Worst book you've ever had to read as an assignment

Discussion in 'Literature' started by Gwen, Dec 31, 2007.

  1. DizzyPidgeon Merlin's Housekeeper

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    I'm so sad that people don't like Catcher in the Rye and The Great Gatsby and Shakespeare ( as well as some others ). I don't really know what book I would've read in class that I didn't like. Thinking back, though, we never really did proper reading assignments ( I went to an awful secondary school with an incredibly lacklustre English teacher. Perks would've been a very different book if it were based in my school ).

    Uh, I didn't like Dracula very much, at all. I loved certain passages, and to be honest there were quite a few that I adored, but so much was tedious. Anyway.
     
  2. Misty gimme kiss

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    Afraid to say I am guilty of this, it is especially unfortunate as it is my hope to one day teach high school English & these books are staples of that curriculum. Mostly what I did not enjoy about them was the pessimism involved; I can appreciate the writing and the characterization (especially of Holden, I think he is a well-written character, much as I cannot stand him), but I simply cannot agree with the authors' negativity. Books aren't supposed to be rainbows and unicorns and it's important we expose kids to ones that are not, but these two were just rather painful for me.

    Having now finished mandatory schooling, I think my least favorite book from those twelve years was Huckleberry Finn. I do not think Mark Twain is for me.
     
  3. Serenacake Traverse Town Homebody

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    I'm currently reading Huck Finn and it's torture. I can't handle it. I've ended up not even reading it and just reading through the sparknotes for it. That, and the Pearl back in, what, 8th grade. Granted, I hated my teacher back then, but still.

    The grammar, it bothers me, the plot doesn't engage me at all. I'd rather smack my head again a brick wall.
     
  4. Anixe Hollow Bastion Committee

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    Catch-22 was both great and horrible for me at the same time. It's great because of its brilliance in satire, but horrible because I could not for the life of me read more than one page per night. I would read the synopsis and get the themes down, but actually getting down to it was pretty hard for me to grasp. Naturally, it was our teacher's favorite book. x:

    Recently for Modern Drama, we have read Mrs. Warren's Profession and it was probably the first book/play in a while that made me not want to read it almost entirely. Because the playwright was so picky about his technical way of writing (such as putting spaces between letters and italicizing some of the stage directions), I was reading half of book thinking that this was a terrible editor. Thusly, it put me off quite a bit for the next two acts and never really got into it at all. Sure, provocative in terms of the ethics of prostitution in Victorian England, but there is just so much dense dialogue between characters.
     
  5. La Sofa ('_')-l3 No worries

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    The first one that comes to mind is Of Mice and Men. I know its a classic blah blah but it really was not my cup of tea. And I hated the way they talked in the book.
     
  6. muff monkey Twilight Town Denizen

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    I don't think I can be on this site anymore - too many people who don't like The Great Gatsby. D: That book is seriously my favorite book of all time. I almost cried when I heard they were coming out with a new film adaption with Leonardo DiCaprio because I couldn't believe my favorite actor was going to star in a movie for my favorite book, lol.

    Anyway! I probably disliked poetry the most, mostly because I did not understand the meanings behind them and I didn't much care to learn the meanings, either. I love books, but poetry just does not do it for me.
    For a book, The Scarlet Letter really upset me when it took an entire chapter to describe her walking to the market (I think??) and after that I just thought everything was so drawn out, but I still enjoyed it. There's not many books that I don't enjoy reading. ;x
     
  7. Daydreamer

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    I absolutely hated anything Shakespeare in the classroom. Slowly reciting entire plays with the class, word by word, emotionless and dead, as if for dictation. Plus the added difficulty of terrible pronunciation. I imagine this was possibly the worst way be be introduced to Shakespeare's works, or any unfortunate book read this way that's been indoctrinated into the education system. How is it education (or at least fun) when something's taught, instead of being lively and interesting, is instead a chore, difficult, and embeds an early disdain for reading? Fortunately for me, since then I've grown a love for Shakespeare's use of language.

    Besides my mishap with Shakespeare, To Kill a Mockingbird I feel is a terrible book choice for education. I've already made my feelings clear about this book in another thread a few years ago: To Kill a Mockingbird. To sum it up, I feel the Black characters in the book were lifeless and were essentially props to lift up and show the greatness of the White characters.

    EDIT: Here's that essay in it's entrirty that I quote: http://books.google.com/books?id=LaMTiorjM9cC&lpg=PA58&ots=hilmygxMQr&pg=PA58#v=onepage&q&f=false or http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/blog/Mockingbird.pdf
     
  8. Loxare Hollow Bastion Committee

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    There was this book called "A Bird in the House". It was basically the life of this girl telling her life story, but doesn't understand the concept of "chronological order". Each chapter starts at a completely different point in her life than the previous chapter and there's no real "timeline". If you changed the characters from one chapter to the next, you could have a collection of short stories that (while insanely boring), would be better than the bunny hop story that it is.

    There was also a book called "Chronicle of a Death Foretold" (better than "A Bird in the House") which tells of a guy who is murdered by these twins because he slept with the twins' sister. The book then goes around in circles - Did he actually sleep with her? Why didn't anyone stop the twins? - going back a forth like a paddle ball and finally ending exactly hwere we started: The guy died. We never find out if he actually slept with the twins' sister and we never find out why no one believed the twins when they basically told the whole town "We're going to kill this guy, stop us!"
     
  9. Splodge Twilight Town Denizen

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    I can't even remember what is was called, but when I was seven I had to read this book about a football team and it was absolutely terrible. I ending up having to lie to the teacher about finishing it to avoid being sent to the principal's office. Seriously.
     
  10. Ienzo ((̲̅ ̲̅(̲̅C̲̅r̲̅a̲̅y̲̅o̲̅l̲̲̅̅a̲̅( ̲̅̅((>

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    Kindertransport. It's a play that we studied for AS english literature last year and it wasn't that great. The message behind it and the themes were good but the play itself was terrible.

    It was about this girl called Eva, a german Jew at the time of the second world war, who was sent on the Kindertransport to go live with an english family until she was safe. She was put with this woman named Helga and then grew to like her a lot that when she got the chance to go back to see her mother she didn't. This story is intertwined with her at an older age when she changed her name to "Evelyn" because she didn't like her german heritage. She's like in her 50's and has a daughter named Faith who is moving out to go to college and she's acting the same way her mother did back when she sent her on the Kindertransport. There are fights and stuff but apart from that NOTHING HAPPENS!

    It's also quite amusing because my English teacher keeps saying "Hamlet it the best play ever!" and, as a class, we all laugh and joke saying "No sir, it can't beat Kindertransport." because we are just cool like that. (Hamlet is amazing <3)
     
  11. Sebax Avatar by Xerona

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    "The Yearling" in the 8th grade. The one year I was homeschooled. I also had to read "Treasure of Glastonbury". Both were pretty boring, but Yearling took the cake. As for Shakespeare and some other titles I've heard... shame on you... shame on all of you! No, not really, but Shakespeare is really good once you get into it.
     
  12. CrownMoksha Decimo

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    'Things Fall Apart' last year. I just couldn't get into the book and since it was part of an assignment for English, I had no choice but to continue reading it.
     
  13. Cat~ Transformation

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    Unfortunately, I am in the group who didn't enjoy The Great Gatsby as much as I would've liked to.

    I don't know, I had to read and re-read portions somethhing like five and six times before I understood what Fitzgerald was trying to get across. As far as the plot goes, it all seemed a bit rushed, especially near the second half, what with everything that happens.

    I tried to like it, I really did, but it just came up short for me. Into The Wild was far better imo, and most of my peers who read both despised the latter for whatever reason.
     
  14. Peace and War Bianca, you minx!

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    I posted in here a log time ago and I can't be bothered to find that post! : p
    So i'm just going to list the ones I remember doing.

    Jane Eyre. Book has only two decent caharacters and even they can be a pain. Filler during the time Jane finds her long lost family? I mean what the eff, it sounds like a soap plot by that point. Felt like the book went nowhere.

    Wjde Sargasso Sea. A prequel the the above. You have to really work at this book to get anything from it, hell you need to learn Jamaican, French and i think Latin too, just to keep up with the imagery, subplots and social contexts. Mix in no symapthetical characters, you just don't care.

    Paradise Lost. Seriously, a poem a hundred pages long.... It's too acadmeic for it's own good. It's great as a story piece, imagery, thematic and occassionay sounding good. Apart from that you have no clue what's going on between characters and i've studied the characters way too much....
     
  15. Mr. Van Whippy ♥ Biscuits and cookies

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    Mourning becomes Electra. I hate it. I think it took me three days to read this play it so dull, everything is so bitter and dark, characters, the settings everything.
     
  16. Hohenheim Merlin's Housekeeper

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    I can't remember xD

    All books I read for assignments were terrible (Except for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows).
     
  17. SoulboundAlchemist Gummi Ship Junkie

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    easily the Great Gatsby
     
  18. Hiro ✩ Guardian

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    Don't recall if I've posted here before, but my most hated book was "The Crucible"

    I was already in the play that same fall, so I fail to see why i had to read it again.
     
  19. Quiet Elegy This is the death of beauty.

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    I'm sad nobody here has shared the pain of Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant I didn't finish that book.
    I really REALLY tried to finish it, but I just couldn't. Every character is awful and miserable aside from one... but the one redeeming character goes through hell and finally when he finds a girl he could be happy with together she got stolen and marred by his brother who doesnt even really like her and made her miserable.

    Also, Shakespeare in school is quite awful, as stated by Nel. I really love Hamlet for a few reasons, but it was absolutely butchered my the kids trying to read it out as we played a painful game of see who the teacher preys on next. I tried to liven it up when reading but it really did nothing for the overall presentation of it.
    Of Mice and Men I just didn't like. I felt no connection to the characters, no interest in what happens to them, I really didn't like the plot... it just wasn't my sort of book.

    I have mixed feelings about some of the other books being mentioned here too... specifically Catcher in the Rye was never a book I read in school, so I decided to read it on my own time mainly due to Ghost in the Shell and I did like it, though I can see why a lot of people wouldn't. I liked Lord of the Flies as well (again though, I never read it in school.)

    Overall for the required novel reading I did in my classes have been pretty alright; we never touched many 'classics' so I have the luxury of getting to those on my own time.
     
  20. Sara Tea Drinker

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    I really didn't get into Shakespeare while in school. I only really liked A Midsummer's Night Dream. I think the main reason was because like poetry, my teachers loved to tear apart every line and every scene and every significance with the students and some of it was really dry to begin with, when you have teachers like that, you never really get to enjoy a story for what it is: a story.

    Two books that I will never hate and I will always pick up and read after high school is The Odyssey and The Giver. I loved those books and understood most of the significance. The biggest reason is that the teachers never tore them apart, they made it fun to learn. Hell, we had a card game at the end of the Odyssey that was so hilarious I laugh about it even today.Teachers I think a lot of the time at least in English when it comes to reading try to make it as educational as possible without making it fun when the kids get older.

    And I'm getting massively off-topic. I didn't mind Catcher in the Rye, it was a thousand times better than the book before that: The Scarlett Letter. That book was extremely dull and long without any real rhyme or reason. Another that I'll never forget is A Tale of Two Cities. I read the book, watched the movie, listened to the book on tape, read the Cliff Notes and still mostly had no idea what half the symbolism was in that book and it was extremely boring for me.