Here are some of mine:
Death In Venice – I walked out of this one in college. A middle-aged man’s erotic infatuation with an adolescent boy simmers, it is suggested, beneath the surface. In reality nothing ever happens. The action is all silence, furtive glances and views of dramatic sunlit esplanades. Hard pass.
Whale Rider – A politically correct, tear jerking piece of crap. It’s got the exploited-native-peoples angle, the anti-Anglosphere culture angle, the You Go Girl! feminist competition-fantasy and anti-male angle. And of course those stupid whales. What’s not to dislike?
The Help – Essentially a cartoon in which the white characters are crass, stupid, racist jerks and the black characters are smart, kind and wise. In case you don’t get the point, the disgusting white people are all southerners with strong southern accents. We must fight stereotypes – except, it seems, the ones that serve our argumentative purposes. Run, don’t walk.
The Magus – The worst book I’ve ever read. The protagonist is unappealing, the plot silly and incredible. This one-star Amazon review tells the tale:
A reminder of how terrible writing can be
Perhaps the worst book I’ve ever read. I’ve seen Scooby Doo episodes more plausible than this mess. Suggestion for the author: if your plot turns on its head not only every chapter, but practically every page, readers will realize the story is contrived garbage and stop caring.
What is contrived here? Maybe the endless scenes of naked people running around wearing antler masks, the star chamber of evil academics from the Sorbonne watching naked prisoners whip each other on racks, oh just remembering the juvenile and ludicrous “plot” makes me wet with embarrassment. The author admits in the preface that this book was an unsuccessful and sophomoric effort, and that’s the only convincing thing in the whole book.
[. . .]
(True story: I was once at a social gathering when someone asked someone else to name the worst book he had ever read. I immediately thought about this book. It was the other guy’s choice too.)
What are your least favorite movies and books? Feel free to share in the comments.