The Top Ten Great Books I Can’t Stand

by sjbgilmour

Now before I begin, let me just say these really are all great books.  They’ve been heralded as such by readers and critics across the globe — many for decades.  I just didn’t like them.  My opinion of them doesn’t mean they do not deserve good ratings.  They do deserve high marks.  If I was to give them a rating on Amazon right now, they’d all get 4 & 5 stars.  They’re brilliant, brilliant books.  I just didn’t like them.

So why am I doing this?  Why mention them at all?  Well it all started when I got a bad review for Golden Mane.  Now I’m a big boy.  I can cope.  Sure I was a little saddened at first, but pretty quickly I got to recognising the reviewer had every right to dislike my book as I have to dislike any other.  So, after a brief chat in a Facebook group I belong to, where I and a few fellow writers rant about whatever’s bruised our fragile egos, I decided to scribble down this list.  I’m certainly not the first to write such a list and no doubt I won’t be the last.  But this is my list of The Top Ten Great Books I Can’t Stand.

  1.  Moby Dick (I’ve never been able to finish that thing!)
  2.  Great Expectations (Jesus! Didn’t Dickens EVER know when to finish a sentence?)
  3. The Secret Garden (Yawn)
  4. The Life Of Pi ( I made it through about 30 pages.)
  5. Frankenstein ( I know, Mary Shelly should be my heroine and all, but bloody hell, she’s worse than Dickens)
  6. The entire The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant (Sooo depressing and even sloooooower)
  7. War And Peace (I tried. I really did, but shit it’s as hard to wade through as Moby Dick, only heavier)
  8. A Day In The Life Of Ivan Denisovich (One day, huh? Should be told in about five pages, not five hundred)
  9. The Wind In The Willows. (No explanation for that one. Just didn’t like it)
  10. Watership Down. (Should be called How To Reduce A Happy Child To Tears in 300 Pages)

Okay that’s it.  Now remember, these opinions are not reviews.  They’re not ratings.  They shouldn’t discourage you from reading them.  If anything, you should feel encouraged, challenged even, to pick them up , read them and then obliged to vent at me for daring to not like these wonderful literary masterpieces.  Perhaps maybe you can come up with your own list of awful wonderful books.  If any of mine happen to be on it, I promise not to cry — too much 🙂