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Book dislikes

(150 Posts)
Eloethan Thu 08-Feb-18 16:25:42

Are there are any highly commended/popular books/writers that you just can't get on with?

I'm not keen on John Grisham, although I very much enjoyed his book A Painted House, which was inspired by his childhood.

I just couldn't get into Captain Corelli's Mandolin, hated The Slap, found Wuthering Heights a thoroughly miserable read and am not keen on Jane Austen (though I appreciate she had a great way with words and a very amusing turn of phrase).

GrandmaMoira Thu 08-Feb-18 16:30:02

I also found Captain Corelli's Mandolin very boring. I think Stephen King has great storylines but don't like his writing style and can't read his books, the same with Dan Brown.

M0nica Thu 08-Feb-18 16:31:54

Martin Amis defeats me, as does Margaret Attwood, I only dare admit that because we have pseudonyms on GN. If I dare admit it to any one I know I get howled down and told off for letting down the sisterhood.

MaizieD Thu 08-Feb-18 16:33:38

I've never been able to face Hilary Mantel because she writes in what I term 'the present historic', which I cannot bear. I'm told that I'll get used to it and enjoy her books, but although I've had the first one on my bedside table for months I haven't even looked inside it...

I too, cannot bear Wuthering Heights. Had a go at Henry James years ago but, apart from The Aspern Papers and The Turn of the Screw I thought he was just boring.

Everyone was reading Catch 22 when I was a teenager; tried it, it got boring, too...

Jane Austen is wonderful...

(Are we in the right forum here, Eloethan?)

wildswan16 Thu 08-Feb-18 16:34:25

Tolkein - never managed to get through any of his books, and I have tried watching the films and couldn't get interested in them either.

M0nica Thu 08-Feb-18 16:38:15

Another one who can't stand Wuthering Heights and I agree about Henry James, like the two Maizie mentions, but I have had a copy of 'The Golden Bowl' on my bookshelf for decades waiting to be read.

GrandmaMoira Thu 08-Feb-18 16:41:20

Now I've been reminded, Catch 22 made no sense and I was unable to read it. Ben Elton's books were the same. I love Hilary Mantel and Margaret Atwoo and do like Wuthering Heights.

MaizieD Thu 08-Feb-18 16:48:28

Iris Murdoch, anybody?

Florence64 Thu 08-Feb-18 16:49:49

Harry Potter leaves me cold. About 20 years ago when it first came out a teacher recommended it to me to read to my son, but neither of us was very keen and I don't like the films either - I just can't see the attraction. I also couldn't stand Watership Down, I found it really hard going and surprisingly boring. I like Stephen King, especially as he often has women as his main characters and I must admit Wuthering Heights is one of those books I will read over and over. I can't really get into Dickens, although I have tried and I must admit I've never attempted Tolkein.

Christinefrance Thu 08-Feb-18 16:51:37

I can't get on with Mantel or Attwood either. Grisham churns out potboilers and don't get me started on Salman Rushdie. There are many authors I do like so don't waste time struggling with books I don't enjoy.

Eloethan Thu 08-Feb-18 16:53:49

Oops! No we're not on the right forum MazieD. Thanks for alerting me

MaizieD Thu 08-Feb-18 16:57:19

Love it, though, Eloethan, I'd probably not have visited the 'right' forum grin

Eloethan Thu 08-Feb-18 17:07:11

My son always liked the Harry Potter books. I tried one but couldn't understand why they are so popular - especially with adults. I suppose I'm not really into that kind of fantasy/magic realism-type fiction, although I like some of the famous science fiction books - Brave New World, The Stepford Wives to name two I can think of.

I was absorbed by 1984 and The Handmaid's Tale but found both profoundly depressing and wouldn't read them again.

SueDonim Thu 08-Feb-18 17:20:17

I don't get on with the Harry Potter books. I've tried reading them but they shriek 'Children's book, children book!' to me.

I've read a couple of his but I don't like David Mitchell (Cloud Atlas).

I'm not a crime/thriller fan, I never get the clues and end up totally confused.

Scribbles Thu 08-Feb-18 17:31:16

I loathe Dickens - too many words! I can't be doing with Hilary Mantel or Dorothy L Sayers and, although I generally enjoy a modern murder mystery, Ruth Rendell is very heavy going for me.

Tegan2 Thu 08-Feb-18 17:41:02

I love Captain Corelli's Mandolin, Dickens and Tolkien. But I read them when I was much younger and don't think I would enjoy the latter two now. I do actually struggle to read much these days which I find sad as, in my youth I read all the time. I am making a point of reading each night when I go to bed, even if it's only for a short while. I devoured Kathleen Dayus's books about growing up in Edwardian Birmingham recently and I'm ploughing my way through the many racing books I've bought over the years and not read. I can always read Bill Bryson, although I do have to have a break from them now and again. I couldn't get into Cloud Atlas [the book or the film]. I'd like to re read a few Thomas Hardy books.

Eloethan Thu 08-Feb-18 17:58:30

My son bought me Ghostwritten, David Mitchell's first book. I couldn't get into it at all and haven't tried any of his others - but my son really likes his books.

Bill Bryson is so intelligent, good with words and such a hoot. I love his books.

Smithy Thu 08-Feb-18 18:08:41

Eloethan - I couldn't get into Captain Corelli's Mandolin. I love the film but have tried 3 times and given up on reading the book. I think that's the only one.

Tegan2 Thu 08-Feb-18 18:10:40

I did read it sitting on a beach in Crete [that does help!]. I couldn't wait to get up each morning to read more of it.

Jalima1108 Thu 08-Feb-18 18:16:28

I've never been able to face Hilary Mantel because she writes in what I term 'the present historic', which I cannot bear.
Me neither MaizieD, and it wasn't for lack of trying.

I dislike the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon, yes, I know many people rave about them but I ploughed through the first one then just gave up part way through the one set in America.

I do like Bill Bryson books but found the Walk in the Woods a bit boring compared to his others, which can make me laugh out loud.

This reminds me that I read The Hobbit years ago when I was very young, loved it, then started to read the Lord of the Rings Trilogy but only got half way through the middle one.

I have a very old copy of Green Dolphin Country by Elizabeth Goudge just above me on the bookshelf and keep wondering whether to read or throw?

Eloethan Thu 08-Feb-18 19:01:26

I haven't read any of Hilary Mantel's historical books but several years ago I read Eight Months on Ghazzah Street, written, I think, after she and her husband had lived in Saudi Arabia for a period of time. It was very good - an air of underlying menace throughout.

Bathsheba Thu 08-Feb-18 19:33:37

I can't get on with Hilary Mantel either though I tried, believe me I tried. I loved Captain Corelli's Mandolin, but then I tried another of his, Birds Without Wings, and just couldn't get past the first 2 or 3 chapters.
I have struggled with Isabel Allende in the past, but I've recently bought The Japanese Lover and I'm really going to try and stay the course with this one smile.
Absolutely love Tolkien! I read The Hobbit to my DC as a serialised bedtime story when they were about 7 and 8 and they've never forgotten it, they said it was just so magical. I then read the LOTR trilogy myself, considering it a bit too difficult for them at that age. I keep promising myself I will re-read it, but have so many unread books at home and on my Kindle that I haven't got around to it yet!

Oldwoman70 Thu 08-Feb-18 19:41:58

Another one here who has never understood the popularity of Harry Potter with adults. I have a 40 year old niece who has all the books, all the films, even decorated her house with HP merchandise!

M0nica Thu 08-Feb-18 20:31:40

I dislike historical novels, full stop. They are all written through modern eyes with modern attitudes, no matter how hard the authors try and write otherwise. I do not blame them. How can anyone write about the 16th century, for example, and not be unaware of all that has happened since, all that has been written about the period and its people since, especially leading members of society, nor to think like a person living now with our expectations and unconscious biases.

If I am reading about the past in novel form, it must have been written by someone living at the time.

MaizieD Thu 08-Feb-18 21:11:23

Thomas Hardy wrote some 'historical' novels, MOnica, but I don't suppose people would recognise them as such now because all his novels are about 'the old days'...

I used to love Elizabeth Goudge, The Little White Horse was one of my favourite childhood books, but I re-read some recently and found them a bit sickly.