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Topic: Some alleged classics that no one ever needs to read...seriously

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Roy
Subject: Some alleged classics that no one ever needs to read...seriously
Date Posted: 6/24/2011 9:53 AM ET
Member Since: 6/2/2011
Posts: 10
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In no particular order, because I hate all of them about equally (but Ayn Rand much more equally than everyone else put together)

1. Moby Dick by Herman Melville...thar she blows matey....zzzzzzzzzzzzzz....great white whales suck ass...and so does this novel

2. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte - fortunately this godawful example of Victorian prose has been expunged from my memory, but I still remember hating it in Victorian Prose & Poetry 101

3. Women In Love by D H Lawrence (and probably everything else he wrote which thankfully I never had to read, one of his "classics" was way too many)

4. Anything by Ayn Rand OMG she sucks more than all the jet engines on a Boeing 747!!!

5. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens...it was the worst of times trying to read this tripe, although I did like Great Expectations and Bleak House when I read them in college

6. The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad....Ian Fleming he aint, although I like a lot of his other works

7. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley....the horror....the horror....the boredom...highly recommended for insomniacs!

8. Crime and Punishment by Dostoyevsky - I liked it in college but when I re-read it decades later it was boring and tedious, and those were its' good points

9. The Travels of Marco Polo by you-know-who - I liked it when I was 12, A few decades later it seemed boring and tedious, but reading articles and essays about him is still fascinating. Reading about him is probably way better than reading him directly.

10. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho - actually I've never read it or anything else by him, but I've seen it mentioned so many times in other literature forums as being over-rated, terrible, godawful, etc etc I thought I'd post it as a public service just in case all the malcontents who hate it are right.

Date Posted: 6/24/2011 12:34 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
Posts: 25,000
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Gee Roy,

You think we don't know all this already? 

 

For Ford's sake, you forgot to list Hemingway. Get with the program.

 

 

 

Date Posted: 6/24/2011 2:22 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2007
Posts: 5,930
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It would help if you gave concrete reasons why you didn't like something instead of just ranting (and using colorful phrases like OMG and sucks ass).

I can rant with the best of them (i.e. I don't understand why everybody drools over The Great Gatsby).  But then I will also tell you that I didn't like it because I found all the characters to be extremely shallow, none of them showed any personal development over the course of the story, and none of them seemed to care or even notice the consequences of their actions.



Last Edited on: 6/27/11 6:47 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Roy
Date Posted: 6/25/2011 9:07 AM ET
Member Since: 6/2/2011
Posts: 10
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I like Hemingway and I love The Great Gatsby! Oh well no accounting for taste (or lack thereof) wink And yeah I should give some reasons but that would be too traumatic (or sleep-inducing) in most cases here, although let me say this (as Forrest Gump would say): Ayn Rand is the epitome of stupid, selfish plutocratic propaganda and her BS "philosophy" consists of preaching that rich people are wise and wonderful and should be allowed to do whatever they want to and everyone else can just shut the F**K up and drop dead if they don't like it, because poor people are stupid, lazy  and worthless (or else they'd be rich). Apparently Ayn never stopped to consider the high percentage of wealthy people who inherited their wealth instead of (gasp) working for it

I do sometimes wonder what Ayn would think about the totally loathsome & repulsive Koch Brothers, since I have read that she wasn't quite as horrible as I'm making her out to be...so aren't you glad I didn't give more reasons for disliking everyone else on my list??



Last Edited on: 6/25/11 9:10 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/25/2011 3:38 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
Posts: 25,000
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Oh Roy.

I had such high hopes, what with you being a major of the English kind, that you'd share some great insights with us.

Instead you're giving us this Facebook level analysis?

Where is old lady Holt when you need her? 



Last Edited on: 6/25/11 4:46 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Matt C. (mattc) - ,
Date Posted: 6/25/2011 6:09 PM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2008
Posts: 3,849
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It's one thing to have an opinion of a certain book, but quite another to unequivocally state "you don't need to read this".  It makes you look like an arrogant smart-aleck even if you have something meaningful to say...all I see is vague ranting, and quite frankly an immature lack of historical context.  The Secret Agent, for instance, is not supposed to be James Bond.  It's a semi-humorous take on the Anarchist movement, which was a very real issue in Conrad's day.  Moby Dick is dense, but fascinating from a certain perspective.  I've been to the whaling museum in New Bedford, Mass, and seen the church where the infamous sermon was delivered.  The book is very interesting when you consider what an enormous industry whaling was at the time.  Even Ayn Rand had her moments.  I have rerserves about her cult-style political movement, but I highly recommend the short novel Anthem for it's strong humanist message.

Date Posted: 6/25/2011 10:13 PM ET
Member Since: 4/4/2009
Posts: 9,464
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The fierce Red Hog, aka King Snark cannot sit idly by while Old Lady Holt is dissed. If Roy had known her not longer, but at all, he might shoot a little straighter than he do.

So far, the OP has said quite a bit about himself, nothing at all about the books he disses. Methinks he should flounce before he digs himself in more deeper still yet. cool

Date Posted: 6/25/2011 10:21 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
Posts: 25,000
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Old Lady Holt is sorely needed to set this wayward soul straight.

Rick B. (bup) - ,
Date Posted: 6/27/2011 4:14 PM ET
Member Since: 11/2/2007
Posts: 2,625
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Roy - your favorite book sucks.

Date Posted: 6/27/2011 10:12 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
Posts: 25,000
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Rick, that link is hilarious, especially the part about people giving a one star to the holy word of God.

 

Barb S. (okbye) - ,
Date Posted: 8/8/2011 7:38 PM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2011
Posts: 5,767
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Spiders, wasn't that kind of the point of Gatsby?

Subject: Spiders' assessment
Date Posted: 8/9/2011 12:46 PM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2006
Posts: 1,427
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My vote goes to Seven Spiders' assessment of The Great Gatsby . . . . .I think what a strange social phenomenon that "Jazz Age" and/or"Lost Generation" must have been . . .but then, as Tome said, that's the point of reading it, probably.

One of the  'classics" that I've passed up (thus far in my 'long and checkered career') is that series of self-centered recitals of Life by Proust.....I wonder if anyone else feels that way, too?



Last Edited on: 8/9/11 12:49 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/16/2011 10:04 AM ET
Member Since: 4/15/2010
Posts: 76
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Rand is brutal.  Reads like a phone book.

Date Posted: 8/16/2011 7:59 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2007
Posts: 5,930
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I've found Rand pretty readable, although her sex scenes are uber-awkward.

Date Posted: 8/16/2011 9:09 PM ET
Member Since: 4/9/2008
Posts: 550
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Rick, your link saved this entire post for me. That was hilarious.

And honestly, Roy's # 10 made me snicker. Not because of The Alchemist (I couldn't finish that one myself) but because he hadn't bothered to read it and just wanted to throw it out there for a good run. Not that I should be encouraging him...

Date Posted: 8/17/2011 7:41 PM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2006
Posts: 1,427
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Anyone else here puzzling over the question of why in the world Rick signed up for those Literature classes in college, especially that one he called "Victorian Prose and Poetry 101" ?  (Not that he would have liked "Romantic Period Prose/Poetry" any better ? ? ? ?)

Shame on me!   I wrote Rick when I meant Roy.

And another thing-----how does someone who NEVER read the book in question get to render an opinion on its merits (or lack of merit)?



Last Edited on: 8/19/11 6:56 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 8/18/2011 8:21 AM ET
Member Since: 4/9/2008
Posts: 550
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I sort of had a top ten list of reasons in my head the other day, just for fun. Can't remember any of them now. I'm also curious as to what Roy likes, too. How much of a contrast to the ones he hates? What genres? And why does he like those ones?

Roy- you opened a can of worms! But I think you already know that, lol.



Last Edited on: 8/18/11 8:21 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/21/2011 5:07 PM ET
Member Since: 11/7/2010
Posts: 57
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I didn't know books by  Ayn Rand and Paulo Coelho were considered classics...

Date Posted: 8/21/2011 6:41 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
Posts: 25,000
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Roy- you opened a can of worms!

 

 

Pffsst! Roy was one of them "drive-by" posters. 

Date Posted: 8/21/2011 11:16 PM ET
Member Since: 9/22/2010
Posts: 3,072
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Actually, I like some of Ayn Rand.  Atlas Shrugged has more meaning today than it did when she wrote it.

Now Charles Dickens... I never could stand him, but I have a reason, not just an empty opinion.  Dickens got paid by the word, as most of his stories were serialized in magazines.  As a result, he never used one word when he could use twenty or two hundred or two thousand.  As an example, when the very young boy (he was four years old if I remember correctly) dies early in A Tale of Two Cities, just before he passes, he lifts himself up on one elbow and says good bye to everyone in the room, especially his younger sister, for about five or more pages.  And he does all of this in language an adult would use.  Anyone know any four-year-olds like this?  It was meant to be a tear-jerker of a scene and Dickens really overdid it.  It reminds me of some of the farewell scenes in really bad Japanese movies or Bruce Willis' goodbye scene in the movie Armageddon.  If a serious author tried to do this today he or she would be crucified in every major book review column in the nation.



Last Edited on: 8/21/11 11:18 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/22/2011 2:01 AM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2009
Posts: 551
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I love Charles Dickens--what an inventive author! A person who can write so brilliantly can use as many words as he likes, IMO.

                                                                                                                                                Rose

Date Posted: 8/22/2011 7:57 AM ET
Member Since: 4/9/2008
Posts: 550
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Yeah, Tome, after I posted that I realized I was encouraging an empty post, so to speak. Phew!

Thomas, I hadn't noticed that about Dickens- I'll have to watch and see if I pick it up the same way you did. I didn't like Dickens when I was in school because it wasn't my cup o' tea, and his books were assigned reading which usually turned me off right then and there. I came to love him later. Sometimes I like looking for weaknesses in an author's writing because it lets me see them as a more complete human. It somehow makes me appreciate them more, lol.

Date Posted: 8/22/2011 11:12 AM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
Posts: 25,000
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I only like A Christmas Carol, Dickens's shortest book. 

Date Posted: 8/22/2011 12:32 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2007
Posts: 5,930
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I love Dickens.  Even when he's using too many words his stories are funny and rich and moving.

Date Posted: 8/22/2011 3:47 PM ET
Member Since: 2/16/2009
Posts: 483
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I like Dickens, too.  His love for humanity comes through clearly in his writing.  The paid by the word thing was a product of the times.  Alexandre Dumas made the best of it - think of the hefty The Count of Monte Cristo.

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