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

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TheKangaroos:
I struggled through "This Side of Paradise". It's just so bland. I know it's meant to be jam packed with subtle insight into... God knows what, but it wasn't doing it for me. I liked The Great Gatsby. It's too brief for me to generate meaningful, negative feelings for it.

What I'm taking most from this thread is how different my opinions are from a good few of the people posting here. This isn't an attempt to sound high-brow. In fact, I want to defend Twilight as being an alright book. It seems a lot of people approached it with a negative outlook (one poster read it solely so they could justify their criticism of it...) and that strikes me as being self fulfilling as if you read/watch something expecting to hate it, more often enough, being in that head space is going to yeild those results. It's worth saying that I have read a great deal more since Twilight and it suffers by comparison to a lot of other books, but I definitley enjoyed it at the time of reading it and that's surely what matters?

What matters is that you liked it? No, no I don't think so. People reading it to reinforce their own hatred are being a bit silly, but - let's be honest - it's one of the most hated books ever written, at least by most of the internet's standards. At least these people are putting in an effort to see firsthand how awful it is.

And I read it from an entirely unbiased perspective. I didn't even know what it was, going in. And let me say, I feel the hate is fully justified. I wouldn't say it here though. It isn't boring, persay. I think it's more along the lines of atrocious. I'm not hating the book for it's inability to keep me interested. I'm hating it for the fact that it's among the worst things I've ever read.

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. I tried reading it after the movies. Got as far as The Prancing Pony.....and that was such a chore.

Atlas Shrugged.

It started out ok, and I was intrigued to find out who John Gault was. Then when he finally showed up he wouldn't stop talking and I just wished he'd go away. That was a rough one to get through. It was boring and became increasing immoral (at least in my mind).

I am actually perfectly fine with "slow boring" books, as long as the writing is good and it is actually going somewhere regardless of speed.

But the worst book I have ever read was The Scarlet Letter. Had to read it in high school, and then give a report in a manner of our choosing. I chose to write about how awful it was, with some highly detailed rumblings with some similar setting and time period examples just to really get the point across. A+

Necromancer Jim:

TheKangaroos:
I struggled through "This Side of Paradise". It's just so bland. I know it's meant to be jam packed with subtle insight into... God knows what, but it wasn't doing it for me. I liked The Great Gatsby. It's too brief for me to generate meaningful, negative feelings for it.

What I'm taking most from this thread is how different my opinions are from a good few of the people posting here. This isn't an attempt to sound high-brow. In fact, I want to defend Twilight as being an alright book. It seems a lot of people approached it with a negative outlook (one poster read it solely so they could justify their criticism of it...) and that strikes me as being self fulfilling as if you read/watch something expecting to hate it, more often enough, being in that head space is going to yeild those results. It's worth saying that I have read a great deal more since Twilight and it suffers by comparison to a lot of other books, but I definitley enjoyed it at the time of reading it and that's surely what matters?

What matters is that you liked it? No, no I don't think so. People reading it to reinforce their own hatred are being a bit silly, but - let's be honest - it's one of the most hated books ever written, at least by most of the internet's standards. At least these people are putting in an effort to see firsthand how awful it is.

And I read it from an entirely unbiased perspective. I didn't even know what it was, going in. And let me say, I feel the hate is fully justified. I wouldn't say it here though. It isn't boring, persay. I think it's more along the lines of atrocious. I'm not hating the book for it's inability to keep me interested. I'm hating it for the fact that it's among the worst things I've ever read.

I felt that the quality of the writing was on a par with J.K. Rowling's in all the Harry Potter's although the content/plot was admittedly worse, and that's all I had read before I read the Twilight books. Of course, you could also hold the Harry Potter books in the same low regard as Twilight so this might make no difference to you.

Just so as to get an idea of your tastes, what are 5 books you've enjoyed?

Slenn:

Candid by Voltaire. What a lame book. The entire premise was supposed to be about a guy who does not care at all and is the epitome of apathy around others. He gets into a relationship, he doesn't care. He goes to jail, he doesn't care. He eats a salad, he doesn't care. Yeah, I don't think I'll ever care about this book.

That... is not at all what Candide is about. It's about, in part, a man who finds the philosophical teachings of Optimism (that this is the best of all worlds, and everything that happens is the best thing that can possibly happen) to be the only way to look at the world and life. He then suffers a series of increasingly devastating events (most of which are hilarious) until he meets a man, Martin, who does not share his views of the world and in fact thinks everything is shit and finally Candide gives up on his optimistic (both the modern usage and the philosophical teachings) ideals.

Are you sure you mean Candide?

Dirty Hipsters:
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.

Seconded. I had to write an analysis on this book for a literature class, and I came up with jack all and a side of fries. There is no depth (or at the least, a lot lot less than the board of literature professors who developed the class seem to think there is) to this book.

You've been down this road before. The concept of "a boring and unfulfilling life" is such a basic and well known concept that children's stories seem content to launch off of it and subvert it in the first act. But no. Essentially, you're waiting for a magical adventure that never happens, and you're just left with Tom and Laura moping about and doing nothing of consequence for the whole story.
Your real life is more interesting than this, because at least you have the internet. There's nothing for anyone in this book. Really.

Another vote here for Lord of the Rings. I specifically remember a part in Fellowship of the Ring where the party had emerged from underground into a forest and Tolkien spent FIVE PAGES describing the trees. Two pages into the description of the river, I decided to just wait 20 years for the movie.

"Don Quixote" by Miguel de Cervntes is the only book I've ever NOT finished.

It's a classic! It's philosophical! It's a thousand pages of basically the same thing happening every chapter:

Don Quixote and Pancho Villa ride into town. Quixote mistakes something for something else and acts in a way the enrages the townspeople. They run him out of town. Pancho Villa saves the day.

Later. Rinse. Repeat.

ellers07:
Atlas Shrugged.
Then when he finally showed up he wouldn't stop talking and I just wished he'd go away.

It's like a quarter of the book (I'm exaggerating a little...) of him just speaking for hours and it's easily my favourite part of the whole thing. I love it! I may be weird like that, but I like to listen to people speak passionately and artfully, whether it be about something important (Christopher Hitchens, Martin Luther King) or something frivolous (Steve Jobs). I totally get your objection, though, and I think you are right. I could never recommend the book to someone, but I personally love it.

I like a lot of the stuff mentioned in this thread, such as 1984, Lord of the Rings (not a favourite, but so many people seem to hate it, I just wanted to mention it*), Crime and Punishment and some other stuff that may have been mentioned just once.

On topic: David Copperfield - I make an effort to read most of "the classics" and usually I don't find it a chore. There's some highs (Crime and Punishment, Animal Farm), some lows (Robinson Crusoe), but they all "work" fairly effortlessly.

David Copperfield, though, is just painful. It put me off my whole classics reading mission for 6 months, because it took so much out of me. I can't say it's not an adventure, or a grand life lived, but it just fails to make me care about any of the characters and the writing style does not help the reader at all, but instead just makes each sentence an uphill climb.

*I liked the movies when they were new and shiny, but they just do not hold up - so shallow and boring!)

Never got through the whole thing, but early modern religious intolerance and general xenophobic ranting starts fun but gets old after a while and at a grand total of twelve books long John Foxe's Act and Monuments goes on a while. Had to read it for my dissertation.

and seriously what is with these advert that won't shut up, i don't mind them normally, but i can't mute these and if a pause it a new on rises to take it's place.

"Robinson Crusoe". Oh ... My ... Sweet ... Lord. Such tedium. So boring that I feel I must have fallen asleep while reading it and accidentally put the bookmark at the end. So little buccaneering and high seas adventure, and so much praise of God and chores and good ol' English solidness of character. As soon as the possibility of cannibals appears I was willing them to land and eat Crusoe so we could move on.

Honorable mention to "Moby-Dick", which at least had the decency to ...

Just finished the novelization of 'Dawn of the Dead'.

Stick to the movie because the book is shit.

"Waiting for Godot" was something we had to read for drama class and it was excruciatingly boring.

Now if you want an interesting book, track down "The Man Eaters of Tsavo and other African Adventures" by Colonel Henry Patterson.

The Great Gatsby. I had to read it Junior year of high school. If you asked me to tell you what happens in it I honestly couldn't other than the very end. People say its one of the greatest American novels ever but I could care less about it.

This autobiography book "Mad World: Evelyn Waugh and the Secrets of Brideshead". It was super cheap in this discounted book store and I needed to read more autobiography books for my English class. Seriously I read it and I copuldn't make sense at it despite rereading it a few times.

lacktheknack:

soren7550:

lacktheknack:

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.

I'm not so masochistic that I've ever finished a book that bored me, so I had to go with the next best thing. :D

Fair enough.

Oddly enough, my brother that hates reading loves that book.

War and Peace got half way through it before a proffesor found me snoozing under a table.

The Pearl by John Steinbeck. Steinbeck seems to be writing his books solely to show just how bitter and morose about the world he is, because this entire story and some of his other books are all about the main character just getting beaten up by life. This poor pearl diver tries to sell a large pearl to pay for his son's medical treatment, but then the pearl is essentially cursed and causes all kinds of shit to go down in the life of this innocent guy. He didn't do anything wrong. He just wanted his son to live. And at the end, he chucks the pearl, his son is dead, his wife has basically screwed him over, and he still has no money. WTF Steinbeck.

Grapes of Wrath.

I had to read it in high school. All I remember is reading several pages of a description of a field. Several pages describing one fucking field.

The second half of the book is okay though, I just kept picturing James Dean.

The amount of swearing in this thread has amused me greatly and I'm not entirely sure why..

I've not read a book in years that I didn't enjoy. I can remember trying many times when younger to read Steven King's It, but just could never get anywhere with it. Bored the snot out of me. I liked The Shining well enough and that's the only other King book I tried.

I've read a lot of boring books, considering I was an English major with a Lit. emphasis, but the one book that I could never force myself to read past the first ten, grueling, soul sucking pages was The Poisonwood Bible. It has used as a spacer between my couch and the wall for the past seven years while all my other books are kept dusted and well maintained on my bookshelves.
Most boring that I've finished would probably be The Sun Also Rises. I've just never been able to quite enjoy Hemingway's writing style.

The Silmarillion by Tolkien. Read like a really boring history book, though it was admittedly unfinished by Tolkien himself and released much later by his son, who appears to have merely checked for spelling and added some punctuation to a long list of point-form notes.

Ringworld by Larry Niven takes a close second. That guy is like George Lucas; awesome ideas, great big-picture concepts, but needs a screenwriter. I struggled through every page past the 1/3rd mark and did not care about the fates of any of the almost-but-not-quite-interesting characters in that book. It ended in the middle of a conversation; the next line was just not there.

Any book I was forced to read as a teenager.

Conversely i've gone back to those books i.e. Frankenstein's monster, Of mice and men and To kill a mocking Bird and I love them all. Probably because I've grown up and gained a lot more appreciation for subtlety in writing.

Oh but for modern books ... Anything by Dan Brown the formulaic butcher of prose.

To give you an idea of my tastes by favorite books are, in no particular order:

The wheel of time series
Crime and Punishment : Dostoevsky
Hyperion : Dan Simmons (seriously a SF masterwork)
Thud : Terry Pratchett (My favourite auther)
The Stars my destination: (anther great SF)
Player of games: Ian M Banks (Best SF auther)

TheKangaroos:

Just so as to get an idea of your tastes, what are 5 books you've enjoyed?

Contrary to most of this thread, I actually quite enjoyed The Great Gatsby and To Kill a Mockingbird. I can't place exactly what it was about them that kept me interested, and I will not argue that they were probably slower than necessary, but I still enjoyed reading them. Good Omens is a silly book, but it is still one of my favourites.

And to be honest, those are the only books that come to mind. I've read a few other books at people's recommendations (read Mort and some other Pratchett books, started reading the Song of Ice and Fire or whatever it is called, a few others I forget) but while I've enjoyed what I have finished, I don't get into reading them as much. I start books and then abandon them for months at a time. I'm probably much more harsh with books than any other form of entertainment, to be honest.

Although I still stand by my first post that Silas Marner is one of the worst things I've ever read, and in an entirely boring way. I find Twilight to be bad in an entertaining way, although the movies seem to be more hilariously bad than the books.

See, as I like reading and read for my enjoyment, once a book bores me I put it down.

So I can say hardest book I've ever had to read for school is a toss up between Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky and Catch-22 by Joseph Heller. The first I voluntarily read for a book report in 7th or 8th grade (for those of you across the pond 13/14 years old ish) mostly because my teacher told me there was no way I'd be able to ever finish it or write a proper book report on it. Proved them wrong. But I should have waited at least 2 more years to read it just from the usage of bigger words and such(if I'm recalling correctly as it's been almost 20 years since I last read it). And the second I had to read for my senior year of high school (18 for those across the pond) and had a teacher who expected us to immediately understand it without too much explanation on her part. However I have bought that book and read it about 5 or more times since and understand it a little better but still don't understand it well. But it's at least enjoyable at this point.

I've hated having to read any book. However, a good portion of books I had to read in high school and middle school I've bought since and have enjoyed reading on my own time and not having to analyse every minute detail.

Books I've recently read that were boring:

Game of Thrones - by George R.R. Martin I don't know why. I like fantasy. But I couldn't even get past the first actual chapter. The prologue took me almost a month to read. It had a few enjoyable moments but then the first chapter started and I couldn't get past the second page of it. And to even get that far, I had to force myself into it.

Misery - by Stephen King I have a special level of hatred for SK. A lot of his books I just can't get into. I find them dull and repetitive. This one I couldn't make it halfway through before I wanted to tear the book in half and set fire to it. I stopped reading and gave it back to my mum as it is her book. Don't get me wrong. I love From a Buick 8, Pet Semetary, and Salem's Lot. But the movie for Misery was better than the book for me. And that might have been my problem is seeing the movie first.

And there was a Michael Moore book that I had to read once and it was terrible. I have it somewhere. I had to read it for a college class before I wound up dropping out of college. It was the most entitled piece of garbage I've ever had the displeasure of reading. And I've vowed never to read any of his books ever again.

Also, a lot of the books people are listing I've really enjoyed such as The Odyssey (own it as well as The Iliad and read it from time to time), The Great Gatsby(own it), The LotR trilogy(I also have and enjoy The Hobbit), The Life of Pi, Pride and Prejudice with Zombies (made me crack up and now need to obtain my own copy of it), Night(own it), Catcher in the Rye (also own), and The Divine Comedy (I own two copies of this though one is on loan and I adore it). There's others but I choose not to go through and list every single book I have.

While I will certainly be blasted for this, I have to say the Game of thrones series. Boring might not be the right word, but I certainly found it to be one of the least engaging reads in a while. Each time an interesting character appears, they get killed. You know who survives? The bland, uninteresting characters. I forced myself to read the first book, but by the end I was like "Why would I care about Westeros or any of these people?" and just stopped.

Otherwise, I've got few complaints. I know what to stay away from for me not to be engaged/bored, so it's generally not an issue. GoT was a snake in the grass I guess.

Edit: I find it funny someone mentionned GoT as I was writing up my post.

The box set of Server 2008r2 administration books I forced myself through were pretty damn terrible but I suspect you mean more fiction, if that's the case I nominate A Dance with Dragons.

Xcell935:
I think around the 7th grade I had to read The Giver
No. Nonononononononono I could not stand the writing, I could not stand the plot, I could not stand the characters, the setting, the tone, and the worse part was the audio book that my English teacher played to go with it cause I guess he found a way to make the book an even worse experience. I. TOOK. MY. SHIRT. OFF. AND. THE. OLD. MAN. PLACED. HIS. HAND. ON. MY. BACK. And he groveled at then end of each word. ONeeeeegghhh. MYeeeeegggh. BACKeeeeeggggghhh.

Also the ending where our "touched by an old man" protagonist left the utopia only to maybe die was so vague and disappointing I complained about it for a week, I wasn't the only one (Yay for shared hatred! Brings friends together).

Yeah, This was going to be my answer easily, then someone mentioned To Kill A Mockingbird and I suddenly had two answers to give.

God damn I hated these books in school, I didn't care at all about the storyline for TKAM and I found the Giver repetitive and boring and was so emotionally uninvolved with the characters that I couldn't even muster up some anger at the crappy-ass ending (which was a type that would normally piss me off)

It seems to me that the most boring books to read are the award winning novels the teachers choose for you in school. They're not interesting, or modern, or relevant to kids in any way. Even my old principle agrees with me on that, we're de-motivating kids from learning (especially boys whose reading rate has dropped significantly in the past decade) because our award winning novels we're forced to read are just dry and boring and not appropriate for how we think as kids.

And just in case someone tries to call me out (it's happened before) I am an avid reader, I have a huge collection of books at home and I've probably read them all so much I could re-write them from memory alone.

Not Matt:
By the way, did anyone else think that was a romeo and juliet referance

It is. R is Romeo and his best friend is M for Mercutio. Julie is obviously Juliet. Perry is Paris. Nora is the nurse. There is even a balcony scene where R finds Julie; and she ponders "I mean, isn't zombie just a silly name we came up with for a state of being we don't understand? What is in a name?"

Its not really references so much as basically stealing Romeo and Juliet and then adapting it with zombies. Which in the grand scheme of things isn't really a big deal considering R&J is just an adapted copy of Pyramus and Thisbe anyways.

Tough one, its probably a tie between The Great Gatsby and The Scarlet Letter. Had to read them both in high school, and on a time constraint no less. Literally one person in the entire grade read the entirety of The Scarlet Letter. The Great Gatsby had a slightly higher completion rate. I didn't read either, and between the both of them, I fell asleep at least five times trying to read them.

Ironically, I now own both of those books, and I think they're great.

Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing or any book that involved that character Fudge... It made me realize certain types of characters that I absolutely can't stand...

It's weird that THAT was the book I didn't like, yet some of the books that were mentioned in this thread already (excluding Twilight, Eragon, and Catcher in the Rye) I thoroughly enjoyed more when I choose to read them instead of having to read them for school...

In fact, this thread reminds me when I thought the Guardians of Ga'hoole series by Kathryn Lasky (even though at the time only the first two books came out) was going to be a very boring read... The first book I pretended to not have any interest in it... The second was pretty good now that I started paying attention to the story and characters... Then, the third book came out and everyone in the reading group I was in immediately ordered a copy for ourselves this time and after we finished it, we had a hard time waiting for the fourth book... Even when the school year was over, we all still kept in contact, discussing each of the books that came out later... We even met up years later to see the semi-interesting movie... (We all thought it was "okay", at best...)

Overall, during my younger years, if the book wasn't Captain Underpants-related, Harry Potter-related, or written by Beverly Cleary, then they bored me... with certain exceptions as mentioned above... Now, the book better be trying to bore me otherwise I'll still find some enjoyment in reading it... *glares at every fantasy book I have read that have been mentioned in this thread*

The further it got to the end the more unbearable I found the Dune books... I think half way through book five I just gave up.

spartan231490:

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.

Can I ask why you didn't like the Great Gatsby? I really enjoyed that book and though it lacks in action I still thought it was a good read. Not the best but worth reading at least once.

On topic though I'd say Moonfleet by J. Meade Falkner. It's meant to be a popular book among children for its tales of adventure but when it was decided we would read it in school, I hated that book from cover to cover.

ellers07:
Atlas Shrugged.

It started out ok, and I was intrigued to find out who John Gault was. Then when he finally showed up he wouldn't stop talking and I just wished he'd go away. That was a rough one to get through. It was boring and became increasing immoral (at least in my mind).

Yer the Fountainhead was a much better book by the same author. I honestly don't know what she was thinking with Atlas Shrugged, there were so many speeches it became unbearable.

Measure for Measure. I severely dislike Measure for Measure.

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