What, in your opinion, is the best book that you haven’t liked? Mind you, I don’t mean your most-hated book–oh, no. I mean the most accomplished, skilled, well-written, impressive book that you just simply didn’t like.
Like, for movies–I can acknowledge that Citizen Kane is a tour de force and is all sorts of wonderful, cinematically speaking,
but . . . I just don’t like it. I find it impressive and quite an accomplishment, but it’s not my cup of tea.
So . . . what book (or books) is your Citizen Kane?
Hands down it is The Sun Also Rises. I can’ even begin to tell you how much I loathed the characters. They were just so silly and a shallow and grating that I really thought I would go insane. I finished reading it through the sheer force of will. Hemmingway’s spare and straightforward writing made them that much more annoying. It was like reading a Dick and Jane book from Hell. I have had several conversations with people on how he wrote them that way on purpose and you weren’t supposed to like the people and all the symbolism. Believe me, I get it. I just hated the book and haven’t read any Hemmingway since, outside the odd short story. Those haven’t moved me either.
Also didn’t care for Catch-22 and Lolita. But I don’t feel as much vitriol for them as I do for The Sun Also Rises. Does that mean The Sun is a better book?