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

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Anything by Toni Morrison I just can't stand her writing sorry :P on the other hand I can read anything by George Orwell, Fyodor Dostoyevsky or Philip K Dick with pleasure.

Cookiegerard:

Skeleon:

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.

The universe he created is amazing, I just think, based off the short stories I read, that his writing style isn't that great. When you are reading a number of them in a row, and you just keep getting let down after let down because the monster is ALWAYS made indescribable for some reason, it just makes it feel as if you are reading the same thing over and over again. I like his world, but I just don't like his writing style, it feels lazy at times.

I'd have to agree with this. As fantastic a read as Lovecraft can be, he keeps banging on his "fear of the unknown" drum far too insistently. It's a great mechanic and a central point of Gothic Horror, but Poe at least knew to keep the "unknowable" aspects of some of his darker stories in control. Lovecraft really comes across as a man who was ruled by his apprehensions and who didn't have much else to work with.

It could be worse, through. Michel Houellebecq wrote "Against the World, Against Life", which is a rather depressing essay praising the Master of Providence for his excessively bleak view of the world. I've read it as part of my thesis, and I have to admit that watching a super-happy Disney flick with all of the associated sugary glee felt like a huge relief, after a chapter or two. It wasn't hard or particularly boring - but it was depressing.

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.

I hated that book...I had to read Gatsby for school but I can't technically count it since I don't remember if I actually read all of it.

As for books that I have read and hated/I found to be extremely boring: The Lord of the Rings trilogy (only not really). When I was much younger, I absolutely loved The Hobbit (and still enjoy that book); when the announced the film trilogy I really wanted to read the books before inevitably seeing the films so I read Fellowship and ended up watching Fellowship. Then I had a year or three to read Two Towers...that never happened. Towers and King released to theaters and I never bothered to see them because Two Towers isn't so much a book as it is a literary brick wall. When I did finally get through it all it did was make me dislike Return of the King and Fellowship retroactively...actually now that I think back I remember not liking the ending of Return of the King...

Anyway: official answer here is Lord of the Rings - The Two Towers (but only because I went from not taking 50 Shades of Gray seriously to being made physically sick by it (and also enraged))

FPLOON:

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...)

Holy crap, someone else on the Escapist that's read the Ga'Hoole books? Awesome! I gotta ask, what did you think of the books that came out after Book 8? I remember them being pretty bad and getting much worse with each progressive novel.

Back on topic, I recall being bored to tears by The Fountainhead. I mean, in this book's weird ass world, architecture is *the* thing everyone is apeshit over, and this one dude is shunned by society because of his 'radical' ideas on how to design buildings. I recall something about the 'radical' raping some bitchy woman that subsequently would sleep with him after she prevents people from going to him to design buildings.
I don't remember a whole lot else about it. Just that my English teacher was very surprised that I decided to read it (only picked it up because I had wanted to read Atlas Shrugged because of BioShock, but I couldn't find a copy so I settled for this), and I got about a third or so through it before I gave up.

I can't believe some of the books people are mentioning here as dull, particularly The Outsider which is my favourite book of time all, I mean even if you don't like or understand Camus' message I just don't see how you could not love the form and style of his writing.

I don't read boring books. I read until I get bored, then put the book down and walk away. Preferably to the computer to go back to dargonsleighing. #yoloswaggr

soren7550:
Holy crap, someone else on the Escapist that's read the Ga'Hoole books? Awesome! I gotta ask, what did you think of the books that came out after Book 8? I remember them being pretty bad and getting much worse with each progressive novel.

Oh my glob! You are the second person on Escapist that I've seen know about this series!! Woo!! *ahem* Well, it has been a while since wanting to reread the entire series (since I coincidentally only reread the first 8 before seeing the movie in theaters), and since I decided to buy all of the books in the series (including the guide book that came out between Books 13 and 14 and the Lost Tales of Ga'Hoole book that came out in 2010), I could do that at any time. With that said, I'm going to try not to make this one big rant and just summarize how I felt about the last arcs in the series...

Book 9-11: What was suppose to be the first spinoff in the series (with previews of the first one on the back of Book 8 saying that it was "Book 1" in this particular series) ends up just continuing the numbers of the original series where the only reference to present day time was during the Prologue and the Epilogue of each book. They were okay, as a whole, but almost not needed to be read unless you're REALLY curious about how this whole legend came to be, I guess...

Books 12 and 13: First off, skipping Books 9 through 11 would not affect what goes down in these two books... which they begin setting up something big that's going to happen in the later books... With that said, I barely remember what goes on in these books... There's not boring, but I did randomly think about how this would be a good example of how the Epilogue of Naruto would go down at one point... (I still have no idea where I got that idea from...)

Books 14 and 15: First off, I would like to call BULLSHIT at a few points of these books... (I forgot my reasons, so bear with me here...) Now, as a conclusion, it could have been A LOT worse... But, overall, I'm kinda glad if the movies were going to go this far into the series (assuming the whole Coryn saga was broken up into two movies a la Harry Potter, Twilight, and Hunger Games), this would definitely be the weaker of the movies...

Don't get me wrong, even with the added Lost Tales of Ga'Hoole, anything after Book 8 was pretty forgettable... If I had to choose one post-Book 8 arc to be considered "boring" to me, it would probably be the Legends of Ga'Hoole arc, but only because it sounded interesting at first and ended up just not clicking for me in the end... I have yet to check out the Wolves of the Beyond series, though, so I wonder if that's any better...

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?

Yes. Although that is not how I remember the book being paraphrased to me by the literature teacher who taught me that class.

can't actually say a singular book, just take the entire list of "classical" or required books that they make you read from grade school through high school, and that'll let you know the bane of my existence. I can't tell you how much hatred I hold for books that were required to be read in school, holy fuck they were so boring and annoying, the only books I think that didn't bug me were "the illustrated man" and "count of monte cristo".

It's bad when a kid considers skipping school entirely based on the fact his literature/english class is reading those fucking awful books that are required/classic.

The Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

The language was bizarre, unclear exactly what was happening and a slew of other annoyances

Trust me, I tried...

This past summer I had to read Game Change, a story about the 2008 presidential election for my AP Government class and it took me a good month to finish it even though it was only 400 pages. The majority of the book can be be summed up as rich people being dicks to one another and showing how much of an idiot Sarah Palin was (there is one part where she has to learn world history over the past 100 years and doesn't know why North Korea and South Korea are seperate nations). I think the books biggest problem is that anyone reading it will know the ending and most of the major plot points so any time a side that isn't Obama gains control of the race you already know it won't last long.

After thinking some more, there was another book I really didn't care for. I can't remember the name of it, having read it well over a decade ago, but I know it was a grade school summer reading book. The only things I can really recall about it were long sections where a boy would go out into the woods and care for a family of badgers, or some other woodland creature. I got sickened at the part where the boy tried to free one of the babies from something, and there was a nice, long description of him biting into its muscle tissues. Honestly, I tried to forget that book, but now those memories are flowing back. Still can't remember the name, though.

TAUBEN IM GRAS. Oh my god, Tauben im Gras. It means "Pigeons in the grass", is in a few places required reading in Germany and it's god awful and boring. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that people died of boredom because of it. I get that it "captures the Zeitgeist" very well, but come on, that is no excuse for that writing style! Nobody is interesting! Nobody is identifiable! Constantly jumping around between characters can work, but only if there is at least ONE that I can be interested in. Supposedly all the character stories at one point start to intersect and influence each other, which is a nice concept, but I never got that far. Even though it was for school - the only book I was required to read but was just to bad to finish. In the end, I just read about it, and got through just fine.

Also, Atlas Shrugged and probably everything else Ayn Rand ever wrote. Sure, I don't share her philosophy, but if the book had been well written, that wouldn't have bothered me. As is, everything is just way to Mary-Sue-ish. Things don't happen and people don't do stuff because it makes sense, it happens and they do it because Rand's philosophy says so. Everyone who is of her opinion is beautiful, intelligent and perfect, and everyone who doesn't is ugly and evil. Oh, and whenever she gets the opportunity to go on a rant (or rand, amirite? ok, I'll stop now...), SHE WILL. Someone holds a speech? Oh, this could be really cool and epic! Except he holds that speech for 5 frakking pages!

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:

Also shocked to see so many people say Lord Of The Rings. I've read the trilogy I can't count how many times now, and the whole "pages and pages of tree descriptions" is way, way, way overstated. Tolkien likes describing scenery, yes. Because as a general rule, when you're creating a new setting for a story, it's a good idea to describe it in enough detail that the reader can get a clear picture of it. I never understood the complaints about the dialogue either, given that Tolkien was writing in the Fifties (before Whedeonesque Buffyspeak was ever a thing) and basing his story in a medieval fantasy setting. All told, I think a lot of the dialogue (Sam's in particular) is surprisingly snappy, given the context. A bit old-fashioned, sure, but what's wrong with that?

[/spoiler]

Yeah I'll have to pitch in with Lord of the Rings, I mean I read it when I was 9 and I have no idea how. I tried again recently and sweet jesus there is SO MUCH FUCKING FILLER. So much description, so many chapters that don't need to be there, fucking get on with it! It feels very dithery and meanders about too much, or just focuses on one thing till breaking point, like one of those US Dramas that has a really good main plot but has 20 episodes a season and by the 3rd season, the plot ends up being stretched very thinly over a ton of filler to make it lasts 20 episodes. The films are the definitive version by far even if they do make a few minor alterations, tongue bath Orlando Bloom and Gimli doesn't get anywhere near enough love.

What's odd though, is having reread The Hobbit in preparation for the film last year, it's just so much better written, I know it was designed as a children's book but it never feels any less epic,(relative to the quest of course and tolkein obviously had very wonky ideas about what constituted a childrens book) or less "intelligent" for want of a better word. Stuff is always happening, even when they're not exactly up to anything, plot developments still happen. I read that book when I was 5, and I had a very clear and vivid idea of the world, the characters, everything, and it didn't require 10 pages of describing a fucking tree to get it in there. I know LOTR is an epic, but he should've kept to the same writing style as in The Hobbit, because that's really fantastically written, every bit as engaging as when I first read it.

World wise though, everyone sings, including the goblins, and the Elves feel slightly less bad ass than they're presented in LOTR, though that may have been because my idea of an Elf as a 5 year old was a bit more "cutesy" than the High Fantasy Elf archtype. I dunno, that song about baking bread and giggling every third line as the Dwarves enter Lothlorean doesn't exactly invoke centuries old, highly skilled warriors to me.

Two books come to mind. One, The House of Dies Drear:

The book amounts to nothing more than a glorified Scooby Doo novel that is simply a slog to read. I read it as a kid, then re read it recently. The characters are almost non-existant, seeing as they get no characterization. They're the same from start to finish. The whole twist that wasn't effective. While I didn't see it coming, didn't effect me at all. The worst part is, this book had amazing potential, seeing as the concept is really cool.
The other book is The Hobbit, for basically the same reasons that everyone else has listed for LoTR.

Moby Dick.

Awful. awful book. I somehow managed to not read it in high school, and so I had earmarked it to be one of those classics that I missed, but wanted to read it before I turned 30.

Well, I bought it and tried to read it, but couldn't finish it. Went back a year later, read a little more, had to put it back down. I managed to finish it, but could NEVER understand why it was considered a classic. Just awful writing.

A close second would be The Hobbit. Because of The Hobbit, I never finished the series. It was atrocious.

Silas Marner, it was the last book that i had to read for high school. I can't even tell you what it is about, I was too bored to read past page 5. Im pretty sure that no one in my class read it, we all used Sparknotes for to study.

I flunked out of a Shakespearean literature class because I couldn't bring myself to read one of those plays every week. It's just so drawn out...
Also, Schindler's List. I received this as a gift in high school. About half way through the book, my history class watches the movie. I just couldn't bring myself to finish the thing after that.

The Fellowship of the Ring....... I WISH i'd finished it, I want to, but I can't get past all the dialogue and descriptions. And by my standards it's not a long book!

There was a book for Uni called Metro by a prize-winning local writer. In it, a bunch of rich snob kids go to Uni (on occasion) and pick up chicks who are as boring and vapid as them. The only one with two brain cells to rub together crashes his car into a tree or off a bridge (or both) presumably because he's that bored with these deadbeat losers. The most interesting part was the visual of the friends getting high in the bathroom.

Nobody changes. There isn't a plot. The climax is the main character getting head from a 17 year old emo boy. But he's totally not gay.

It wasn't even good writing or Literary or anything, so I assume the award was simply for it being about homosexuality and being set in Brisbane, Australia. Because it sure as hell wasn't about the masculinity the back cover *said* it was about.

Oh god, To Kill A Mockingbird was better than my sleeping pills. The court case could have been a short story, maybe a short novella, and it would have been fine. But all that other stuff was honestly just filler.

I read a Harlequin novel for class once. Well, I read half of it. So formulaic. And cliche. But you get that with those novels.

I just remembered a Toni Morrison book. Put me to sleep. Then there was an obligatory rape scene which my lecturers seem to love in the books they made us read. Something by Kate Grenville bored me to death too, and also, it had a rape scene. Both books contained fathers raping their daughters, incidentally.

Cliff_m85:

Envy Omicron:
I'm not sure if anyone has mentioned it arleady, but I'm gonna go with the Bible. Goddamn (irony) did that book disappoint. There are entire sections dedicated to detailing family lineages in the most monotonous way possible, there are plotholes and inconsistencies in nearly every three verses (hyperbole), there are no relatable characters, and to use a quote from Yahtzee: "It's paced like an ant pushing a brick across a desert". I couldn't even finish Genesis, but believe me, I TRIED, I really did. The biggest problem with it is that it focused way, way more on telling than it did on showing, and it was written like a collection of plot summaries to much more interesting stories that just keep going, and going, and going.

Sorry, but how can you critique future portions of the text if you couldn't finish Genesis.... which is the very first book of the text?

I was just speaking from what I read thus far, but thank you for pointing out my poor wording.

The Great Gatsby. Good LORD it was a horribly paced book. And when it tried to be exciting,it simply wasn't.

I think I'm tied for "A Prayer for Owen Meany", or "Catcher in the Rye". Owen Meany was so slow I couldn't read more than a few pages at a time without getting bored, and the protagonist of Catcher made me want to slam his head against a wall every time he said the word "phoney".

Kim by Rudyard Kipling. Just UGH. I didn't make it past the first chapter. I chose and F over that damned book. The teacher was reading it for the first time too, and he hated it just as much as us.

Slenn:

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?

Yes. Although that is not how I remember the book being paraphrased to me by the literature teacher who taught me that class.

In that case either your memory is failing you or that teacher was a hack. I'm not so arrogant as to think there's only one interpretation of a text and that mine is the only way it can be read, but to say Candide is about an apathetic man is about as accurate as saying it's about Harry Potter. I have no idea why your teacher would have summarised it as such. I suppose, at a stretch it could be that they were describing one of the other characters, potentially Martin... but to claim that that was the premise of the story is just mind-boggling.

However, does that mean you haven't actually read it? In which case how could you think it's a boring book? If nothing else, it's too short to be boring. Maybe you should try reading it, now you know your teacher was wrong.

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.

Seems like that is 90% of this thread, fortunately for me I don't remember the books I had to read for English.

Heart of Darkness

It was just so incredibly dull, and it didn't help that it went to great lengths to describe mundane things in the wordiest ways possible. Had to go with an audio book to get through it at all. It was the one low point of my literature course last year, as the rest of the books we read were quite excellent.

ccggenius12:
I flunked out of a Shakespearean literature class because I couldn't bring myself to read one of those plays every week. It's just so drawn out...

I read Romeo & Juliet, and I was constantly amused by all the dirty wordplay. It seemed you couldn't go a paragraph without a penis reference. :D

Stasisesque:

In that case either your memory is failing you or that teacher was a hack.

The former. It was a very long time since I was assigned to read it in class. It would have been 6 years ago, back in highschool. All I kind of remember was that the book didn't quite excite me at all. The teacher was actually quite good, and was an accomplished thespian. So perhaps my memory of her paraphrasing referred to one of the characters, not necessarily the main character, as you said. But thank you for pointing out that.

Like Great Expectations I hardly remember a thing that happened in the book, just that it got so unnecessarily dense in its descriptions that I would get lost. Almost no one in 9th grade liked reading that book, and I didn't like it.

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

What? You didn't like Tom Bombadilililio?

For me it would be Spellfire:
http://forgottenrealms.wikia.com/wiki/Spellfire_%28novel%29
It was so tedious to read through. It was like the author wrote down some directionless D&D campaign he made up with his friends when they were 12. If I recall correctly a couple of chapters were just about the party sitting on the side of a mountain killing one dragon after another. Sounds badass but it really wasn't.

I also find Jane Austin books incredibly boring but that might just be because I have a penis.

Death in Venice, forced myself to page 20 and by then I just couldn't take it anymore. It was just description after description and presented so boringly that I started to nod off.

The second Wheel of Time book: The Great Hunt.

Everything after the first two chapters felt like a slog and I ended up giving up not long after. Toss in the fact that the first book felt like it summed up pretty much everything anyway, and it became both dull and pointless.

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:
-snip-

First off, I love The Great Gatsby and Lord of the Rings. Maybe some people didn't like the fact that they were assigned to read The Great Gatsby or that Lord of the Rings was too much for the average reader.

Either way, they're both great and their interest is purely subjective.

In the case of Metamorphosis, I've just read better. Hell, Jane Eyre and Pride and Prejudice were better stories and I don't like either of the two.

You know it's funny, the books I can actually remember reading, especially the ones for school, I liked.
The Great Gatsby, Wuthering Heights (it's actually my favorite book, enough anyway to make my senior report out of it), Jane Eyre (ditto for this), The Scarlet Letter, 1984, The Catcher in the Rye, Dracula and pretty much everything from Charles Dickens (I love his works). All of those books I remember liking a lot, and so I remembered them. I couldn't for the life of me think of a book I thought was boring. Even Twilight/Eragon weren't very boring, just badly written.

Now after skimming through this thread, I was reminded of three books that bored me to tears and yet I was forced to read them for school.

Crime and Punishment
Moby Dick
Atlas Shrugged

Urgh, thanks for reminding me guys.

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