All Women's Talk

8 Classic Novels It's Not Worth Reading ...

By Alison

Being a keen bookworm, I’ll read almost anything. Over time, though, I’ve come to realise that there are some books that just aren’t worth reading, many of them being so-called classic novels. Eventually I disposed of many that had been sitting on my shelf for years. The following novels are among those I consider not worthy of their reputation as classics …

1 Ulysses

UlyssesPhoto Credit: Bibi

This is one of the weirdest books I’ve ever come across. It has a very strange structure and style, and if you can make sense of it you’ve done better than I did!

2 Anything by Charles Dickens

Anything by Charles DickensPhoto Credit: habkb

In Dickens’ time, writers were paid by the word. And boy, does it show in his novels. On and on he waffles … another 1,000 words, kerching …

3 Wuthering Heights

Wuthering HeightsPhoto Credit: andrew_byrne

Heathcliff! Cathy! Oh for the love of God, will you two just stop faffing about and get on with it? Maybe if they had, it wouldn’t have made much of a drama, but at least we’d have been spared a boring book.

4 War and Peace

War and PeacePhoto Credit: Jill Clardy

Is there anyone alive who has actually worked their way through this mammoth tome? And do they feel guilty about the vast forests that died to print each copy?

5 Shakespeare

ShakespearePhoto Credit: AntyDiluvian

Okay, so he didn’t write novels, but Shakespeare is so overrated. Yet his tedious plays continue to be performed, filmed and televised. It’s about time the whole industry was put to sleep, and some of his (better) contemporaries given a chance instead.

6 Waverley

WaverleyPhoto Credit: cjanebuy

I was forced to study this utterly tedious Walter Scott novel at university, and 10 years later still haven’t woken up properly. It is the literary equivalent of the poisoned needle in ‘Sleeping Beauty’.

7 Lord of the Rings

Lord of the RingsPhoto Credit: Aqua Libra

At the risk of alienating Tolkien fans, I have to say that I found the first book so incredibly dull that I couldn’t get past the first four or five chapters. This is one case where I much preferred the films to their source material.

8 Absalom, Absalom!

Absalom, Absalom!Photo Credit: Mareen Fischinger

I had never heard of William Faulkner before being forced to read this book, during the same course where I had to read Waverley. I can only conclude that the reading list was part of some twisted psychological experiment by the university’s Psychology department. It was that awful.

I’m sure that there will be people who have loved these books. If we all read the same things, it would not only be boring, but there would be huge waiting lists at the library. Do you agree though that some classic novels are overrated? Have you ever abandoned one because you weren’t enjoying it?

Top Photo Credit: David Hopkins Photography

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