Overrated Works

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Overrated Works

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1-Mr-Dustin-
Sep 7, 2007, 9:26 pm

What works and/or authors do you think are severely overrated? *cough* Harry Potter *cough*
What do you think everyone's crazy for loving so much? (They're kids books! I felt far too old for them when I read the first four when I was 11 or 12)
In the same vein as the Under-Appreciated thread, here is your chance to take it to the man, er, woman in J.K. Rowling's case...

2clarkmanda
Edited: Sep 7, 2007, 9:44 pm

Okay, if you are talking about books/authors that people gobble up and you think how on earth can ANYONE read that crap then you get Danielle Steele from me. If you are talking of the "esteemed" authors, I would give you Hemingway. But to each their own, I love what others hate and hate what others love. I would like to see people reading something that might actually make them think, but then again I what do I care? As long as they like it and it doesn't degrade anyone, have at it.

3fannyprice
Sep 8, 2007, 8:09 pm

I have enjoyed the Harry Potter books (less so the sixth and seventh ones, when the publishing company seems to have decided that Rowling was so huge that they didn't dare edit her...), but I think you're right that they are not 'literature.' But they may well become children's classics over time. I guess we'll see in 50 years, if we're still around.

The book that I just do NOT get is The DaVinci Code. I dropped out of a book club because they wanted to discuss the book as a work not only of serious literature but as a work of actual history. I confess I have not read it and I'm sure it is an enjoyable yarn, but I had to draw a line somewhere.

4laurahogan
Sep 8, 2007, 10:50 pm

I think East of Eden is the most one of the most over-rated works ever. I think it's a terrible book.

5stringcat3
Sep 8, 2007, 11:03 pm

>4 laurahogan: Terrible because . . .?

I'm curious because it's my favorite Steinbeck, and I consider it one of the finest novels of the past century. I know many people stumble over the first couple of chapters, but the plot is well-constructed, the pace isn't fast but it moves well along across the years, the characterizations are vivid, the historical aspects are accurate, and the moral/biblical theme is a thorny but important one: destiny determined by human nature versus free will.

6citygirl
Sep 9, 2007, 12:04 am

Yeah, I gotta chime in and defend one of my favorite books. East of Eden, it also contains one of the most compelling portraits of evil in everyday life that I've come across. Each time I re-read it I get something new.

7Kell_Smurthwaite
Sep 9, 2007, 6:17 am

I've just ordered East of Eden from Green Metropolis. I hope it turns out to be good! I've only ever read pone Steinbeck (Of Mice and Men) and loved it - so I'm hoping this one lives up to my modest expectations of it being at least half-way decent! ;)

8stringcat3
Sep 9, 2007, 4:27 pm

> 7 Don't be put off by the geology lesson at the beginning! I've lived in Salinas, Steinbeck's home town, since '99 so I can appreciate the descriptions now, but I remember it was a slog to get through them the first time. The description of Cathy in Chapter 7 is chilling.

Much of EOE was based on real people, which got Steinbeck into hot water as much as writing The Grapes of Wrath did - he used a lot of the gossip he heard around town. He even used his actual relatives as characters; for example, the Hamiltons were his mother's family - he's buried in their plot here. The settings in Salinas were accurate - you can walk the same streets he mentioned and still see many of the buildings described. Steinbeck's birthplace, a lovely Victorian house, has been fully restored and now serves luncheons and teas. It's a block away from the National Steinbeck Center in Oldtown Salinas. The old Chinatown has deteriorated sadly, but is now being targeted for revitalization.

9-Mr-Dustin-
Sep 9, 2007, 7:20 pm

#3: fannyprice

I agree with the knock against The DaVinci Code, I also haven't read it, reason being that it just seems like all the other thousands of formulaic conspiracy/mystery/detective paperbacks that you can get at your local cornerstore for spare change. Nothing about it seems at all unique or interesting; Character A discovers conspiracy, spends a few hundred pages dramatically "unravelling the conspiracy" where he/she happens to always find the right hint or come up with the right answer at the right time, then a "surprise twist ending" that you didn't expect.

Like I'm sure it would make a great episode of C.S.I. or something, but as for something I'd want to read? Not so much. That and if you removed the religious aspect of it I highly doubt it would've sold any better in our highly Christianized western societies than any other brain candy novel.

10stringcat3
Sep 10, 2007, 6:47 pm

> 3 & 9 Yes, DaVinci Code was silliness, but it was quite diverting for a plane ride. I got it for Christmas and read it on the way home, but will never read it again. It's in the category of "read it so you can say you read it." And as I discovered, it is indeed formulaic for the author.

11geneg
Sep 10, 2007, 7:35 pm

I thought it was in the same category as the Harry Potter books, the "don't read it so you can proclaim that you've never read it and don't intend to". Just two kinds of people in the world . . .

12BGP
Edited: Nov 6, 2016, 9:57 pm

This message has been deleted by its author.

13medea_09
Sep 12, 2007, 2:10 am

In the past couple of years I have been determined to read a bunch of books that are among the 'best' or 'most favourite' pieces of literature, and that I seem to have missed out on during my high school and undergrad careers...

Among the books I have read from that list so far (and were disappointed with) include:
Lord of the Flies - hated the writing style... felt completely emotionally detatched from it
The Catcher in the Rye - didn't like the main character at all. Had such high expectations due to so many people claiming it as a 'favourite'
Catch-22 - admittedly I think I need to give this one another go... wasn't in a great mood and couldn't get past the first few pages.