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What Classics have "defeated" you?

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#26 Pull Up A Beanbag

Posted 07 December 2013 - 06:17 PM

Gullivers Travels.  I've tried it 3 times now.  Can't get past the first 8 pages before the language defeats me.

Didn't make it through the Hobbit, didn't try LOTR.

I'm not a big "straight" literature fan.  I like paranormal, sci-fi and fantasy stuff.

#27 Bluenomi

Posted 07 December 2013 - 06:21 PM

Another one who couldn't read LOTR. 20 pages of descriptions of trees and I was ready to throw the book at the wall.

Also ca t read anything by Jane Austin

#28 bebe99

Posted 07 December 2013 - 06:22 PM

I recently donated my copy of War and Peace. Couldn't look at it anymore on the bookshelf taunting me. Such a relief to have it gone!

#29 Lucrezia Bauble

Posted 07 December 2013 - 06:23 PM

View PostBluenomi, on 07 December 2013 - 06:21 PM, said:

Also ca t read anything by Jane Austin

Gah! Nooooo.....

#30 ❤Indigo❤

Posted 07 December 2013 - 06:23 PM

Jany Eyre

#31 Nasty Bunsen

Posted 07 December 2013 - 06:29 PM

Finished and loved Underworld, I'm a big De Lillo fan.

2 failed attempts on Catch 22 though, didn't hate it just can't get inspired to read the whole thing.

#32 Zeppelina

Posted 07 December 2013 - 06:32 PM

As a fantasy/sci-fi fan, 2 classics I couldn't get through were The Hobbit (ugh... and haven't even attempted LOTR!) and Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. I'm thinking I need to try the latter again, as I was in a bad head-space at the time I tried it, and I think it was that more than anything else that stopped me from getting through it.

I did, however, get through The Odyssey so that's got to make up for a whole bunch of things, really.

#33 Clever Clogs

Posted 07 December 2013 - 06:38 PM

I have read War and Peace, Heart of Darkness, Huckleberry Finn, Gulliver's Travels and Wuthering Heights.

I have been defeated countless times by Moby freaking D*ck.

#34 purplekitty

Posted 07 December 2013 - 06:40 PM

War and Peace would be the one I couldn't finish of those mentioned. I read most of it before I admitted defeat.
I should have stopped at the beginning.

The English Patient is another that I wanted a refund of my time on.

#35 SenatorPrissypants

Posted 07 December 2013 - 06:42 PM

I love Thomas Hardy but, yes, the mans does take a few pages to describe a rock. Have also tried Catch-22 twice and failed. I still plan on giving it a third go though. I'm an English teacher so not reading it feels wrong.

#36 BeakyHoneyButt

Posted 07 December 2013 - 06:43 PM

View Postcinnabubble, on 07 December 2013 - 06:02 PM, said:

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

I know this I supposed to be books but, My sister took me to the first movie of lord of the rings, FAR.OUT.! Boring .. The whole 'genre' is not my style and I wouldn't read that kind of book anyway, but in this case I'd wished I had some idea before I got roped into paying for a ticket!
Another one was a Star Wars movie, back to back screenings at some theatre in Melbourne with my first boyfriend, I literally curled up and fell asleep!  The things we do for love!

I g

Edited by foxgirls, 07 December 2013 - 06:45 PM.

#37 SeaPrincess

Posted 07 December 2013 - 06:44 PM

Lord of the Rings
John Steinbeck. I never finished The Grapes of Wrath when we did it at school. I managed to get through East of Eden when we read it for bookclub (although it took me 3 months!) and I will never ever read another of his books.

I loved To Kill a Mockingbird. And the movie.

#38 purplekitty

Posted 07 December 2013 - 06:47 PM

Catch-22 is a fantastic book.
Well worth persevering.

#39 Cath-In-SA

Posted 07 December 2013 - 06:49 PM

Little Women.  I got about a chapter or so in.

Others that aren't "Classic" but must have been good enough to be made into movies.

Snow Falling on Cedars - Very wordy and descriptive.  I got about half way through then realised I just didn't care what happened to anyone in the book so gave up.

Eat Pray Love - didn't really seem to have a point so I gave up at India.

Atonement - I may take another swing at this

I have The Book Thief in the bookcase (gift from an aunt). Thanks for making me feel better that I haven't wasted my time.

I am looking forward to the kids hitting High School so I can read To Kill A Mockingbird and Lord of the Flies again.

Edited by Cath-In-SA, 07 December 2013 - 06:50 PM.

#40 ali27

Posted 07 December 2013 - 06:54 PM

Two other books which I really loathe and have had to teach to senior secondary students are
The Member of the Wedding - Frankie is the most screwed up nasty kid ever

The Catcher in the Rye - Holden Caulfield isn't my cup of tea!

#41 She's Crafty

Posted 07 December 2013 - 06:55 PM

Oh I love this thread.  I agree with nearly all of these (with the exception of 'To Kill A Mockingbird.'  I seriously did not get LOTR.  Went with a friend to all of the movies and fell asleep during each and everyone.  Won't even attempt the books.

I also struggled with the Steig Larson books.  Have read the first two but not the last.  I think the translation into English lost it for me.  There were so many sentences I thought weren't very well constructed but persevered because I did like the story and Lisbeth is a pretty rare, amazing female character.

I always consult those lists of the books you should read before you die but often bypass them for the latest Linwood Barclay or Harlan Coben.

#42 BetteBoop

Posted 07 December 2013 - 06:58 PM

Pretty much everything people listed in the thread I only managed or even attempted to read for educational purposes.

The book I found utterly unreadable was Camus' The Stranger.

I knew a wannabe pantsman at uni who carried an old dog eared copy aloft pretending to read from it while walking down the street. I don't think he even got a little bit of sex.

I was sickened by Lolita, more so for how the film distorted a clearly predatory relationship into a coquettish coming of age sex romp with a precocious teen and her hapless victim.

#43 Fourteenyears

Posted 07 December 2013 - 07:00 PM

I have mostly failed by not trying, but I rarely fail to finish a book I start.

One I started but didn't finish was Bulgakov's Master and Margarita, and I regret it because it was heavy going (so I don't want to start it again) but fascinating (so I do want to finish it).  Really quite compelling, trippy satire.  I was quite gripped, but then I made the mistake in a tired moment of picking up something easier and just never went back.

I haven't finished War and Peace yet but I haven't admitted defeat. It's on the kindle so my place is always kept and I can slowly plug away over the years until I get through it. And then I can say I've read it.

Edited by Nine.years, 07 December 2013 - 07:02 PM.

#44 Tyfle Hour

Posted 07 December 2013 - 07:00 PM

I'm glad someone else mentioned Steinbeck before me.  I've tried Grapes of Wrath and Of Mice and Men, and I just can't do it.  So depressing.

I quite liked War and Peace actually. :blush: ETA and Camus' The Stanger

Edited by CleverChook, 07 December 2013 - 07:01 PM.

#45 The 8th Plum

Posted 07 December 2013 - 07:01 PM


Anything by Thomas Hardy

The Silmarillion

Moll Flanders. I was supposed to read it at uni and I had a look at the library copy, decided to keep my $10 for booze, and take my chances with whatever the exam questions were on the other texts. This proved to be the wise cousrse of action, plus it was good training for the classic English Literature tutorial game of discussing books you haven't actually read.

#46 Fourteenyears

Posted 07 December 2013 - 07:05 PM

I like this topic.  It's so interesting to see what people liked and didn't like.

I glanced at the Satanic Verses (at the height of the controversy) and decided I probably wouldn't get through it.  But does Rushdie automatically count as classic or just literature.  I never know until a book is published with 'classic' on the cover. :blush:

#47 Freddie'sMum

Posted 07 December 2013 - 07:06 PM

Pride and Prejudice - could only get through the first chapter and wanted to throw it in the bin.

LOTR - could NOT for the life of me read this.  Thought the movies were overlong - only really liked the 2nd movie (The Two Towers) but by the 3rd movie - DH & I are sitting there - and I am whispering "for the love of God - somebody take the damn camera away from Peter Jackson and let's end this bloody thing!!"

I actually liked Heart of Darkness.

Haven't attempted War and Peace.  Just the size of it puts me off.

Modern literature - White Teeth by Zadie Smith - won the Booker Prize.  I really struggled with this and got half way through and then thought "why the hell am I reading this - I don't care about any of these characters and they all annoy the **** out of me" - I gave it to a work friend.

#48 no spring chicken

Posted 07 December 2013 - 07:08 PM

Now that 2 people have dissed Jane Austen I'm outa here....
I'm getting cranky.

Nobody has mentioned The Bible.....lol.

#49 TheFirstNoel

Posted 07 December 2013 - 07:14 PM

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

The Lord of the Rings is AWFUL.

I find Thomas Hardy fairly hard going and another one which was difficult is Crime and Punishment
i loved tess of the d'urbervilles, though i admit it wasn't an easy read. I'm 90% through crime & punishment and loving it. Finding it fairly easy going. Generally i struggle with the Russians though! I've been reading Dr Zhivago for a year now, Anna Karenina was a slog but excellent, and I'm yet to finish any Solzhenitsyn (i know i spelled that wrong!)

#50 purplekitty

Posted 07 December 2013 - 07:14 PM

Two that I would never read again are Lord of the Flies and Animal Farm.

I liked Neuromancer.
I first tried to read LOTR as a teenager and didn't like it but enjoyed it later on.

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