Books I Loathed discussion

Books no one loathes...much?

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message 1: by Jason (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:08PM) (new)

Jason (gireesh42) I feel like we keep seeing the same titles pop up again and again in this group. Are there any books you think no one loathes (that much)?

Take your time, think carefully, and see if you can come up with works that no more than two people dislike--extra points for no objections at all.

i'm still trying to find one...

message 2: by Chrystal714 (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:08PM) (new)

Chrystal714 | 47 comments I don't know that I have seen anyone else in the group loathe Labrynth-Kate Moss. Yet I am guessing that is only because no one has had the misfortune of reading it.

message 3: by Jason (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:08PM) (new)

Jason (gireesh42) But you loathe you've kind of defeated yourself, eh?


How about Alice in Wonderland? What's not to like about it? Great for young and old, can be read any number of different ways, I get something new out of it every time...

message 4: by Norman (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:08PM) (new)

Norman (normanince) | 48 comments How about...

Zorba the Greek
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
The English Patient
Gulliver's Travels
Of Mice and Men
Tropic of Cancer
The Power of One
Captain Corelli's Mandolin
Adrian Mole
For Whom the Bell Tolls
The Handmaid's Tale
A Fine Balance
The Bean Trees
The Chocolate War
Les Miserables
To Kill a Mockingbird
Slaughter-house Five

...just to mention a few?

message 5: by Dianna (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:08PM) (new)

Dianna | 55 comments Interesting new twist. On your list, Norman, I have read 8 of them and I only loathed one. So you did pretty good with me. (The one I loathed was The Chocolate War.) However, I have seen more than 2 people who loathed The Handmaid's Tale and To Kill a Mockingbird. Also, I think you will find many people who loathed 1984.

My list:

any of the Little House on the Prarie books
Anne of Green Gables
The Outsiders

(These are all relatively benign I think)

How about...Well, I can't think of any adult classics that would not probably be loathed by at least two people.

message 6: by Claire (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:09PM) (new)

Claire (deborahclaire) | 17 comments I feel that any books that generally are not loathed are books that really aren't all that popular. That said, I feel their lack of popularity would make them loathed if more people read them.

Does that make sense? Anyway.

I think children's books generally go un-loathed. Sideways Stories at Wayside School, anyone? I haven't met one person in my life that dislikes this book.

message 7: by Lori (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:09PM) (new)

Lori (tnbbc) Ugh, 1984 was awful. I had to force myself to finish just because I wouldnt be able to fairly say how much I disliked it and be allowed to live.
I think a big part of the dislike also stems from all the rave reviews I read about it before I picked it up. I only read it recently and Phew... it stunk!

Slaughterhouse 5 was another "eh?" for me. Supposedly he is an awesome writer. I wasnt impressed. It was an easy quick read but i got nothing from it. At all.

I guess there will always be someone who dislikes something, as none of us have the exact same taste as another....Its interesting to see how many people hold different opinions on the same novel...

message 8: by Margo (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:09PM) (new)

Margo Solod | 18 comments i hated alice in wonderland. scared the hell out of me as a kid, still makes me shudder.

message 9: by Michelle (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:09PM) (new)

Michelle (literarilyspeaking1) I hate Steinbeck and Hemingway, so that takes out Of Mice and Men and For Whom the Bell Tolls...

message 10: by Cameron (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:09PM) (new)

Cameron | 7 comments Oh, I absolutely abhorred For Whom the Bell Tolls! That may have been the book I was forced in school to read that so completely turned me off of reading those books considered "must reads". I was never a fan of the Little House on the Prairie novels either. But I think you did touch on a truth about children's novels for the most part being those that are easiest for everyone to nod to. In that vein, the Hank Zipzer novels have been a success at our home.

message 11: by [deleted user] (new)

Of Mice & Men was on my Books Against the Wall list & I also disliked Anne of Green Gables. It was sooooo boring. The only reason I finished it at all was because it was around 300 pages long and pretty much covered my "required pages" for the quarter in middle school.

message 12: by Chrystal714 (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:09PM) (new)

Chrystal714 | 47 comments Ok I read the intent of the thread wrong. Thought you wanted books you loathed but no one else did. Books no one loathes makes more sense.

I truely hated 1984 and didn't even finish Guiliver's Travels.

I think you may have something with One flew over the cookoo's nest though. Never met anyone that disliked that one.

message 13: by Dianna (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:09PM) (new)

Dianna | 55 comments Steinbeck is touch and go for me. I absolutely loved Tortilla Flat but thought The Grapes of Wrath and Of Mice and Men were two quite disturbing books. Those are the only three I have read by him but I probably will read more some day.

Does anyone remember at the end of The Grapes of Wrath where the girl that just had a baby that died ended up breastfeeding the hungry man? That was super strange and they left that part out of the movie.

message 14: by Nikki (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:09PM) (new)

Nikki Boisture I'm so glad someone mentioned Sideways Stories of Wayside School....I really love that book! Too true about children's lit, it often goes un-loathed. I mean, Captain Underpants is awesome!

How about Little Women? Or is it just me and all my dorky friends that love that book?

To Kill a Mockingbird is probably up there on the list. I know not everyone loves it, but I've never really met anyone who whole-heartedly objects to it.

For more contemporary fare...The Corrections? The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay? White Teeth?

message 15: by Norman (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:09PM) (new)

Norman (normanince) | 48 comments Revised list:

1. Zorba the Greek (am I the only one who has read this classic? You poor deprived readers!)

2. To Kill a Mockingbird - anyone dare to hate Atticus Finch?

3. A Fine Balance - amazing book. Try it.

4. Tropic of Cancer (is everyone in Goodreads too prudish to have tried Miller? Hmmm...)

5. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

6. Les Miserables - see note to Zorba...

7. The Bean Trees - for my money, this is a far better novel than The Poisonwood Bible

message 16: by Sarah (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:10PM) (new)

Sarah (songgirl7) I don't think you will ever find a book that no one loathes. I have never personally met someone who loathed To Kill a Mocking Bird, but that doesn't mean everyone likes it. But there are always people who loathe books generally agreed to be great novels. I, for example, loathe The Great Gatsby and The Cather in the Rye, but love Of Mice and Men and Great Expectations.

message 17: by Jason (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:10PM) (new)

Jason (gireesh42) Margo: If Alice scared the hell out of you as a child, there must be something to it--have you tried rereading it as an adult?

One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest: take it or leave it, meh...

Tropic of Cancer: I can't get into Miller have picked this and Capricorn up multiple times and could never force myself through them.

To Kill A Mockingbird: another meh

Yes, I suppose children's books are the easy out with this game. Lots of Roald Dahl's stuff I'm sure it widely beloved. Wayside School series was much enjoyed as a child, but I got bored of it by fifth grade. Still, I remember the potato tattoo and the ear on top of the head. Funny things to remain in one's memory...

Dianna: you should read Cannery Row. Pretty much the same as Tortilla Flats, except better.

I looked at the description of A Fine Balance, and within the first sentence it was compared to Charles Dickens. Dammit--another book arbitrarily destined to be ignored by me. I'll give Zorba a shot, though. Someday I'll go for Miserables, but I'm just not in the mood for long narratives. I like my books short and sweet nowadays.

I remember reading somewhere in this group of someone who hates all Kingsolver. I enjoyed the first two pages of the Bean Trees, but something else caught my attention in the end.

I still think there's gotta be something we can find...

message 18: by Sarah (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:10PM) (new)

Sarah (songgirl7) I enjoyed One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, but that is probably because I was in the play before I read the novel.

message 19: by Maria (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:11PM) (new)

Maria | 19 comments Well, I know a person who called Anne of Green Gables "The Adolescence of Miss Bates," and I've known quite a few people who loathed Adrian Mole. And while I enjoyed the latter, it *is* about a stupid, whiny, clueless teenage boy. I could handle it, but a lot of my friends find Adrian absolutely infuriating.

Anyway, while it isn't likely that there are any books that are universally loved, there are some that *most* people agree are good. I'd argue Anne of Green Gables is one of those inoffensive ones that don't draw much ire.

message 20: by Laura (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:11PM) (new)

Laura (laurahogan) One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is far from universally loved -- I had a professor in college who taught it but still thought it was deeply flawed. The problem is that Ken Kesey wasn't actually a very good writer. Cuckoo's Nest is about as subtle as a sledgehammer crushing a lemon meringue pie -- full of preachy passages and heavy-handed characterizations. The movie is far better, and probably accounts for most people's love for the book.

I feel pretty confident in saying, as someone said earlier and as the topic title suggests, that there's no such animal as a book that's universally (in the sense of unanimously) loved. The only book I've ever seen that appears to be universally loved is East of Eden, which I think is completely worthless in just about every respect, so. (I might add The Color Purple to that, with the same caveat.)

message 21: by Jason (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:11PM) (new)

Jason (gireesh42) No one has responded to my Alice in Wonderland, except Margo who got the willies when she read it as a child. I'm tempted to throw that vote out (no offense) because people change so much. I'm sure there are a lot of books I would completely reevaluate if I reread them and so I personally don't really defend my opinions of books that I read before high school. As far as being a children's book, I think Alice transcends that category in ways other youth lit doesn't.

message 22: by Chrystal714 (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:11PM) (new)

Chrystal714 | 47 comments Just read Charlotte's Web. I don't think I have ever seen anyone dislike that one.

message 23: by [deleted user] (new)

Umm, I'm fairly sure that when Jesus shows up for his encore, those who disparage _Charlotte's Web_ will not be sent down an elevator to Hell or given snow sleds to ride down to the Pits of Eternal Damnation, but will have their lips hooked like caught fish in the toerings of winged demons and flown through lakes of pure liquid evil and only after leagues of travel arrive at their final resting place, a place between locations, where mannequins talk...a place called...

The Twilight Zone.

message 24: by Jason (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:11PM) (new)

Jason (gireesh42) wow. maybe i should reread it, cuz i was about to give it another "meh..."

message 25: by [deleted user] (new)

Incidentally, books that EVERYONE likes are seldom the BEST books. They're just the most innocuous and universally inoffensive. To be really GREAT, a book has to kick someone's heart into gear and another person's hatred into full swing.

message 26: by Lori (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:11PM) (new)

Lori (tnbbc) I, too, say that a book cant be considered a good book unless its made a person feel something STRONGLY, in the positive or negative. It doesnt have to be LOVED to be a good book.

message 27: by Jason (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:11PM) (new)

Jason (gireesh42) Good points. Superlatives are always relative. My favorite books are the ones I have to defend.

I still think Alice in Wonderland ROCKS and no one has put up an argument yet. Just for fun...c'mon...just avoid the pediphile issue, please.

message 28: by Sarah (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:11PM) (new)

Sarah (songgirl7) East of Eden is one of my favorites but I am constantly defending it. A lot of people found it too bleak, or too descriptive, or too violent, or too long, or too boring.

message 29: by Jason (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:11PM) (new)

Jason (gireesh42) keed?

naps are good.

message 30: by Jason (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:11PM) (new)

Jason (gireesh42) i don't watch enough television, i guess. but i have seen the little rotter a few times.

message 31: by Norman (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:11PM) (new)

Norman (normanince) | 48 comments Comparing A Fine Balance to Charles Dickens is like comparing Kerouac's On the Road to Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales. (Duh...cuz they're both 'bout travelin' right?) You might as well compare Animal Farm to the song lyrics of "Old McDonald had a Farm" (ee aye ee aye Oh!)

My advice: Stop reading the frickin' blurbs and start reading the actual works before you decide to read or not to read.

message 32: by Summer Rae (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:11PM) (new)

Summer Rae Garcia | 45 comments I think Brenden hit it perfectly. I think I know someone that hates every one of my favorite books. Books I don't hate, are as sad as books I don't love, because they were like reading the cereal box. Just filler.

message 33: by Jason (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:12PM) (new)

Jason (gireesh42) Norman, usually I don't pay any attention to the blurbs, but when a comparison as gigantic as Dickens is made, I can't help but notice it, especially when it's in the very first sentence. Anyhow, it's probably a horrible choice to make that particular comparison anywhere in the description and is probably turning off hordes of would-be reader. But whether or not I read the blurb, it would have no bearing on if I ultimately read the book. I take very little advice as far as books are concerned, only from my closest friends, or the writers that I read, or by the covers that catch my eye. That's right--I judge a book by it's cover, and I enjoy it! A good design and binding is essential.

Hmm...just read the rest of the blurb and now it sounds interesting. I love India.

They should really cut out that Dickens bit.

message 34: by [deleted user] (new)

I have to say, I disagree with you, Maria, about Anne of Green Gables. It may not draw ire, per se, but I only have one friend who actually liked it. The rest who've read it either didn't finish it, or slogged through it for the points, but found it boring, trite, etc.

message 35: by Dianna (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:12PM) (new)

Dianna | 55 comments This is an interesting conversation. I do agree that books people get passionate about are generally books that do produce loathing in some. It seems like passion begets passion.

On the subject of Alice in Wonderland I will say that it's not one of my favorites but I can't say I hated it. I just think Lewis Carrol might have been on a drug trip when he wrote it.

Someone also mentioned Roald Dahl...another author who might not want to be taking a drug test any time soon.

message 36: by Laura (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:12PM) (new)

Laura (laurahogan) Especially since he died around 15 years ago.

message 37: by Sarah (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:12PM) (new)

Sarah (songgirl7) I don't loathe Alice in Wonderland either but I also didn't love it. Yes, he was definitely high when he wrote it.

message 38: by Norman (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:13PM) (new)

Norman (normanince) | 48 comments Title of Mitch Albom's next work: The Seven Whacked-Out Writers You'll Meet in Heaven.

So far I know there'd be a chapter on Dahl and another on Carroll; it's pretty safe to add Philip K. Dick and Jack Kerouac - that makes 4. Ok, folks, who else would be in this latest bestseller?

message 39: by Dianna (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:14PM) (new)

Dianna | 55 comments he he...Norman that is funny. I am going to add Steinbeck even though I liked Tortilla Flat. I can't seem to get over the breastfeeding of a grown man thing from Grapes of Wrath. Then there is Of Mice and Men where the guy shoots his retarted brother because he keeps getting in trouble everywhere they go. Was anyone else reminded of Elmira from the Animaniacs when they read that book? "I want to love you and squeeze you..." "Oops, I didn't mean to pop your head off..."

message 40: by ScottK (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:14PM) (new)

ScottK LOVED LOVED LOVED Les Miserables UH did I say Loved it yeah. Oh and Great Expectations. I want to be Pip.

message 41: by Sarah (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:14PM) (new)

Sarah (songgirl7) I thought of Lenny when I saw Animaniacs, not the other way around. I would not be surprised if that character was modeled after Lenny.

message 42: by Summer (new)

Summer | 28 comments Does anyone dare to loathe A Wrinkle in Time?

message 43: by Holly (new)

Holly | 40 comments Well... I don't loathe it, but I did reread it this summer and didn't love it as I did when I was a kid. Same with the Narnia series.

Being an adult, I can see the overt relgious overtones and it now gets in the way of the story for me. When I was a kid, I was able to ignore the hyper-religiosity and see the great story behind it. I went to a religious (conservative protestant) school and that was par for the course, it was just the way things were in the world. Everyone loves Jesus, right?

A lot of the good children's writers were religious, and that's fine, I'm just finding that now, I can't connect to that as I once did.

But the story itself is still wonderful.

message 44: by Juni (last edited Dec 15, 2007 09:58AM) (new)

Juni (tricycles) I hated, with a fiery passion, To Kill a Mockingbird.

message 45: by Deborah (new)

Deborah | 3 comments Oh dear Lord. I mean, I can loathe some books that most or many people love, but suggesting it might be possible to loathe A Wrinkle in Time? That might be a violation of the Patriot Act, or something!

message 46: by Cindy (new)

Cindy (cookiejarprincess) To Kill A Mockingbird is one of my "re-read every year" books. (Along with Gone With the Wind, another apparently loathed book) I only know a few people personally who have read TKAM and they all love it. But I can see why others wouldn't like it. I read it for the first time in the 4th grade, which would have been mid-80's, so it's been read quite a few times since then and it's still my favorite book of all time.

message 47: by Summer (new)

Summer | 28 comments Perhaps I don’t agree with aspects of her religious beliefs, but I never felt that Ms. L'Engle was preaching to me in her fiction writing. I know she wrote some directly faith-based literature and I will go ahead and state I have not read any of it, nor do I desire to. I don’t think that because a person has a strong religious belief it means they must be proselytizing when they mention it. Some of Ms. L’Engle’s themes, in particular in A House Like a Lotus, Small Rain, and A Severed Wasp, demonstrate a liberal universalizing faith, not a dogmatic one. I’m not sure how that interferes in story telling or enjoyment.

It’s not that I don’t recognize the Biblical/spiritual elements in the stories; I guess it’s just that they seem so fantasy and science fiction oriented that the whole mystical aspect melds together for me into regular, but exquisitely written fantasy, not at all overtly religious or sermon-like.

The Time Quartet strongly appealed to me when I first read it at the age of eleven. I loved the strong family bond the Murray/O’Keefe’s displayed. Their family seemed very embracing to me. I, a nerdy-type unfortunate looking child, who often felt out of sorts in a group, was hopeful that I might meet people like them who would accept me as an individual. Eventually I did. When I re-read the Time Quartet and its sequels, I still feel the same way. They are inspiring in a humanist way.

Hey-Natalie, if you're thinking of giving them another try, there is an affordable box paperback set with really beautiful cover art by Peter Sis. NM-it's no longer available. OOO-there's a newer one which includes one of the Polly stories. I may upgrade.

Deborah, I was not suggesting it was possible to loathe A Wrinkle in Time. I mentioned it bc I thought it was unloathable.

message 48: by Holly (new)

Holly | 40 comments Well, I have little issue with religion pe se (or at least, nothing that's a showstopper!) I just meant to say that it got in the way of the story for me. I found it to be far more overt when I read it as a grownup than I did when I read it as a child.

I don't loathe the books at all. I just don't love them like I used to. So I guess I'm not really disproving your theory except in that they are not universally adored. :-)

message 49: by Bronwyn (new)

Bronwyn | 29 comments I hated To Kill a Mockingbird when I was 15. Now that I' m an adult I appreciate and love the novel a lot more.

message 50: by Rachel (new)

Rachel "alice in wonderland" scared the crap of me too. hate it. it's just creepy in every way. and being turned into an animated did NOT help.

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