Books I Hated

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Sara Nelson (So Many Books, So Little Time)  has given me the courage to be honest with my readers about my opinion:

    I hated  A Clockwork Orange. Its a terrible book, and I didn’t get past the first 20 pages because I was so disappointed with it. After the main character terrorized the old man and RAPED the woman, I was done.

   Another one on my “Do Not Read” List is The Catcher in the Rye. I loathe this book. I finished it, but the only reason I finished it is so I would be able to tell people how terrible it is and be able to say “YES!” when the smugly ask “well did you even finish it?” More than anything, I hate the main character. He’s a narcissistic hypocrite. There’s very little action, and most of it is the main character reflecting upon his life, and how everyone around him is wrong, and the pity he feels because they’re so lost without him. I was rather offended when my favorite Young Adult Novel, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, was said to be this generation’s Catcher.

Another one that tops my list (mainly because it was the wrong book at the wrong time) is The Witch on Blackbird Pond. I read it in sixth grade and I have never struggled to read a book like that before. The plot, the characters and the morals were completely dull (for the brilliant 12-year-old that I was).

Don’t get me wrong, I love books. . .just not thesebooks. Maybe they came about in the middle of the wrong circumstances, or maybe I was just in the wrong mood when I picked them up: either way, only dislike three out of the last few hundred Ive read: That’s a pretty good record.

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Published on December 7, 2007 at 3:05 pm  Comments (4)  

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I agree, Novel Dame, that some books will leave an individual cold. And I agree that perhaps a particular book will never appeal to a ceretain individual or maybe the book was simply read at the wrong time. That’s alright because not every book must appeal to or be meaningful to every person.

    I always liked the author Kurt Vonnegut. I used to be on a mission to read all his books. I picked up Breakfast of Champions, read 3/4 of it and thought it was the stupidest thing I’d ever read. I wondered what had happened to the genius that had been Vonnegut’s. Had it evaporated? Had Vonnegut sold out to crass commercialism? What was up with Vonnegut? Several years later I ended up rereading the same book ( stuck for a weekend in a cabin during very bad weather) and ended up loving Breakfast of Champions. What happened? It was the same book, but I was different. My mind and view of life had changed. I learned that not every book will appeal to me, but that I might change my mind about that same book some where or some time down the road. Not a bad lesson to learn.

    I, like you, was not too excited by Catcher in the Rye. It’s considered a classic. I think it’s a good book, just not a fabulously great one. Sometimes when a book is hyped too much that alone turns people off.

    Although Oprah Winfrey has done a great job of introducing the public to books and encouraging reading, I have to admit that many of the books she picks I find to be much too depressing for my taste. I often avoid reading a book she is promoting simply because she is promoting it.

    Keep reading! You don’t have to love everything! Sometimes it is what we bring to the book that makes or breaks the book for us.

  2. I am proud of your maturity in this area of the life of a reader. I too have read many books that I did not like, but for a myriad of reasons continued to read until the end; always feeling somewhat compromised when I finished. I have now adopted the rule of fifty pages; I give the author that many turns to convince me to continue. There are too many books and too little time. Keep on with your reading quest, but fear not the option to close a book unfinished.

  3. […] torn. I have read both Franny and Zooey and The Catcher in the Rye and I am still unable to decide whether or not I adore J.D. Salinger, or just his books. Because of […]

  4. I reread “Catcher” last year (I first read it in high school). Its greatness is lost on me. I think it’s just an overlong “New Yorker” story. Thackery subtitled “Vanity Fair” “A novel without a hero.” That’s Catcher, too. A whole crew of people you’d rather not know nor spend time with. Even Hannibal Lector is fun to be around. Holden is just someone stuck in a boring life with boring prospects. At least we can cheer ourselves when we reflect that all the high school students in the country are paying for Salinger’s hermitage.


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