This may be here somewhere, but I went through the last few pages and didn't see anything.
I love reading more than most people (well, maybe not here, but in general), but I feel like there's still some books that I didn't like, or even hated. So I'm wondering what book makes you cringe a little bit every time you think about it, and why do you feel that way?
For me, it was The Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce. It jumped around and was really confusing and there was way too much randomness for what a lot of people consider to be a great example of classic literature. And it took me forever to read. I was reading at a rate of like a page every 3 minutes, because I just couldn't concentrate on it.
Anyway, feel free to rant about The Scarlet Letter or Heart of Darkness, or whatever you were forced to read in school. Because sometimes, it's as much fun complaining about crappy books as it is reading moderately good ones.
I had to read this book called Mister Pip for summer reading going into my senior year of high school. All I remember about is that it was truly, spectacularly terrible. But then this was assigned by the teacher who assigned the class The Kite Runner, so I cannot say that I am surprised in retrospect. It was simply poorly written and uninteresting. They always assigned terribly dull, sterile books. Summers would have been so much nicer if I didn't have to break from whatever I was reading to not only read, but write reports on the aforementioned vile pieces of literature. American school system, you're so messed up.
I liked almost all of my assigned reading in school because I'll read virtually anything and at least partially enjoy it; however, I utterly loathed the Canterbury Tales.
"Parrot in the oven" by Victor Martinez.
So bad. It was not well written, and there was NO climax.
Completely awful. The other book that I read for school and pretty much despised was "A girl named disaster" by Nancy Farmer.
It was paced awfully, and so so boring!
Same kind of a thing a Parrot in the oven. Not much of a climax.
I read all sorts of things while studying English in college, but only a few pieces made me want to pull my eyeballs from my head. Reading Puritan sermons for my mid 19th century American Literature class felt like damnation. And while I know it has a popular following, The Eyre Affair (which I read in a seminar on Victorian adaptations) made no sense to me.
I'll also openly admit to never finishing Ulysses. The book of annotations was larger than the monstrous novel itself, and it just made me want to tell James Joyce that I didn't care about his encyclopedia of literary techniques. Then again, I have friends who celebrate Bloomsday every year. I'll never understand.
I despised the Natural by Bernard Malamud. It's about baseball and was confusing even to people who watched the game religiously in my class. I just didn't care about any of the characters.
I didn't care for the book Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain. Although it did have character development of Huck, I feel that at the end of the book he just reverted back to how he was before. I didn't care for him as a character either. The situations that he and Jim got into were interesting (the best word I could think of), but I felt like Huck was just a very immature character. Overall, the novel felt like a collection of short stories as opposed to a book with connecting chapters. Also, I didn't like how Jim's dialogue was written in his accent. I found that I was unable to read it "in my head" and I had to read it out loud to understand some of it.
Has anyone else read this book? Any thoughts?
I couldn't stand The Crucible by Arthur Miller, and Ulysses by James Joyce. I apologize to all the Joyce fans out there, by my god, that book was dull. I'm a big fan of concise writers, so clearly our styles clashed. As for The Crucible, I understand the importance of it, but I think the reaction that is trying to be provoked in students (the one where they feel outraged because of an injustice in the story) would be better received if the teachers used Mark Twain or John Steinbeck instead.
Did that make any sense? I hope so.
I had a reading list that had The Dubliners by James Joyce on it...I only got through thirty pages before putting it down and intending to finish it later...needless to say, I never did, because it was so incredibly dull. I had no idea what the plot was in the slightest.
The Shipping News. The characters were dull, stupid... Nothing happened in that book! No wonder, because the author was inspired to write in when she read a book about string. (If she wrote a sequel, would it be about paint drying?) It was made worse because at the time, I was reading Howl's Moving Castle, a far superior book.
Johnny Tremain. Hands down. That book was terrible, and I have actually met some teachers who agree whole heartily Anyone else forced to read that atrocity?
Oh my yes! I was going to mention this book. It's probably the only book I've ever read that I fell sleep while reading not because I was really tired, but just because I was so bored. It's just soooo dull!
For me, I also love to read more than the ordinary person probably does, so reading assigned books hasn't been that bad for me in high school. There are several, though, that I read with distaste in mind, either because of time-limits, over-analysis, or simply lack of enjoyment: The Scarlet Letter (though, seconds after finishing it, I grew to love it and even bought myself a copy to reread), The Catcher in the Rye (which John has convinced me to reread after a year, and I now enjoy), and, of course, The Metamorphosis by Kafka. That last one I mostly hated because of all the discussions and the fact that our school had limited copies so I received a photocopied version-packet-thing. URGH!