Saturday, January 22, 2011

Literary Blog Hop

This week's theme at the Literary Blog Hop is:

Discuss a work of literary merit that you hated when you were made to read it in school or university. Why did you dislike it?

Believe it or not, this is a touch question. Why? Because I enjoyed most of the books I was assigned. There's a reason they're classics...they're great stories. I think the answer is going to have to be Moby Dick. I was assigned this in HS sophomore English honors. I think the main reason I disliked the book was that the sadistic teacher assigned this AND The Scarlet Letter in the same 6 week period. Moby Dick is just too long of a book to be crammed into that time frame for a HS student IMO, when he/she is studying six other subjects. Specifically, in the book, what I remember is:

1. I liked the beginning.
2. I liked the end.
3. I disliked all the exposition in the middle.

If that seems like a very sparse review, it is because it has been well over 20 years since I read the book. Moby Dick is on a long list of books I hope to re-read some day.

What book were you forced to read, and disliked? Have you since re-read the book? Has your opinion changed?


  1. I considered writing about Moby Dick for this topic, except I've never actually read the whole thing. I've read excerpts here and there which were enough to keep me away from the other 5000 pages.

  2. mine was 1984, but I don't dislike the book at all, quite like it, not a favourite, but ok, the reason was the way it was taught.

  3. What an overwhelming book this must be for a high school student! I haven't even been brave enough to tackle it in the 25 years since graduation.

  4. Moby Dick is a book to be approached a little later in life, I think. Was your teacher trying to speed through the curriculum? Kinda crazy!

  5. Argh! The Scarlet Letter! Your mention of it made me shiver. The worse is that I forced myself to read it! It took me over a year...

  6. I read it LONG time ago. I think I will go back!

    Here is my Literary Blog Hop: Disliked Book post!

  7. I'm determined to avoid Moby Dick. I posted about The Old Man and the Sea, which I haven't yet reread. I feel the need to do so at some point, just to make sure I wasn't missing anything amazing, but don't really know when that will be.

  8. Old Man and the Sea is one of my favorite books.

    Biblio, the teacher was one of those whose reputation proceeded her. I actually ended up liking her more than her reputation would lead me to believe...but she lived up to it with the Moby Dick/ Scarlet Letter assignment. I wouldn't have had a problem with Moby Dick (I don't think) if I weren't forced to speed through it. Though the middle of the book is really tough going.

  9. Oh, and to add on to the Old Man and the Sea comment. I wasn't assigned it in school...I read it in one sitting about 5 years ago for my own enjoyment.