05 January 2010

Most overrated novels

Macavity and I have been having this little, rather heated discussion about this delightful little list of the top 10 most overrated novels. I happen to agree with the list, in fact, I think the guys who made this list were geniuses. However, Macavity sees a list of her favorite books there so she's now grumpy and disagreeable.

There are some that I haven't read so I can't comment on those - White Noise & Underworld, Confederacy of Dunces, and The Great Gatsby.

I never finished even book one of The Lord of the Ring, forget the entire trilogy. The fact that I didn't even finish the first book says enough I guess. Passage to India is just plain boring, I remember being extremely disappointed when I read it because you always heard about how good a book it was. Atlas Shrugged, I hated. The Da Vinci Code while I felt was not a bad book, I could never understand the hype. I'm a little biased on Wuthering Heights (which I adored) and Emma (neutral) because the authors are among my favorites. But I can see how these books can bore someone shitless as I've seen them do.

One Hundred Years of Solitude. What can I say about this book? I used to date this guy and things were going great but then all of a sudden, the relationship soured mysteriously. On hindsight, I now know what caused it to go bad. I gave him this book. I gave him One Hundred Years of Solitude, and it was bad enough to turn all things bad between us :D

We've been checking out other lists on the same topic. The Catcher in the Rye and the Pilgrim's Progress seems to be getting lots of votes as well. I might agree again, Catcher in the Rye while good I feel is nowhere close to being epic. Pilgrim's Progress, maybe because I never read it in English but read only the translated Mizo version. Or maybe because we studied it in school and I only ever read it as I would read a lesson, not as a book to be enjoyed.

I can think of several others I'd like to add to the list - The Fountainheads, slightly cheesy Erich Segal's Love Story - among others. Not bad books but whose extreme popularity always perplexed me.

Different folks, different strokes and all that so all good but one piece of advice, never give a bad book to a loved one :D

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

check out http://www.goodreads.com/.

pretty good book recommendations there. plus plenty of more specific genre booklists and even quotes.

jerusha said...

That's a nice site, anonymous. I'll be spending a lot of time on there I think :)

virgochhas said...

i love Love Story...have read it many times...and always end up crying :D

also one of my fav - The Kite Runner

jerusha said...

Virgo - It was not bad but a little too sappy for me :) I didn't cry and believe me, I AM a crier.

Now the Kite Runner made me weep endless tears, and A thousand Splendid Suns is fantastic too..

blackestred said...

Haven't read much fiction lately, last time I picked one up was when I completed 3 Dan Browns in a week when Da Vinci Code was popular.
IMHO, The Inscrutable Americans may be one of the most overrated "Comedy" novels, mostly because it is as verbally unrealistic as the Sikh guy from "Mind your language"!

aduhi said...

I must admit I haven't read most of the books in this list. I couldn't complete Love in the Time of Cholera so didn't even attempt One Hundred Years of Solitude, Atlas Shrugged too, although The Fountainhead wasn't too bad. Wuthering Heights I like, haven't read Emma though.

It took me a year to finish the LOTR Trilogy but I liked it, liked the adventure. I love the Catcher in the Rye, it's still one of my favourites, along with Love Story. I guess I like reading books with tragic endings.

Have you read any Anne Tyler? She's wonderful. She writes about ordinary people and their ordinary lives but the way she tells a story is simply amazing.

Alejendro said...

I must say 'A Million Little Pieces' by James Frey is one of the must read novel. Though I'm only on the 86th page I love every bit of it. It's amazing how James fight to overcome his addiction.

Jerusha said...

Black - I think that's the thing, there are too many books that are okay and pretty enjoyable and someone told someone else that it's a good book and in no time at all is blown out of proportion. Which is what happened to inscrutable americans I think..

Aduh - Never read Anne Taylor but I'll remember to pick her up on my next trip to the bookstore, that sounds like my kind of thing.

Jerusha said...

I liked that book but it near drove me crazy it was sooo depressing. It also cemented my conviction that I never ever want to try drugs :) If that's what getting over an addiction involves, I can say if I was an addict I would die an addict.

Alejendro said...

Yes, that's exactly the thing you need to get you over if you want to be free from Addiction. There's a struggle but there's a hope as well. Hope for the days to come when the body will no longer needs Drug to survive.

Keichala said...

Blame it on my Catholic upbringing, am kind of glad that Dan Brown's on the list....lol

jerusha said...

Alejandro - I guess getting over crack/speed/LSD is a bit different from getting over Proxyvon huh? :P

Keichala - Well I thought the book outraged the Catholics :) But no publicity is bad publicity they say...

Alejendro said...

LOL @ Jerusha: Hahahha maybe... I think gettin' over Dendrite is a bit different from all the lists.. :-P

mesjay said...

Haven't read several from the list, but i have to say Lord of the Rings is simply fantastic, (it's even better if you first read The Hobbit), Wuthering Heights just wonderful. Da Vinci Code is just a crappy mystery--the hype is, i think, only because of the shock value. Would love to re-read Catcher in the Rye one of these days. Emma is interesting.

Tetea said...

"...never give a bad book to a loved one."

I'll remember that one. :-)

Good post by the way, though I've only read a couple of those you mentioned.

jerusha said...

Alejandro - hehe and also correcting fluid addiction, Pudin hara etc..slipper chikhat enge a hming khah..bitter ami khah, kha pawh kha an ruih thin kha :PP

MEs - I guess I'll have to give LOTR another try then. Everybody's hot about this one..

Tete - lehkhabu ngaihnawm loh lutuk in pek chuan romance pawh tawk uih vek thei alawm, fimkhur a ngai ania :P

Alejendro said...

I hriat danah hian i Addicted ve thrin duh hmel. Bitter hi i uar hmel top :-P

jerusha said...

hahaha Bitter chu bun pawh ka bun thra ve hman hleinem, ruih chu sawi loh. Bitter slipper a ka experience exciting ve ber chu ka bitter hmasa ber tui kan chen ruk na lui ah tui in a la a, ni eng emawzah hnu ah ka chhar leh a, a lo chik nuaih. Sangha in a lo rui aniang ka ti mai :P

Alejendro said...

Keini chu in vawm chhuah nan kan hmang thrin :-D

thinchhia said...

invawmchhuah nan hahaha sikret bawm thleh phek..ee lungtileng..Kungfushoe..