Sunday, February 15, 2009

10 Most Overrated Novels

How many times have you read a book review and can't wait to read the book. But, when you finally get it, the book just isn't as good as the reviewer said it was?

It's happened to me, and I'm sure it has happened to you.

As I get older, I think it happens a little less, but occasionally, I'm caught up in the media's manufactured book frenzy. The most recent one that comes to mind was The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen. It was reviewed as the great American novel and even won a prize, The National Book Award. But for the life of me, I couldn't figure out why everyone enjoyed it...I finally concluded it must be a New York City thing.

Well, on Thursday, I came across a list of The 10 Most Overrated Novels:
  1. Lord of the Rings trilogy (Read it in high school and loved it.)
  2. Passage to India (I love E.M. Forster)
  3. White Noise and Underworld (Tried both of these, and couldn't read them)
  4. Atlas Shrugged (Tried this and found it dull.)
  5. One Hundred Years of Solitude (Tried this, and couldn't make my way through it.)
  6. The DaVinci Code (Read it, thought it was a real page turner, but I don't think anyone thinks it's great fiction...so why is it on this list?)
  7. The Confederacy of Dunces (Tried this too, and couldn't make my way through it.)
  8. The Great Gatsby (Read it in high school and loved it.)
  9. Wuthering Heights (Read it in high school and loved it.)
  10. Emma (Like it, but doesn't match Pride and Prejudice by a long shot)
What do YOU think? The list certainly is a conversation starter....And, let me know if you liked The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen!

3 comments:

Nathan said...

Haven't read Franzen, but I loved Atlas Shrugged. I'm concerned by the parallels we're seeing in America today.

Anonymous said...

Couldn't help but copy the list, and add my thoughts

1. Lord of the Rings trilogy (Read it, loved it.)
2. Passage to India (never have read)
3. White Noise and Underworld (never heard of them)
4. Atlas Shrugged (Enjoyed it many years ago)
5. One Hundred Years of Solitude (not read)
6. The DaVinci Code (Read it, enjoyed it...on the list for controversy)
7. The Confederacy of Dunces (never heard of it)
8. The Great Gatsby (Read it, loved it.)
9. Wuthering Heights (Read it, loved it.)
10. Emma (good read)

And The Corrections: Confusing, boring, what was the BIG deal?

I would add Cold Mountain...way too wordy for me. I got lost in his wanderings, and really did not care if he made it home or not! This is on the bottom of my list for all the books my group has read.

Douglas said...

The one that immediately comes to mind is Tree of Smoke. Meh.

I still have fond memories of reading The Great Gatsby and Atlas Shrugged, although the message I took from the latter - have passion for your work even when all around you could care less - seems to be a bit different from the mainstream understanding.