It is rare for me to say that I hate a book. 99% of the time, even if I’m not enjoying what I’m reading, I will find something I can take away from the experience. It might be that the sentences were well written, or that the book prompted me to do my own research into a topic that I found interesting, whatever. I’m not a book snob and don’t even mind reading the airport paperbacks written by Dan Brown.
But there are three books I’ve read throughout my life that I wasn’t able to find anything of value in at all, and unfortunately a couple of them are classics and I just don’t understand what I’m missing. Hate is such a strong word though. I know how hard it is to sit and write and then get something published, and in these cases, for the books to be a success. So I don’t want to say I hate them, but I thoroughly dislike them. There, that’s a bit more PC.
The books I thoroughly dislike are:
The Vampire Armand by Anne Rice
This is the first and only book of Anne Rice’s I’ve ever attempted, and I was really looking forward to reading it because I loved the film Interview with a Vampire. Unfortunately, I discovered that I hated her style of writing. Lengthy descriptions of someone’s flowing hair and boring dialogue are all that have stayed in my memory. I remember absolutely nothing about the plot.
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
To date, the only book I haven’t finished (although I still intend to give it another try one day). I really don’t get it. I’d be kind of enjoying the parts about Anna and Vronsky and then I’d have to read pages and pages about farming practices and agriculture. Why?! I recently saw an episode of First Tuesday Book Club in which they discussed this novel and all on the panel loved it. I can honestly say I just don’t get it, and completely missed all the themes they spoke about.
Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Actually, I think it is safe to say, for this book, that I hated it. The main character is a horrible, despicable man. I have enjoyed books before where I didn’t like the main character because they have something real about them still (e.g. Angus Themopyle in Stephen Donaldson’s Gap series), something you can pity or empathise with. But I just wanted to throw this book across the room a lot of the time. I really don’t think the author knows how to write for or about women and confuses sex with love. We don’t simply fall in love with rapists or paedophiles… I’d better stop there before I go on a giant rant. Woeful.
I realise a lot of people will probably disagree with me about the last two, and that’s ok. You’re just wrong, that’s all 😉