What is the novel/story that was MOST recommended to you that left you completely baffled by how much you DIDN'T like it.
By - Lothar_vonRichthofen
Mine is The Troop. That’s how I learned I don’t like body horror. It’s not like it was a bad book, it’s just definitely a Not For Me book. I’m a dainty horror fan apparently. ;)
Yeah, I found it mostly gross rather than scary.
So, I suggested The Troupe by Robert Jackson Bennett to my mom, a great but not very violent YA-ish horror story. Guess what she accidentally read instead?
Oh NO. But now I really need to know what she said to you after.
Years ago, my cousin once convinced our very elderly, conservative grandfather to watch The Boondock Saints by insinuating it was a musical. I’m imaging your moms response was similar to my grandpa’s, ha.
She questioned why I would ever suggest that book and then when I corrected her cracked up.
I also didn’t like the Troop but I just couldn’t get into the whole gang of kids cliche. I also just came off a Caitlin Kiernan collection and the relative weakness of the writing was stark to me
I had the same problem with The Deep, and I REALLY wanted to like it. I love his ideas, and I pushed through The Troop and enjoyed it, but oof, his writing at times.
"The moon stared down like a haunted Jack-o-Lantern that wants to murder you, as the man stepped over a puddle that was as dark as blood from a mortal injury, and I describe everything this way in case you forgot you were reading a sPoOoOkY book."
It's like the Ready Player One for horror prose. But also, I read it after The Ruins, and then Annihilation so I could just be being a dick. The Troop was definitely a step-up from everything else I've tried of his.
I kinda liked The Deep, cause I like everything with weird shit under water, but I always had some problems with the book, that I couldn't quite put my finger on.
The whole clown thing seemed completely off and your Ready Player One comment makes total sense. So thanks for making me realizing it I guess!
It had some truly horrifying scenes in it (the whole bee stuff was lovely), but you're right, it's like he goes way out of his way to constantly remind us what genre we're reading.
It was a box.
Oh wait, you don't understand why the box is scary. Here, let me explain...
*20 pages later*
So you see, the box is very scary. Now, let me tell you a story about a drain...
Please tell me that’s an actual quote from the book
The Troop is really his opus. The sameness of his writing really comes through the more you read from him, but he also relies really heavily on kind of lame horror tropes (voices in the characters’ heads, entire chapters devoted to the increasingly deranged rantings of someone off of some audio tape, singing old nursery rhymes, mysteriously missing children, etc.). I’ve read all of his books now and it really just gets worse and worse from The Troop and they honestly sometimes just feel lazy. Little Heaven is the only other Cutter book that I’d recommend and only for a person in need of a specific fix.
A few of his books I would describe as straight up bad, which is unfortunate.
I couldn't even get past the kid killing the bug or crawfish or whatever it was in like the first 20 pages. I want to be scared, not disgusted.
Be glad you missed the turtle scene. I've yet to read anything as viscerally disturbing. Loved the book, but that scene was r o u g h.
Anything Anne Rice. I just can't take it, for some reason.
Is the reason it takes her thirty paragraphs to describe an apple?
Now, I loved the original 3 The Vampire Chronicles and The Mayfairs, and have read most of her novels. I was hugely into her for a long time. But Gods- Her overuse of adjectives is just out of control.
Okay but now I want to ask and also everyone else - when did you just give up?
I made it to The Vampire Armand before I realized I was a hostage of this terrible writer lol
I started reading her at 14 years old. "The Queen of the Damned" novel was newish and I was a goth-laquered teen living in the same general area as her (friend claimed she saw her at our local Safeway...I doubt the truth of that). I absolutely loved the 1st three and reread them so many times.
I did end up reading all of the Chronicles, but really disliked the vast majority of them, outside of them, "Blackwood Farm" being the exception and as close to the original trilogy in being a good storyline.
I loved "The Witching Hour" but didn't like "Lasher" or "Taltos". I dunno, I think it got to the point where I was reading out of nostalgia to see if I could capture how much I loved her earlier novels and it just didn't work out.
I haven't picked up anything new from her since probably "Blood Canticle" nearly 20 years ago. Well, not exactly true - I made an attempt to read the 1st book in her wolf saga, but felt that it was both laughable and cringy. I didn't get halfway through it.
Sorry for the long answer haha!
I have a similar experience as you. I also started reading her when I was a middle school age goth kid and I did end up reading all of the vampire chronicles, although by the end it was more out of a sense of obligation than genuine love. I will say that The Witching Hour holds up as one of my favorite books of all time, and I can reread it about once every other year, but Lasher and Taltos just don't do it for me. Too much weird Taltos shit and not enough bonkers family history. But I could read an entire series about the history of the Mayfair family.
Yes! A sense of obligation is exactly it. Like, I had committed to "being really into Anne Rice" and had to continue on. Now, I know that is ridiculous but then I guess I felt like it was part of who I was.
Totally agree on "The Witching Hour", I loved reading about each generational witch. I have reread it several times and even though I'm more critical of her writing style, I still really enjoy it.
My major issue is that I felt like it should have been 2 books, one of the Mayfairs and one of Rowen and Michael. It didn't glow together well and the conclusion seemed very rushed. And yeah, I did not like Lasher, and hated Taltos.
I still love the original Vampire Chronicles trilogy though.
Taltos. The sex between grown ass Michael of the Irish fisherman sweater and the annoying underage teen witch was waaaaay too much for me, even back in 1993
Her overuse of the word... *egregious.* I threw a book across the room once... Blackwood Farm, maybe? After Mona said that to Quinn like 5 times on one page. I'm only slightly exaggerating.
Hahahaha oh man.....I can believe it. I think it was "Body Thief" and describing grass for Hella sentences.....I remember think "ALL RIGHT...I GET IT"
Ok, I like Anne Rice but this is absolutely hilarious.
I tried to read Prince Lestat a couple years ago, and just gave up after the first 10% or so. It just wasn't the same.
Then I just re-read Lestat for like the 5th and was content lol
Certain people on this sub are obsessed with Cows. I tried to read it and couldn't get through it. Not because of all the horrid nasty subject material... That didn't bother me at all. But it was BORING. If you're going to write a shock novel and talk about people eating shit and fucking open wounds in a living cow's body, it's unforgivable to make it *boring.* But that's exactly what it was. Just page after tedious page of the author trying to outdo himself. And just when it seemed like there might be an actual plot, it's too late... You've already somehow managed to make rape and killing and bizarre sex rituals and too dull to bother with.
It’s not hard to write down the most abhorrent thing you can think of. Splatter punk has very few skilled writers.
I agree! I was bored and when I say that to people they are shocked... But like the story was full of gross stuff yet so damn boring
A lot of Stephen King books. I find them much too rambly. I prefer his short stories a lot more. I guess I can only take a little of him at a time. I enjoyed *Thinner*, maybe because it is one of his shorter works.
I've enjoyed most everything he's done, but he kinda needs someone to reel him in. Like.... we don't need a 30 page aside about his thoughts on baseball, and which team was going to make it to the world series, had the apocalypse not happened. Your book is 3,000 pages... that is something that could have been left out.
Lol yeah my exact thoughts. I’m surprised that I finished IT without quitting. I appreciated how each character was given a rich background but a lot of it could’ve been cut out.
Not a fan of poppy z brite. Someone recommended the novel exquisite corpse and it was just stomach turning for me. Not scary, just disgusting and unfortunately not easily forgettable.
Sounds like it did exactly what it set out to do
Every time I mention post-apocalyptic horror I get recommended The Fireman by Joe Hill. I hated that book, felt like I was reading a romance about Mary Sue and a man who is treated like an exotic creature because he’s English?! The whole book is so weird tonally too.
It is!! I really disliked the main female protagonist. I found her insufferable and kinda dumb at times.
I don't think Joe Hill is a vey good writer
I've adored everything else by him though :(
The way I've described his writing to someone, is that he's a good storyteller, but not the greatest author.
I couldn’t get through it. I thought it sucked, so I’m glad I’m not the only one.
I love King but I never cared for The Long Walk. It's insufferably boring and the ending never made sense to me, I can't understand why it's considered one of his best. Also, the vast majority of Dean Koontz. He has a few good ones but for the most part they are totally formulaic. They all have a single mom, her kid and his dog, (usually a golden retriever), and an ex cop or private eye. So boringly predictable.
Dean Koontz also finds it impossible to describe any female character without first telling the reader what her boobs are doing at that moment.
I think my favorite Dean Koontz theory I've ever heard, is that "Dean Koontz" is actually the golden retriever in most (if not all) the author's pictures, and not the man, which is why every D.K. book has a golden in it.
The fact that this is also the only D.K. theory I've ever heard, does not make this any less hilarious to me.
If anything, it makes it more believable
Actually, even though I like the Long Walk, the ending is a bit...eh. So what's the best Dean Koontz then?
Servants of Twilight was pretty good, it's about a single mom and a religious cult thinks her son is the Antichrist and come after them. There was a movie adaptations of it as well. The Voice of the Night is decent too, about a kid who meets another kid that's a total psycho and decided to put a stop to him.
Not who you asked, but I went through a Koontz phase in high school, and I still have fond feelings for *Phantoms*. It came out in '83, though. Some of it was dated in the early '00s, so idk how it would hold up 38 years later (God).
I went through a Koontz phase, but there were just too many things that were repeated between stories, or didn't make sense. I kind of recall that phantoms had a biker gang who were evil-- not for any particular reason, they just like to rob, kill and rape people. Because they were evil.
I followed Odd Thomas for a while, but eventually it became clear that there wasn't a plan to explain anything that was going on. The bad guys were evil just because. People do things for reasons, even bad things.
The ending made sense to me. He snaps and sees a shadow that represents either death or just him being a bit crazed at the end.
My problem was the last 15 or so pages felt so ruahed that it made everything else feel not worth it. It feels like it'd work better as a movie with a slightly adjusted ending, but that can also sum up a "lot" of King's work.
Only Koontz I read was Intensity, which seems way too close to the movie High Tension for the first half of the book. It felt very....alright? Not great, but not the worst.
yup agree w the end making sense to me too. i loved the long walk, i try to reread it every year or two and still end up really loving it every time 🤷🏻♀️
Intensity is literally a movie in its own right, and for a straight to TV movie it’s actually pretty good.
That’s one of my favourite Koontz books though. He’s a bit of a guilty pleasure (although some are just unadulterated shit)
I'll have to check it out. Didn't know there was a tv movie of it.
> but for the most part they are totally formulaic.
Protagonist that is a paragon of virtue.
Villian who is a complete sociopath.
And a dog.
Not a big fan of The Long Walk either.
As a kid I started reading Koontz and really liked the first book or two… as I aged and read more I no longer can really stand his books. Like you said, same plot over and over.
I'm with you. The Long Walk taught me that I don't like books where the characters are in the same setting/situation for the entire novel with things just getting progressively worse. I rather dislike Misery for the same reason, although others seem to love it.
Anything by Joe Hill. They always come highly recommended, and I just find them dull.
I’ve read Horns - boring, nothing ever explained which didn’t make it eerie it was just annoying.
NOS4R2 - actually I haven’t finished it. I got about 75% of the way through and just abandoned it. So boring.
The Fireman - I read this before I knew he was King’s son. It’s sprinkled so liberally with references to The Stand, that IMO don’t feel natural like King’s references to characters within the Castle Rock world, they just felt forced and obvious. It was so tedious, and had a lot of AND THEN this amazing thing is revealed which was annoying.
I'm Thinking of Ending Things. I had really high hopes and loved the first two thirds of it and HATED the ending.
I was mad that I kind of assumed the ending about 10 or 20 pages in, hoped the entire time I was wrong, and nope, just an underwhelming ending in a very not-that-great book. Solid title for a book though.
Yes! It was the most cliche type of "mind fuck" story. It over explain itself and gets too self indulgent with its own metaphors. The book not having a twist would've made it better imo. Or yk, if it had a creative premise.
Hated this book
I haven’t seen it because I don’t have Netflix. Is it better than the book? Is it a faithful adaptation?
It’s faithful in aspects, but significantly changes the part with the parents (makes it much more Charlie Kaufman-ish), and then completely changed the way the ending is portrayed. I preferred it. It’s a very different beast, though, but it captured the one thing I liked about the book which was the initial car ride. It’s much more surreal, though, and despite injecting more of a horror focus into the scenes at the house, it reinterprets the ending in a way that abandons all the horror, and might be too vague for most people that didn’t read the book to actually pick up on. IIRC, he shoves a coat hanger up his nose or something at the end of the book, but the movie ends with him watching a stage play of Oklahoma while dressed as Citizen Kain.
I didn’t like the ending that much but because the first two thirds were so good the book ended up still being one of my favorites!
My Best Friend's Exorcism. I read it, I remember reading it, but I don't remember anything that happened in it. After I finished it, it went straight in my "donate" pile. I wanted to enjoy it, but I just found the whole thing underwhelming.
To me, it's a nostalgia piece before its a horror story. In much the same way as _Ready Player One_, a lot of the emotional connection and references fly over your head if you didn't grow up in the timeframe of the book (the 80s) with things like _Rosemary's Baby_, _Nightmare on Elm's Street_ and the _Exorcist_ banging around your head as the defacto state of Horror.
I still enjoyed it, but it was a love-letter to a time that wasn't my own.
Came here to say this one as well. Wasn’t a terrible book, just lacking horror for me and I don’t really have any connection to the 80s
Heart-shaped Box by Joe Hill. It got so much hype on this sub but I found it boring and extremely unoriginal.
Gotta say The Gunslinger/Dark Tower series. My ex loved the books and I just got it rec'd by other people. I couldn't ever get into it.
I peaced out in that first book after the third weird sex thing. I mean I'm all for weird sex things but this was especially cringey, King should stay away from that stuff imo.
Same! I’ve tried to read The Gunslinger four times and I never even get to the middle before quitting. Just don’t think that book/series is for me, regardless of how much I otherwise enjoy King’s work.
As someone who loves the series, I agree that the first book isn’t great (and I usually skip it on series rereads). The second one is where things start taking off, but if you still don’t like it after that, then it’s probably just not your thing.
If you only ever read the first book and have any inclination to give it another try, I'd recommend starting with book two. Book two is where it really comes together and is just absolutely fantastic. One of my favorite books of all time. I don't think this is a controversial statement, even on the King subreddits, but the first book is really boring.
Plus, each subsequent book starts with a summary of all the previous books, so you can start on book two and it will explain everything you need to know from the first book.
REALLY have to commit to this one to get through it as it is really rough in parts. The fourth and fifth books are awesome, and parts of the others are great. But there are also some really bad parts that just drag forever. The ending IMO was amazing though.
For most people, it is just not worth the read though. One day someone will adapt this and refine it into a shorter more concise story that just hits the beats and cuts the tangents and it will be amazing.
I always see Hex recommended on here and I hated it. The ending was awful
Apparently the ending was changed in the English version. It seems they also changed it in subsequent releases of the original Dutch version.
I tried to find an English translation of the original ending, but all I could find were vague summaries, but it sounded a lot more hellish and a lot less preachy.
I DNFd it 50% in. It just.. Never… seems to go anywhere? And the writing seemed kind of more silly than scary.
I disliked this book so much after seeing so many rave reviews that I kind of hope I somehow ended up with a bad translation of it or something.
I never wanted to see the word “nipple” again after reading it either.
Nope, but I think your’e onto something. The english translation was alright, but pretty clunky. Maybe it’s a little better in the original
Clunky is a great word for it.
Couldn’t even get to the ending. It was boring from the get go.
Couldn't make it to the ending. It feels very amateurish with just how it has been written so far. As a concept, it sounds great, with a turman show type town hiding a witch that gets unleashed.
Didn't even make it to the "shocking" parts. Just lost interest in 'asshole tortures witch, is clearly mentally unstable, yet everyone just lets him do his thing the whole time."
Kill Creek by Scott Thomas
There was nothing special about it, it wasn’t very scary and it was obvious that he simply hates fat people and wanted to fuck the female writer he wrote about
Easy answer. I don’t see how people rave over this. His characters were absolutely awful cliches and the writing was clunky. It was after finishing this I learned to give up on books with the same feel. Looking at you Jonathan Janz.
Glad to see I’m not alone
I read Violet first, and enjoyed it more
This is an excellent description of how I just felt trying to slog through this book. I wanted to like it but it annoyed the crap out of me and I could not stand his characters / descriptions.
Yup. It just felt so generic and dull.
The Fisherman didn't live up to the hype AT ALL.
I didn't think it was a bad book, but the hype was incredible. I would have enjoyed it a lot more if I wasn't expecting one of the greatest horror novels of the last ten years.
That book spent various pages saying that something crazy happened. It’s like, just say it already! Use more verbs, less adjectives.
Typical Lovecraft bullshit.
I enjoy the stories, but "oh my god it was the craziest thing I'd ever seen. So crazy it sent me mad. So crazy I can't put it into words. Totally, utterly, undeniably, indescribably, unimaginably crazy. Now imagine that. That's what it was."
That said, I thought The Fisherman did a good job of *not* doing that, and actually painted a clear story. With an unfortunately long story that no-one wanted in the middle.
It didn't live up to the hype for me either. It also took ages to find a copy, which added to it.
I thought the story in the middle was great and the weakest part was how much of the mythos is just exhaustively explained to you. I like having some of it explained, you've gotta show the monster a little. But he could have cut like 1/3 of the book out and had a much tighter story if he just showed instead of telling so much.
I am of two minds on this one. On one hand, a lot of the book was really boring with an awful middle section. But when they dealt with the fish cult itself it was amazing as they did do the Lovecraft style but explained why it was so hard to process the monster and it was a payoff that made the read worth it for me.
It's a bunch of slow, predictable short stories wrapped up in some tedious filler so it can pretend to be a novel. I don't get what people see in it at all.
Cipher by Kathe Koja. I only got about halfway through and for the life of me I couldn't tell you what it was about beyond the basic concept of weird void in the floor
Weird void in the floor and I was sold. I think it’s a great book, but it’s very much of it’s time and not for everyone. You have to deal with a bunch of extremely unlikeable characters to get at the main concept.
Yeah, I love this book, but a fun read it is not. The people were all freaking awful and there is no real plot. Basically you just root for the hole to corrupt and consume all. But the writing was so good and the book nailed presenting the nihilism of living in an existence of filth, which as a John Waters fan, I really loved.
Oooooh cool, i'll start! House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski. I thought the foot notes were boring, and the format of the book in general was irritating. There's a good story in there about a haunted house, but having to turn the book this way and that way, and all that stuff came off as so gimmicky.
The foot notes are ridiculous and I don't see what they add to the story. It's pretty much the ramblings of an addict who is likely lying about having a lot of random spontaneous sex. I eventually ignored them all together. The main part of the book is pretty good but under developed. Style over substance.
I kept seeing this recommended as a scary read that sits with you for a long time after. I (1) read it the first time and was both confused by the parallel stories on the same page, then (2) read it again by focusing on each storyline separate in its entirety (footnotes, then main text). The main text/house plotline was interesting in theory but in no way terrifying. A waste of money.
There is a great scary story in the book. Unfortunately the narrative structures breaks up the story and if you do not know what all to skip, the non-expedition parts of the book just kill the mood the expedition parts bring. Really surprised there is not a well known guide for reading this to tell people, ok here is all the Hallway stuff, read it in this order. Here is the footnote story, read it in this order. Here is the lit critique, read in this order.
I hated the book until I read it in parts, then I enjoyed it a lot more.
Yep. There's a genuinely frightening horror story in there some where, that's completely subjugated by narrative-defeating literary aspirations. Is there a fan-fit edit? If I want footnotes I'll read David Foster Wallace.
The Passage by Justin Cronin. Thought it had everything I wanted from a horror novel but just didn't do it for me. Never read the rest of the trilogy.
The Only Good Indians. I think it had the possibility of being really interesting but really fell flat for me.
I found all the basketball yak to be insufferable.
I was so excited about that book but gave up about halfway through. The characters seemed flat to me and the horror minimal.
For me it just didn’t blend well switching between like settings/characters. Like it took to long to show that >!Lewis isn’t the only main character and then you’re like wait what’s happening now and you’re not very invested in basketball girls survival!< felt unbalanced to me.
The Troop by Nick Cutter. *everyone* commended his use of grotesque gore and disgusting imagery, which really confused me, because that book was so unoriginal to me. There was nothing in that book that I hadn't *also* seen somewhere else already.
"I'm Thinking of Ending Things" - Iain Reid. I read it and didn't like it. Had rave reviews. Even worse now that it's a movie. The writing itself was okay, but it felt like it was trying too hard? Plus, I saw the twist coming and wasn't surprised. That seemed to be the main selling point to get me to read it and that it was "so messed up" when it wasn't. I was left angry and felt alone in this opinion. :/
I loved the book so much, however I can see why people didn’t like it. I read the about the ending before starting the book and I think it helped with the reading experience. I didn’t think his writing was trying to hard but since it was his debut fiction novel there’ll be room for improvement!
My friends know that I like weird lit. So I got a recommendation for Thomas Ligotti's *Notes on the Writing of Horror: A Story*. I like some of his other stories (but not all), I know this is considered one of his best, and it is very highly reviewed...so I gave it a whirl. I just did not connect with it at all. Seemed very disjointed and unfocused. I think I need to reread it, maybe under a better alignment of stars.
And to OP's comments: King's story *Gramma* is a masterpiece. And I agree - he telegraphed *The Jaunt's* ending heavily.
I love King but just don’t get the love for Salem’s Lot.
Gotta say I really love Salem's Lot as a book but I don't get the love for the adaptation.
And i love both!
What? That book fucked me up. I still cannot drove through a small town at twilight without panic and anxiety fluttering inside me.
I love driving through small towns at dusk for that very reason.
I read it in summer and did not open my window the whole summer.
The Stand is the one that leaves me cold. I don't think it's bad, but I also don't think it's all that special and yet people seem to love it.
None of these are downright bad, but there has been a few from the sub that have been pretty damn underwhelming
A Headful of Ghosts
Into the Drowning Deep
Totally agree with Headful of Ghosts. Came here to post the same.
I thought Into The Drowning Deep was awful.
If you like creature features, it's fun, if a bit clunky and tropey.
If not, it's solidly uninteresting.
Dan Simmons' *Carrion Comfort*. I gave up about a third of the way in. It felt like a 70's film -- the kind with marquee posters with pictures of the actors along the bottom, with John Houseman hamming it up as the Nazi-hunter.
*The Terror* was slightly less obnoxious, but started to drone on unnecessarily
But at long last, *Summer of Night* was, finally, fantastic.
I'm nearly finished The Terror and while I love it, but I can't disagree with your take on Simmons' writing. It does wear on you after awhile. Like... I don't necessarily need him to list every single person in attendance of every crew meeting, their rank and their position at the table and the layers of slops they were wearing to get the full picture...
He doesn't even really write flowery from what I've read either. it's all very technical and is somehow to the point and unnecessarily long at the same time.
Someone recommended The Terror here. I think I might quit. Is the ending worth it?
Hm. I think it depends how far into it you are. If you're struggling through the start I'd say keep going. If you're decently into it and not enjoying it, I don't think it matters what happens in the end.
I loved the book, as well as the ending. But I was hooked fairly early on. I found it a really immersive experience and really fell in love with Dan Simmon's prose after reading *Hyperion,* which I had just read.
Nothing wrong with abandoning a book you're not enjoying. And it's a beast of a book to power through if that's the case.
NOS4A2 by Joe Hill was a huge disappoint, I really just wasnt that into the story. From what I heard it was supposed to be amazing but I didnt find the story to be all much. However, I had HUGE expectations for the book, and that was probabaly one of the reasons that I didn't like it because I didn't find it to be incredible. BTW Gramma is one of my fav King short stories, it needs a lot more love.
I had zero expectations for the book and still hated it. It's one of my very few DNFs.
The Three Body Problem. I'm going to give it another try soon, but a third of the way in and pretty much every character sucked and the narrative voice was very on the nose.
EDIT: Huh, just realised I'm on /r/horrorlit
The characters are all mindless robotic (except the cheesy hard-boiled Hollywood-style cop), the romantic parts are nauseating incelish (and remarkably sexist), the sci-fi is just every other sci-fi premise from the last 50 years all glossed-over and crammed together, and the philosophical bits all come off as disappointingly blunt and half-baked. It’s formulaic, lacks any sense of humanity, and feels like someone talking about an epic plot-outline idea they have instead of conveying the experience of witnessing an actual story.
That all said, the scope is ambitious, the general angle that it takes is unique, the way it has brought Chinese lit a little closer to Western readers is absolutely commendable, and each book has one surprisingly-well-done Hollywood summer blockbuster action sequence. If they go through with the series adaptation, it could be terrific (because I think a lot of its weaknesses will have to be addressed in the translation). But honestly, I wish he just wrote a 50-page essay on how bizarre future discoveries might be for the human species, along with his whimsical timeline, because as a work of literary prose (let alone THREE big novels), I’d say it fails pretty stupendously, no matter what language it’s in.
I'm half way through it right now too and have the same issues. It IS getting better though, and I think I'm finally starting to like it.
I think it's a problem with the translation. Out of curiosity I got the second book and read a random page, and it feels so much better.
The second book is frustrating because it seems to ramble and isnt as exciting but oooooh man it does wrap it up with some terrific sci fi concepts. It makes those thought experiments worth it.
The third goes off the rails like a lot of sci fi (hyperion cantos comes to mind) but hey, still fun.
The third _really_ goes off the rails, but in such a fun way. Just goes absolutely wild in scope. I loved it!
The only good Indians :(
It was so boring!
More of a mystery thriller I guess, but The Woman in the Window. It reads like it was written by someone who decided to write a horror novel, but had never before read anything in the genre itself.
I felt the same way about that one, which was too bad because I was pretty engaged for the first half or so. Have you read anything about [the guy](https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/02/11/a-suspense-novelists-trail-of-deceptions) who wrote it? You're not far off. And the bizarre stuff about him turned out to be far more intriguing than his book!
edit: in case you can't read the New Yorker piece, the gist is [here](https://www.irishtimes.com/culture/books/dan-mallory-the-fiction-writer-who-made-up-stories-about-his-own-life-1.3785652)
That article was a wild ride. What an interesting man.
Penpal. I know Reddit loves it but I thought it was boring and desperately needed a few more drafts and an editor.
The rawness I felt was an asset. But more of an experimental style book than a polished one. Have to really know what you are getting into when you read it to enjoy.
Chuck Palahniuk (ya, not trying to spell that right)
I just didnt vibe with any of his works. My sister loves his books, and I just didnt enjoy them.
To the point where I only remember a few plot points and no book titles.
I really loved chuck p when I was a kid. His irony, his humor, and the shock value all appeal to me as an edgy kid. As I’ve grown older I still read them but the writing is too simple for me to be super taken by. Accessible shock and irony tho is a good thing to have in this world, even if I may have outgrown it a little bit. I still think survivor was amazing.
I’ve seen so many recommendations for Haunted over the years, and it is one of the worst books I have ever read.
IT!!! I resent the time I sank into that book to the point that I almost gave up on King altogether. Happily I didn’t, and have read some better books of his since. But it’s probably his most lauded book and I just do not get it…
I never could finish that one or Needful Things. Haven't even attempted The Stand. I loved Salems Lot, Pet Sematary, The Shining and many others just could never make it through those gigantic tomes.
The Stand is much more cohesive and has a much more satisfying ending. It can be slow when character building but that's really my only negative with the book at all
He’s too inconsistent for me to want to take a chance on his heftier books - if it’s a 300 page book with an unsatisfying ending, it’s annoying but nbd. But if I’ve been reading it for weeks and it sucks, it’s maddening!
I attempted to read it once, over 20 years ago. I remember skimming over sooooo much of it. Just straight up skipping pages. The only thing that I really remember being upset about is the level of animal cruelty that one of the older kids did, Hockstetter I think? I don't remember and don't care. And I remember feeling really unsatisfied with the ending/resolution.
So what King book is you're favourite?
So far, The Long Walk and The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon! I also liked Pet Sematary. Didn’t really like Salem’s Lot or The Dark Half.
Oh yeah, the Long Walk is probably his best right. Maybe hard to describe it as horror, though it IS, but more also just this awful, intense psychological AU.
Yeah it’s kinda more dystopia I guess but still “horrifying”, I liked it!
The first book that came to mind when I read OP's post was Pet Sematary. It frustrates me because I think it should creep me out - it has all good horror elements - but it just doesn't. Neither did either movie.
The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon is criminally underrated!
Head Full of Ghosts, Paul Tremblay. Do not get the hype at all.
House of Leaves. It was just boring to me? There was so much going on in so many places and none of it was creepy or scary or unsettling just kinda. Weird and long winded.
Anything by Ramsey Campbell. I read a lot of "Mammoth book of best new horror" collections and he's got a story in just about every one, and they are long and so freaking boring and the payoff is shit.vto be fair, I tried reading several of his novels and they just don't work for me either..but people keep telling me how much they love his work and recommend him to me...
Anything by Shirley Jackson. I just don't get it.
The Croning. This might just be cause I had very different excpectations of this book but I was kinda dissapointed with it's execution. Michelle was a way too passive character while being made out to be a lot more involved. Plus, as someone who really loves comic horror, the cardinal sin of comic horror is over-explaining the entities, which is something that bothered me a lot. Honestly the book could've been more ambigious and 50 Pages shorter and I would've loved it.
The Atrocity Archives by Charles Stross. Rifght up my street in terms of theme and plot. Just, I couldn't stand the narrative to the point where I sacked it off
You might give the Oddjobs series by Heide Goody and Iain Grant a try.
It's got a similar theme to Stross's Laundry but different tone and writing.
Thanks, I'll give that a look 👍
Dark matter by Blake crouch
House of Leaves
Those are the 3 that i just couldnt understand the hype for.
Hell House disappointed me. I love Matheson though and I’ve read most of his books. This one was just… quite boring.
Ghost Story. The horror is good but I cannot stand how Straub writes characters and dialogue.
Imaginary Friend by Stephen Chbosky. Underwhelming and needlessly long af. The Troop was underwhelming as well.
Imaginary Friends is one of the worst books I’ve DNF’d. I made it about 400 pages in before I finally quit. Embarrassingly bad.
My hot take is the haunting of hill house. I didn’t like any of the characters and had to drag my way through it because I was bored. I appreciate it for its impact and all but I’d never read it again.
I love the writing and... that's it. Didn't like the story or the characters or even the plot. But the writing was very good.
Tender is the Flesh.
First off, I don't find cannibalism horrifying. If I'm given the choice between eating ethically-sourced human and a live palmetto bug, I'mma take people meat every time.
Second, the premise was completely unbelievable. A disease has infected literally every creature on the planet, from mammals to birds to bugs - except humans. Whatever progress we've made toward lab-grown meat doesn't exist in this world. And for mumble-reasons-mumble we can't survive without eating meat altogether. So we've decided to farm human beings, and we're all just fine with that.
The only way a story this unrealistic works is if it's allegory about class distinctions or capitalism or something. But this book is not. Who gets eaten? Who gets to decide that? Who knows? Imagine the day we hear announced on the news "Congress has passed a law allowing members of group x to be consumables." You think other members of group x aren't going to go to war over that? No, we just gloss over the social implications of that. We learn that white skin bruises easier, so to keep the "hides" usable, white human-cattle will need to be treated more gently. That's it, no one cares about that particular inequity, and nothing more is commented on.
Then there's the weird sexism. Did you know that unless women are mothers they are too submissive to run for their lives? If you're not fighting to save a baby, you just lay down and die, apparently.
The idea of a modern society that has turned to cannibalism could have been soooooo much better written. I don't understand why people love this.
The Haunting of Hill House and Ghost Story.
We have always lived in the castle.
Anything by Laird Barron apart from his first short story: *Shiva, Open Your Eye.* I am a hue fan of contemporary weird lit. My favourite horror authors currently are Caitlin Kiernan, John Langan and Thomas Ligotti. *Shiva, Open Your Eye* would probably make it into my list of all time favourites. You'd think that I would love Barron, It's a reasonable assumption and lots of people have reccomended him to me.
I have absolutely no idea what the issue is, my eyes just glaze over when I read his prose. I can tell he's a great writer, this is definitely a me problem, and one I find it frustratingly difficult to put my finger on.
American Gods by Neil Gaiman. After a while I just started skimming through it to get it over with.
House of Leaves. Most circlekerked book on all book subs. Felt like a gimmick. People said it was too scary to finish- I'll never in my life understand that. Was cool to read a book written like that and the nadavisdson record was cool but everything else was just so subpar
I'm thinking of ending things- SPOILERS. Yea I'm thinking I wont end my book with a 9yo ending like "it was all a dream" or "haha he was just making this up". Incredibly pathetic. Maybe the one book I read and it blew my mind anyone found that a solid ending.
The Deep by Nick Cutter and The Ruins by Scott Smith
OH! I have lots of thoughts about the Ruins. Have you seen the film?
Anything by Shirley Jackson. I know the point is that it’s supposed to be minimalistic, ambiguous, open to your own interpretation etc… but any time I read her work, I find myself waiting for when something is actually going to happen
So many books by Stephen King 😭
Stephen King's IT.
I was in a book store looking at it and these two girls started chatting to me and telling me how good it was. I was necessarily convinced so I tried it out.
While you can't deny he's a good writer, I found the book a bit too dead and dry for my liking. The gunslinger books were much better.
Slade House by David Mitchell-just bizarre!
I have a few but they have already been mentioned so I’ll say a new one. Clowns in a Cornfield just was so generic. I love Adam Cesare and have been reading his stuff since he first started being published. I continued to hear about this new book coming and then it was inundated with positive reviews so I grabbed it and it was just so forgettable and bland (unlike much of his other work). Sure, it was YA but nothing about it stood out. Maybe I’m missing something because people seem to love it (and it won the Bram Stoker award) but I got nothing from it whatsoever. Hell, I wish I could like it but. . .
The Only Good Indians....I left it halfway, and I don't know if I'll finish it......
House Of Leaves. I hated it. (Well, the majority of it) —Not everyone is fond of the book, as much hype as it gets.
The Haunting of Ashburn House by Darcy Coates. It is very boring until around chapter 33 (out of 44 chapters), then the author hits us readers with the laziest trope known to fiction.
So much wasted potential, and such baffling high praise. honestly put me off wanting to read her other novels.
So I will say this, I loved The Jaunt and I found it creepy in its own way. Stephen King’s Granma, though, is an entirely different level. That story is terrifying and so dark and it sits with me for so long after I read it. It reminds me a bit of the movie Skeleton Key from 2005 which has a similar plot, but completely different story. Definitely check it out.
House of Leaves. Sorry guys.
I wouldn’t say I hated this book, to its credit the subject matter stayed planted in my head for a good while, but…
“Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke” was, in my opinion, deeply flawed and poorly written. Nobody speaks that way over instant messaging. Too much purple prose and too much backstory was blatantly left out, so it feels like these two women tell in love over night after one email about an Apple peeler. Conceptually it’s brilliant, but the writing was not there.
I’ve seen The Deep by Alma Katsu recommended here enough times I checked it out. It was so dull! I kept waiting for more spooky stuff to happen (being told it was a slow burn) when suddenly everything is explained the last 30 pages and then it’s over. I loved her book The Hunger and I really liked the premise of The Deep but this one just missed it for me.
Legion, the sequel to The Exorcist. I deeply loved The Exorcist, and it holds up in re-readings. But I hate-read Legion, finished it, then threw the book behind my wardrobe to not have to see it again. I was not a fan of Detective Kinderman's personality or character in the exorcist but it was minimal enough to bare. Legion is 90% him, and its just not got the same heart. The story isn't bad, just... Kinderman is unbearable
Pretty much all Stephen King. It might just be because it’s Stephen King, the guy who has written seven million books, so I think I kind of have internalized an idea that it’s sort of cheap and mass-produced writing, so that’s a problem on my end.
But I dunno. It always seems kind of hokey and corny and it definitely doesn’t scare me. The King-ness of it all, the incredibly high concept and marketable premises and the character tropes that have now become so ingrained in every other writer’s stuff, really shines through for me and makes me totally uninterested for some reason. I’m probably just detrimentally hipster when it comes to King tbh