Great/classic novels you just don't like

(201 Posts)
Thurlow Tue 19-Nov-13 12:32:43

Cloud Atlas (what prompted me to start this thread) - lesser than the sum of its part. It's all very clever and a very impressive exercise in writing and authorial(sp?) skill, but none of that makes for an enjoyable read. Too stop start, didn't like some of the stories, didn't feel the stories connected enough to make it feel like they deserved to be all wrapped up together. Emporer's New Clothes.

The Great Gatsby - too deliberate, too studied. I felt like Fitzgerald had written and rewritten and rewritten again every single word on the page, and so the story lost any sense of urgency or liveliness. It left me feeling very cold, which did annoy me as the bones of the story were really interesting.

Paulo Coehlo's The Alchemist and The Life of Pi - couldn't read more than 2 pages of either of them, just hated them on sight.

Anything by Dickens - I just can't get into him blush. Ditto anything by DH Lawrence.

Sammie101 Tue 19-Nov-13 12:43:54

Wuthering Heights, I really just hated it! Didn't see the appeal of Heathcliff at all and Cathy was just a selfish brat hmm

HoratiaDrelincourt Tue 19-Nov-13 12:50:18

The Mill on the Floss. What a load of shit.

FoxyRevenger Tue 19-Nov-13 12:52:15

Second anything by Dickens. Why his books are so beloved is beyond me; probably because it seems such a given people feel the need to agree, but have never read them...

To Kill a Mockingbird. Cannot be bothered with that children's style of prose.

Catcher in the Bloody Rye (as I believe it's called) hmm

kelda Tue 19-Nov-13 12:53:33

I've read several of Charles Dickens' but I found Little Dorrit just impossible.

juneau Tue 19-Nov-13 12:57:00

Anything by Thomas Hardy - it sends me to sleep
Wuthering Heights - bored the tits off me
Cold Mountain - couldn't get into it all
Wolf Hall - I'm going to try it again some day, but it didn't grab me
Anna Karenina - too many long names and I kept forgetting who everyone was

Tinlegs Tue 19-Nov-13 12:59:59

Lolita - just pisses me off.

bimblebee Tue 19-Nov-13 13:01:00

Loved David Copperfield but hated A Tale of Two Cities.
Got a third of the way through Cloud Atlas and had to give up - found that I was just dreading picking the book up every evening.
Love everything by Thomas Hardy but hate Jane Austin. There you go.

growltigersontheloose Tue 19-Nov-13 13:09:15

Mill on the Floss. Yawn.

Little Women. Oh I hate it.

Thurlow Tue 19-Nov-13 13:09:33

I love Wuthering Heights and read it every year or so, but I like it because Heathcliffe is hideous and Cathy is a brat. I have no idea why people insist on seeing it as a love story though.

Cather in the Rye was just awful, I hated reading it. I don't think the 20th century American classics do much for me <furiously dressing that up as something clever, rather than me being not clever>

Anna Karenina and Crime and Punishment I managed to read at a time where I had very little else to read, though I remember skipping almost any chapter that mentioned farming within the first paragraph!

Crime and Punishment was a really odd one. I didn't enjoy reading the book at all - but I did think Raskolnikov was one of the greatest characters I've ever read, he just seemed so alive and so complex and so unique.

magimedi Tue 19-Nov-13 13:11:11

Another one for Dickens.

Am I right in thinking that nearly all Dickens's novels appeared in serial form in the paper as their first publication? Maybe that is part of the reason they don't , for me, appeal as novels.

Wuthering Heights

growltigersontheloose Tue 19-Nov-13 13:14:42

Anything by Jane Austen, which I blame on A level English Lit. and having to reread Sense And Sensibility countless times and write tedious essays on tedious subjects such as 'the significance of communication via letters'. BECAUSE THEY DIDN'T HAVE PHONES OR EMAIL, DUMB DUMB! How else will some toff know what time to come for dinner? I'm still bitter that I only got a B, and it was half my lifetime ago.

lambbone Tue 19-Nov-13 13:17:55

Come on! For sheer tedium you can't beat Henry James.

I also love Wuthering heights and read it about once a year Thurlow. Had my copy from I was 16 and it's falling apart.

Jane Austen - yawn. Must be an A-level English lit thing.

Crime and punishment I struggled to get through.

More recently the 100 year old man who climbed out the window. How has it got 1000s of good reviews on amazon? Gave up half way through. First book to every break me as I never not finish a book.

ancientbuchanan Tue 19-Nov-13 13:23:17

Wuthering Heights. Self obsessed unpleasant people with miserable ending.

Emma. Up her own backside heroine who is also a bitch.

Madame Bovary. Selfish and stupid woman.

Anything by Thackeray, cynicism can only take you so far. Even in Vanity Fair.

Wolf hall. Too long.

A la recherche du temps perdu. Even longer

Almost anything by Henry James. Feels even longer than Proust, real achievement.

War and Peace.

Germinal. Gloomsville.

Les Miserables. Musical far far better.

ancientbuchanan Tue 19-Nov-13 13:23:25

Wuthering Heights. Self obsessed unpleasant people with miserable ending.

Emma. Up her own backside heroine who is also a bitch.

Madame Bovary. Selfish and stupid woman.

Anything by Thackeray, cynicism can only take you so far. Even in Vanity Fair.

Wolf hall. Too long.

A la recherche du temps perdu. Even longer

Almost anything by Henry James. Feels even longer than Proust, real achievement.

War and Peace.

Germinal. Gloomsville.

Les Miserables. Musical far far better.

Kveta Tue 19-Nov-13 13:23:39

anything by Jane Austen.

A year of studying 6 books in which NOTHING EVER HAPPENS to a load of chinless wonders, when the year above us got to study a selection of texts by Dickens rather put me off Austen.

I found Life of Pi deeply tedious too, nothing happened in that either. I dare not read Cloud Atlas, my father keeps raving about it, and his descriptions make it sound very very pleased with itself.

MegBusset Tue 19-Nov-13 13:24:13

Jane Eyre, what a crock of shit.

Kveta Tue 19-Nov-13 13:24:34

oh, and my studies were CSYS, so Scottish equivalent of A Levels - we even got bored by Austen north of the border!

magimedi Tue 19-Nov-13 13:26:27

I have never read anything by Jane Austen - yet!!

Not encouraged by you lot grin

Morgause Tue 19-Nov-13 13:27:55

<somewhat worried because many of my favourites have been mentioned>

Most French novels. Just when things can't get any worse they do.
Moby Dick.
Anything by George Eliot.
Anything by Joseph Conrad.
Anything by Walter Scott.

Wuthering Heights. I have tried and TRIED with this fucking book, and finally admitted defeat last summer. I will never finish it.

MiddleAgeMiddleEngland Tue 19-Nov-13 13:42:10

I agree with Bimblebee, I love Hardy but Jane Austen? No, really can't read it. I've tried and tried, but just don't understand the appeal.

Anything by Tolkien. So boring.

On the other hand, I love some of the novels mentioned above, including Mill on the Floss, To Kill a Mockingbird, and quite a lot of Dickens.

It's good that we're all different smile

TheSporkforeatingkyriarchy Tue 19-Nov-13 13:48:22

OP - Fitzgerald took a lot of his work from his wife and rewrote it, so likely your perception is quite accurate of what happened (the guy was a douche, would purposefully try to make her mentally snap).

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