I love this article where fancy literary types reveal the books (considered by most to be classics) that they never connected with, or that they think are wildly overrated. Reading is so completely subjective that it’s hard to believe we can agree to call anything a classic, but maybe that’s a post for a different time.
Unfortunately the one I was going to pick, Catcher in the Rye, was already there. But I couldn’t agree more with Jonathan Rosen, who also picked it and characterized Holden Caulfied as whiny, annoying and inauthentic. I remember thinking that I couldn’t believe this was the book my high school english teachers expected me to think was so edgy and fascinating.
I would probably also have to include Tom Sawyer on my list, even though I’m encouraged to teach it to my eighth graders. I rarely do because I hate faking enthusiasm for something we’re reading when it’s hard enough to get them excited about books I actually do like.
So, do you have an overrated classic to share?