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

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The Bible, which is utterly repetitious (Try reading through the commands of how the Tabernacle shall be built).

Other than that, "A Painted House". Total yawn-fest.

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.

For me, I recently tried to read the first of the Halo: Forerunner trilogy (it's so unremarkable I can't even remember the name), and I just couldn't bring myself to care. Halo's universe just isn't as interesting when you try to explain the ancient history of it (the forerunners, etc.). I'd much rather hear about the aftermath of Halo 3, but its too bad Eric Nylund (or Joseph Staten for that matter, Contact Harvest was great) isn't writing any of the post-Halo 3 novels. Instead we've got Karen Traviss. -____-

For me, there are three contenders for my least favorite book: The Picture of Dorian Gray, The Scarlet Letter, and the Aeneid.
The more I think about it, I think the Picture of Dorian Gray takes home the most boring award, while Scarlet Letter was probably just the worst in general.
The Aeneid felt like reading a spin-off series.

"I had to read it in High School/College and I....."

Makes me stop reading immediately. If you were forced to read a book for a grade, chances are you didn't dig it.

"Heart of Darkness" is by far the most boring book I've read. It's a whopping 70 pages, and it took me two whole weeks to finish that rubbish

I love all the LoTR references. Obviously kids led to the books by the movies.
Try the Silmarian then if you couldnt get your hear around the LoTR stuff, it makes them look like a picnic in the park.

I never got past the first chapter of the first book of the "Wheel of Time"

I must admit the Lord of the Rings is a HARD read to love. Tolkien is a wonderful worldbuilder, but a terrible author. He's breathlessly awed at communicating the intricate, beautiful details of the world he envisions so clearly... but he tells, instead of shows, so he's simply awful at actually telling the story. You can't see the wood for five pages about descriptions of the trees, three pages describing what the elves look like but not who they are. The interesting narrative is utterly lost among the in-depth description.

You've got to give him kudos for bringing together and pretty much single-handedly codifying the Default Fantasy setting that countless thousands of other stories have adapted in one way or another. But don't read the books. It's like building a sandcastle with a teaspoon.

JasonBurnout16:

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.

Honestly? I found the writing lot be atrocious. The vocabulary was shallow, the setting was boring, the pacing moved slower than a rotting corpse, and the plot was almost as uninteresting as the characters. Frankly, I don't remember much detail, but I do remember that I hated the main character. I vaguely remember that the sections with other characters were slightly less tedious to read since the other characters were stereotypical and boring, which was a nice break from wanting to strangle the MC.

I didn't get terribly far, I read to chapter 6 in one very painful sitting(it was required reading and I thought that it might get better further in, and if not it was a short enough book I was hoping to just finish it in a weekend and be done with it, but I couldn't keep going. I picked at it and maybe got as far as chapter nine before I just gave up.

So you know, it isn't just because it was a assigned reading. I read and loved Lord of The Flies, Scarlet Letter, To Kill A Mockingbird, The Giver, and half a dozen other assigned books that have been mentioned above. The only four I didn't like were the ones I originally mentioned, Catcher in The Rye, Great Gatsby, and The Awakening(and also Last Night at The Lobster from college). Every other assigned book I could get through, even if I didn't like it, because I appreciated it for the quality of writing, but I found no redeeming quality in those three books. For what it's worth, I think the Great Gatsby was the best of the four. The other three were awful whereas, in my opinion, Gatsby was more banal than actually bad. The only thing I disliked about it was the MC, everything else I literally had no feeling for one way or the other.

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.

Oh, God, The Great Gastsby. I HATED that book in school, it's one of the most utterly overrated things in literature.

Unfortunately I've read worse. I remember Faulkner as being the only writer to cause me physical pain. I couldn't even finish The Sound and the Fury (awesome title though). I hated the characters, I hated the "story", and most of all I HATED his entire philosophy on life. It is, quite literally, a book about nothing. I understood it perfectly, in case any Lit. lovers insist he's greatest writer of all time, I just think his opinions are all wrong. He was also a conceited ho bag in real life, so I can't even say he had a sparkling personality :p

shrekfan246:
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.

Damn, I thought I was going to be the owner of a pretty unpopular opinion, but you ninja'd me, on the first answer.

So, yes. The Odyssey was terrible for me to try to get into.
I ended up finishing it, but there were days were I couldn't advance more than a page.

Don't know if this is the worst one, but the dullest experience I can remember for now is "Open Veins of Latin America". My boss and I work in immigration, so as a little freebie gift I got a book on how Latin American was exploited for its resources. According to the book, they primarily got screwed economically, and I could only take so much reading about the economy of coffee and tobacco. Didn't help that the whole time, it kept reminding me that my race was responsible for all their problems. I got about halfway through before I couldn't bear to read anymore.

Cliff_m85:
"I had to read it in High School/College and I....."

Makes me stop reading immediately. If you were forced to read a book for a grade, chances are you didn't dig it.

Was it really just my school where the majority of kids enjoyed the assigned reading? I mean, I take it to extremes, but I can't remember a single kid in my class who disliked even half of the books we read, and most of them are on this thread as "boring".
I have been assigned in the neighborhood of 30 books for my higher education(I'm not counting elementary or middle school because who could not like those books). I disliked four of them, was pretty meh about another 4 or so, and I liked or even loved the vast majority of the others. To Kill a Mockingbird, Scarlet Letter, Giver, Speak, Where the Red Fern Grows, Lord of The Flies, . . .
I actually reread many of them on my own time.

Myoukochou:
I must admit the Lord of the Rings is a HARD read to love. Tolkien is a wonderful worldbuilder, but a terrible author. He's breathlessly awed at communicating the intricate, beautiful details of the world he envisions so clearly... but he tells, instead of shows, so he's simply awful at actually telling the story. You can't see the wood for five pages about descriptions of the trees, three pages describing what the elves look like but not who they are. The interesting narrative is utterly lost among the in-depth description.

You've got to give him kudos for bringing together and pretty much single-handedly codifying the Default Fantasy setting that countless thousands of other stories have adapted in one way or another. But don't read the books. It's like building a sandcastle with a teaspoon.

This is an absolutely perfect description of why Tolkein was a poor author. Phenomenal world-builder, but his narrative is flat as hell. I'm probably going to save that so I can show people what I mean when I criticize him, thank you.

Cliff_m85:
The Bible, which is utterly repetitious (Try reading through the commands of how the Tabernacle shall be built).

Other than that, "A Painted House". Total yawn-fest.

You have to keep in mind that the Bible isn't really "a" book, but rather a collection of books, so you have to read them all individually. Obviously some were poetic works of art with some of the best writing I've ever seen, whereas other books are little more than massive legal documents. Each book serves a different purpose. As a result I have to read some chapters as a historian and some chapters as a creative writer.

That's also why there's so much repetition, sometimes different books overlapped on the same event.

The -only- book I never finished is a Dutch novel by Louis Couperus called Eline Vere. It's style and language are horribly dated, but where writers like Lovecraft and Poe also wrote in a different style than is used these days, Couperus -also- has bugger all to tell in his book. Seriously, it's 1200 pages of nothing at all happening.

More internationally, I have to second La Divina Commedia. At least in Inferno Dante seems somewhat in his elements with lurid descriptions. Purgatorio and Paradiso... *shudder*.

I just remembered another. "100 Years of Solitude". Anyway, I read it way back in early High School, so I can hardly remember anything about it. The thing was, none of the characters were all that admirable or even interesting. I was reading through it in a half-daze when suddenly I fell victim to the Latin American naming system (a real hassle when filing them alphabetically at work). I was already through most of the book when suddenly the focus was on a character who I thought had passed away. It was then that I found out that "Aureliano Buenadia", "Aureliano Buenadia Sanchez", and "Aureliano Buenadia Sanchez Castro" were all different characters (Each descendent keeps the names of his relatives). Up until then, I thought I was reading about the same person (which made things confusing when two of them were in the same scene). I was so frustrated, I wanted to throw the book into a fire. I certainly wasn't going to go back and re-read everything.

Cliff_m85:
"I had to read it in High School/College and I....."

Makes me stop reading immediately. If you were forced to read a book for a grade, chances are you didn't dig it.

Interestingly enough, considering all of the negative comments about it in this thread, I had to read The Great Gatsby for school and I quite enjoyed it.

Books I didn't like include Black Water by Joyce Carol Oates (interesting premise, but the repetition really drags it down) and Hawthorne's The House of the Seven Gables (my lord that man had a dry, boring writing style).

Honestly though, especially on a video game-centric website like this, you're not going to find a terribly high number of people who read for fun now that they're out of school. And, similar to films/games, most aren't going to even remember the one or two actually boring/bad books they happen to stumble across because they're almost assuredly going to do heavy amounts of research on something before purchasing, to be sure that they at least should enjoy what they're getting into.

It's a fair point that a lot of kids don't like reading in high school and many won't like even legitimately great books simply because it was assigned reading, but that doesn't automatically discount certain classics from being rather bland or boring now that we can examine them through the lens of time.

Atlas Shrugged.
Its very interesting from a philosophical standpoint (not that it represents my philosophy), but Rand is just a bad writer. The characters are one-dimensional and everything is so obvious and clichee....
Also Lord of the rings....I like the hobbit, but LOTR is just too much.....filler.

Another one for me was "Romance of the Three Kingdoms". Essentially the book that inspired "Dynasty Warriors" if you haven't heard of it. It wasn't all boring. It started off pretty good with some interesting characters, particularly Zhuge Liang, but then it just kept on going for another 600 pages. I think the biggest problem was that because it was inspired by actual historic (but also embellished) events, lots of the same stuff happened over and over again. If the books wasn't so old, I'd accuse the writer of copy-pasting segments from earlier in the book into later parts. I saw the same military tactics used repeatedly, particularly that part where an army chases another army, and then the other army suddenly wins the battle by turning around and catching their pursuers by surprise. Kind of like a rock star who doesn't know when to quit, this book continued well past the point where it was interesting to read.

Effi Briest.
Pissed me right off.
A story about a girl married to an older guy having an affair, then a daughter, then they divorce, her husband kills her lover in a duel and then she dies.

H.P.Lovecraft's works.

Don't get me wrong, I love the universe and setting he created, I'm a keeper for Call of Cthulhu games with my group in college, but I find his actual writing horrible.

I understand that yes, you are meant to use your imagination, that what we create in our minds is way more terrifying than anything that can be written down, but the formula for his stories is always the same.

Build up, build up, build, then we are just about to see the horrifying creature he has been hinting at AND... the main character passes out. The main character represses the memory. The monster is too terrible to explain. The monster is invisible. It is outside our understanding. I have a hardback collection of his works and I've tried to go through it three times now and I just can't. His work is just so bad.

Two the Great Gatsby it was poorly written with a okay story and Atlas shrugged, that book is the embodiment of Mary Sues and TL;DR

Fox12:

Cliff_m85:
The Bible, which is utterly repetitious (Try reading through the commands of how the Tabernacle shall be built).

Other than that, "A Painted House". Total yawn-fest.

You have to keep in mind that the Bible isn't really "a" book, but rather a collection of books, so you have to read them all individually. Obviously some were poetic works of art with some of the best writing I've ever seen, whereas other books are little more than massive legal documents. Each book serves a different purpose. As a result I have to read some chapters as a historian and some chapters as a creative writer.

That's also why there's so much repetition, sometimes different books overlapped on the same event.

The poetry is decent, the story in the OT is utterly horrible. The character development is atrocious. I mean, the exodus made me face/palm so much due to the fact that the Israelites SEE, I mean LITERALLY SEE, miracles....yet still doubt the power of God.... who does present himself in some form and kills disobedient Israelites in front of the doubting Israelites in VERY SPECIFIC ways. The NT is better, but not up to snuff.

Go back and read the instructions for the Tabernacle followed up with how they built the Tabernacle and tell me if it was necessary to write "Build this in this fashion ____ (50 pages)" followed by "We built it in this fashion _____ (50 pages)".

Cliff_m85:
"I had to read it in High School/College and I....."

Makes me stop reading immediately. If you were forced to read a book for a grade, chances are you didn't dig it.

Funnily enough there were quite a few books I had to read for school that I loved. Lord of the Flies and The Notebook (by Agota Kristoff) are two of my favorites that I had to read.

HalloHerrNoob:
Atlas Shrugged.
Its very interesting from a philosophical standpoint (not that it represents my philosophy), but Rand is just a bad writer. The characters are one-dimensional and everything is so obvious and clichee....
Also Lord of the rings....I like the hobbit, but LOTR is just too much.....filler.

I still admire you for finishing Atlas Shrugged. I tried to do that, but Ayn Rand's barely disguised conceit was too much for me. I quit after the part when Ms. Taggart recounts her past growing up as a brilliant, gifted and intellectually superior child. It wasn't hard to see that Ayn Rand was talking about herself.

Cookiegerard:
His work is just so bad.

There's a lot of quality inconsistency with his works.
Some are truly amazing, some I can completely agree with you on. I really loved The Mound because he managed to create an entire other civilization of sorts. I also have extremely nostalgic memories of The Thing On The Doorstep, but that might just be because of my childhood, although I do think the concept is great for a very different kind of horror than he usually employs. Hm, what else? Shadow Over Innsmouth is great and the character only faints after describing the horrors. And the twist ending is just awesome. Similarily, I loved The Horror In The Museum for its build-up and nice (albeit a bit predictable) ending.
Eh, I can't fault you for having sort of given up on Lovecraft's stuff, having read a lot of his awful stuff myself, but there are a lot of great stories, too. Buried in the rubble, I suppose.

Cliff_m85:
The Bible, which is utterly repetitious (Try reading through the commands of how the Tabernacle shall be built).

Other than that, "A Painted House". Total yawn-fest.

Of course! I forgot about the bible.

the doom cannon:
"Heart of Darkness" is by far the most boring book I've read. It's a whopping 70 pages, and it took me two whole weeks to finish that rubbish

Was that a typo or was it just so thickly and densely written that even 70 pages was too much?

A day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich bored me to a near catatonic state when I first read it. Which is weird, because looking back on it I feel that now it's one of my favorite novels. Much like what happened with The Stranger.

Kenbo Slice:
Funnily enough there were quite a few books I had to read for school that I loved. Lord of the Flies and The Notebook (by Agota Kristoff) are two of my favorites that I had to read.

Agreed. We had to read Brave New World and it turned out to be one of my favorite books. Just because it was required reading doesn't mean we wouldn't enjoy it.

That said, had I made the curriculum, I'd have put Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett in there somewhere to be sure.

Stasisesque:

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?

You should still see the musical/opera. It's hilarious.

sageoftruth:

the doom cannon:
"Heart of Darkness" is by far the most boring book I've read. It's a whopping 70 pages, and it took me two whole weeks to finish that rubbish

Was that a typo or was it just so thickly and densely written that even 70 pages was too much?

No typo. This thing was stupidly dense and it required a very concerted effort to finish more than a couple pages at a time. I just double checked and Amazon says 72 pages.

AndrlCh:
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.

I read that once long ago. Can't remember much about it, but what made it so bad that you quit after 10 pages? I guess it was kind of a downer and the father deserved worse than he got.

Cliff_m85:

Fox12:

Cliff_m85:
The Bible, which is utterly repetitious (Try reading through the commands of how the Tabernacle shall be built).

Other than that, "A Painted House". Total yawn-fest.

You have to keep in mind that the Bible isn't really "a" book, but rather a collection of books, so you have to read them all individually. Obviously some were poetic works of art with some of the best writing I've ever seen, whereas other books are little more than massive legal documents. Each book serves a different purpose. As a result I have to read some chapters as a historian and some chapters as a creative writer.

That's also why there's so much repetition, sometimes different books overlapped on the same event.

The poetry is decent, the story in the OT is utterly horrible. The character development is atrocious. I mean, the exodus made me face/palm so much due to the fact that the Israelites SEE, I mean LITERALLY SEE, miracles....yet still doubt the power of God.... who does present himself in some form and kills disobedient Israelites in front of the doubting Israelites in VERY SPECIFIC ways. The NT is better, but not up to snuff.

Go back and read the instructions for the Tabernacle followed up with how they built the Tabernacle and tell me if it was necessary to write "Build this in this fashion ____ (50 pages)" followed by "We built it in this fashion _____ (50 pages)".

I understand what you're trying to say, but you can't read every book like a piece of Romantic Era poetry, which is why it's so difficult for people to get into. I'm a double history and Lit. major, so I understand that there are parts that have to be read in a historical context and there are parts that are meant to be poetic. When you're reading about the building of The Ark of the Covenant, or about certain periods of Hebrew history, it needs to be read from the point of view of a historian. Those particular parts weren't concerned with entertaining people, they were Israels attempts at recording their history. From a historians point of view all those minute details actually matter quite a lot. Other parts were meant to be more poetic. There's also a lot of depth in the stories, but you have to really pay attention to detail in order to get it. The New Testament is better though, I agree.

I actually really liked the Bible, but the way it was constructed can make it very difficult for some people to get through. One moment you're reading something meant to be poetic, and the next you're reading a dry account of political or legal history.

Fear And Loathing in Las Vegas

I read it in a single afternoon, and when I was done the only thing I could think was that I'd never get those hours back.

Oh god where do I begin?

Romeo and Juliet: I understand that it's better read as a tragedy than a love story. But the characters aren't making small mistakes and learning from them. They're doing absolutely stupid shit that makes things worse for everyone. Whatever hate-boner the families had for one another, it was dumb, that was likely the point. I guess I just wish I were more invested in the characters so the bigger message would be more effective to me.

The Great Gatsby: The only people who seem to like the book like it for the setting. I think the theme was meant to be that money doesn't buy happiness and/or money won't make life exciting. True, but I've seen so many more stories where that concept was done much better. But I don't like stories where every character is an idiot or an asshole.

To Kill a Mockingbird: I hated the first half. Fuck's sake I get it, the children are all innocent look at how innocent those kids are. I did enjoy the trail part. Injustices like racism piss me off in a way that gets my attention. I just wish I didn't have to sit through the first half of the book to get there.

A Raisin in the Sun: I kind of liked this book. Up until the ending. Black family chooses to stick it to the white man and move into a white neighborhood. Awesome. But then it just ends. It doesn't show the consequences of their choice. It doesn't show how it effects them. That pissed me off. I think the story would have been better if it started there. If it showed their struggles but that they didn't back down. But nope.

I found Beowulf, Lord of the Flies, and Macbeth enjoyably goofy, so I couldn't really get pissed at them.

The Divine Comedy, Don Quoxte, The Phantom of the Opera were too boring for me to finish.

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!

Personally i really enjoyed it, found the politics and philosophy in it quite interesting (i'm not a fascist though!)

II've found plenty of books boring, after about the third discworld novel i read any more would put me to sleep. I don't often give up on books, but recently i tried to read The da vinci code and abandoned that about a third of the way in, as his writing style was atrocious.

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