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

 Pages PREV 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 NEXT
 

Hemingway's To Have or Have Not.
Granted I read it waaay back in highschool, so maybe now I'd like it a little more considering then I didn't do too much reading anyways like I do now.

Things fall apart. Horribly depressing book about a tribe in Africa and one of the leaders, his life falling apart as Christians come from the north and convert his tribe. The man is a horrible person and it portrays everything happening to him as horrible. it was just boring and terribly depressing for no apparent reason other then "he's bad stuff happening to a bad guy for no reason"

I could never stand the Harry Potter series, I love the movies but god I could never ever get through the books and dreaded reading it, I only had to read because the die-hard fans of HP would murder anyone with any criticism.

Twilight was terrible, absolutely terrible for obvious reasons.

Lady Chatterly's lover, a very well written book, but it was all over the place, how many times does D.H. Lawrence have to use the word 'bowel'?

The Chronicles of Narnia ,the one with the throne and the lack of ideas. I struggled through most of Lewis' stuff, but by the time I got to the 6th or 7th book or whatever, I just couldn't read any more useless drivel dressed up as "storytelling".

Unengaging, uninteresting, just pure meh-ness.

http://www.amazon.ca/Children-My-Heart-Gabrielle-Roy/dp/0771075987/ref=sr_1_13?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1379245706&sr=1-13
that fucking thing (in original french version)... had to read it for school... it was an absolute bore fest... trought i will first to admit i had zero interest in it to begin with. It was kinda to initiate us to reading, problem i had already over 100 novel under my belt at that point and had reads things that in my opinion was much better..

The Assault AKA De Aanslag in Dutch.

A Dutch classic and, importantly, a character piece. And if you want to keep me interested in a character piece I have to care about the actual characters. And I just couldn't get myself to give one bit about that book's characters.

Stasisesque:
I caught myself rolling my eyes at all the metaphors he crowbarred in to each chapter. A good, compelling story does not need that many metaphors. Talk about purple prose. It was just a re-telling of Romeo and Juliet to appeal to the current pop culture prominence of zombies. That is all that book was and it was mind-numbingly dull, in addition, as you say, to making fuck all sense. Luckily, the movie actually appears to be a comedic adaptation, which could have actually saved the story.

I can see where you're coming from with the R&J thing but I actually interpreted the book as being about what it means to be human which I actually found a rather refreshing take on the whole zombie thing.

Cowabungaa:
The Assault AKA De Aanslag in Dutch.

A Dutch classic and, importantly, a character piece. And if you want to keep me interested in a character piece I have to care about the actual characters. And I just couldn't get myself to give one bit about that book's characters.

Stasisesque:
I caught myself rolling my eyes at all the metaphors he crowbarred in to each chapter. A good, compelling story does not need that many metaphors. Talk about purple prose. It was just a re-telling of Romeo and Juliet to appeal to the current pop culture prominence of zombies. That is all that book was and it was mind-numbingly dull, in addition, as you say, to making fuck all sense. Luckily, the movie actually appears to be a comedic adaptation, which could have actually saved the story.

I can see where you're coming from with the R&J thing but I actually interpreted the book as being about what it means to be human which I actually found a rather refreshing take on the whole zombie thing.

I think you would really hate "Van oude mensen de dingen die voorbijgaan" by Louis Couperus then! That book is about some old people and a murder mystery but nothing interesting really happens in the book. Well except for two pages, where one of those old corpses really dies. I was hoping for more deaths but sadly only that one died. That's one book I'll hate for the rest of my life.

Mausthemighty:

I think you would really hate "Van oude mensen de dingen die voorbijgaan" by Louis Couperus then! That book is about some old people and a murder mystery but nothing interesting really happens in the book. Well except for two pages, where one of those old corpses really dies. I was hoping for more deaths but sadly only that one died. That's one book I'll hate for the rest of my life.

Well that depends on whether I find the characters interesting in one way or another or if there's something else about the book that really captures the imagination.

For instance, nothing really happened in Steinbeck's The Wayward Bus but it's one of my favourite novels of all time. The characters really spoke to me. To be fair, Steinbeck's writing style is also absolutely gorgeous so that helps a lot and I find that the Dutch language in general speaks to me a whole lot less. Didn't help De Aanslag either and I doubt it'd help the book you're talking about.

Uni textbook: Management Information Systems
620 pages of boring. I read only 2 chapters but still..

A first tghoguth goes to Lord of the Rings, Christ what a dull fucking chore that is. The books aren't actually that long (only about 400-500 pages each) but sweet Jesus motherfucking Christ are they sloooooow. The pacing is some of the worst I've ever read. huge climactic battles are taking place here and there, followed by dull poorly written conversations about nothing, then some other battle, then some guy appears, explains his whole reace's faucking backstory, never to appear again. The books aren't even intelligent in the slightest, the bad guys are bad through and through, because "lolreasons" and "lolcorrupted", the good guys are fucking saints who wouldn't do a bad thing ever.

Furthermore, Tolkien fucking sabotages his own writing. He establishes that the ring corrupts everyone nearby and has great power, only the Hobbits are only able to resist it, because... uhm... they don't have as big ambitions as the other races, I guess? But then Faramir comes and fucking demolishes that idea by immediatly resisting it's power, I guess, well, fuck that. Then Bombadill comes and does fucking nothing, and is completly out of place.

The Fountainhead. Dear god, I hated reading that damn book for Honors English. Our teacher had us 'optionally' read it for a chance at a scholarship. I say optionally because he had us write a paper on it and turn it in to him anyway, so you had to read it or your grade would suffer. At the end of the day, only myself and three other people actually read it all the way through, everyone else used cliffnotes and bullshitted their way through the paper. In retrospect, I wouldn't even call it immoral to have followed suit for once.

The biggest problem I have with this book (besides Ayn Rand and her ideology) is that nothing happens! It's slow, pandering to a very specific audience, and large sections of the book are just nonsensical. Whenever I rant about this book, I always feel the need to bring this up: the 12 page paragraph at the end. No, I'm not joking. Twelve pages, wall-o'-text. No indentations, no line breaks, just margin-to-margin text. The antagonist--if you can even call him that--is essentially talking to the protagonist about his life and the dreams he hoped to achieve, all while his 'varicose veins' and various postures are being described in such a depth that it's just creepy. And while I'd love to bring up the 'rape but not really rape scene because she wanted it in retrospect, but only after the fact that she was raped by the main character', I really don't remember it well enough nor care enough to try and articulate my feelings on just how insipid it is.

If anything good came out of this, it's that I never have to read this book again, and that we all suffered equally while reading this. Except for that one guy...

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

It wasn't a tiger... but there was definitely a boat. 1 out of 2 ain't bad though.

John P. Hackworth:

Wrath 228:

Terraniux:
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.

You made it about 700 pages farther than I did. I normally love Clancy's stuff too, but 900-some-odd pages of that was asking too much.

I just last year went back and re-read Cardinal of the Kremlin though, and that still held up. So, I'd still recommend many of his earlier novels.

Kremlin is fantastic, one of my favorites along with Without Remorse, Red October, Rainbow Six and Red Storm Rising. Although I will admit that Rainbow Six gets a little too liberal explaining stuff that doesn't really matter while also dropping jargon in other subjects that some readers (even if it is fair to assume Clancy readers would know it) would be baffled by.

When I was in secondary school my mother told me that I should read a greater variety of books than my usual fantasy and science fiction. So I picked up Gone With The Wind. If I ever read Mein Kampf then Gone With The Wind might get demoted to being the second most racist thing I've ever read. None of the characters were sympathetic; the nicest one, Scarlet's original crush, joins the Klu Klux Klan and its like the author doesn't notice that this takes away his nice guy status.

Where The Red Fern Grows - Old Yeller Lite, but with horses and an awful lot of nothing happening.
Catcher in the Rye - The story of an asshole who goes in circles with his pretentious whining; ultimately learns nothing.

I started reading Atlas Shrugged, but tired of Rand's pointless, endless rambling drivel quickly.

of mice and men

boring plot...YES
more assholes than a donkey in an iron maden...YES
deplorable ending...YES

in a nutshell: two guys go to a farm. they potter around doing pointless things. one of them makes an innocent mistake and is killed for it. other guy runs away.

that's it. i wonder why people like this, there are no redeeming features. none!

Another vote for "The Fellowship of the Ring" first book I couldn't finish so never bothered with the other two. I actually got about half way then had to stop through sheer bordom and reread the first 10 books of the "Wheel of Time" for a faster paced fantasy before starting again and could only make make it through another 100 pages and that was the end of my attampts to read Tolkein.

Kumagawa Misogi:
Another vote for "The Fellowship of the Ring"

I can see this--I personally loved it when I read it as a kid, but he does kind of drone on with the history and description--giant monolithic paragraphs. Same reason why I bet a lot of people can't get into the "Song of Ice and Fire" series--another one I love, but he spends SO much time just describing banal things--like the food they eat at every meal. Of all the details to bring out, he goes to lengths to explain the food?

If you choose Twilight, then you clearly havn't seen the third book of that series. I was really bored like two years ago and went "Ya know what, I'm gonna read the entire Twilight series, no matter how bad it is" which was a big fucking mistake. Eclipse is about 3x more boring then Twilight, downright one of the worst books ever made.

RedDeadFred:
The Wheel of Time books. I read 5 of them before finally stopping. There's so many characters and they mostly do nothing except talk. That would be fine if the dialogue was top notch but it's mediocre for the most part.

Just checking, you read the first five, and not, like, 6-10, right? :P

Webb5432:
Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. I found Victor to be a weak, pathetic, and completely unlikable lead. The monster is, while awesome, somewhat of a nob. And the prose focuses more on the pretty scenery as opposed to the moral issues of the story.

Oh, another warning sign I want to make: Be careful when reading the translated Beowulf (the one I had anyway, but I do not remember who translated it). Simply put, Beowulf has one name and about 14 different titles that the author likes to randomly switch between. Confusing as hell. And somewhat boring. And confusing. Every ten lines I had to keep checking my count of the number of characters in the scene. It's a headache waiting to happen.

That wasn't the translator, that was the original author. It's a feature of old Anglo-Saxon poetry, they use these two word titles where a noun won't fit with the alliteration, and not just for people. It's used to describe objects to, E.G. "whale road" = "ocean." I think the Fagles translation tried to preserve the alliteration, although that means it's not as accurate to the original meaning as a prose translation would be.

Sense and Sensibility is the most boring book I ever read...or attempted to do. I can't remember much of it, and thankfully, the only section I recalled it was part of the exam. The novel was flooded with conversation - barely anything *happened.* I did enjoy the first hundred pages of Midnight's Children, but I completely lose interest in the book after that.

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen.

Not only was I forced to switch to A-Level English Lit. at school, I was forced to read and dissect this boring lump of dross. I likened it to Eastenders if it were set a couple of hundred years ago and was given a bollocking off the teacher.

My dog can't have thought much of it either as he piddled on my copy, much to the teacher's chargrin!

A Kestrel for a Knave.

Couldn't get into that book no matter how had I tried.

Tery Goodkind's series "Wizards first rule" in as little as a book and a half or so the entire thing devolves into shoddy plot, wish fulfillment that's about paper thin and then just so much pointless rape and BDSM... I thought it just didnt click when I was younger, but trying a second time -really- drove it home. Worse then Twilight for me, at least the "vampires" where funny in that awful way

Wuthering Heights, stupid and horrible characters making stupid and horrible choices that go against any and all reason, it's 18th century twilight if you must know, except the man the female lead pines over is much more abusive.

women's literature has been dreck for centuries, twilight and 50 shades are nothing new.

Atlas Shrugged. Man, Rand can not write interesting literature to save her life. I only consider it a noteworthy read because every rich man who uses it as an excuse for his actions actually doesn't realise that he is the bad guys of the book (ruining the economy for their own gain because they've corrupted the government so much that they'll get a bailout (ie paid for ruining the economy) anyway)

SmokingBomber465:

Kumagawa Misogi:
Another vote for "The Fellowship of the Ring"

I can see this--I personally loved it when I read it as a kid, but he does kind of drone on with the history and description--giant monolithic paragraphs. Same reason why I bet a lot of people can't get into the "Song of Ice and Fire" series--another one I love, but he spends SO much time just describing banal things--like the food they eat at every meal. Of all the details to bring out, he goes to lengths to explain the food?

It cracks me up how he sort of starts making fun of himself for having gone to such lengths describing the character's dreams at the start of almost every chapter by book five. I'd say it's something you have to listen to the audiobook for-- having that deep, masculine british accent narrate young girl's sex dialogue makes up for all of the pointless banter just for being hilariously disturbing

Guitarmasterx7:
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.

I absolutely love To Kill a Mockingbird. Atticus Finch is a badass, and there are a lot of great moments in it. The film adaptation is also pretty awesome. There are moments which are slow, I'll give you that (I do remember the tree bit), but it's easily my favourite book I studied at school.

Wise Children by Angela Carter. We had to read it at A-Level. I can see why it was chosen for the class - I was the only guy in the English Literature lessons, and it focused entirely around female issues. It's also incredibly anti-men, and the one male who's painted in any good light may well be involved in an incestuous relationship with the main character.

Hmm, probably the first one that comes to mind is War and Peace.
As my father used to say, "War and Peace is a book you read so you can say you have read it, not to enjoy it."
My father was a strange man.

One book that was so boring that I didnt actually finish it? People Might Hear You.

Though some of the books that people found boring kind of make me sad for the state of modern palates. Starship Troopers? LoTR? I just don't get that. Then again, I guess if you read them expecting the movie, you might be disapointed.

I don't know if it's been said already, but OLD MAN and the FRIGGIN' SEA! Well, I guess it would be unfair to call it "boring" . . . It elicited a very intense reaction--ANGER. I was so mad that after all the pointless ranting that Santiago does over God knows how many pages, he returns with NOTHING. GRAARGH! I guess it's supposed to be tragic, but the only tragedy I saw was the time I'll never get back.

SecretNegative:
The books aren't even intelligent in the slightest, the bad guys are bad through and through, because "lolreasons" and "lolcorrupted", the good guys are fucking saints who wouldn't do a bad thing ever.

Furthermore, Tolkien fucking sabotages his own writing. He establishes that the ring corrupts everyone nearby and has great power, only the Hobbits are only able to resist it, because... uhm... they don't have as big ambitions as the other races, I guess? But then Faramir comes and fucking demolishes that idea by immediatly resisting it's power, I guess, well, fuck that. Then Bombadill comes and does fucking nothing, and is completly out of place.

If you hate the books you hate the books, but I think you missed a point I'd like to clear up. Tolkien wasn't portraying the Hobbits as better. And certainly not because they're Hobbits. He was espousing the virtue of humility. Grandiose people like Galadriel and humans with desires of restoring their kingdom were susceptible to its power because of their ambitions. Hobbits like Sam just wanted to find a nice Hobbit girl and settle down in a nice hole with a pretty garden, and Tolkien was saying "That's the right idea". Faramir was similarly capable of resisting it, at least for a time, because he wasn't looking to be a king or anything, he just wanted to be loved as much as his brother was.

And Tolkien was actually deeply bothered later in life by his decision to make the orcs unanimously evil, as it didn't sit right with his views that the individual was responsible for their morality, not simply what they were born as. He died before he could put anything to writing, but he suggested later in life that the orcs had a society that we never saw, and all that we saw in the books were those that chose to/were coerced to work for Sauron.

Can't help you with Tom Bombadil though. He's weird. He's essentially if one of the Great Old Ones from Cthulhu wandered into Middle Earth, and was secretly a swell guy.

To be more ON TOPIC, my most hated book for being boring is definitely Leviathan by Hobbes. It's interesting in concept but Christ is it dry.

This has been quite an interesting thread to read. I actually enjoyed a lot of the books that people have listed here (despite having studied some of them), like Catch-22, The Great Gatsby, Emma, Frankenstein, The Catcher in the Rye, The Lord of the Rings, 1984 etc.

There are however a few books that I haven't finished, not even because I disliked them, but because I just never got around to them. The two that immediately spring to mind are 'Invisible Man' by Ralph Ellison, and the Gormenghast trilogy by Mervin Peake. I recall actually enjoying them, getting maybe two thirds of the way through the former and halfway through the second book of the latter, however evidently something must have come up - maybe I got a new book that I was more immediately drawn to, or maybe I misplaced them for a while, but when I rejoined them I couldn't recall what exactly was going on and I steadily lost interest from thereon in.

Something like that actually happened to me a while back, when I was reading 'The Count of Monte Cristo'. I stopped reading it and couldn't get back into it, however one summer when I had a lot of time and not a lot of things to do, I picked it up again, got right into it from the get-go and finished it in a few days. It's actually one of my favourite books now (purely by merit of having an incredible story).

One thing I find - and I realise that I'm rambling on a little here - is that I enjoyed these books far more in hindsight, when I look back and reflect upon them. That's why I nearly always try to finish books even if I'm stuck in a fairly boring part, as often the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. To take a more recent example, over the summer I read the book 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami. That book was looooong (like 1000 pages or so) and a lot of it felt slightly esoteric (which I suppose is in keeping with the plot of the novel) and deliberately mystifying, which could have led to it feeling lazy with a kind of manufactured intellect (which is slightly how I felt about The Road), however once you reached the end of the novel, and its deeply satisfying conclusion (which I won't spoil) it felt like a lot of the strands (though not all) were drawn together and one (or at least I) was left feeling like it had all been worthwhile. Obviously this is very personal to me, and I'm sure there are some people out there who both read it and hated it but I guess that kind of sums up my ethos with that kind of literature.

That's not to say that there is nothing that I've disliked or found boring, which I guess is kind of the point of the thread, but I guess what I'm saying is that even when I've found a book dull and uninteresting I've still usually managed to take something from it that made it worthwhile.

JomBob:
When I was in secondary school my mother told me that I should read a greater variety of books than my usual fantasy and science fiction. So I picked up Gone With The Wind. If I ever read Mein Kampf then Gone With The Wind might get demoted to being the second most racist thing I've ever read. None of the characters were sympathetic; the nicest one, Scarlet's original crush, joins the Klu Klux Klan and its like the author doesn't notice that this takes away his nice guy status.

I actually read Mein Kampf a few years back, when I found it in the library and morbid curiosity took over. It's a strange experience because it's mostly quite normal and reasonable but punctuated by bursts of hate-filled ranting. Kind of like a regular guy wrote a book while a raving lunatic hid behind his desk and sabotaged his work every time he took a coffee break.

Anyway, in response to the original post, The Chocolate Wars was pretty bad but I'd give it to Wuthering Heights. I could barely get started.

To kill a mockingbird. I had to read it for English class. At the time I had no frame of reference for any of the themes in the book, and I was bored to tears by it. I was sneaking in other books under the dust jacket of that one. And then I found out the other class in our year was studying lord of the flies. I was so jealous.

Inheritance Cycle, or Eragon.

Fuck. That. Garbage. I can't believe it sold as well as it did.

 Pages PREV 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 NEXT

Reply to Thread

This thread is locked