Mar 19, 2009

Meme: Worst Best Book

From Booking Through Thursday, suggested by Janet:

What’s the worst ‘best’ book you’ve ever read — the one everyone says is so great, but you can’t figure out why?


Well, if we're talking about classics, two jump right to mind: The Great Gatsby- I couldn't stand that one. And Madame Bovary, it just felt so tedious and the characters unlikeable. But I didn't finish either one of those, so I don't know if they really count.

Of the more popular titles, I really didn't like My Sister's Keeper (or anything Picoult) but that's no news here. I didn't care much for Cat's Eye, though I can see why others loved it. And although I recognize that Truman Capote is a great author, I fail to appreciate his stuff. Most recently, I was pretty disappointed in Chalice, and a lot of other blogs rave about that one, too.

Wow, I didn't expect to think of so many. I guess just like it's hard to think of the one all-time favorite book, it's hard to pick out the worst one, too!

24 comments:

janet said...

I agree with you on 'Madame Bovary.' Totally.

I thought of another that I couldn't finish: 'The Book Thief.' It wasn't that I thought it was bad; I just couldn't get into it. It was a surprise to me, after reading so many raves.

You're right, it's hard to pick one best OR worst.

Melissa - Shhh I'm Reading said...

I liked My Sister's Keeper, but that was the first Picoult I read. Now, they seem like almost the same book over and over.

Jess said...

The only Picoult book I liked was My Sister's Keeper. They do all start to feel like the same book after a bit.

http://barneysbookblog.blogspot.com

writemeg said...

Aw, I love The Great Gatsby! It's one of the only "classic" works of American literature that I actually enjoyed, and can see why it's been canonized :) But it's all good! I have yet to read anything by Picoult, but folks seem to either love her or hate her... not sure where I would stand with that!

Blodeuedd said...

Haven't read any of those books, and dunno if I really want to now.Hm, but Chalice do look interesting

jacketsandcovers said...

Finally, someone else who didn't like The Great Gatsby. I mean, I liked the writing style but hated the characters and the story line.

JoAnn said...

I liked The Great Gatsby, but was bored most of the way through Madame Bovary.

Mary said...

I've read Gatsby a few times and like it more with each reading. Madame Bovary is on the shelf - not sure when I'll get around to that. Haven't read any Picoult - and probably won't.

carolsnotebook said...

I've never read any of these, and it will probably stay that way.

Shelley said...

Great Gatsby is one of my favorites--I like books with sense of unfulfilled longing. But I hated Madame Bovary, and didn't ever finish it.

Kris said...

You're right! It is hard to pick out the worst as well!

Kaye said...

So totally agree on Madame Bovary. What a snore fest!

My BTT is here

Trish said...

Haven't finished Gatsby? If I didn't read it in a classroom setting (for two different classes), I'm not sure what I would have thought of it. I disliked Fitzgerald's This Side of Paradise but really liked Tender is the Night. Gatsby fits right in the middle. (One of the classes was a Fitzgerald/Hemingway class)

Holly said...

Totally agree with Picoult. I've never understood the hype about her.

Petunia said...

And I thought I wasw the only one who hated Gatsby. I have meant to read some of Fitzgerald's other works but haven't managed it yet. I have avoided Picoult on purpose. I don't think I would like her and there are way too many books out there that I would rather spend time with.

Bybee said...

I could gripe about Picoult all day!

TheBlackSheep said...

Totally agree about Gatsby. Hated it. I did like Bovary the first time I read it, but haven't been able to get through it a second time. I've only ever read In Cold Blood by Capote. It was well written, but I had to force myself to finish it because of the subject matter.

Robert Burdock said...

I half expected you to be 'mob lynched' for suggesting 'Madame Bovary.' Glad to you weren't though :o)

I've still to read it myself, so I can't comment specifically, but I just got the impression it was one of these rare sacrosanct titles that everyone loved.Hehehe..but obviously not :)
Warmest
Rob

Susan said...

well, you certainly hit a nerve with this one, Jeane, so many people don't like Jodi Picoult, nor madame Bovary nor The Great Gatsby. I have to say I agree with all of them! I thought Great Gatsby was over-rated, I haven't read Madame Bovary, nor Jodi - I picked up My Sister's Keeper in the store, and it is interesting, but the idea of sueing for emancipation - blah blah - I'm sorry, it's not realistic.

No one ever mentions my favourite to hate book: Catcher in the Rye. I've never read past the first two pages, I was in high school and something on the opening so annoyed me I refused to do it and read another.

I love this post you did! I might have to do one soon too....I like your answers too, I think it's ok when we don't like a book. At least we try it and give it a chance.

chartroose said...

I dislike Picoult immensely too, Jeane. She just doesn't write well--you and I write better than she does.

Another one I can't stand is James Patterson. His novels appear to be written on a 6th grade level.

I agree with you about Bovary, but not Gatsby. There's a lot more to Gatsby than meets the eye...

Great post!

Jeane said...

Janet- I'm hoping I'll like the Book Thief. It's still on my list to read!

Melissa- The first one I read was The Plain Truth. Sister's Keeper was the second one. And there is such a similar feel to them all.

Jess- ditto.

Writemeg- what does that mean, it's been canonized?

Blodeuedd- Chalice is very interesting. Give it a shot. You might like it better than I did!

Jacketsandcovers- I'm glad I'm not alone!

JoAnn- Yeah. It was very boring.

Mary- Well, maybe someday I'll try Gatsby again. It's possible I just wasn't at a point in my life able to appreciate it.

Carolsnotebook- I can only approve of that decision.

Shelley- Honestly, I didn't get far enough into Gatsby to get that sense. But I quit early on Bovary, as you did.

Jeane said...

Kris- I think I could have easily come up with half a dozen more...

Kaye- Glad we agree on that one!

Trish- I might have liked it better had I read it for a class. I know there's certainly other books I would never have made it through, much less enjoyed, if it hadn't been for the classroom structure- like Hundred Years of Solitude, or anything Shakespeare.

Holly- Yup. Me either.

Petunia- I kept thinking the next Picoult book would be different, or better. I'm glad the forumla works for her and some readers, but it just doesn't for me.

Bybee- Me too. But aside from my posts about her books, I won't waste time on that.

Black Sheep- I was inspired to try reading In Cold Blood from watching the film about it. But I just couldn't stomach the book.

Robert Burdock- Ha, ha! I was really afraid I'd get more protests about that one. It's kind of a relief to know I'm not alone in my opinions on it.

Susan- Actually, I really like Catcher in the Rye. It was one of my favorites, as a teen! I don't know how I'd feel about it if I read it now.

Chartroose- I'm flattered to know you think I write better than a Published Author! Never read any Patterson. Hm, I'm beginning to think I should take another stab at Gatsby...

An Anonymous Child said...

I'm not a huge "Gatsby" fan either. I haven't found many others who dislike it, though. It could be just because I didn't study it or anything, but something about the book just felt really off to me.

Jeane said...

Anonymous Child- Yes, most others seem to like it better. It just did not sit well with me, though.