I love classic literature. Reading the works that have stood the test of time and been selected as the creme of the crop is usually a rewarding experience. However, there are some of these books that I just have no desire to go anywhere near. It might be the plot. It might be writing style. It might be the author themselves, but something just makes me want to run the other direction. Here is my list of classics I never want to read (or had wished I hadn’t).
- The Old Man in the Sea – Ernest Hemingway – I’m just not a fan of the writing of Hemingway. I know many love the way he writes. While the man can describe anything, I always have the feeling of slogging through when I read his work. This one was forced reading in high school. Normally, that was never a problem. That same year, Anna Karenina was on the reading list as well, so it wasn’t that I Have a prejudice against assigned reading but this one just bored me to tears. I also am not a big fan of fish, so a story about fishing was the last thing I wanted to read. What was even worse was that my mom made me watch the movie. Never, ever again.
- Lolita – Vladmir Nabokov – This one should be fairly self-explanatory in my honest opinion. This is a book that completely baffles me. How did a book about a pedophile ever become popular? This one belongs in the burn pile and needs to stay there.
- The Catcher in the Rye – J.D. Salinger – I know it’s a classic coming of age story. I know that it was very controversial. I have read it. I found it a huge waste of time. I get it, I just didn’t enjoy entering the mind of an adolescent boy. There are just some thing we don’t need to know.
- Moby Dick – Herman Melville – Angry guy chasing the one that got away for far too long. Another story about fishing. No thanks.
- Vanity Fair – William Makepeace – Someone persuaded me to sit down and watch the Reese Witherspoon movie version of this tale. I don’t know how I sat through the whole insipid thing. It felt like watching a really bad soap opera with a dumb plot. I just couldn’t get into it and found Becky Sharp to be obnoxious. It made me never want to touch this one with a ten foot pole, let alone spend time reading it.
- Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea – Jules Verne – Not a big fan of Jules Verne to begin with. I’ve read some of his other books and found them to be slow going, despite all the action. Add submarines, a crazy captain and more sea life. No thanks.
- Red Badge of Courage – Stephen Crane – I don’t have anything against this book really. Just couldn’t stand reading it. Might be great for someone else. I couldn’t finish it.
What is on your list of classics that you don’t want to touch?