.
 

Boreas

Journeyed there and back again
Staff member
#97
Ok, so, here is my why.
Firstly, I've not read The Hobbit. I've found my love of fantasy only a year or so ago so there is a lot I haven't read that the majority of fantasy fans have (like Wheel of Time is still on the to read pile). I used to read Crime.

My daughter is nearly 6 so The Hobbit is something I'm saving to read and discover with her.

I've tried to read LOTR, but I can not get into it. I don't know why I just can't get past the endless description of hobbits and hobbit culture and history and geography. I tried about a year ago and then I tried again before Christmas and got to the start of the journey at least. But, I really was forcing myself and I kept thinking that I could be reading something I actually enjoy.

I honestly can't tell you what it is. I've read very little, that wasn't forced upon me by school, that is older than me (I'm almost 30), so maybe there is something in that?

I also didn't like the films...the Hobbit ones were alright but the first three were boring....and long...and I didn't understand most of what was going on (maybe I'm just too thick?)
You should also read "Lord of the Rings" to your daughter. That way, you'll force yourself through some of the earlier chapters (On the Barrow Downs, ch. 4 I think) that normally has a high attrition rate. But once you get past that bit, it really should be pretty smooth sailing. And while your daughter might love "The Hobbit", I'm quite sure she'll be enthralled with the uncertainty of outcome as you read to her the more involved epic.
I would like to take this opportunity to share my love of Joe.
Very good tactic, I must say, but it seems @HeroineOfCanton's guard was up.

Don't let me put you off. I like cheese and marmalade on toast...
 

Zymologist

Has been in the eye of the world
#99
I've said it on this forum before, but...Harry Potter. Talk about a series that doesn't deserve the endless praise it gets.

I haven't read LOTR in quite a few years, but I did quite like it the three or four times I read it. I'll probably reread it sometime.
 

HeroineOfCanton

Downed a vial of metals
I've said it on this forum before, but...Harry Potter. Talk about a series that doesn't deserve the endless praise it gets.

I haven't read LOTR in quite a few years, but I did quite like it the three or four times I read it. I'll probably reread it sometime.
I love Harry Potter far more for the interesting discussions it's led to with some of my friends than for any literary merits.