The Most Overrated Classics

Please use this sub-forum to discuss any classic books or any very old fiction books or series.
Forum rules
You must limit each topic thread in this section to only one book or only one series. Make the title of the topic the name of the book, and if possible also include the author's name. If you want to allow spoilers, you must include the word spoilers in the title of the topic, otherwise spoilers are prohibited.
Post Reply
Chandler_Greg
Posts: 85
Joined: 15 Apr 2018, 15:39
Currently Reading: Beneath the Kauri Tree
Bookshelf Size: 44
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-chandler-greg.html
Latest Review: I Can See Peace by Julie Penshorn
Reading Device: B00I15SB16

Re: The Most Overrated Classics

Post by Chandler_Greg » 26 Apr 2018, 15:58

For a short book, Catcher in the Rye was one of the hardest books to get through. I guess the steam of consciousness narrative style was revolutionary, but it's not anymore. I didn't like Caulden and didn't care what happened to him.

I do love Mockingbird. The writing never turned me off.

I like Hamlet as well because some of the soliloquys are so beautifully written. But am not a fan of Othello, which seems way too overblown for me (though Iago is a classic villain) Winter's Tale makes little sense to me and Love's Labor's Lost is full of "in jokes" that nobody gets anymore. Not all of Shakespeare needs to be revered.

Hamlet is better if paired with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead by Tom Stoppard. He follows the mostly inconspicuous pair through the timeline of the play - including the few Shakespearean scenes they appear in, and provides a more modern, comical and existential view of life and deathg (the to be or not to be question).

User avatar
arri london
Posts: 1
Joined: 28 Apr 2018, 14:52
Bookshelf Size: 0

Post by arri london » 28 Apr 2018, 15:20

Hello fellow readers.Arri here.Learnt to read before entering as did many of you.Haven't stopped yet.Was forced to read gems such as 'Catcher in the Rye' and 'To Kill a Mockingbird' and many others.Overrated or underrated isn't really the point is it?The classics were written for the audience contemporary to the writer.However they are classics cos they still have something to say nowadays.The problems I had with any classic taught in high school were the lack of context and of course reading works in translation.Any of you who teach literature need to keep that in mind.

User avatar
thaservices1
Posts: 388
Joined: 21 Apr 2018, 22:22
2018 Reading Goal: 50
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 68
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 40
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-thaservices1.html
Latest Review: Betrayal in Blue by Mark M. Bello

Post by thaservices1 » 28 Apr 2018, 16:02

I just can't agree with you on To Kill a Mockingbird and Hamlet.

I read to Kill a Mockingbird young and growing up in the South, so that might have a lot to do with my appreciation of that one. I really gets you thinking at that age, and I remember it as being a difficult read.

Hamlet! The ' To be or not to be' scene I just can not think of as overrated, though it has been very overused. It gets a serious emotional response from me.

Your list of underrated is very interesting. I have not read a single one of them and I had thought I have a good base in classics. Opps, I'll get them on the to be read list :)

User avatar
JusCally
Posts: 33
Joined: 17 Jan 2018, 11:39
2018 Reading Goal: 120
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 15
Currently Reading: Psycho 2
Bookshelf Size: 27
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-juscally.html
Latest Review: Heartaches 3 by H.M. Irwing

Post by JusCally » 02 May 2018, 10:12

Jane Eyre. I thought I would take some crap for this, but now I see I'm not the only one! It took me ages to get through enough that I actually enjoyed/looked forward to reading it, and I loathed the dynamic between Jane and Mr Rochester. To be fair, I was going through a terrible breakup at the time of reading it, so maybe my perception was a tad off but I felt awful for the villified wife.

I remember enjoying To Kill a Mockingbird, and I have an appreciation for Frankenstein mostly because I Iike the backstory of how Shelley conceived the idea, but I dislike the book itself.

My number one favourite "classic" of all time is The Sun Also Rises by Hemingway. Thoughtful, gorgeous.

User avatar
llramseyer22
Posts: 1
Joined: 02 May 2018, 10:19
Bookshelf Size: 0

Post by llramseyer22 » 02 May 2018, 10:52

Hands down, Moby Dick! I am still snoozing and I graduated from College with my BA in English in 1989!!!! Moby Dick has been touted as the great American Novel—the only truly great thing about it is that it is so long! Good grief! Does anyone really need to know that much about whaling? What does any of that have to do with the quest to kill Moby Dick? Exactly!

This is one of the experiences I realize all English majors need to have prior to receiving a diploma. (It should be assigned along with a gift card to Starbucks—yes, pun intended!)

User avatar
CherokeeCat
Posts: 2
Joined: 09 Mar 2018, 11:38
Bookshelf Size: 0

Post by CherokeeCat » 02 May 2018, 19:32

I have to add The Lord of The Flies as one of the most over-rated classics ever, in my opinion. I hated it when I had to read it in junior high, and tried again twice more with each of my children when they were in middle school but never ever came to appreciate it. I think there are much better books for the theme of mob mentality, or whatever theme it is that a teacher is trying to convey, and I am waiting for the day when somebody calls the emperor on his new clothes and we can get rid of this book in middle school curriculum.

Tbunde5
Posts: 191
Joined: 10 Mar 2018, 07:37
2018 Reading Goal: 30
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 76
Favorite Book: A Column of Fire
Currently Reading: Illustrated Short Fiction of William H. Coles: 2000-2016
Bookshelf Size: 33
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-tbunde5.html
Latest Review: Kamel by Charles J Haubner III

Post by Tbunde5 » 08 May 2018, 07:48

maiamalanee wrote: ↑
29 Aug 2017, 12:38
I can name a number of classics that I consider underrated (these might not even be considered classics, but I think of them as such):
The Once and Future King by T.H. White
Five Little Peppers and How They Grew by Margaret Sidney
How Green Was My Valley by Richard Llewellyn (this is my father's favorite book)
Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
Black Beauty by Anna Sewell
anything by Alexandre Dumas
anything by Dashiell Hammett
I personally only disagree with one author: Dashiell Hammett. I thought The Maltese Falcon was poorly written and cliche, probably because it is so often the source of detective cliches.

User avatar
Brittany J
Posts: 84
Joined: 23 May 2018, 05:52
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 24
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-brittany-j.html
Latest Review: Final Notice by Van Fleisher

Post by Brittany J » 25 May 2018, 08:53

I think the most overrated book and my least favorite book still to this day is Pride and Prejudice. It's the only book that I still don't fully understand its value as a classic. It was a different style of writing and offered a glimpse into life during that time period, and as someone mentioned before, maybe this was a failure of the teacher to show its value. I'm pretty sure this was the only book written by a female author that we read in high school and am pretty disappointed by that.

User avatar
alisonedgee
Posts: 171
Joined: 19 Mar 2018, 20:30
2018 Reading Goal: 50
2017 Reading Goal: 0
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 22
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 15
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-alisonedgee.html
Latest Review: Lemoncella Cocktail by Rene Natan

Post by alisonedgee » 28 May 2018, 09:39

i guess for me it's books that people really really rave on . . . tbh i havent finished most of the dickens ive started, i just don't find him very entertaining

User avatar
Mely918
Posts: 385
Joined: 14 May 2018, 19:15
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 35
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-mely918.html
Latest Review: Who Trespass Against Us by D.P. Conway

Post by Mely918 » 05 Jun 2018, 18:40

I think A Tale of Two Cities and the Catcher in the Rye are seriously overrated. They were so bland in every way. I practically had to force myself to read them for class.

User avatar
palilogy
Posts: 477
Joined: 05 Jun 2018, 16:24
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 39
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-palilogy.html
Latest Review: Mistress Suffragette by Diana Forbes

Post by palilogy » 10 Jun 2018, 20:42

To Kill A Mockingbird is amazing I don't agree with that one, but I do wish I had read Animal Farm in high school. It wasn't required and I had to read it on my own and then watch the play, which was of course amazing.

User avatar
gkgurley
Posts: 114
Joined: 28 Apr 2018, 00:23
2018 Reading Goal: 100
2017 Reading Goal: 0
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 69
Favorite Book: The Two Towers
Currently Reading: A Darker Shade of Magic
Bookshelf Size: 83
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-gkgurley.html
Latest Review: Superhighway by Alex Fayman
Reading Device: B00IKPYKWG

Post by gkgurley » 10 Jun 2018, 21:27

I felt that was with most of Faulkner's work. Some of his books were absolutely unreadable. I get what makes him unique and how much he's pushing boundaries, but that doesn't mean every book of his is good. I hated The Unvanquished.

User avatar
Rhianne
Posts: 22
Joined: 05 Jun 2018, 21:00
Currently Reading: Small Change
Bookshelf Size: 12
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-rhianne.html
Latest Review: Pancake Money by Finn Bell
Reading Device: B00JG8GOWU

Post by Rhianne » 11 Jun 2018, 11:59

Seconding Jane Austen and A Tale of Two Cities. I did go back to Jane Austen a few years after being forced to read it in high school and still struggled to get through it, though I did appreciate it a bit more.

User avatar
rave_2
Posts: 363
Joined: 24 Feb 2018, 16:04
2018 Reading Goal: 20
2017 Reading Goal: 0
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 95
Currently Reading: Bone White
Bookshelf Size: 27
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-rave-2.html
Latest Review: Health Tips, Myths, and Tricks by Morton E Tavel, MD

Post by rave_2 » 11 Jun 2018, 12:16

1984, to me, is one of those overrated books. I hated reading that book.
Just reading... :techie-studyingbrown: :techie-studyinggray:

User avatar
Dael Reader
Posts: 681
Joined: 05 May 2018, 08:39
Currently Reading: The Story of Arthur Truluv
Bookshelf Size: 53
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-dael-reader.html
Latest Review: Extraordinary Stories From Everyday People (and me) by Les Clark
Reading Device: 1400697484

Post by Dael Reader » 11 Jun 2018, 20:18

I think there are some classics we read as a matter of cultural literacy, some we read because they really are timeless stories, and some we read just because they give us a glimpse of the time, place, and culture they sprang from. But yes, I think many of them are overrate, because they really aren't THAT intriguing. (To me that is. Obviously, others would differ). So, here's my off-the-tip-of-my-head overrated list

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Ulysses by James Joyce
Moby Dick by Herman Melville
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

Post Reply

Return to “Classic Books”