Saturday, December 11, 2010

Books you HATE!

Ever read a book you hated? I'm not talking about the latest fad book that everyone's reading but just doesn't live up to expectations. I'm talking about a book that so bothered or offended you that if you'd had a fire in the fireplace - and if it hadn't been checked out from the library! - you'd have been seriously tempted to commit one of the most heinous acts possible and burn it then and there!

For me it's Lost Boys by Orson Scott Card. Yeah yeah, I know, lots and lots of people love his Ender's Game books; it's 'one of the greatest science fiction novels in the world' and all that. But I haven't read that one - instead I read this one because it was on the shelf at the library and looked good. You remember that really cool vampire movie, The Lost Boys with Kiefer Sutherland? Nope, that's not this story, and if for some unexplainable reason you're determined to read it you might not want to finish reading this post.

Lost Boys: A NovelIn this book a young Mormon family moves to North Carolina and struggles with the adjustment. The father, Step (short for Stephen), works in an awful job; the wife, DeAnn, is pregnant with their 4th child; and financial troubles don't leave them any freedom or options. The one with the biggest problem adjusting, however, is their oldest son, Stevie, who is about 8 years old. His school teacher treats him horribly and he has no friends, except for an increasing group of imaginary boys. Obviously, these turn out to be the same kids who've gone missing in town recently, but the parents don't make this connection until it's too late.

I must say first off that Mr. Card is an amazing writer. I thought he was masterful in creating a very creepy atmosphere. Some may call it boring but I disagree completely! If you have the patience he makes his characters come alive as real, normal, and sympathetic people. But the reason this is my most HATED book (and I read it nearly six years ago) and why I will probably never read another of his books is the absolutely horrible and unhappy ending. I checked online reviews when I began and many called it "beautiful" and "touching." I couldn't disagree more, and I wish I'd known this before I started. There was no "silver lining" or "light" at the end of this tunnel, just emptiness - a whole rushing freight train of emptiness that left me feeling devastated. And angry. And if I'd had a fire going in the fireplace, and if it hadn't been a library book... well, you know what would have happened.

So, what's your most HATED book?


  1. I simply cannot stand books that do not have redeeming endings. I don't mind reading about tragedies and the like, but if there is not some "all worth it" ending, forget it. I loved the movie "Saving Private Ryan" until the end. The soldier that was saved (while the 4 that were sent to save him were killed) is standing over Tom Hanks grave many years later and he asks his wife if he lived a good life and had been a good person, etc. (looking for some consolation in the fact that so many perished to save him) and she half-heartedly replies "well, yes." That was it...she needed to do it a lot bigger and validate her husband. Those couple of minutes ruined the whole thing! Sorry for the monologue!

  2. Monologues are welcome (although your's wasn't). Heck, that's pretty much what all my posts are (hopefully, they're just not monotonous).

    I've only seen "Saving Private Ryan" in parts, and didn't recall the ending. But I'd agree, that doesn't sound like inspiring or satisfying. Thanks for the example.

    And I'm sure some people who read Lost Boys thought the ending was satisfying (those nuts calling it "touching" and "beautiful") but to me it was horrible and more like a punch in the stomach (I guess a punch in the stomach qualifies as "touching" but not in a good way).