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lunababymoonchild

Are there any books that you regret reading?

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I've been going to post this for ages and then read an article on the Guardian website and it would seem I'm not alone in regretting reading a book.  The author was mentioned in this article so I thought that I'd  create the topic and see what other people thought (here is the article for reference purposes : 'I can't even look at the cover': the most disturbing books

 

Mine is Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck.  It hit far too close to home for me and was desperately sad.  I had to finish reading it because it was a school text (I'm wondering why now) but I'll never ever go back to it.  I have read other Steinbeck work and he is a superb writer, which was never in any doubt at the time.  I couldn't even watch the film.  Other faint regrets are : Red Dragon and Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris, something else I won't be revisiting. Although to be fair I did enjoy them at the time and I did enjoy the movies but looking back, hmmm.

 

I do like to be challenged by my reading but clearly there are limits.  Then again, I'd rather regret reading a book than regret not reading a book and I'm not slow at putting a book down if I'm not happy with it so I don't see that happening again.

 

Anybody else regret reading a book/books?

Edited by lunababymoonchild
dogy typing

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Of Mice and Men is a core text in our department and it's sad to hear that it hit home so hard. I always think that it's an introduction to the idea that life doesn't always turn out the way you want, but I generally find kids of that age (we do it in S3, so they're 13/14) are still fairly naive in that regard. It does get them, though - it rarely fails to make an impact.

 

I don't think I would regret reading anything as I'd just stop if it disturbed me. There are books I regret teaching, but that's another area!

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29 minutes ago, Minxminnie said:

Of Mice and Men is a core text in our department and it's sad to hear that it hit home so hard. I always think that it's an introduction to the idea that life doesn't always turn out the way you want, but I generally find kids of that age (we do it in S3, so they're 13/14) are still fairly naive in that regard. It does get them, though - it rarely fails to make an impact.

 

I don't think I would regret reading anything as I'd just stop if it disturbed me. There are books I regret teaching, but that's another area!

 

As it was a standard text I had to read it, although even I could not have predicted the effect that it would have.  I can see now why it would be a school text, clearly not everybody had the same upbringing I got (there was much mental and physical disability among my mother's siblings i.e. 4 out of the 5 of them were afflicted with both) so it hit me very hard indeed. Nobody's fault but it did put me off finding if he had written anything else.  It's fine now and I have several works of Steinbeck's that I will read and have already read at least one.

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There are no books I have regretted reading due to the content. Humanity has the capacity to be evil and depraved and some books reflect that aspect. If it was a book that was advertised as one genre (mild drama etc) but then without warning (and for no realistic reason other than to shock) contained graphic descriptions of violence etc then I would be annoyed about that.

 

I have regretted giving time to some books such as Moby Dick which in my opinion is hugely overrated.  

 

On the subject of Of Mice and Men I didn't find anything in this novel shocking. It just told a story and elements within are things that will have happened throughout humanities sordid history. To shy away from such things is to allow them to happen again and again. 

Edited by Tay

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It can be hard when a class text when has particular relevance for one pupil. I'm just about to read the end of A Monster Calls and I know at least one of my pupils will find it hard. Thankfully I found that out in advance and could warn him and say, if you're finding it tough, tell me. I once had to let a pupil leave the room in distress at the death of John Proctor in The Crucible, though I think that was just the power of the text rather than any personal experience!

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I did think My Absolute Darling was a big waste of my time, for the reasons Tay has just outlined, and a friend of mine had the same reaction to A Little Life . Just too nasty and revelling in it.

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I don't think I ever regret reading a book due to its storyline or event, but I certainly regret reading some books that are crap and that's more about the time wasted. As I get older though and with that the dawning realisation that I'll never really get round to reading all the books on my shelves, I am more than happy to give up on a book if it doesn't demand my attention.

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1 hour ago, Tay said:

On the subject of Of Mice and Men I didn't find anything in this novel shocking. It just told a story and elements within are things that will have happened throughout humanities sordid history. To shy away from such things is to allow them to happen again and again. 

 

That, I believe, is why Steinbeck wrote OMaM and other works.  He was appalled at the harshness of some people's lives and wanted to attract attention to it by writing.  It's a good book, well written and not horrific at all. It just hit me hard because of my personal circumstances.

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7 minutes ago, Hazel said:

I don't think I ever regret reading a book due to its storyline or event, but I certainly regret reading some books that are crap and that's more about the time wasted. As I get older though and with that the dawning realisation that I'll never really get round to reading all the books on my shelves, I am more than happy to give up on a book if it doesn't demand my attention.

 

I've never had any trouble doing that.  

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There is one book I have always regretted wasting my time reading. It dates back to the time when I felt an obligation to read a book to the end, however much I disliked it - especially if it was for a Book Group, as this one was.  I read it back in 1992, and it was the first, in fact the only, title that sprang to mind when I saw this thread.

I have posted about it before, in the following threads:

Worst Books (2005)

Women and Sexuality (2007)

Most Disturbing Books (2009

Happily the actual thread for the book  is long gone, but in my" Reading Diary” i have described it as

Quote

 

An easy to read book with large print and very short chapters, about some really horrible people. A violent sexual affair between a 50yr old man and the 33yr old fiancee of his 20-something-year-old son. Lots of sex, no depth of character. Very self indulgent. Quite Awful!'


 

 

You may have seen, and even enjoyed, the film of the book.

That unpleasant waste of my time was Damage, by Josephine Hart.

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