There's 20 hours of my life that I'll never get back

I bought myself a Kindle for Christmas last winter, and recently I decided to take advantage of the fact that classic literature is, for the most part, a free download to start reading the classics that I’ve been avoiding all my life. First on the list – Herman Melville’s Moby Dick.

What a colossal waste of time!!! Whoever decided that this compilation of nautical mental meanderings was great literature should have had his head examined.

LOL. Too funny…

How about…Grapes of Wrath? Of Mice and Men? The Prince and the Pauper?

Don’t give up! :thumbsup:

Hey, I like Moby Dick!

…that doesn’t mean that I don’t need my head examined, but still!..

I had the same reaction to Moby Dick, but figured there must be something wrong with me. It seems you have the same defect.

I read mostly free books, especially the old ones at Google books. Unfortunately, those are mostly in PDF format (pretty bad on most eReaders) and Epub format (good format, but not readable by Kindle devices). I use an Android tablet with a good epub reader. I’ve found more free saint biographies than I can ever read. Truly a feast!

If I had to get a reader right now, I grab that new Google Nexus 7, a $199 7" android quad-core tablet. It’s a fast, full-featured tablet computer and can read any ebook format in existence using free software.

I personally like distopian literature, like 1984, A Brave New World, Fahrenheit 451, and similar.

I was born in New Bedford (but don’t call me Ishmael). Around those parts, “Moby Dick” was pretty much required reading. It helps to have seen the movie first, then picture Gregory Peck as Ahab while you’re reading.

I had to read Grapes of Wrath in high school and got a LOT out of it. Excellent book.

I’ve dropped back a couple thousand years – reading Agamemnon out of a huge philosophy anthology I downloaded.

This discussion of awful books has to include Great Expectatons and Silas Marner, which I was forced to read in ninth and tenth grade.

I recently finished reading, “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.” Not what I would consider uplifting, but a lot about family dynamics…I really did enjoy it. Even though it was written about family life in the 1900s, some situations in the story are just as prevalent today…interesting!

There has to be a better way of introducing 14-15-year-olds to English literature than forcing Great Expect[or]ations and Silas Marner down their throats. Yuck! They’re much better read as adults.

I read “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” at least once a year… I used to identify with Francie, then with Katie (and sometimes, when the household chores and responsibilities got to me, with Johnny), but now I realize I’ve always been Francie!

Hey, OP, don’t feel bad… at least it was classic literature and not Kim Kardashian’s wedding you wasted the time on!

I LOVE that book.


I recently read Vonnegut’s short story “Harrison Bergeron”. . . .really gets one thinking about the parallels between his fictional society and today’s “everyone gets a trophy” mentality.

As for the “classics”, I enjoy Dickens and Dumas. On my Amazon wish list is Cervante’s Don Quixote.

I hated The Great Gatsby. YAWWWWWN! At least it was short, so it only took a few hours away from my life. But then there were all those hours of classroom discussions listening to the English teacher try to convince us that this novel had great worth and was an American masterpiece. And of course, the final exam, which was essay–that stole another hour away.

Funny thing–my older daughter (who grew up to be a stage manager) LOVED The Great Gatsby when she had to read it in high school. Cried over it. Adored it! Tried to tell me that the novel had great worth and was an American masterpiece!

Someone in the thread mentioned Of Mice and Men. My younger daughter managed to get through middle school and high school at a college prep school in our city without EVER reading a single assigned novel–other than Of Mice and Men. She adored that book and read it over and over and cried over it.

She got straight A’s, in English, BTW. Doesn’t that bite?! Smarter kids didn’t do nearly as well on the essay exams in literature classes as my non-reading daughter! She told us she just listened really hard during the class discussions and lectures, because the teachers ALWAYS gave the answers to the essays in their lectures. She didn’t even take many notes–she just listened and remembered it all and then got perfect scores on the tests.

My husband was the same way in school. All the rest of of us would be frantically trying to write down every single word the teacher said (remember, young CAF members, this was before the age of the laptop computer notebook!), while my husband would just be sitting there engrossed in listening to the lecture. At the end of the class, he would have a few sentences written down, while all the rest of us had twenty pages of notes.

But my husband would inevitably receive perfect scores on the exams! He was (and still is) an incredibly good listener! (Bwoo ha ha–I usually got perfect scores too, because I took such great notes and was able to spew them back when test time rolled around. Do I remember any of it now? Nope!)

Tale of Two Cities, The Chronicles of Narnia.

I have never read that book because the opening line, that famous opening line, sounded so cheesy.

It was the best to times, it was the worst of times.

This struck me as too similar to Snoopy typing his novel “It was a dark and stormy night”


I just looked up the full opening sentence of Dickens novel. Although wordy, eventually the point is driven home.

t was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way - in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.

My gosh… that bolded part could apply to today! :o

I’m probably the only one but I love Great Expectations! But I despised the time I spent in English class during high school. I loved English in college. Great times.

Indeed. “Everyone must be equal no matter what, even if we have to kill you!” It’s quite the treatise against political correctness and the Equality of Outcome movement.

I do quite like how the principal villain, the Handicapper General, is a spiteful, self righteous, power hungry, rather unattractive woman. Makes me think of modern militant feminists.

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