Fantastic. I don’t feel so alone.
I’d like to add some of the tortures I was put through in school. These stories are not suitable for literature classes…especially pre-teen and teenaged clasess. I have other ideas.
The Pearl – John Steinbeck
This story makes you want to kill yourself. I read this in school when I was TWELVE. Why give something this horrible and depressing to children? If you want us depressed and miserable, questioning the meaning of life and our place in the world give us Interview With The Vampire. The writing is as good, if not better, and at least the boys are pretty in that one.
The Red Badge of Courage – Stephen Crane
I still can’t figure out the deal here. I think perhaps that The War of Northern Aggression was still so close, a mere 30 years prior to the book’s release, that it was given more attention because it covered a long overlooked subject. Half of a generation of young men wiped out. Maybe because I was in secondary school a mere 10 years after the Vietnam Conflict ended, the immediacy of Mr. Crane’s narrative was not as effective. Growing up with photos of burned, naked children, summary executions and protesters being shot in our own country, the terror and dispair felt by Henry, the book’s protagonist, seem tame in comparison. I think a better option would be Catch-22 by Joseph Heller. World War 2 was just distant enough, the story just funny and snarky enough, that it would have sat longer in our consciousness, allowing our subconsciousness to soak up the nicely camoflaged deeper threads that make it so meaningful.
A Separate Peace – John Knowles
No one in high school needs to be reminded of their feelings of inadequacy, the search for identity – sexual and otherwise- their dreams of triumphant revenge, or their unrequited love, thank you. These issues were covered so much better by The Catcher in the Rye, which was banned by our district in the 1970’s. Holden Caulfield is much easier to identify with than Gene, and he didn’t have to sabotage anyone’s happiness, health, and, eventually, life, to come out the other side. Everyone can see themselves as Holden, or Phoebe, even Ackley…who can see themselves in Gene or Phineas? Does anyone even remember Gene and Phineas?
These are my opinions. I never claimed to be a lover of great literature, just a lover of literature that, upon reading, I think makes me great.
Read THIS – Not THAT
(A List of Well Loved Books that I LOATHE
and the Alternatives)
This might be the most controversial blog posting I’ve done so far because I’m going to tell you what books I DON’T LIKE. In fact I HATE these books (ok hate is a strong word, I only hate a few of them, the others are a strong dislike).
Disclaimer: These are my own personal preferences. I’m not saying it has to be yours. You can like what you want and I won’t like you any less. In fact if we all like the same thing the book shelves out there would be pretty boring after a while.
Unfortunately most of these books, the very ones that make me cringe, are beloved by millions of readers across the planet. But that does not mean that I have to like them.
But don’t judge me…
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