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Your Overrated Book List

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Pedro's thread got me looking at "Top 100" lists of the best books ever, and as I went through them I saw many a Big Title I read and came away thinking "What's all the hoopla about?"

So, what so-called classics have you read and just not connected with?

Here's a couple of mine.

"Angle of Repose" by Wallace Stegner. 1972 Pulitzer Prize winner. Recommended to me by teachers, friends, and my mother for years until she finally bought me the book. I read it and came away...flat.

"On The Road" by Jack Kerouac. Read it in high school & just didn't see what the attraction was. Re-read it in college and still missed the boat. Complained to a good friend that I didn't like it and he suggested "Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up To Me" by Richard Farina if I wanted to read good "counter-culture / 60's lit" and I liked that much more.

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The Phone Book...I mean, that stuff is all online anyway!;)

Oh, very funny, sir, very funny.

Although I did almost stop the guy delivering them on my street the other day and say, "Really? You guys are still doing this?" But I didn't have the heart.

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All the King's Men

Great Gatsby

The Awakening

Scarlet Letter

Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (worst book I've ever read, but only because my teacher was nice enough not to give us Ulysses or Finnegan's Wake)

Edited by square634

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I'm curious to see where this thread goes, since I believe that what one person thinks is an "overrated" book is just something that didn't connect with them like it does with others.

For example, one of the ones on my list would be The Hobbit/The Lord of the Rings series, because I disliked reading them so much when I had to in school. Whether it was because I read them for school or because I've never been a huge fantasy fan or whatever, I just never connected with the series like others.

Does that make them overrated? I don't think so, but I wonder how others' lists will look and if they have similar thoughts.

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Does that make them overrated? I don't think so, but I wonder how others' lists will look and if they have similar thoughts.

Well, you raise a good point -- whether you're praising or condemning, it's totally a subjective evaluation.

I understand that my two choices for overrated are very popular, critically acclaimed books. I certainly don't think that somehow I'm seeing past the hype or something, and the books in fact stink. It's just that, given how much other people have enjoyed them and praised them and held them up as examples of really good writing, I was let down.

Maybe "overrated" was a bit inflammatory a word to use, but I think there will be some correlation between how much a book is praised and how much people who don't like it are disappointed by it.

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Well, you raise a good point -- whether you're praising or condemning, it's totally a subjective evaluation.

I understand that my two choices for overrated are very popular, critically acclaimed books. I certainly don't think that somehow I'm seeing past the hype or something, and the books in fact stink. It's just that, given how much other people have enjoyed them and praised them and held them up as examples of really good writing, I was let down.

Maybe "overrated" was a bit inflammatory a word to use, but I think there will be some correlation between how much a book is praised and how much people who don't like it are disappointed by it.

Well, you raise a good point, too. Really, in anything, if it's been praised by enough people seeing it for yourself is likely to be disappointing. And for something to be "overrated" means it has to be good enough in the minds of most people to be rated in the first place :P

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"On The Road" by Jack Kerouac. Read it in high school & just didn't see what the attraction was. Re-read it in college and still missed the boat. Complained to a good friend that I didn't like it and he suggested "Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up To Me" by Richard Farina if I wanted to read good "counter-culture / 60's lit" and I liked that much more.

I couldn't even finish On the Road. I'm going to make another run at it later, though. Could be it just caught me at a bad time.

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All the King's Men

Great Gatsby

The Awakening

Scarlet Letter

Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (worst book I've ever read, but only because my teacher was nice enough not to give us Ulysses or Finnegan's Wake)

Great Gatsby = Big-time Masterpiece

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Though it is undeniably a world literary classic, reading the Republic by Plato is an exercise in pure torture. It contains a few good ideas and lines, no doubt, but overall is extremely irritating; the literary equivalent of the O's infamous 30 to 3 loss to the Rangers (on a side note, how in hell do you give up 30 freaking runs in a non-little league game, I'm still in disbelief.....).

Ironically enough, I'm an ENORMOUS fan of the Platonic dialogues which are breezier and a delightful, thought-provoking read. It's Socrates at his colossal, pain-in-the-ass best, stirring the pot in ancient Athens............

Edited by Marc Spector

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All the King's Men

Great Gatsby

The Awakening

Scarlet Letter

Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (worst book I've ever read, but only because my teacher was nice enough not to give us Ulysses or Finnegan's Wake)

Sorry Square the Awakening is a masterpiece too.....to each his own though

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Sorry Square the Awakening is a masterpiece too.....to each his own though

Ugh. I can almost see Great Gatsby, but the Awakening?? I don't even know many feminists who sympathize with the main character of that one. (Not that I'm misogynist, but the whole "oh woe is me, I'm trapped because I'm married with kids, so I'm going to whore around and then drown myself" routine doesn't really do it for me).

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Overrated: The Lord of the Rings books. Too bogged down in useless filler like Elven poetry. The movies were much better.

This is neg rep worthy;):cussing:

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This is neg rep worthy;):cussing:

I think a lot of people forget how hard it is to get through those books. There's certainly a good story line in there, it just gets bogged down in useless, excessive details and irrelevant exposition.

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