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

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Phèdre ! We had to read this book in school and i couldn't go through it, it was so fucking boring and uninteresting but the teacher would always say: "but it's a classic". You know what ? Maybe it was back in the 17th century but today it's as interesting as watching paint dry.

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.

To Kill a Mockingbird.

So fucking boring, yet people kept saying "OH GOD THIS BOOK IS AN ABSOLUTE CLASSIC!"

I then point them to go read The Divine Comedy, Goethe's Faust, and The Illiad/Odyssey.

The Cather in the Rye. The absolute worst pile of shit I've ever read. NOTHING HAPPENS! You just follow a boring, unlikable whiner walking around doing nothing.

Never understood why that book was so revered, if someone has an explanation I would love to hear it.

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

Sounds like the movie trailer was the most perfect adaptation of a book ever then.

Jane Eyre did damage to my appreciation for literature that would not be undone for several years. Mission accomplished, high school English!

Ponyholder:

To Kill a Mockingbird.

How can you not like To Kill a Mockingbird?!?!?!

Then again my 2 picks are There Eyes Were Watching God (not sure if that's a 'classic') and Catcher in the Rye. I REALLY fucking wanted to like Catcher in the Rye, but I couldn't get past page 100. It might be fucking brilliant in the 2nd half, at this point I can't bother trying it again because if you can't draw me in within an hour of reading (in my opinion) you have failed as a author.

Billy D Williams:

Ponyholder:

To Kill a Mockingbird.

How can you not like To Kill a Mockingbird?!?!?!

Then again my 2 picks are There Eyes Were Watching God (not sure if that's a 'classic') and Catcher in the Rye. I REALLY fucking wanted to like Catcher in the Rye, but I couldn't get past page 100. It might be fucking brilliant in the 2nd half, at this point I can't bother trying it again because if you can't draw me in within an hour of reading (in my opinion) you have failed as a author.

I don't know. The issues just didn't seem all that important. I grew up with people of all kinds, blacks, whites, asians, mexicans, indians. So it really didn't grip me nor did the characters. I felt the entire thing was pointless and just a bore to read. Then again, that is just when I grew up.

Catcher in the Rye. The entire time I was reading it I kept thinking "aaaany second now..." , and then it was finished and I was disappointed. Sort of like a night of dull, pointless sex where neither party gets to finish, then you put your clothes on and go "meh."

I hope I can re-read it in a few years and appreciate it more.

I know I'll piss off a lot of people when I say this, but Michael Crichton's The Andromeda Strain. Absolutely sterile of personality, doesn't even bother trying to engage the reader.

Wait, shit, I can think of one line that made me giggle a little bit, but only because it was so unexpected. "I think... that it doesn't like being poked at."

Ender's Game was far from terrible, but I felt like I had to force myself to finish it (and I'm glad I did, the ending was beautiful), but that may have been my own high expectations. Speaker for the Dead was a 'gasm, though.

The Cather in the Rye by far is the most boring book that I have ever read mostly because of the main character.

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

We'll just have to agree to disagree about The Plague. But anyways...I'd say The Poisonwood Bible. I enjoyed Adah's POV chapters, but I found the main perspectives to just be...well, overly familiar and uninteresting. Mostly this is because the characters are all supposed to represent different American/Western reactions to life in Africa, so they are in fact, derived from certain archetypes from real life, but I understood what the author was mostly trying to say like, a hundred pages in, and it's a 400-500 page novel. Maybe my memory's tainted because I read it along a class of underachievers who I had to TA for in High School, but I really didn't care for what was going on, even though lots of shit happened.

A tie between To Kill A Mockingbird and One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest. I found both to be so dull, uninteresting, drawn out, tiring, and boring that it was almost fascinating, had they not been so awful.

Lightknight:

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:
Man, this thread really is an insight into the tastes of the Escapist. Seems like a lot of people here aren't fans of Literary fiction. It's a shame. I thought The Great Gatsby was fucking great, as long as your read it for what it is: the tragedy of one man who has everything but never got what he wanted.

Naming a classic as something incredibly boring doesn't mean people aren't fans of literary fiction. It means they've at least been reading them for some reason or another. Some of my favorite works are The Scarlet Pimpernel, The Three Musketeers, Ivanhoe, Gulliver's Travels, Robinson Crusoe, and even more recent ones like The Fountainhead (as a story about a man who couldn't be bought, not selfishness as a virtue or that kind of stuff like Atlas Shrugged is steeped in). It's only the fact that I'm such an avid reader of the classics that some of my most boring reads are amongst them.

Unfortunately, I can't say for sure if the number of classics referenced is indicative of avid readers of the classics or just America's standard fare of classic literature on reading lists.

Yeah, I'd say The Fountainhead was the last time Ayn Rand had any intellectually defensible ideas, before her ego consumed her entirely and all that. Except the fucking creepy self-inflicted-rape-seduction-romance between the the male and female leads. It's likely because her ideas look waaaay less awful when framed in terms of artistic idealism as opposed to economic and physical reality. She is a shit writer though, and the woman needed an editor who could actually take a machete to a piece of writing.

Also, while you're first point certainly is correct, looking at what a lot of people have to say about lots of the "literary" books on this thread, it seems like lots of escapists did in fact miss the point of their least favorite works. What worries me more is that people seem to automatically write off any story that has an abundance of characters who are "assholes". Which just looks close minded to me. We've all been assholes at times, and if people don't recognize that being a bit of a jerk can make the difference between a bland character and a bloody brilliant character, or make a banal story into one that has one hell of a lot to say under the surface

Anything by James Joyce. Guh. I hate that man's writing so much. His writing is unbearably pretentious and a slog to get through.

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

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

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

Wasn't there some big hype when the book first came out because he got it published at 13? Which would go a long way to explaining why the book has writing issues.

Glademaster:
The Cather in the Rye by far is the most boring book that I have ever read mostly because of the main character.

Well, it was the fact that almost nothing seemed to happen, there was seemingly no point to any of it and the main character was incredibly whiny and unlikable.

The first attempt at reading it I wanted to choke Holden before the first page was over just so he'd...shut...the...hell...up! Not a good way to start a novel, Salinger.

Ponyholder:

Then again my 2 picks are There Eyes Were Watching God (not sure if that's a 'classic') and Catcher in the Rye. I REALLY fucking wanted to like Catcher in the Rye, but I couldn't get past page 100. It might be fucking brilliant in the 2nd half, at this point I can't bother trying it again because if you can't draw me in within an hour of reading (in my opinion) you have failed as a author.

I've finished it. No it doesn't get better. Yathzee once used a phrase that describes "Cather" perfectly. "It's about people nobody likes doing things that nobody cares about"

Without any reservation I can say Jayne Eyre. In middle school there was program where students were required to read various books and take tests. Each book was assigned a value based upon it's length and complexity and your score determined how many points you received. The actual number of points required during each six week period was trivial - low enough that a single Young Adult novel like something in the Redwall series was sufficient.

For whatever reason I ended up spending that year doing an absurd amount of reading often getting ten times the required point total during each period. In this I was in direct competition with one other person but our reading strategies differed greatly. The other person read a tremendous number of trivial books (Hank the cowdog, for example) where I sought the heaftiest tomes. I tore through books like Gone With the Wind, Andersonville, and War and Peace but when I started in on Jane Eyre it was like hitting a brick wall. That book was a brutal slog that made Dickens look like a writer of pulp thrillers. Indeed, it took so long to wade through that miasma of dreadful tedium that I ended up losing out on total score to a guy who exclusively read books meant for people half his age.

The Redwall series. My friends kept suggesting it to me for ... reasons. And it has its charm, but I just found it dull and repetitive at points.

a room with a view, read it at college for an essay, but damn it was so bad, so much just happened because love! for example: girl meets boy on holiday doesn't like him due to class differences, suddenly likes him, holiday ends never to see him again WAIT boy is now her neighbour and turns out all along they have been the same class so its okay for them to get married.
there's more such as a love triangle, a random scene of 4 guys bathing naked together (im straight but im not against scenes like that if it fits the story, and since this one doesnt and has no place in the book, i seriously cant stand it).

the worst part has to be the imagery, the whole "what did the author mean by the sky was blue... HE MEANT IT WAS FUCKING BLUE" comes in alot here:
family low on money so they keep the sun out of the house to save their goods - shows they are respectful of family goods thus are loyal to family
horrible rich man comes and lets the sun in - shows he is slowly destroying their stuff and family
nice hero comes and lets the sun in - shows he lights up the girls world
WTF!

its a Edwardian love story, which today would be aimed at girls who enjoy love stories that work out well in the end, and not made for a dude who like adventure, action, sci-fi and fantasy books. but it could atleast had the story be worth while and have something fucking happen:/. it was just way too fucking safe, and by safe i mean Edwardian standards safe. im just so angry such a boring book wasted my time with no good reason.

Dalisclock:

Ponyholder:

Then again my 2 picks are There Eyes Were Watching God (not sure if that's a 'classic') and Catcher in the Rye. I REALLY fucking wanted to like Catcher in the Rye, but I couldn't get past page 100. It might be fucking brilliant in the 2nd half, at this point I can't bother trying it again because if you can't draw me in within an hour of reading (in my opinion) you have failed as a author.

I've finished it. No it doesn't get better. Yathzee once used a phrase that describes "Cather" perfectly. "It's about people nobody likes doing things that nobody cares about"

Wrong Person! I didn't write that :/

Old Man and the Sea. Can't stand Hemingway. Just catch the damn fish and shut up already!

I got about halfway through Les Miserables before I gave up. I was sooooo bored. Long descriptions of events only loosely linked to the main plot (if at all), background info I didn't care one iota about... yeah no.

And I never made it past Chapter 5 of Twilight, it was just so atrociously written. I was surprised reality didn't rebel against its existence.

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

A book about people who don't like books. Then again, this was back in '96 as required reading for English class, so, yeah, almost all of the books that are "mandatory" during those years of life.

Hopscotch ~ Julio Cortazar

I barely made it through 3 chapters before I threw in the towel - it was an ordeal. I had absolutely no idea who was who and when was what. I couldn't tell what and when the present scenario was or if there ever was one. That book is so damn determined to keep you out of it's world.

I haven't read Lord of the Rings but I believe people when they say they're boring. I did like the films, but by no means did I love them. They just go on, and on, and on, and on... I can't even imagine what the books would be like. The end of the last one felt like at least half an hour of them just faffing about at home.

Reise:

Brian Tams:

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

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

I actually kind of liked the series to the 2nd book, at least in the sense that I bothered to read it when I had nothing else (i don't have any delusions about the quality though), and Roran is by far the most interesting thing in there.

It kind of feels like you've switched authors, suddenly there's an interesting character who has motivations you can follow and understand who does all this awesome shit and then there's eragon over there, being a boring overpowered twat.

Fellowship of the Ring. Soooooo dull. Yes Mr. Tolkien, I get it, Hobbiton is idealic and pure. Can we please move on now...no...no we can't...*sighs and waits through even more dull chapters about fat midgets and their love of food and petty gossip like Jersey Shore....oh, we're finally leaving? YAY..oh...damn it's slow dull walking...and..they've encountered a prancing fairy who speaks in musical sing song and is from a TOTALLY different book apparently, because he just prances in, acts like a tool, and then prances out....huh...ok so NOW we get to something interesting right..no..more walking....*beats head on wall*.

I'm not kidding here when I say this, I tried to read that book 4 times, and couldn't escape Hobbiton before I got so bored that I put the book down. I had to literally be tripping on acid in order to sit through the book until it got good. Yes, I had to take hallucinogenic substances to find Fellowship interesting enough to read. (-_-)

So yeah, I didn't like it much.

I'm a high school English teacher and I try to read most of the stuff I see my students enjoying. This is often painful.

Twilight and Eragon are both mind-bendingly boring, mainly because of the fact that by the end of the first chapter you know how the entire series will play out. It appears both authors were in some sort of "how many cliches can I fit in each book" contest.

In personal reading, I found Neal Stephenson's Quicksilver to be less exciting than watching paint dry. I didn't have the slightest investment as to what happened to any of the characters, who were all surrounded by extremely wooden and clunky dialog.

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.

Whoever assigned you the Odyssey in ENGLISH class appears to have missed something fairly important somewhere.

Just... noting that for ya.

The third book in the hunger games trilogy which I only finished reading for the sake of completeness (and I was on an island in Tanzania and had already read all my other books)

By the way those who are saying the Lord of the Rings books, try reading some of Tolkien's other middle-earth stories(except the Hobbit). I read "The Children of Hurin" and he hasn't even tried to make it remotely entertaining.

The main trilogy requires a fair bit of effort and the films did wonders in terms of improving the story's pace.

Jim_Callahan:

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.

Whoever assigned you the Odyssey in ENGLISH class appears to have missed something fairly important somewhere.

Just... noting that for ya.

"English" courses usually include a general literature curriculum as well in American high schools?

Otherwise the only thing I could imagine you're trying to point out is that it's Greek, which I'm not sure I understand the relevance of doing.

Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged.

Other than my genuine hatred of the philosophy, Rand is just a plain crappy writer.

Discounting all my old school text books and any other non-fiction. The hands down most boring book i ever read was Stephen kings - insomnia. I don't think I got more than halfway through. It was a struggle to read three pages in a row and I am an avid and fast reader. I guess I just didn't like the book.

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

Dude, I'm right there with you. I really couldn't get into the series at all.

Anne of Green Gables. Had to read that in sixth grade. Three hundred pages of a teenage girl prattling witlessly. No redeeming qualities whatsoever. Almost put me off books forever, and that's really saying something. It also didn't help that it was the favorite book of one of my least favorite teachers, a sour-tempered old hippo who couldn't have told shit from sugar with a mouthful.

Tess of the d'urbervilles, had to read it for college and my word was it boring

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