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What Classics have "defeated" you?


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#1 Lucrezia Bauble

Posted 07 December 2013 - 05:55 PM

I was watching Jennifer Byrnes Presents the other night, and the topic was the classics which you know you know you *should* read, but you haven't been able to- you've attempted them, but failed to complete. Here is the list of books which were nominated by the panellists -

"Underworld by Don DeLillo

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

Don Quixote by by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust"

I tried to do Underworld by DeLillo and struggled - it defeated me. I don't think I got beyond 20 pages! war and Peace I haven't attempted ....the sheer size of the thing is daunting enough. It's one of those things in my bucket list though. Haven't done Don Quixote. And I haven't done Proust - I have read a very interesting book about "in search of lost times" - which was called A Night At the Majestic, so I feel I ought to read the original inspiration.

Others are James Joyce Ulysses - couldn't finish it (meant to be "the greatest novel of modern times" - so it was not for want of trying...)...and.....

Great  Expectations (I know I know - philistine ...)

Anyone else care to confess?

#2 cinnabubble

Posted 07 December 2013 - 05:59 PM

I could barely start The Book Thief. Not a classic, but well-regarded. I wanted to put out my eyes rather than read it.

#3 Renovators delight

Posted 07 December 2013 - 06:00 PM

Not a classic, but lord of the rings. Can't get past that Tom bombadil guy. Ugh.

#4 Pudding Flea

Posted 07 December 2013 - 06:01 PM

Ssshhhh, don't tell anyone....


I never finished The Lord of the Rings.

I keep meaning to, but I remember too much of the beginning so I start skipping to get to a bit I haven't read and then I get lost again and put it back down.

#5 cinnabubble

Posted 07 December 2013 - 06:02 PM

Lord of the Rings is ****ing boring.

#6 Emm27

Posted 07 December 2013 - 06:03 PM

Ok so not a classic but a hugely popular book that I just detested - Eat, Pray, Love.

Italy made me want to shoot her, India made me want to shoot myself and Indonesia made me want to shoot everyone. I cannot understand how so many people find this piece of crap so inspirational. Give me Turia Pitt's autobiography any day!

#7 ali27

Posted 07 December 2013 - 06:07 PM

The Lord of the Rings is AWFUL.

I find Thomas Hardy fairly hard going and another one which was difficult is Crime and Punishment

#8 MintyBiscuit

Posted 07 December 2013 - 06:07 PM

Lord of the Rings. I couldn't even get past chapter two of The Hobbit so I haven't attempted LOTR. Total snorefest

I've tried The Great Gatsby twice now and can't get into it. Pride and Prejudice bored me. I struggled through to the end of Dracula, but still feel like it was a waste of time.

I think maybe I'm just not that cultured ;)

#9 Ritaroo

Posted 07 December 2013 - 06:07 PM

I couldn't get through Wuthering Heights. Horrible, horrible people.

#10 red_squirrel

Posted 07 December 2013 - 06:07 PM

James Joyce, Ulysses. I just couldn't read it.
I also gave up on War and Peace.

#11 baddmammajamma

Posted 07 December 2013 - 06:08 PM

Lord of the Rings...torture!

And the most boring book on the planet, "Moby d*ck."

"Call me Ishmael" = Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz sleep aid!

#12 Reader

Posted 07 December 2013 - 06:08 PM

Middlemarch. I set it aside thinking I'd try again one day, but haven't picked it up again.


#13 Lyra

Posted 07 December 2013 - 06:10 PM

Dickens. I get that he writes well blah blah but honestly those books are so freaking huge. Why waste days and days reading when I can watch a movie that only eats up a few hours.

#14 BeAwesome

Posted 07 December 2013 - 06:12 PM

Anna Karenina, I've tried it a few times, and can't get into it.

#15 PooksLikeChristmas

Posted 07 December 2013 - 06:13 PM

Gosh, I agree on most of these.

I don't think I would have gotten to the end of To Kill A Mockingbird if the education system hadn't forced me *prepares to be murdered by resident EB Americans*

I haven't ever bothered with anything long written by any man with a Russian-ish name.



#16 *TikkaB* Tinseltop

Posted 07 December 2013 - 06:13 PM

I like to read, but then I often work as a sub-editor so I have a love affair with words.

The one book that I have never been able to get into was James Joyce's 'Ulysses' - couldn't finish it. But it is known as one of the hardest books to read as he was experimenting with punctuation (or lack of).

#17 ali27

Posted 07 December 2013 - 06:13 PM

Heart of Darkness - blurgh!

#18 lylac

Posted 07 December 2013 - 06:14 PM

Shakespeare is just not my thing (I know, I know!).
I hope nobody ever figures out who I am.

#19 Sassenach2

Posted 07 December 2013 - 06:15 PM

View PostLyra, on 07 December 2013 - 06:10 PM, said:

Dickens. I get that he writes well blah blah but honestly those books are so freaking huge. Why waste days and days reading when I can watch a movie that only eats up a few hours.

I agree with Dickens and I would rather watch the movies of his books. He waffles on and so does Thomas Hardy. You read all about the environment and the trees and the bushes and I couldn't care less about that, I would rather get to the nitty gritty!

#20 Lyra

Posted 07 December 2013 - 06:15 PM

View Postlylac, on 07 December 2013 - 06:14 PM, said:

Shakespeare is just not my thing (I know, I know!). I hope nobody ever figures out who I am.

To be fair to Shakespeare he's really not meant to be read. He is stuff is so much more interesting and enjoyable when you watch them. It also makes more sense LOL

#21 flakyfish

Posted 07 December 2013 - 06:16 PM

I haven't attempted most of the ones you mention, but feel like I should. I did try to read Ulysses, and honestly, I found the Odyssey in ancient Greek easier to read!

Ones that have defeated me:

Heart of darkness - couldn't follow it to save my life.

Anna Karenina, just couldn't get into it.

Also, not a classic, but American psycho was impossible to read.

I am a voracious reader, and am quite well read, but I do struggle to read some of the denser classics. My tastes tend to chick lit and fantasy novels mostly.

#22 Froyohoho

Posted 07 December 2013 - 06:16 PM

Wuthering Heights and Huckleberry Finn.

#23 Hellbent

Posted 07 December 2013 - 06:17 PM

I tried war and peace as a teenager. Gave it a good go, but from memory got through about 30 pages. Definitely defeated me.

#24 Ho Ho No

Posted 07 December 2013 - 06:17 PM

War and Peace.


I will never read it, but it makes a great paperweight.

#25 Lucrezia Bauble

Posted 07 December 2013 - 06:17 PM

View Postali27, on 07 December 2013 - 06:13 PM, said:

Heart of Darkness - blurgh!

Oh god yes! That should have been first up in my list.....what a difficult book! Enough with the descriptions! It was too clever for its own good - or maybe I'm with Holly I'm just not that cultured!





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