Over at bookchase this week Sam was talking about books that everyone seems to love except you. This conversation started over at Faemom's and both came up with 10 examples. While I can't quite get to 10, I have printed my own examples below to continue this train of thought.
I would never throw a book away, preferring to pass them on, but metaphorically, I put loads of stuff from life in the pedal bin that lives in my mind. The following were consigned there...
1. The biggest offender, the one that is often accompanied with "don't get me started..." from me, is The Magus by John Fowles. I was recommended this book by quite a few people as 'amazing' and for the duration (and it was an endurance) of time that I read it people would come up to me and say things like 'that book changed my life' and they would go all dreamy eyed. On holiday in Greece you could go on a Magus tour of Spetses island, where the book is meant to be set. Someone even told me her ex-boyfriend had Magus tattooed on his arm after reading it. Wow, I thought, this is some book. However I was struggling through it, mainly because I found it difficult to follow (this is a story where nothing is as it seems) and I was also bored stiff, but another friend told me it all comes together on the last page. It took me months to finish it. The book had wafted me through re-plays of classical mythology, to an underground courtroom where everyone is dressed up as animals, and no one is who they say they are, playing mind games with the main character and you. The last sentence was in Latin, it bore no light in translation. I have asked the people who loved it to explain it...they all went a bit quiet, 'I'm not sure I remember it now' they said evasively. I have begged others to read it and enlighten me. One day I will come across someone who will adequately explain why they loved it so much and put me out of my misery. Until then I will always view this book as a self-indulgent tome that was a waste of time to me. Deep breath...
2. Dombey and Son by Charles Dickens. I love Dickens (I have not read them all), and after totally enjoying Great Expectations I was pleased and excited to see this one on my course list for the final year of my degree. It was so awash in sentimentality and gender stereotypes I just got bored. I didn't even batt an eyelid for 'Poor Paul'. Another tome that was so unreal I was glad to reach the finishing post and put it behind me.
3. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. Another course book, for obvious reasons, and I understand why, the gothicism, written by a woman, and the concept is truly amazing. But actually reading it...the coincidences were too much for me and I got bored.
4. The Catcher in the Rye by J D Salinger. One I share with Sam from Bookchase, I didn't hate it, but felt it passed me by without moving me in any way. I would love to go to a seminar about it to find out what I missed out on.
5. Stormy Weather by Carl Hiaasen. We did this one for our reading group and everyone loved it, were quoting bits from it and finding it hilairious. Except me. I couldn't get into it and never finished it.
Which books have you read that everyone else loved except you? Which ones would you put 'in the bin?' Any Magus lovers who can shed any light and convince me otherwise???