Tuesday, 22 August 2017

The Ten Worst Coursebooks I've had to Read (So Far)

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I was planning to write a post like this eventually anyway, so this week's prompt - back to school - is great for me! I've thrown a lot of coursebooks against the wall in my time.

(Don't you mean you've read a lot of coursebooks?)

Well, that too. 

Here are the worst of the worst.

1. Enduring Love by Ian McEwan 

My hatred for this book has endured since the first year of sixth form. At one point there are four pages on the Hubble Telescope. Four. Pages. Honestly, the narrator is insufferable.

(I think he's supposed to be.)

And that means I have to like it?

2. The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter

Somebody once told me that I didn't like The Bloody Chamber because I wasn't "liberated". No. I don't like The Bloody Chamber because erotica makes me uncomfortable. Especially when I have to take turns reading it out in class. 

Some of the quotes from this book are branded on my mind.

3. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

Dear 20th Century American Writers,

We get it! The American dream is a myth! Now please stop writing about it!

Sincerely,

Every Student Ever

4. Blasted by Sarah Kane

This play is the reason I don't read whilst I'm eating anymore.

5. Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy

You could cut three quarters of the description from this novel and I would still be able to tell you exactly what everything looked like. Also, Angel Clare is not a hero. My hatred for him is as all-consuming as the heat of a thousand flaming suns.

6. Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys

I wanted to love it. I expected to love it. 

I liked the ending, but I was confused for most of the rest.

7. Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf

I do not understand postmodern fiction. At all.

8. Sappho and Phaon by Mary Robinson

The author's life is interesting, but I didn't enjoy her poetry.

9. Fiesta: The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway 

I completely missed one of the most important things about the protagonist of this novel. Hemingway's style just doesn't mesh with me.

10. Beowulf

I was really excited about reading this before I went to university!

This book was 100 pages long. It took me three weeks to force my way through it. 

As it turns out, I do not like epic poetry.

(Where's Bleak House?)

Well, I haven't finished it yet. I have to give it the benefit of the doubt. 

Of course, some of these are highly celebrated texts. Some of them are massively popular. Some of them were fun to analyse. I just personally found them a slog to read.

What's the worst coursebook you've ever had to read?