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a steaming pile of dead trees
Posted to Texts at 11:58 AM on Jun 24, 2005

or, five books I love to hate

  • Moby Dick by Herman Melville-It's a must-read; it's a classic. And it's booooriiiing. The stupid whale ate the guy's leg. Yeah, yeah. We know. I might have liked it if it were about a hundred pages shorter. And if I hadn't been forced to read it.

  • The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli-or, "How to Be a Bossy Jerk". It's a nonfiction book written by a fifteenth century Italian nobleman. It's kind of a how-to book for would-be tyrants. Like Moby Dick, I had to read this one for school, too, and I hated every second of it. I had more fun doing stoichiometry problems in chemistry.

  • Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy O'Toole-I read this on a flight from Honolulu to Orlando. I was in the throes of morning sickness at the time and the numerous references to hot dogs made me queasy. Plus, Ignatius O'Reilly is one of the most unlikeable characters in literary history.

  • The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks-a bunch of happy-sappy maudlin tripe.

  • The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon by Stephen King-I love early Stephen King. Carrie, The Shining and The Stand were my companions in middle school, so when King started turning out stuff like Eyes of the Dragon, I felt like he sold out a little. Still, I knew he would never turn out something as lame as a book for preteens. Never! But he did. And it's so, so dull. Nothing original or particularly frightening. It feels so rote, as if he felt he needed to get it out of his system and is just going through the motions. It completely lacks any of the poetry and detail of the King I know.


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