Writer Confession #1

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I’m not all that “well read”, despite having a degree in English.

I have never liked Steinbeck, Hemmingway, Faulkner, Joyce, or Conrad.

The very fact that I don’t need to give their full names is an indicator that I probably should have read all their work, but I’ve read just enough of each one to make me cringe away. (Seriously…who assigns The Red Pony to HS students? It’s 80 pages of a horse dying slowly and painfully.)

But for what it’s worth, I’ve also never read Goodnight Moon. Never read any of the Nancy Drew or Hardy Boys books. Never finished Charlotte’s Web.

I have, however, read every last Dr. Suess book. All the Black Stallion series, along with all the Silver Chief, Dog of the North books. Lots of Jack London and Alistair MacLean. Sherlock Holmes is a must. I love/hate/respect Dickens. I loved The Cricket in Times Square series.

OK, what are the classics you haven’t read? Or have read enough of to make you put it down? Or suffered through but never want to open again?

#SFWAPro

7 thoughts on “Writer Confession #1

  1. I’ve suffered through with many of the same emotions towards Faulkner, Hemmingway, Joyce and *ugh* Conrad. I was so mad that I made it through the Heart of Darkness, only to find out that Apolocolypse now was the same danged story. I love Frankenstein, Eli Weisel, and Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man. Kurt Vonnegut is also a favorite of mine, though I haven’t read him in a while.

  2. My philosophy is: There are too many book out there to read one you don’t like. If a book bogs me down I set it aside, whether it is a classic or not.

    The one book I regret not finishing was Don Quixote de la Mancha. I got about a third of the way through it and just couldn’t keep reading. It still sits on my bookshelf with the bookmark stuck in it. It started out so good and then drug on so long that I just couldn’t keep reading.

  3. I finally gritted my teeth and gave away my hard copy of Wuthering Heights. Tried numerous times to read it and each time I still couldn’t stand it. To me it’s just, as my Mrs. put it, horrible people doing horrible things to each other.

    Not exactly classics, but I also just decided to give away my complete set of John Jakes’ Kent familky Chronicles series after another failed attempt to read and like them. You would think these would be my perfect books, since they’re exactly what I like to write–epic multigenerational historical sagas. But I could just never get through it no matter how often and hard I tried.

    • I’ve never read the Kent Family Chronicles, so I can’t comment on those…but Wuthering Heights? Ugh. I never liked that one!

      • It’s just that for many years I couldn’t bring myself to give away “classics” – whether I liked them or not – unless I was replacing it with a better copy. It seemed like literary blasphemy. Especially if I’ve had the copy for awhile, and I’d had this one since ’96 or so. For me this was a quantum leap!

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