(AKA The post in which I reveal myself to be an utter lightweight with no respect for proper Literature.)
It was book group last night. And the very lovely Freda had remembered – or someone had noticed on Facebook – that it’s my birthday on Monday.
I joined the book group possibly seven years ago – quite a lot of books ago anyway. And I love it. The company is excellent, the conversations (and gossip) lively and there are always cakes.
It has made me read a lot of books that I wouldn’t normally have chosen and to revisit quite a few classics – or visit them for the first time.
We were discussing this last night and the equally lovely Liz suggested I did a post on the classics that we hated. Suggestions were easy to come by:
To The Lighthouse (Virginia Woolf) Before my book group time, but referred to frequently as the one they didn’t get. “We recognised there were symbols, but had no idea what they symbolised.”
The Golden Notebook (Doris Lessing) I suggested this after the extremely likeable and feisty Ms Lessing finally got the Nobel prize. Flipping hard work.
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Mark Twain) Up and down the river, across and back… zzzz.
Alone in Berlin (Hans Fallada) “Cheer up love, it might never happen. Oh, it just has.” Grim. Written in 1947 and entitled Every Man Dies Alone.
Girls of Slender Means (Muriel Spark) Possibly plot of slender interest. I wrote that I quite liked it, but now I can’t remember why.
Catcher in the Rye (J D Salinger) You wouldn’t tire of slapping Holden Caulfield, would you? Actually an interesting read as much for shifted perception of a book with adulthood.
On Beauty (Zadie Smith) Excellent writer makes the mistake of forgetting to create characters we give a toss about.
Maybe not so bad in the context of ten or so books a year to only have a handful that we, the Quarriers Book Group, reckon to be stinkers.
Do you have any ‘books of supposed greatness that actually we hated’ to add to the list?