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Classic Novels You Just Didn't Get

By Dustin Rowles | Comment Diversions | July 13, 2009 |

By Dustin Rowles | Comment Diversions | July 13, 2009 |

Tonight’s evening diversion, which comes from a regular Eloquent, Tracer Bullet, was inspired by the reaction (overreaction?) to the Cannonball Read review of Catch 22 last Friday. Carrie wasn’t a fan of the classic novel, and while some of our readers agreed with her assessment, many others took her dislike personally, for some reason. Never mind that not all classic novels are for everyone; I loved Catch 22 and Catcher in the Rye, but I try not to fly off the handle when others don’t find the same enjoyment in them. I don’t like Anthony Burgess’ A Clockwork Orange, for instance. Loved the movie, but hell if I could get into the novel. LIkewise: Loved 1984; didn’t care for A Brave New World.

To each their own.

Anyway, this idea was also a subject of a post over at our old friend John Williams’ book review site last week — they looked at some critically acclaimed books and “unrecommended” them (great piece — check it out). For Tracer Bullet, it was one I agree with completely: A Confederacy of Dunces, which he thought “was okay, but it didn’t strike me as any towering work of genius that drove its author to suicide. Ignatious J. Riley was funny at first, then he became Comic Book Guy and the whole thing went sideways.

So, let’s put the question to you all: What classic or critically acclaimed novel did you not get?

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Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.