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  1. #101
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    Nov. 13, 2005
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    I didn't even start Twilight otherwise OR 50 shades, otherwise I'm sure they would have made the list.

    propspony - Funnily enough the only girl in our entire class who enjoyed it LOVED it. Everyone else was very outspoken about their opinions though. Looking back I do feel sorry for our poor teacher.
    "Choose to chance the rapids, and dare to dance the tides" - Garth Brooks
    "With your permission, dear, I'll take my fences one at a time" - Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey



  2. #102
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    Dec. 16, 2006
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    Indiana
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    Quote Originally Posted by mvp View Post
    In the same category: Catcher in the Rye.

    If I wanted a dated, coming-of-age book (known as a bildungsroman) about a utterly average but navel-gazing white guy who mistook his trials and tribulations for those of all people in all times and places, I would have asked for it.

    The f*uckin f*cks. I'm really pissed off.

    Oh, and these were written relatively recently, you know, during the 20th century, a time when Western Cultural had already been forced to acknowledge that there were people elsewhere who, as often as not, had been mistreated and misunderstood. No excuse for these pieces of self-serving garbage steeped in belated stupidity.

    There. Now I think I'm done.
    I HATED Catcher in the Rye. I read it because everyone talks about what a literary genius Salinger was, and it was all I could do to finish it. And because I thought maybe I just wasn't getting Salinger, I read Zooey and Franny, which also made me crazy. That's it for me. I tried.



  3. #103
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    Jan. 20, 2010
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    Hate:
    Frankenstein and The Scarlet Letter



  4. #104
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    May. 8, 2002
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    You guys who don't like classics, you can at least appreciate them right?

    Like Faust is not a book I'd ever take to bed with me but I can still appreciate the poetry and the story. Maybe it's because I had classes on these things in high school. My english period really should have been called literature. I don't know if I would have liked any of the classic books we read if we didn't pick them apart and discuss them in context etc. We had a whole block on Faust and Parzival.

    Context is important, too. I once read a play about robots turning bad and taking over the planet (I can't remember the title) and thought how unoriginal it was. Then I looked when it was written. Turns out it was written way before any other movie/play/book about robots taking over had come out so it really was the original. Written by a woman, too if I recall correctly.


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  5. #105
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    Mar. 22, 2004
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    Houston
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    Salman Rushdie's "Midnight's Children."

    The only book I've ever not finished!



  6. #106
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    Oct. 6, 2002
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big_Grey_hunter View Post
    Why do english teachers/departments pick such god awful books?
    Because they're in the cannon. Because there's something to be learned from a book that may not be your personal taste. Because they are an example of a period/style/moment in literature? Because you cannot properly understand the literature that comes after without understanding the predecessor? Because sometimes things are good for you even if you don't like them
    ~Veronica
    "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
    http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/


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  7. #107
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    Nov. 13, 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shiaway View Post
    You guys who don't like classics, you can at least appreciate them right?

    Like Faust is not a book I'd ever take to bed with me but I can still appreciate the poetry and the story. Maybe it's because I had classes on these things in high school. My english period really should have been called literature. I don't know if I would have liked any of the classic books we read if we didn't pick them apart and discuss them in context etc. We had a whole block on Faust and Parzival.

    Context is important, too. I once read a play about robots turning bad and taking over the planet (I can't remember the title) and thought how unoriginal it was. Then I looked when it was written. Turns out it was written way before any other movie/play/book about robots taking over had come out so it really was the original. Written by a woman, too if I recall correctly.
    I don't hate all classics, just the ones I mentioned. I LOVE Great Expectations, Pride and Prejudice, Emma, Jane Eyre....

    I enjoy most Shakespeare plays.

    I enjoyed a Streetcar Named Desire & Scarlett Letter.

    There are others too that I can't think of right now.
    "Choose to chance the rapids, and dare to dance the tides" - Garth Brooks
    "With your permission, dear, I'll take my fences one at a time" - Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey



  8. #108
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    Jul. 31, 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by mvp View Post
    In the same category: Catcher in the Rye.

    If I wanted a dated, coming-of-age book (known as a bildungsroman) about a utterly average but navel-gazing white guy who mistook his trials and tribulations for those of all people in all times and places, I would have asked for it.

    The f*uckin f*cks. I'm really pissed off.

    Oh, and these were written relatively recently, you know, during the 20th century, a time when Western Cultural had already been forced to acknowledge that there were people elsewhere who, as often as not, had been mistreated and misunderstood. No excuse for these pieces of self-serving garbage steeped in belated stupidity.

    There. Now I think I'm done.
    But wait! There's more!

    (On the protagonists meant to be an "everyman"), especially the dude in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance:

    A-hole, pay your child support before you want to claim to represent people on a quest for personal development... that any of us should care about. IIRC, Zen Guy had to ditch his marriage and kid to find himself. Lame for not having done that before creating more life, but OK. But pay your child support, a-hole. Your need for self-realization doesn't trump all.

    Now this isn't to say that characters must have redeeming qualities to be a worthwhile "everyman." Take Raskolnikov in Crime and Punishment. Nothing great about him, and his machinations of human guilt and resentment are dated to be sure (given that he becomes a devout Christian at the end), but you can still see versions of emotions anyone has felt in him. Or the dude in Kafka's The Underground Man who takes self-sabotage in pursuit of visibility to the extreme. A freak to be sure, but working with common experience.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat



  9. #109
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    Apr. 17, 2002
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    I threw Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance out the car window somewhere in Palo Duro Canyon, August 2000. I was that completely done with that horrid book.

    I lourve anything by Michael Ondaatje, but his writing is definitely an acquired taste. His poetry is magical.
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. (Steven Wright)



  10. #110
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    Feb. 20, 2010
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    Eat Love Pray, or whatever the order is. The food descriptions in Italy were ok, but OMG, with every turn of the page I hated the heroine more.

    I tried reading Lord of the Rings when I was in HS and couldn't get through it. I did it again shortly before the first movie came out - and ended up liking it quite a bit! Huh. Didn't enjoy The Hobbit as much, but it was ok. I'll see the movie



  11. #111
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    May. 17, 2006
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    Oh my goodness - how can anyone stop laughing at The Bridges of Madison County or The DaVinci Code long enough to hate them? Anytime the author identifies SO clearly with his main character that the novel may as well be a masturbatory ode to himself? I die!

    My hated book is Snow Falling on Cedars. Only time I worked up the indignation to post a review on Amazon.


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  12. #112
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    Mar. 23, 2005
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    Recently I am really dissatisfied with some of the more lauded literary male writers right now: did not particularly enjoy Freedom (Franzen) or Telegraph Avenue (Chabon). They were both technically-speaking well-written, but just felt empty and self-gratuitous to me.

    As far as classics, I studied English in college and grad school so I like most of them-but Little Dorrit was just long and boring. I'm actually not the hugest Dickens fan in general. Which is bad because there are random books I haven't read like Bleak House, I just can't convince myself to voluntarily read more of his writing...



  13. #113
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    Jun. 24, 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shiaway View Post
    You guys who don't like classics, you can at least appreciate them right?
    This is Hemmingway's All Quiet on the Western Front for me. I liked pretty much everything I read in school, even the almost universally-disliked-among-teens Heart of Darkness. But I really, really hated disliked the process of reading All Quiet on the Western Front, even though I could appreciate the purpose of reading it.

    On the flip side one of my favorite books as a kid was Wuthering Heights. When I reread it as an adult, I couldn't stop rolling my eyes and wanted to slap every character silly. I haven't read Catcher in the Rye since high school (when I adored it) but I wonder if I'd have the same reaction I had to Wuthering Heights.

    I'd have to say the books I've in the last 5 or so years that I disliked the most were Twilight and Da Vinci Code.



  14. #114
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    Nov. 1, 2005
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    Life of Pi- horrible. I can't believe they made this book into a movie that looks even more horrible.

    The Celestine Prophecy and The Tenth Insight. I'm already agnostic/athiest so perhaps it was a poor choice from the beginning, but reading that crap was so mind-numbing I wanted to rip up each page into a confetti of paper I could put into my cat's litter box.

    Wicked. See note above about ripping each page into cat litter. Can't even begin to understand why people loved this book so much.

    Completely agree with the Land of Painted Caves. So disappointed I waited so long for that, and that even worse, I kept plowing through, hoping desperately that it would turn around. Hours of my life lost, never to be regained.

    Anything by Herman Hesse. Maybe I am just stupid? I just could never, ever get into his writing. And then I stopped even trying.

    Eat Pray Love- also falls into my "mind numbing crap" category.

    Funny though, that a lot of the books listed here are ones I really have enjoyed. Just like I'm sure someone on here thinks Wicked or the Celestine Prophecy is the best book they have ever picked up. To each his own, I guess!
    ~Living the life I imagined~


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  15. #115
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    Quote Originally Posted by suzier444 View Post
    But I really, really hated disliked the process of reading All Quiet on the Western Front, even though I could appreciate the purpose of reading it.
    Cause for a new sub-theme in this thread:

    The Redeeming Gross Qualities of a book.

    I don't remember All Quiet On the Western Front.... but wasn't this the war book where German soldiers had those little portable latrine boxes? They'd sit around in a circle in some meadow, smoke, talk and take long, communal dumps?

    Speaking of which: There is a graphic/you know you can relate to it dump scene in Ulysses.

    And that the denouement of The Grapes of Wrath.... old starving guy...young girl who's infant has just died....hard times....you do the math. I don't remember how they handled that scene in the movie version, but I remember losing my young mind when I did the math while reading.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat



  16. #116
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    Feb. 27, 2005
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    My all-time worst? There are two.

    First, The Horse Whisperer....drivel.

    Second, Edgar Sawtelle. Slogging through hundreds of pages of heavy handed, poorly researched and overwritten prose, only to end in a mish-mash of a fast, Shakespearean ending that didn't match the rest. I love books, am a voracious reader, and if I don't like one, I will give it away. Edgar Sawtelle, however, served as kindling for my fireplace....I could not subject anyone else to that.



  17. #117
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    Mar. 1, 2003
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    Quote Originally Posted by Natalie A View Post
    Freedom (Franzen) ... but just felt empty and self-gratuitous to me.
    Totally agree!
    Blugal

    You never know what kind of obsessive compulsive crazy person you are until another person imitates your behaviour at a three-day. --Gry2Yng



  18. #118
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    Aug. 20, 2006
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    The Red Pony. Read it when I was a freshman in high school and had a hard time forgiving my teacher for making us read it. And otherwise I loved that teacher!

    I really love lots of the literature mentioned in earlier posts, though I tend to avoid things I'm pretty sure I won't like because life is too short and there are too many great things to read. (I avoided Horse Whisperer and Bridges of Madison County, for instance.)

    Other things I liked the first time I read them, when I was a teen (Atlas Shrugged, Crime and Punishment) but I disliked them intensely when I reread them in my 50s.

    Liz



  19. #119
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    Oct. 2, 2001
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    Greenville, SC
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    Cry the Beloved Country when I was in high school. Beowolf too- it was pretty horrible. Also didn't get further than two chapters in to Fifty Shades.



  20. #120
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    Feb. 2, 2011
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    Anything by Charles Dickens... I don't think anyone should ever be subjected to having to read those books.

    No matter how many times I've tried I cannot get through Wuthering Heights. I'll take Austen over the Bronte's any day of the week.



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