Thursday, March 19, 2009

Booking Through Thursday - 3/19/09

It's Thursday! Here is today's question, suggested by Janet:
“What’s the worst ‘best’ book you’ve ever read — the one everyone says is so great, but you can’t figure out why?”

Since I don't finish unenjoyable books, I had to go all the way back to high school to come up with my worst 'best' book. The most painful read of my life is, without a doubt, Stephen Crane's The Red Badge of Courage. Finishing this book was absolute torture! It may even be at the root of my aversion to 'war books'.

The worst 'best' book that I didn't finish is probably One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I've attempted it twice but just can't seem to get through it. I just don't 'get' magic realism.

Visit today's Booking Through Thursday to check out what everyone else is saying.


  1. I don't care for the whole magical realism either. Not my thing.

    My BTT is up!

  2. Second time I see Marquez around, makes me doubt I should read

  3. I haven't read either, but have heard from other people that 100 years is tough going. I want to give it a go one day, but perhaps I'll leave it a few years!

  4. One Hundred Years of Solitude is on my list for this year. I'll be curious to see if I take to it or not.


  5. I answered "One Hundred Years of Solitude" as well! I, too, don't get magical realism... the book was boring me to tears, and I was so confused! :-?

    Mind you, his other book, "Love in the Time of Cholera", isn't too bad, so far! ;)

  6. Try Isabel Allende's The House of Spirits for some great magical realism. It was definitely more on the realistic side. :)

  7. I haven't read The Red Badge of Courage, but I actually did like 100 Years of Solitude!

  8. I really struggle with magical realism, too. And I couldn't even finish Red Badge of Courage, so I know what you mean there.

  9. Not much of a magic person so I don't think I'd read that book.

  10. Thank you all for commenting! It looks like I'm not the only one with that has a hard time with magic realism.

    Lezlie - I'll look forward to your opinion about this!

    MizB - That's funny! I read Love in the Time of Cholera, too... didn't love it, but did manage to finish.

    Laza - Thanks for the recommendation. A good friend of mine also suggested that one.

    S.Krishna - I KNEW there had to be somebody out there who would speak up....lots of people love this one!

    Jeane - At 16, every page of The Red Badge of Courage was a chore. I wonder what I'd make of it now...

  11. My pick for this week is Da Vinci Code. It doesn't have any competitor. The literary blunders and infelicities just confound me.

    I got through 100 Years fine, except I had to put it down every once in a while to breathe!

  12. Wow, I can't really come up with anything! I don't finish books I don't like, either. There are too many others waiting.

  13. I also listed 100 Years. Glad to know that I"m not the only one!

  14. I'm not really into magical realism either. I never read The Red Badge of Courage. I don't think I would.

  15. I have not read either book. Wonder how I escaped Red Badge, maybe my teacher didn't like it either! LOL

  16. I don't bother finishing books that lose me after a handful of pages. The library had a book group read Love in the Time of Cholera, that didn't go over so well either by the comments that I heard.

  17. Matt - I'm with you on the DaVinci Code!

    Lisa - I'm a firm believer in that saying 'life is too short to read bad books'.

    Beth - Judging from today's answers, I'd say we have a lot of company.

    Chris - I wouldn't bother with it!

    Nice' - My kids haven't had to read it either...hopefully they aren't subjecting kids to that anymore ;-)

    Darlene - I had a hard time with Love in the Cholera, too...I guess GGM is just not for me. It's too bad because he's an author I really WANT to like.

  18. Wow.. so many readers who didn't sit well with GGM. I, on the other hand, super duper love 100 Years. But then, I'm a total magic realism fan. :D

  19. Claire,
    GGM is an author I really want to like. At some point, I will give 100 Years (and magic realism) another try...but I'll need to be in just the right mood.


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