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What Classics/books did you blow off in school?


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Nov 11, 2010, 11:08pm   #1
k
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I remember reading the first line or two of Hemingway's "The Old Man and The Sea" and thinking to myself, "I....don't think so."
  • Dickens' "Great Expectations" didn't meet my expectations on the first page either, so I blew it off.
  • Shakespeare's "Romeo & Juliet"...well, what for? After so many plays and movies, wouldn't that be a colossal waste of time? Next!
  • Cervantes' "Don Quijote de la Mancha"? For 1,000+ pages? Are you nuts? Actually, he was nuts... Next!
  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez's "One Hundred Years of Solitude" would've required about a 100 years of solitude to read it...

These may be among the greatest books of all time, but I just couldn't bring myself to read them kuz of the writing style or length, or both. Plus MTV took up most of my time...

However, I did read and enjoyed "1984," "Brave New World," "The Hobbit," "El Cid," "Tartuffe," "Metamorphosis," and several other memorable ones. So, you see, it wasn't all a waste.


What books did you skip?
Nov 11, 2010, 11:19pm   #2
digby723's Avatar
Back to reality
I hated The Scarlet Letter and I had to read it twice, ugh. I read it, but I was NOT happy about it!
Nov 12, 2010, 9:31am   #3
GhstDreamer's Avatar
Lady Philosophy
Secondary school:

Ordinary People by Judith Guest

Julius Caesar and Romeo and Juliet - I love a lot of Shakespeare's works but I couldn't get through these ones.

University:

Concluding Unscientific Postscript to Philosophical Fragments by Kierkegaard - I just could not for the life of me get through this book of his...
Nov 12, 2010, 10:00am   #4
A
Member
Most of the books I read in school I liked, but these were the ones that drove me up the walls:

Anything by Garcia Marquez (I can't stand magic realism)
The Scarlet Letter
Most of Shakespeare (the one exception being Hamlet. I think it was because we read so much of his stuff all the time that I got tired of it.)
Anything by Hemmingway

I'm not a poetry person so for the most part it was torture to read for classes.
Nov 12, 2010, 10:16am   #5
Kitsunegrl's Avatar
Fill the Giant Pig!
I have never read Catcher in the Rye.
Nov 12, 2010, 5:16pm   #6
bhalpop's Avatar
Member
Originally Posted by Kitsunegrl
I have never read Catcher in the Rye.
That was the "it" book when i was in high school. I didn't read it until I was in my mid thirties. Great book and I was sorry I had missed it all those many years ago! Try it you'll like it...

Now back to the topic..Grapes of Wrath. I tried everything, I read like 100 pages and just could not go on. I tried the cliff notes and watched the movie to be able to pass the test on it. What's really funny is, now that I'm in my old age-LOL, I would list Steinbeck as one of my favorite authors. I loved Of Mice and Men. Travels with Charly, East of Eden but have never gone back to read Grapes of Wrath!
Nov 12, 2010, 6:06pm   #7
Archipelago's Avatar
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I hated The Scarlet Letter. I had to read it over the summer one year and I kept restarting it because I just couldn't get into it.

I also found A Tale of Two Cities incredibly dull. I didn't finish it and I couldn't remember the story while I was reading it.
Nov 12, 2010, 6:19pm   #8
t
Member
great expectations
Nov 12, 2010, 7:17pm   #9
LADC_chick's Avatar
African violet
Originally Posted by bhalpop
That was the "it" book when i was in high school. I didn't read it until I was in my mid thirties. Great book and I was sorry I had missed it all those many years ago! Try it you'll like it...

Now back to the topic..Grapes of Wrath. I tried everything, I read like 100 pages and just could not go on. I tried the cliff notes and watched the movie to be able to pass the test on it. What's really funny is, now that I'm in my old age-LOL, I would list Steinbeck as one of my favorite authors. I loved Of Mice and Men. Travels with Charly, East of Eden but have never gone back to read Grapes of Wrath!
It makes me wonder if there are simply some books that shouldn't be taught? (And I say this as a former English major who chose that because I liked to read.) Not based on censorship, but because at 14, 15, 16, 17, 18 years old some themes just don't translate. I don't have a solution to this, though.

Anyway, I never finished The Great Gatsby in high school. It wasn't until my junior year of college that I developed an appreciation for it. Mainly because my professor also talked about the life of the Fitzgeralds, and the book took on a whole new hue once I knew that.

Another book I remember not reading my freshman or sophomore year of high school was Lord of the Flies. Seriously, I developed really good note-taking skills in high school for that reason. I figured, if I wasn't going to read the book, I at least needed to be armed with information for the tests.

The skill came in handy for a Brit Lit course I took in college.
Nov 12, 2010, 7:55pm   #10
CCfor C's Avatar
Member
Originally Posted by karmenzsofia
I remember reading the first line or two of Hemingway's "The Old Man and The Sea" and thinking to myself, "I....don't think so."
  • Dickens' "Great Expectations" didn't meet my expectations on the first page either, so I blew it off.
  • Shakespeare's "Romeo & Juliet"...well, what for? After so many plays and movies, wouldn't that be a colossal waste of time? Next!
  • Cervantes' "Don Quijote de la Mancha"? For 1,000+ pages? Are you nuts? Actually, he was nuts... Next!
  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez's "One Hundred Years of Solitude" would've required about a 100 years of solitude to read it...

These may be among the greatest books of all time, but I just couldn't bring myself to read them kuz of the writing style or length, or both. Plus MTV took up most of my time...

However, I did read and enjoyed "1984," "Brave New World," "The Hobbit," "El Cid," "Tartuffe," "Metamorphosis," and several other memorable ones. So, you see, it wasn't all a waste.


What books did you skip?

Funny!! I never read Moby Dick...except for the first line..."Call me Ishmael"...Knew it would be downhill from there..!

And I LOVED Metamorphosis, one of my fave short stories...probably because it WAS short!

The classics are classic, but some of them are dry as dust...
Nov 12, 2010, 9:31pm   #11
Straight-Laced's Avatar
Member
^^
Moby Dick
Ulysses :(
But I plan on reading Moby Dick over the Christmas break
(lol I'll report back if I actually do )

I love Great Expectations and I love reading Shakespeare (though I hate watching Shakespeare plays performed )

Just wondering, what is 'Metamorphosis'?
I thought you were referring to Ovid's Metamorphoses - one of my favourites - but it can't be because Ovid's M would never be described as short
Nov 12, 2010, 9:46pm   #12
k
Thread Starter
Member
Franz Kafka's "Metamorphosis" is a short story. It's quite interesting. And crazy.
Nov 12, 2010, 9:53pm   #13
Hoodster777's Avatar
Sectumsempra
I hated almost everything I had to read in AP English my senior year, nothing ever grabbed my interest, and if I don't like it, I won't read it. (no wonder why I barely passed that class, Sparknotes only help so much) We read too many boring books and plays to remember the titles, but I did like the Metamorphosis and Waiting For Godot.

I HATE the Scarlet Letter, absolutely hate it!!! I had to read it my sophomore and junior years- with the same teacher. Didn't read it either time, I tried and just couldn't.

I also blew off the Odyssey and the Iliad in college, too much for me too read in a short time. I somehow got away with only reading Sparknotes and passages online for my weekly papers, and still got a B+. I also blew off Robinson Crusoe and Gulliver's Travels in college, I lost interest halfway through each book. Maybe I'll try reading these again on my own time, without worrying about finishing a certain portion each week.
Nov 12, 2010, 10:00pm   #14
k
Thread Starter
Member
Originally Posted by LADC_chick
It makes me wonder if there are simply some books that shouldn't be taught? (And I say this as a former English major who chose that because I liked to read.) Not based on censorship, but because at 14, 15, 16, 17, 18 years old some themes just don't translate. I don't have a solution to this, though.

Anyway, I never finished The Great Gatsby in high school. It wasn't until my junior year of college that I developed an appreciation for it. Mainly because my professor also talked about the life of the Fitzgeralds, and the book took on a whole new hue once I knew that.

Another book I remember not reading my freshman or sophomore year of high school was Lord of the Flies. Seriously, I developed really good note-taking skills in high school for that reason. I figured, if I wasn't going to read the book, I at least needed to be armed with information for the tests.

The skill came in handy for a Brit Lit course I took in college.
I never read these in HS or college. Years later, I picked up Gatsby and loved it. It's a wonderful short novel. I read Flies last year and thought it was pretty good, too.

Back in 2006 I decided to read only classics and/or novels ranked among the top 100 of all time. That's when I read "Anna Karenina," "Crime and Punishment," "The Idiot," "Lolita," "Catcher in the Rye," "Madame Bovari, "The Count of Monte Cristo," "War and Peace," "Camille," "The Stranger," "The Fountainhead," "Atlas Shrugged," and a bunch others, including some Latin American classics. In 2008, I started having problems with my eyes and had to rest them. Since then, I've read only a few here and there, some of which are modern books. Last year I tried to read "Catch 22," but I simply couldn't get into it. I quit after reading about a quarter of the pages.
Nov 12, 2010, 11:05pm   #15
krinkles597's Avatar
Member
I remember blowing off loads of books in middle school. I just read the Cliff Notes and it was enough to get the projects done.
I know this is an iconic book, but I could just never finish To Kill A Mockingbird. It was too depressing. Same deal with Uncle Tom's Cabin.
One book I remember being pleasantly surprised by, though, was Red Scarf Girl. I usually hated Social Studies related books, but I thought this one was an interesting read.
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