The other day surfing around WordPress I came across DragonFlyy419’s blog with a post asking people to comment on books they hated. We always talk about the books we loved, changed our life, made us grow, etc. But what about those classics or “must read ones” that simply didn’t do it for you?
Surprisingly the majority of the people commented on their frustrating experience with To Kill A Mockingbird. So I could not resist and took the opportunity of a life time to tell the world how much I hated The Iliad. Yes, you read well, The Iliad. Homer’s masterpiece. Yuk!
I was forced to read it in school when I was about 12 or 13 years and I found it completely impossible to follow, what was with that language! and overall boring, dead boring. A truly traumatic experience. Needless to say it was absolutely useless for the teacher to tell us we had to read a wonderful story in the form of an epic poem written in dactylic hexameter. Yeah thanks, now I get it!
Having said that, that blog made me think about many more books that I know are crucial in world’s literature but that went down my list of reading failures. The following may be shocker for more than one, so please feel free to comment and bring back the hope.
1. In Search of Lost Time I – The Way by Swann’s by Marcel Proust. Failure in the first of the seven volumes! I attempted it at least three times, always unable to go further than page 150. Happily for the sake of the masterpiece I did manage to go through the famous madeleines episode.
2. The Rings of Saturn. – W.G Sebald. Not for me from page 1. As much as I love Britain his journey through East Anglia sadly did not catch my attention.
3. The Light of Day. – Graham Swift. After truly enjoying Waterland (which reminded me of Faulkner in a way), I was dissapointed by this novel.
4. The Rebels.- Sándor Márai. I know people who are huge fans of Márai and I just did not get it. Maybe try another one?
5. My Name is Red. – Orhan Pamuk. Again, at least 3 attempts and no success after page 60. However, I see this novel as a challenge and I will come back to it as I enjoyed other Pamuk’s books such as the moving and melancholic Istanbul: Memories and a City.
I think 5 is enough, don’t want to put anyone off reading these books. But if you felt the same, I’d be delighted to hear all about it.