Just because it's a classic doesn't mean it's always the best choice.
Most of us were forced to read some classic literature in school. Most of us can also probably recall falling asleep while reading one of these books late into the night. Not every book resonates with every person, therefore--not every classic book will either.
What was the book you put down and never picked back up again?
Here were some of those answers.
The White Bone. All those elephants did was walk around and poop. You can't read more than a few pages without an unnecessary poop plotline.
This one might be my favorite:
"A hard, blackened morsel of dung. 'How old is it?' Mung says. 'Thirty-five days,' She-Snorts murmurs. 'Perhaps more.' They smell the morsel in wonder. It is so precious and so paltry. She-Screams, who has already evacuated a seepage, comes over and pokes her trunk in among everyone else's."
evacuated a seepage
Okay, I pulled up a random PDF page and they were talking about using warthog pee and hyena poop to make a band-aid. But, I felt like that was cheating because it wasn't elephant poop, so I pulled up the next page and lo and behold:
"When she awakes she notices, inches from her eyes, a pile of her own dung, the sweet known smell of which is so appetizing she would eat it had she the will to move."
HOW IS THIS CONSIDERED GOOD LITERATURE?!
Wuthering Wuthering Wuthering
I was one of those straight A students in high school who always did all the homework on time. That being said, the one book I did NOT finish was Wuthering Heights.
I was looking for this comment. What an infuriating book. There was not one character that I could actually find myself rooting for, in part due to the fact that most of the book was told from the perspective of a guy listening to a story from someone who was really only marginally involved, so emotions were really taken out of it. Took me forever to get through.
Too Much Description
Absolutely anything by Thomas Hardy. I had to read The Mayor of Casterbridge, it was the only book I didn't finish at school. I remember a guy walking into a town and there being like 10 pages of description of what the town looked like.
The pearl. Even my teacher said it was one of the few John Steinbeck works she couldn't stand. The book is tiny and as an avid book lover should've taken me like an hour or two to read. It took me the entire summer. I had to force a page at a time. It was awful. Decades later and it's still the worst book I've ever read. And I tend to love most classics.
Atlas Shrugged. The Fountainhead was actually worse, but I think more people would consider AS 'classic'. Both were dreadful though. Why I have read both is a mystery I cannot explain even to myself.
Pro tip: if you for some reason decide to read it anyway, stop when Galt takes over the radio station then skip ahead for (depending on the print size) 60-80 pages. You won't miss anything; it's just a protracted delusional monologue and I'm not exaggerating about the length.
Call Me Ishmael....Wait...Wrong Book
I hated Last of the Mohicans (incredibly dull) and The Old Man and the Sea (just doesn't make sense). I was told that Hemingway's weird grammar was because he didn't want anything to be unnecessary, but then why is it necessary for us to know that the old man gets up and urinates? Twice?
It's Just A Sham...No Pun Intended
Great Expectations was hell for me.
Far too long and too boring for my high school ADHD brain to handle.
It didn't stand a chance against TV and video games. Trying to remember anything from it is just like a foggy dream.
Might like it today though, who knows. Just finished Monte Cristo and enjoyed it.
I'd Rather Stare At A Windmill
Spanish speaker here. I looove reading, like, books and literature are huge part of my life, but reading Don Quixote was one of the worst experiences of my life. It was so boring, slow, and just unpleasant. I just hope I never have to read It again.
Omg They Were Roommates
A Separate Peace. I've never hated a book as viscerally as that one. Would have been an infinitely better read if Finny and Gene just got it over with and had sex. I know Knowles has denied there's any homoerotic element to it, but then why the hell did he write 236 pages of absolutely nothing except for sweltering sexual tension with no payoff?
I would have rather followed Leper's perspective as he enlists in the army and battles his own eroding sanity and cosmic dread. Can't believe Knowles teased us with less than a page of sheer terror and John Carpenter-esque body horror before casually reminding us "No no. This isn't that story. Here's a scene of Gene trying on Phineas' pink shirt. Enjoy as I describe everything except his pounding erection splitting the seams on his uniform slacks."
Dusts And Bowls
The Grapes Of Wrath. I hated that book so much that I refused to read anymore after the 4th chapter in high school. I read a book that was easily twice as long instead. Catcher In The Rye is rough too because it's so damn depressing, but I've read that twice.