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What Classics have "defeated" you?


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#51 Fourteenyears

Posted 07 December 2013 - 07:15 PM

Quote

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

I liked the graphic novel version.

#52 BetteBoop

Posted 07 December 2013 - 07:17 PM

View Postleisamd, on 07 December 2013 - 07:14 PM, said:

Solzhenitsyn

Gesundheit.

#53 HolleyShiftwell

Posted 07 December 2013 - 07:25 PM

Heart of darkness - got there but didn't like it

Tried but couldn't read Ulysses

#54 Ingrid the Swan

Posted 07 December 2013 - 07:25 PM

Can't stand the Hobbit, didn't even try LOTR. Way overwritten IMO.

I never finished Cloudstreet, couldn't get through it. The story was a bit awful but the no punctuation annoyed me.

Frankenstein did nothing for me, neither did Three Musketeers. Didn't finish either.

#55 FiveAus

Posted 07 December 2013 - 07:26 PM

Most of what's already been mentioned (except I loved Little Women and Great Expectations).

Modern classic, Booker prize winner...Wolf Hall. Bloody awful book, no redeeming features whatsoever.

The Hobbit completely ruined fantasy fiction for me, after having to sit through my grade 6 classmates slog through it out loud, a paragraph or two at a time, I never, ever wanted to be read to again, and I lost all interest in the fantasy genre. It wasn't until I was in my 40's that I delved back into it when I becomes friends with a well known Australian fantasy writer.

#56 ComradeBob

Posted 07 December 2013 - 07:26 PM

I've never even tried the LOTR, The Hobbit defeated me!

Never been able to get into Dickens.

Never been able to read Marx's Das Kapital, and not for want of trying. Maybe I'll stick it on the bucket list.  

Cath-in-SA give Atonement another go, I couldn't get into it for years and finally managed it and loved it. Same with The Poisonwood Bible.


#57 DoctorDonna

Posted 07 December 2013 - 07:26 PM

Another vote for LOTR and Wuthering Heights here. And I just generally don't care for classics much, I don't know why. Jane Eyre is the only one I've read more than once. I want to love them - reading is my biggest passion - but I just don't. I keep trying though :)

#58 Lucrezia Bauble

Posted 07 December 2013 - 07:27 PM

View Postno spring chicken, on 07 December 2013 - 07:08 PM, said:

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

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

Here here - Austen rules!

Re the Holy Bible - it was the subject of another Jennifer Byrnes Presents - in "Books that Changed the World" - it, along with the Koran was nominated - and also Charles Darwin "on the origin of species" ....


#59 FiveAus

Posted 07 December 2013 - 07:27 PM

High school had-to-reads....Day of the Triffids, and a truly awful Australian book about a schoolteacher in the outback....can't remember what it was called though.

Both terrible books.

#60 Procrastinator5000

Posted 07 December 2013 - 07:29 PM

Nawww, people don't like books I like.

Catcher in the Rye - love
Lord of the Flies - love
To Kill a Mockingbird - love
1984 - love
Day of the Triffids - love
Jane Austen - love
Lord of the Rings - enjoyed at the time though not a rabid fan

The ones I can't get through are the very wordy books like Dickens or others from the 1800s. The sentences are just so long that it's hard to make meaning. I mean, some of the language is wonderful but I just think it's harder than it's worth trying to read them with a modern brain. Jane Austen is different, I feel, even though she's earlier than that. She's in a class of her own.

#61 BetteBoop

Posted 07 December 2013 - 07:31 PM

View PostSassy Girl, on 07 December 2013 - 07:28 PM, said:

So far I haven't been able to finish more than ten pages of The Illiad. I may try it again when we go away at Christmas.

I couldn't get past the 2nd page so you're doing better than me.

In all honesty, there is not one classic novel that I genuinely enjoyed reading. Unless Jackie Ccollins writes classics.

#62 Procrastinator5000

Posted 07 December 2013 - 07:31 PM

I've also never even attempted any Russian literature at all. I know my limits. I feel like I would have enjoyed Anna Karenina if I had had to do it at school because I love the story but don't think I have the energy ever to sit and read it.

#63 niggles

Posted 07 December 2013 - 07:33 PM

I couldn't finish Ulysses either. And I'm a finisher. And it's not even long.

Middlemarch was probably the slowest start that I've managed to finish quite happily in the end. But it was a bit of a slog.

There are many I've yet to attempt. I've never been near the Russians. I've read most of Dickens and all of Shakespeare's comedies and tragedies but not the histories.

I spent my teens in the country, don't really play sport and didn't have a television. So I read a lot of the old classics and modern classics like Hemingway and Steinbeck then. It was all you could reliably find in the libraries out there.

#64 Feral Grey Mare

Posted 07 December 2013 - 07:36 PM

Wuthering Heights - miserable and dreary.
Crime and Punishment - why do the characters have to have such long names?
Lord of the Rings - read the first book and half of the second before realising I had no idea what was happening and I didn't really care.
.

#65 purplekitty

Posted 07 December 2013 - 07:38 PM

View PostProcrastinator5000, on 07 December 2013 - 07:31 PM, said:

I've also never even attempted any Russian literature at all. I know my limits. I feel like I would have enjoyed Anna Karenina if I had had to do it at school because I love the story but don't think I have the energy ever to sit and read it.
Solzhenitsyn is good but not enjoyable IMO.

Like you niggles,I read most of the classics,and the rest of the titles by their authors, in my years at school.

#66 niggles

Posted 07 December 2013 - 07:38 PM

View PostBunsen, on 07 December 2013 - 06:29 PM, said:

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

You're dead to me.

View Postnattherat, on 07 December 2013 - 06:42 PM, said:

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.

And you too.

View Postpurplekitty, on 07 December 2013 - 06:47 PM, said:

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

I've always said you display wise and discerning judgement.

#67 Lucrezia Bauble

Posted 07 December 2013 - 07:38 PM

LOVE Catcher in the Rye .....i reread it every year or so...

I find Steinbeck heavy going, I read Cannery Row because we were travelling in that section of California (I know *such* a cliche) - and I did read and finish Grapes of Wrath, but only after a friend's husband had pointed out that National Lampoons Family Vacation was based on it.

I am the anti-culture.


#68 kadoodle

Posted 07 December 2013 - 07:39 PM

I found anything by Daniel Defoe hard work.

I really should give Long Walk to Freedom another crack.

#69 FiveAus

Posted 07 December 2013 - 07:39 PM

Did someone say they didn't like To Kill a Mockingbird? It's one of the easiest books to get into and stay absorbed in. I bought a copy and gave it to my daughter when she was 20, and she absolutely loved it, and her taste generally runs to Twilight and Fifty Shades.

#70 Puggle

Posted 07 December 2013 - 07:41 PM

Anything set in Russia. 'Anna Karenina' and 'Dr Zhivago' are the first two that spring to mind. I just can't keep track of who is who, the names do my head in.

I'm finding it very satisfying that so many people have listed 'Heart of Darkness' - I had to read it for my HSC and hated it. Why do they pick such boring books for the HSC? While we are on that tangent, I hate W H Auden's poetry too.

#71 Lucrezia Bauble

Posted 07 December 2013 - 07:43 PM

View Postpurplekitty, on 07 December 2013 - 06:47 PM, said:

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

I have read it - I'm sure. Was that with Major Major...?

"Some men are born mediocre. Some achieve mediocrity and some have mediocrity thrust upon them. With Major Major it was all three..."

(Or have I got the wrong book...?)


#72 TobiasFLK

Posted 07 December 2013 - 07:44 PM

Dante's Divine Comedy.  Persevered for around 1/3 of it but gave up.

Began the Hobbit, got incredibly bored after 12 pages describing the clouds and trees.

But LOVE Wuthering Heights, Little Women and anything Austen. How do people not love them!

#73 SunnyLady

Posted 07 December 2013 - 07:45 PM

I've been trying to finish Heart of Darkness for 15 years. Just cannot get into it.
The only other book I've never finished is The Almost Moon. I loved Alice Sebold's other books, but this one did my head in.

#74 Fourteenyears

Posted 07 December 2013 - 07:46 PM

BetteBoop what about stuff like Attwood?

Quote

Modern classic, Booker prize winner...Wolf Hall. Bloody awful book, no redeeming features whatsoever.

I really loved Wolf Hall.  I found that once I had the rhythm of the writing I absolutely didn't want to put it down.  And when I finished it I wanted to give copies to everyone I knew (I didn't, of course).

(It may or may not of helped that it took me only a few chapters to mentally cast Alan Rickman as Cromwell.)

I have a thing for classic Sci-Fi, and have read much more widely among the genre classics than commonly agreed upon literature classics.  But I was almost defeated by Ballard's 'The Drowned World' because of the stupidly long sentences mentioned by a previous poster, and by d*ck's 'Man in the High Castle' just because it wasn't as interesting as something with its premise should have been.

#75 Lucrezia Bauble

Posted 07 December 2013 - 07:48 PM

View PostNine.years, on 07 December 2013 - 07:46 PM, said:

BetteBoop what about stuff like Attwood?



I really loved Wolf Hall.  I found that once I had the rhythm of the writing I absolutely didn't want to put it down.  And when I finished it I wanted to give copies to everyone I knew (I didn't, of course).

(It may or may not of helped that it took me only a few chapters to mentally cast Alan Rickman as Cromwell.)

I have a thing for classic Sci-Fi, and have read much more widely among the genre classics than commonly agreed upon literature classics.  But I was almost defeated by Ballard's 'The Drowned World' because of the stupidly long sentences mentioned by a previous poster, and by d*ck's 'Man in the High Castle' just because it wasn't as interesting as something with its premise should have been.

Loved Wolf Hall - and I did exactly the same thing wrt Rickman - how perfect would  that casting be!





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