It is a truth universally acknowledged that Jan loves to read classics. I started off my reading by reading classics. Most of the books in my bookshelf are classics. That being said, there are quite a few of these books that I stopped reading halfway through. Also note that all these are entirely my own thoughts about the books – if you enjoyed them, then that’s great!
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
2013 me: ooh look a new book! *reads first page* *falls asleep*
2016 me: slaves away through the first chapter *snore*
2017 me: reads on to the point here Pip meets Miss Havisham *why am I doing this to myself*
Long story short, this book was so incredibly boring. The only exciting thing that happens is the incident in the graveyard where Pip is threatened by that thief. Then he gets a whole fortune of money, moves in to a big house, falls in love with Estella faster than I can say the title of the book. There was a whole mystery going on about who actually gave Pip the fortune but I wasn’t interested. I tried reading an abridged edition, thinking it would be more palatable but nope, even that was boring.
Will I try reading this again? Given how many years I tried, and failed, to read this book, it’s safe to say I won’t be trying this again.
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
I SEE YOUR PAINED GLANCES.
The problem was that when I got into this book I already knew the whole story, every bit of it. The writing of the book failed to draw me in, and I had to stop reading because I just couldn’t keep going. I was disappointed because I liked reading Eight Cousins by the same author.
Will I give this a try again? Not right now. But in the future – when I have more time on my hands, and when I’m in a free mood, perhaps I might.
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
There’s a limit to the number of goddams I can handle in a sentence and The Catcher in the Rye exceeded it. And no (as I constantly have to remind my younger sister) it’s not ‘edgy’ to whine about the problems of the world all the time. Holden Caulfield got on my nerves too much, and I found the writing style hard to read.
Will I read it again? I’m surprising myself here, but yes. I DNF’ed it a little too early, and I’m glad I did, but I’d also like to give this another try.
Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift
Technically I did finish reading this one. But I was so bored most of the time I was just skimming through the text. For one, I hated the main character, Gulliver. There are basically no other significant characters. Correct me if I’m wrong, but this book if about 330 pages long and there’s not one quotation mark, but huge blocks of paragraphs. The first few chapters were at least fun to read. These are a few things that I did learn while reading this:
- Two Liliputian towns go to war because they disagreed about what side of an egg is more important
- Gulliver pees on a Lilliputian town to put out a massive fire (eek)
- Gulliver is shipwrecked to a place where people live in weird houses
- Gulliver decides humans are bad and spends the rest of his life ignoring his family and talking to horses
I feel bad for this dude’s wife. This is a satirical dystopian so it is entirely possible I missed the point of the story, but I’m not sure if I even want to find that out.
Will I give this another chance? No!
Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carol
This sounded exactly like the type of weird fantasy story I’d love, except I didn’t. I was very confused and lukewarm about this one. Also, like Little Women, I knew everything that happens in the story beforehand. I generally don’t mind spoilers, especially spoilers in classics, but I can see how it ruins the reader’s experience.
Will I give this another try? Actually, I would. I really want to try reading this again.
Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
Most classics are low key racist but here it was in your face. I bet in those days shipwrecks = saving natives from cannibals and ‘civilizing’ people by teaching them English and making them their slaves (oops I forgot loyal servant) I’m not sure at what point I put this book down. Plus it was also boring and the passages are hard to digest.
Will I read it again? Nope. I’ve got better stuff to read than this.
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupéry
There’s a character named The Rat, and there’s a revolution of some kind? That’s all I remember about this book. To be honest I wasn’t in the mood to read this when I did. But the story itself seems whimsical (that boy on the cover is standing on a meteor, right?) and I want to give it a second try.
Will I try this book again? It is highly possible.