The Book Accumulator emailed me after Monday’s post about least favourite books to ask about most overrated books, remembering a few I loathed at school (and about which I am still quite vocal!).
To that end, then:
From school, with loathing:
Albert Camus’ The Outsider. With what has got to be literature’s most emotionally uninvested opening line (“Mother died today”) – although this New Yorker article suggests that English translation has been unkind to Camus – Meursault takes on a boring and self-indulgent tour of his boring and self-indulgent life. I wanted to slap him by the end of the first page.
Milan Kundera’s The Unbearable Lightness of Being. This one ticks all my “I hate this book and it will be among my first sacrifices to the zombie cultural apocalpyse” boxes:
– womanising protagonist who feels no guilt
– young wife who self-blames rather than kicking the schmuck out
– preposterously and pretentiously named pets
– overuse of the word “kitsch”
and anything at all to do with existentialism.
Right! Having got that rant out of the way, some of the overrated books I’ve encountered while blogging:
– The God of Small Things – see objections to Unbearable Lightness above.
– Eat Pray Love
– Twilight and 50 Shades. I refuse to read either of them or have them in my house.
I can’t think of any others right now, but I’m sure some will come to me. Suggestions and defences in the comments please!