This is a new year and one of my resolutions is to "like A dance with dragons more". But no matter how much I reflect on the virtues of George's latest bowel movement or how many painful yoga positions I make while chanting "A DANCE WITH DRAGONS IS BETTER THAN THIS!! A DANCE WITH DRAGONS IS BETTER THAN THIS!!", nothing seems to work and thinking on this book only makes me angrier and more constipated.
So, the only solution I can think of is to read a book that will outdim Dance by comparison. Yes, I have heard and even read a bit of Terry Goodkind and the infamous Crossroads of Twilight. Those are easy. I will need books that satisfy all or one of these requirements. Genre does not matter.
1. Filler. Lots and lots of glorious filler. Pointless dialogue? Oh yes! A rash of unimportant characters? Yes please! Shameless attempts to increase the word count? Nom nom nom nom nom!
2. Bodily excretions. Blood, brains, guts, poop, piss, bile, all of them at the same time. I want to see characters rolling in them. The more fantasy fulfillment-esque the better!
3. Gratuitous sex. Sex that does not advance the plot. Sex that is only thrown in there to satisfy the author's urges. The squickier the better.
4. Pseudo-dark/mature writing. Stories that carry the mantle of "Dark -genre-" without a full understanding of what "dark' means. Stories that are gritty and serious but almost needlessly so.
5. The critics love them! Books that make you wonder if the publishing world has gone mad. Books with shining testimonials from "experts" that make you want to tear your hair out. Books that their authors refuse to admit are unbelievably awful, and would seek to hide this fact.
If do not know a book that fulfills any of these conditions, just any books you absolutely hate will do. This topic exists because we LOVE GRRM. So lets glorify by making this book seem less like crap.
J. Dent: This is a valiant effort and I salute you. I have read some real stinkers over the years and my thinking cap is now on to see what I can come up with. I am sure Great Ser will thank you and depending on the evolution of this thread we may all be changing our DWD's reviews upwards.
If there's any chance his books are worse than his movies I will definitely give it a shot. God I forgot about when author's try to infuse their religion into their writing. George never did it, but its still one of the best (worst?) constituents of an unbelievably bad book. I'll add that as number 6 later..
Any of the Left Behind books... even then... they're not polluted with garbage archaic words and while many and more a book are filler to pad out the cash cow series, they at least finished their series. The horrid prose reminds me a lot of what George has put out in Dance.
Actually, some of the Left Behind were quite good. Read em drunk and try to read as fast as you can. It's like watching a bad movie. It's so bad it comes around to being almost good again, and you're amused.
I actually read the first three books of Left Behind. I thought Nicolae was actually pretty good, though the text wasn't formatted very well for some reason. Then for reasons I could not recall I just stopped keeping up with the series and went straight to the last book. Its probably one of the worst books I ever read, and I only made it 100 pages. Its like the book got a ADWD-esque POV swell and I'm reading about characters I have no idea why I should care about. And they made Jesus' coming seem like a particularly riveting weather forecast.
Might be the worst book that I've ever read that the critics supposedly loved. No, I'm not religious in the least, just revolted by terrible writing.
Shadow Moon - Chris Claremont (and George Lucas)
I don't think that the critics loved this one. It was a novelized sequel to the movie "Willow" that I read in high school. It might be the worst fantasy novel ever written. I can't fathom why the guy chose to write two additional sequels to follow the exploits of Willow Ufgood.
Actually, yes I can, I was subjected to those terrible Star Wars prequels. Anything to make a buck I guess.
Ah yes, Shadow Moon. I think I have that one. I also think I never finished it because it was a hot mess along the lines of "rocks fall, everyone dies." Except for Willow-who-was-no-longer-called-Willow.
Books I absolutely loathed: David Feintuch's Hope books. I trudged through the first 2.5 of them before I had to stop. When you start preferring scooping your eyeballs out with a spoon, it's time to put the book down and move on.
I will probably take a lot of abuse on this one but Life of Pi ................. please ............ this reviewer summed it up for me:
"This book is the Da Vinci Code of magical realism. It's a lowest-common-denominator pander to a public desperate for any semblance of spirituality or intellect but unwilling to or incapable of picking up the classics. "
Try the Cheysuli Chronicles. They're pretty terrible. In book two, the "hero" coerces the villain's daughter into marrying him, and when she tries to rebel, he has her locked up and prevents her from ever seeing their child again.
The Dark Tower Series by Stephen King. I include the actually decent first book because of the disappointment it provides when book three is finished. I was only able to force myself through 5 of these. I'm happy to read GRRM's work, even if it frustrates and sedates at times. So get a copy of book one and prepare to be angry in two or three weeks.
I actually agree with you on that. I can't stand Stephen King's writing for some reason, and I could only get through half of the Gunslinger. Same went for the The Stand: Unabridged which put me to sleep, which is a shame as it was really interesting in parts if only I could find the original abridged version. The man turns filler into an art form, and his fascination with farts and bodily fluids takes down GRRM easily.
While we're on Stephen King, did anybody read Under the Dome? My book club read that one together, maybe two years ago, I think. I don't think I've ever seen worse foreshadowing. I swear, every other chapter, came, "Little did s/he know, s/he was about to die..." I kept hoping he'd do something unexpected and NOT kill off the person he just informed me he was about to kill off. No such luck. And the bad guys are so over the top, cartoonishly evil. And then there's the whole false rape accusation against the good guy, which really rubs me the wrong way as a feminist.
Most people tell me that TDT gets progressively better up to the fourth book, but just like ASOAIF goes downhill fast after that when he starts losing track of the story. One rampant trait I've noticed about Stephen King is that he never seems to know how to conclude his stories when has to. He's not lazy like GRRM, but his disdain for plotting really hurts him. At least SK is aware of his shortcomings, to some extent, unlike our favorite author.