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What classic books do you hate?
Are there any "classic" books that you think are poorly written or that you just couldn't get into for the life of you?
I hated A Farewell to Arms (if we can consider that a classic). I'm not a big Hemingway fan to begin with, but the constant back-and-forth dialogue between two lovers and the slow, prosy descriptions of landscapes, and the simple romance story made the book a little dull for me. At least it was short.
Kafka’s "metamorphosis"....I remember thinking while i was forced to read this in high school that they could have asked me to read Kipling, Stephen Crane, Twain, Poe, Lewis Sinclair, C S Lewis, S E Hinton... i would have gladly waded through Tolkien who i thought was slow and dull but worth it,..... but laboring my way through this idiotic acid trip for household vermin,... just stunningly stupid,... i got it, i understood it, i just didn’t like it,..... however,... it may have been that i didn’t really like the teacher at the time, she wouldn’t let me make the connection between Kafka's metamorphosis and the movie "The Fly",... at least that would have given me some kind of bone to chew on,... but no.
I love Metamorphosis. Although I guess maybe I romanticise it slightly as I discovered Kafka whilst travelling in Czech when I was 19 and so the book reminds of a good time. I struggled with his 'The Trial' though, Still not finished that one
I think hate is rather strong; however, there are many books, 'classic', or otherwise that I would prefer not to waste my time with, including:
What Katy Did, etc
Cider With Rosie
and on and on, too many to think on.
I agree with the wasting time sentiment. Sometimes I try and read some of these classics because I feel like I 'should' in order to be better read but I often labour through them slowly with disinterest
I use the publiser's editor trick , if the thing doesn't grab me on the first par, it goes back, thanks, but no thanks.
I should have added, Dune, great film, but I couldn't wade through the 1st par of the book.
It has to be Emily Bronte's 'Wuthering Heights' - what a long, dreary, depressing, stupid story! I would read about three pages at the most and then throw the book into a corner. It became a kind of challenge for me to actually finish it, which I finally did, but it was a chore! I prefer something more light hearted like Jane Austen or something wonderfully spooky like Bram Stoker's 'Dracula'!
Anything by J.R.R. Tolkien - I just have never been able to get into his writing at all. All of these answers are interesting and it really shows me how many different tastes there are out there. Good question.
I never really 'hate' any classic books that I read but I sometimes read them and wonder what all the fuss is about and why a particular book was deemed 'classic'.
A couple that spring to mind are Cold Comfort Farm and Of Mice and Men. I just thought they were boring but then I love loads of other classic that many other would call boring. It's all just a matter of taste really isn't it?
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy, Took forever to finish reading and was Seriously boring for me,
Maybe I read it at too young an age to appreciate it. But all the drama and detailed descriptions of the surrounding environment drove me nuts.
War and peace! It's just too long.
Almost all Russian classics are too long.
That and Charles Dickens. Too long and somber.
I HATE "Jane Eyre"! Once every girl gets to a certain age she is told "Oh, you have to read "Jane Eyre"! Let me tell you, NO YOU DON'T! It is long, boring, and as an adult, there are some underlying sexual things which I now notice and do not appreciate.
Now I don't know if I absolutely hate "The Three Musketeers", but it was certainly a waste of time reading it! Everyone calls it one of the world's great adventure stories. I thought it was just plain stupid!
I just couldn't get into Finnegan's Wake. What kind of a man was Joyce to spend 17 years writing a book that no one would understand and that maybe three pretentious professors in total would have the masochistic perseverance to read to the end?
Call me a philistine if you like, but I think writing fiction requires telling a good story rather than baffling people with obscurity to show off how clever you are! Am I too dumb to recognize genius when I am bashed over the head with it? Or was he really a self-indulgent old egotist?
Yes, I know they say James Joyce was incandescently brilliant - so I'm sure I'm missing something. Maybe someone can tell me what it is
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