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Makan Buku, Minum Buku... > So-called "classic" books that I hate, hate, hate!

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message 1: by Khairul H., I hate people but not you. You, I like. (new)

Khairul H. | 2357 comments Mod
You know the ones I mean, books that today have been considered by some people as classics but by me as utter tripe. I hate them because they bored me to tears, I hate them because they made me consider going bungee jumping without the bungee, but somehow these books are praised by a lot of people as masterpieces. Did these people even read the damn books?? What are these infernal titles that I hate with the heat of a thousand suns? They are:

Moby Dick - Did you know that when this book was first published, it was a commercial failure? I'm not surprised. Plodding narrative about an obsessed sea dog seeking revenge on a whale with a pigmentation deficiency. It should be a cracker of a book but it isn't. "Call me Ishmael." No, I won't. Instead I'll call you a waste of time.

Anna Karenina - Or anything by Tolstoy, really. Tolstoy is literary cancer. I call him that based entirely on one reason: Anna Karenina. Why do people enjoy this turgid, over-long soap-opera? I am shocked by the praise this gets from other, better novelists. Why is it that Dostoevsky praised this work? Dostoevsky, who undoubtly wrote shopping lists more enjoyable than Anna Karenina? I would rather trim Rosmah Mansur's sweaty armpit hair than subject myself to this book again. It is so dry and so boring that the justification for its praise is beyond me.

Anything by Charles Dickens except 'A CHRISTMAS CAROL' - When Chucky D. wrote his stuff, they were serialised weekly (or was it monthly?) in a magazine, chapter by chapter. The man wasn't a novelist per se. He was a serial writer. He got paid by the word and it shows. He also needed to make his thinly plotted stories stretch for as long as possible because once the story ended, he wasn't getting paid by the magazine anymore. That's why most of his stories feel like they were unnecessarily padded by subplots and segues. Because they were! He was a short story writer who needed to write longer stories to feed his family.

I exclude A Christmas Carol from my hate because the Muppets did a version of it. If the Muppets approve I can't really disagree, can I?

Les Miserables - Or anything by Victor Hugo (see Tolstoy above). Hugo must have had writer's diarrhea. It's a condition that makes you use 100 words to describe something that can be describe in 10 words. You want to enjoy Les Mis? Go watch the musical instead. You'll thank me later.

(Count of Monte Cristo should have been a joy to read, and especially relevant to M'sians: an innocent man falsely accused by his friends because of their jealousy and persecuted by a corrupt judge, he escapes prison after 20 years and seeks revenge? Heck, yeah! But Hugo's writer's diarrhea makes reading it a chore).

Catcher In The Rye - a dumb punk suburban kid with no real problems whines for several hundred pages about his non-problems, goes to a prostitute, gets hit on by a drunk, watches his sister on a merry-go-round and therefore ends up in a mental institution. HUH ?

I hated Holden, I hated his whiney attitude, I hated his complete lack of anything remotely resembling actual problems and the over-the-top angsty whining about them. I kept wanting to reach into the book and say "Grow up, you idiot--go read Ellison's Invisible Man if you want to talk about how tough life is."

God in Heaven knows how much I hate that book.

There are a few more but I think I'll stop here. Writing this list has made me remember those books again and is making my blood pressure rise.

Oh, before I forget: I will never include the works of Shakespeare in this list because he wrote plays that were meant to be performed and watched. Not read. The man did not write novels. That is why I don't hate his books because he never wrote any books. You are not supposed to read Shakespeare.




message 2: by Najibah, Pustakawan di bumi Tuhan (last edited May 06, 2009 10:23PM) (new)

Najibah Bakar (najabakar) | 2814 comments Mod
Mr Khairul,

Don't know what to say, because all of the titles listed above still on my to-read shelf.

Maybe you're not destined to be fan of classic works, because most of the books you mentioned were internationally acclaimed among the best. All of the experts on literary works couldn't be wrong, but you cannot be wrong yourself because all of us will at last succumb to our 'programmed' tastes.


message 3: by Wan (new)

Wan | 12 comments buku klasik di Pustaka Kelantan percuma


message 4: by Juliana Es (new)

Juliana Es (julianaes) | 855 comments Mod
Haiya Mr Khairul H.

Saya baru berangan nak baca Anna Karenina tu. The reason I've been putting it off is due to its thickness. I don't have such patience to endure such a thick, classic books, unless it's very interesting and really un-put-downable. Nevertheless, I will read it one day, eventually...

Count of Monte Cristo? Huh, lucky me. I read the revised version - meant for young readers ;-p


message 5: by Faizah Roslaini (last edited May 06, 2009 11:39PM) (new)

Faizah Roslaini | 825 comments Mod
Uhh.. I always wanted to watch La Miserables back those days but to read.. urgh.. I'd watched Phantom though. That was quite nice. Perhaps Victor Hugo's were meant to be more enjoyable as plays..heheh

At least you've read them all before coming up with all the conclusions. I haven't read even half of what you've listed up there.

Christmas Carol was nice but I actually listened to the audio book. Kira bacalah tu, kan.

Edit: Oh sorry. Phantom was actually by Gaston Leroux. I take back my first statement. TQ.


message 6: by Khairul H., I hate people but not you. You, I like. (new)

Khairul H. | 2357 comments Mod
Bunnybaby, it's thick because Tolstoy goes on and on and on and on and on about every minute detail. A character enters a room? Expect 10 pages of Tolstoy describing everything in that room from the curtains to the furniture to the floor.

A character puts on a dress? Another 10 pages of where that dress came from, how it was made, where it was bought, how it fit.

No wonder the book is thick!


Faizah Roslaini | 825 comments Mod
Khairul H. wrote: "Bunnybaby, it's thick because Tolstoy goes on and on and on and on and on about every minute detail. A character enters a room? Expect 10 pages of Tolstoy describing everything in that room from th..."

I went drop dead asleep after numerous attempts of reading Anna Karenina.


message 8: by Khairul H., I hate people but not you. You, I like. (last edited May 07, 2009 04:57AM) (new)

Khairul H. | 2357 comments Mod
Najibah wrote: Maybe you're not destined to be fan of classic works, because most of the books you mentioned..."

Don't get me wrong. I don't hate all classic books. But just because they were written 100-200 years ago doesn't mean they must be good. I like Mark Twain's work, for example.

My point is, just because a lot of people regard these works as 'Literature', we should not follow them blindly. Read them first and judge for ourselves. I did. I hated some (listed above) and liked others.




message 9: by Juliana Es (new)

Juliana Es (julianaes) | 855 comments Mod
Khairul H. wrote: "Bunnybaby, it's thick because Tolstoy goes on and on and on and on and on about every minute detail. A character enters a room? Expect 10 pages of Tolstoy describing everything in that room from th..."

Wo ho ho! That sounds very much like a female author that I've come across once or twice (I don't remember who but not a classic book author). It never occured to me that a male author, or perhaps in this case it's only Tolstoy, is prone to writing such a lengthy detail.

Thanks to that tip-off, I might reconsider my intention to read Anna Karenina. Kwang kwang kwang!



message 10: by Najibah, Pustakawan di bumi Tuhan (new)

Najibah Bakar (najabakar) | 2814 comments Mod
Khairul H. wrote: "Najibah wrote: Maybe you're not destined to be fan of classic works, because most of the books you mentioned..."

Don't get me wrong. I don't hate all classic books. But just because they were wr..."


Guess I'd need to find some really lengthy time to read them first then and make due judgment :)



message 11: by Faizah Roslaini (new)

Faizah Roslaini | 825 comments Mod
Najibah wrote: "Khairul H. wrote: "Najibah wrote: Maybe you're not destined to be fan of classic works, because most of the books you mentioned..."

Don't get me wrong. I don't hate all classic books. But just bec..."


So many books, so little time!!


message 12: by Yati (last edited May 07, 2009 07:04AM) (new)

Yati | 214 comments Khairul H. wrote: "(Count of Monte Cristo should have been a joy to read, and especially relevant to M'sians: an innocent man falsely accused by his friends because of their jealousy and persecuted by a corrupt judge, he escapes prison after 20 years and seeks revenge? Heck, yeah! But Hugo's writer's diarrhea makes reading it a chore). "

The Count of Monte Cristo is by Dumas, not Hugo. ;) Maybe it's also a translation thing. I have some online friends who swear it makes a difference. Read it in the original language if you can, they say, but, alas, I can't read French. I've never read the unabridged version (very hazy memory of the abridged version I did read) and I was thinking of giving it another shot.

Haven't read any of the other books.

Classics I've intensely disliked would include Stephen Crane's The Red Badge of Courage (...which war was this again?); one of Hemingway's books (I hated it so much I forgot its title -- I think it was Islands in the Stream -- too long and boring and I didn't know what was going on); H Rider Haggard's King Solomon's Mines (I can't even remember why I didn't like this one).




message 13: by Khairul H., I hate people but not you. You, I like. (new)

Khairul H. | 2357 comments Mod
Aaarrgh! Yes, Dumas! All these French people. They sound the same to me ;)


message 14: by Jack (new)

Jack (echoicglory) | 295 comments Okay, I have to admit that I was rolling around laughing on the floor. Sorry, I just find what Khairul had wrote hilarious. Maybe I just have a weird sense of humor... Oh well... I have a confession... I have NOT read any of the books mentioned with the exception of "The Count of Monte Cristo" - of course, I read the shortened - I mean, younger reader version (Excuse me, I was 14 when I read Monte Cristo, and I had just learned how to read English without having to look up for every word in a dictionary)... It was enjoyable - Still, I like the movie better hahah... This comes from someone who loves books more than life - literally.

Though, I'd still read 'em. I'd even read War & Peace if I could ever find the time to. I might like it... Well, I don't hate Jane Austen - But it was mighty hard to read it! I mean, the language was like ancient. I'm like... What? And had to keep on reading the same paragraph a couple of times just to understand what on earth was going on. Maybe I'm just slow hahah...

Still... Yup... Shakespeare - can't hate him. Hate those who turned his plays into books lol. It was written as a play! A play!


message 15: by Khairul H., I hate people but not you. You, I like. (last edited May 07, 2009 06:56PM) (new)

Khairul H. | 2357 comments Mod
Jack wrote: I just find what Khairul had wrote hilarious.

Thank you. I aim to please ;)

I decided some years back to just watch the movie adaptations of classic books and after that I'll try to read the source material. That way, I will have the movie version in my mind and can picture it as I'm reading the book. I find it helps my sanity through the boring passages (Tolstoy, I'm looking at you!)






message 16: by Hannah (new)

Hannah | 92 comments Khairul H. wrote: "Hugo must have had writer's diarrhea. It's a condition that makes you use 100 words to describe something that can be describe in 10 words."

lol.

I am so not a classic fan. The only book from your list that I've read is A Christmas Carol. And I didn't even finish it.

I read Victor Hugo's Hunchback of Notre Dame about 4 years ago, so I don't really remember much. I remember thinking the story was interesting, so very different from the Disney version (well, that's not really surprising isn't it?), but I can't remember exactly why I didn't finish it. I THINK it was because I borrowed the book from my school library and I didn't have time to finish it within the given borrowing period. But of course, it could also be because of the author's unfortunate diarrhea :)


message 17: by Khairul H., I hate people but not you. You, I like. (new)

Khairul H. | 2357 comments Mod
Well, of course it's different in the Disney version. Esmeralda and the Hunchback die in the end. Can't have that in the cartoon. The kids will cry!


message 18: by Hannah (new)

Hannah | 92 comments Forget the deaths, the story is already too dark and scary as it is. I was freaked out watching it as a kid. There was even this one scene that made me ran out of the room, haha. And two of the themes include the church's abuse of power and racism. As a kid, I couldn't comprehend, let alone appreciate it.


message 19: by Kataklicik (new)

Kataklicik | 714 comments AIYOOOO....

I love Anna Karenina!

I love Dickens! Bleak House was good! (Christmas Carol included)

I love anything Austen (Jane), anything Alcott (Louisa May).

And yes, I READ SHAKESPEARE and love his plays, his sonnets, whathaveyou.

I do, however, have thoughts about more contemporary authors. Heller's Catch-22 was pure hell. But I finished it anyway (with grit in my eye and a thorn in my side haha), and if I ever needed a fire, it'd be the first to go.

Lain orang lain rasa la... :) Tak kira whether klasik ke tak, kalau tak menepati citarasa seseorang, then well, tidak la.. what can you do?


message 20: by Khairul H., I hate people but not you. You, I like. (new)

Khairul H. | 2357 comments Mod
hey, catch-22 was great. The wordplay and satirical look at war was sharp.

Dang you for reading Shakespeare! Dang you to heck!


message 21: by Jack (new)

Jack (echoicglory) | 295 comments Khairul H. wrote: "Thank you. I aim to please ;)

I decided some years back to just watch the movie adaptations of classic books and after that I'll try to read the source material. That way, I will have the movie version in my mind and can picture it as I'm reading the book. I find it helps my sanity through the boring passages (Tolstoy, I'm looking at you!)"


Hahah... I suppose I have to raid the DVD store first. Classic was never much of my favourite genre. I just read it for fun though. How on earth I came up with the idea of classic and fun in the same context I have no idea. I suppose, I just like reading much too much for my own good.

Oh dear... Poor Tolstoy


message 22: by Peesha (new)

Peesha Pishaposh (cik_peesha) | 137 comments Classic: A book which people praise, but do not read.

:D



message 23: by Juliana Es (new)

Juliana Es (julianaes) | 855 comments Mod
Kataklicik wrote: "AIYOOOO....

I love Anna Karenina!

I love Dickens! Bleak House was good! (Christmas Carol included)

I love anything Austen (Jane), anything Alcott (Louisa May).

And yes, I READ SHAKESPEA..."


Haah la! I love Jane Austen, too. Tapi takpelah Khairul. One man's meat is another man's poison...




message 24: by Kataklicik (new)

Kataklicik | 714 comments Klasik omputeh je ke yang masuk dalam list kita ni? Klasik Melayu takde yang nak komen?

Saya tahu la folder ni pasal klasik yg kita tak berkenan, tapi saya nak mention jugak lah yg saya peminat setia kitab Sejarah Melayu. Betul!!

Yang lain tu, payah nak paham (yg Melayu lama lah).

:D memang confirm dah tua (statement tua lagi ni, bunnybaby! hahaha)


message 25: by Juliana Es (last edited May 10, 2009 08:43PM) (new)

Juliana Es (julianaes) | 855 comments Mod
Kataklicik,

My eyes are rollin', rollin', rollin'...


message 26: by Robin (new)

Robin | 47 comments Hah, saya memang surrender bab-bab buku English classic nih! Tak pernah baca Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, Virgiana Woolf.. Pernah try Oliver Twist, tapi baca 2-3 chapter jer pastu terus tutup buku..

Yang peliknya, saya suka pulak Count of Monte Cristo, bila banding dengan filem, saya lagi suka bukunya..(ish, lama gak la nak habiskan satu buku ni)


Pasal klasik Melayu yang berkenan eh..
Hikayat Panji Semirang. Suka gila cerita ni, pasal puteri yang menyamar jadi putera. Siap berangan, kalau pandai lukis komik boleh jadi cerita yang best nih!

Saya baca ni lama dulu (mak saya punya buku sekolah, dah habis kena makan anai-anai), tapi sekarang nak cari buku ni punyalah susah.. Isk


message 27: by Khairul H., I hate people but not you. You, I like. (last edited May 12, 2009 06:53PM) (new)

Khairul H. | 2357 comments Mod
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen

That is the cover to Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. I don't know if it's already available here (I bought mine from Amazon). It's Jane Austen's novel re-written to include a zombie attack. I've been told it also has ninjas.

Zombies + Ninjas + Ms. Elizabeth Bennet + Mr. Darcy = I LOVE THIS BOOK!


message 28: by Nurul (new)

Nurul (NurulHidayahYahya) | 232 comments ah Khairul, baru dua tiga hari lepas, saya terjumpa balik Moby Dick yang memang ada dalam simpanan saya sejak tingkatan 1 lagi. Itu pun bukan saya beli, tapi kakak saya yang bagi. Sejak tingkatan 1 lagi saya ambil, letak, ambil, letak balik.

Dua tiga hari lepas waktu saya jumpa, saya ambil, baca muka pertama..hm..letak balik.


message 29: by Khairul H., I hate people but not you. You, I like. (new)

Khairul H. | 2357 comments Mod
Tak yah baca novel tu. Buang oksigen je. 20 tahun dulu Marvel Comics ada buat adaptasi buku-buku klasik ke dalam bentuk komik dengan lukisan yg agak menarik. Moby Dick dilukis dgn cara 'watercolour' oleh Bill Sienkewicz, kalau tak silap. Medium komik pun tak boleh menarik minat saya kpd cerita ikan paus tu walaupun saya hantu komik dan ia dilukis oleh seorang pelukis komik terkenal.


message 30: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Farhana | 10 comments I just don't get classics, tried but I just can't hehe


message 31: by Nurul (new)

Nurul (NurulHidayahYahya) | 232 comments Khairul H. wrote: "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith

That is the cover to Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. I don't know if it's already available here (I bought mine from Amazon). It's Jane Auste..."


Biar betul? ni orang saja2 buat guarauan atau adakah ini gurauan yg benar-benar serius?


message 32: by Khairul H., I hate people but not you. You, I like. (new)

Khairul H. | 2357 comments Mod
Buku betul. Parody of P&P but with zombies....and ninjas.

WARNING: requires a sense of humour to enjoy this book.


message 33: by cikyah75 (new)

cikyah75 | 232 comments Bunnybaby wrote: "Haiya Mr Khairul H.

Saya baru berangan nak baca Anna Karenina tu. The reason I've been putting it off is due to its thickness. I don't have such patience to endure such a thick, classic books, unl..."


Bunnybaby, me too! Read it when I was in Standard 4, if I'm not mistaken and the best part, it was a translated version. Count Monte Cristo in Malay!


message 34: by Norain (new)

Norain | 687 comments I love Dickens :) Train your patience even when reading. Ahah!


message 35: by Khairul H., I hate people but not you. You, I like. (new)

Khairul H. | 2357 comments Mod
Norain MT wrote: "I love Dickens :) Train your patience even when reading. Ahah!"

I'll just watch the tv adaptations. Much better. They cut out the unnecessary parts and go straight to the meat of the story.


message 36: by Mizz (last edited Jul 17, 2010 04:42AM) (new)

Mizz | 11 comments I was pondering which classics to read. Guess I can happily eliminate a book or two :)
Me so hates Hemingway's The Old Man and The Sea. Boring zzzzzz.
I even tried the audiobook but meh...
I suggest for those who would like to put their hands on classics to read young readers's, like Wilde's short stories etc.

Kataklicik...I like and read Shakespeare tooo...hehe...
I went to As You Like It play and was really glad that I, who barely build a perfect English sentence had 'read' the 'play' beforehand. My Danish friend complained that he didn't really understand half of the dialogs, fortunately it was a joy to watch.
Oh well...actually I love reading plays. I remember how I really enjoy reading the compulsory plays as a high schooler.


message 37: by Juliana Es (new)

Juliana Es (julianaes) | 855 comments Mod
cikyah75 wrote: "Bunnybaby, me too! Read it when I was in Standard 4, if I'm not mistaken and the best part, it was a translated version. Count Monte Cristo in Malay!"

Cik Yah, I read Count Monte Cristo in abridged version, taadaa! Or to be more specific, the version is simplified for children, hee hee hee! And so is Jane Eyre.


message 38: by Kataklicik (new)

Kataklicik | 714 comments Mizzle, to be honest, I HATE reading plays. Sebab saya ni takdak imagination nak tambah lengganglenggok sesuai for the actors hhahaha

I prefer descriptive prose yang membuai jiwa (MUAHAHAHAHAHA! how jiwang is that..?!)


message 39: by Mizz (last edited Jul 20, 2010 03:17AM) (new)

Mizz | 11 comments Wooo...Kataklicik romanticist rupanya..haha..
I wonder why I'm okay with jiwang mat saleh but couldn't stand jiwang BM eh?

I like plays because of the simplicity, no need of extra explanations and use of imagination. Kalau bab imagine2 and dreaming2 ni memang A lah saya...haha.... I remember the first play I read waaay back in middle school was Allahyarham Shaharom Hussain's Si Bongkok Tanjung Puteri. Speaking of which, that can be considered one of Malay classics right? Manalah nak cari buku tu lagi...


message 40: by Norain (new)

Norain | 687 comments Mizzle wrote: "I remember the first play I read waaay back in middle school was Allahyarham Shaharom Hussain's Si Bongkok Tanjung Puteri."

Si Bongkok yang legenda orang Johor tu kan? Rasa rindu pula dengan kisah dongeng dan cerita rakyat Melayu.

Sekarang sedang mengumpul fairy tales dan folklore negara orang. Insya-Allah, nak juga kumpul kisah hikayat Melayu.


message 41: by encik_kerani (new)

encik_kerani | 146 comments Peesha wrote: "Classic: A book which people praise, but do not read.

:D
"

Haha well quoted peesha, just want to add:
“A classic is something that everybody wants to have read and nobody wants to read.” - Mark Twain.


message 42: by Faizah Roslaini (new)

Faizah Roslaini | 825 comments Mod
Does this considered as classic?

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Nasib baik ada kartun cantik kalau tak saya dah bakar!


message 43: by Khairul H., I hate people but not you. You, I like. (new)

Khairul H. | 2357 comments Mod
Yeah, it can be considered a children's classic. Never read it though.


message 44: by Norain (new)

Norain | 687 comments But Cik Yah has read it. Kan?


message 45: by Khairul H., I hate people but not you. You, I like. (new)

Khairul H. | 2357 comments Mod
Not sure.


message 46: by Elle (new)

Elle (elle_) Jane Austen - I gave up.


message 47: by Don (new)

Don Ariff (sarcasmist) | 154 comments Mermer wrote: "Jane Austen - I gave up."

Lol...whyla??


message 48: by Fariza (new)

Fariza | 736 comments Mermer wrote: "Jane Austen - I gave up."

Me too.. I try to read Emma.. Hate myself of buying the book..


message 49: by Elle (new)

Elle (elle_) Don wrote: "Lol...whyla??"

The lines are too difficult to digest. Brain stuck, I guess. At first, it was fine but the further I went, I was lost in the middle of words. Haha...


message 50: by Elle (new)

Elle (elle_) Fariza wrote: "Me too.. I try to read Emma.. Hate myself of buying the book.."

You bought a book? I bought the entire Jane Austen collection. Guess that I'll keep it for my guests that come visiting me at home. Hihihi...


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Books mentioned in this topic

The Count of Monte Cristo, V1 (other topics)
The Red Badge of Courage (other topics)
Islands in the Stream (other topics)
King Solomon's Mines (other topics)
Catch-22 (other topics)
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