Yesterday, I came across a delightful discussion about books at Salon.com . People were invited to recall a book they really hated.
It was a funny and interesting thread, which I would like to copy (since that’s the sincerest form of flattery, Salon.com!) I was surprised that more people didn’t name Moby Dick. As I have already mentioned somewhere, Moby Dick is my own Moby Dick.
I loved that someone asked if he was allowed to hate a book he’d never read. He wanted to hate the work of Charles Bukowski, and I know what he means. I hate every book by Chuck Palahniuk, without having read them. So hating a book Just Because is okay with me.
I will begin with “The Awakening” by Kate Chopin. I hate that book. I can’t imagine anyone not hating it. And yet it is often assigned reading in high school. Is it because teachers want to make sure that guys grow up to hate “women writers?” I felt so sorry when my oldest son had to read it. I assured him that it was not representative of good fiction written by women. I probably said something like, “Oh god, what a fucking awful book! Ugh, they’re trying to torture you!”
I hated that book because its prose is so leaden and tedious. I can still recall the hideous yellow cover of the paperback after all these years.
I also hate Ulysses, and anyone who says how great it is. Not that I’ll ever read it.
Okay, does anyone have a book to revile?