Works of literature you suggest others burn.

September 25, 2008

Who knew that you guys loved to read so much? I think it’s very telling that there are people I am friends with through different areas of my life who enjoy reading the same stuff. It’s as if I like hanging out with a certain type. Preposterous. While I will be making my way though those books post haste, there is a flipside to the literary discussion. There are certain books you’ve read that you simply hated and wish you hadn’t. As previously stated, most of my reading is on books where I’m trying to teach myself a marketable skill, plus I rarely finish a book I don’t enjoy. So this will be my first list where I won’t actually have 5 things:

  1. “A Tale of Two Cities” by Charles Dickens – This is the most boring book I have ever picked up in my life. Labels on the back of bathroom items provide a more engaging read. Seriously. I have read many a cleaner bottle while in the bathroom with no magazines. There is nothing good I can say about this book other than I did well on the test my freshman year of high school. It’s too drawn out for my tastes.
  2. “Great Expectations” by Charles Dickens – See reasons above. Maybe it’s because I just don’t care for his writing style. By the way, who is it that determines that a book is a “classic” book? Is there a secret commission that meets every few years? What does a contemporary author have to do in order for their work to be considered a classic? Why am I asking rhetorical questions that I won’t ever know the answer to?

That’s it. That’s all I’ve got, though I am looking forward to seeing what books are listed (especially by my friends who are librarians). Pretty anticlimactic. In lieu of listing 3 additional choices I will say that I accidentally left out a book (series really) that is one of my favorites. “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” and the subsequent books by Douglas Adams are British comedy gems that I can’t get enough of. Also, I have decided to give my blog a more personal, whimsical feel by including random musings in my posts since I can. Plus it’s a way to entertain myself when I am forcing myself to write (like today). This new section shall be called Nuggets of Knowledge. Anyhow, list 5 works of literature you suggest others should burn.

NUGGET OF KNOWLEDGE:
My great grandmother gave birth to 19 children. Seriously. That is sheer insanity. There was a set of triplets (that died as infants) and two sets of twins (one set died as infants) but other than that they were all one at a time. That blows my mind.

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10 Responses to “Works of literature you suggest others burn.”

  1. Chassi Says:

    1. Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes (The only decent part of this book is when Johnny burns the hell out of his hand.)
    2. The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck
    3. Out of the Night that Covers Me by Pat Cunningham Devoto

    Those are the only three I can actually say that I hate with a passion.

  2. ToThePain Says:

    Now this is not necessarily a list of works I think people should burn, just my sentiment that none of these works is as great as its reputation.

    1. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Rich playboy with a self-destructive lifestyle. Whoop-dee-frickin’-doo. It’s like reading about Paris Hilton in the 1920s.

    2. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger. Cynical schoolboy with a self-destructive lifestyle. Hoo boy. I don’t hate this book, I just don’t think it’s such an American classic that everyone should have to read it.

    3. American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis. I really don’t care for the “If you don’t like this book, it’s because you don’t ‘get it’ and Bret Easton Ellis is just too much of a genius for you to understand.” No, no, I “get” the book, I just don’t think it’s very good. It’s too ham-handed and over the top for me, and Ellis’ satirization of American (business) culture devolves into a schlock-fest worthy of a campy horror novel/movie.

    4. Neuromancer by William Gibson. Sacrilege for the sci-fi fan! Look, I know Gibson is a tremendous visionary, and hugely influential as a sci-fi author. I just found this book to be boring. Maybe it’s because I didn’t read it until it had been hyped up so much, and it couldn’t live up to the reputation. I was just terribly anti-climactic for me.

    5. Of Human Bondage by Somerset Maugham. Totally misleading title.

  3. lena Says:

    1. Twilight. The entire series. Because Anne Rice already did it, and it was more interesting.

    2. Anything (and everything) by Danielle Steel. I think the Lifetime movies they make “inspired” by the books are better than the actual books.

    3. Generation X. Coupland. I was so bored. Perhaps there was a stunning revelation on those last few pages that I just couldn’t force myself to read. However, I doubt it.

    4. American Psycho. Bret Easton Ellis. “To the Pain” already explained why. So I won’t repeat myself.

    I can’t think of my number five. So there. List4.

  4. Brian Eldridge Says:

    Every book I was forced to read in high school… LOL

  5. Jason L. Says:

    1.) Ulysses, by James Joyce. Are we kidding with free association? Is this really anything more than a fun thing for the author to do?

    2.) His Dark Materials Series (Golden Compass et. al.), by Phillip Pullman. These books hint at something completely awesome and never delivers. In the meantime, it offers perhaps the most annoying young female character I’ve ever read. I wanted to use the Subtle Knife to slit her throat.

    3.) To the Lighthouse, Virginia Woolf. I feel bad, but I just couldn’t have cared less. No I don’t feel bad, this book is horribly boring.

    4.) The Sound and The Fury, William Faulkner. Again, really? free association? The first ten pages of this book enraged me.

    5.) The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Tolkien. How a young person can get through 40 page descriptions of dinner, I don’t know. Like my pal, Tony says, “I started to read it and then thought, why am I not watching this in Hi-Def?”

  6. Katy Says:

    1 – The Hobbit, Tolkien. While I moderately enjoyed the Lord of the Ring series (so much better in movie form!) I absolutely loathed The Hobbit. Everytime I would finally start getting into the story the narrarator would interject a thought or explaination that only succeeded in annoying me.

    2 – The 13th Warrior, Michael Crichton. One of the rare examples of where the movie is better than the book. I loathe books that are in journal format (and yet I love Meg Cabot’s “The Boy” series). It was painful for me to try reading this book. So painful I didn’t finish.

    3 – Bridget Jones’s Diary, Helen Fielding. See explaination for #2

    I know there are more that I was forced to read during college that I couldn’t stand, but I have apparently blocked the memory of the titles.

  7. Tiffany Mueller Says:

    NOTHING, not ever.

  8. onewandering Says:

    1. Their Eyes Were Watching God (Zora Neale Hurston) — This was summer reading for an AP English class in high school. What can I say, but “zzzzzzzzz.”

    2. Catch-22 (Joseph Heller) — Read this in college (Master’s) for a professor I really liked, but this was just painful. I tried to like it, I really did. But no, it’s painful.

    3. Animal Farm (George Orwell) — Middle school. Oh how I HATED IT.

    4. The Name of the Rose (Umberto Eco) — First awful book that I had to read (AND watch the movie to!) when going for my Master’s. A murder mystery set in an Italian monastery in 1327; heavy on the semiotics, which I still don’t think I understand. Is it surprising at all that I found this one painful??

    5. Shakespeare. Any of it. Can’t we live on, forever, with just the plainspeak, Sparks Notes versions? For real?! No? Okay then… just don’t make me read it!

  9. mikeray Says:

    I can’t think of anything that should be wiped out – a lot of things stink – Harlequin romances, later non-gunslinger Stephen King, Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time after book 5 (the word in Spanish Harlem is that the last one is good). Also, it’s funny, I teach history and read science fiction, but I don’t like the idea of ‘alternative history sci-fi’ stories very much, probably since I have enough trouble getting kids to enjoy the real thing (although I have openly professed my love for Stephenson’s Baroque Cycle).
    Read what you want, just read something.

  10. Jimmy Says:

    I burned this book tonight. It took 20 minutes, and I didn’t even get half of the book!


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