Friday, June 8, 2012

Most Disappointing Books Ever

We've all had the experience, haven't we? Picking up an "all-time great" novel, diving right in, and coming up for air after a few pages, bored or appalled, plunging on through to the end thinking, This must get better, it's everyone's favorite, only to finish the thing, toss it aside and say to yourself, "That was a monumental waste of time," wondering what all the fuss was about.

That's how I feel about The Great Gatsby, touted as an American classicAs far as I'm concerned, the only thing great about Gatsby, which I have read three times in a brave attempt to understand why everyone else thinks it's such hot stuff, is that it's mercifully short. Having plowed through three times and seen the dull-as-dishwater movie with Robert Redford and Mia Farrow, I'm still at a loss. I don't get it. I can barely remember what it's about. Jay. East Egg, West Egg. Some girl. Parties. Rich people. Boring, boring, boring.

What about you? What stupendous work of literature left you in a stupor?

2 comments:

Roland said...

The Shipping News.

P.S. I had a writing teacher who read the first paragraph of The Great Gatsby to his classes as a great example of bad writing.

Lt. Cccyxx said...

Ulysses.

Also: As I Lay Dying.

In a very contemporary example of a much-hyped book I could not stand: The Song of Achilles (cannot understand why anyone liked it).