Friday, 16 April 2010

List Day: Classics

Everyone who isn't in England appears to be talking about spring fever and how they long to be outdoors. My mother, in Bangalore, tells me frequently how hot it is, and wishes she could exchange climates with me. Ha!

Well, with 'spring' defined in England by the presence of sunlight but only about a degree's increase in temperature, spring fever is beyond me. But I do have weekend fever. Having packed boxes for yet another few hours today, I am achy and long for a nice, fun weekend in which dissertations, query letters and boxes do not weigh on my mind (or arms).

So, how about a nice, easy Friday post? Another list, short and sweet. 

This one is about classics, but in the loose definition of the word, so I don't necessarily mean novels that were written pre-1950. I mean texts/novels that are considered 'classic'. I thought that, although this may simply reveal the depth of my ignorance and philistine-ish nature, I'd compile a list of 'classic' novels that, for one reason or another, I never actually liked all that much.

  1. Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger (yeah, never quite got the fuss this causes.)
  2. Women in Love, D.H. Lawrence (my modernism tutor would kill me if he saw this.)
  3. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen (nope, sorry. Have never been able to enjoy reading Austen. Funnily enough, though, I like almost every television or film adaptation, especially the adaptation of Emma with Kate Beckinsale.)
  4. Anything else by Jane Austen
  5. 1984, George Orwell (for someone who likes dystopian fiction as much as I do, it's weird that this never grabbed me. Maybe it's optimistic dystopian fiction I like, where the bleakness doesn't overpower everything. That said, I do like Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale.)
  6. The Lord of the Rings trilogy, J.R.R. Tolkien (*hides face*. Yes. I write fantasy and I never quite enjoyed reading The Lord of the Rings. I know. Shoot me. Do. But there you have it. I don't actually enjoy the Tolkien-esque style of epic fantasy, with a couple of exceptions. I lean toward urban, urban-medieval and historical. But I'm sure you'll be delighted to hear I love the movie adaptions of the trilogy. Ah, Aragorn.)
Hmm, can't actually think of any others right now, but I'm sure they're there. However, before you write me off completely, here are a few 'classics' I do love:

Frankenstein, Mary Shelley
Dracula, Bram Stoker
The Shining, Stephen King
Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte

Try not to read too much into the gothic/horror trend that seems to be going on in that brief list above. While I love the gothic, I'm not very keen on books/films that are 'horror'. Needless blood, gore and nightmares are just too inevitable.

What about you? Any 'classics' you simply never liked all that much?


  1. far from the madding crowd was pretty tedious. pride and prejudice was a horror show. english gcse has a lot to answer for..

  2. I have to admit I never liked Catcher in the Rye much either. And don't get me started on Oscar Wilde. Hated reading him at school, too. Great list!