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« Book Club Logistics | Main | The Best Comments on the Most-Hated Classics »

October 08, 2009


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Ole A. Imsen

I really hate "The Trial" by Franz Kafka. Tried reading it twice, but there's nothing happening in the book, I think I got about halfway the last time I read it.

What's really annoying is that it's considered a "great work of literature".
I read somewhere that Kafka himself thought it wasn't good enough to be published, and I think he was right.


Ethan Frome. Sorry - suicide by toboggan is just lame.


huck finn. the worst.

i don't even think zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance should be considered a classic, but i hate that too.


The Killer Angels... Why does everyone rave about this book? Who gave it a Pulitzer? It's not revolutionary to know the Civil War was brother against brother -- that's why it's called a "Civil War"! Seriously, it reads like a list of names and dates and as for taking place during a war, the most exciting moments are when General Lee has indigestion!

Noel Griese

Ulysses by James Joyce. To quote Coleridge (Biographia Literaria), "reads with the grace of a ship afloat on a warm, moist sea of glue."


Great Expectations--so depressing.

And I don't know whether "100 Years of Solitude" by Gabriel Garcia Marquez would be considered a classic, but it's pretty iconic and influential. I despised it. Absolutely no one in that book gets a happy ending and it's incredibly convoluted and confusing.

mary kay andrews

THE SCARLET LETTER! Ugh. Suffered through it in high school, and then again when my two kids were in high school. The prose is simply impenetrable.


Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce. Can't. Stand. It. Hated every single thing about it in school.


I have tried to read Wuthering Heights at least 3 times. I just cannot force myself to slog through the servants accents. The first time I tried to read it I was 14 or 15. The last time was about 5 years ago (when I was in my late 20's).


Oh, sooooo many.

I've never been able to read "Catcher in the Rye" OR "On The Road" because I find them so depressing and dismal. Same goes for anything John Steinbeck. I threw "Of Mice and Men" across the room.


I cannot stand ROBINSON CRUSOE. Even if it is considered by some to be the first novel, I hate how he wanders around the island whining and being patronizing to Friday.


Of Mice and Men is so horrible. It took me forever to get through that book since I kept falling asleep every five pages!


Oh, I have three:

The Old Man and the Sea
Moby Dick
Catcher in the Rye (V. glad to know other people can't stand this book either - was beginning to think I was the only one!)


I hated Ethan Frome too. And Wuthering Heights is just one of the worst things I've ever read!

here's another vote for Portrait of the Artist of a Young Man. More like Portrait of How to Make Me Fall Asleep Instantly. Plus he has lice? em, ew.

Dana Lyman

The Great Gatsby, I hate it. And anything by Dickens.

Thomas Hardy's Jude the Obscure. I HATE SUE!

Melissa C

Anything by Ian McEwan. I have picked up and tried to get into three of his books and I just can't get into any of them! I think after three trys I am done with his novels.

Melissa C

Must add that I really don't like very many classical novels. And I really detest anything Jane Austen. Won't watch the movie adaptations, read the books, or read things about Austen either!

Michael Golrick

Grapes of Wrath sucks the big one. It is the only book I have started more than once and never finished. (And, no, I will not try *any* other Steinbeck either.)

I have listened to Jane Austen and seen a movie or two. I keep waiting for something to happen. It never does.

diane burrowes

I was an English major--with a focus on American literature. I am finally able to admit this: I cannot bear to read Faulkner. Now, I've read most of his novels--but I am not a fan.


_Tropic of Cancer_ Yawn. Henry Miller is not a man with whom I enjoyed spending time.

_Moby Dick_ You can read the first page and the last five pages and know everything that happens. The four hundred + pages in between are just mind-numbingly dull. I'd like to slap Raymond Weaver for instigating the Melville Revival ( citation ).


Madame Bovary. I've always heard what a feminist turning point this classic was; but Madame Bovary was a shallow, materialistic character "trapped" in a marriage to a decent man! I'm all for empowerment, but this sister bored me with her constant mental complaints about the countryside, her life of comfort, her boredom.


I absolutely *HATE* John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath. A whole chapter dedicated to a turtle crossing the road! Kill me!

I think that Silas Marner and The Scarlet Letter are better than The Grapes of Wrath. I had students who worked in my library and bragged about blowing off English assignments read both novels out loud to me as punishment! If they had blown off TGOW, they might have gotten pizza for lunch!


I hate Faulkner as well. I am related to too many alcoholics to be entertained by the written form of a drunken ramble. You almost want to get the puke bucket ready when you have to read anything by him.

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