Thursday, June 30, 2011


"I'm a high school student. Today, my English teacher said: 'The difference between sarcasm and irony is that sarcasm has to be mean, while irony is nice sarcasm.'"

"I'm totally opening my Goethe lessons with that when I have to cover him in class. 'Kids. Goethe sucks donkey dicks.'"

"Holden's incessant whining and indulgence in self-pity annoyed me. I wanted to say to him what I say to my son or my students: Look at your life and get over yourself."

"I know as an English teacher, I'm supposed to love The Canterbury Tales and there's a lot of language in there that's teachable, especially from an evolution of linguistics point of view. But it was just tough for me to get into. So there."


"When my yr.11 class whined to our teacher over how much we hated this book, she replied with 'This is english're not going to read fun,interesting books in english're going to read boring, old novels'"

"Now I am a teacher and at one time found myself in a position where I had no choice but to assign my students _The Great Gatsby_ ... And don't you dare tell me I didn't get the book. Since I was supposed to be teaching the thing I read it three times (well, to be frank, two and half times; midway through my third reading, I gave up in disgust, both at myself, for having persisted so long, and at the novel itself). I mean, who really gives a fig for any of the characters in the book? Or for that stupid green light? Oooh, ah, and the Valley of Ashes! How very apocalyptic! And T. J. Mecklenburg, or whatever his name was. How could anybody really give a fig for any of it?"

"back in high school, after we were finished with the book, my english teacher told us he never understood why this book was so highly regarded. he called it 'stupid.' i had never agreed with a teacher until that moment."


"As an English teacher, an avid reader, a Lit major, et cetera, I am sure I am supposed to give this play six stars, but I was unimpressed. Severely. It feels more likely that this is an enormous hoax on the literary world than it is a legitimate piece of writing - as if in 40 or so years, the Beckett estate will reveal a letter saying something like, 'Just Kidding, y'all. It's garbage, and I know it'. The hat scene - surely cited as 'postmodern lunacy' or somesuch bilge in theatrical reviews, seems more like a tired Warner Brothers skit. Oh well."


"I had to teach this book to juniors in high school and could never figure out why. It is a VERY difficult read and I absolutely hated the book until the end. I'm not sure if I would recommend it or not, but if so, I wouldn't recommend it to teenagers or even early college-aged students. It was very difficult."

"My A.P. English teacher decided that to pass her class we would have to read and take a test on Billy Budd, so we would be able to take the A.P. exam and pass it. This is a woman who appreciates good literature told us 'anyone who likes this book is crazy and should be shot.' needless to say I can't stand it. The only thing that perplexes me, is why people actually read it, why it's such a 'good' book."


"I've never been a fan of reading Shakespeare. As a 10 gr. English teacher, I face the challenge of making relevant and exciting the reading of a play I don't find relevant or exciting."



"As an English teacher, I appreciated the imagery and the amazingly lyrical writing throughout the book. I will also admit to not being able to stop reading it, but not because I was enjoying it. This book was full of gruesome ideas and dark reality. Could this or would this happen after an apocalypse, I am convinced that it would, but I did not find the father continuing on with his son in this black, white, and shades of grey landscape inspiring or faith building."


"I want to love this book, really I do. I'm an English teacher so shouldn't I love it."

"I read this book out a sense of responsibility to America's literary canon. I hadn't read it since middle school. I've taught high school for ten years, and I would not choose this book to read with an English class. I just don't think it's really that deep. Satirical, comic, adventurous, page-turner, yes, but deep, well no. There are other books that made me think more. The people in the country towns are depicted as lawless and base. Jim, while noble and kind, is stupid. Huck is a child swayed by what other people think, and not yet old enough to make his own convictions. Tom Sawyer is a foolish child whose antics cause pain for people. The women in the book are all kind but out of touch with reality and easily duped. There are a couple well educated, intelligent characters, but they are the exception to the rule. For such a long book, there's just not much meat there."

"I know, I know... I am an English teacher who doesn't like Mark Twain. It's a shame, but at least I will never force my students to read this boring book!"


"This book is overrated, or at least my teacher overrated it. In the beginning of the story, the prophet tells Oedipus that he will live in sin (make love to) his mother. My teacher constantly said that we wouldn't be able to fathom how awesome the plot twist would be, however it was spoiled near the beginning (and if you've ever read these stories, the prophet is NEVER wrong. No matter what happens, their prophecies will not be stopped). We cant forget that the ending is DEPRESSING! Dont bother waiting until you read this story to roll your eyes and say 'THATS IT!?' because I'll tell you now. Oedipus unrealistically flies to get eaten by gods or something. No real reason, no real gain, no loss, just leaving his family for god(s)."


"Ugh. I don't have the level of concentration required to read this book right now. I made it up to like, page 70, mostly driven by guilt that I'm an English teacher and have never read this. Decided life is too short to trudge my way through Victorian sentences in a book where neither the characters nor the story interest me. I was, however, amused that the narrator used the word 'ejaculated' about 15 times in the first 20 pages to mean 'exclaimed.' ('"Wretched inmates!" I ejaculated mentally.') Otherwise, I was both bored and confused. I may come back to it someday, but probably not. I think I'll pick up the 3rd Twilight book instead."

"Very tedious. But on the bright side, now I can grade papers on this work intelligently."


"Geez... why do so many people insist that this is the PERFECT Shakespeare play for 9th graders? I don't think I can teach it again. HELP!!! I am drowning in a ridiculous love story that gets compared to gang warfare all the time."

"I don't even think Shakespeare wrote this one, it was probably one of those poseurs. Ugh! I had to teach this play and pretend I liked it! That was not fun."

"I am so so so tired of this play. It is an excellent introduction to Shakespeare for young readers (like the freshmen I teach it to) but it is defintely one of Shakespeare's weakest plays. (i.e What's up with all of the plot summary in the dialogue?)"

"I'm sick of this crummy work getting accolades from the literary adult world. Haven't kids suffered enough?"


Wednesday, June 29, 2011



"The boy represents 'ideal beauty', but why? I know that may seem like a dumb question to some, but, I never quite got it. Why did HE have to represent it?"


"I would never really reccomend this book to anyone, except for Osama Bin Laden. He can read this book."

"When I first picked up Wuthering Heights, my English teacher warned me that frame tale, the literary style of a story within a story, is the most complicated style there is. I shrugged my shoulders and turned the page. After all, I’ve done it before.

But, man, Wuthering Heights is difficult with a capital DIFFICULT. And I’m still not quite sure I understand because, as painful as this is to admit, I didn’t know the housekeeper was narrating until I looked it up on SparkNotes. I tried to get into this 'classic' but by the time I reached the halfway point, I was frustrated beyond belief ... And this book is told in the most boring way ever, all from the point of view of one servant woman. She just drones on and on and on ... I expected a lot from Wuthering Heights, especially after it was referenced in Twilight, but I was sorely disappointed."

"The lack of plausable discription takes its toll on this could be great story. At one point in the book while discribing a trellus of flowers it was depicted as follows: 'I noticed that there were flowers surrounding the barn.'. Not to be rude... but... What kind of barn was it? was it old, or new, or red, or green? Flowers? What kind? What color? This very bland discription of what MAY be a older barn that MAY have help horses, and that MAY have had flowers the MAY have been yellow creats no mental image of the area that MAY exist. Wuthering Heights was once descibed as a gloomy building. I mean, excuse me? A gloomy building? Is it 2 stories high, or maby 3? What color is it? Surroundings?"


"Most of the 'alliteration' in this book don't really mean anything further than what was said. On the count of it, many of the characters just seem like shallow pools ... The writing style, yes, while appropriate for the times, was highly boring to follow. There was little to actually make the book interesting, and the storyline felt altogether wanting, and lacking."


"I will always hate tolstoy for ruining War & Peace for me."


"What the hell?? I could of wrote this book. And I'm not a writer."


"Lyric poetry is dead. Why?

Because if poetry is nothing more than communication, we can do a hell of a lot better describing something with a picture or a song or a youtube video. In fact, it would be so hard to make our descriptions more beautiful and important than a mere daugerrotype that we should stop trying ... lyric poetry is fucking useless.

Unless your entire life is based on being some pathetic emo kid, the lyric won't get you far (and even Keats wrote narratives, y'all). Sappho sucks, the reason we have western culture is named Homer, and we poets better wake up to that fact or we will be about as relevant as Jazz."


"The fact that I don't know anyone who's read this speaks to the plain and simple fact that it sucks."


"The use of the gods names in Roman, not Greek. I realize Ovid was writing as a Roman, but I mostly know my Greek mythology with Greek names. I found it hard to equate the Roman name with the Greek name. Add to that the difficultly of using multiple names or odd descriptors for someone and the task of figuring out who is being talked about can be rough (son of _____ was very common, actually there's an appendix in the front of the book for all of these, it's a few pages long)."


"If there is a hell lets hope this bastard is there."

Monday, June 27, 2011

St Augustine - Confessions

= Confessions of St. Augustine"

"Why do people feel the need to publish all of their deep dark thoughts and secrets? The LAST title I'd ever pick for a book is 'confessions.'"

"If you're contemplating suicide (a real attempt), this would be the wind at your back."

"I had always read that augustine was this great thinker and shaper of Christianity. Well he shaped it alright. Ugh. Now I know where all the neuroses started. I think the most telling part of the story was when he was talking about his mother who was a slave. Because she was ashamed of being called a drunk by her master's daughter she would refuse to allow her own children, including Augustine, to drink water, because it was a sin of the flesh. At his mother's death bed Augustine promised to never take pleasure in the real world but would hope for happiness in the after life. There you go. 'Mom I want you to rest easy knowing that I'm going to stay here and be miserable.' F'd up."

"his writing is so dense as to be neigh inpenetrable."

"I couldn't get through it (this was my second try). Augustine is utterly self-consumed, as a writer he never says in five words what he can say in forty, and there are long stretches spent on refuting what seem to the modern reader very silly ideas like astrology. But it might all be bearable if not for the interminable self-prostration and sycophancy (e.g. Oh Lord, You who are so unimaginable great and wise, and I who am but a puny digusting worm, etc.)"

"Read this for a Early Mideavel Culture class in college. It went on and on. I think Augustine like to hear himself talk"

"most of it is self-righteous dogmatic crap with a majorly and stupidly overdeveloped sense of self-flagellation for the smallest of minor transgressions (including, famously, stealing apples while he was a boy)."

"I believe this will be the only book I will never finish, as this drab of uncessant praise and philosophy never ends, and is forced down your throat. I don't know about you, but I don't like anything forced down my throat."

"If there is a hell lets hope this bastard is there."

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Ovid - Metamorphoses

"I hate ovid and his fucking metamorphoses..."

"if i had a time machine i'd go back in time and give ovid a smack"

"i HATE Ovid ... i just want to jump back in time, slap him and tell him to grow up lol :)"

"I HATE Ovid's Pyrammus and Thisbe - how can you call that poetry?!"

"How beautiful can a book be with so much rape and murder?"

"Time spent on the 'to read' shelf: Around 4 or 5 years.

Days spent reading it: 2 weeks.

Why I read it: I had been reading a number of books that referred to Greek mythology, and specifically stories told by Ovid. So I thought I might appreciate this book.

Brief review: Metamorphoses was certainly a difficult book to read. Not that I was looking for easy, but it was challenging to pay attention to this epic poem. I found the difficulties in a few areas:

1. The narrator changed often. I almost never knew who specifically was telling the story, and sometimes I did not even know what story I was reading. It was so hard to follow. And sometimes there would be a story within a story, and then you'd come out of the one story, back to the 'main story' and then eventually leave that story as well.
3. The use of the gods names in Roman, not Greek. I realize Ovid was writing as a Roman, but I mostly know my Greek mythology with Greek names. I found it hard to equate the Roman name with the Greek name. Add to that the difficultly of using multiple names or odd descriptors for someone and the task of figuring out who is being talked about can be rough (son of _____ was very common, actually there's an appendix in the front of the book for all of these, it's a few pages long).

4. The concept of love in this poem is ridiculous. Love at first sight is not so much love as lust. And that's about the extent of how love is portrayed in this work. I wish Ovid had a better understanding of what true love really was. The love he describes is selfish, greedy, and superficial. Throughout this poem people do crazy things because they saw someone beautiful. Well get over it, and stop being crazy!
Stars: 2 out of 5.

Final Word: Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes!"

"Sheesh...the Ancient Greeks were nuts."

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Shakespeare - Measure for Measure

"i hate measure for measure ot can fuck off and die"

"The fact that I don't know anyone who's read this speaks to the plain and simple fact that it sucks. This was an awful Shakespeare play. The characters did not interest me, their dilemmas didn't even get me slightly interested, and when it ended I was filled with a strange feeling comprised of 'What the hell was that?' and 'This is NOT a good ending.'"

"I Hate Shakespeare it sux! u all fart on ur brothers and sisters. also it is bullllshiiit hahah muahhaha so ha there he is an @!"

"I think the problem here is that Shakespeare himself didn't know what he was aiming for when he wrote this, and it reads as a smattering of well-trodden plot devices shoved together in a bizarre and incohesive order. In layman's terms: it's just not very good.

Yes, because it's Shakespeare the language is gorgeous and yadda-yadda, but this is also one of what's known as his 'problem plays' - ie Big Bill Shakespeare was not on top form - and the plotting leaves a lot to be desired."

"Measure for Measure sucks to the core, filled wif so much sexual reference."

"I HATE measure for measure. It is the worst play he ever wrote! lol. Maybe its cos I had a crap teacher. but come on the plot is appaling. Tho im not a great shakespeare fan anyway!! *gasp* i know a British/Irish English student slagging off the bard himself! lol"

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Sappho - Poems and Fragments

"Fuck Sappho!"


"Tanned shaved amateur wife solarium fuck. Sappho solarium."


"Lyric poetry is dead. Why?

Because if poetry is nothing more than communication, we can do a hell of a lot better describing something with a picture or a song or a youtube video." HEY MORON, PICTURES PREDATE WRITTEN LANGUAGE BELIEVE IT OR FUCKING NOT "In fact, it would be so hard to make our descriptions more beautiful and important than a mere daugerrotype that we should stop trying ... lyric poetry is fucking useless.

Unless your entire life is based on being some pathetic emo kid, the lyric won't get you far (and even Keats wrote narratives, y'all). Sappho sucks, the reason we have western culture is named Homer, and we poets better wake up to that fact or we will be about as relevant as Jazz."

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Henrik Ibsen - A Doll's House

"The setting, time frame, and sitution is what drew me away from the book, considering that it is from such an old society."

"i maybe a little modern for the book"

"i would recommend this book for people with nothing interesting in their life. if i had to grade this on a scale of 1 to 10 i would give it a negative 10000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000. this book is absolutely not entertaining i cannot describe how painfull it was to suffer through this book. i think that this book would be better off used to start a fire than read. anybody from this century that is interested in theis book i ccan tell them that it is like shortining your life by 30 years. please do not incourage the continuation of this book it is for the better of mankind that we erase this book from history."

"I had to read this play for school and I have to say that I did not like it at all. I actually think it was pretty pointless and I wouldn't recommend it to anyone. The play moved along awkwardly, I think. The thing that got on my nerves the most about this book was how submissive Nora was to her husband. Is it really that hard to stand up for yourself sometimes?"

"The good thing was VERY quick to read, other than that...who cares about the story. It was lame. I can't believe people paid money to sit through that on Broadway. There was no excitement what so ever. It was like watching what goes on in many households on stage. Evidently the big deal was that it happened in an earlier time period when it was less socially exceptable...big deal."

"This book was bad the characters and the plot were bad and borring and in the end /i had a complete loathing of all of the characters except the childen and thats only because they only have about 5 lines."

"while I applaud him for writing this book at all IT IS TERRIBLE!!!
'oh my little songbird'
'oh my scared little lark'
'oh my happy little squirrel'
'oh my fluttering wife'
'oh my scurrying little squirrel'
I think that it either needs another act to finish it all the way out or it needs to have the first two acts deleted or melded entirely into the third one... JS"

"the only reason I kept reading was for the romance."

"I can appreciate the importance of this work in changing theatre, but frankly it gets a bit boring. If Big Brother were turned into a play it would be this one. *Yawns, scratches himself and goes to sleep*"

"Eh. I know it's a classic, but it seems too dated to be read in 2007."

"What the hell?? I could of wrote this book. And I'm not a writer."

"When I finished reading A DOOL'S HOUSE, I concluded that the character of Nora is really immature and very weak ... On the subject of being treated like a doll,I think she was in a confortable situation and she wasn't really interested in changing it. Because if she wasn't happy with so many things that were happening in her marriage she should try talking to her husband and not wait until her husband said or did something about it. If it's hard to deal with something, I think you should say it and and not hide your opinions."

"I finally got around to reading this most celebrated of plays, Ibsen's 'A Doll's House,' and I was bored, bored, BORED ... Of the hundreds of plays I've read, this was one of the worst. I know it's considered a masterpiece by 'those in the know,' but I'm supposed to tell what I think and share MY opinions in this review, and that's what I've just done."

"Misleading Approach To Femminism
Absolutely no woman who is disrespectful to her husband and children deserve any kind of positive attention. Ibsen wrote about a less than perfect wife who deserved nothing else but a less than perfect life."

"The Best Review Is Mine!!!
i think this book sucked!!! all it is, is junk there is no point in this book and it doesnt make any sense!!! Word of advise: DONT READ IT!!!!!!!!"

Friday, June 17, 2011

Tolstoy - War and Peace II

"I will always hate tolstoy for ruining War & Peace for me."

"Supposedly, it's 'the 'in' thing' to read War and Peace right now, so I would like to tackle it. I love being 'in.' ;)"

"Crime and Punishment writ large..."

"Why will we never learn this same lesson?"

"well I like the story, and how we comming at peace"

"Too many pages and big words and not enough pictures and small writing."

"This book convinced me to never pick up another Ruskie author."

"Normally I would rate it one star, but he worked really hard on it. The book has no point. Literally."

"Most of all i hate Tolstoy's tales especialy World & Peace."

"I hate Tolstoy. This always horrifies people, outside of Russia anyway, because Tolstoy is one of the Great Russian Authors People Know. OMGWTFBBQ you don’t like Tolstoy? ! As if Tolstoy was compulsory; as if not liking him was an insult to the Great Russian Soul. Again, this is outside of Russia."

"What a fictional writer with a minimum of light in his mind would have portrayed Napoléon as a criminal? Here our writer proved his failure to understand the inner complexity of the character, and this is precisely what eventually the novelist's task is about.
How many writers, already in the Napoleonic years and during all the 19th century were attracted not only for the romantic echo of Napoléon ( which, as everybody knows, greatly contributed to shape the romantic literature)but as well for the ambiguity and the contradictions of Napoléon? Sorry, but Tolstoi failed. Completely."

"didn't finish...a bit dense, but might go back to it eventually..."


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Nathaniel Hawthorne - The Scarlet Letter III

"Yes indeed I am biassed in terms of not particularly liking classic novels but this one was not at all enjoyable at all the main character Hester Prynne lacks any sort of interest and the whole idea of a woman being forced to wear a scarlet letter 'A' seems so ridiculous considering that in those God-fearing times they would have hanged her with no time to waste.
The crime for this punishment is adultery hence the letter 'A' although if you are looking for a story about sex lust and adult themes you will be very disappointed"

"I liked this book because i like reading about history.I didnt know that aduldtrey was not allowed back then, but on the other hand i dont like how they put peoples business in front of the intire town and made them were a big red'A'over there heart. Things like that should be kept a secret and know one should know unless the person who as comitted the crime want to say something."

"Most of the 'alliteration' in this book don't really mean anything further than what was said. On the count of it, many of the characters just seem like shallow pools ... The writing style, yes, while appropriate for the times, was highly boring to follow. There was little to actually make the book interesting, and the storyline felt altogether wanting, and lacking."

"It's great to finally get back to the classics. It's been far too long since I read a book with careful intensity, noting throwaway lines that are likely to show up on a multiple choice or short answer test that misses the main themes of a book entirely while managing to ask lots of questions like, "In the fourth chapter, what kind of shoes was [character you don't even remember] wearing?"

I was thinking maybe it would be nice to read a book like this without worrying about that stuff, just absorbing it for what it was and then moving on through my life drunk.

Wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong.

It's hard to know where to start with this thing.

The prose itself is almost unreadable. Let me give you an example of what a sentence in this book is like:

A man- who was born in a small town, which bore no resemblance to the town his parents imagined for him when they settled in the area over 40 years ago with every intention of starting a small business selling gift baskets online that sort of petered out after bigger companies like FTD caught onto the whole thing and ran the little guys out with predatory pricing- decided to go for a walk one day.

I shit you not. Whenever I saw a dash I'd skip down to find the second dash, and usually managed to cruise through half a page to find the relevant piece where the prose picked up again.

Word on the street is that Hawthorne, who published the book in 1850, actually wrote it to seem EVEN MORE old-timey than it was, which is pretty goddamn old-timey at this point. As far as I can tell, writing old-timey means:

1. Describing furniture and clothing in such exhaustive detail that royal wedding coverage appears shabby and underdeveloped.

2. Using commas wherever the fuck you feel like it.

3. Structuring the plot in such a way that you already know everything that's going to happen way before it does.
One might accuse me of rarely reading challenging books, and maybe it's true. I find myself drawn to books that compel me to finish them as opposed to those that I feel I have to slog through while other books are sitting in growing piles around my apartment, calling out to me with their promises of genuine laughs, heartbreak that is relevant to me, and prose that doesn't challenge me to the point that it's more of a barrier to the story than anything.

Perhaps most telling, at the book club meeting we were discussing this last night, and an older lady asked a pretty decent question: 'Why is this considered a classic?'

There are two answers, one that is what the Everyman Library will tell you and one that I would tell you.

Everyman would say that the book is a classic because it is an excellent snapshot of a historical period. It has a narrative set within a framework that allows us to better understand our roots as Americans. The issues of people's perceptions of women and rights of women are still very alive today. Overall, it gives us a chance to examine our own society through the lens of fiction, therefore re-framing the conversation to make it less personal and easier to examine without bias. Blah, blah, blah.

I would say it's a classic because it was one of the more palatable books that came out during the period when 'classics' were made. I would also point out that the canonized classics are never revised. We never go back and say which books maybe have less to say about our lives than they used to, or which might still be relevant but have been usurped by something that is closer to the lives we live today. I would also say that it continues to be taught in schools because the kind of people who end up teaching high school English are most often people who have a deep and abiding respect for these types of books and identified with these types of books at around that time in their lives. I think there are a lot of people out there who never liked these books, and rather than making their voices heard about what they think people should read they just drop out of the world of books altogether.

My point is, I think this is a bad book. It's got low readability, even for adults. The plot is melodramatic. The characters are single-dimensional crap, the women being constant victims of the time and the men being weak examples of humanity. Also, a very serious story is halted in places where we are expected to believe that magic letter A's pop up in the sky like you might see in an episode of Sesame Street."

"Ughh, what can I say?? The Scarlet Letter has got to be one of the worst books that I have ever read, if not THE WORST. Between the 100 word sentences and the too hard to understand psychological symbols, it was a major pain to read. Why would anyone enjoy a book with a never-ending number of run-on sentences? And, if not forced to read The Scarlet Letter in my 10th grade AP English class, I would've gladly skipped it. My entire class dreaded reading it, and I can see why. I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone, unless you like reading books that make you want to light a bonfire (for the books to be burned, of course) and bang your head against a wall. Thank you Nathaniel Hawthorne, for a truly aggravating read."

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


"why isnt the the trojan horse in homer's the iliad"

"what english majors could learn from jk rowling"

"this booke is very stupid, just like all the other secular writers out in the world."

"nambla fic genre"

"star trek women naked"

Monday, June 13, 2011

Emily Bronte - Wuthering Heights IV

"Letters formed, words flowed, as Emily Brontë moved the ink across the pages. In 1847, around the age of 28, Emily saw the culmination of her writing, Wuthering Heights, published. Emily also heard it bashed, criticized, and spoken of as worthless in her life time. As the year 1848 rolled around Emily perished from the earth."

"If one wants to be bored into tears, one should invest in this unreasonably terrible. The only thing I liked about it was the fact that it cured my sleep deprivation problem. At the end of the book, nothing has happened other than a bunch of funerals. I may be young and stupid but I believe that I am advanced enough to know the work of a inept writer. You can cast my opinion away because my young age, but from 'See Spot Run' to 'King James' Bible' there has never been a book so gargantuously horrible."

"Wuthering Heights is, frankly, a disaster of a novel. Examining it from a technical point of view, the narration is stilted and poor, the characters are flat, the writing is childish, and it's much too bloated. The entire story could have been summed up into about forty pages or less, and I think it would have been more "passionate" and surely much more believable if Emily Brontë had written the book in third person, not first person.

Mr. Lockwood begins narrating the story, which is perfectly fine. I'd thought it would be a normal first-person narrative, until I discovered that the true narrator is Nelly Dean. In everyday speech, or even in telling a lengthy story (as Nelly is), no one actually speaks like they're writing a book (''Yes,' she said, looking at me.'). People speak like, well, people. They stammer and stumble and interrupt themselves, especially when they're trying to narrate a story.
Heathcliff is supposedly the main character, but he is anything but a hero..."

"Glad Bronte died before she could write any more trash!
What a waste of time, precious time in my life that I will never be able to get back. The only good part was the end when I tossed the book into the fireplace and watched it burn."

"That brings us to the novel's problems. The true highlight of a novel is not its story, but rather its hidden significance, and while Wuthering Heights does bring out the extreme emotions that can be associated with love (i.e. passion, jealousy, spite), it does so in such a way that kills any male reader. It's true -for some reason, the ladies who read this book tend to like it much more than the guys.

Perhaps the reason for this is the fact that the novel, with all deep and meaningful thoughts written in, reads like a victorian era after school special. Catherine totally had a crush on Heathcliff, and Heatcliff liked him back, but Catherine started hanging out with the wrong crowd -Isabella and Edgar. After a while Catherine just didn't want to hang out with Heathcliff, and one night she got so out of hand that she totally made out with Edgar! Heathcliff finds out and totally gets made, but he moved to another school for a year so it was okay then. Besides, his brother was mean to him. The next year he totally surprised everyone when he came back! Catherine was soooo regretful that she made out with Edgar, and she wanted Heathcliff back -but Isabella had a crush on him too! They totally got in a cat fight that day, saying how much they both hate Heathcliff. The problem was that Heathcliff was soooo made at Catherine (still) but had a crush on her (still) so he totally made out with Isabella! Then Isabella dies, then Edgar dies, then Heathcliff brother dies, then a few people get married until Heathcliff finally bites the dust.

You're probably thinking that I have blown the story out of proportion, but the sad truth is that I haven't. In actuality, Heathcliff and Catherine do fall in love, but they never admit it to each other -they always bicker and argue and yell about how much they hate each other until Catherine dies. Just like how middle school kids will talk about how much they like so-and-so, but not to that individul. In actuality, Catherine does marry Edgar, Heathcliff does run away, and on his return Isabella does admit that she has fallen in love with him, Heathcliff does marry Isabella for revenge, and the rest of the story is then about people dying and Catherine's daughter Catherine and how she was forced to marry Heathcliff's son so that Heathcliff would get extra land when his kid died.

Touching love story, isn't it?

While some might call it a wild romance and a true testament to our inability to control the strongest of human emotion, I find that the love story is very elementary (on the account that it really does read like an afterschool special) and at the same time blown up -almost like Emily Bronte was a love-starved victorian era woman longing for a romance in her life (which she was) and the rest of the story was just a simple story where people are mean to each other and then die.

Sorry Emily Bronte!"

i hated this book. It was made up of stupid people with stupid problems. I hated the book. Didnt understand, didnt want to.... I hated the book. BURN IT!"

"I am sorry for even hearing about this novel and i am very upset that it was required reading in my high school. It is horrible out-of-date novel about a guy named Heathcliff, and that's where i fell asleep. The description of things in this book take up 8 lines at a time and are unecessary! I don't reccomend this book to anyone!"

"Dear Bronte, if you're going to write a book, add more to the characters and don't just state the obvious. Also, why did you include that dream about Cathy Linton in the beginning and not have any more supernatural stuff later? You should involve the supernatural and not just mention or include it. One star is generous"

"I loved the book American Psycho. It was also about selfish, nasty, arrogant people but Ellis made the world so vibrant and the characters so much fun that I couldn't help but root for them even when they were stuffing rats in womens' private parts and sewing them shut to let themselves chew their way out. I believe that if Bronte attempted to write about the ugliness of humanity, she failed. it is so easy to write about ugliness. Just open the newspaper and read about the latest rapist or killer or whatever."

"Wow! I read tons of books, love classic literature, have eclectic tastes and I am a very passionate person...I can definitely get into the dark, forbidden romance thing & have definitley felt love sweet love!! I actually, usually enjoy... to absolutely love what I read......I have to say that This was I think my least favorite, the worst book I have ever read....probably in my life. Strange how things hit us just a certain way. I found all of the characters despicable, and love story? where was it? I felt nothing for or between any of these sickos. I could go on in detail about why I feel this way but basically it was just Pathetic...."

"Some great works of literature are best lost to posterity and this one may head the list. Yet, we must read it if we are in an English Literature survey course.

It is ponderous going... a classic of dreary proportions, encumbered by a depressing plot, set in dismal surroundings and peopled by dysfunctional characters.

However, many other readers, many teachers and professors, many literature critics, genuinely love this book.

- Perhaps it appeals to their current mood, or it speaks to having shared, in some way, the experience of one or another of the characters?

- Perhaps they have loved long and deeply and found their love unfulfilled? Then Heathcliff speaks to their hearts.

- Perhaps they have moved beyond a deeply felt love, for reasons that they cannot fully express or understand, all the while, still keeping deep in some hidden recess of their psyche, that love that will remain first or best or purest? We can see, then, why that reader might be drawn to identify with Cathy.

A sad aspect of the book, however, is that it seems so hopeless, so dark, so fatalistic, so depressing. An over identification with these characters might have an adverse effect on a susceptible reader.

The reality is, if you are more or less happy in who you are and who the other beloved people in your life may be, then you will probably find very few connecting points with these benighted main characters."

"The love-struck heroine/antagonist Catherine Earnshaw declares at one point that 'Nelly, I am Heathcliff!' While intended to be a moving statement, modern psychology student would be more likely to call it stage one acute paranoia. Indeed, this particular educational slave had to struggle through only six chapters of poorly created characters, morose settings, and a plot that seemed more thrown-together than created, before literally guessing his/her way to passing every exam.

Back to Ms. Bronte's plot devices. This novel is almost like watching a child play with dolls while talking aloud. Listen to your young daughters; 'Suzie came home, and did this.' A thoughtful pause will follow, and then something else will hapen to Suzie. Then something else. Whatever comes to mind will happen, regardless of whether it makes good storytelling or not. The novel takes the same approach, with a plotline that could only be deemed a line in Lovecraftian geometry.

All in all, Wuthering Heights demonstrates fluid and powerful use of the English language . . . but isn't that the purpose of poetry?"

"Unfortunately, the writing is so convoluted and verbose that you'd need a machete to ... your way through it. And '...' is an accurate verb; typically whole paragraphs and pages are filled with needless complications so that it's more like deciphering a code than reading a story. The sheer amount of effort that it takes to get very little payoff quickly breeds apathy. After a while, I didn't care who Catherine married or who was narrating or anything else.

The book has some other flaws (most noticeably the use of death as a cheap plot device) but the writing's really what sinks the book."

"I'd also like to know where the romance is. Since everybody in this book seems to hate everybody else, with the notable exception of the uncouth monster, Heathcliff, and the spoiled-rotten, obnoxious Catherine, I can't fathom where that might lie. Am I too dense to understand? Or has the literary world been tricking us for 150 years, convincing the sheep of the world to follow along in praise of this 'romantic' classic?

I think I would rather have my fingernails pulled out forcefully, one at a time, than finish reading this book. I'm halfway through, and life is short. Am I really willing to spend that much more of my short time here on earth torturing myself just for the satisfaction of knowing I actually read the dreadful thing? I think not.

I also think my foray into the classics has ended right here. I'm off to read some Robert Parker or Janet Evanovich. Maybe even some Jackie Collins. Anything to cleanse my palate of the terrible aftertaste of Heathcliff and Catherine."

"I think everyone who enjoys this book is a woman. I don't mean to sound sexist, it's just true. I've never met a woman who didn't love this book, And I've never met a man who liked it. I hated it. I won't say it was a bad book, because it's a classic, and the most you're allowed to say about a classic is that you didn't enjoy it, which I didn't. Sorry to say, this is the FIRST classic novel I've ever read that I didn't enjoy. And I've read a lot."

"If one did not know it was the famed 'Wuthering Heights'- and read this book, I'm sure he would have thought it was a script for morning soap opera. Not only the story is highly unbelievable, it's way to melodramatic and disturbing. It's a good writing on Bronte's part but it is not a good story. If the book had not been written in such a descriptive and well-fabricated style, this would have been considered as a trashy women's romantic novel. You can tell it's written by a woman after all."

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Emily Bronte - Wuthering Heights III

"there are hundreds of really good books in this world, and this just isn't one of them."

"I began reading--'though you mayn't believe it,' to quote Lewis Carroll's Mock Turtle--at the age of 1 and 9 months. Since then I have read literally thousands of books. And of them all, 'Wuthering Heights' is my least favorite ... I would never have continued reading this book beyond the first few chapters had it not been a school assignment, and I felt a greater sense of relief when I finished it than on any other occasion in my life. To quote what C. S. Lewis once wrote on the last page of a book he had read (I forget which one), 'Never again.'"

"I am repelled by the absurd peregrinations of Bronte's spiteful, petty-spirited, self-absorbed characters. The character of Heathcliff is that of a nightmarish beast, and Catherine isn't much better. And yet Emily Bronte wants us to LIKE these people."

"Should be illegal.
I was put through this 'book' when studying Higher English. It is undoubtedly the single worst piece of literature I have ever had to read. What is worse that I had to read it twice, take notes, answer questions, memorize quotes, and in 9 days am sitting an exam in which it will feature rather heavily. You cannot truly hate a book until you have studied it in detail. The problem with it is the fact that about half the words in the book are adjectives ... If this is a classic story, then so is an eight-page picture book that's only strength is very detailed - but not well-drawn - pictures. Please feel free to send me mail to argue about my review."

"I'm not ashamed to admit that a good half of my personal library is comprised of classical novels and plays and that I read them because I genuinely LIKE them.

You heard me right. I LIKE them. I read them for ENTERTAINMENT, not because they were assigned reading in classes (although I've made 'friends' with a great title or two via that route as well).

The Bronte sisters' novels enjoy love and hate from readers. I don't think there's a soul who just feels lukewarm about their works. I've read a couple and liked and kept most of them.

'Wuthering Heights' stands out to me as one of the WORST novels I've ever read in my ENTIRE LIFE. Given the number of novels I've read in my entire life that's saying a lot.
A lot of women get swooney over Heathcliff as a sort of alpha-male anti-hero. I'm female and I CAN'T STAND this guy! He isn't alpha, he's WEAK as skimmed milk."

"Finally, it can be told...
Of all the things committed to paper, why on Earth was it this? Having been forced to read this tripe under penalty of death in high school, and then once again in college, I must say that death is welcome. Oh poor poo-poo Heathcliff the Brooding and Catherine the ill fated strumpet. Yawn. Emily Bronte lived one of those lives like that of the other Emily, you know, Dickenson, who is another pile of rubbish altogether. Lonely days and cold nights with her father, and no hot little encounters with a horny gardener from Spain. All Emily Bronte needed was a good tango, but I fear that she was too chaste. And so the world must bear the weight of this tragedy, of its endless reprints which will mark the end of Time. Of course you can love this book and curl up with it at night as if it were your secret lover, or teddy bear, (Even if your teddy bear is your secret lover.) and listen to that song by Michael Penn, or whoever wrote that piece of yack. I don't care. I believe that this book sucks, and it is not worthy of being in the Canon. It should be banished to the realm of Cheesy Teeny-Bopperazzi Romance Goo in the back of a used book store somewhere in Northern Alberta."

"It is very obvious in her writing that Emily Bronte has never left her home, as her characters are all pallid one-dimensional reflections of her own disgusting parasitic victorian life."

"This story is extremely confusing, as well as slightly boring at times. It is hard to understand because of the time frame it is supposed to be in."

"I believe Wuthering Heights to be just an average book hardly capable of any noteriety ... Bronte used the same names and the same situations over and over and I could never understand who she was talking about. The theme of Man vs Man was overly developed with the continuing acts of hatred from Heathcliff. I reccomend you read this book if you want to avenge something or you withold a deep hatred for someone. EMILY SMITH"

"Several years ago, tired of reading the latest novels, I decided after a few forays into classic literature that maybe I should devote more time to them. After all, anything hailed as a 'great literary work' by millions of people has to be good, right?"

"Well as if the Nineteenth Century weren't bad enough we now have Penguin shoving it down our maws every other day with another re-issue of some tepid 'classic.' Miss Bronte has done it again and wielded her magic pen as a wand and cast her net of sleep on the unsuspecting reading public of America. The only consolation the non-preteen girl reader can get form this sack of slumber is the final realisation that 'wuthering' is British slang for 'your eyelids are getting heavy, why don't you just nod off?' I really have to say to Miss Bronte that I did not find Garfield's antics convincing in the least."

"At that time Bronte was writing, in the 1840's, mystical notions of other worldly love and passions and existence were fairly common. But they are irrational nonetheless."

"A classic? Why?
I have no memory of Northern England late 1700's. I don't no if characters such as Heathcliff or the younger Linton actually could exist."

"Such a low score relates to the long, drawn out wordiness on insignificant parts to the story. Over exaggeration of minor details really confused me in this book. The book made me think that a long, drawn out explanation of a minor detail such as Mr. Lockwood's description of Catherine's library as '... select book choices,..' delapidated ' (16) was important but as I completed the book, I realized it was just another attempt to go on and on. I feel if this book became a play people would say it is melodramatic and boring. The plot did grab my attention ( I must admit), and for that reason I gave the book a 3 instead of a 1. However, I think Bronte really "messed up" a developed, intringuing story line with insignificant details that gave readers the idea that the point contained a hidden point that one might find later in the book or one people needed to know. I mean, Who cares how Catherine kept her book collection. The story contains a completely different plot!"

"Brilliantly written; I'll give the novel that much. The plot masterfully contrived, characters well developed, settings enigmatically constructed, the novel as a whole was from a literary standpoint a success. However, the language is consistently dark throughout."


"I just can't past the boring words to understand the plot."

"If you had a feeling that this book was written a long time ago, well, you're right! The novel, Wuthering Heights by Emile Bronte, is along the lines of most romance/drama novels out there. It has a very familiar story and plot twits that will not keep the reader occupied. When I tried to invision the settings and characters all that I could invision is a grey bloob with generic settings and overly used characters. The same generic plots may suit some people fine but it seems to me that the average reader may want to move onto something alittle bit more innovative and interesting.
Although this book has its 'up's', it also has a large share of 'down's'. And the lacklust enviorments dont help one bit. The lack of plausable discription takes its toll on this could be great story. At one point in the book while discribing a trellus of flowers it was depicted as follows: 'I noticed that there were flowers surrounding the barn.'. Not to be rude... but... What kind of barn was it? was it old, or new, or red, or green? Flowers? What kind? What color? This very bland discription of what MAY be a older barn that MAY have help horses, and that MAY have had flowers the MAY have been yellow creats no mental image of the area that MAY exist. Wuthering Heights was once descibed as a gloomy building. I mean, excuse me? A gloomy building? Is it 2 stories high, or maby 3? What color is it? Surroundings?"

"Sexual language: none. Number of sex scenes: none."

"Many people relate the theme and character interaciton in this book to the modern day soap opera, daytime talkshows or MTV reality shows and thus deaming the book to have some sort of everlasting social message. The problem is that for the most part all those things stink and always have so what are these comparisons saying about this book. Maybe there is a reason why everyone read's this in high school....becuase it is the only age that can appreciate it."

"I read this book because my friend said it was good. I wish I'd never read it. I wanted an intelligent book that was interesting and I could enjoy. Wuthering Heights is, simply put, a bad book. Thank god for Isaac Asimov!"

"This book is nothing special. I personally don't see why everyone considers this to be a masterpiece. First off I can't see how Bronte can turn such a stupid story into a 300 page novel. Another thing that bothered me was the narrative. The story was almost completely told in flashback and that flashback often broke into another flashback and a couple of time broke off into a third flashback. Another thing that was bad was the referce to the characters. One sentence she wold call Isabella Mrs. Linton then she would call Catherine Mrs. Linton also. Same situation with Mr. Heathcliff and Linton Heathcliff. Not to mention the fact that there were two Catherines which just added to the unproffesionalism of this book. What the heck was Joespeph saying!!!! Overall I believe reading this book was a complete waste of time and I would defenantly not recommend this book to anyone else."


"Wuthering Heights is a very slow book. Not much happens and you shouldn't read it if you want an interesting story. After reading it, I feel that the book could have been shortened greatly. Even though there are some excellent themes in it, I don't see WH as an example of fine literature. Authors such as Hemingway (For Whom the Bell Tolls), Dumas (The Count of Monte Cristo--Unabridged), and Frank (Alas Babylon) spin much better tales with much stronger themes and meaning. My advice: skip this book and read the unabridged version of The Count of Monte Cristo."

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Emily Bronte - Wuthering Heights II

"This book is extremely detailed."

"A hideous work of dross, this book should never have become so famous."

"There were too many ghost elements for my convictions- the Bible says 'And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.'* Also,God commanded his people to 'Give no regard to mediums and FAMILIAR SPIRITS; do not seek after them, to be defiled by them: I am the LORD your God.'**

For me to apply these verses to this book may seem silly to those who do not believe that there is a spiritual world. But, although we do not need to overemphasize it, I think we as Christians need to be aware that we have an enemy, the devil, and that evil spirits or FAMILIAR SPIRITS do sometimes pose as ghosts.

When we put it into the perspective of God's Word, it isn't hard to realize that ghosts are not a joke. As for me personally, I don't want to give the devil a foothold in my life by reading anything about ghosts or vampires for that matter. Even reading a book with elements about ghosts, witches, vampires, goblins or other spiritual or 'magic' elements can open a Christian up to the occult.

In Acts 19, people who came to Christ burned their magic books. I don't want to allow 'a breach in my wall' , as Christian author Leslie Ludy puts it. The devil is out to get Christians down, but the good news is that he only has 1/3 of the angels on his side. As Christians, we not only have 2/3 of the angels on our side, but we have Jesus Christ, the Alpha and Omega, the Messiah, the Living God. So we don't need to be afraid, but we do need to be aware.

In the love of Messiah Jesus, Shalom.


*Ephesians 5:11
**Leviticus 19:31"

"Wow. I cannot believe this is considered a classic. English teachers would shoot students for writing such a 'story'. Miss Bronte starts by writing in a very complicated format. She has a female character tell the story"

"What kind of love story can be written by a woman who was never in love, or, at least, never married?"

"When I first picked up Wuthering Heights, my English teacher warned me that frame tale, the literary style of a story within a story, is the most complicated style there is. I shrugged my shoulders and turned the page. After all, I’ve done it before.

But, man, Wuthering Heights is difficult with a capital DIFFICULT. And I’m still not quite sure I understand because, as painful as this is to admit, I didn’t know the housekeeper was narrating until I looked it up on SparkNotes. I tried to get into this 'classic' but by the time I reached the halfway point, I was frustrated beyond belief ... And this book is told in the most boring way ever, all from the point of view of one servant woman. She just drones on and on and on ... I expected a lot from Wuthering Heights, especially after it was referenced in Twilight, but I was sorely disappointed."

"This devastates Heathcliff, who leaves Wuthering Heights but returns (with considerable wealth) after two years to begin reeking havoc on Hindley (who has become an alcoholic after his wife dies after baring a son, Hareton)."

"I was looking for a warm and fuzzy book and this IS NOT WARM AND FUZZY!"

"Definitely made me not want to read any of her other books. I finally did and they were good but this one... I just never could enjoy."

"Chuck Norris arrives at Wuthering Heights, roundhouse kicks Cathy in the head, gets Heathcliff in a headlock. Hurrah ! ....No such luck.

I did finish it though, and even sketched a wee family tree on the back of an envelope, so I could remember who was related to who. That's probably why it's considered a classic."

"It made me glad Emily Bronte died young so she couldn't pollute literature with any more of her garbage."

"I think that this is the kind of book that one feels obligated to read and to like because 'people' say that one should. I hated it and didn't get it. I actually recently watched the movie and was reminded at how awful it really is and felt completely justified in my reasoning."

"It was almost as hard as if I was listening to a Seinfeld episode."


"This is possibly the worst book I have ever read. It is unforgivably dreadful. I had to force myself to finish it. I am convinced that if it were submitted today for publication, it would stand no chance and the author would probably be in a psychiatric hospital."

"At least I'm ok with not liking a 'classic.' In fact, I hate a lot of classics."

"I have had this book for 2 or 3 years. I have tried reading it many times and have never able to get past 1/4 of the book. I wanted to read it because it was a classic. Who makes books classics, especially when you can't even get through them? :("

"I fucking HATED this book! Jesus, what are you thinking?!? Every character in this book was unlikable. All of them were cunts, and the damn book never ended. I want to cut this book and poor acid on its pages."

"why?! WHY!? would you have two characters with the same name? when does that make any sense?"

"This was the WORST book I have ever read so far. omg it was sooo lame. Catharine could have jumped off a roof for all I care! I don't understand why it is so great. lame lame lame and dry as toast."

"I couldn't understand a word of this - the language of that time is no longer comprehensive - I really tried!"

"no offense but u really have 2 like charles dickkens to read this book.i had 2 read it 4 skool and i didnt particularly like it."

"There's this one kid in my class who recommended it to me (he's kind of a social reject), and I really shouldn't have listened to him."

"Blech! What drama over a guy named Heathcliff! How could anyone have been in love with Heathcliff? Did I mention that his name is Heathcliff!! And this is just a general complaint of novels of the time, but why is it that any woman who goes out in the rain gets deathly ill? Spare me!"

"worst book in the history of literature. i don't care what anybody says -- this book is not realistic at all and is obviously written by a little girl in a farmhouse who's never seen people other than those who lived within a 10 mile radius of her house.

"I understand why this is considered a classic (the literary devices used to tell the story), but that doesn't mean it's worthwhile."

"i did not like how healthcliff didn't end up with the girl"

"this book is full of love. but most of them are not true love. i personsly don't enjoy this kind of books. but u can image the scenes. they are described in a prefect way. it worth to read it but only once. not more"

"Ugh. I hate this book! It's so hard to understand!! I don't even know if the main character is a guy or a girl!!!"

"Had to read this in college....I guess you have to be female to like this. I'm male, I didn't."

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Emily Bronte - Wuthering Heights

"I decided it was time to look into this book, and boy am I sorry I did."

"I never expected this book to be as flagrantly, unforgivably bad as it was."

"I get the interpretation that as terrible as Heathcliff and Cathy are, it's their love that redeems them, and isn't that romantic."

"Every last word was idiotic and as empty as the first. But you know what grinds my gears even more than the fact that I wasted a week on this worthless pseudo-classic? It kills me that people not only mistake this hoax for real literature, but reference it for ROMANTIC value! Foaming at the mouth, marrying someone you don't love, wow.... now that's a level of romance lovers fantasize about achieving."

"This book could have ended halfway through, and while that wouldn't have made me like it any better, at least it wouldn't have earned itself a place on my Most! Hated! Books! Ever! list."

"First of all, this book is told in the most boring fashion ever, all from the point of view of one servant woman. She just drones on and on, and there is so much boring detail I could vomit.
I thumb my nose at literary criticism in the way of most uneducated lay people and say (insert unrefined farting noise made with mouth here) to Withering Heights."

"While this book was written beautifully and portrayed a wonderful romance I didn't really enjoy the book at all. Heathcliff, the main man, creeped me out. When he begged Catherine's spirit to stay with him I started to get a creeper vibe from him. I think it really is a wonderful thing this undying love he has for Catherine but to be that much in love that he has to beg her spirit to stay with him was really off putting for me. Anoter thing that struck m while reading this was his dying wish. Having his casket and Catherine's altered so that they could be together even after they were both dead was just gross! I may just be thinking like this because of the time period I've grown up in but that really is like nasty."

"The problem is that it only arouses my suspicion that Emily was a semi-intellectual, over-emotional, neurotic twit who wrote down a convoluted masturbation fantasy. The lass is touched in the head for sure."

"I honestly, had no preferred part of the book. Except for the part where Lockwood got attacked by the dogs. I also liked that he was attacked twice."

"I would never really reccomend this book to anyone, except for Osama Bin Laden. He can read this book. I honestly thought it was overrated, and an old version of a woman being overly permiscuous with herself. I reccomend this to anyone who can stay awake through anything. This book just moves to slow for the pace of the modern society's example of a 'good' book."

"Wuthering Heights was painful for me to read. I pushed through it because it is a classic, people discuss it, and I want to 'appear' intelligent (how am I doing?!?!?!)."

"As a book to read for pleasure this failed."

"Rarely have I been angrier with a book than I was with this one. This book, if I understand correctly, is actually required reading in our educational institutions. This, I believe, is the number one reason why young adults do not continue to read once they leave school. To be frank, if I was given this book as a young person and told it was an example of one of the great novels of all time and it was demanded of me to read and attempt appreciation of it, I also would probably not be reading novels today. I would have said to myself what I recently said after finishing this...thing...that this book SUCKS."

"I actually had to quit reading the book about 3/4 of the way through because it made me want to slit my wrists! lol."

"As many others have commented, using Nellie Dean to retell the story to new tenant Mr Lockwood ruins the book, at least for me. I can see the potential for the characters and relationships to be engaging and compelling, but the fact that we are shown Nellie's view of events that happened years ago, with lots of description of happenings but no real insight into motives, aims etc, makes the plot stale and somewhat removed. It's almost as bad as the 'and she woke up to find it had all been a dream' device. Not good, Bronte."

"Wuthering Heights does not make a very good graphic novel.

I'm probably biased because I 1) haven't actually read Wuthering Heights and 2) love reading graphic novels (including manga), but I don't think those should have been a problem."

"As far as I'm concerned, this book is the precursor to the modern romance novel, and as such it is unforgivably wretched. This is the literary equivalent of a Jimmy Buffet concert"

"Is it outdated? Am I not highbrow enough? Is it just a plodding, boring, frustrating book? Hmm. I'll go with number three ... Wuthering Heights. Check."

"I get that it was ahead of its time when it was published... But... Wow. Was that awful ... I pity the person who thought to label this piece of work a romance. He/she must have had a serious misconception on what romance was. There is nothing romantic whatsoever about this story. Nothing."

"For another, this is set on the moors. All books set on moors have depressing tones. I'm not just making a generalization, either. It's real."

"I knew I was in for some trouble when I was forced to re-read the first sentence a few times over and yet still had no idea of the true meaning of the words on the page."

THE FIRST SENTENCE OF WUTHERING HEIGHTS: "I have just returned from a visit to my landlord - the solitary neighbour that I shall be troubled with."

"I've *had* to read it about 3 times (Lit Degree), and every time it gets worse. I have to say honestly, that this wannabe-classic has no business playing in the major leagues of literature ... ultimately unredeemable ... I really believe this book is to blame for setting female writers back."

"You know those old black and white movies that everyone just loved in the 1930s and you watch it today and just don't see how it could have ever been great, then or now? This was how this book was for me. Most of the time I just didn't understand what the heck Bronte was talking about."

"And, uh, what's with having 2 narrators, one 20 years after the story takes place, who have a third hand account of the charcters? Just bad story telling. No wonder you used a pseudonym, Emily. Worst. Book. Ever."

"I am glad that I didn't have to read in school b/c I probably would have gotten an 'F' for 'flung it in the garbage'."

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Robert Frost - A Boy's Will

"Meh ... overall his work is redundant and boring. An entire book of his poems, all focusing on the same basic plot lines, is incentive for nice, long nap."

"If your going to give me a poem, at least make it challenging. Too overt for me."

"I thought it was reallly boring. I would recomendit to no body"

"You see the flowers.

You smell the flowers.

Flowers, flowers, flowers.

And then there are some more flowers.

Or maybe some blueberries.

Shit, I don't know. But god, it's all so pretty, isn't it?"

Friday, June 3, 2011

Thomas Mann - Death In Venice II

"A disenchanted middle-aged German scholar stalks a young teenage boy during his retreat to Venice during the plague."

"The boy represents 'ideal beauty', but why? I know that may seem like a dumb question to some, but, I never quite got it. Why did HE have to represent it?"

"There is a running joke within myself that whenever I am in a tiresome situation, I would say, 'You know, I feel like Dirk Bogarde at the end of the movie.' Well, yeah...ironically, that's how I felt the same when I was reading the book Death in Venice, especially in the last twenty pages or so. I did see the movie and found it lacking in details. There were too many of unexplained moments that had me peeved, so I dismissed the movie as an artificial exercise of the intelligence. While browsing around at a used bookstore, I was surprised that there was a novel before the movie was made. My hope was to gain more insight about the main character Gustave von Aschenbach and the motives behind his obsession. While reading the book, I felt overwhelmed by several aspects drawn out by the author. One is that he wasted too many pages when describing Gustave. Two is he tends to go off a tangent with his philosophical statements. I kept waiting until he got back to the main character and his actions. I would say more aptly, his writing tends to become purple prose in disguise. Three is that the writer is stuck in the moment for a prolonged period of time before moving on. In the end, I didn't learn anything new or discover very much. In the movie, I was confused if it was a plague in Venice, but in the book, there are three explanations: sirocco (but not really), cholera, and plague. The bottom line is that Gustave von Aschenbach is a newborn pedophilic, and that sort of thing doesn't interest me. I would say that Death in Venice is much like Lolita but in a different league. All in all, Death in Venice isn't worth reading because nothing seems to happen, and there isn't much difference between the book and the movie."

"it was gay pedo fantasy disguised as Greek angst? Art as agit-prop."

"I was a philosophy major in college and I hated this book. But then again, the whole NAMBLA fic genre really doesn't do it for me. I'm sure some literary aesthetes are going to pick this review apart, good for them. I'm incredibly well-read and thought this one was just a tepid bore."

"It is a gay pedo fantasy, nothing more."

"It is considered great tragic literature and even added to the 'Cannon' of Western Literature. I, for one, found the plot disgusting; dense and boring text does not help the struggle to finish the reading. Hemingway, Faulkner, and Conrad, though dense (and at times, dull in their own right), capture the attention and imagination of the reader, creating an adequate encounter."

"If you like short stories about grown men who are sexually attracted to boys, suicide, incest, and self-absorbed German narcissism, you'll love Death in Venice. Me, I don't much cotton to such themes in what I read, so I had trouble wading through this morass of early 20th century European bourgeoisie decadence.
As a whole, this is exactly the type of work that made me dislike studying modern literature as a student. The prose is dense and despite Mann's impressive descriptive ability, the stories do little to uplift the human spirit. Instead, the reader is left encumbered with a myriad of very negative ideas and dreary observations about life. In short, this book was a depressing, annoying, and occasionally disgusting read.

If you want to read something interesting and uplifting, try Angels in Iron."

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Thomas Mann - Death in Venice

"I dod not like the writing. Almost entirely about homosexuality."

"I can relate to regretting a hasty travel decision and wishing it wouldn't pan out somehow.
But the pedophilia just creeps me out."

"This is one of the most disturbing books I've ever read. It takes a while to get going, but it's eventually made clear this work is about a man delving into becoming a pedophile. It's a book that never should have been written, there is nothing uplifting or redeeming to be found here. Yes, the man comes to a tragic end, but I don't think I needed to read this book to make that realization. I was reading about Thomas Mann on wikipedia and apparently he struggled with his own sexuality and this story was written about an eleven year-old boy he had similar thoughts about to Von Aschenbach in this book had for fourteen year-old Tadzio. I find that to be very sad and unnerving in every way."

"Basically this was an older man's ultimately lethal obsession with a young boy. Wish I knew that ahead of time because that's not exactly my thing. It was short, that's about all I can say about it that was good. Besides that, there just wasn't anything that hit me as exceptional about this. Maybe it's just personal as I just don't get off or see much in the old person sexual obsession with youth, regardless of sex.

I mean I'm pretty liberal about things like this and welcome everyone to get the most out of life as long as all parties agree and it doesn't exploit children. Fantasies about young children even as literature strike me as a bit creepy and I wonder if they don't get more credit for that than their actual literal merit.

This is just sticking in the back of my mind I guess as I read Lolita recently too and was equally underwhelmed ... I'm not convinced that literary arguments or the amount of symbolism discussed actually redeem these works as much as they're hyped. I guess I'm cynical enough to believe it's just a dated PG sexual fantasy regardless of what others say.

So to wrap up, in this day there's much better porn out there on the internet if that's your thing. I wish we'd just call this type lit what it was, risque soft porn of the time, that way I don't accidentally waste time reading more of these type 'classic works of literature'."

"There is nothing appealing to me about lonely middle-aged man who becomes obsessed by a 14 year old boy."

"I have no idea why I've read in the past year so many books about old people obsessed with little kids."

"the end could only have been worse if it was a 'and then i woke up' book...but it might as well have been"

"a 160 page celebration of a pederast and his target. I find it interesting that Mann is revered as an author, but most people would be hard-pressed to come up with 3 books that he wrote."

"As I can still recall how annoying boys are at that age, I found it hard to swallow that such a sophisticated and worldly author would fall in love with a little boy based purely on looks."

"What an insane book. I don't know how you give a lot of stars to a book about a dying pedophile but most of what I remember about the book is the graphic descriptions of how everyones genitals smelled, which I guess is worth something."

"I just didn't like it. Sorry, sorry, sorry, Mr. Nobel-Prize-Winner, I - just - dont - like - it. Too much blabla (and I'm not even referring to the looooong sentences, no), it just didn't give me anything. At all. Sorry, no points of friction there"

"He seems to be talking about how amazing and deep artists are, and how their lives and struggles are so important and set them apart from mere mortals.
If he's serious, then -- ugh and ick. You're just another dude who writes books, okay?"

"Spoils the magic of Venice"