1.Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
In his time,Dickens was a sort of genius,but I find his stories very predictable.The main character is often a poor child who goes through much hardship and is unlucky enough to come across a stereotypical villain on his way.Afterwards he will meet a benefactor who will change his life forever.The fairy tale-like writing – no wonder it’s called Dickensian – is all what I hate in books,except of course if they pertain to children literature.After reading a lot of great modern classics,I’m not sure if I’ll read Great Expectations.
2.The Fault in Our Stars – John Green
When I joined WordPress last year,I saw many people going crazy about this book.Obviously I wanted to read it as well.But shortly after my friend told me that it is over-hyped and pleases mostly fan girls.I realised he was right when I witnessed even more people lavishing praise on the it.But the nail hit the coffin when I saw on Facebook an old female acquaintance of mine putting the book as her profile cover and saying how much she loved it.Given that I knew her pretty well,I recalled how she struggled to finish the first chapter of The Great Gatsby,one of my favourites.Worse still,another girl ,who used to boast about how she has never read any book in her life,commented and said that she adored the movie and will soon read the book.It dawned on me then that it’s a particular kind of readers who MOSTLY rate The Fault in Our Stars 5 stars on goodreads.I’m not sure if it’s worth a read.
3.Ulysses – James Joyce
I often saw this ”masterpiece” on the myriad of articles about the best books of all time.On one of them though I saw somebody call James Joyce a ”drunk Dostoevsky”.It somehow hit a chord in me,as it made me think that maybe people were rating James Joyce’s book highly simply because he introduced a never-seen-before writing style,one of such complexity that they will not be able to judge whether it is good or bad.I am thus not looking forward to reading this novel….at least for the next 5 or 6 years.
4.The Prince – Niccolo Machiavelli
When I found this book in Folio edition on the second-hand market,I immediately jumped on it.It looks very good on the shelf and is well worth the 10 pounds sterling I splurged on it,but I think I won’t be reading it any time soon.It does not have a plot per se,and the language is very archaic.
5.The Hunchback of Notre Dame – Victor Hugo
”Le Bossu de Notre Dame” ,as it is called in French,used to be my favourite Disney movie.I fear that after watching the movie more than three times,I might not enjoy the book as I should.Besides Hugo’s novel is huge and while leafing the book I noticed how he likes spending time describing Paris.I’m not sure I am ready yet for this book.I’m not even sure if I will ever read it.
6.Thus Spoke Zarathustra – Friedrich Nietzsche
Written by the great Nietzsche and his own favourite work,Thus Spoke Zarathustra is a book I used to look forward to reading.However I noticed that it is written in verse and that the language can be very arcane.I think I will read it one day as Soren Kierkegaard’s Fear and Trembling,Sartre’s Existentialism and Humanism and Camus’s Myth of Sisyphus are on my wish list.But for the time being I will skip this novel.
7.Around the World in Eighty Days – Jules Verne
There is no denying that Jules Verne is a great author,but I suspect that I might not really like the book.It was written in 1973 – a period which does not especially appeal to me – and I wonder if Phileas Fogg’s adventure will still be as exciting when read in the 21st century.I’m very sceptical.
8.Atlas Shrugged – Ayn Rand
This book is a classic,but I’ve seldom seen reviews of it on wordpress,and when I did,they were far from being favourable.Ayn Rand seemed to me to be a very queer lady with an equally bizarre philosophy,and I’m not sure if I really want to read her book.
9.Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn
I saw many people writing about it on their blog and thought I should add it to my wish-list.But a friend told me it’s not that great and the language is simply horrible.He is sure I will not like it.I think instead of Gone Girl,I will go for another YA book which was much read in 2013/14: Goldfinch.
10.Anything by Anthony Trollope
I really don’t like the Victorian era – even if I will give Austen’s books a chance – so I really don’t feel enticed by Trollope’s books.I was further deterred from reading them when I saw the old guys discuss Trollope on a forum I usually comment on.It’s as if his books embody everything I despise in Victorian literature; heavy archaic language,and bland and predictable plot.
These are my thoughts on the books I’m sceptical about.I might be too judgemental and thus totally wrong.So your thoughts on any of these books are the most welcome! 🙂