No Need to Read? 40 disappointing Literary Classics.

Coming up: A list of noteworthy, accomplished and exciting authors

…and the books that didn’t quite work.

Not all of these classics are total failures or trainwrecks – but with all of them, the author either has much better alternative books (I’ll work out a list with recommendations next month)… or the book just wasn’t a very profound or joyful reading experience.

If I could travel back in time and prevent my younger self from wasting time with certain „classic“ books… these would be my candidates:

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Chingis (Tschingis) AITMATOV: ‚Jamilia‘ (Dschamilja), 1958

Martin AMIS: ‚Time’s Arrow‘, 1991

Jane AUSTEN: ‚Pride and Prejudice‘, 1813

Simone de BEAUVOIR: ‚All Men are mortal‘, 1946

Thomas BERNHARD: ‚The Loser‘ (Der Untergeher), 1983

Georg BÜCHNER: ‚Leonce & Lena‘, 1838

Mikhail BULGAKOV: ‚Master and Marguerite‘, 1942

Albert CAMUS: ‚A Happy Death‘, 1971

Lewis CARROLL: ‚Through the Looking Glass‘ / ‚Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland‘, 1871 / 1865

Bruce CHATWIN: ‚Songlines‘, 1987

Paulo COELHO: ‚Veronika decides to die‘, 1998

J.M. COETZEE: ‚Disgrace‘, 1999

Don DeLILLO: ‚Falling Man‘, 2007

Junot DIAZ: ‚The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao‘, 2007

Ford Madox FORD: ‚The Good Soldier‘, 1914

Richard FORD: ‚The Sportswriter‘, 1986

E.M. FORSTER: ‚Howard’s End‘, 1910

Nathaniel HAWTHORNE: ‚The Scarlet Letter‘, 1850

Gerhard HAUPTMANN: ‚Lineman Thiel‘, 1888

Ernest HEMINGWAY: ‚To Have and Have not‘, 1937

S.E. HINTON: ‚The Outsiders‘, 1967

James JOYCE: ‚Portrait of the Artist as a young Man‘, 1916

Uwe JOHNSON: ‚Speculations about Jakob‘, 1959

Heinrich von KLEIST: ‚The Marquise of O‘, 1808

Guiseppe Tomasi di LAMPEDUSA: ‚Il Gattopardo‘, 1958

Margaret LAURENCE: ‚The Diviners‘, 1974

Klaus MANN: ‚Pathetic Symphony‘, 1935

Gabriel Garcia MARQUEZ, ‚Love in the Time of Cholera‘, 1985

W. Somerset MAUGHAM: ‚Of Human Bondage‘, 1915

Ian McEWAN: ‚Enduring Love‘, 1991

Haruki MURAKAMI: ‚Afterdark‘, 2004

Vladimir NABOKOV: ‚Transparent Things‘, 1972

Juan Carlos ONETTI: ‚A Brief Life‘, 1950

Annie PROULX: ‚The Shipping News‘, 1993

Jean-Paul SARTRE: ‚The Words‘, 1964

Andrezej SZCZYPIORSKI: ‚The Beautiful Mrs. Seidenmann‘, 1972

Ingo SCHULZE: ‚Simple Storys‘, 1998

Birgit VANDERBEKE: ‚Das Muschelessen‘, 1990

Thornton WILDER: ‚Theophilus North‘, 1973

Virginia WOOLF: ‚Orlando‘, 1928

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What books did you regret? What classics are overrated? Let me know in the comments!

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