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Below are the 16 most recent journal entries recorded in Snarking on literature's LiveJournal:

Wednesday, March 11th, 2009
12:18 am
"Her face had the fragrance of a gibbous moon."
Head on over to here for what is likely to be the most terrible written description of a woman you have ever read in a published work.
Monday, May 5th, 2008
5:56 pm
Pirate by Fabio

This book was awful. I enjoyed every minute of it.

Yes, it was one of those books. By all rights, this should have gotten a much lower rating, but it was so unintentionally hilarious, I could not stop laughing.

I found this book in the midst of a huge used book sale, and it was worth the full 50 cents just to be able to tell people I had a novel that was written by Fabio. At that point, people are already cracking up, and they don't know the levels of ridiculous contained within the pages.

The prose was so purple I was amazed the pages hadn't been stained that colour, there was some excessive abuse of exclamation points going on, and the dialogue was wooden and awkward. The book more or less ends with a James Bond-esque villain speech, followed by a last minute heroic escape from death involving much swashbuckling. Literary-wise, I don't think this book had any redeeming features. It was horrible. And it lived up to all the hopes and expectations I held for it.

Alright, hilarious quotes and a few other things that particularly made me laugh:

-Marco believes that girls of 14, 15, or 16 are too young to be getting married. In the 1700s. He believes this so firmly, it requires an exclamation point!

-"Oh please do it," she begged, her impatient fingers popping buttons on his shirt. "I do so hunger to feel your large hands on my backside." What was that I was saying about purple prose and awkward dialogue before? I can't quite recall...

-"...he realized that if he did so, he would not stop until she was pinned beneath him on the sand, her maidenhead breached by his driving heat." Few things crack me up faster than a terrible euphemism.

-"He quickly shucked off his breeches, then his hair-roughened thighs spread hers wide..." Yeah, nothing says sexy like hairy legs. Guess he ran out of wax after he did his chest.

-"What do you mean by that?" she cried, exasperated.
"If you do not know, then I cannot make you understand," he said stubbornly.
Dude! Marco's a chick! And clearly caught at that special time of month, at that. Which... actually, might explain a lot...

If anyone wants more details, you can read the full review at genrereviews.
Wednesday, February 27th, 2008
11:19 am
The Family Trade by Charles Stross
This book was terrible. It's by far the worst thing I've read in recent memory. I can't think of a single redeeming feature, and I only wound up forcing myself to read it so I could finish up the review, figuring that way my time wasn't completely wasted.

The writing itself is awful. I can't count the number of times I read a phrase that made me stop and silently whimper to myself. Allow me to share a few, since I can't simply be content to suffer alone. Some of my personal favourites are from what's meant to be an intimate scene between the heroine and her lover. I swear, I haven't altered a thing in these sentences:

"He stroked her flank silently."
"She felt his nod: It sent a shiver through her spine."
"She felt lips touch the top of her spine."

Now that's a sexy scene.

If anyone wants more details on how bad this book really is, you can read the full review at genrereviews.
Sunday, January 20th, 2008
10:45 am
Spending three books establishing that your heroine is Teh Sex and every man in the world (plus half the women) want to boff her = tacky. Returning to this theme in a book that's supposedly* about her son = ew ew ew. I don't care if he's adopted.

Also, how is it possible that a 900-page book involving intrigue, adultery, warfare, and ghosts ends up feeling like nothing more than a very lengthy 'what I did on my holidays' essay?

*Speaking of which, if you're trying to write a book about New Protagonist, you probably should have someone other than Old Protagonist on the cover.
Thursday, October 11th, 2007
5:00 pm
Wednesday, May 16th, 2007
3:38 pm
Tuesday, May 15th, 2007
9:54 am
Wandered over here thanks to a pointer from epi_lj.
Here's a bit of book snark from my journal. Since I have now thwapped the author (he consented!), I'll reveal the details -- it's Jim Butcher's Summer Knight, chapter 11.
1:54 am
Bad mod! No cookies!
I know this isn't snark, but I figured that since I maintain this comm, I should post something in it occasionally, so I present a random question.

What is your all-time worst book experience?

For me, it's probably Johanna Lindsey's Keeper of the Heart , which sticks with me even ten years later because all the female characters were fuckwits and all the male characters were jerks, and as a naive fifteen-year-old I was hoping that futuristic romance meant a combination of actual SF (which I've always loved) with romance (which I occasionally really like.) Needless to say, that didn't happen.

So... I want to hear your bad book experiences!

Current Mood: curious
Monday, November 6th, 2006
5:17 pm
Today's racist, sexist,classist and just plain gross romance titles
I work at a library and get to see the newest titles. Lucky me.
(I know these aren't technically about the books themselves, but I still think they merit snark just on G.P.)

Brought to you by Harlequin!

Expecting his Brother's Baby
Purchased by the Billionaire
The Greek's Convenient Wife
Taken for His Pleasure
Pregnant with the First Heir

They snark themselves

Current Mood: cynical
Tuesday, August 29th, 2006
8:37 pm
Some books just don't age well. This is supposed to take place in the year 25,000 A.D.

"Probably you know pi to its fifth decimal--3.14159," he told Winters. "It has been carried by previous workers to its ninety-fifth decimal, but the work is time-consuming in the extreme. I have decided to devote eternity to it."
Tuesday, May 23rd, 2006
5:20 pm
A book I'm only still slogging through out of sheer stubbornness.
I'm currently on page 564 of 879 of Dahlgren by Samuel R. Delany. That's nearly two thirds of the way through the book.

And I still have no idea what this book is supposed to be about.

As far as I can tell, it's a novel exploring racism, schizophrenia, and the writing process against a backdrop of an entirely unexplained semi-postapocalyptic setting full of unusual astronomical events and gratuitous sex scenes. And if you're wondering how an author could possibly tie that many disparate subjects together, the answer is: poorly.

Current Mood: frustrated
Sunday, March 19th, 2006
11:47 am
Dear Professional and Well-loved author:
I don't really want to hear about your dirty laundry. I'm reading your book because I want you to tell me a good story, which is something you're incapable of in any event. But please STFU on the acknowledgments page about your dirty laundry and how life was so haaaard for you while you were writing your book.

A reader who would love to experience your problems... namely how to spend those millions you make for writing complete crap.

Current Mood: bitchy
Thursday, December 22nd, 2005
2:41 pm
Tuesday, December 13th, 2005
12:28 pm
Murf murflng, murf mrrrrv, mur murfff!
Found this one in a waiting room, quoting from memory:

"My darling, my love, my wife!" he exclaimed, as his lips pressed hers. - Barbara Cartland, Kiss of the Devil.

A few years back, a friend of mine was reading a similar book, borrowed from a library, where the hero "kissed her tenderly on the forehead while gazing lovingly into her blue eyes". (They were both standing up at the time, AFAIK.) In the margin, somebody had written "HOW?"
Friday, November 25th, 2005
11:38 pm
Why I don't often read short stories.
If I have to use a trowel to dig through all of your pretentious prose to figure out what you're trying to say, you've failed to say it well at all.

Current Mood: obviously too stupid to get it
Thursday, November 24th, 2005
1:45 pm
Rupture The Hymen Of Midnight
This seems kinda appropriate for a community's first post. If you're not at work, try reading the first paragraph from Blood and Roses (Creation Press) aloud:

The vampire - perfect incarnation of Eros and Thanatos, whose coming ruptures the hymen of midnight, corrupts the virtuous virgin and de-enlightens the sexual morals; illuminating the eclipsed subconscious, and embodying archetypes of the sexual imagination. A vampire's spectre augurs erotic deliria: carnal debilitation, auto-erogenous metempsychosis, fetishism and lesbianism, necrophiliac dementia, auto-symbolic incest, masturbation. As the Shadow's avatar, the vampire represents the anima or animus of manifest desire and dread, born of the right side of the brain; opening the body's blood-gates, flooding the repressed psyche with wonder and disgust.

The rest of the book is a collection of vampire fiction, most of it pretty good out-of-copyright stuff (excerpts from Carmilla, etc). But the introduction... sweet God, it makes the eyes bleed. It goes on like that for another twenty pages of "I've got a shiny new thesaurus and you haven't!"

For true masochists, more of it here.
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