Unpopular opinions about books -

madethistocomment

welcome to god's mosh pit
kiwifarms.net
The Last Olympian from the Percy Jackson series wasn't that good. Also, the only other books that Riordan's wrote that have recaptured that feeling from the first few PJO books are The Lost Hero and The Son of Neptune.
 

BobsSpergers

kiwifarms.net
It's already been said in this thread so not a terribly unpopular opinion but I've hated Harry Potter and J.K. Rowling since I was a teenager and now that J.K. is losing her appeal to even her fans I feel super vindicated.
 
The hobbit and the lord of the rings trilogy (Yeah, it's a fucking trilogy, fuck you tolkien*), while containing some excellent themes, had piss poor characterization and dialog, and suffered needlessly from idiotic multi-page poems in a fucking made up language.

*JRR tolkien insisted the lord of the rings was 6 books, published in 3 volumes. That's because he was a jackass and didn't know what "book" means. Just writing "Book 2" halfway through the first book doesn't make it actually another book, asshole.
 

AbyssStarer

kiwifarms.net
Classics and books written by dead people aren't necessarily better. Making students read tons of classics makes reading less appealing to people. Kids in K-12 should be able to pick up a book for school and understand it at some level without needing pages and pages of footnotes, language guides, and other references. I didn't understand a lick of Shakespeare in highschool and I didn't give a fuck because I still knew how to pass a damn test.
 

Cardenio

Cheese?
kiwifarms.net
Classics and books written by dead people aren't necessarily better. Making students read tons of classics makes reading less appealing to people. Kids in K-12 should be able to pick up a book for school and understand it at some level without needing pages and pages of footnotes, language guides, and other references. I didn't understand a lick of Shakespeare in highschool and I didn't give a fuck because I still knew how to pass a damn test.
I disagree in that I feel it's important to have a very basic understanding of Shakespeare because it has held such a long standing influence on all fiction. I feel if you have no knowledge in Shakespeare and The Bible you're going to miss out a lot when they're cited and referenced.

With that said Romeo & Juliet is among the most overrated plays ever, it's not bad by any means but I feel it's place as the default Shakespeare Tragedy is wholly undeserved. Hamlet, MacBeth, and Julius Caesar are far more entertaining to read upon.
 

Oscar Wildean

OK Corral
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Classics and books written by dead people aren't necessarily better. Making students read tons of classics makes reading less appealing to people. Kids in K-12 should be able to pick up a book for school and understand it at some level without needing pages and pages of footnotes, language guides, and other references. I didn't understand a lick of Shakespeare in highschool and I didn't give a fuck because I still knew how to pass a damn test.
Kids will at least love Johnny Tremaine because of that badass injury he gets where his fingers get melted together.
 

AbyssStarer

kiwifarms.net
I disagree in that I feel it's important to have a very basic understanding of Shakespeare because it has held such a long standing influence on all fiction. I feel if you have no knowledge in Shakespeare and The Bible you're going to miss out a lot when they're cited and referenced.

With that said Romeo & Juliet is among the most overrated plays ever, it's not bad by any means but I feel it's place as the default Shakespeare Tragedy is wholly undeserved. Hamlet, MacBeth, and Julius Caesar are far more entertaining to read upon.
Having read neither the bible, nor Shakespeare since high school, I don't feel as if I'm missing out on much for not suffering to read either. Reading stage plays in general is tedious, and making high school students read stage plays for the sake of understanding the history of literature is pointless when they don't care in the first place.
I only came to realize I actually like Steinbeck when I read him recently. I had to read Grapes of Wrath and Of Mice and Men for school, and at the time I was so conditioned to not like ANY book that was chosen for me to read by the school that I couldn't comprehend that they were good books.
Not to mention teachers are often bored of teaching the same old classics to kids who don't care. Many of my teachers said things like "If I have to heard about The Old Man and the Sea again I'm going to kill myself," or "I will not allow you to pick (popular novel) from this author, you will be failed."
Classics don't have no merit, and many living authors fart on a keyboard and send it to a printer, but classics are often kind of shitty reading books and definitely should not be taught to uncaring K-12 students. So many AMerican kids have trouble reading at their grade level in the first place.
 

Cardenio

Cheese?
kiwifarms.net
Having read neither the bible, nor Shakespeare since high school, I don't feel as if I'm missing out on much for not suffering to read either. Reading stage plays in general is tedious, and making high school students read stage plays for the sake of understanding the history of literature is pointless when they don't care in the first place.
I only came to realize I actually like Steinbeck when I read him recently. I had to read Grapes of Wrath and Of Mice and Men for school, and at the time I was so conditioned to not like ANY book that was chosen for me to read by the school that I couldn't comprehend that they were good books.
Not to mention teachers are often bored of teaching the same old classics to kids who don't care. Many of my teachers said things like "If I have to heard about The Old Man and the Sea again I'm going to kill myself," or "I will not allow you to pick (popular novel) from this author, you will be failed."
Classics don't have no merit, and many living authors fart on a keyboard and send it to a printer, but classics are often kind of shitty reading books and definitely should not be taught to uncaring K-12 students. So many AMerican kids have trouble reading at their grade level in the first place.
I definitely agree in that I would dread the idea of teaching Shakespeare to a group of teenagers. Still I think the literary canon is pivotal to teach because so much of it has influenced culture to even casual conversation. Hell you could write a book about all the phrases that Shakespeare wrote that are commonly said.

I just think it's important to understand what's being communicated if you call some a "Shylock" or say they're on a "quixotic" quest. I mention the Bible because it's usually major foreshadowing to not trust a character named Cain, Jezebel, or Delilah.

This conversation reminds me to plug a modern translation of Don Quixote by Edith Grossman. Quixote is a doorstop of a novel and I don't think any high schools attempt to teach it. Which is a damn shame because when read with modern english it can be very enjoyable. Adapting Shakespeare to modern English can also be helpful although there is a clear beauty in Shakespeare's Iambic Pentameter.

If people don't learn these characters you wind up with people using expressing events with just pop culture. And there's only so many people in the world that you should be able to call a "Voldemort."

Lastly if we don't teach literary canon then ignorance spreads, e.g. thinking Nietzche was a nihilist.
 

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Chimerian Godhead

Multi-headed godlike motherfucker
kiwifarms.net
The handmaid's tale is really dumb.

Infertility is a huge problem so they force some women into being sexslaves for rich guys but they only get to fuck them once a month.
Despite the fertility problem there's this "secret" prostitution club where they make the whores infertile on purpose because ????

Also the handmaids aren't allowed to shave and the maincharacter once puts on a short tight dress with no stockings to go to that "secret" whorehouse and everyone is like "damn she looks so sexy" etc.

Wuthering Heights is really meh
 

Charlie Delicious

kiwifarms.net
I had never read any fantasy before reading ASOIAF. After I binged them out, I asked for recommendations and many people recommended The Black Company.

I read the first three of TBC and they are all complete trash. I'd rather read RPO again.
 

The Shadow

Friendly Neighborhood Shitposter
kiwifarms.net
Classics and books written by dead people aren't necessarily better. Making students read tons of classics makes reading less appealing to people. Kids in K-12 should be able to pick up a book for school and understand it at some level without needing pages and pages of footnotes, language guides, and other references. I didn't understand a lick of Shakespeare in highschool and I didn't give a fuck because I still knew how to pass a damn test.
I strongly disagree and think that a classical education incorporating Greek and Roman epics as well as Biblical and Western canon is helpful in not just understanding western culture and history but a great deal of modern literature as well. Not saying that dead authors are better, but having an understanding of the basic plot of Hamlet or Paradise Lost means that common references won't fly over your head.

It IS really hard to make this shit palatable to people that just want to browse Snapchat and play Fortnite though.
 

Dracula's Spirit Animal

One time, I accidentally ate a bunch of nails
kiwifarms.net
A couple:

Thomas Hardy is almost unreadable. Tess d'Urbervilles was horrible, and Return of the Native was only marginally better.

Neil Gaiman should stick to short stories. Neverwhere was all right, as was Stardust, but since then, he can't seem to write novels that I find compelling. His short stories are still excellent.

Poster above pointing out that Bleak House by Dickens was released in a monthly serial may be the reason it's the only book of his I like.

It's a little known series, but it's quite good: The Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde is a very well written, clever, and humorous romp. Tons of inside literary jokes. It's like a sci-fi version of Arrested Development, with a lot of seriousness as well. It's a sort of starnge future where literature takes the celebrity we now have for film stars. A cop in the literary crimes division ends up becoming a cop INSIDE the actual books, so she sits in on group therapy with the characters of Wuthering Heights, getting involved in the American spelling of words like honor/honour because they are running out of "u"s, and that sort of thing.
 

Crunchy Leaf

cronch
kiwifarms.net
There is classic literature that's good and worth being assigned to high schoolers, but anything written by British people in the 19th century is so unreadable by a 16 year old it should be saved for the university. I would take Chaucer in the original over Dickens any day.

I also think schools focus on classics to the detriment of good more recent literature. My 11th grade English class was focused on British literature, and the most recent book we read was published in 1924. We read one British poet who wasn't from the 19th century, and I'm pretty sure that was only because the teacher was a Seamus Heaney fangirl. One of my favorite books in high school was White Noise by Don DeLillo, partly because I didn't have to struggle through the language. I don't think Harry Potter and Twilight belong in the English classroom, but books written in 1950 or later absolutely do. You can have modern books without them being YA.
 

queue-anon

kiwifarms.net
I loathe the book the Art of Racing in the Rain, which puts me at odds with friends and family whose opinions on books I usually respect.

The main character is a cringy Mary Sue. He makes thousands of dollars by doing something (who the hell knows what) on the internet, but, to take care of his family, he drops that and gets a (presumably low wage) job at an auto parts store.

The dog point of view is so badly written. Stein would have done well to read the Call of the Wild to see how an actually good writer does it.

The child custody plotline (with bonus false rape allegation) felt like a Lifetime original movie.

And don’t even get me started on the reincarnation at the end.
 

Crunchy Leaf

cronch
kiwifarms.net
I loathe the book the Art of Racing in the Rain, which puts me at odds with friends and family whose opinions on books I usually respect.

The main character is a cringy Mary Sue. He makes thousands of dollars by doing something (who the hell knows what) on the internet, but, to take care of his family, he drops that and gets a (presumably low wage) job at an auto parts store.

The dog point of view is so badly written. Stein would have done well to read the Call of the Wild to see how an actually good writer does it.

The child custody plotline (with bonus false rape allegation) felt like a Lifetime original movie.

And don’t even get me started on the reincarnation at the end.
I've never even heard of this book, but I can't imagine reincarnation in a non-fantasy novel ever being done well.
 

queue-anon

kiwifarms.net
I've never even heard of this book, but I can't imagine reincarnation in a non-fantasy novel ever being done well.
I slogged through the book because I was reading it for a book club, and I was already fed up with it by the end, but the reincarnation part is where I don't get how/why people love the book.

The dog dies and is reincarnated as an Italian boy who loves race cars (the main character in the book is also an amateur race car driver) and has the same name as the dog. The main character and his daughter meet the boy, and their interaction tries to carry a lot of emotional weight which just winds up being super cringy.
 

Crunchy Leaf

cronch
kiwifarms.net
I slogged through the book because I was reading it for a book club, and I was already fed up with it by the end, but the reincarnation part is where I don't get how/why people love the book.

The dog dies and is reincarnated as an Italian boy who loves race cars (the main character in the book is also an amateur race car driver) and has the same name as the dog. The main character and his daughter meet the boy, and their interaction tries to carry a lot of emotional weight which just winds up being super cringy.
Bunnicula is the only good book where the narrator is a dog. That's all.
 
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eternal dog mongler

kiwifarms.net
Thomas Hardy is almost unreadable. Tess d'Urbervilles was horrible, and Return of the Native was only marginally better.
Jude the Obscure is almost literally Tess of the Urbervilles. Same characterization and everything. Hardy is way overrated.

Since people are complaining about him, Shakespeare is good, but teachers somehow zeroed in on Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet while ignoring The Taming of the Shrew and his other, more interesting plays.

And also people should read the KJV for cultural literacy if nothing else if you're going to read classics.

e: also haruki murakami sucks
 

Oscar Wildean

OK Corral
kiwifarms.net
Catcher In The Rye is boring and the main character is an annoying twat. The funny thing about trashing Catcher In The Rye is an encounter I had with a person who loved it.
I said the book wasn't great and that Holden was an annoying twat and this person went on about how the book was their favorite and basically was some awakening for their teen years.
Cool story, but the story is boring and Holden's not an interesting character. The other defense I got from this person was that Holden was having a nervous breakdown, as if that's a reason why I couldn't dislike the book.
 
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