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Topic: "Hot" book that you just couldn't make it through?

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Subject: "Hot" book that you just couldn't make it through?
Date Posted: 1/5/2008 10:42 PM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2007
Posts: 2,408
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What books sounded great from their early press but really fizzled when you actually got it in your hands? For me, "The Historian" is that book. I can't even remember the author's name. I remember hearing an interview with the author on NPR and reading early reviews and thinking, "Wow! This is going to be a great book!". I bought it in hardback on the first day of release and....bleh. I tried and tried but I couldn't make it through. I have friends who read it and loved it but it did absolutely nothing for me.
Date Posted: 1/7/2008 2:17 PM ET
Member Since: 6/5/2007
Posts: 2,507
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Well, I disagree with you on "The Historian" I ADORE that book.  But, it is really, really, really up my alley.

I'm wishy washy on "The Outlander" series, I read one, then wait a while to pick up the next one, I don't find them as amazing and fabulous as everyone else seems to. I also didn't really like "Middlesex" and "The Lovely Bones".

Date Posted: 1/7/2008 4:03 PM ET
Member Since: 7/29/2006
Posts: 1,366
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I agree with LeeAnne, THE HISTORIAN, really had the potential to be great.....but it needed major editing. And I  got lost in the story line.  I also agree with Mimi on THE OUTLANDER series.  The first book was just o.k., but I didn't have enough interest to read any more.  I'm reading BONES TO ASHES by Kathy Reichs, the first 50 pages were great.... could'nt put it down!  Now, the rest of the book feels like it was written by somebody else (?)   

Date Posted: 1/7/2008 4:19 PM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2007
Posts: 2,408
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I haven't been able to get through the first 100 pages of the first Outlander book. People sing its praises all the time and for me...eh. Not so much. Mimi, what is it about the book that you like so well? I will agree that the writing is excellent but I couldn't help feeling like the author was out to write a "great novel" and therefore put everything she had into it without actually reading the thing to see if it worked. I thought the writing was also very dry. I can handle dry, but I need to have something to hold onto and frankly, I didn't care much about anyone in that book. I enjoyed Middlesex but I didn't think it was all that. I really enjoyed The Love Bones but I haven't read Sebold's follow-up. Anna, I felt exactly the same way about Kathy Reichs! She can start a book but she's not so good a finishing them.

Last Edited on: 1/7/08 4:19 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/7/2008 4:20 PM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2007
Posts: 2,408
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Hey! Somebody please tell me how to get paragraphs to show up! The above post was actually four short paragraphs but it appears as one block. Help!
Date Posted: 1/7/2008 4:35 PM ET
Member Since: 6/5/2007
Posts: 2,507
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Well, It's about Eastern Europe and Orthodoxy, my two favorite subjects, so every discovery and discussion just captivated me. It's hard to put into words why I liked it so much.

I've not tried Kathy Reichs.  And, I do read the Outlander books (well, I've read one and two, and three is sitting in my TBR pile) but just not devour them. And, still I feel like they are ok.

 

Date Posted: 1/7/2008 5:39 PM ET
Member Since: 7/29/2006
Posts: 1,366
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Mimi, my family is from Eastern Europe and I'm a "cradle Orthodox," .....I so wanted to love THE HISTORIAN, maybe I'm just too critical.

Though, I must admit I loved her descriptions of the Ottoman Empire, the castles and monasteries.  Also her travelogue, of England, France, Turkey and eastern Europe,---Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania was very enjoyable to read!  But, after 600 pages, I found the ending  to be anti-climatic and unsatisfying.   What was her message?  What was the point of the novel?



Last Edited on: 1/7/08 6:10 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/7/2008 7:42 PM ET
Member Since: 6/5/2007
Posts: 2,507
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Really? That's awesome. I'm a convert.

For me who is squeamish about horror, it was the perfect scenario, the history and not too much gore at the end. I guess if it had been more climatic, I'd have had a hard time with it. Clearly, this is a small niche though. 

Date Posted: 1/7/2008 7:43 PM ET
Member Since: 6/5/2007
Posts: 2,507
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Oh and LeeAnne, I have been checking how I do paragraphs. I think you need to be sure there is a hard return.

Date Posted: 1/7/2008 7:55 PM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2007
Posts: 2,408
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Hard return? As in double space or hit return twice? I tried that. That's what that edit business above is about. **sigh**
Date Posted: 1/7/2008 8:33 PM ET
Member Since: 6/5/2007
Posts: 2,507
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I was thinking it was return twice, but now that I'm doing it, maybe I just mean return like you mean it?

 

Date Posted: 1/7/2008 10:28 PM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2007
Posts: 2,408
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:P
Date Posted: 1/8/2008 2:35 AM ET
Member Since: 3/31/2006
Posts: 28,502
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Jane Austen Book Club.  I even went all the way to the thinking there has got to be more to it.

Date Posted: 1/8/2008 10:36 AM ET
Member Since: 7/29/2006
Posts: 1,366
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Melody, thanks for reminding me!

Jane Austin was a genius!  So I had very high hopes for THE JANE AUSTIN BOOK CLUB.  Very, very sad. No plot (or too many  meaningless little plots) and poorly developed characters. 

WOW!  I didn't realize I was so critical!  I have read so many wonderful books, and there are so many wonderful books just waiting to be read......I don't want to waste my ( too little) valuable reading time on over- promoted  books.

Date Posted: 1/9/2008 9:49 AM ET
Member Since: 7/13/2005
Posts: 8,410
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Mine was Saturday by Ian McEwan.  I couldn't get past the first 50 pages.  It dragged and dragged.  I just don't get all the hype about him.

Date Posted: 1/9/2008 1:47 PM ET
Member Since: 4/19/2006
Posts: 20,811
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For me, it was "The Thirteenth Tale"  UGH, it was painful.

Date Posted: 1/14/2008 3:06 PM ET
Member Since: 1/9/2006
Posts: 760
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I enjoyed The Historian but she really needed a better editor.  I thought it was easily 150 pages too long.

I also liked Outlander, but wasn't overwhelmed with it.  I'm a lazy reader and I felt like Gabaldon is just a bit wordy for my tastes.  She seemed to move the story along too slowly for my tastes.

I HATED Wicked.  I thought the damn thing was never going to end.  I kept reading to see if it'd ever get better and I'd actually care.  It didn't and I didn't..

And Memoirs of a Geisha bored me to tears.

Date Posted: 1/14/2008 5:18 PM ET
Member Since: 6/5/2007
Posts: 2,507
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Oh Melani, good point about "Wicked" - I kept slogging figuring there was a point in there somewhere, but I never found it.

Date Posted: 1/21/2008 5:34 PM ET
Member Since: 8/28/2007
Posts: 188
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Hands down, Love in the Time of Cholera.  I had to force myself about 1/3 of the way through to keep going.  My best friend (we have similar tastes/backgrounds in lit) felt the same way.  Sympathy for the characters? None.  Well-written?  Not!  Even given "lost in the translation" factors and allowances...movie should be interesting? Or a big bore-fest.

Date Posted: 2/4/2008 12:52 PM ET
Member Since: 6/20/2007
Posts: 4,979
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The Kite Runner!  Thankfully I borrowed it from the library and didn't waste my money.  Very violent...I disliked a lot of the main characters and wasn't thrilled with the ending.  If you read the book, what did you think?

Date Posted: 2/10/2008 10:55 AM ET
Member Since: 10/20/2007
Posts: 5,297
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Memory Keeper's Daughter

Predictable, boring, wordy.  I read about 2/3 of it and then the last few pages.

Date Posted: 2/10/2008 9:15 PM ET
Member Since: 11/26/2007
Posts: 23
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Okay, another thread inspired me, so here is a supposed "hot" book that I didn't like.  The Red Tent by Anita Diamonte.  Didn't like it at all.

Date Posted: 2/11/2008 9:33 PM ET
Member Since: 2/8/2008
Posts: 79
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The Lovely Bones --to depressing. Not that "depressing books" aren't worth reading, I guess the subject matter was just too raw for me.

The Time Traveler's Wife--I just couldn't get into it. (Although I think maybe I didn't give it a fair chance, I should try it again...)

Date Posted: 2/12/2008 3:20 PM ET
Member Since: 7/20/2007
Posts: 19
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Oh, great topic.  I hated Da Vinci Code, it seemed interminable and contrived.  I couldn't wait for it to end.  Same with The Historian, I kept reading, waiting for something compelling but....no.  There've been others but I've learned to put the bad book down in exchange for another.  There are too many good books and not enought time to read them.

Laurie B.

Date Posted: 2/13/2008 2:13 AM ET
Member Since: 3/31/2006
Posts: 28,502
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Anna, I felt the same way.  I got about half way and thought "I don't even know what this book is about"

I'll add to the list the Binding Chair.  I just didn't like the style of writing.  It jumped around too much.

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