Thursday, October 2, 2008

Booking Through Thursday: Best

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Today's Booking Through Thursday asks:

What, in your opinion, is the best book that you haven’t liked? Mind you, I don’t mean your most-hated book–oh, no. I mean the most accomplished, skilled, well-written, impressive book that you just simply didn’t like.

The first book that came to mind--no, shouted "PICK ME! PICK ME!"— is Portnoy's Complaint by Philip Roth. I actually despised this book. We had to read it for an awesome class in graduate school called "The Mayflower at Ellis Island: The Immigrant Experience in the U.S." The professor chose Portnoy's Complaint to read an example of growing up Jewish in American in the 1940s and 50s. It's supposed to be outrageously funny, but I found it outrageously annoying. Even though I loved Roth's novella Goodbye, Columbus, which I read in college, I have never read another Philip Roth novel. That's how much I hated this "masterpiece."

Do you have a most-hated "masterpiece"? Check out other answers at Booking Through Thursday.


Anonymous said...

I will admit to never having read either of the novels you mentioned, but I really liked his novel The Ghost Writer. It was my first Roth, and I thought it was good- it had an unusual premise. I have several others by him waiting to be read, too (notably The Plot Against America and American Pastoral.

A Blog In The Rough said...

I think the worst thing that can happen to a book is having it forced on anyone in a class. For some reason I hated all the books in the classes but when I read them again on my own, it wasn't so bad.

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