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Amph "Classics" that sucked in reality

Discussion in 'Archive: SF&F: Books and Comics' started by Magellan_the_Cat, Aug 9, 2011.

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  1. Magellan_the_Cat

    Magellan_the_Cat Jedi Padawan star 4

    Jul 21, 2003
    I've been reading my brother's collection of leather-bound deluxe edition books from some sci-fi book club. While some of the books are very good, some of them are just awful crap or over-rated. Sure, there's the fact that some of them are dated classics based on science of the time, and those have their enjoyable campiness, but some of them just don't make sense, or they aren't well written, or they are plain pointless.
    So, rather than just complain about those, I thought I'd see what other people would list as Over-rated 'classics'. What did you think was hyped far beyond merit?
  2. DarthXan318

    DarthXan318 Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 12, 2002
    A lot of books fit this description, IMHO. They're "classics" because they were groundbreaking when they came out and/or hold a special place in people's adolescent minds, but aren't really all that fantastic when you hold them up against more recent work... or just even when you reread them. I can't read (say) L. J. Smith's The Secret Circle nowadays because I'm just not a 16-year-old girl any longer.
  3. MrZAP

    MrZAP Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Jun 2, 2007
    Not SF/F, and I know I'm in the minority about this, but I absolutely hate The Catcher in the Rye. Thought it was stupidly written when I first read it and think it's stupidly written now.

    Can't think of anything else off the top of my head.

    LAJ_FETT Tech Admin and Collecting/Lucasfilm Ltd Mod star 10 Staff Member Administrator

    May 25, 2002
    Azimov's Foundation series. Lots of people consider those classics but I couldn't get into them.
  5. Garth Maul

    Garth Maul Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    May 18, 2002
    Well, you'll always find people that like certain things and others that won't. That people can't see both sides co-existing pretty much explains the internet. :p

    That being said, Heinlein drives me crazy. As far as Foundation, I thought it was an interesting concept but a pretty, pretty dry read. Asimov in general I'm not a fan of.
  6. Rogue...Jedi

    Rogue...Jedi Administrator Emeritus star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Jan 12, 2000

    Especially since I absolutely love Asimov's Robot-Foundation series (though I'm not quite so high on the Empire ones).
  7. DarthXan318

    DarthXan318 Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 12, 2002
    I couldn't get into Wheel of Time, myself.
  8. Magellan_the_Cat

    Magellan_the_Cat Jedi Padawan star 4

    Jul 21, 2003
    I remember reading I, Robot and thinking, "meh". Then someone pointed out he was describing Fuzzy Logic 40 or so years before programmers were anywhere near investigating the concept.

    The problem with the Foundation books (the ones I read, and this has been backed up by what people have told me about the others) is that they are books in which nothing happens. Really, the characters just seem to explore a world, with different aspects explained through exposition.

    The reason I started this thread was I tried to read "Stand on Zanzibar", which was this masterpiece of classic fiction. Utter crap is a better description. It was this experimental book that combined 60's DJ speak with 50's Beatnik poetry. And the whole book was written that way. I had no idea what the hell I was reading or what it was supposed to mean. I suppose it was interesting in that it predated all the internet speak gibberish, but after 2 chapters I was done.
    Einstein Intersection was another book that didn't really make any sense without the introduction to explain what was going on--the author couldn't be bothered.

    To me, the ultimate travesty of over-rated literature is still reserved for T.S. Eliot's The Wasteland. How people are able to exalt that poem as the paragon of all literature, and even write doctoral dissertations on it is a mystery to me. "Ol' Susanna" makes far more sense.
  9. The Loyal Imperial

    The Loyal Imperial Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Nov 19, 2007
    "Classic" does not necessarily mean "enjoyable", regardless of genre. The only author I've ever found that fit well into both categories was Dumas.
  10. CloneUncleOwen

    CloneUncleOwen Jedi Master star 4

    Jul 30, 2009
    BRAVE NEW WORLD by Aldous Huxley

    What a rambling and incoherent mess.

  11. DarthBoba

    DarthBoba Manager Emeritus star 9 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Jun 29, 2000
    I like the Foundation books; only read the first one so far, but I think Asimov does a remarkable job of keeping things interesting despite the total lack of action.
  12. Axle-Starweilder

    Axle-Starweilder Jedi Master star 6

    Jan 6, 2005
    while i found Stranger in a Strange Land to be a good book, i think that a lot of heinlein's other works are really difficult to stick with. maybe in his day and age these books were great and i know that he's part of "the big three" of science fiction, but his dialogue and general direction are really not so hot. i could not read a single page of The Cat Who Walks Through Walls without imagining that the protagonist was roger moore.
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