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Unpopular literary opinions

Almost everyone has an opinion on something that isn't shared by the majority of other people. It could be an opinion on anything, from politics to television shows, from celebrities to historical events. I want to know your unpopular literary opinions. Is there a book or author you hate that most other people like? What about an ending to a novel that you dislike but that most other readers love? Or maybe you love something in a book that a lot of readers hate; a character, perhaps, or a certain event in the story? Maybe there’s a book you enjoy reading that is thought of with disdain within the general literary community?

- Margaret Atwood: how on earth are you a published writer? Maybe this is due to the fact that the book that introduced me to her writing was Surfacing (not her best work, or so I’ve heard), but I now have a very passionate dislike of her writing.
- I’m really very indifferent to Douglas Adams’ writing. It’s okay, I guess, but I don’t understand the adoration people have for it.
- I despise Chaucer. Whenever I have to read it for any of my classes, I die a little on the inside.
- As for The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway, well, let’s just say that novels obviously don't have to be enjoyable to win a Pulitzer Prize.



( 198 comments — Leave a comment )
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Oct. 31st, 2008 06:01 am (UTC)
I don't care for Douglas Adams either. I thought Hitchhiker was clever, but I got so tired of how determinedly quirky the second book was that I didn't even read the others.

I can't stand Mark Twain. Or Stephen King.
Oct. 31st, 2008 06:06 am (UTC)
I second Stephen King.
(no subject) - somehowfurious - Oct. 31st, 2008 06:09 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - beeblebear - Oct. 31st, 2008 09:13 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - everywastedkiss - Oct. 31st, 2008 06:38 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - im_writing - Nov. 2nd, 2008 09:02 pm (UTC) - Expand
Oct. 31st, 2008 06:07 am (UTC)
The Western Canon is irrelevant.

As an English teacher, stating this can be quite controversial, unfortunately.
Oct. 31st, 2008 06:12 am (UTC)
I can understand why it would be controversial in that profession, certainly! I'd love to know why you have this opinion.
(no subject) - tanya1976 - Oct. 31st, 2008 06:16 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - trekchic - Oct. 31st, 2008 08:37 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - count_fenring - Nov. 1st, 2008 07:12 am (UTC) - Expand
Oct. 31st, 2008 06:22 am (UTC)
i used to say that i hated steinbeck but now i love him because i just finished east of eden, so idk if i have any unpopular opinions.

i think my problem is more the type i'm reading? i really hate reading plays. i'll read them for school but not for pleasure. and same with poetry and short stories. i just don't see the point of short story collections because you can never get into the story properly because before you know it, you're done.

i love margaret atwood though.
Oct. 31st, 2008 06:27 am (UTC)
I adore Atwood as well- but I understand she's not for everyone. More for the rest of us :)
(no subject) - shanrina - Oct. 31st, 2008 11:24 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - hinna_koto - Nov. 1st, 2008 02:22 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - moonshadow - Oct. 31st, 2008 11:39 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - everywastedkiss - Oct. 31st, 2008 06:46 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - somehowfurious - Oct. 31st, 2008 08:07 pm (UTC) - Expand
Oct. 31st, 2008 06:25 am (UTC)
I thought the last 2 Harry Potter books read like poorly written fanfic.
Oct. 31st, 2008 06:30 am (UTC)

And it broke my heart, because I've been a fan of the series since it started.
(no subject) - wiredwizard - Oct. 31st, 2008 07:27 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - brookster - Oct. 31st, 2008 01:37 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - cafe_gourmande - Oct. 31st, 2008 02:56 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - readallaboutit - Oct. 31st, 2008 05:14 pm (UTC) - Expand
Oct. 31st, 2008 06:26 am (UTC)
Samuel Beckett makes me want to spoon my eyeballs out.
Oct. 31st, 2008 06:30 am (UTC)
I abhor Twilight, and I hate the Potter books after the Goblet of Fire. Also, even though I love Austen, I think she's nineteenth century chick-lit.
Oct. 31st, 2008 08:16 am (UTC)
Austen is totally 19th C chick-lit as is Elizabeth Gaskell.

Wonder if folk will be reading Sophie Kinsella and the like in 22ndC?
(no subject) - noldoparma - Oct. 31st, 2008 08:18 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - miss_capricious - Oct. 31st, 2008 12:07 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - lacommunarde - Oct. 31st, 2008 04:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
Oct. 31st, 2008 06:36 am (UTC)
i really liked the hp7 epilogue. i think she should've added stuff about the improvement of the wizarding world and etc, but i like how normal harry's life became. and i know people hate harry/ginny but if he had ended up with some random girl we would've been like, "what?"
Oct. 31st, 2008 08:04 am (UTC)
Re: and
Ginny wasn't some random girl? The way she was waylayed throughout Deathly Hallows left me wondering...

Then again I wouldn't put Harry Potter on the stand for crazy awesome female characters... Hermione's great and all but she's strong in a girly way, leaving all the heavy lifting to the guys.
Oct. 31st, 2008 06:41 am (UTC)
I'm happy to see you mention Atwood, that is exactly who sprang to my mind when I read your question.

I read Catseye years ago, - before I had attained my scrutineers monocle - it really affected me. In fact, I was something of a fan.

Recently however, I began reading the popular 'Alias Grace'. Oh my!! I thought it was dreadful. Set in the 19th century, all characters seemed to be mere paper cut-outs invented to propagate MA's own ideas (imho). I couldn't read it. Really.. it caused me to become furious and agitated.

I can't really think of anything else, except that I thought Austen's Mansfield Park was fantastic. Any other opinions on this?
Oct. 31st, 2008 10:26 am (UTC)
Ugh, I hate Mansfield Park. Might be because I was forced to read it for A level though...
(no subject) - im_writing - Nov. 2nd, 2008 09:04 pm (UTC) - Expand
Oct. 31st, 2008 07:15 am (UTC)
I agree with you on Old Man and the Sea. Probably the most painfully boring reads I ever had for a class.

For me, Kite Runner. Most people seem to love it, but for me it was an 'eh' read. Setting was new and interesting enough, but the general story didn't seem all that special

Oct. 31st, 2008 07:28 am (UTC)
I'm not sure how unpopular this opinion is I HATED "Things Fall Apart," by Chinua Achebe.

I also don't understand the love for Gregory Maguire.
Oct. 31st, 2008 08:31 am (UTC)
I also disliked "Things Fall Apart."

And eh, "Wicked" was all right but his other books are definitely not very good at all, I agree.
(no subject) - traceylalala - Nov. 1st, 2008 04:56 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - somehowfurious - Nov. 2nd, 2008 01:51 pm (UTC) - Expand
Oct. 31st, 2008 07:52 am (UTC)
I hate Wuthering Heights. I just do not see how it can possibly be classed as one of the greatest romances ever.

I read it all the way through a year or so ago, and I thought it sucked. And I know there are people out there who totally love it, so it is just another reminder that I do not understand humans at all.
Oct. 31st, 2008 08:30 am (UTC)
I totally agree with this. I always felt Emily Bronte was riding Charlotte's coattails.

I like Jane Eyre waaaaaaay better.
(no subject) - caninespirit - Oct. 31st, 2008 10:38 am (UTC) - Expand
Heh. - gillyp - Oct. 31st, 2008 03:42 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - shlafe - Oct. 31st, 2008 01:34 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - cweb - Oct. 31st, 2008 02:52 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sawcat - Oct. 31st, 2008 07:11 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sunni_sideup - Oct. 31st, 2008 10:46 pm (UTC) - Expand
Oct. 31st, 2008 08:10 am (UTC)
I hated Frankenstein more than anything else I've ever (been forced to) read. I thought Owen Meany (as in A Prayer For...) was a self-centred prick. And, to be honest, so much mainstream fiction feels like overwritten melodrama - The Kite Runner should have ended about 2/3 of the way through.

But I did love Atwood's A Handmaid's Tale... though probably because it was decent near future SF from some a writer I'd always avoided cause she seemed dull. And dull.
Oct. 31st, 2008 06:48 pm (UTC)
Owen was supposed to be a self-centered prick! That was kind of the point. How else do you expect a kid to deal with being a prophet?
Oct. 31st, 2008 08:12 am (UTC)
let’s just say that novels obviously don't have to be enjoyable to win a Pulitzer Prize


I didn't like The Road at all despite its widespread love and ditto Scott Smith's 'The Ruins'. I almost disowned Stephen King for his praise of it.
Oct. 31st, 2008 06:48 pm (UTC)
Ditto on The Road. I appreciate it's necessity in terms of stylistic experimentation, but it was so FLAT.
(no subject) - death_worm - Nov. 1st, 2008 03:42 pm (UTC) - Expand
Oct. 31st, 2008 08:24 am (UTC)
I don't know if anyone ever liked Jane Eyre or the Scarlet Letter - but I hated them. Loathed them to bits. Especially the last two chapters of Jane Eyre.

On unpopular opinions, I liked the characters in Harry Potter but I do not particularly adore Rowling's writing. I really disliked Twilight. And I'm sorry Dune fans, as much as I can worship and adore the long and tedious writings of Tolkien, I can't put up with the same in Dune. On that last one, I admit, mea culpa, but i really can't get into it.
Oct. 31st, 2008 08:40 am (UTC)
agree with you on the Jane Eyre/Scarlet Letter point. I think it's one they're just books where you had to live in the time period to appreciate the drama.

and on second thought, Rowling's writing style isn't particularly memorable, either. but she sure can weave an intricate timeline.
(no subject) - wmbibliophile09 - Oct. 31st, 2008 08:49 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - traceylalala - Nov. 1st, 2008 04:59 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - count_fenring - Nov. 1st, 2008 07:05 am (UTC) - Expand
Oct. 31st, 2008 08:31 am (UTC)
I read the Illiad and the Odyssey for a course. I have never read anything so boring, plodding, and at the same time, completely scattered. It occupied whole days of my life, just trying to get through it. I would read an entire series of chapters and immediately think What just happened? I literally couldn't remember what happened from one page to the next, I found the writing so difficult. I ended up with legal pads full of notes and a lot bitterness.
Nov. 1st, 2008 07:02 am (UTC)
The translation can matter a lot, there.

I didn't really get the Odyssey until I got ahold of the Robert Fagles translation.
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