Disturbing Books that have put you off

Would someone please explain how [i:3ciw01fu]Earth Abides.[/i:3ciw01fu] By George R. Stewart. Is thought of as a great novel? Other than how to "f up the furture"?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth_Abides

The main character is nothing more than a lazy snob who only works enough to give himself some small amount of comfort. He assumes that water will come from the tap forever, when it quits -duuuhh. Curiosity is all but dead. He denigrates all around him. Forbids all men to touch a woman with mental problems as he doesn't want the trouble of having to deal with a bunch of half-wit children. At one time he thinks it would have been better to have given the woman some sweetened (either rat or ant) poison. All of this just a few years after we find out what the monster Hitler did.

I see Stewart as an asshole with a very low opinion of humanity.

Sorry for puttin' you fine folks through this but this is the first book in years that has put such a bad taste in my mouth. If you want it send me a message and I'll be happy to email.

What books where the human spirit has been turned off is assumed to be the norm have you read?

Comments

  • said:

    Forbids all men to touch a woman with mental problems as he doesn't want the trouble of having to deal with a bunch of half-wit children...[/quote:2a8dbyl9]

    Like genetic counseling?

    said:

    I see Stewart as an asshole with a very low opinion of humanity.[/quote:2a8dbyl9]

    Like modern social darwinists?

    said:

    What books where the human spirit has been turned off is assumed to be the norm have you read?[/quote:2a8dbyl9]

    For me - [i:2a8dbyl9]The Davinci Code's [/i:2a8dbyl9]cynicism, [i:2a8dbyl9]1984[/i:2a8dbyl9]'s 'prophecy', I'm sure there are others.

    Initially, I thought your question was 'what books have you put off?' In this case, I am ashamed to say, [i:2a8dbyl9]The Satanic Verses[/i:2a8dbyl9]. I've been meaning to read that since it came out. (1988 :lol: )

  • said:

    What books where the human spirit has been turned off is assumed to be the norm have you read?[/quote:2a1nycew]

    Brave New World by Huxley By the end, I was disappointed that the main character didn't go on a killing spree.

    As a quick antidote to such visions of the future of the human spirit: Gattaca

    I imagine that with a slightly better execution of that script/screenplay it could have gone from being a good film to a great one. I think one of the reasons I enjoyed Gattaca was its superb exposure of a society that places too much trust in its politicized understanding of science. It also strikes me as a uniquely American sort of science fiction; which is funny since I think it was written by a Zealander

  • In HS English we had to read some Edith Wharton (Ethan Fromme). I wish everyone had just killed themselves in the first chapter and spared us the agony of having to read the stupid book.

    A decade or so later, my ex made me go see "The Age Of Innocence", which was a Merchant-Ivory costume drama based on Wharton's novel. It was exactly the same.

    Every book by her has the same tedious theme: man and woman from different social groups fall in love, but never consummate their love because one or the other or both is too shallow/stupid to break out of the role society has defined for them. Misery ensues. Tragedy strikes, followed by more misery. The end.
  • [i:2vv215eh]Ishmael[/i:2vv215eh] by Daniel Quinn. Man meets gorilla guru who tells man why most of humanity is screwed up (except for the native Americans and a few others tribes around the world) and humanity is on a track for self-extermination unless we live like these tribes, honoring and co-existing with nature. Most of the book is a dialog between the man and the gorilla. There is virtually no plot. The book is hailed by thousands as revolutionary, worldview-altering, life-changing. I could give a longer review, but I'll just say one things. Having the wise guru not be part of the human species masks the problem, but ultimately, it is the human author Quinn talking, not the gorilla, and so Quinn suffers from a Yoda complex -- the delusion that one's own thinking is on a higher plane than the rest of mortals, talking down to humanity like a god. This Yoda complex manifests whenever someone talks of humanity from an outside point of view, ignoring the fact that he is just as mortal, fallible and mistake-prone as those he condemns. Sometimes these ideas are self-refuting as a result. Daniel Dennet also had this problem.
  • said:

    This Yoda complex manifests whenever someone talks of humanity from an outside point of view, ignoring the fact that he is just as mortal, fallible and mistake-prone as those he condemns. Sometimes these ideas are self-refuting as a result. Daniel Dennet also had this problem.[/quote:396e0jx2]

    That's one perspective. Mine is that this is simply a mechanism for presenting another perspective (of the reality described) from outside the everyday perspective. In other words, food for thought.

    The author presents his or her own perspective for your consideration. I don't see it as a problem. If you do consider the author's perspective and subsequently reject it for considered reasons, bravo. If you don't even consider it, the author has failed in his or her intent. That's not necessarily the author's fault.

    I would wish you a happy memorial day, but in this case, please allow me to wish you a reflective memorial day.

  • said:

    said:

    Forbids all men to touch a woman with mental problems as he doesn't want the trouble of having to deal with a bunch of half-wit children...[/quote:3tt9hvn2]

    Like genetic counseling?

    said:

    I see Stewart as an asshole with a very low opinion of humanity.[/quote:3tt9hvn2]

    Like modern social darwinists?

    said:

    What books where the human spirit has been turned off is assumed to be the norm have you read?[/quote:3tt9hvn2]

    For me - [i:3tt9hvn2]The Davinci Code's [/i:3tt9hvn2]cynicism, [i:3tt9hvn2]1984[/i:3tt9hvn2]'s 'prophecy', I'm sure there are others.
    [/quote:3tt9hvn2]


    In 1984 the human spirit was very much alive. Why else would the ministry of love have to be so large? Winston Smith was full of it. They had to beat it out of the poor man. In [i:3tt9hvn2]Earth Abides[/i:3tt9hvn2] it is never there. Hmm. George R. Stewart was a professor of English at Berkeley. Seems they've been messing with the minds of our young well before the 1960's...

  • Misanthropy is so godawfully tedious and boring. There's only so much material you can dredge from "Life is meaningless, mankind is stupid, everything sucks and then you die." Doesn't leave a lot of room for innovation. I think it takes a peculiarly shallow mind to be able to fill itself with such an incredibly limited perspective. I suppose it could serve as "food for thought", in a brain that was otherwise utterly starved.

    Qwinn
  • Tyranny of Kindness by Theresa Funicello. Had to read this for school. Tedious, obnoxious, repetitive, and slanted. I only tread chapters two and eight; my profs take was similar.
  • said:

    In HS English we had to read some Edith Wharton (Ethan Fromme). I wish everyone had just killed themselves in the first chapter and spared us the agony of having to read the stupid book.

    A decade or so later, my ex made me go see "The Age Of Innocence", which was a Merchant-Ivory costume drama based on Wharton's novel. It was exactly the same.

    .[/quote:2spkfpyk]


    Nastassja Kinski was in the movie and kept her clothes on...

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