What's the most boring book you've ever read?

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Have you ever read a book that you just had to force yourself through, whether it be for school or to see what the big deal behind the book is? If so, what was it?

Mine would have to be The Great Gatsby. I hate, hate, hate that book. It's boring and uninteresting. I didn't care for the characters at all. Thank goodness it was a short book because after a while I couldn't take it anymore.

The Odyssey.

I like the plot, but epic poetry has never been my thing and in long-form like that it really just became tedious and bland.

Of course, I didn't actually read the whole thing. I don't think I even read more than half of it... still got almost perfect marks on most of the tests about it. English was always my best course.

In college, I had to read The Jungle, and I never finished it.

It was a sad and boring book about an immigrant who comes to the United States with his family and is constantly shat on throughout the book. I couldn't finish the book, sad to say. It is, to date, the book that I did not like.

The Ruby in the Smoke by Philip Pullman, I read it for English literature in school and it was just terribly paced, he'd build a pile of suspense and never deliver, and generally there was just never any hook to keep you reading or get you invested in the story, then plotlines would crop up out of nowhere and it just devolved into a loose mess by the end.

2nd worst is Twilight by Meyer (It gets some slack for not attempting to be high literature or serious like R.I.T.S., also for it's glorious 'so bad it's good' quality. But while the technical writing of the book is definitely worse than R.I.T.S. The lighter, simpler story and plot make it easier to follow than Pullmans book.)
3rd Richard II by Shakespeare (barring the awesome defence soliloquy about Bolingbroke's sin versus the King's sin, nothing ever happened in it. It was just dreadful to read through.)

Twilight . I saw the first movie with my (now) ex-girldfriend . It was terrible , but i thought it had potential . So in my mind i thought i was a poor adaptation of the book . Turns out i was word , the movie is exactly the same as the book , long , boring and nothing happens . But since i started it , i needed to finish the entire series . I'm never being curious ever again.

I was bored to tears by Ender's Game when I read it over a decade ago. I found the writing dry.

Fellowship of the Ring. The movie does not prepare you for all the extra shit.

Dante's Commedia. Everybody remembers the Inferno bit, but they forget that's just a third of the book (or that there's no narrative per se, in that, while events SUCCEED each other, there's no TRANSFORMATION of any curvature, just a long description of the stuff Dante and Virgil pass along). The other two thirds are Purgatorio and Paradiso, which manage to be even more boring than Inferno by not having any interesting sightseeing features to talk about. You may know some of the personalities in Inferno (all the pre-Christian philosophers, Cleopatra, Odysseus, etc.) but you'll recognize none of those featured in Purgatorio, which is compromised mostly of 1300's Italian hot shots. Paradiso isn't even a PHYSICAL realm, so good bye to awesome landscapes as well, and is comprised of more 1300's Italian hot shots and an endless list of saints.

I love the Lord of the Rings movies and lore so much, but god damnit the main trilogy is the biggest chore to read. The books are pretty much Tolkien describing landscapes and family lineages for a couple hundred pages. The dialogue is so impersonal and boring it feels like a story is not happening at all. I applaud Jackson's ability to turn these boring books into hit movies.

A couple.

There are two Agatha Christie novels that I had to force myself to finish. But one of them is more boring than the other.

I forget the name but it was part of her Miss Marple series. God... it was torture. The other one is "And Then There Were None" and it's only saved because there was murder going on. But not even good murder.

Life of Pi. I can't even explain what happens except that there was a tiger. And he was on a boat...

Madame Bovary, hands down.

I mean, seriously, that was just so...tedious, argh. Perfectionism gone horribly right.

Honorable mention to The Old Man and the Sea.

I once read a very boring biography of Ho Chi Minh.

Yeah, I sometimes read non-fiction. Come at me.

Let's see, what else... oh, I recently gave up on Tolstoy's Anna Karenina. It's like War and Peace without the war. It did have some good scenes though. I could tell that the author had attended a few deathbeds in his time from how honest his descriptions are.

My 9th grade Chemistry book. On the plus side, it literally cured me of my insomnia better than any pill.

Twilight: I only read it so whenever I said it sucked, my Twi-hard sister couldn't use the old, 'you haven't even (X), how could you know?!' defense. Thankfully Das Mervin and her friend made the process both easier and funnier by actually having serious and extensive literary and English (for grammatical mistakes etc) analysis done on the books on their livejournal so I got some learning in there as well. As for the actual books, 4 pages in and (trying really, really hard to ignore the rampant stench of Mary-Sue) I was bored to tears over all the nothing that was going on. The sad part about it is, when in a good/competent fan-fic writer's hands (they have links on their site as well), these characters and/or this story actually become quite enjoyable and thought-provoking in a good way. Weird. Just shows why they need to tighten up on the garbage that gets professionally published.

The Plague by Camus, anything by Jane Austen (I have a particularly strong dislike of Pride and Prejudice). These are books designed to make people dislike literature.

The Glass Menagerie. The main character and narrator, Tom, spends the entire book/play going on and on about how boring his life is, and how he can't stand the banality of his existence. This is all that happens. It's an entire book of a guy whining about being bored, while his sister whines about not having a husband. I hate this book with a passion, and it is the worst thing I had to read in high school.

Shadowstar38:
Fellowship of the Ring. The movie does not prepare you for all the extra shit.

Elfgore:
I love the Lord of the Rings movies and lore so much, but god damnit the main trilogy is the biggest chore to read. The books are pretty much Tolkien describing landscapes and family lineages for a couple hundred pages. The dialogue is so impersonal and boring it feels like a story is not happening at all. I applaud Jackson's ability to turn these boring books into hit movies.

This! This so much! I have a copy of the LOTR trilogy and have attempted to read it no fewer than four times, and every time I've failed since the writing is so just so dry and boring. I mean sure I appreciate descriptions quite a bit, but not on the level that Tolkien operates at; he'll describe a landscape that incorporates a tree, then he'll tell you what type of tree it is, then he'll go into even further detail and tell you about a specif leaf, and then the bug that happens to be on said leaf, I mean seriously get on with the plot and stop with the useless filler......

Starship Troopers.
Man, I never expected to find a case where the movie was way better than the book.
It's just a lot of talking, politics and boring patrols. There's not even a single battle against the arachnids!

Not counting certain textbooks (not all, I actually like reading textbooks)...Moby Dick. I got eleven chapters in and simply couldn't continue. There's admirable dedication to background and philosophy (I love Tolkien, for instance), and then there's devoting an entire chapter to the symbolism of the color white.

The Bear and the Dragon by Tom Clancy. It's nothing but politics and jargon for about 900 or so pages, then about 50 of 'action,' and then another 50 of something else. I don't remember. It's been a while, but not so long as for me to forget that it sucked. I don't even know how I managed to finish it, but I probably wouldn't be too far off if I said I sleep-read half the book.

I'll probably draw heat for this, but I loathe "The Eye of the World." I hated most of the characters, I hated the repetitive storyline, I hated the tangents it went on... I realized I wasn't going to like it about halfway through, but when I start a book I just have to finish it.

Kenbo Slice:
Have you ever read a book that you just had to force yourself through, whether it be for school or to see what the big deal behind the book is? If so, what was it?

Mine would have to be The Great Gatsby. I hate, hate, hate that book. It's boring and uninteresting. I didn't care for the characters at all. Thank goodness it was a short book because after a while I couldn't take it anymore.

Great Gatsby was brutal, I couldn't even finish it. The Awakening was even worse, I couldn't even sit through the in-class talks really. I managed to finish Catcher in The Rye(the first of that 3 book tricathalon of hell) to my deep regret.

However, the worst, the absolute worst book that has ever been penned: was Last Night at The Lobster. I had to read it for college, all freshmen did, as did our parents. Know how I know that was the worst book ever penned? No one liked it. Not one person, out of almost six thousand people, liked it. Not only was it boring, but it had no merit as literature either. Let me save you some time, it started with the lamest man you could imagine getting high behind a dumpster, and it went quickly and dramatically downhill from there. If anyone says they liked it, they are a troll. There is literally no legitimate way to give that answer. Out of hundreds of people I personally spoke to about it, the highest praise I ever heard was: "I didn't hate it as much as I hated Catcher in The Rye." Literally every other person I spoke to considered it the worst book they'd ever read(or in many cases tried to read). I never even heard "I know someone who didn't hate it." Not once.

I am 100% serious, if you ever get the chance to buy that book, do so and burn it to save someone else the misery of reading it, the cosmic karma you will get is easily worth the book's price a dozen times over.

Edit: when I say worst ever penned, I am including non-fiction and science text books. I'm including the text books for Material's science, Physical Chemistry, and Calculus(1,2, and Dif Equ). I even count the semi-autobiographical, fantasy setting short story written by an acquaintance in middle school. Dare I say it, I even count bad Fan-Fiction.

Hero in a half shell:
The Ruby in the Smoke by Philip Pullman, I read it for English literature in school and it was just terribly paced, he'd build a pile of suspense and never deliver, and generally there was just never any hook to keep you reading or get you invested in the story, then plotlines would crop up out of nowhere and it just devolved into a loose mess by the end.

That's good to know. I really enjoyed Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy, though. It's a very deep book, albeit hopelessly flawed.

OT: I'd have to go for Gabriel García Marquez "La Hojarasca". I found the book going through my library the other day and as a testimony of how boring the thing is I found a 150 page frame-by-frame animation drawn into it of when they made us read it back in school.

As an interesting sidenote, one of the books which I consider most boring is alsoone of my favourites: Mann's Zauberberg, specially the first part, but the sense of boredom plays a central part in the plot and in the general symbolism of the novel, which is curious.

Spinhorse:
snip

As an interesting sidenote, one of the books which I consider most boring is alsoone of my favourites: Mann's Zauberberg, specially the first part, but the sense of boredom plays a central part in the plot and in the general symbolism of the novel, which is curious.

This actually reminds me of a book called "How to Survive in a Science-Fiction Universe." I read it for a sci-fi literature class(great class) and it was boring as all hell. The boring is, in a way, the whole point of the story, but it has great symbolism, and actually manages to have some very interesting moments among the absolute, mind-crushing boredom. However, despite a painfully boring read, it is a blast to analyse and talk about.

It's times like these that I regret reading so much since I've come across quite a few stinkers in my time.

Shadowland by Peter Straub - sounded interesting. Two high school freshman staying with one's Uncle a magician that may be teaching them real magic. Dark forces at play, etc. but I was unable to get farther than about halfway. I couldn't follow half of what was going on and what I could follow didn't make any sense.

LotR - I love the movies. I respect what Tolkien did. But I've never been able to finish the trilogy. By the time I started Return of the King I just couldn't force myself to care anymore. It's like reading a history book. And Yes I know about Silmarillion and it's amplifyng these problems. My own Dad who LOVES LotR warned me about that one.

Golf's Sacred Journey: Seven Days at the Links of Utopia by David L. Cook - I had to read this for an Ethics class here at college. I HATED this piece of garbage. It fails on every level. As a novel there is no plot, no real character development of any kind. As a story about golf and advice on playing I'm told that what little it has to say has been said before by better authors and mention is made of a "revolutionary" new method of putting that is poorly explained and I've been told would likely be considered illegal in the world of pro golf. Worse yet nothing ever comes of this in any way. It's just kind of there. It also fails as an evangelical work. Like all religious based inspirational books it falls into the same plot. Man loses sense of self due to failure (in this case he lost a golf tournament), moves to tiny no-name town (because true enlightenment can't possibly be found in the big city), meets wise old man with "superior" knowledge of whatever the protagonist was failing at, finds success due to old man's advice, old man converts protagonist to author's chosen religion (Christianity in this case). just an all around disappointment.

1984

God damn that was a boring book. I understand why the message is so powerful, and its really funny watching the UK turning into it, but god damn I was bored to tears.

I would have to say either Tale of Two Cities or Lord of the Flies. Although that's mostly due to having a really crappy teacher. Other than that I can't think of anything I've at least read half of.

Hero in a half shell:
The Ruby in the Smoke by Philip Pullman

I actually remember liking that book as well as the two books that come after it. Then again I didn't have to read it for class so that might have helped.

Glongpre:
Life of Pi. I can't even explain what happens except that there was a tiger. And he was on a boat...

Life of Pi is wonderful... ;___;

OT: "Night", by Elie Wiesel.

Don't get me wrong, it's a very important book. It's written competently, it's interesting (in the same way as a train wreck), and its subject, an unflinching stare at the atrocities of the Holocaust, is a very tragic and important one indeed.

But I felt sick reading it, had to force myself to finish, and I will never read it again.

Everyone should read it once... and only once.

A Moveable Feast by Hemmingway.

Although maybe Xenocide by Orson Scott Card (of Ender's Game) might be worse. At least Hemmingway's book was short. Xenocide was 500 pages of stuff you already knew.

Fucking Eragon. Christopher Paolini is, and will always be, male Stephenie Meyer. The dude just can't write.

The book is about 400ish pages, and about half of that is stuffed full of useless fucking shit like "Eragon made dinner. Eragon sat down at the table. Eragon ate dinner."

And it only gets worse in the second book, Eldest.

Brian Tams:

And it only gets worse in the second book, Eldest.

I actually sorta liked the parts focusing on the brother...

Lord of the Rings, easily. So much inconsequential bullshit is given so much page space, huge setpiece battles start and finish often on the same page, then you get slapped with 50 pages of them resting up, recovering from injuries, then setting off again. Worst bit was...

The Fountainhead, which got boring in Chapter 2

My uncle gave me this book that inspired him, so I read it. The first chapter was interesting enough, but then the second chapter was page after page of a school principal talking on and on about how great his school is or something.

lacktheknack:

Glongpre:
Life of Pi. I can't even explain what happens except that there was a tiger. And he was on a boat...

Life of Pi is wonderful... ;___;

OT: "Night", by Elie Wiesel.

Don't get me wrong, it's a very important book. It's written competently, it's interesting (in the same way as a train wreck), and its subject, an unflinching stare at the atrocities of the Holocaust, is a very tragic and important one indeed.

But I felt sick reading it, had to force myself to finish, and I will never read it again.

Everyone should read it once... and only once.

OP asked about boring books that we've read start to finish, not books that made us uncomfortable/sick/whatever.

OT: Umm... I think it was called The Stranger. From what I can recall, it's about this dude that gives no shits about anything. Mother dies? Doesn't care. Gets a hot girlfriend that wants to marry him? Doesn't care. Friend gets the shit beat out of him? Doesn't care. He murders a dude because the sun was in his eyes? Doesn't give a shit. Going to be executed? Gives no shits whatsoever.

What really pissed me off was that my teacher made us do work about how deep the book was, and I think I actually yelled at her that the book was a boring piece of shit that featured a dude that had no traits whatsoever, and that what she was asking us to do was impossible.

Tayh:
Starship Troopers.
Man, I never expected to find a case where the movie was way better than the book.
It's just a lot of talking, politics and boring patrols. There's not even a single battle against the arachnids!

There was one in the prologue to tease you IIRC, but yeah, when I read it I was like "I'll bet it picks up when they start fighting aliens!"
And then it never came.

Anyways, when I do read I usually get recommendations from people or read things that seem interesting, so my worst list boils down to school curriculum, but to me it probably goes to "To Kill a Mockingbird." Seriously fuck that book. People seem to remember the whole racism court thing as what that book was about, when really that doesn't even get introduced until well over halfway in, and ends chapters before the book is over. The whole first half has so much useless stuff, which is drawn out horribly by the authors tendency to go into an unnecessary amount of detail. (seriously. 3 fucking pages to describe a tree with a hole in it.) Probably not the worst book I've read but definitely the most difficult to stay engaged in.

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