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#121 of 202 Old 12-22-2005, 02:50 PM
 
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I can't believe the only mentions of Hawthorne in this thread have been positive! The Scarlet Letter was boring enough, but surely The House of the Seven Gables is a strong contender for most boring book on the planet, isn't it? (I admit I don't remember a single thing about the characters or plot, but I think that just proves how boring it is.)

It's also hard to believe some of the books people think are boring. Ethan Frome? Huck Finn? Pride and Prejudice? Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance? The Lord of the Rings?!
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#122 of 202 Old 12-22-2005, 04:37 PM
 
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Billy Budd. Yawn.
I liked Moby Dick, though. And I LOVED "In the Heart of the Sea" - it rocked. I may start it again when I have time to read. (Ha! Ha! Ha!)

War and Peace....I will get through it one day, if only to say that I did.

Maybe you have to be the right age for "Zen and the Art..." I read it in my 20s and really liked it.

A writer/runner/thinker/wife with two daughters (11/02 and 8/05), one dog, three cats, seven fish, and a partridge in a pear tree... in Vermont.
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#123 of 202 Old 12-22-2005, 09:46 PM
 
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I was even an English major, but I could not, for the life of me, get into Huckleberry Finn, Madame Bovary or anything by Dickens. :
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#124 of 202 Old 12-22-2005, 10:11 PM
 
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I give you mamas alot of credit for sticking it out and reading those boring books. If I can't get into it after reading a quarter of it, I put it down. Then I forget the title. The only book I read cover to cover and still never got into was Tom Robbins ANother Roadside Attraction. I loved all his other books. SOmeday I'll read it again, only because when I originally tried to read it I was young and in college and not getting enough sleep.
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#125 of 202 Old 12-22-2005, 10:47 PM
 
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Aside from the AP English snoozers, the English Lit I, II and III snore fests I have to nominate:

"Empire Falls" as the ultimate in d u l l.

Nothing, and I mean nothing, drains my battery like that "I'm gonna tell you a story in that expository, expositional, expositionallist" type of writing.

I hated "The Kite Runner" for the same reason (Not a boring story by any means, but a dang boring book to read.
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#126 of 202 Old 12-23-2005, 01:41 AM
 
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This thread is so funny! I liked a lot of those books, tho....

I've been trying to read Jean-Paul Sartre's _Nausea_ on and off for 20 years! Is it time to give up?
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#127 of 202 Old 12-23-2005, 03:23 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WriterMama
I was even an English major, but I could not, for the life of me, get into Huckleberry Finn, Madame Bovary or anything by Dickens. :
I discovered the secret to Dickens: you have to hear him, not read him. Books on tape. It makes it so much better that you can actually tell why he was popular back in the day.
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#128 of 202 Old 12-23-2005, 02:28 PM
 
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oh, absolutely. i'd forgotten about that one. it makes my brain hurt. (edit: huh? thought i'd hit quote. was agreeing with the 'tom gordon' comments.)

i agree with the age-related comments. 'dune' was obtuse to me in 9th grade, but loved it in 11th. i couldn't do it now. austen, you need a little age & background to truly enjoy. tolkien & 'watership down' are awesome 7th grade books (couldn't bear 'the hobbit', hwiw.)

ayn rand is intolerable then & now. (whoever thought ray bradbury- a fine writer if you are an 11 yr old geek princess, btw- was two-dimensional, yikes. talk about cardboard. have a smoke, anyone?) moby dick was indeed awful. hated hemingway.

hey, haven't gotten thru the whole thread- anyone mention 'the silmarillion' yet? in my most fanatical tolkien years i couldn't bear it. 'lady chatterley', conrad, faulkner, yup.

i really need to give 'tristram shandy' another go.

i wonder how much of this is cultural specific? a brain trained on tv is going to have trouble with dickins, but he was considered quite the populist entertainer back when. no soaps, read 'david copperfield'. but i cannot ever imagine 'moby' being interesting ('billy budd' was good, though.)

and i like the joyce story 'eveline', even if i could never wade thru the other stuff (my dd is trying 'ulysses' now.) i can admire the beauty & fine creative linguistics, but wrap my mind around it as a comprehensible story i cannot. i think you needed to be really turned on by the forbidden aspect to dig in wholeheartedly.
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#129 of 202 Old 12-23-2005, 03:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suseyblue
but i cannot ever imagine 'moby' being interesting ('billy budd' was good, though.)
.
For Moby-Dick to be interesting, I think it helps to read this very cool book: In the Heart of the Sea
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#130 of 202 Old 12-23-2005, 04:31 PM
 
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CB, I don't think reading In the Heart of the Sea will make Moby Dick any more interesting, honestly....but it is a great book!

A writer/runner/thinker/wife with two daughters (11/02 and 8/05), one dog, three cats, seven fish, and a partridge in a pear tree... in Vermont.
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#131 of 202 Old 12-24-2005, 01:59 AM
 
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I've enjoyed this thread. It brings back memories of the books I didn't enjoy reading in school. I just hated 1984. I just did not enjoy that one one bit.

I know I read Huck Finn and I thought it was fine. I also enjoyed Tom Sawyer.

I won't attempt Moby Dick thanks to this thread.
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#132 of 202 Old 12-24-2005, 03:13 AM
 
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#133 of 202 Old 12-24-2005, 10:33 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by partymoo
Faulkner's "As I Lay Dying". I wanted to like it. I tried to like it. It put me to sleep every night for a month and spent another month on top of the john helping me pinch loaves before I finally gave up on it.
Ah. You turned it into As I Sat Sh***ing.

(For what it's worth, I detest Faulkner!)
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#134 of 202 Old 12-25-2005, 04:46 PM
 
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I hated Heart of Darkness - couldn't get into it for anything.

Jenn
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#135 of 202 Old 12-25-2005, 11:25 PM
 
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'
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#136 of 202 Old 12-26-2005, 01:00 AM
 
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Oh, I thought Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier was TORTURE...I thought I was walking to Cold Mountain and would never get there. I didn't think the movie was much better either.

Sabrina , mom to 4 fab kids!

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#137 of 202 Old 12-26-2005, 02:43 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by streetkitty
Ethan Frome- Edith Wharton...hated it and this was at least 15 years ago and I still remember how much I hated it!
I loved reading Ethan Frome. It was 25 years ago and I was a teenager who had just moved from California to New England. School had been cancelled because of a huge blizzard, and I read it bundled up in a window seat looking out over snowy fields. It was like slipping into a sad strange haunting dream. I read it several times.

And I loved Cold Mountain! - Funny how many of my favorite books are on this list!
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#138 of 202 Old 12-28-2005, 08:03 PM
 
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Flashbacks of the worst books ever....

As I Lay Dying...

...twitching...convulsions...

Gravity's Rainbow....

...shaking...crying...

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance....(amen)....

and finally...

absolutely ANYTHING by the highly-overrated Mr. James Joyce... :Puke

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Never let your schooling interfere with your education. ~Mark Twain~

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#139 of 202 Old 12-28-2005, 08:33 PM
 
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Sophie's World?
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance?
Confederacy of Dunces?

CATCHER IN THE RYE?!?!?!


OMG, you all are breaking my heart into a thousand pieces.

I really never could get into the first Harry Potter book, I thought it was dreadfully boring, and therefore I never read any of the following books. Sometimes I get tempted and try again, but I just don't see what the big deal is.

I liked the movies, though.

flowersforyou.gif

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#140 of 202 Old 12-29-2005, 12:38 PM
 
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Suse!I am so offended!!!

Ayn Rand is a GENIOUS!!!! and you really have to get objectivism to really get her. Sorry you never got it.

I hated, abhored Billy Budd. I felt it was idolizing the idiot and wrote a paper about how he was the original beevis and butthead. The moron simpleton makes the day. *BARF* another Forest Gump story.

For me, reading James Fenimore Cooper was like watching grass grow. I think I attempted The Leatherstocking Tales. I have Last of the Mohicans and will eventually give it a shot.

Henry James...I love what he has to say but man, does he like to dawdle. I struggle to get through his works.

I will have to try Dickens on CD because I just figured I did not like English authors and much prefered the French.

Ray Bradbury....OMG!! Farenheit 451 is one of those iconic novels that changed the world. Bradbury is proof that you do not need to be verbose to get a point across. But I guess I am an 11 year old geek princess. Where's my tiara?
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#141 of 202 Old 12-29-2005, 01:35 PM
 
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What a fun thread!

For boring classics, I give my vote to Paradise Lost

A more modern book some people love but I don't': The Shell Seekers

Oh, and I don't like Longfellow.

My fav classic as a young person was Jude the Obscure. I read that about 6 times as a teen, and as an undergraduate whenever I was depressed. lol Such perfect sadness.
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#142 of 202 Old 12-29-2005, 01:40 PM
 
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The Heart of Darkness, hands down!

My favorite (I've read and re-read it about once a year for the past twelve or so years) is The Trapp Family Singers (book behind The Sound of Music movie). And as much as I loved the movie, which I saw first.... the book is 100 times better.
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#143 of 202 Old 12-29-2005, 04:01 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chanley
Suse!I am so offended!!!

Ayn Rand is a GENIOUS!!!! and you really have to get objectivism to really get her. Sorry you never got it.
oh, i GOT her.
Florence King on Ayn Rand: "Here are some tips on [book] reviewing ...
"8. DO NOT review any book about Ayn Rand. Even if you rave it, her gremlins will find something to go bananas about and write you a letter: 'Dear Social Metaphysician! Examine your anti-Objectivist premises and you will see that your epistemology stinks!!!'"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chanley
I hated, abhored Billy Budd.
you still may enjoyed roger shattuck's dissection of it in 'forbidden knowledge: from prometheus to pornography' (in fact, knowing you, i think you'd enjoy the rest of that book, too. the de sade chapter is the definitive lit crit of 'justine' imho.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chanley
For me, reading James Fenimore Cooper was like watching grass grow. I think I attempted The Leatherstocking Tales. I have Last of the Mohicans and will eventually give it a shot..
yes, it was worth wading through fenimore cooper's entire oevre to fully appreciate mark twain's comments on such.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chanley
Ray Bradbury....OMG!! Farenheit 451 is one of those iconic novels that changed the world. Bradbury is proof that you do not need to be verbose to get a point across. But I guess I am an 11 year old geek princess. Where's my tiara?
what? did you think i meant that as an insult? 'the october country' is the background of my mental terrain. aren't the short stories fabulous? i can never get enough ray.
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#144 of 202 Old 12-29-2005, 04:10 PM
 
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Great thread.

I fell asleep reading Germinal by Zola and A Rebours by Huysmans. The first I was briefly interested in it, I read it in French, and for about 3 pages I mistook the word "putain" for Puritain. I was quite astounded by this description of a Puritain b/c none of the American ones behaved that way. Then I looked up the word in the dictionary and found out the word meant prostitute. The latter the only way I could stay awake was by shouting at it, "Who the F$%^ cares?" and imagining me barging into his house and forcing him to go outside and get some fresh air.

Now books I dislike, that's another list that includes "Women in Love" the book that made me decide that if by page 100 if I hated a book, I could stop reading.
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#145 of 202 Old 12-29-2005, 04:17 PM
 
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Originally Posted by nyveronica
I hated "The Kite Runner" for the same reason (Not a boring story by any means, but a dang boring book to read.
I could kiss you. I'm glad someone else didn't like this book. We had it for our Community Book Program for the college and I'm on the book committee. I wish I could quit b/c they wanted to do an "Arab" book and this one got chosen b/c it was on the NYTimes bestseller list and there were so many activities that could be done around it. My pointing out that a) it's not very well written esp the last 3rd and b) Afghanis are not Arabs wasn't listened to. Everyone thought the book was marvelous. *sigh*
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#146 of 202 Old 12-29-2005, 05:20 PM
 
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Everyone thought the book was marvelous. *sigh*

And I, you for a smooch! It was not well received when I said it was coma inducing
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#147 of 202 Old 12-30-2005, 02:37 PM
 
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Originally Posted by lisalou
Now books I dislike, that's another list that includes "Women in Love" the book that made me decide that if by page 100 if I hated a book, I could stop reading.
ah, but the movie was quite watchable if only to see oliver reed and alan bates wrestle in front of the fire. (at 13 i was i found it... intense. )
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#148 of 202 Old 12-30-2005, 05:56 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Nankay
Hmm..oh, wait..ANYTHING by William Faulkner.
I second that.

I do not care how many awards he won for his literature. He put me to and I wanted to die.

I read, As I Lay Dying in my freshman year in college, and I wanted to die. . "Die already", was what I said every time I picked up the book, and the Cliff Notes to guide me through.

I once saw a list of the worst books ever read, and number one was Moby Dick, so I have to agree with most of the previous posters. I have read an abridged version of Moby Dick and I needed Cliff Notes to get through it.

"The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic."
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#149 of 202 Old 12-30-2005, 06:06 PM
 
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Let me add:

Beowulf
The Faerie Queen
The Leviathan
The Republic
Tale of Two Cities
and yes, The Feminist Mystique

"The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic."
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#150 of 202 Old 12-30-2005, 09:25 PM
 
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This is a great, great thread. I'll have to agree on Steinbeck (another victim of The Red Pony that caused me to go into Grapes of Wrath with a chip on my shoulder -- plus I have a thing about gritty dust ) and Joyce (as an of-Irish-descent lass, it pains me that I could never read this.)

I actually liked Moby Dick when I read it. Wasn't thrilled by it but didn't hate it. Did not like Old Man and the Sea. The longest short book I ever read.

Love Jane Austin and was surprised by someone describing her (positively) as requiring some effort to get into it. I find her books pleasantly light, as classics go. Now, Portrait of a Lady I'm having some problems with. I got rejuvenated when she was turning down marriage proposals (but I'm a sucker for romance of any sort) but I'm now losing interest.

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintainance -- I think you must be a male of a certain age to appreciate this book. I bought it years ago to be cool and never got into it. Tried rereading it after a man with whom I was infatuated mentioned liking it. Still haven't finished it. Again, not terrible, just not engrossing enough.

The English Patient was one I couldn't finish, even returned it to the store. I can't recall exactly what it was, except that it struck me as so pretentious and forced, I was irritated after the first chapter.

Faulkner -- I love him! Thinking, I actually may never have read his novels, but I loved his short stories.

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