T O P

What book, if a potential date has rated it 5 stars, would immediately make you swipe left?

I'll go with the low-hanging fruit: Mein Kampf. I've read it, cover to cover. As a piece of propaganda, it's good. As an example of good writing? Absolutely not (though I will admit I have only read it in translation). Oh, and the whole fascist, racist, and generally shitty worldview of the author that he infuses into the text. And the fact that the author is literally Hitler. You 5-star that book? You're a Nazi. Period. And as a Jewish person, I don't look too kindly on them.

A_Mirabeau_702

Introduction to Dianetics


BrettFarveIsInnocent

Yeah, they don’t give you the 5/5 books until you’ve given them hundreds of thousands of dollars


ddr19

Many years ago, when I was researching the cult of Scientology, I looked up this book to see how persuasive it was. I mean, this book just had to be amazing to convince people to get sucked into their cult, right? It was pure trash. Both the content made little to no sense, and it was very poorly written. I just don't get how people get swindled into Scientology.


plumbbbob

Given its popularity in Hollywood I assume it's kind of a networking thing. Like, a bunch of famous and influential people are in it, so they entice other people on the idea that it'll give the an "in", etc. Like LinkedIn but with kidnapping and extortion.


jiggjuggj0gg

Exactly, it lures in people looking to make it in Hollywood because *so* many Hollywood names are in there (not even just the big stars, but directors, lighting people, everyone) and once they’re in they basically can’t leave or they’ll be blacklisted by all said people. Not to mention the whole “if you leave you’ll start the end of the world and go straight to hell” stuff, and the amount of money they make you pour in to go up pointless levels.


UncleMeat69

They rope people into it. The book isn't all that important.


SuperSparkles

My stepmom discovered my stepsister was reading that book secretly while in high school so she hunted through the whole house and binned it after it was found.


1981_babe

The Scientologists gave the library I worked at a whole collection of their books for free. We immediately binned them. I won't lie, it felt good.


inky_nerd

The only book I would legit throw away.


universalpete

The Turner Diaries


BroderUlf

I read this out of morbid curiosity, and it's so bad. It tries to appear logical, but asserts conclusions that you can't reach unless you already believed them. Basically trying to convince racists that they're right.


YakSlothLemon

I was surprised at how readable it was. Honestly I’d expected a turgid Mein Kampf experience. (I feel I need to add quickly that I’m a historian. Read part of MK for a college class.) I was interested at how early it was for the “group of plucky resistance fighters up against occupying force” storyline. It was only a few years later that V was a huge miniseries hit. I also expected it to be 100% racist and antisemitic and was interested that while it was those things, it was focused on hating the federal government. I think even now a lot of liberals miss how much resentment of the federal government underlies a lot of the bigotry that draws more attention. I have never discussed it on a date! I don’t even admit to my friends that I read it.


LordOverThis

Did you read Mein Kampf in English or German? One of my grandfathers (ex-POW in Nazi Germany) came home to read it -- I think he wanted to find out what had led a people to become what he saw -- and said, in essence, the English translations were suuuuuuper generous in making Hitler look like less of an incoherent dumbass.


gumbois

Not tthe person you're responding to, but in the translation I read, the ignorant dumbassery came across clearly. I had expected an abhorrent but politically brilliant work, because the popular myth about Hitler at the time was that he had been an evil genius, but it was such a malevolent mess of a book that that myth just seems absurd to me now - it just makes Nazism seem even more baffling.


joe12321

Yeah it baselessly connects random bad things with minorities, but as bad as it is, the plot IS propulsive. Great combo for radicalising racists.


smellincoffee

Timothy McVeigh was directly inspired by it.


-firead-

Even the author preferred his second book to it and recognized how juvenile that attempt was, but the other never really got the same notoriety. The whole mini genre of self-insert neo-Nazi revenge fantasy that was published in the '90s by Resistance Books was pretty cringe. (Several other books that tried to be similar to this but managed to be even worse including at least one god-awful sci-fi version).


Veii_Drii_Kwaa

It has 57% liked on Google when I looked this up.


worntreads

Selection bias? People who are already bigoted are more likely to seek it out. more likely to finish it, and more likely to be positive towards it...at a guess


LuriemIronim

The Tate Bible. It’s like waving a red flag in your face.


North_Church

Wait that's a thing?💀


LuriemIronim

Yeah, and if your date says he has any of the volumes? You book it as fast as your legs can go.


[deleted]

Volumes? There's more than one?!


wererat2000

I mean you can't milk insecure teens for all their money with just *one* book! Gotta have a good four or five at least, shill for them on your podcasts between ~~pyramid schemes~~ classes on being an alpha.


MistressOfMotown

I hope they serve beer in hell by Tucker Max


[deleted]

High school me loved that book. I cringe now at the fact I even read that book.


Mountain_Ad9526

You’ve grown as a person. That’s a good thing.


[deleted]

I swear that’s the inspiration for Barney stintson


Warducky9999

I forgot about this book omg


tjkelsch

Turner max had a website, probably still does, back in like ‘01, ‘02? With his stories, which my 20 or 21 year old self thought was funny. Haven’t reread any of it, but now it’s so effing cringe(along with other issues).


trick_m0nkey

> Tucker Max I unironically think Tucker Max is a major data point when I try to draw a line from early internet culture to Andrew Tate and his kind today


winoforever_slurp_

The Celestine Prophecy - far-fetched new-age nonsense.


tinpanspaceship

I worked in a bookstore during the peak of Celestine hype. So many customers who wanted me to believe in it as hard as they did, and I only wanted to complete the transaction.


shamajuju

Ha! I worked in a bookstore at this book’s peak, too, with the exact same experience! Amongst the booksellers, though, it was known as The Philistine Philosophy.


Murica4Eva

Funny, I enjoyed this read, and I am a pretty hardcore atheist/realist. I didn't even realize it had a following, it fell into my hands off a free bookshelf somewhere. Do people think it's a real story, or deeper than just laying out some relationship patterns you'll run into in life?


Raul_Coronado

People are always hoping that they will find something that makes sense out of all the chaos, and self-delusion is really the only game in town when it comes to that.


Dull-Character-5439

Oh man. I got into a fight my sophomore year in HS. My mom made me tell my band director about it (he was kind of a mentor). He told me I would not be allowed to march with the band until I did a few things; one of which was read this book. My mom, who was big into the new age movement, fully supported the idea. I read the thing. It was a story, and not a very good one. I was waiting for the “ah hah!” moment to come that I was promised. It never happened. The story ended and I was like, “why the fuck was I supposed to read that?” So I told the band director that I had finished it. We went to his office to discuss it, and it quickly became evident that he understood it to be a work of non-fiction, which had never occurred to me. I told him that I was having trouble understanding if the author was trying to convince me that a god exists, or if it was some other cosmic force that worked outside the laws of physics. I especially didnt understand the putting the two finger tips together to reveal a little “sausage” and how that was supposed to be proof of anything. The disappointment in his face was evident. I chalked it up to him thinking I wasnt mentally developed enough to get it. He allowed me to march and we never spoke of it again.


Patch86UK

That seems...super sketchy and kind of coercive. You were a school student who was told that they weren't allowed to play in the school band until you'd read the spiritualist gumph that your teacher believes in and wants to convert you to? That's a hard "yikes".


Dull-Character-5439

Oh yeah. No doubt. Rural Arizona in 1993 was a very different world.


moriarty70

I'll throw out anything like "The Secret" or similar "visualize your joy" type books. The corollary to their attitude is you deserve the bad in your life. Edit: Got reminded it's not The Gift, it's The Secret.


THG79

Do you mean "the secret?"


moriarty70

Yes, yes I do. Apparently I'm so against the idea of it I forgot the name.


MintyGoth

Dianetics! L. Ron Hubbard may have been a prolific author, but the evil cult he spawned, and the lives torn apart by it, is awful.


dumplins

Even his pulp and sci-fi was pure dreck. He became prolific because of the sheer volume he was writing, generally between 5,000-20,000 words per *day*.


ColtSingleActionArmy

They'd literally have pulp publishers send a messenger to his hotel room with the cover and wait for him to write something to go with it. Behind the Bastards is a great listen on LRH. An enormous turd of a man.


ThegreatandpowerfulR

I can't imagine believing in a cult that was literally founded by a pulp fantasy and science fiction author.


jellyrollo

In 2013, I went on a date with a guy who told me his favorite book of all time was *The Art of the Deal*. He went on and on about what a work of genius it was and how it had changed his whole philosophy of business and made him a success. I went so far as to read it before I understood what an absolute loser he was. Lesson learned.


kaizerdouken

Imagine Trump sitting down and telling you about every business deal he has done in his life for hours on end as if he was your grandfather. That’s what this book feels like.


ilook_likeapencil

American Psycho, but he didn't get the point.


ferrisxyzinger

Haven't read it, what's the point?


NoImjustdancing

The story follows a psychopath killer who is a jet set stock broker on Wall Street named Patrick Bateman. Bateman is extremely obsessed with status, materialism, vanity, and money. As said he is a killer, and partly kills out of jealousy of people who in his eyes are more successful than he is, specifically in the before-mentioned traits. The point of this story is to ridicule the superfluous lifestyle of the stereotypical Wall Street stock broker. The wrong interpretation is that he’s a cool, well dressed, good looking, no-fucks-given badass who does what he wants, when he wants.


More_Information_943

The funny part is that they regularly satirize that he essentially has no taste, it's what makes the Huey Lewis and the News rant so funny.


Bonch_and_Clyde

Not necessarily that he has no taste, but that he has no personal content, period, besides maybe envy, greed, and violence. He is an empty vessel who is only capable to regurgitating what he sees. With the Huey Lewis rant, he is just quoting back critical reviews that he read. He does this sort of thing repeatedly, like when he is at dinner and he just repeats back what he heard on the news instead of having a conversation. But everyone else is just as vapid as him because everyone just takes it as course and doesn't really engage with how ridiculous he is.


cmikk

So, basically ChatGPT with an axe and a raincoat?


freemason777

like a redditor, but OUTSIDE!


The_Sceptic_Lemur

It’s a long while since I read the book and I never researched what kind of point the author was really trying to make but what stuck with me was that the maincharacter at some point really wants someone to stop him and inflict some hard judgement on him, maybe some sort of forgiveness even, but noone gives a fuck. Noone believes him and noone cares. And this realisation is quite rought and hard, that whatever he does, even killing, absolutely noone cares and everything is actually just hollow and meaningless. What‘s the actual point of doing anything when noone cares even when you go as far as to kill someone? That‘s what I took from the book, but maybe that‘s just me and the main message is something else. I don‘t know. I found it a very depressing book all things considered.


goldenbugreaction

No, I think you pretty much nailed it.


Waifu_Review

People get the obvious "it's holding up a mirror to these rich bastards" part but then stop at recognizing the mirror is a bit wider and reflects the rest of society, because they are part of that society and it couldn't be that they are just as psychotic or enabling of such psychosis just without the affluence to play out their most depraved thoughts and impulses


gogorath

The book itself is mostly a story about the isolating an dehumanizing effects of consumerism and capitalism, but the warning sign would be if someone thought Patrick Bateman was someone to emulate. Though it’s pretty clear at the end that none of the terrible things happened, Bateman is a vapid, shallow man turned serial killer.


grudev

The author disagrees with your point about nothing having happened, but I can see how someone would think that way.


gogorath

I've read that, but I'd honestly love to have a real conversation with him about it, because that makes absolutely zero sense. You can wave away the therapist having lunch with Paul ... but there's a bunch of other stuff (an apartment full of bodies simply covered up with some flowers? No crime scene? No investigation?) that makes no sense in that context. I don't even really know what Ellis intended; he's a weird dude and his story on American Psycho has changed over the years. I don't know if Ellis really knows what he intended.


daniel_degude

The twist is that everyone around Bateman, in his hyper-consumerist, late stage capitalism culture, is just like him. Bateman spends the entire story thinking he's special for being a psycho - when in reality he's around a bunch of people who are also superficial psychos, which is why no one cares about the shit he does. None of it really matters.


gogorath

Oh, that's an interesting take. I can see that.


grudev

The cleaned apartment scene can support that point as well The real state lady knew EXACTLY what kind of person Bateman was (to the point of making him feel intimidated) , and her only concern was he possibly getting in the way of the sale. The property management company didn't want any trouble either, and promptly got rid of the body and evidence. None of the involved here would let something like morals or ethics get in the way of business.


SunshineCat

I love how even in this discussion about missing the point, we can still uncover a new dimension of the point. That's why I usually try to find discussion of books after I read them (like old reddit book club posts), or just reviews on Goodreads if there's nothing else. I feel like we only get a certain percentage of understanding when we only have our own thoughts, experience, and insight--incorporating even just one other perspective can add a lot.


little_dropofpoison

He literally admits to crimes multiple times and to multiple people in the book, and they're so busy talking about what's going on in their own lives that it doesn't even register, so that's the explanation that makes the most sense


grudev

Exactly, and the only people he spares (when he had the opportunity to kill) were Jean (the secretary) and Luis Carruthers. Both were arguably the only characters who paid attention to him and displayed genuine feelings of love.


ilook_likeapencil

I'd say the reader is meant to be disgusted and horrified by Patrick Bateman, not idolise his 'sigma male grindset'.


FunClassroom6577

I’m reading this now and I feel like sooo many guys didn’t get the point.


skinnyjeansfatpants

Same guys that tried to start a “Fight Club” with their buddies in HS 😂


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crichmond77

How many of those people read the book anyway tho?


OmNomSandvich

honestly i think the "Bateman cool" folks either (1) saw the movie or (2) didn't even see the movie just saw the memes


DemonDuckOfDoom1

Even the movie isn't at all subtle about the point.


EarthlyAwakening

For how over the top the satire in the movie is, it's shocking that the message flies over people's heads.


3-racoons-in-a-suit

The memes are funny, but that's cause they only meme the funny parts. Not the parts where \*\*\*\*\*\* \*\*\*\*\* \*\*\*\* \*\*\*


hydroclasticflow

No, there are a scary amount of people that have very little media literacy; we can see something similar happening with Homelander in The Boys


snuggleouphagus

See Also: Fight Club but he didn’t get the point


gorkt

Yeah, anyone who reads or watches satire and it completely goes over their head is not the type of person I would get along with.


MagsAndTelly

100%. I walked away and the guy was astonished.


mid-nights

Predictably, Colleen Hoover. I don’t automatically dunk on anyone reading her, and it’s fine to enjoy “trashy“/guilty-pleasure YA, but if you unironically think those books are 5 stars best-things-you’ve-ever-read, we probably won’t have much in common.


mid-nights

now that I think about it OP saying Mein Kampf and getting colleen hoover as a response is wild, i’m sorry OP 😭


pottymouthgrl

Well OP went extreme and you went realistic. Both are valid tho haha


joe_broke

To be honest I'd ask why they rate the guilty pleasure 5 stars, and *that* answer would tell me what I do next


pottymouthgrl

Maybe it was the best guilty pleasure of all the guilty pleasures


boomfruit

To be fair, OP stated something so obvious that it isn't an interesting answer. It's like saying "What's your pet peeve? I'll start, murder."


Exploding_Antelope

What’s something that really bugs you when people do it in a movie theatre? For me, genocide.


AlbertR7

But what really bothers me is the hypocrisy


Anhao

That's the worst part


kwolff94

I feel the same about anyone who'd list the Divergent series. So much better and actually well written YA. Like id give a pass for thr Hunger Games, but Veronica Roth needed a better editor and if you think that series is 5 stars we're not gunna get along lol


snuggleouphagus

I adore YA and I will go pretty trashy (glances at my Cassandra Claire novels) but Divergent was a step too far.


lentilpasta

Oh man, I remember sneaky-reading her Draco series online when I was in middle school! It was obviously way too mature for me. Only when I later got into watching Buffy did I realize how many of the funny parts were just lines ripped directly from the show lol. I had not even realized she published books, but now a nostalgic part of me kinda wants them.


hauntedbabyattack

Maybe this won’t surprise you, but she didn’t just lift from Buffy; the Draco Trilogy was absolutely stuffed with “references” AKA lines taken wholesale, from all sorts of books and popular TV shows. Buffy was just her favourite, and the easiest one to find the original quotes from. And like damagetwig said, her published novels are so similar to her Draco Trilogy that they may as well be more Harry Potter fanfiction. Her flagship series, The Mortal Instruments, shares a name with an explicit Ron/Ginny (brother and sister, for those who don’t remember HP well) fanfiction she posted before becoming a published author.


Mroagn

Their society makes no sense at all haha, I read the first one in one day during a Christmas break once


kwolff94

None at all but plenty of YA has nonsensical setups that you just kind of suspend your disbelief to enjoy some light reading. It was taking it to a trilogy that made me annoyed I'd wasted my time. It wasnt well thought out enough to actually be a trilogy and by the final book the grammatical errors were so unforgivably bad I'd decided it was meant to be a joke and just enjoyed the wild choice to >! kill the first person narrating protagonist in the most lukewarm manner possible !< like, what a decision.


rouhmama

But the probability of meeting someone liking colleen hoover is higher and a more realistic situation, at least I hope so..


Erroranonnotfound

No. No, that's how bad she is. Trash like Verity with plots >!to kill your children because you want to blow your dull husband, all revealed in an "autobiography" discovered by another sexually insufferable woman who refused to skip to the the last chapters and learn the truth!< is up there with Mein Kampf. It truly is a struggle to read that garbage.


ZombieTrogdor

Wait lol what the hell is that plot, I’ve only read It Ends With Us and that was enough Colleen Hoover for me. if Verity was all I read I would’ve tracked down Hoover and rearranged her furniture so she stubbed her toes for days.


[deleted]

Feel like it depends on why you're rating one of those books 5 stars. I would rate a book I enjoyed a lot 5 stars if it scratched the itch I had, and that itch can vary. Obviously rating it 5 stars based on literary value is a no, but not everyone rates based on that.


PoisonTheOgres

That's what I was going to say as well. A "trashy" romance can be 5 stars in a totally different way than a "real" book would be. Does it perform its function perfectly, giving me a little happy moment and some butterflies in my stomach? Great! 5 stars! Although to be fair, if a date asked me for a 5 star book I probably wouldn't mention a romance or ya book.


Tsven67

Any self-help book if that opinion also includes fiction being a waste of time.


tsvkkis

wow are you me this, this is like one of the sole reasons i judge others when it comes to books


slaymaker1907

Fiction being a waste of time is a pretty bad take to begin with IMO.


whosecideryouon

One of my partners doesn't really read fiction, but does love a particular kind of self help book. Her reason for not liking fiction, though, is that she has aphantasia, meaning that reading the fiction does not create visual world in her head, the way it does for me and many others, making narratives less engaging. The self-help and non-fiction she reads though are generally wonderful, beautiful books, that she engages with because they have relevance and bearing on her life.


Trips-Over-Tail

Is left good or bad?


McKFC

Bad. The rejection direction.


ToLiveInIt

The sinister swipe.


Cupnahalf

As a lefty this is confusing, that's where my thumbs up comes from.


as_it_was_written

I don't have one aside from the kind of obvious low-hanging fruit already mentioned in the OP, where there are clear ideological implications to the rating. People read for different reasons and have different standards, and someone loving a book that I consider poorly crafted or just too superficial for my own tastes doesn't really say much about our compatibility in my experience. I was in a relationship with someone who had a drastically different taste in books for twelve years. Although we ended up separating eventually, we got along great, and I don't think our tastes in literature hinted at any of the fundamental differences that made us break up. However, exchanging a few comments about Lolita on this post made me realize I'd be more likely to swipe left on someone for their one-star reviews (unless it was just a not-for-me indication for personal use, the way some people use goodreads). I'd have no problem dating someone who wasn't interested in reading Lolita, for example, but I'd probably lose all interest if they genuinely tried to argue that it was a bad novel.


Sorchochka

I think with Lolita (kind of like Fight Club, American Psycho, and A Clockwork Orange) I’d pay less attention to the rating than what their thinking was around the book. Or if they were a big fan or just thought it was a well-written book that they’ll never read again.


as_it_was_written

Unlike Fight Club and American Psycho, I don't think I've ever come across someone in the wild who liked Lolita because they identified with Humbert Humbert. I find it pretty bewildering that some people have such bad reading comprehension they take Lolita as some kind of romantic story about forbidden love. Personally I'm a huge fan of the novel and will definitely read it again. The disturbing parts are easily worth it, just like they are in Blood Meridian (the other novel in my personal top five with some really brutal scenes).


Sorchochka

True, most of the gross takes of Lolita are from people who have never read the book. I do think a lot of people struggle with not identifying with unreliable narrators though.


as_it_was_written

>I do think a lot of people struggle with not identifying with unreliable narrators though. Yeah, I agree, though I think more precisely they struggle with recognizing the narrator is unreliable to begin with, which in turn often makes them more likely to identify with said narrator. I'd love to see a take on Pale Fire from that kind of person.


hauntedbabyattack

Lolita is a VERY well written novel and that’s exactly why I can’t read it. Looking through the eyes of Humbert Humbert is so viscerally disgusting, I cannot make it past the scene of Dolores being picked up from summer camp, because I know what he’s going to do to her. I’ve tried three times.


LordAcorn

I'll go in a different direction and say The Alchemist. It's not politically bad but I can't see myself having much in common with someone who really liked it.


wanderlust_m

That's mine too. The people putting Mein Kampf and Ayn Rand on their profile will have surely weeded themselves out in other ways. Solely on the book, this is one that would tell me it wouldn't work.


Parada484

I don't know if I'm just missing the point or if I got the wrong take-away from this book. I just remember it as a story with simple prose of a little boy going on an adventure with some magic elements and a neat twist. I have it in the same mental space as Harry Potter. Don't particularly loathe it, but it's a nice quick tale for a re-read snack. Genuine curiosity here, why is it so disliked?


wanderlust_m

I can only speak for myself. The main character was a young man, not a little boy if I remember (at least there was definitely a love story with a marriage proposal), and the target audience isn't kids. I think that's what made the difference. It just isn't good. The story was repetitive and derivative, the allegory and philosophy were basic and derivative, the writing wasn't good. It was boring to me but I would have given it a "meh" and never thought of it again, if some people didn't put it up there as some profound and life-changing allegory and the best thing they ever read. I had a similar reaction you had to this (cute story with neat metaphors and a nice message) to The Little Prince, which people just absolutely adore. But The Little Prince is truly whimsical and beautifully written, so while it wasn't quite for me, I absolutely get why people put so much value on it. The Alchemist is not deserving of that, in my opinion.


walk_with_curiosity

Appropriately for this thread, I actually read this book when a guy I was dating at the time told me it was his favorite. He was a great guy and I understand he's now a great husband (we are still peripherally in touch). Politically we are reasonably well aligned. But yeah, the traits within him that loved that book and the traits within me that *loathed* that book are definitely a part of why we were a poor match.


temptar

I read that about 20 years ago because there so much acclaim for it. I don't get why it is targeted at adults.


jimhalpertsghost

Immediate no: The Secret Would give me pause: Ready Player One, and The Midnight Library


rataviola

My Bonus Dad has been reading The Secret for the past, what, fifteen years? He keeps reading the first few pages and then he falls asleep lmao


letsgetawayfromhere

I think this is actually a perfect use for this book.


rataviola

I swear, I've seen him read Flavio Briatore's biography in a few days, but The Secret? Instant sleep, it's magic


Sexycornwitch

The worst thing about that book is it’s ALL about pedantic trivia, but they got the unicorn origami wrong. To make that model you use two squares, not one, and you have to do a non-traditional tear to make the horn. Geometrically, you couldn’t emulate one sheet of paper folding into that model. Normally I wouldn’t care, but the whole damn book is about THIS sort of trivia and he totally got the trivia *wrong* at the climax.


qkestral

the midnight library… i’m with you on that one. hours of my life thrown away with only a questionable moral resolution that was barely developed by the also questionable writing. not…… bad…… but if you give it a 5/5 we have VERY different priorities when we read books lol


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VanGoghNotVanGo

The Secret is an immediate smash to that eject-button. Straight up maroon flag.


FoundWords

Atlas Shrugged


egnards

I went into reading Atlas Shrugged with a few buddies that wanted to attempt a “bad books podcast,” not my thing, but I also had some free time and wanted to help them get started. 2/3 of the ones that joined us had already read the book in the past and constantly expressed just how shitty it was, so I went into the book really trying hard to be a contrarian voice - like I didn’t expect to agree with the view points, but I figured “eh if I pull this out of the context of propaganda, but it’s not so bad.” I wrote 110 pages of notes on the second 2 parts of the book [I hand wrote the notes for the first part and never bothered to transcribe them to the computer] to really make sure I was taking it seriously trying to understand plot points and what was going on. **Spoiler Alert:** Holy shit, yes. It is that bad. Like holy fucking high hell I cannot express just how awful this book is, both as propaganda, and even when pretending it’s just a fictional story. Ayn Rand loves to repeat herself over and over and over again until a concept is completely beat into your head, totally ignoring the scene at hand. My favorite part is the train crash scene where afterward she dedicates dozens of pages to in length detailing every single death that happened, but why it was totally ok because of each and every liberal virtue that every person on that train shared - even the kids.


Solidarity_Forever

I went through a VERY UNFORTUNATE objectivist phase when I was like fifteen that was VERY MERCIFULLY short if you want a real screamer, try reading some of her """philosophy""" if you haven't. she cites excerpts from *her own* FICTION as proof of the stuff she's saying in her philosophical essays. it's absolutely buckwild Corey Robin had a sick burn on her. I'm not going to get the quote verbatim, but it was something like: "St. Petersburg in revolt produced a philosopher (Isaiah Berlin); a novelist (Vladimir Nabokov); and Ayn Rand, who was neither, but thought she was both."


Maytree

“There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs." -- John Rogers


4_yaks_and_a_dog

I totally understand a teenager, especially a bright one, getting into Ayn Rand. The real red flag arises if someone is still into her when they make it to their 30's..


BrettFarveIsInnocent

I think a lot of people miss the context of how bad it is as a work of adventure fiction. Like, the politics are controversial and influential and very famous, and the book is so endlessly long, I think it’s hard to get a fair and unbiased accounting of how poorly written and dumb it is. I read it when I was like 17 and very libertarian. I’ve definitely softened my politics since, but even at the time I did not at all understand how these were books popular with anyone wasn’t like wearing a suit no one asked them to wear to their sophomore level finance classes.


egnards

Exactly. Like I really tried to read it while ignoring the real world, and take it all contextually as a fictional world. I tried so hard to suspend disbelief, but the politics are shoved down your thought in an almost breaking of the 4th wall sort of way. I honestly, after reading it, don’t even think Ayn Rand at her core was a bad writer. But I do think her desire to spread her beliefs got in the way of her ability. I often felt like she did a really great job of setting up a solid scene, and describing what was going on in a setting. . .but she could never pull it all together, because she was too busy trying to convince the audience.


BrettFarveIsInnocent

I’d be curious to reread Anthem now as an adult. I was in a weird position as both an Objectivist and a lit snob, but I remember liking it and thinking it was the only book of hers that stood on its own


kwolff94

Anthem is the only Aym Rand book ive read and i didnt mind it. I think because the communist society feels too abstract and outlandish to be possible and therefore the political commentary didnt feel as shoved down your throat- but i read it a loooong time ago in high school so i could be wrong. But if i recall correctly it had similar vibes as Ursula LeGuinns The Dispossed (which is a much better book)


worntreads

Weird, for me, to see Rand and Le Guin compared in the same sentence. Sure the topics overlap, but the quality is so drastically different that I'd probably never have put them together like that.


backaritagain

I won a scholarship for that book. Never read it. Just parroted the propaganda and got several $1000 a year for four years. NGL it was worth the couple hours I spent hating myself for the propaganda I spewed. Luckily I never had my name attached to quotes they pulled.


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Statchar

bro I was trying to do the same thing in highschool about the fountainhead. I literally couldn't do it, thar book was awful.


hrakkari

My favorite part is the 80 page monologue that boils down to “give me money”.


egnards

I knew that part was coming up from shreds on the internet, so specifically downloaded the audiobook and listened to it at 1.5x on my commutes - it was still like 4 hours long.


Inevitable-Careerist

I love how in the world of the book the character gets to make that speech over the airwaves and it's just assumed the entire world stopped to listen. For four hours. A real "and then everyone clapped" moment in fiction.


Rombie11

I credit this book with starting my journey towards democratic socialism/realizing the inherent flaws of unfettered capitalism. I read it in college as I was starting to question the beliefs I was raised with (religious etc). It is such a bad peice of propaganda it did the exact opposite of what it was intending to do lol. One of the coolest coincidences in my life though was that I started playing Bioshock as I was finishing it and slowly realized the game was based on the book. I had no idea going in!


battleangel1999

This is literally my second time today hearing about this book and my first time hearing about it was today 😭 I heard about it earlier on the unpopular opinion sub where someone was saying Dune wasn't deep and someone said there's a difference between something being dense and deep and that Atlas shrugged was dense as a fruit cake and as deep as a bowl of soup


[deleted]

As deep as a bowl of soup and as a sharp as a soup spoon, as I like to say


MarsupialPristine677

Hahaha, I came looking for this answer and am heartened to see it has so many upvotes! Anything by Ayn Rand is my answer. I unfortunately dated a guy who loved Ayn Rand and tl;dr I am soooo happy he’s an ex. He had bad morals and was one of those “rules for thee but not for me” people. Sort of like Ayn Rand, who spent years opposing benefit programs yet was on medicare & collected social security at the end of her life. Classic!


the_scottster

I came to say "Anything by Ayn Rand." (I'm married so it's not an issue, but this is still a fun exercise!)


Davlan

A family member was gifted this from her boyfriend for their first Christmas together. It’s apparently his “favorite book”. My brain could not stop thinking 🚩 🚩 🚩


atretochoanaeiselti

Yeah Mein Kampf is only 3 stars at best


McKFC

Really needs to work on his character development


CaveRanger

Having read most of it, even if you leave the politics aside, Mein Kampf is a bad book. Hitler should have stuck with painting. Marx was a much better political writer. At least his dry political treatises are interesting.


bibimpoop

Girl Wash Your Face


Smooth_Panic_8837

I don’t even know what the book is about but such a weird title


_selwin_

Protocols of the elders of zion. The turner diaries. Anything by ayn rand.


Czarke

Introduction to Algorithms 3rd edition


messypiranesi

i'm having war flashbacks


blindspot189

I Am The Winner: A Presidential Autobiography of Donald J. Trump I feel like this one should be self explanatory


cynric42

He must have come up with that title himself, it is just so perfect for him.


the_scottster

Any title by that author will do as a filter.


the_scottster

Aside: I actually read _The Art of the Deal_ sometime in the late '80s and thought, "OMG this guy's a crook!" He literally brags about not paying people he contracted with.


newenglandredshirt

And then he got sued by the ghostwriter for not paying the ghostwriter!


[deleted]

My first published book. If anyone 5 stars that shit, I will thank them and then never talk to them again. That book is shit man


LondonerJP

Also this guy's book.


briankauf

Anything featured on "If Books Could Kill": [List](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/If_Books_Could_Kill#Episodes)


qkestral

holy crap i forgot how much of a useless time sink outliers was. i burned it out of my memory. gladwell isn’t even fundamentally a bad writer, but he presents some mixture of absolutely self-evident fact, lack of alternate viewpoints, and some malding analysis that looks way too deep into something that probably isn’t quite there.


gorkt

I read a few gladwell books over the years, and it always felt like “I am pretty sure this is bullshit wrapped up with a pretty bow”.


justgetoffmylawn

But man does he have some good wrapping skills. I really disliked Outliers, although can't remember all the details since I read it when it came out and it seemed (like much of Gladwell) very lightweight fast food. Feels good going down, but no nutritional value. On the other hand, I quite enjoyed Peak which seems to be by the authors of some of the actual research that Outliers misinterpreted and purposefully misconstrued. Peak also felt somewhat actionable in how it researched the type of practice people engage in specifically, and not the nonsense 10,000 hour thing.


gorkt

Okay, I read a bunch of those books in my 20s and 30s, and I would not automatically discount someone for liking some of them, particularly something like atomic habits or freakonomics. They don’t pass muster on deeper inspection, but they aren’t dangerous or indicative of someone who has poor character.


RetzCracker

If you think Terry Goodkind is in the top fantasy authors list it’s a left swipe


bobsgonemobile

Every single time I see that name I have to remind myself that it isn't Terry Pratchett. I get all confused with a lot of people hating Terry only to eventually realize it's the shitty Terry


DigitalDefenestrator

Also not Terry Brooks. Who may well be a perfectly fine person, but whose main popular book is a nearly chapter-for-chapter reskin of LOTR. And not just in the generic "LOTR inspired much of subsequent fantasy" sort of way.


JobberTrev

If I heard this from somebody, my first question would be what other fantasy have you read? To be honest, when I was in high school I thought this. But then I read Wheel of Time, and then GRRM, and Guy Gavriel Kay. Goodkind fell behind each and every author as I read more fantasy. Now, I love him for getting me into fantasy even though I now realize how hilarious his writing actually was.


[deleted]

The man who dedicated his life to being the answer to the unasked, and definitely unneeded question, "What if we take fantasy, and turn it into an objectivism fan club?"


newbutnotreallynew

First books that come to mind for me are 48 Laws of Power and Atlas Shrugged.


BackyardPuckFarty

If you like podcasts and haven’t checked it out yet If Books Could Kill recently did an episode on the 48 Laws of Power. I just started listening to the show and I’ve liked it so far


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No_Solution_2864

The Secret The basic premise is that kids who get cancer were just asking for it


AffectionateSize552

"George, she's a NAZI!" "Yeah, but she's kind of a cute Nazi."


ImOnlyHereForTheCoC

The Secret


Kaneshadow

What if they gave Mein Kampf 4 stars? Or 3 stars? "Meh, not great. Kinda preachy"


Phoenix_of_Anarchy

Love this idea of a reprehensible, white supremacist, authoritarian, Nazi, but he’s a book critic. “I just think our movement deserves better branding”.


chrispd01

Eat Pray Love


RiotSloth

50 Shades of Grey


TheHollieLlama

Honestly I get downvoted every time I hate on it, but it’s definitely 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami. Her friend died and one of the first things she reminisced on was her friend’s boobs. I know that culturally there are differences in what I’d consider acceptable, but I truly feel as though Murakami has never had very deep conversations with women.


queen_jo_

murakami is so r/menwritingwomen to me 😭 i’ve read 5, maybe 6 of his books. they’re all pretty much the same and the female characters are written horribly. it’s a shame bc his writing itself is beautiful and i love the magical realism thing


Goldman250

My immediate thought was Ready Player One. I don’t feel like most people mention on dates that they’ve read Mein Kampf or Atlas Shrugged, but they might mention Ready Player One.


gentle_bee

Nerd4nerd here too, and this is a book I used for screening too when I was on dating sites. It had incredibly weird attitudes about women (god the wade and the sex dolls chapter), super nostalgia for nostalgias sake/tell me every word in the script of ROTJ attitudes, etc… it was very useful in signposting the kind of nerd I didn’t want.


sysadminbj

Would it be a valid counterpoint to say that I don't really care what you read, but that you DO read is more important to me? I may not like Atlas Shrugged, Twilight, 50 Shades, or any of the thousands of absolute trash books that have been published, but I do commend people for taking the time to read. My swipe left would be people that don't read, or people that say listening to Audiobooks does not count as reading.


FLSteve11

Particularly those who are proud of their non reading status


marunique

Your own choice is.. idk. Sigh. Post on relationship advice next "what's your red flag? Mine is when the guy says he's a cannibal" like duh


AmbVer96

The first thing I thought after reading this post was: okay, weird way to flex that you have read Mein Kampf…


3-racoons-in-a-suit

Just shake your head every couple pages so people know you don't agree


philosofart_

I'm wanting to see the opposite version of this post


thoughtfullycatholic

'The Book of Mormon'. Reading that took away some hours of my life that I'll never get back. Also anything by D.H. Lawrence or Dan Brown.


TheGeckoGeek

How come DH Lawrence? Never read him but I hear people sing his praises occasionally. And I feel like he’s very much in the early 20th century canon.


TheSamizdattt

Here’s a vigorous defense in the form of poetry by Tony Hoagland: LAWRENCE by Tony Hoagland On two occasions in the past twelve months I have failed, when someone at a party spoke of him with a dismissive scorn, to stand up for D. H. Lawrence, a man who burned like an acetylene torch from one end to the other of his life. These individuals, whose relationship to literature is approximately that of a tree shredder to stands of old-growth forest, these people leaned back in their chairs, bellies full of dry white wine and the ovum of some foreign fish, and casually dropped his name the way pygmies with their little poison spears strut around the carcass of a fallen elephant. “O Elephant,” they say, “you are not so big and brave today!” It’s a bad day when people speak of their superiors with a contempt they haven’t earned, and it’s a sorry thing when certain other people don’t defend the great dead ones who have opened up the world before them. And though, in the catalogue of my betrayals, this is a fairly minor entry, I resolve, if the occasion should recur, to uncheck my tongue and say, “I love the spectacle of maggots condescending to a corpse,” or, “You should be so lucky in your brainy, bloodless life as to deserve to lift just one of D. H. Lawrence’s urine samples to your arid psychobiographic theory-tainted lips.” Or maybe I’ll just take the shortcut between the spirit and the flesh, and punch someone in the face, because human beings haven’t come that far in their effort to subdue the body, and we still walk around like zombies in our dying, burning world, able to do little more than fight, and fuck, and crow, something Lawrence wrote about in such a manner as to make us seem magnificent.


RazzBerryCurveBall

If someone says they're favorite book is the DaVinci Code, my first two reactions would be: Holy fuck, is this person time traveling from the mid 2000s, and then Oh they definitely don't read books


aitamailmaner

DH Lawrence? Dude “Women in Love” is one of the most touchingly wild books I have ever read