The WORST authors

Discussion in 'Community' started by scem0, May 6, 2003.

  1. scem0 macrumors 604

    scem0

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    #1
    Who are the worst authors?

    I'll go first:

    • Kristen Britain
      -I can not express how bad "Green Rider" was. Horrible story
      line, horrible writing, and stupid cliched characters.
      Plus, there was a publishing error in my book. I didn't really care
      though, because I couldn't read that book for another second.
    • RA Salvator
      -Not that bad, but 'Drizzt' is way too fast, and it is kinda stupid.
    • Harper Lee
      -TKAM is a boring, stupid book IMHO.
    • R.L. Stein
      -Never really enjoyed his books. They are very boring, a even
      more stupid.

    I can't think of any more. I'll probably post more later.
     
  2. janey macrumors 603

    janey

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    #2
    Re: The WORST authors

    I TOTALLY AGREE WITH YOU!!!!!
    my english teachers are driving me nuts..."to kill a mockingbird is one of the best books of the century!!"

    add jk rowling to that list :rolleyes:
    she's not bad but the plots of the harry potter books are so predictable it's really bad.
     
  3. Mblazened macrumors regular

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    #3
    Was every student in america forced to read TKAM? Lets all agree to put this one away when we grow up and become the educational authority in this county.
     
  4. scem0 thread starter macrumors 604

    scem0

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    #4
    yeah, JK Rowling is kind of..... blah. But I really enjoy her books,
    so I couldn't add her to the list.

    But yeah, TKAM is very very very blah.

    BLAH BLAH BLAH.

    :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool:
     
  5. scem0 thread starter macrumors 604

    scem0

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    #5
    In most states, school districts, etc. TKAM is required, and there
    has been much controversy of students (mainly african americans)
    who don't want to read it/don't feel comfortable reading it.
     
  6. boskie macrumors regular

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    #6
    Not just in America my friends, it invaded britain aswell!

    I'm glad i got to choose my own books when it came for assesment time at GCSE:

    A study and Comparison of William Gibson's "Neuromancer" and Issac Asimov's "I Robot" - with a few References to Karl Capek's (sp?) "Golem" thrown in and more, of which i can't remember - It was about 10-12 years ago.

    Basically, AI and Human Culture!
     
  7. DavidFDM macrumors regular

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    Maine, USA
    #7
    I'm sorry but To Kill A Mockingbird is the greatest 20th century American novel. It very well may be the greatest American novel period. This book was a true representation of what was happening in the South. It showed what one man can do and that we all can make a difference. It is a book that is important for high school students to read especially ones who are not exposed to racial unrest. I grew up in rural New Hampshire so this was quite an education to me and led to some great discussions with my parents and at least an appreciation of what African-Americans went through and in some parts of the country still go through. What you have to admire is that Ms. Lee faced the racism and didn't waver.

    Books require a certain degree of effort. If you don't want to make the effort then rent the Gregory Peck movie. It is, like the book, one of the best creative efforts ever made.

    Best regards,

    David
     
  8. janey macrumors 603

    janey

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    #8
    i watched the movie, read the book, wrote 15 essays about it and did a keynote presentation on harper lee. happy?!
    the book is overhyped just like konfabulator and i used to like it...until teachers forced me to read it...i'd have to say that ray bradbury's fahrenheit 451 is the best book of the century.
     
  9. shadowfax macrumors 603

    shadowfax

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    #9
    ah, no, i think that Catch-22 is the best American novel of the century :p.

    but this is about bad authors. i can't believe anyone would mention To Kill A Mockingbird in this thread. all you're doing is revealing that you are extremely poorly read. Just because you have to read something, doesn't make it bad. they i understand how annoying it is to be forced to read something, but it has to be done, and it doesn't matter what book is chosen much; many people will hate it just because they have to read it.

    I mean, i dislike much of Dickens' writing. i find his style to be too wordy and too elaborate of structure. however, i also know that nominating him to be among the worst authors would be a foul insult. "worst authors" is a place for people without talent. I am thinking of cheap romance novels and so on, personally.

    I have an issue with naming people though. i mean, to choose the greatest author is much simpler. great writing comes from a mastery of a number of criteria, such as, say, structural finesse, use of figurative language, imagery, motifs, and so on, and of course the plot construction and other broader aspects of writing. to be great as an author, you have to master all these, or at least most. after agreeing on a number of criteria like that, it's then easy to shorten the list to 25 or 50 people that everyone can agree on; maybe even a top ten.

    with "worst," you have to suck at a number of things. but no one who actually gets published is truly terrible at every aspect of writing. now we have to start asking, which of these criteria is it more important to be better at? you won't find much agreement on that. so you can start naming random terrible writers, but i don't think you'll get far in naming a worst one.

    another reason it's hard is that no one honestly reads literature they hate that they aren't forced to read. and let's not have the "i was forced to read a truly horrendous book" argument. to decide the worst book, you need to be versed in terrible literature. god, i feel bad using those two words together like that lol. but no one wants to be versed in bad literature. i sure don't. i think you would have to be an intellectual masochist of incredible proportions to do that. life is short; there is more good literature out there than you could read in a lifetime. don't waste it on trying to find the worst author ;)

    scem0, that's a good call on RL Stine. those really had nothing redeeming to them. the mystery wasn't even original like something like Doyle's Sherlock Holmes. ugh, i hate to think i read like 4 of those.
     
  10. h'biki macrumors regular

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    #10


    I actually agree with you on something Shadowfax.... NOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    [washes.self]

    Incidentaly, I think David Forster Wallace's 'Infinite Jest' comes a close second.

    On an Ars Technica forum discussing English vs Science, a Science student admitted that he didn't realise the Animal Farm was about Communism until he was well into college. I'm sure said individual thought George Orwell was an awful writer when he was at high school too.

    With rare exceptions, almost anyone thats ever written a book based on a game (whether it be D&D or Doom.

    :)
     
  11. shadowfax macrumors 603

    shadowfax

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    #11
    an offshoot of the abortion thread? i didn't know you disliked me lol. :confused:
    it took me awhile to get it too (granted, i was like 12 when i read it). but i was informed shortly after i read it (that's probably when i first learned what communism really was...)
    definitely. those offshoot novels set in the world of Star Trek and Star Wars and so on seem pretty trashy to me too. haven't read any, so i can't say for sure, but the whole idea of being that derivative bothers me.
     
  12. trebblekicked macrumors 6502a

    trebblekicked

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    #12
    worst author ever: VC Andrews.
    2nd worst author ever: tie between john grisham, tom clancy and dean koontz.
    3rd worst author ever: the staff of writers for TV's "Full House"
    4th worst author ever: the staff of writers for the rest of ABC's "TGIF" lineup.

    at least, so says this Team Leyner member.
     
  13. Kwyjibo macrumors 68040

    Kwyjibo

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    #13
    Ok, well when übergeek and scem0, I completely disagree. I've had to read TKAM twice, once in 8th grade and once in 10th grade. I must say that if this were me after 8th grade i would agree it was crap but today after reading the book again I think it was great. There are alot of subtle themes that are very easy to miss but either way its a classic because thats how life was. Another great example is the novel Native Son which many english teachers at my school have kids read. This book is disgusting in many fashions (the main character plays with himself in a theater, murders a girls then burns her body) and most of my classmates said what a waste of time. I think the problem is most people aren't looking into it deeply enough (oh yeah i'm not impressed by 15 essays or a project; because everyone describes essays differently coudl be a paragraph or 6 ppages). in two years your going ot complain about the Great Gatsby, even tho its great too.

    I've also read F451 and i wouldn't say best ever, great defiantely, but my best ever is probably Gatsby or Dr. Suess' "I Will not get up today"
     
  14. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

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    May 19, 2002
    #14
    >scem0

    I could e-mail you the Honorverse, should keep you busy for a day or two.

    ---

    It's not the bad authors I hate it's the series that end with ugliness, like the author is just banging out words to finish a contract.

    Some good authors have really turned out some TP extender when they dump the final book of the series on the publisher. :(
     
  15. Simon Liquid macrumors regular

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    Iowa
    #15
    One of MY high school english teachers got totally mixed up about Animal Farm too. For starters, he thought the humans represented the Communists in the story. After all, they were the bad guys. The animals were the good guys. He had a fairly cohesive, if not based at all on the book or history, theory of the whole story. Even most of the sophomores in that class could see how messed up it all was but most of us blamed the book instead of our awful teacher.

    I was really into Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri and checked one of the novelizations out on a whim last year. The plot was based, pretty much point by point, on Homer's Iliad with a few themes from the Peloponessian war thrown in for good measure. I like modern fiction that borrows from old myths and history, but this made no attempt at being creative.


    My least favorite author would probably be Tom Clancy. Stories need conflict in them to be interesting, but all he writes is war porn, wet dream situations for the military industrial complex. Beyond overall themes, there are many minor writing habits of his that annoy me, such as continually introducing new characters who never interact with the ones that already he has to provide the illusion of a complex plot and add page count. My friend always makes me read these books, I always hate them.


    Honorable mention to Kevin J Anderson and Brian Herbert for the Dune prequels.
     
  16. lmalave macrumors 68000

    lmalave

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    #16
    I thought for a children's book, "Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry" was a far superior, told from an African-American girl's point of view. I think calling TKAM one of the "worst" novels is a vast exaggeration, but so is calling it the best American novel, or even one of the best. Have you read Steinbeck? Hemingway? Faulkner? Or for novels from an African-American perspective, how about Nobel and Pulitzer prize winning author Toni Morrison?
     
  17. scem0 thread starter macrumors 604

    scem0

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    #17
    Animal farm was defintely a good book, but I will not be budged
    on TKAM. I read it for pleasure reading in 7th grade, hated it,
    was forced to read it in 8th grade, hated it, was forced to read
    it in 9th grade, hated it, and I am very glad i haven't read it again.

    That is true, and I think it is great that HS kids learn about racial
    segregation, and the history of the rift between caucasians and
    african americans. But that doesn't mean that they should be
    forced to read a book that has no other value. There are much
    better books that students could get the same values from,
    without having to suffer through the bad writing and plot. One
    example of a book that could take the place of TKAM would be
    'I know why the Caged bird sings' by Maya Angelou, which can
    offer much more in addition to its views it offers on black-white
    segregation. It also shows a more real view on the issue, and
    Maya Angelou is the coolest person ever :cool:.
     
  18. scem0 thread starter macrumors 604

    scem0

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    #18
    same here. I have read the book 3 times, I've written 4 essays
    directly about it, and 7 or 8 that are indirectly about it, and of
    course I have seen the movie (which was kinda funny). I've
    had enough TKAM for a lifetime.

    But I disagree with you on Fahrenheit 451. Although it was a
    good book, because it was exciting, it made you think of what the
    future could very possibly be like, and it was interesting, it was
    definitely not the best book of the century. I don't think there
    is a best book of the century. F451 was a lil' too wierd, and there
    are better books that pose a eccentric view of us in the future -
    like Snow Crash by Neil Stephenson (a great book, that I wholly
    recommend).
     
  19. lmalave macrumors 68000

    lmalave

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    #19
    I've seem Maya Angelou do readings of her poetry. She's an amazing performer, too :)

    Best thing was that it was actually performed as part of the Jazz Festival here in NYC, so it would be like a little bit of music, then a verse of poetry, then a little bit of music, then another verse of poetry. It was all very well done and a unique experience.
     
  20. Foxer macrumors 65816

    Foxer

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    #20
    We hate whatever we're REQURIED to read in school. I hate Shakespeare becasue of all the time in hgih school I speant with him, but I won't say that he's a bad writer - I just don't like it. TKAM is a good book and an excellent film, but I never read or saw it until I was almost 30. It does seem that the country has gone a bit overboard for it, though.

    Who else do I hate? Zora Neal Hurston, Thomas Pynchon, Norman Mailer and the staff of the New York Times are all awful writers. I've never read Rowling, Grisham, King or the BIG NAME, BEST SELLERS but I can't imagine they're very good. Tom Clancy is a bad writer with very, very interesting stories.
     
  21. drastik macrumors 6502a

    drastik

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    #21
    Slaughter House Five is the best American novel, in my opinion. Anything by Jonathan Franzen is pretty overhyped, and I could live without Foster Wallace, too. For contemporary give me Eggers and maybe James Frey. For Non-Fiction, give Umberto Echo and Chritopher Hitchens (his recent move to the Right not withstanding), and of course Gor Vidal.

    The best living writer is Salman Rushdie, if you only know him from the fatwa, go get a copy of fury or Midnights Children, you will be thrilled.

    I have no strong feelings about Mockingbird, it was good, I've reread it as an adult and its still good, but I don't consider it the greatest.

    Of course I'm still partial to dime store books from the sixties about a mucle bound boat bum who sloves mysteries on the side, so what do I know.
     
  22. lmalave macrumors 68000

    lmalave

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    #22
    The staff of the NY Times?!!?? WTF :confused:

    A lot of the work the NY Times puts out is astonishingly good. The latest mind-blowing article I read was an interview with one of the foremost artists and surgeons in Iraq. Fascinating story and well written. They just always seem to come up with great stuff, I have no idea what your opinion is based on.
     
  23. sparkleytone macrumors 68020

    sparkleytone

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    #23
    if you live in the North or California and you hate TKAM, thats because you really don't get it. When you are so young as some of you are, its just arrogant to think that your opinion is somehow better than the opinion of your teachers. Yeah, I was always smarter than my teachers and I would give them intellectual hell, but I never crossed that line of thinking I knew better. Books like TKAM, Lord of the Flies, 1984, Crime and Punishment, and 100 Years of Solitude are markers of my life. After reading this books, something about my perspective changed. That's a great book. I propose that if you are having such a hard time reading TKAM, then you aren't approaching it correctly. Quit approaching it like an assignment, and try to connect to the characters and the environment in which they live.

    edit: if you haven't read 100 Years of Solitude...YOU MUST
     
  24. lmalave macrumors 68000

    lmalave

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    #24
    Word!

    Other books that I've loved:

    "Anna Karenina", Tolstoy
    "Grapes of Wrath", Steinbeck

    Also a must-read which I don't think is a great work of literature but is very thought provoking is "Atlas Shrugged" by Ayn Rand. It has influenced modern American politics profoundly, and is cited by many politicians after the Bible as the book that has most profoundly affected them.
     
  25. Foxer macrumors 65816

    Foxer

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    #25
    Foxer answers for himself:

    I've been subscrbing to the NYT for over 10 years. I'm not talking about the liberal bias (it DOES exist beyond the editorial page, via story selection, headline writing, story placement and the embarrasing practice (widely copies) of "NEWS ANALYSIS" pieces being placed on page 1). My main beef with Times is that THEY DO NOT WRITE WELL. When stranded at the airport, or otherwise left without my powerbook, I will proof read and grammar check the NYT. It's always illumiating to see just how much questionable usage is passed off each morning. It's fairly notorious among people who pay attention to such things.

    Again, I'm not talking about bias or anything like that (that's another thread), just the QUALITY OF THE WRITING.
     

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