'Great' books you could do without

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joefromthegarage
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For me everything British can such a dick. Especially Dickens.
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riley-o wrote: Fri Oct 21, 2016 2:23 am I was way into DeLillo when this thread first rolled around and I was actually teeth-gritting mad at Mike for talking shit.

I remember loving Mao II the best but White Noise, Libra and Underworld were all right up there too.

Now I don't remember a single God damned thing about any of them. Not a word.

What went into that place in my brain ? Anything ? Or is it just shuttered off area now ? Lights out, broken windows, covered in chicken-scratch graffiti ?

Would it all come flooding back if I started reading one of them ? I re-read the Dune series over the summer and there were passages that I felt I almost I could've recited before reading, but then plotlines and book endings that were like brand new, changed versions.

I used to absolutely love that entire series, but this go-round I realized, man does that series just get progressively worse and worse as it goes (barring the 4th, which I think is the 2nd best).
I made a jokey post in the "reading " thread but having just read Mao II it is the most powerful DeLillo book I've read so far. It seems to take all his themes and condenses them into something more precise. I still think Cosmopolis is more fun (if you can call writing as morose as DeLillo's fun), it's almost like his version of a junk food novel. Mao II is more like Underworld with all the fat trimmed off.
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THE KILL
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joefromthegarage wrote: Fri Dec 09, 2016 7:41 am For me everything British can such a dick. Especially Dickens.
even Terry Pratchett or Douglas Adams?
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hadji murad wrote: Thu Jan 03, 2008 7:10 am
spacehamster wrote:After doing a presentation on it, I fully understand the artistic value of Jane Eyre as a well-crafted novel, but to me it's still an angsty and annoying book about a girl who can't decide if she should marry the priest or the millionaire.

I despise Melville. I tried to read Moby Dick once and gave up, and I can't even stand his short stories. The guy should have been a painter or something, he obviously didn't understand the meaning of the words "story" or "narrative".
Melville wasn't terribly popular in his own time, his most widely-read piece around his lifetime was Billy Budd. Moby Dick was unearthed (exhumed?) in the '20s and '30s by professors of American literature, who subsequently declared it a great work of early American literature and thus forced it down the throats of students for decades to come. So basically, Moby Dick is great because some academics decided on it, not because anyone really likes it. Really... there are 250 pages worth of plot, and a 400 page discourse on whaling stuck in between them.

Dickens and Austen for me. Don't get me started on what a fucking pussy Mr. Darcy is.

I just finished Moby Dick. I found it fairly easy to read. (Maybe because one of the last novels I read before that was Brothers Karamazov ). It probably would have seemed more monotonous if it wasn’t broken up into ten trillion chapters. It seems to have some brilliant moments but doesn’t feel life altering either. I enjoyed the sarcastic humor, little bits like people not being able to pronounce Queequeg’s name and Stubbs ( or was it Starbuck?) telling the French captain that he fucked him and other rude shit while the translator turns it into polite comments and the frog is none the wiser.

I also inadvertently found out that Starbucks coffee got their name from the character. Not because it meant anything to the founder, but because he was had an MBA and words that start with “st” stick in people’s heads and it’s good marketing. That was about the most soulless cynical thing I had read that day.
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Dracula ( sorry James, don’t kill me).

I wouldn’t say I hated it, it actually has some great themes with the way it looks at evil and the idea of having to potentially murder someone you love to set them free. It just takes waaaaaaaaay too long to get there. ( I have a high tolerance for long winded prose at that. ) Way too much irrelevant bullshit that doesn’t move the story along. Way too much “oh my darling love you are so virtuous and pure. I love you too my darling love and you will be pure forever and ever even if I have to shove a knife through your chest and chop off your head” Dracula also dies like a bitch still asleep in his coffin. His Gypsy goons put up more of a fight. He gets killed by a crazy old man and a real estate developer. I understand the pacing is to prolong the undercurrent of dread but if this had been about 200 pages shorter it would have been perfect.
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Eight Bit Alien
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Dracula is definitely not a super thrilling read by today's standards, I'm with you 100%.

Frankenstein on the other hand is a sacred text...
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Eight Bit Alien wrote: Mon Jun 07, 2021 7:36 pm Dracula is definitely not a super thrilling read by today's standards, I'm with you 100%.

Frankenstein on the other hand is a sacred text...
My god, I LOVED Frankenstein. One of the books I’m glad I was forced to read in high school.
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kevin hash
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Anything Hemingway.

Fuck him.
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kevin hash wrote: Mon Jun 07, 2021 9:55 pm Anything Hemingway.

Fuck him.
I’ve only read three of his novels so I wouldn’t exactly say I have a informed opinion of him. I remember loving “the old man and the sea” but I read it a thousand years ago. The free bookshelf at work had “the sun also rises” and “a farewell to arms” both of which I found pretty boring although I liked A Farewell To Arms better especially with the crushing ending redeeming the novel.

Gore Vidal in one of his bitchy rants called him a field and stream writer who got lucky.
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spacehamster
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kevin hash wrote: Mon Jun 07, 2021 9:55 pm Anything Hemingway.
I don't know what I hate more about Hemingway, the fact that he wrote like a 3rd grader or that everything he wrote was about penis.
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krog
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Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance delivers neither. You're just there watching this guy lose his marbles.
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