Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Not So Much

Last month I did a post on books that I would assign if I were a teacher.  This got me thinking of all of the books that are considered classics, that people swear you have to read or your life is meaningless, favorites of young and old alike...that I kind of really don't like.  I must stop quickly and refer you back to my previous post on my feelings on personal tastes in books.  This post is not meant to be mean, or piss anybody off, in fact if the following are books you love, let me know why in the comments so I can get a better insight into them.

Jane Eyre (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)
Jane Eyre-Charlotte Bronte
I will say that I did not hate the book, it just got really really drawn out and overly dramatic for my taste.  I think the biggest problem I had reading it, is it is from one persons perspective and that perspective unfortunately is not the most spirited of one. I really liked bits and pieces of it, especially the beginning at that wretched school, but not my cup of tea.  I seem to be in the minority on this one as I know a ton of people who cite this as there favorite book.
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)

Oddly enough I really love Adventures of Tom Swayer, but I never got the appeal of Huck Finn.  Maybe I just like the character of Tom, and cannot relate as well to Huck, maybe the pacing was off, maybe I felt it was a bit too preachy for my liking.  This is one of those books I can't really put a finger on why I don't like it...I just don't.
War and Peace (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)

War and Peace-Leo Tolstoy
Here is a book that is EPIC just to be EPIC.  There is a good story in here somewhere and Tolstoy is an exquisite writer, but when it takes you 12 pages to describe a meadow...well that makes for a tough read.  I am kinda proud that I actually made it all the way through this one, I feel like I deserve a plaque commemorating the event.
The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials Series #1)

The Golden Compass-Philip Pullman
Ok so this is one of the only books I actually contemplated throwing away.  This book really got to me in a not good way.  The writing is beautiful, the world very well laid out, everything I could hope for in a book.  Unfortunately the content was too much for me.  This idea of essentially ripping an essential part of children away from them, leaving them permanently scarred and emotionally broken for experimental/power grubbing purposes was horrifying to me (and I love the Hunger Games)  I think it was the cold cruelty was the factor that really did it for me.  Again, I have read and enjoyed many a twisted, sadistic, torturous, stories and this one I just couldn't stomach, I think it is because it is touted as a young adult book and shelved in the younger readers section that I really hated.  I know many people love this book, so I may be missing something here (and yes I read the whole thing).
Wuthering Heights (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)

Wuthering Heights-Emily Bronte
I really do not get the appeal of this one.  I know so many people, authors, artists, who claim it as their favorite book but I do not get it.  The writing itself was very hard for me to get through, long emotional rambles that never went anywhere.  The sheer self-destructiveness and willful selfishness was just crazy.  I understand a quick glance surface appeal of the "romance" of Heathcliff and Catherine, but as soon as you actually get into the story it is just so unhealthy and appalling.  I hate the idea that anybody would model any sort of relationship off of these characters.  Also if I want to hear semi-coherent rants about what a person is doing, or has been doing, or is being done to them I can always turn on a Real Housewives episode and get the same level of psychosis 

Already folks, let er rip, why do you love/hate any of these books?  What book do you hate that everybody else loves?  What actually makes a classic? What book do you think gets overlooked as a classic?

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