Books That Disappoint (not just bad books)

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Books That Disappoint (not just bad books)

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1SelimaCat Første besked:
jun 19, 2007, 1:06pm

I just attempted Judith Martin's No Vulgar Hotel, her clubby, gossipy, albeit well-researched book about Venice. Now, in my eyes, Martin (aka Miss Manners) can do little wrong. I read every book in the Miss Manners pantheon through each year and have been doing so since I was 13. I'm also pretty fond of Venice (I turned 15 there and that has pretty much ruined subsequent birthdays.) But I couldn't finish this book. Her voice, which as Miss Manners, is so eloquent and elegant, sounded smug and condescending. I am a little heartbroken, because I feel my idol just lost her pedastal.

So, what books have caused you great disappointment? Not just because they were bad, but because you had such High Hopes?

And, while we're at it, has anyone else read this book? Should I have persevered? Did I miss something?

2KromesTomes
jun 19, 2007, 1:23pm

I'm a big Philip Roth fan, but I was incredibly disappointed in both The Human Stain (just not believable) and The plot against America (when I was done with it, I had a serious case of "is that all there is?") ... also I was particularly peeved to read Daniel Dennett's Consciousness explained and find the author dismissing the "brain in a vat" theory as impossible for technological reasons ...

3clamairy
jun 19, 2007, 1:43pm

Oh, where to begin.
;o)
I was disappointed in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, because I'd heard so many folks rave on and on about it. It's seemed a lot like a one trick pony, to me.

My biggest disappointment had to be Edith Wharton's Autobiography. I had already read and absolutely loved Ethan Frome, The Age of Innocence and The House of Mirth, because I saw them as scathing commentary on social mores. Then I started reading her autobiography and found out she was a snob, and bigot and a bit of a bore. Talk about losing a pedestal. The pedestal imploded! So, it wasn't so much that the book or the writing were bad, it's just that I hated what I was learning about her.

4lilithcat
jun 19, 2007, 2:38pm

> 1

I read No Vulgar Hotel and I did not share your reaction at all. Mine consisted of turning green with envy at her several-times-yearly sojourns in a city with which I had just fallen in love. All I could think was, "wish I were there".

As to disappointments, I finally got around to reading Neil Gaiman's American Gods. It had been sitting on my shelf for a while, and so many people raved about it that I figured I'd better read it. It wasn't bad, but it sure wasn't all that and a bag of chips, and parts of it were just a cheat.

5clamairy
jun 19, 2007, 2:51pm

I agree on American Gods, lilith. We shared it as a group read in The Green Dragon, and many people didn't even finish it. I did, because I kept waiting for the pay-off. Sadly it never came. As you say, it wasn't bad, but I felt that my time could have been better spent on some other book.

6Morphidae
jun 19, 2007, 3:06pm

I liked American Gods and loved The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time but I love ya anyway, Clamababy.

:)

7clamairy
jun 19, 2007, 3:18pm

Glad to hear it Morphy, hunny. ;o)

8bemidjian
jun 19, 2007, 6:25pm

Somehow Jonathan Strange and Mr Norell left me totally disappointed. There also was a recent book on the Alamo, title currently repressed, Oh my goodness....I forgot the Alamo...which put me to sleep within three pages any time I attempted to read it.

9vpfluke
Redigeret: jun 19, 2007, 9:32pm

I just terminated my read of Last love in Constantinople: a tarot novel for divination. It's a clever post-modern effort, but which half-way through, I know longer cared, and other books were calling. I had read Milorad Pavic's Landscape painted with tea some years ago, and liked it (but long enough ago, not to entirely remember what it is about. The book which I really liked by Pavic was Dictionary of the Khazars : a lexicon novel in 100,000 words, which I don't own.

10SelimaCat
jun 21, 2007, 4:15pm

My sister-in-law gave me Dictionary of the Khazars, but I haven't read it because it seemed too much like homework. You would recommend it?

11vpfluke
jun 21, 2007, 4:21pm

I think I read it 25 years ago. It is not a dictionary. Nonetheless, maybe I should take a look at it again just to make sure it's still worth the read.