Unconventional Greats discussion

Are you depriving yourself of potential great reads?

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message 1: by Belinda (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:00PM) (new)

Belinda | 7 comments Because of things you were "made" to read, or attempted to read, when you were young?

Did you attempt Moby Dick and then swear off Melville without ever getting to laugh at Bartleby the Scrivener?

Did Poe's tragic poetry divert you from discovering his wicked murder mysteries?

Did you scream in anguish when you got to the end of The Old Man and the Sea and realized that HE DIDN'T EVEN HAVE THE FISH ANY MORE, and then miss out on Hemingway's deliciously clever short stories?

Are there authors that you had foisted upon you against your will, resulting in avoidance from that point on? Did you ever give them a second chance?

Personally, I was that way about the Bronte sisters for YEARS--both of them--until I re-read Ethan Frome as an adult, and liked it so much that I went back and gave another shot to Emily and Charlotte both. English Victorian literature will never be a favorite genre of mine (well, except for Dickens), but I'm glad I didn't miss out.

The one "classic" author who I will never, ever, EVER forgive for the lost hours of my youth is one James Fenimore Cooper. What a hack. He's on my "stinkers" shelf, right alongside The Bridges of Madison County and The Devil Wears Prada. I gave him MORE than one chance, and he is forever on my list. Leatherstocking THIS, Jimmy-Boy.

If you're intereted in an early-American author who was about nothing BUT "feeling good," then check out Horatio Alger, after whom the famous humanitarian award is named. He literally wrote the formula for The Great American Dream.

message 2: by Oddmix (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:00PM) (new)

Oddmix | 7 comments Mod
I have no doubt that there are some great books among the classics - probably even some of those I remember with loathing. However, it is unlikely that I shall rediscover those gems any time soon because I am able to find sufficient quality reading for the small amount of reading time I have available.

The point I was really trying to explore in starting this group is NOT that the classics are bad. Really. My point is that the modern greats (which does not necessarily equate to modern pop) can be just as good. That we need not feel guilty or uncultured for not subjecting ourselves (double negative - sorry) to literature we find disagreeable just because our high-school English teacher handed us a mimeographed sheet and said these are the books that everyone should read.

message 3: by Belinda (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:00PM) (new)

Belinda | 7 comments Oh, I completely agree. I was talking to my sister (who IS a high-school English teacher, hee hee) this afternoon about books, and we started out discussing highbrow lit. and then wound up laughing over how much we enjoy (brace yourself) DEAN KOONTZ. So yeah...no "book snobs" here! I have friends who are mortified that I enjoy Koontz, and admittedly, a lot of his stuff is truly terrible. But the ones I waded through were worth the two treasures, Midnight (scared me to death) and Watchers (TALKING GENIUS DOG--nuff said).

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