Book Review · fiction

5 Books I Hated Reading

Everyone always writes posts about books they loved and they gush about the prose and the characters and everything about them. Of course, I have books I have loved but I also have books I have absolutely detested every minute of reading them. Here are my top five most hated books in no particular order:

1. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
I went into this book with the assumption that it was a grand romance, one of the best romantic storylines in the history of books, and I was sorely disappointed. Both characters were flawed to the point of wondering how any of them could be a protagonist, even in their own stories. Catherine was selfish and whiny while Heathcliff, although it could be argued became what he was due to his circumstances, was brutish and unkind. They were terrible for each other and to each other. It was not the “epic romance” I’d come to expect.

2. Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
I’ve read every novel Jane Austen has written and several of them are quite good, but Mansfield Park has got to be the slowest, more boring book ever. It’s such a long book and, as far as I could tell, nothing happens. The protagonist is meek and passive and not even entertaining to make up for those facts. Fanny Price made me want to punch her, if one could punch a fictional character who is not a villain.

3. The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
I say only The Golden Compass and not His Dark Materials because I never made it past the first book. In fact, it took me ten years to even finish that one. I started the book at age ten, when my dad gave it to me as a gift. I read the first three chapters and stopped. Six years later at sixteen, I attempted to read it again. I reread the first three chapters and stopped. Four years later, at age twenty, just before the movie was due to come out, I resolved to finally finish the book. I skipped the first three chapters and finally did. It was the most work I’ve ever done to read a book.

4. The Reivers by William Faulkner
I’ve read other Faulkner books and some are good. Some are so confusing it takes Sparknotes to even figure out what’s going on (I’m looking at you, Sound and the Fury). The Reivers was another of those books that took me years to get through. It moves very slowly, even though it’s a relatively short book, and I can’t say I was too invested in the plot.

5. Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce
If there’s a theme here, it’s that I don’t like books that mix POVs recklessly. For the most part, I didn’t understand PotAaaYM. It’s one of those books you’re forced to read in English class and spend most of the time frowning at the page while your teacher points out nuances that you can’t even get to underneath the jumbled language. I don’t remember but about the plot itself except that it was painful to read.

Honorable mention: Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton. Talk about boring.

There you have it. My top five most hated books. What are yours? Did you disagree with any of mine? Next post, I’ll do top five books I was forced to read by teachers!


4 thoughts on “5 Books I Hated Reading

  1. I thought Frankenstein would totally be my type of book, but oh my lord I could not make it past the first chapter. Maybe I wasn’t in the right head space at the time though. I might make another go at it and see if I have the same issue though. I would also put Huckleberry Finn, Catcher in The Rye (pure dreck), Grapes of Wrath (not because it was bad, but because it was SO long), and Animal Farm (pretty sure I just didn’t get it at the time) on the list.

    1. I would possibly argue on Animal Farm and maybe Huckleberry Finn (except that chapter in the middle with that weird family which was just boring). The others, I agree. I just read Frankenstein a few weeks ago for the first time, and I think I was expecting too much based on pop culture fanatics, but I may try following the webseries adaptation and see if it’s any better. Pemberly Digital and PBS are partnering to put it out on youtube. I think they’re on episode 4 already.

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