Welcome back to THE GUILT! So, we’ve covered THE GUILT1 in which a book lover squirms when thinking of all the ‘classic’ and ‘great’ novels that they haven’t read. I’m still looking at you, Don Quixote.
Now on to THE GUILT2. Curious? Why are we squirming this time? It’s because we’ve read the classic, well-regarded book, and have hated them, or worse, simply not seen their greatness.
For me, The Catcher in the Rye drops neatly into this category. Holden Caulfield is the most odious little snot known to man. Thankfully, when I put my feelers out, I discovered I wasn’t the only one. Oh no; far from it.
The lovely Grace liked Catcher as a pre-teen, re-read it during university and found Holden supremely irritating. Huzzah! Hilary, who, incidentally, is an English teacher, confirmed what I already knew; that the book is ‘pretentious crap’. Praise be!
Catcher aside, I found Jude the Obscure, The Heart of Darkness and Disgrace all too too depressing; Vanity Fair tedious; and Wide Sargasso Sea ‘meh’. Interestingly, in yet another poll of the greatest books of all time (published by yet another newspaper), Middlemarch is announced as their number one book. Really? I found it so dull. Still, at least it’s an improvement on seeing Don Quixote at the top of a list and not even having an inclination to read it. Right?
So what books out there fail miserably to get your seal of approval? Of Mice and Men (this genuinely surprises me) is on the list; as is Tess of the D’Urbervilles (no surprise there; it’s a loathsome book. Thomas Hardy is not a happy-go-lucky kind of man. Sigh); and Romeo and Juliet (gasp!).
In the next and final post of this (entertaining?) little series is THE GUILT3. Tune in to find out what this is. Go on. You know you want to…