Chances are, you were assigned a book in school that was so bad, your reaction to it was probably something like this:
Being that I'm incredibly nosy about people's book tastes, I recently asked the BuzzFeed Community to share a book they had to read in school that they absolutely hated.
And let me tell you, it seems like nothing bonds people more than reminiscing on the classics that made them cringe. From Moby Dick to To Kill A Mockingbird, here are 22 of the worst books people had to read in school:
1."The Catcher in the Rye is the absolute worst book ever written. Holden Caulfield sucks at the beginning and never gets better. The whole thing is just stupid."
2."The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck was a nightmare. It was one of the slowest, drabbest books I have ever read. It did not help that I had already developed a hatred of Steinbeck from his other classics, The Red Pony and Of Mice and Men, which still to this day, I could not tell you the true meaning and underlying story of."
3."Les Misérables. I am [a] French student and reading 20 pages about Paris’s sewer system is NOT a pleasure. Teachers always stopped at random details where nobody even gave a f**k."
4."We read The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand for AP English. 700+ pages of bullshit."
5."Heart of Darkness. The longest f**king 90 pages of my life."
6."In IB English, we had to read The Stranger by Albert Camus. Every time I heard someone mention that book, I wanted to yell. It was so BORING. I barely got through it. Camus’s style of writing was just page after page of boring drivel that lent itself to a boring story. I can usually immerse myself into a book within 50 pages or so, but that book had me falling asleep every time I tried to pick it up."
7."Fahrenheit 451. I have no idea why. I've always loved reading, so you’d think I’d appreciate a story of rebellious readers, but I hated everything about it. I can barely read news articles about book bans because they remind me of the hatred I had in my heart [from] having to read that book."
8."Moby Dick, hands down. If you are an old-time whaler that's into a book full of technical terms and detail of the profession, you might hold out for a while. But if you can get past the rambling, melodramatic writing style and everything else, then you are a machine and I salute you. I probably forgot the moment I gave up on it (about halfway)."
9."I know that a lot of people love it, but I hated The Great Gatsby so much! I read it my junior year of high school. I didn't mind most of the novels that we read for class, but this one [was] just so badly written. I remember even reading a couple of chapters for homework one night and coming to class the next day thinking I was ready, only to learn that one of the characters had actually died in the chapter that we were supposed to have read. I had no idea, and I read the chapter myself! It just was written in such a droll way that I had totally missed it."
10."I am CONVINCED that critics laud William Faulkner and teachers are told to teach it because no one truly understands it, and that means it must be complex and worthy. As I Lay Dying is probably the worst book I have ever read. I love English, love literature, love it all, but that book is insufferable nonsense. I have been on this soapbox for 20 years."
11."I couldn't stand To Kill a Mockingbird. Scout is 100% the least interesting character in that book and I hated hearing everything from her stupid little folksy point of view."
12."Mine was middle school, so it’s been like 24 years, but my hatred of Hatchet is so well known that I’ve had friends cut me off when I mention it. I can’t tell you how much I hated that book, like, on an irrational level. Honestly, even as someone who’s always been a voracious reader, I found most required reading in school, especially high school, to be awful."
13."The Old Man and the Sea is just awful. It's nearly 200 pages of the most boring fishing trip you could imagine, punctuated with the death of the protagonist. Nothing else happens."
14."Tess of the d'Urbervilles is so mind numbing! Three pages to describe a table cloth? No."
15."Things Fall Apart. I couldn’t tell you what it was about now, because I never managed to figure that out even as I was reading it. Boring, convoluted, and depressing."
16."Wuthering Heights. Couldn't make it past the first few pages because trying to read in 1800s English diction was too much to bear. It was like reading a completely different language."
17."I had to read Lolita in college and absolutely hated it. It’s essentially a story about an adult man grooming a young girl. Absolutely horrific detail that you can picture as you’re reading it. Never again."
18."Anything written by Charles Dickens: A Tale of Two Cities, Great Expectations, David Copperfield. I had to read all of them and the man would take five pages to describe a door knob. What a f...ing hack!"
19."I love the movie, but I absolutely hated Pride and Prejudice. It was hard to even follow what was going on with the story while sludging through all the absolutely unnecessary details and descriptions of settings. I think I'm just not a Jane Austen fan."
20."The Poisonwood Bible. It’s about a family of white Southern Baptist missionaries that go to the Congo. One of the daughters dies from a snake bite, village children get eaten by crocodiles, one gets eaten by a lion, the father is chased to a watch tower and burned alive, and I feel like someone gets eaten by fire ants or something. Not what I wanted to read over summer break for AP English!"
21."East of Eden had zero plot. It had no purpose or meaning. It’s basically if someone said 'What if we retold the story of Cain and Abel, but dragged it out for 700 unnecessary pages?'"
22.And finally, "I had to read Madame Bovary twice in college and I hated it each time. Emma is one of the most selfish characters I've ever read and she infuriates me every time I think about it. As an English major, I can appreciate the novel for its literary significance, but I would be happy to burn every copy I come across. Not even Mia Wasikowska in the movie could redeem Emma's character for me."
Do you agree with any of these? If any other books you read in school and absolutely hated come to mind, share them in the comments!
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