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New subject matter, books where you thought "I just don't get it?"

My personal favorite is "Catcher In The Rye."

I just never got what was so great about it (even though I read it at age sixteen), as a "coming of age" book, I'll take "A Seperate Peace" over it any day of the week. I guess you had to be there.

Next, Henry Miller. Only recently tried to read one of his books, Tropic of Cancer, and didn't get it at all. It's not so much a novel as a memoir, a stream of consciousness thing. Which leads me to ...

James Joyce. Never got his stuff at all. Read "Portrait of the Artist," didn't like it, couldn't get through any of his other stuff.

I like books that tell a good story.

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I hate to say it, but "Remembrance of Things Past" by Proust seems over-rated to me.

Reading Proust is like watching Seinfeld; clever but, (admitedly in the case of the tv show), About Nothing.
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Greetings,

Please check your flame throwers, shotguns and other implements of destruction at the door please....

my nominee is...... Dune by Frank Herbert.

I hate a story that only makes sense if the characters within it are morons.

Mr Herbert just doesn't understand the politics of empire. He creates a univerese/galaxy that depends on "spice" for inter-stellar space travel. He then limits the source of spice to one and only one world: Arrakis, lovingly called Dune.

Now, most 8 year olds would have figured out by now, that he who controls Arrakis, would control the galaxy and its empire. ("It's my bat and my ball so we play by my rules..."

Not Mr Herbert or the feudal lords of his creation. The author tries to make us believe that this empire has been merrily rolling along with a lazy emperor off on some other world, and the stewardship of Arrakis awarded as a booby prize to whatever noble family that is hard on its luck and at the bottom of the imperial social totem pole.

It is only once the Atreides are awarded the booby prize of dukedom of Arrakis and the Harkonen are promoted off that the real story begins.

Once off Arrakis, the Harkonnen's wake up and discover: Hey, If I control the spice, I can be emperor... lets try to go back and bomb the Atreides to a pulp.

Paul Atreides figures it out only after the Harkonnen bomb the crap out of House Atreides: Hey, If I regain control of Arrakis, I'm going to be emperor!

In the last chapters, the lazy emperor finally figures that he's in trouble and sends the shock troops in to fight for his empire.

The climatic battle and the decision to have the empire's capital on Dune should have occured at the very beginning of the empire when the use and importance of the only source of spice became clear; not generations later.

But then you wouldn't have the setting for the rest of the sob story of Dune.

I struggled through the book and spent most of my time screaming "what a bunch of idiots ..."

Of the entire series, only the 3rd was any good, from my perspective.


Also Herbert has a fascination of dressing up old ideas to give his books the appearance of something new:

jihad: well we all know about that, nothing new.

ornithopter: ever see the early 20th movies of the "weird" experimental flying machines that didn't get off the ground? well an ornithopter is a device that tries to fly by flapping its wings. It's been tried. Been there, done that. Fixed wing aircraft and helicopters are superior designs. Always have been. Always will be.

Cheers,


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No. of Recommendations: 4
Maybe it's too soon to say "most overrated in history", but I think Harry Potter is not worthy of all the fuss it's received. It's a decent read, but nowhere near a classic.

I also think T.S. Eliot is highly overrated.

OK, now I'm getting warmed up. Also:

Stranger in a Strange Land
Atlas Shrugged (absolute garbage)
Charles Dickens (give me Thomas Hardy any day)

Regards

Jeff
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Re: Dune

I thought it was a very good, but not great, book.

"Of the entire series, only the 3rd was any good, from my perspective."

Lol, apparently you liked it well enough to read the second and third book. IMO, the first book is self-contained, no need for sequels. It was very good, but not great.


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Greetings,

Lol, apparently you liked it well enough to read the second and third book. IMO, the first book is self-contained, no need for sequels. It was very good, but not great.

Actually, the first book of Dune from my perspective, although nice prose, had no storyline that could stand up. The end of the first book, resolved the contradiction, Arrakis was now the capital and the emperor had direct control of spice. I was loaned book 2 and was given book 3 within weeks of each other, and since Herbert did string nice prose, I was curious to see if he could come up with a story that could stand up on its own to go with his prose.

Book 2 was absolutely horrible while book 3 actually seemed to stand up.

To this day, I can't for the life of me understand all the prizes and the blind adoration that is given to Dune.

Cheers,
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Anything:

1. with "Chicken Soup" in the title.
2. On the Oprah book club list.
3. by Toni Morrison, especially Beloved and The Bluest Eyes, unless unmercifully depressing is the same as literary genius.

Uhura :o)
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James Joyce. Never got his stuff at all. Read "Portrait of the Artist," didn't like it, couldn't get through any of his other stuff.

Agreed, I never got Joyce. Maybe it's just not written for 15 year olds?

6
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Das Kapital by Karl Marx.
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