Monday, August 10, 2009
While we're on the subject...
Okay, so last week I blogged about a book I hated. And then I asked you to write a worst first line for this month's contest. Can I get some more thoughts from you on books you don't like?
What books do you hate that other people seem to love? And let's try to skip the popular titles like The DaVinci Code and/or John Grisham novels where, despite their bestsellerdom, I think there is a large and identifiable group of haters out there... is there any book that you hated or didn't "get" (I think these are two separate categories, actually, but I'm super busy today and will have to discuss that more tomorrow) where you seriously feel like you are the only person on the planet who sees that the book is, in fact, total garbage?
I hate The Great Gatsby. Hate it. I think every single character is irredeemably unlikeable, and I can't imagine why anyone would want to read more than five pages about them. I hated it in high school, tried to read it again as an adult, and couldn't even finish it. I don't care if there's some grand social commentary there -- American Psycho has horrible, selfish, evil characters as part of a social commentary construct, but I'm not supposed to like them, and that makes a world of difference. In Gatsby, I'm clearly supposed to like, admire, and/or sympathize with these people, and I refuse. I find them detestable. And I don't think there is anything remotely special about the language of the book. It's boring, and the parts that aren't boring make me angry, because these people are vile and don't deserve the attention they're getting.
How about you? What classic novel or critically acclaimed book is one that you can't stand?