EVERYONE Has Read This but Me - The Catch-Up Book Club discussion

FOR FUN!!! > Least favorite classic novel?

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message 1: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 799 comments Ever started a classic book and just couldn't go through with it? It's always a bummer to start something you can't finish, but it happens! Finished or not, what is your least favorite classic so far and why?

I'm going to say Sometimes a Great Notion by Ken Kesey. I found elements of the story enjoyable at times.... but over all my interest was so far from being held that I DNF. And that is something I VERY RARELY do. I found the dragged out events to be very boring. I do plan to finish it one day, because if the story were more compact I think I would enjoy it.

JK I'm Exploring (jkimexploring) Heart of Darkness (finished) or The Last of the Mohicans (DNF) seriously both were so dull and had next to no plot but at least Heart of Darkness was short

message 3: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 799 comments Jenna, I haven't read either of those! I won't rush to read them lol

message 4: by Kandice (new)

Kandice I hated The Last of the Mohicans! I didn't even like the movie.

message 5: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 799 comments Another one I haven't read! I haven't seen the movie either.

message 6: by Kyra (new)

Kyra Keeton | 262 comments Yeah I hated Last of the Mohicans too, but had to read it for my early American literature class. But it wasn't the worst. My least favorite is either 1984 or Fahrenheit 451.

message 7: by Kyra (new)

Kyra Keeton | 262 comments But I'd have to put The Crying of Lot 49 up there as the worst classic, probably worst book in general I've read.

message 8: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 799 comments Kyra, I find it very interesting that you chose 1984 and Fahrenheit 451 as least fav when other people's choices to turn classic haters into classic lovers said they would recommend those! I did find 1984 to be a bit disappointing but still enjoyed it. It just didn't live up to the hype for me.

message 9: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 799 comments I've never even heard of The Crying of Lot 49!

message 10: by Kyra (new)

Kyra Keeton | 262 comments The Crying of Lot 49 is by Thomas Pynchon, it's basically everything modernist writers in the 50's and 60's were supposed to be about all rolled up in one. A lot of people feel like Pynchon is funny and satirical but I hated all of it. And with the other books I really just can't stand dystopian literature but a lot of people like that. They're along the lines of The Hunger Games which I also couldn't stand.

message 11: by MissLemon (new)

MissLemon  (misslemon) | 298 comments I tried reading The Voyage Out once as I'd been told it was a good starting point for Virginia Woolf. I just couldn't get into it and DNF ( very rare for me) I haven't been able to face trying any other of her books since. It's frustrating, I really want to like Virginia Woolf.

message 12: by Christine (last edited May 30, 2017 06:03AM) (new)

Christine (clarkepopunta) | 122 comments Well, I haven't hated any of the classics I've read as an "adult" (except, unfortunately, Sun Also Rises - but that is why I am in this group. To distinguish firm lines of opinion among the classics).

But from what I read in high school, I remember immensely disliking Heart of Darkness, Beowulf, and that ridiculous one where the lady walks into the ocean at the end. EDIT: The Awakening. Frickin ridiculous. (In my opinion.)

message 13: by Lee (new)

Lee Peckover (leepeckover) | 9 comments Anything, literally anything by Virginia Woolf

But mainly A Room of One's Own

DNF. I tried. A lot of times.

message 14: by STEPHEN (new)

STEPHEN MACPHERSON | 75 comments Pride and Prejudice. I read it for a British Women's Lit course in college, paired with Jane Eyre. I thought Jane Eyre was a character the reader could cheer for- she was tough, smart, and honest. The characters in Pride and Prejudice were superficial and vapid.

message 16: by Tessie (last edited May 30, 2017 06:11AM) (new)

Tessie (tessiekat) | 40 comments Fannie wrote: "Fahrenheit 451 for me also and Tess of the D'Urbervilles "

I'm so glad I'm not alone about Tess of the D'Urbervilles!!

I read it in 7th grade just because it had my name in the title and I really didn't like it. It was so boring (and the main themes went right over my innocent head) but my stubborn streak had me finish it.

Then in 12th grade, we were all assigned a classic novel to read and use as the basis of our 12 page senior literature paper. Our teacher assigned it to me because...wait for it...it had my name in it. I figured it would be better now that I was older....I still hated it, actually had to finish reading it, AND I had to find something interesting to write about it.

message 17: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 799 comments Lol, Tessie, you should have written about how you though it was interesting that a teacher would limit you to a book based on your name instead of allowing you to have some say in learning that would interest you!

message 18: by Fannie (new)

Fannie D'Ascola | 224 comments Tessie wrote: "Fannie wrote: "Fahrenheit 451 for me also and Tess of the D'Urbervilles "

I'm so glad I'm not alone about Tess of the D'Urbervilles!!

I read it in 7th grade just because it had my na..."

Following that logic I should have read Fanny Hill, or Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure. I wonder if it would have been appropriate in 12th grade.

message 19: by Hannah (new)

Hannah Totally agree with people who say Virginia Woolf, so relieved I'm not the only one to feel like this! I've only ever read Jacob's Room but omg what a struggle - it's not even that long! Hated everything about it and put me off giving anything else by her a try

message 20: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 799 comments Haha I've been looking forward to reading Jacob's Room! It's on my shelf waiting. Can't wait to see how I like it!

message 21: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl (cherylllr) | 971 comments I cannot manage Woolf, or Gertrude Stein, or Wuthering Heights either.

Biggest disappointment for me was Pride & Prejudice - I just do not see the appeal. Maybe because I don't like love stories? Especially the ones that are like insta-love, or the confusion of the twin passions of antipathy and attraction,* or the conflation of lust & love?

*Think the bartender and waitress in the tv series Cheers, what were their names?

message 22: by Kandice (new)

Kandice Tess? Tess?! That's actually one of my favorite books ever, but I would be hard pressed to say why.

I couldn't agree more with The Awakening by Kate Chopin. It just felt so pointless and stupid. Glad it was short.

message 23: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 396 comments There were a number of the ones we read in school that I couldn't stand.

Agree on The Awakening by Kate Chopin.

I also couldn't stand The Catcher in the Rye. I did not understand the fascination with that one.

I didn't get the hype about Fahrenheit 451 either, but for me it wasn't as bad as some others.

message 24: by Kandice (new)

Kandice I didn't love The Catcher in the Rye, but didn't dislike it either. Just didn't get the hype.

message 25: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl (cherylllr) | 971 comments I second Catcher in the Rye as being *not* of universal appeal. I never had the kind of attitude / pov/ issues that would make me be able to empathize with that boy. And the author did not succeed in enlightening me about the human nature of people like that.

message 26: by Lee (new)

Lee Peckover (leepeckover) | 9 comments Hannah wrote: "Totally agree with people who say Virginia Woolf, so relieved I'm not the only one to feel like this! I've only ever read Jacob's Room but omg what a struggle - it's not even that long! Hated every..."

I think that's the worst thing about Woolf. Most of her work isn't very long. But it all immediately feels very, veeerrrryyyy long when you start reading it.

message 27: by Tania (new)

Tania (geoluhread) | 30 comments Moby freakin Dick. I felt like reading an encyclopedia on whales. I am a biologist and don't mind encyclopedias, but man o man that was BOOOORIIIING.

100 years of solitude (although published after1960, but it has so much cultural impact that it's practically a classic). I already have a problem recalling names of characters, reading this one was one of my worst nightmares, everyone had the same name! How do people like it!

message 28: by - (new)

- | 6 comments Definitely Pride and Prejudice. I got like halfway through, and just skimmed through the rest of the book.
I would've said Moby Dick, except that I didn't get past page 10.

message 29: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca (mycatbert) | 2 comments Pride and Prejudice was by far the most boring classic I've read. I had to read it for an English class in high school, so, unfortunately, I was forced to finish it. I didn't find any character interesting and it just seemed like a bunch of family drama. I think my English teacher said something along the lines of "Yeah, back then there wasn't entertainment the way we have it now, so neighborhood gossip was big for amusement. This was more interesting when it was written."

I don't know, I could have the book completely wrong--it has been a few years since I last read it. Either way, I definitely remember it being painful to read.

message 30: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 799 comments Rebecca, what your teacher said about the book is exactly what I find pleasant about books like this! A time long gone when you had to use your imagination for entertainment, people weren't on the grid and you didn't know where they were at all times, social interactions were looked forward to instead of dreaded even when people just popped by unexpectedly to visit, a days work was a means of proper health and hygiene and just doing the necessary in a time not cluttered with fast paced work, demands, and technological advances that make it hard to focus on family and spending time with others, etc etc. Pride and Prejudice took me a long time to get through because yes it was a trying read, but overall the fascination of comparing written art/lifestyles then to how we live now and what we need for entertainment was truly intriguing to me.

It's the change in society norms that interests me with books like this. Art and how it's carried out has changed so much over time due to the advances we have made and what we now know and find to be acceptable and normal. What people believe and value in different time periods: customs, what society expects of certain genders, races, and economical classes, scientific advancements and equal rights movements, it's so neat to see what people had available to them in times gone by and how much our minds have changed to not be able to relate to what the author is portraying in his/her own time.

A good example of what I mean: I love looking at vintage magazines and seeing the beauty, health, fashion, nutrition and medical tips that were being promoted at the time that we now find bizarre. I also like buying text books from the early 1900's and reading them to see how far we have come. It's crazy to see the bizarre things that were taught as "the way" or "the latest and greatest" compared to what we know now. It's also fascinating to learn straight from a school curriculum book how things worked back then. One of my favs is a primer I bought from the 1930's that has a guided discussion on how switching from horse drawn fire engines to steam fire engines was an improvement. It makes me feel like I'm getting a real feel of a time I will always wonder about but never truly experience.

It's the history that saves these books for me!

message 31: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 799 comments Can you imagine your whole families life focus being to make you proper and presentable with the goal of snagging a rich husband? There's no way My stubborn ass would have survived in those times! Lol

message 32: by Hannah (new)

Hannah Sarah wrote: "Haha I've been looking forward to reading Jacob's Room! It's on my shelf waiting. Can't wait to see how I like it!"

Don't do it to yourself! Joking, it would be interesting to hear other peoples' opinion on it. My sister was actually reading To the Lighthouse at the same time I was reading Jacob's Room and was also finding it a tough one...

message 33: by Innastholiel (new)

Innastholiel Of the modern classics, I definitely hated The Time Traveler's Wife. Boring and badly written, imo.

As for classic classics … Hm. The ones I can think of off the top of my head would be Peter Pan and the The Lord of the Rings series, but I wouldn't necessarily say that I hated them. I love the LOTR movies, but the books are so boring. Same goes for Peter Pan. Deadly boring, and the constant use of stereotypes bothered me. Most frustrating classic would have to be Dracula because it only had one character (Mina) I genuinely cared about or even just liked. I also didn't care for The Chronicles of Narnia.

Actually, come to think of it, I rarely like "classics" when I read them. There is something about their language that immediately veils my brain in fog and prevents it from absorbing anything.

message 34: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 799 comments So interesting to see how some people LOVE a book while others couldn't stand it. I enjoyed Dracula and plan on re-reading it around Halloween this year.

Haha, Hannah, I'll let you know what I think of Jacob's Room after I get to it! I'm very curious now.

message 35: by Innastholiel (new)

Innastholiel Sarah wrote: "So interesting to see how some people LOVE a book while others couldn't stand it. I enjoyed Dracula and plan on re-reading it around Halloween this year.

Haha, Hannah, I'll let you know what I th..."

Oh, I wouldn't say I couldn't stand Dracula, but if I remember correctly, most of it was written from Dr Seward's POV, and I just aggressively didn't care about anything he had to contribute. I just wanted to read about and, more importantly, from Mina because she struck me as an incredibly intelligent and reasonable character. I really loved her entries, and I also loved the first few chapters with Jonathan at Castle Dracula, but it kind of went slightly downhill from there for me.

message 36: by Lee (new)

Lee Peckover (leepeckover) | 9 comments The start of Dracula is definitely the better part of it. Creepy and gothic. Then it feels rushed.

message 37: by Becca (new)

Becca (thekidsfromiero) Ugh! Jane Eyre, could not stand it!

message 38: by Mindy (new)

Mindy Jones (mindyrecycles) I hated, really hated Life of Pi. Not sure whether we are considering so-called modern classics in this thread, but I hate that book so much I had to get a dig in. haha

Also Heart of Darkness...I had it for a class and it took up the whole semester, so I read it several times and wrote several papers about it. UGH! Listened to the Kenneth Branaugh-narrated audio and even that didn't help.

Those of you criticizing P & P need to watch yourselves. Your trampling on holy ground here. LOL Teasing of course.

message 39: by Marcos (new)

Marcos Kopschitz | 1863 comments Mod
Sarah, great idea for a thread in"FOR FUN", it's been popular!
And that was a great post, # 31!

message 40: by Bookbabe (new)

Bookbabe (goodreadscombookbabe) | 6 comments Sorry, but I just love, love, love Fahrenheit 451. It's a book I read at the right time, though: mid-teens, questioning everything, and looking to rebel against the authority of adults. I think I mostly enjoyed the fact that it was banned (does that age me?!) : )

Probably my least fav is The Great Gatsby. Even its brevity couldn't entice me.

message 41: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 799 comments Thank you, Marcos!

message 42: by Erin (new)

Erin (lovejazz) This has been an interesting post to follow. Some of my favorite books are listed as disappointments. But it proves the point that classic or not, not every book is for everybody. For me, a book that I had looked forward to reading but just couldn't get through is The Hunchback of Notre Dame. The break down of the architectural history of Paris was more than I could handle.

message 43: by Sarah (last edited Jun 01, 2017 11:39AM) (new)

Sarah | 396 comments Mindy wrote: "I hated, really hated Life of Pi. Not sure whether we are considering so-called modern classics in this thread, but I hate that book so much I had to get a dig in. haha

Also Heart of Darkness...I ..."

That was my reaction to Lord of the Rings and Chronicles of Narnia being brought up, lol.
I was like, woah now "them there's fighting words!"

message 44: by Kandice (new)

Kandice I could not get through Don Quixote. I have, in bits and drabs, read it all, but certainly not in big chunks. I am usually a fast reader, but I disliked the book so immensely that I would find any excuse to set it down and do something else.

message 45: by Emily (new)

Emily Erlank  | 1 comments I didn't like Pride and Prejudice 😶

message 46: by Katie (new)

Katie | 5 comments Becca wrote: "Ugh! Jane Eyre, could not stand it!"

Really? it's one of my all time favourites :P I'm just curious why do you not like it? was it the writing style? Or the plot, which I can definitely agree drags at times.

As for me Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy was enough to put me to sleep. DNF.

Joanna Loves Reading (joannalovesreading) | 1117 comments Mod
Vanity Fair is one I could not get through. The characters were either dull or conniving, and it got old.

As to the Pride and Prejudice and Jane Eyre mentions, I will politely disagree, though it defies reason.

message 48: by Melanie (new)

Melanie I despised A Tale of Two Cities, DFNed it 3 times, then broke down and got the audio before I could finish reading it.

message 49: by Kim D (new)

Kim D | 3 comments The Catcher in the Rye. Not sure why it is considered such a classic. I get that it's a coming of age story, but that kid just pissed me off.

I saw so many Pride and Prejudice haters, but I loved that one, and still do. I guess it just proves that you never know what will appeal to you or not.

message 50: by Mare (new)

Mare Kinley | 6 comments Totally agreeing with Tania and Moby freaking Dick. I have been assigned to read this thing 3 different times in my life. NEVER made it through. I...just...can't...

Just--didn't care--didn't care--didn't care. So kill a different whale already. (I know that wasn't the point, but it's all I could think of trying to make myself turn another page.)

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