r/books Nov 29 '22

What's a book that you LOVED but you totally understand why someone wouldn't like it?

We all have those books that we recommend to every soul who will listen, but what are some books that were 10/10 for you but might not be everyone's cup of tea and/or have major flaws that you're willing to overlook because of what that book meant for you?

Some for me:

  • Anxious People by Fredrik Backman. Not much really "happens" in this book other than painting the story of their characters and hearing about their development and relationships. I could totally see someone just not finding the characters likable enough to want to invest in their story.
  • The Harry Potter series. I feel like if you didn't grow up with at least some HP related memories it's really hard to get into them as an adult. I've had people complain about the writing style of that it "just felt like a children's book" which is fair if you're expecting some profound life-changing epic. That's not what it's supposed to be, but I understand how people's perception of the books are very warped by the impact they had culturally and are disappointed when they start with Sorceror's Stone which is SUCH a whimsical book.
  • Dark Places and Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn. Gone Girl is her biggest hit for a reason because it teeters on the edge of a standard, dark mystery, but also dips its toes in the "woahhh that is so fucked up" realm. Dark Places and Sharp Objects definitely go a bit overboard in how almost creepy they are, but I enjoyed the plot of them and thought they were well done. But I also understand that someone might just be so turned off by some of the subject matter they'd be unable to get past that.
4.1k Upvotes

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u/grynch43 Nov 29 '22

Wuthering Heights-it’s my favorite novel of all time but I understand when people don’t like it. I think a lot of readers jump into it expecting a frilly, Victorian romance novel when in fact it’s a dark and sinister study on obsession and revenge.

Sound and the Fury-great book but it’s very difficult to follow along with the plot.

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u/Freddlar Nov 29 '22

I first read Wuthering Heights as a teenager growing up in the south of England and I was not really able to hear the accent or visualise the setting, but loved it anyway.

Years later I read it again, having had the experience of living in Yorkshire, knowing the accents, the feeling of walking on the fells in the winter. It was like a whole new book.

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u/SteamboatMcGee Nov 29 '22

Agree on both counts. Wuthering Heights was SO good. 'Haunt me then! The murdered do haunt their murderers' such a powerful scene. I think the frame story throws some people, though to a small extent it's supposed to.

Faulkner is one of my all time favorites but yeah the first part of The Sound and the Fury is almost gibberish. I would absolutely never recommend that book to someone as a starting point to an already hard author.

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u/[deleted] Nov 29 '22

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u/NoMilkNoSugarCoffee Nov 30 '22

I have no problem with people not liking Wuthering Heights, but a lot of criticism I read just boils down to X character was an asshole and unlikeable therefore the book is terrible. I mean, that's the point.

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u/cedarvan Nov 29 '22

A Canticle for Leibowitz. I utterly loved this book and convinced a few friends to read it. While one friend liked it as much as I did, everyone else gave it a "meh" and stopped taking book recommendations from me.

I think the problem is that it's a story about civilization and technology, not about a particular main character. That's just not everyone's cuppa joe.

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u/TreyVerVert Nov 29 '22

Really a fantastic little book, elevated scope that makes it much larger than it "should" be. It does make most apocalyptic fiction seem silly though.

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u/boxer_dogs_dance Nov 29 '22

I also love this book, but I am well versed in religious history, so the way the story plays out speaks to me.

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u/hiveface Nov 29 '22

every Haruki Murakami book.

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u/halcyon_an_on Nov 29 '22

I just can't put my finger on Murakami and whether or not I actually enjoy him. None of his books that I've read, and I haven't read all of them, but I have read The Rat Quadrilogy and Kafka on the Shore - but none of them really stand out as special to me when I think back on them. That being said, I know that I enjoyed the process of reading them, so it really seems like its the journey and not the destination with him...its just strange.

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u/Thekinkiestpenguin Nov 30 '22

I read Kafka on the Shore (mostly) in one night when I was 20 and just starting to dig into my English degree. It's still one of my top ten books of all time, but I dunno if it would hit the same if I read it for the first time now. That introspectove coming of age story (particularly the 2nd person shift) really hit me hard, especially reading it at 3 in the morning with no sleep. I then read A Wild Sheep Chase, after a BAD break up a few years later and it was not the sort of nihilism I needed then, but in retrospect I like that one too. My favorite though is Sputnik Sweetheart, I will recommend that to everyone! But I couldn't get into 1Q84 and I have a few others of his I haven't read. He remonds me a lot of Kwabata who wrote Snow Country and that's equally, picturesq and bleak as Wild Sheep Chase, and I highly recommend to anyone who likes a bit of heart break and beauty

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u/hiveface Nov 29 '22

his books have a strange feeling of nostalgia somehow for me. even when I would read one I hadn’t yet. I love the wind up bird chronicle, the small living experiences one has just does something for me as it unwinds into such an absurd story. I don’t think any of his books are amazing but it’s like watching Amelie or a Wes Anderson film for me. it’s just comforting somehow.

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u/Intrepid_Bluebird206 Nov 30 '22

I really liked Wind-up Bird Chronicle. I found it to be one of his trippier stories that I thoroughly enjoyed. Those WW2 parts were intense. Kafla on the Shore was enjoyable.

1Q84...I didn't like it at all. I mean there were good parts but they're overshadowed by all the weird moments and sex parts. Those parts made me uncomfortable. I also didn't really care for Norwegian Wood.

I'd like to check out Sputnik Sweetheart though.

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u/AlanMercer Nov 29 '22

Perfume by Patrick Süskind. This was a bestselling book decades ago and it's great, but it's really dark, which is not for everyone. And it's nihilist in the true sense of that word, which is also not for everyone. And it is literally blasphemous, which is also also not for everyone.

It's also hard to talk about because it brings out posers in droves. If you recommend it, you look like the trenchcoat mafia for sure.

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u/Pornthrowaway78 Nov 29 '22

It is so well written and the main character is almost sympathetic, but it's also revolting and makes your skin crawl a bit.

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u/PlantQueen1912 Nov 29 '22

Oooo I love this one but my mom couldn't get through it. The movie is good too

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u/sofingclever Nov 29 '22

Isn't this the book scentless apprentice by Nirvana references?

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u/0_0moon0_0 Nov 29 '22

Middlesex by Eugenides. I loved it and couldn’t wait to finish it but it’s not for everyone.

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u/mom_with_an_attitude Nov 29 '22

Okay, I'm about to blow your mind. Have you ever read the article Eugenides wrote about writing that book? It's wild.

https://brickmag.com/the-omens/

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u/PainterOfTheHorizon Nov 29 '22

This was fascinating! Thank you!

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u/GoatsesWeddingRing Nov 30 '22

He did a book reading at my local community College in the early 2000s. Super cool dude. Honorable mention for the Virgin Suicides which is up there with Middlesex.

Also if you like Euginedes check out stuff from Daniel Handler. (Secret: he is also limony snicket but writes adult books) Watch Your Mouth was my fav.

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u/thatchaponabike Reading John Williams' Stoner — it's great! Nov 29 '22

Vanity Fair. It's one of my top three favourite novels, but — dark! So terribly dark, which isn't what the premise would lead you to expect. I wonder if people pick it up expecting some sort of hilarious Napoleonic romp, and to some extent they get that... but into the bargain they get a view of human nature that's utterly bleak.

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u/Acejedi_k6 Nov 29 '22

American Gods by Neil Gaiman. In the 10th (I think) anniversary addition Gaiman himself says in a new authors note/foreword that that book is weird and a book is nothing more than “a long piece of prose with something wrong with it”. I can completely see why someone would not care for that book, but for me it plays with a lot of ideas related to history, mythology, and immigration I find interesting. If you don’t find those themes interesting, you probably won’t like that book.

Related to that, I love the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy and Discworld, but both are comedic series and comedy is subjective. Therefore, if the comedy of either series doesn’t work for you, you won’t like either series.

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u/Unlucky_Telephone963 Nov 30 '22

American Gods is probably in my top 5 fiction books but I've always thought that many of its flaws come from the fact that, in my opinion, the book is trying to be an extremely condensed exploration of the same artistic and thematic ground that Gaiman explored already in the much longer Sandman run. Like Dream, Shadow drifts through the lives of many people (and gods), getting to know them and their fears, and like Dream, he's often pretty passive. In that sense, the structure of American Gods is really clever. That feeling of drifting in and out of places and people on a long journey is remarkably similar to the feelings conjured up by road trips and the books chronicling them (also old mythical epics, like the Odyssey or the Prose Edda), so the travelogue structure's what Gaiman adopts, but in a story about an ongoing war between gods, the slow, meandering story can be off-putting. And obviously Shadow's character arc being heavily back-loaded on purpose is thematically important and an interesting subversion, but it also makes him a pretty bland, slightly unpredictable protagonist. In Sandman, Dream is often passive or absent, but the first couple volumes focus on him and his character growth and establish his arc much more clearly, so he's not as hard to follow.

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u/KimchiMaker Nov 30 '22

While some comedy is subjective, anyone who doesn’t like Hitchiker’s is not a cool frood.

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u/aesir23 Nov 29 '22

Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell is probably my favorite book, but mock-Victorian prose, slow-paced storytelling, and tons of footnotes might not be to everyone's taste.

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u/cedarvan Nov 29 '22

I loved this book. The characters were all so lovably hateable

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u/TheTroubledTurtle Nov 29 '22

It took me two tries to get through it.

I loved it. But man, those footnotes are brutal. I have a lot of opinions about using footnotes in fiction (I accidentally read this and Ruin of Kings back to back, which also has footnotes).

Yes, it adds to the world building and can help set your tone, but it also interrupts the flow of the narrative.

I tried just ignoring them, but my brain refused to let me NOT read them in case I was missing out.

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u/aesir23 Nov 29 '22 edited Nov 29 '22

My approach to reading footnotes in fiction is to let it take me out of the narrative, a little.

The experience isn't so much "immersed in the world of the characters" as "immersed in a world where this book is a factual historical document."

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u/TheTroubledTurtle Nov 29 '22

100%

And that didn't come naturally to me. But by the time I tried reading it a second time, it came more easily. Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell was also written in a way that made the footnotes work (once I FINALLY managed to fall into that reading mode).

The footnote style in Ruin of Kings is more commentary, which also fits the style. But again, you have to do a similar thing where you separate yourself from the story a bit and read it as a retelling of events, not as an ongoing immersion into the narrative where you are experiencing the events with the characters.

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u/spartankelli Nov 29 '22

I picked this up when I was maybe 12, and I've reread it at least 75 times since then, including a few audiobook listens. There were months when I was a teen I would read it at least once a week. It's always just been that book that feels like home to me.

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u/thisistestingme Nov 29 '22

Piranesi is the same. I loved, loved, loved it, but I also understand the beginning, especially, is very slow and dream-like.

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u/Freddlar Nov 29 '22

I thought piranesi was more solemn and beautiful-much less fun. I found the ending harder because the emotions are more subtle. It's a more 'grown up' book, to me.

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u/V3rg30f1ns6n17y Nov 29 '22

Choke by chuck pahlunuik. Or really anything by him. His writing really forces you to remember that you can hate characters and still like a book. It also tends to be very in your face.

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u/Azelais Nov 30 '22

I like his "writing voice", but I could never get into any of his actual writing. I'm not squeamish and gore doesn't bother me, but it just feels too... shock value-y? Like splatterpunk-lite?

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u/acatmaylook Nov 29 '22

When I read The Magicians it was like Lev Grossman had reached into my brain and written exactly the book I wanted to read. But I do know a number of people who didn't like it, or more specifically didn't like the main character. It's still a special book for me so I just avoid discussing it with those people!

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u/Selacha Nov 29 '22

I think you either need to be the correct age, or be in the correct mindset, to like this book. I'm thankful that I was, and the trilogy is one of my favorite takes on/parodies of the fantasy genre. Quentin is, in my opinion, a very genuine depiction of an antisocial, nerdy teen who suddenly gains access to magic. Any other fantasy book who gives powers to the lonely kid and suddenly depicts them as a selfless hero immediately is just being stupid. Anybody in that situation will immediately use their new power to be selfish and stupid. Beyond that, like I said, the book is kind of a parody or critique of the typical C.S. Lewis-esque YA story and I love it.

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u/sdwoodchuck Nov 29 '22

When I recommend it to friends, I describe it as “Hot-Topic Generation Alcoholic Magicians,” and that’s usually a pretty good qualifier for how much they’ll enjoy it.

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u/CrossplayQuentin Nov 29 '22

God, I love these books. The series came out as I was more or less the same ages Quentin is, and his arc really spoke to me.

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u/Greessey Nov 29 '22

Anything by Haruki Murakami

I like Murakami's writing but I can see why it's unappealing to some. Just due to it's weird dream like style. Beyond that, it can be pretty difficult to get beyond the way he writes women and the way they act in his stories. I can easily see why people don't like that. Especially in Norwegian Wood.

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u/-digitalin- Nov 29 '22

I had never read any Haruki Murakami and then read 1Q84. I kept trying to describe it to my husband and how it was so weird and slow, and he's like "...but you're still reading it?" I guess it was strangely compelling and intriguing in it's own way and I couldn't put it down, but also ... why?

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u/Beetin Nov 29 '22

The best part is when someone asks you months later to give them a basic synopsis, and you literally can't because it is also like trying to remember a dream.

I read the first book and the best description I can do from memory is "some woman assassin thinks she is in a different world, and she is, or maybe isn't, and I think she bangs a bunch of older men because Haruki loves that shit, and there is a cult and some kid with a book that is also maybe real but maybe not, and there are a bunch of titties and then everyone dies or maybe the detective finds out something or is killed, anyways they escape the two moon reality but not really? I feel like there were a bunch of cats in it as well but that might have been a different story. Anyways I liked it a lot, I think"

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u/-digitalin- Nov 29 '22

OMG perfect description. "Also there was this weird cult that involved sex with underaged girls, but not really, because of... alien gnomes? And there's immaculate conception and also the ghost of someone's dad trying to collect money. I think."

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u/potatosmiles15 Nov 29 '22

Ugh I love murakami's writing style and magical realism but every time he writes about breasts I want to close the damn book

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u/Greessey Nov 29 '22

Have you read anything by Gabriel Garcia Marquez? If not, you definitely should.

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u/potatosmiles15 Nov 29 '22

I have not but I'll definitely check him out. Any specific pieces I should read?

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u/Greessey Nov 29 '22

I would consider One Hundred Years of Solitude to be a masterpiece. It has my favorite opening line of any book.

"Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendia was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice."

It's one of the best, if not the best, magical realism books out there.

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u/tlcd Nov 29 '22

I read that book only once, many many years ago. I don't remember much of the story and characters. I just vaguely recall some parts which were weird or a bit over the top. What I will never forget about it, is the feeling of emptiness and loneliness it left me with after I turned the last page.

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u/grynch43 Nov 29 '22

I enjoy his short stories. I finally read Wind-Up Bird Chronicle and it’s definitely the strangest book I read this year. I’m still not sure if I liked it or not.🤷🏻‍♂️

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u/KBK226 Nov 29 '22

Absolutely same. I like Murakami but I totally get why others do not.

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u/PunkandCannonballer Nov 29 '22

The last book I tried of Murakami before giving up on him for good was 1Q84. The scene where the protagonist will mjss the perfect breasts of her dead friends was the final nail in the "the way he writes women is too bad for me to enjoy any aspect of his work" coffin.

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u/Munch_munch_munch Nov 29 '22

Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson. The opening chapter is told in a distinct voice that is difficult for some to get through.

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u/itwillmakesenselater Nov 29 '22

A lot of Neal Stephenson, to be honest.

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u/waxphan Nov 29 '22

Right? I feel like Snow Crash is the most palatable of Stephenson’s. I’m re-reading Anathem, I don’t think anyone else in my life would sit through this book even once.

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u/ImmoralityPet Nov 29 '22

Stephenson's books create connections between people at a distance, because your local friends are certainly not going to put up with it. The looks you get when you recommend The Baroque Cycle are enough to make you never recommend a book again.

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u/mckeanna Nov 29 '22

I feel like this should be a book I love. Cyberpunk, dystopian with a mystery and I. just. can't.

I've started it too many times to mention and the furthest I've gotten is like 1/4 of the way in before I just get bored and put it away.

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u/AnotherDrZoidberg Nov 29 '22

I enjoy a lot of Neil Stephenson books. But he's certainly a challenging read. When his stuff clicks for you it's amazing but I don't blame people who don't click with it.

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u/Erik_Light Nov 29 '22

Dune, it’s hailed as a sci-fi classic, but the universe is so alien that it’s almost fantastical in nature, but that’s what drew me into it in the first place. There’s no adventure to go on, it’s a dark universe of prophecy, religious extremism, and societal/political-figurehead manipulation. I’m surprised that more people didn’t drop it.

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u/[deleted] Nov 29 '22

I ate those books up so quick (1-6) after my fathers friend told me about them years ago. He told me about how when they were first released how amazing they were and that I had to try. I’m so glad that he did. One of my most favorite book series ever.

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u/Skabonious Nov 29 '22

I loved dune and its sequels but I also find some aspects of Frank Herbert's writing frustrating.

The biggest is the way which he describes an extremely interesting plot point, technology, etc which is never alluded to or talked about again. Sometimes it's good for speculation and leaving it to the imagination, other times it's frustrating to not know if certain plots will ever be explained.

Examples: Hasimir Fenring and his capabilities, the offscreen death of Rabban, what happens to the sister Ghanima after children of dune, who is this weird fanatical memory that Leto mentions as the end of COD never to be brought up again, or what's the significance of Ghanina's husband being foreshadowed as a really important character in Leto's life, or what's with the living water reacting with a pre-spice mass being able to destroy all spice and why is that never brought up again? Etc.

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u/Darko33 Nov 29 '22

Catch-22 for sure. I loved it, thought it was brilliantly witty and insightful, but I definitely understand how others may have been put off by the style of humor.

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u/saikatotsuka_ Nov 29 '22

It's my favourite book, I have never been so amused while reading a book. Probably the only time I laughed out loud while reading. The absurdist humour just clicked with me. The only ones that come close for me are The Hitchhikers Guide books (at least the first couple).

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u/lefroyd Nov 29 '22

Catch-22 is one of my favorites partly because I read it when I was working in such a dystopian bureaucracy I felt like I was slowly going insane. I empathized with Yossarian deep in my bones. It didn’t feel absurd. More like a normal Tuesday, turned up to 11 and in a war zone.

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u/ChAOsAppLeSaUce Nov 29 '22

I just read that one for the first time a few months ago. My fave read of 2022 so far by a long shot. So good.

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u/lowkeyluce Nov 29 '22 Silver

I just commented this in another thread but for me it's probably House of Leaves - I loved it but totally understand why others wouldn't. You have to be willing to accept that the structure of the book is as important or more important than the story itself.

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u/Pope_Khajiit Nov 29 '22 I'll Drink to That

Mate... It's taken me a year to read 1/3 of that fucking book.

It sits on my nightstand, mocking me. I pick it up to read and groan when Zampano starts waxing on with pseudo intelectual nonsense. And then Johnny will go into excruciating detail about his drug fueled adventures which are both entertaining and draining.

It's brilliant. Fascinating. Conversation sparking. But fuck me. It never ends.

I can't start another book until I finish HoL. Until then, it will torment me every night.

The House just took a victim and the minotaur has been introduced. How much more convincing does Navidson need to gtfo of there!

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u/cthulhujr Nov 29 '22

Think of the book as a labyrinth itself. It's Johnny talking about Zampano's manuscript which is talking about a film of a story. All the footnotes and tangents are twists and turns in the maze, including dead ends.

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u/Aeshaetter Nov 29 '22

This is my favorite book. I always reccomend it, but also accept that 1 out of 20 people will finish it, let alone like it. As the dedication says, "This is not for you. "

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u/iNeedScissorsSixty7 Nov 29 '22

That was a book that I bought because so many people here wrote about it. It's probably in my pile of most hated books, ever. Kudos to enjoying it, I tried (I finished the whole thing too, but the Johnny stuff just ughhhh).

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u/ParagonSaber Nov 29 '22 Helpful

The Silmarillion. I adore the history-bookishness of it and the 'archaic' quality it embodies, but completely understand why that's not appealing to others.

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u/Caradhras_the_Cruel Nov 29 '22 edited Dec 01 '22

I had been dreading reading it ever since I was a kid, hearing the regurgitated warnings everyone gives you about it (like the bible, a history book, family trees, etc). I decided during pandemic it was the perfect time to bite the bullet and slog through this apparently awful book, in an effort to become a more complete Tolkien fan.

It blew me away. I found it exciting, profound, enchanting. Seeing words I had no frame of reference for, then flipping to the back to learn their meanings felt like uncovering and deciphering an ancient mythic text written deep in the mists of time, which is kinda the book's conceit - it added such a level of gravitas to everything. Reading LotR afterwards was such an enthralling experience, seeing all the references to ages past that I had glossed over all my life. 10/10, admittedly not for everyone.

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u/mountainvalkyrie Nov 29 '22

The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick, and really anything by Philip K. Dick. It's weird and hilarious, but I totally understand it might not be everyone's style of weird.

Pnin by Vladimir Nabokov, and again, almost anything else by Nabokov. I love his writing style, but it some people find it "too fancy." He's also not very into plot, which I don't mind, but that annoys some people.

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u/vibraltu Nov 29 '22

PKD himself admitted that he had a lot of difficulty figuring out the plot of 'The Man in High Castle' and that he didn't succeed in resolving it perfectly. He tried using I Ching coins to structure the plot line but it didn't quite work out.

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u/alterego879 Nov 29 '22

Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino. Also, If on a Winters Night a Traveler by Calvino.

Two of my favorites, but not novels in the traditional sense.

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u/zestyrigatoni Nov 29 '22

Reading Invisible Cities right now. I can’t say I fully understand it but it’s written beautifully.

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u/ktkatq Nov 29 '22

When Marco Polo explains to Khan that, through travel, a traveler recognizes what could have been possible futures if he’d stayed in one place… “much that he has, but more that he will never have…” So beautiful.

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u/michaelisnotginger Nov 29 '22

I love J G Ballard's Crash. It's one of the books that opened my eyes into what literature could achieve and the questions it could ask to help understand the world, not least media reaction to the death of Princess Diana.

It deals however, with people who are sexually attracted with causing car crashes, especially if those crashes are associated with a celebrity death, and work to achieve orgasms at the point of crash. And there are very many descriptions of genitalia, bodily juices, and mangled car crashes, usually in the same paragraph. To the extent that I felt dirty reading it on public transport. So if that's not your cup of tea, I do understand.

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u/drcomradecynical Nov 29 '22

All quiet on the Western Front, a dark tale about WWI and the loss of innocence. A must read for any anti -war activist, but not a light or cheery read.

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u/AnybodySeeMyKeys Nov 29 '22

Any of Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey/Maturin series. The best historical novels ever written. Yet I could see how someone would find the naval terminology and long prose to be a little intimidating at first. You have to do the patient work of understanding the lingo in the first fifty pages or so. But once you do, they are incredibly rewarding books--a twenty-volume highwire act that perfectly captures the age.

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u/elfmaiden687 Nov 29 '22

The drunk sloth will forever be my favorite scene in the series, if not my favorite scene of any book I’ve read. I also love the “bromance” between Aubrey and Maturin. It’s such a deep and healthy friendship (despite its rocky beginnings!) and it never fails to lift my mood

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u/AnybodySeeMyKeys Nov 29 '22

Jack! You've debauched my sloth!

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u/TuniBoo Nov 29 '22

Foundation Trilogy by Isaac Asimov. I read it in 1978 and couldn't put it down; but tried reading it to my spouse last year and it DID NOT go as expected.......

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u/UntossableSaladTV Nov 29 '22

I could understand this. I read the first book of the series recently but just couldn’t continue it after that. I don’t think it was bad, I just think one was enough for me.

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u/TuniBoo Nov 29 '22

It's clearly 1960s technology when he wrote it and I know that's "yuck" now for sci-fi. I read them in the 1970s and so it was current at the time. So nowadays a reader would have to basically read between the lines and imagine things for it to seem fun.

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u/10ebbor10 Nov 29 '22

I actually like the retro-sci fi (and am annoyed he tried to update itin the later written prequels and sequels).

A book which is confident in it's own ideas can be good even when those ideas become a bit obsolete. It's only when it starts making excuses/tries to shove it's own history under the carpet that it goes bad.

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u/BarcodeNinja A Confederacy of Dunces Nov 29 '22

It's about as dry as it gets. But still good.

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u/TuniBoo Nov 29 '22

But it makes you wonder if there's Type IV and Type V civilizations out there, no? Honestly I struggled my whole childhood with religion and my place in this universe until I heard of the Kardashev Scale and read Asimov's Foundation and Robot series. So for me it changed my life.

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u/FlyingPasta Nov 29 '22

Another series that provides a potentially new "universe perspective" is The Three Body Problem by Cixin Liu. Very good SciFi, the scale sneaks up on you, then drowns you.

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u/christinedepizza Nov 29 '22

The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco. I can understand if the long theological sections and constant dropping of Latin would annoy some people, but I adored it.

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u/throwawaffleaway Nov 29 '22

I let myself skip over the main theological debate and then realized that it was essential to the ending 🤦🏼‍♀️ oops

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u/SnaleKing Nov 29 '22

Oh hey my grandma recommended this to me. She knows I'm a nerd for latin and theology, so I did greatly enjoy it, but yeah definitely not for everyone.

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u/dragonfliet Nov 29 '22

DOUBLY so for Foucault's Pendulum, which I think is an even better book, but even more painful for people who aren't versed/interested in the minutia.

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u/acute_elbows Nov 29 '22

Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace. It’s long and difficult to follow until you get toward the end. His writing style is unique and fantastic, but I doubt everyone would like it. The book is a serious time commitment that only some would find worth it.

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u/pumpqumpatch Nov 29 '22

Infinite Jest will always have a special place in my heart. It was the first book to get me into reading after high school. I can’t explain what compelled me to tackle it but I had such a good time being swallowed by this peculiar world of slapstick espionage, extensive drug-induced rants, and the drama of teenage tennis players. There’s just something enrapturing about the book, and getting jerked around by the endnotes the whole time adds to the whole experience. That being said, I would never recommend it to anyone lol.

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u/JustPruIt89 Nov 29 '22

I've read it twice because it is so good and funny, but yeah you have to REALLY want to read it

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u/weaverofbrokenthread Nov 29 '22 Silver

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern. I get it, it's a bunch of stories that sometimes seem kind of unrelated, it's stuffed with symbols and metaphors that are inconsistant across the different plotlines and it only kind of has main characters. It's my favorite book, I love the aesthetics and the language and I actually like the fairytale-collection style. It's more a world to fall into than a single story. But yeah, I can see how it's not for everyone.

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u/KibethTheWalker Nov 29 '22

Came here to say this. It's a love note to storytelling and imagination. It's about the vibe and the journey over a satisfying conclusion. I adooooore it, but also get that not everyone can deal with it. I am less interested in traditional structure and am now interested in a unique experience and really loved where she took me.

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u/alohadave Nov 29 '22

I love the hell out this book. It hit all the right notes for me.

I can't explain why, but it felt like I was coming home while reading it. Not a physical place, but a spiritual place that was welcoming me.

That said, I understand why it wouldn't appeal to everyone.

Her other book, The Night Circus was similar. I enjoyed that, but it wasn't as good for me.

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u/EclecticDreck Nov 29 '22

Still Life With Woodpecker by Tom Robbins.

The book is awash in oddities. For example, there are more than a hundred chapters in a novel that is only a few hundred pages long which means the average chapter is all of two pages long. It is a book that takes a very long time to seem as if it is going somewhere, and, despite that, it will regularly take extended side trips to do things such as consider the mating habits of twinkies. Within the first few pages you have a miscarriage. One of the leads is quite literally a terrorist. At its weirdness, the book supposes that pyramids have real magic and that one can, in a crisis, retreat into the oasis depicted on a pack of camel cigarettes. And throughout the author regularly breaks in to talk about how he went about writing it on a typewriter before finishing the last few lines in longhand.

None of this is particularly strange for Tom Robbins. He regularly self-inserts. Some of his ideas are...difficult to swallow. Having a Japanese character named "The Chink" in Even Cowgirls Get the Blues is an example. It is done fully knowing that is racist, and is done in defiance of that same racism, but it is plenty jarring nonetheless. That same book was considered enormously egalitarian and quite queer friendly for the age, but given that it seemingly concludes that what lesbians really need is a proper dicking, I'm quite sure it'll be far less palatable to a modern queer audience. In fact that same book has a character literally named Tom Robbins, just in case you weren't sure whether he was a self-insert. All of his books have that same quality where you can't really tell where its going until you're nearly at the end, and they all take side trips for the simple joy of a strange meandering into something entirely esoteric.

It is absolutely a love it or hate it book written by an author I'd say the same about.

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u/porkchopsmallcat 20 Nov 29 '22

Wheel of Time. as a character focused reader who was heavily invested in the MCs by book 7 i was down to just hang out with the characters for several thousand pages without significant plot advancement. but my oh my i will never recommend that series to anyone. it asks too much of the reader and although the payoff is arguably very much worth it, there are so many fantastic books out there to read and so little time. it also doesn't help that there are a few moments that haven't exactly aged well (don't even get me started) but despite it's flaws i adore the series and the characters. and at it's peak it's the best fantasy I've ever read. but weathering the lows is a big ask for most people.

overall 11/10, never read these books. except do. except it wasn't me who recommended them. except i did.

but seriously, dont.

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u/Any_Interest_In_Bots Nov 29 '22

Yep, that's exactly how I feel about them. I wish everyone I knew would read them, but would never suggest they actually do so.

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u/porkchopsmallcat 20 Nov 29 '22

yeah you put it much more succinctly. i wish everyone HAD read them, but I wouldn't recommend going through the process of actually reading them.

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u/No_Poet_7244 Nov 29 '22

People will either read WoT or they won’t, I certainly won’t recommend it to people. The Wheel weaves as the Wheel wills, after all.

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u/ineffableswiftie Nov 29 '22 edited Nov 29 '22

I think I will

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u/porkchopsmallcat 20 Nov 29 '22

don't say I didn't warn you, this is NOT on me!

“The fact that the price must be paid is proof it is worth paying.” -Eye of the World

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u/Ripper1337 Nov 29 '22

Oh yup, tried wheel of time got to the end of book four and decided I didn't want to spend another 10 books with these characters. I figured I've already got a long tbr without adding another million words.

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u/porkchopsmallcat 20 Nov 29 '22

you made the right call, and also still got a lot of the best moments in the series. if you don't love the characters by that point you bailed at the perfect time.

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u/TheNerdChaplain Nov 29 '22

Yeah, Wheel of Time caught me at like, 14 fresh off Lord of the Rings and not having a TV at home. OF COURSE I was going to spend every available moment in those books. I literally grew up with them, the last book came out when I was 30.

That said, I've done a couple rereads since then and I'd like to think they still mostly hold up. A friend of mine says that they're progressive for being written by a white man born in the South in the 40s, writing epic fantasy in the 90s.

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u/BugzMcGugz Nov 29 '22 edited Nov 29 '22

Cloud Atlas

Its chapters are written in many different, historical (and sometimes, very hard to read) styles and the story is haphazardly chopped up and jumps all over. It’s not until you plow through and reach the end that everything comes together. I think it’s beautifully written and a work of art, but I can totally see how someone would get 100 pages in and be like “nope, not for me.”

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u/plsentertainme Nov 29 '22

My Mom gave me the Poisonwood Bible when I was 13 and I have never forgotten that book. It is a grueling tale of religious indoctrination, questioning where you come from and white privilege at its finest. On top of that, you get the whole political side of what was going on in Africa during the mid 1900s.

I could see why people wouldn’t like it due to pretty much shitting all over the idea of having missionaries.

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u/tr1pp1nballs Nov 29 '22

I searched for this answer as it was the first that came to mind. The Poisonwood Bible spoke deeply to me, being raised in a religious household. I think there is something for everyone to gain from reading it, but yeah, I don't think it would connect as strongly if you aren't bringing your own religious trauma to the table!

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u/Viclmol81 Nov 29 '22

Lolita. It's the most beautifully written book and poetic prose I have ever read, but for obvious reasons I can understand why people would not want to read it

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u/Dizzy_Raspberry6397 Nov 29 '22

I liked the book but hate what Hollywood transformed it into when making it into the movies.

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u/KolhiiHead69 Nov 30 '22 edited Nov 30 '22

The movie (Jeremy Irons version, I haven't seen the original) felt gross to me, while the novel didn't. Obviously HH is a disgusting character and the acts he commits are evil and gross, but I felt like the book allows many opportunities to the reader to read between the lines and see through the unreliable narrator, so the novel itself doesn't feel gross as it seems to encourage (albeit subtlety) the reader to actively dislike the protagonist.

The movie doesn't really do this, the effect is lost. Jeremy Irons comes across as timid and passive as HH. Maybe you could argue that we are actually seeing how HH views himself (and I believe that is what they were going for), but I feel like it misses in execution.

Not to mention having a 15 year old actress actually kissing nearly 40 year old Jeremy Irons kind of completely goes against the criticism of predators that the original story told. Like they couldn't find a young looking 18 year old for that role? It's truly baffling.

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u/[deleted] Nov 29 '22 edited 5d ago

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u/Viclmol81 Nov 29 '22

Exactly, which is why whenever I tell people I love this book I feel the need to explain it. Anyone who has read it and really understands literature wouldn't think it is glamorising paedophilia but that's the problem, people who haven't read it or have missed the point.

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u/woolfchick75 Nov 29 '22

The beauty of the writing beguiles people into thinking that the writer approves of Humbert

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u/Viclmol81 Nov 29 '22

Also that Humberts account tells how Lolita seduced him, readers take this as the author saying that these young abused girls are to blame for their abuse by acting the way they do. People are disgusted by Nobokov for that. But they complete miss the point, that it obviously didnt happen that way because she is a child; Humbert is a predator, trying to justifying his own horrific actions.

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u/userisconfused Nov 29 '22

I read it a very long time ago but I also recall there were unsettling hints throughout that his perspective was skewed (read: absolutely fucked)? Casual or glossed-over references to her crying as though that’s totally normal, that sort of thing. Quite clearly supposed to be an unreliable narrator I thought.

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u/BlindPaintByNumbers Nov 30 '22

He's very clearly an unreliable narrator but that can be a little high concept

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u/Chiggadup Nov 29 '22

I had a brilliant literature teacher for 2 years in a row in HS who could legitimately quote favorite passages from books she loved on the fly.

When reading Crime and Punishment we asked about other Russian authors and Nabokov came up.

She said right after having her first child she tried to read Lolita on maternity leave and was so disgusted she threw it under her bed, and to that day (she was in her young 50s at the time) said it was the only book she started but didn’t finish.

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u/Gorb2 Nov 29 '22

A Confederacy of Dunces. The humor seems to hit or it doesn’t. I find it hilarious, like LOL funny. Some of my friends think I’m crazy

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u/UncleCeiling Nov 29 '22

Someone once told me I reminded them of the main character. It wasn't until I read the book years later that I realized what a sick burn it was.

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u/BarcodeNinja A Confederacy of Dunces Nov 29 '22

It's the only book I've read twice in a row.

Ignatius is the original disgusting neckbeard and it's hilarious.

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u/RightShoeRunner Nov 29 '22

I hated it the first time I tried reading it. Fast-forward 15 years later and I loved it. (Parts of it are really drawn out though — like his professional letters and his journals.)

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u/NTGenericus Nov 29 '22 edited Nov 29 '22

I started it four or five times, but finally after I got past the first 30 pages and learned who most of the characters were, it was a really wild ride. I read it aloud to my wife using different voices for all of the characters. She loved it.

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u/Significant-Town-817 Nov 29 '22

Dune and LOTR

I LOVE those passages of Tolkien where he focuses on the world around him, or when Herbert talks about destiny, of politics, parts that for obvious reasons can be heavy for others to read, but that I simply love

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u/straight_gay Nov 29 '22

LotR is fun because you get a wide expanse with Tolkien's descriptions. He spends probably around 10-15 pages total describing horses and talking about horses in detail, and yet he never gives a description of Frodo.

Similarly, there's deeper meaning like "Aragorn is named Aragorn because Ara means 'king' in the numinorian language, and blah blah blah blah" and then you also get "His name is Treebeard because he's a tree with a beard"

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u/-digitalin- Nov 29 '22

The Starless Sea, by Erin Morgenstern.

It's endlessly beautiful, and I just want to wander around in it and get lost. 10 stars.

Then someone pointed out that it's rather slow and the plot is a little convoluted, and the characters could have more depth, and I'm like ... Ok, I can see your point.

But I still love it.

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u/sitnquiet Nov 29 '22

Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next series. I found the concept so thrilling, the world-building so flawless, but it takes a HUGE willing suspension of disbelief to let him sweep you up. I don't know if anyone I have recommended even The Eyre Affair to has even managed to finish the book!

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u/valkrycp Nov 29 '22

The Earthsea Cycle by Ursula LeGuin.

Possibly the greatest fantasy series of all time. But the way LeGuin writes either completely absorbs you 100% into the world, or becomes the barrier by which you cannot get into it.

You either LOVE her poetic descriptive style, or you fucking hate it.

For me for some reason (a notoriously lengthy writer), her style just clicks- her extremely long and complex to follow sentence structures are kind of how my brain thinks. My girlfriend however, cannot read through half a sentence without rereading it to double check she's pacing it properly and actually understands what LeGuin meant.

I love that nature about her writing though.

I've never seen someone's books, especially fantasy, that pay such close attention to minor details to paint the world much more vividly and realistically than any other series attempts to. It's so ambitious, overly so for some people.

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u/Ermahgerd1 Nov 29 '22

I love Michael Lewis books.

But the problem about it, is to explain to others why they re-readable and fantastic. I mean, The Big Short just totally caught me off guard as one of the best books ever for me. Read it pretty much in one go, and read it again a few days later. Lost count to how many times I've gone through the book now but I always get funky looks when I tell them the plot. "You like reading about the financial crisis so much that you re-read it over and over again?"

Same thing about Moneyball. And Flash Boys.

I can really see that its not for everyone. Statistical analysis of baseball. Yeah, sounds like a hoot. But man, the storytelling totally sells it for me.

If anyone know an author of similar style. Please let me know. Can also be authors who writes about similar topics like stats and math in a intriguing way. Thank you in advance.

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u/Hapha3ard Nov 29 '22

Light in August by William Faulkner. Honestly, I think it’s absolutely outstanding. And I think it’s strange that this book isn’t listed among the best books on racism. There are multiple topics in this book but racism is the one that I like the most. What Faulkner did, how he portrayed racism and what it does to a person - it’s a revolution of a kind. I’ve never read anything like that neither before nor after, his approach to this topic is unique. Nevertheless, I do understand why people would not like it. It’s not an easy book. One phrase - “stream of consciousnesses” - is already enough to understand why it’s not easy.

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u/mayoroftacotown Nov 29 '22

Moby Dick. I loved the prose and caught myself re-reading passages because they were so beautiful. The characters were all incredibly vibrant and I appreciated the exploration of so many themes, like friendship, love, insanity and religion.

That said, I can understand why someone wouldn’t like an entire chapter devoted to knots, or the process of breaking down a whale carcass. I also caught myself re-reading entire passages because they were so dense, haha. Definitely needed to Google a bunch of references/words.

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u/Mirikitani Nov 29 '22

This is a true story. A woman came up to me in a coffee shop as I was reading a leather-bound copy of Moby Dick. She asked me if I was reading the Bible. I laughed and replied, "Moby Dick! It's as close as you can get to the Bible in fiction!" I'll never forget her face :(

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u/lasso-99 Nov 29 '22

I loved Moby Dick! It felt like what a whaling voyage would be in book form. Long periods of calm punctuated by moments of intense action. The "slow" chapters were entertaining because you had such great company in the form of Ishmael and his musings. But I totally see why either the structure of the book or the way it's written would put people off.

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u/night_owl Nov 29 '22

I can understand why someone wouldn’t like an entire chapter devoted to knots, or the process of breaking down a whale carcass. I also caught myself re-reading entire passages because they were so dense, haha.

It reminds me of American Psycho. Brett Easton Ellis uses the same literary tricks to put the reader inside the narrator's head, but with a much darker twist.

In both books it is often cited as the weakest and most frustrating part of the reading experience, but for a smaller cohort it composes the highlights.

I adored both takes. The long-winded, half-baked diatribe against classifying whales as mammals (Ishmael contends they should be considered fish) is so similar to Patrick Bateman's overwrought pages of critical analysis of Whitney Houston and Huey Lewis albums and I found them both to be extremely entertaining segments of each, but are often cited as being the low points that people absolutely despised.

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u/saladfingaz Nov 29 '22

This is honestly a book that should be read on a Kindle. Most likely, you're going to be needing a dictionary by your side for every page.

One of my favorite books as well

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u/sietesietesieteblue Nov 29 '22

The mortal instruments and all the other books in the Shadowhunters universe.

Look, I have a soft spot for it because I read it initially when I was younger. I still love the world and everything, but I know others might write it off as dumb 2000s YA lol.

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u/Alaira314 Nov 29 '22

I still love the world and everything, but I know others might write it off as dumb 2000s YA lol.

Hey, there's nothing wrong with dumb 2000s YA. Not every book you read has to be some kind of literary masterpiece!

I read the prequel series as an adult(a coworker of mine told me I had to, apparently it was her favorite YA series), and I don't have any major hate for it beyond the use of the "sick girl" trope(yes I know he was a boy, but he was written as the sick girl, fight me), which is a me problem lol. I liked the setting!

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u/esper95 Nov 29 '22

The Terror. Brilliant first-rate survival horror but filled with endless passages about the layout and day-to-day functions of British exploratory vessels. I’m super keen on anything related to arctic exploration but my wife fell asleep so many times while trying to read it and honestly I can’t blame her

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u/jew_biscuits Nov 29 '22

I learned so much about ships and arctic exploration reading that book. Not a subject i was ever interested in but thoroughly enjoyable. What got me was how they would roll the ships across the ice in brutal cold, discover after several days that they were traveling in the wrong direction, roll them back...fuck, what a life! And the whole thing about canned goods going bad was really interesting as well.

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u/Landis963 Nov 29 '22

Too Like The Lightning. I love the puzzle inherent in both its speculative world and the murder mystery it presents to audience and character alike. But I can see how people would bounce off of it - one person's intricate mystery is another person's tangled mess, and there's so very many names.

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u/whooo_me Nov 29 '22

Just finished that series a few weeks ago; and while I loved it I've switched to reading some Brandon Sanderson for a follow-up to give my brain a break with some easy reading. (No offence to Ada Palmer or Sanderson!)

Palmer is a fantastic writer, a great wordsmith. And I loved how she managed to wrap everything up neatly, given how crazy and disjointed the story sounds if you try to describe it.

The characters are (IMO) almost entirely unlikeable and unrelatable, given they're almost all violent/greedy/narcissistic leaders/dictators of various types; in a very surreal world.

You're certainly right about the number of people; but the number of factions too, and sub-factions. I think I'd need a re-read to catch up with all the bits and references and motives I missed on the first read.

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u/bhaladmi Nov 29 '22

Crime and Punishment, I love it although it is slow paced

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u/atomic223 Nov 29 '22 edited Nov 29 '22

I’m a big Stephen King fan, but I have a particular love for the Dark Tower series. I don’t necessarily think King is an incredible writer—what he is though, is an immensely talented storyteller. The Tower had me gripped from start to finish. I’ve gone back and reread the whole thing maybe a dozen times. It’s like my literary security blanket.

All of that said, I completely understand why people don’t like King. While I really like his heavily descriptive style because it helps crystallize my visualization of the story, makes it all seem a little more vivid and real, my uncle likes to say that every time he tries to read King he gets about 5 pages in and throws up his hands and says “WE GET IT, HES OLD AND HES WEARING PLAID”. Some people feel like he overdoes it, and I understand why. Also, as far as the Tower specifically goes, the back half of the series has some…contentious elements. I won’t spoil them here, but while I feel most of them landed pretty well, I don’t have any trouble understanding why people don’t agree.

King also has a relatively spotty track record when it comes to writing women/POCs/children in a way that isn’t somewhere between problematic and horrifying. I personally am willing to tolerate some of that if the story’s worth reading, but that’s also easier for me—a straight (as far as the rest of the world knows anyway) white male from an upper middle class suburb—to say than it is for most people. YMMV.

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u/lowdownfool Nov 29 '22

Naked Lunch. I genuinely enjoyed it.

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u/dimlord Nov 29 '22

Anything by William Gibson. He drops you in with absolutely no intro, exposition or assistance with the techno-speak, brands or culture. I absolutely love it.

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u/Gavri3l Nov 29 '22

Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norell. Long annotations in the style of an academic text isn't for everyone, I know.

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u/EthicalCannibalism Nov 29 '22

Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut, you really have to be okay with having no idea what’s going on while you’re reading. If you’re cool with just being along for the ride (and a necessary second read) it’s excellent and has a lot to say.

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u/jackgomad Nov 29 '22

The People in the Trees by Hanya Yanagihara.

What seems to be a fascinating sci-fi thriller-esque book in the Michael Crichton/Tess Gerritsen vein at the beginning becomes something rather different at the end (can't say more without spoilers). Still a thought-provoking read but I don't think I would recommend to others.

If that had the unintended effect of intriguing, I'd recommend reading without looking it up on Wikipedia or similar. I think it was all the more thought-provoking for me because I didn't know what it was about before reading.

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u/justbrittnikole Nov 29 '22

White Oleander by Janet Finch

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u/MissingPages Nov 29 '22 edited Dec 01 '22

Anything by Herman Melville. Bartleby is one of my favorite pieces of literature, ever, and I just recently got around to reading Moby Dick. Yeah, Moby Dick has pieces that can be skimmed (so. much. whale. anatomy) but I really love Melville's description of anxiety/depression/wanderlust/longing.

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u/deadzombie918 Nov 29 '22

Redwall Series by Brian Jacques, purely because the chronological order of this series. I remember it being a bit of a mindfuck in school when I was reading the books my library had and trying to figure out the chronological order of them, since the sequence of events doesn't line up with when each book was released (as an example, I believe the fifth book in the series if I'm not misremembering is first in the chronological order of events)

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u/tayyma Nov 29 '22

I really loved The Goldfinch but I understand why it left critics divided. Theo is insufferable, the plot is weak, and the female characters are very bland. I'm not sure that it deserved its Pulitzer prize either... Still, it's one of my favorite books.

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u/throwawaffleaway Nov 29 '22

I found the ending to be so cheeeeeeesy and the fact that Theo is a “functioning” addict to be absurd. But art adventures are one of my favorite things to read so it was definitely compelling

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u/Capn_KenKen Nov 29 '22

This this this 100x over. It's gritty it makes you really experience the despair that just living makes you go through sometimes. This book put me in such a dark state of mind but I couldn't get enough of it.

I got a similar feeling from another book called Sabriel by Garth Nix. Very everything's doomed and the story is fucking weird. (Keep in mind it's been years since I have read this).

I love gritty books that make you uncomfortable. So I have trouble recommending people books sometimes.

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u/UnscarredVoice Nov 29 '22

I loved it. I called my dog Popchyk for weeks after. It takes a little bit to get into but I was up into the wee hours reading it when I did.

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u/Ice9Vonneguy Nov 29 '22

Mrs. Dalloway, or anything by Virginia Woolf. The concept of her books is amazing, and has a style similar but a little more difficult than Faulkner. If you don’t understand stream of consciousness, it’s not necessarily a fun read. I thoroughly enjoy Woolf’s works.

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u/Styxsouls Nov 29 '22

Brave new world. It's a very thought provoking book, and the world building is excellent, but you have to come to terms that you won't understand everything, and some passages are delirious (especially the final chapter)

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u/slightley Nov 29 '22

It’s also very dark and depressing when you do think about it. Love Brave New World.

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u/Pengie22_sc Nov 30 '22

I read this in high school and had a very positive reaction to it. Like, society really needs to be structured like this and everyone will be happy!!!

Read it 25 years later and had a completely different experience.

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u/snape17 Nov 29 '22

The Bell Jar for sure.

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u/NoKindofHero Nov 29 '22

We need to talk about Kevin.

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u/SteamboatMcGee Nov 29 '22

Somewhat the opposite, I (an adult) recently worked through a bunch of the bigger kids/teen book series I didn't read at those ages. Some (like Percy Jackson, Artemis Fowl, Maze Runner, etc) we're still really fun even if they're clearly for a different age bracket.

But there was one I just hated: A Series of Unfortunate Events (Lemony Snicket)

Now, I get that children's lit often has incompetent stupid adults, because otherwise little kids would not be the ones saving the day (looking at you, entire adult population of the wizarding world), but this series took it so far. And the tone, my god, so grating.

I do think that if you read that series at just the right age you'd love it though.

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u/willjum Nov 29 '22

Dan Handler did many things in Unfortunate Events that were revolutionary to me as a child. Incorporating his writer persona as part of the story, having a intellectually sarcastic narrator, and including larger, rarer words than other childrens literature are just some examples. He has a defined, mature voice.

While it is true that he could have written each 180 page novel in less than a 100 pages, that really isn’t the point. The series even delivers on a host of post modern themes that are absent from basically any other children’s literature. It is a real gem.

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u/newredditsucks Nov 30 '22

I read them to my kids and thoroughly enjoyed them.

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u/Lycaeides13 Nov 29 '22

That's one I'm sad I wasn't able to read at the correct age. As an adult, it's more horrifying than as a child

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u/DrJotaroBigCockKujo Nov 29 '22

Ohh I read the first 5? 6? volumes of Unfortunate Events when I was 21 and I loved them, even though I stay away from kids' literature normally. The tone was the thing I liked the most about it. Funny how different that can be.

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u/DoopSlayer Classical Fiction Nov 29 '22

not every adult is useless, just the ones that don't read

I think it's unique and a must read for kids as a kid oriented post-modern book

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u/gaymeeke Nov 29 '22

Priory of the Orange Tree - my absolute FAVORITE book, but it’s over 800 pages and lots of heavy lore and worldbuilding and I understand that’s not everyone’s cup of tea. But I genuinely couldn’t put it down and honestly wanted it to be longer 😂

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u/summers_tilly Nov 29 '22

I loved Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman. Everyone in my book club hated it and thought it was stupid. Just shows difference in perspectives

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u/cinnamonheartburn Nov 29 '22

The picture of Dorian grey. The dialect is truly informative and poetic. It's the kind of book you have to read thoroughly, but it is not for everyone.

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u/nightcallfoxtrot Nov 29 '22

Interesting, I found it to be an easy read, very palatable. Maybe the subject matter could feel a bit dry on the surface to some

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u/ParadiseLost91 currently reading The Gardens of the Moon Nov 29 '22

I'm reading through that currently, about half way done. I was nervous the language (seeing as it's an old book) was going to be a challenge, but so far it's been a breeze. Some parts are a bit dry and drawn-out, but I think I'm hooked enough to finish it.

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u/Harmonie Nov 29 '22

Wilde was just so damn clever. I really enjoy his works, or at least the ones I've read so far.

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u/amazetome Nov 29 '22

Little, Big by John Crowley. It’s absolutely my favorite book - to the point that I’m still waiting on a special edition I paid for 15 years ago - but most people I recommend it to can’t even finish it. The last friend I recommended it to described this beautifully written, incredible story as “painful” 😂

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u/lasso-99 Nov 29 '22

The Catcher in the Rye. I know lots of people hate it for lots of reasons, not the least of which is the protagonist. But I was a mentally ill teenager when I first read it, and it resonated with me like nothing before. Rereading it as an adult still brings me back to feeling like I'm being seen for the first time.

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u/slightley Nov 29 '22

Read in high school and one of my favorite books of all time. :)

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u/nivremis Nov 29 '22

Terry pratchett.

Some people just don't... Click with it.

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u/tlcd Nov 29 '22

I'd recommend him no matter what. Even if there's the chance someone won't like it, it's always worth trying to share the magnificence of Discworld.

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u/nightmareinsouffle Nov 29 '22

The Dresden Files. The characters (especially the women) are all walking cliches. There’s so much creepy sexism, which I would not stand for in anything else I read, but damn if I don’t root for Harry Dresden’s dumbass and enjoy the hell out of the stories.

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u/Mr_Mike013 Nov 29 '22

The Stand by Stephen King, it my personal favorite book and I believe it is Kings best work. However I know many people would or do absolutely hate it. Firstly, Kings writing style is not for everyone, very much a love it or hate it thing I’ve found. Second, it is extremely long and involved, requiring a lot of focus and commitment to enjoy. Finally, the content is often violent, sexual or otherwise disturbing. It is about the end of the world via pandemic and the subsequent rebuilding of society, so lots of heavy themes.

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u/[deleted] Nov 29 '22

The Expanse Series. I have suggested it to so many people and they all always turn their nose up at it. I love the series so much. Extremely well written and the story’s are, shall we say, out of this world.

The only reason I can think of they didn’t enjoy it is because sci-fi. I’m not sure It was honestly my first delve into that genre reading wise and I ate those books up so fast as they came out. (Minus the last one. I haven’t had a chance to read it yet as I’ve had quite a traumatic year starting when it was first released.)

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u/Ziriath Nov 29 '22

Piranesi. The minimalism isn't for everyone.

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u/propernice Nov 29 '22

What an amazing book that was. After about page 80, I couldn't put it down.

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u/CrossplayQuentin Nov 29 '22

I wish her physical condition allowed her to write more - she's so gifted, and so incredibly creative.

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u/HouseLothston Nov 29 '22

American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis. And people thought the movie was grim…

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u/notveryverified Nov 29 '22

One of two books with the distinction of making me physically recoil from the page in disgust.

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u/stellarecho92 Nov 29 '22

The Sun Also Rises. Okay, look. I absolutely hated the book while I was reading it. It was a CHORE. But once I was done, I really appreciated the piece as a whole. But I totally understand anyone who can't get past the chore part lol.

14

u/Prosellis Nov 29 '22

Sometimes a Great Notion by Ken Kesey. I think it does a magnificent job of shifting between character view points and is one of my favorite structures to a book, but I can see why it turns a lot of people off.

Also, pretty much anything by Kerouac. Spontaneous prose isn't for everyone.

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u/Blues_X Nov 29 '22

Perdido Street Station by China Mieville. I’ve read it more than once and keep loaning it out, buying a new copy, loaning that out… But it does start off with a guy having sex with a bug woman and just launches into further strangenesses from there. There’s a lot to digest.

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u/ginbear Nov 29 '22

I legitimately love War and Peace. Its a lot, I get it.

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u/commie_snark_fundie Nov 30 '22

Twilight… I totally understand why people despise this series (books and movies) but once I started the first book I couldn’t put it down, read the whole series in less than 2 weeks. To me it was so well written and I felt as though I was in the story the whole time. Loved the description of the settings, the use of symbolistic language, and how well I felt like I knew each character from the in-depth descriptions. Obviously this series is very problematic and cringy in many ways but I definitely was engrossed the whole time reading it simply for the writing style.

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u/krvsrnko Nov 29 '22

The Ministry for the Future - I adore it for solutions it presents to stop climate change, but man the writing is wonky in places.

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u/Lycaeides13 Nov 29 '22

Gone with the Wind. The author is a white southerner, writing in the thirties, and some of the prejudices of the age are present in the book. The protagonist is a bitch. I can see why someone would dislike it, HOWEVER, I don't think it was glorifying the past, it was very well researched (so battle descriptions, accents, societal attitudes are accurate) and most importantly, I couldn't put it down.

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u/the_scarlett_ning Nov 29 '22

I loved that book. I have mixed, uncomfortable feelings now about loving it, but 1. I fucking love those big southern Belle dresses, and 2. I kinda admired Scarlett’s ability to take what she wants and not die of shame and guilt. (I was much more Melanie) 3. Also, I had such a teenage crush on Rhett.

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u/National_Sky_9120 Nov 29 '22

Wuthering Heights.

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u/muddyskeletons6715 Nov 29 '22

As a kid Roald Dahl was my favourite English author and I used to lend books authored by him from the library until there was only one left and that was an autobiography and tbh normally a biography or autobiography isn't something I'd prefer to read but i ended up doing it anyway and that autobiography proved to be one of the best read of my life due to it being kind of personal bcz of ny teenage obsession with the writer but offcourse i can understand many people wouldn't share the same feeling for the book with me.

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u/wajnaj Nov 29 '22

Catcher in the Rye. For some reason it is the quintessential love it or hate it book. I personally love it.

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