Books I don’t like that will end up as classics

*I think

**don’t stone me if I’m wrong

I’ve often discussed books that I think will end up as classics. Indeed, even talked about books that I would LOVE to get that moniker (but sadly don’t think it’s realistic). Yet recently I was thinking of all the books that end up in the classics section that I don’t like. Ergo, it stands to reason there’s going to be a fair number of books in the future that I really don’t like that are considered classics. I’m not sure that any of these will become classics (and goodness knows in some cases I’d really rather they didn’t) but here’s a few books that I think will end up on those shelves one day:

Conversations with Friends– if I’m feeling really pessimistic, then I’d say this’ll end up as a classic. God knows, some people think there’s something profound about the millennial ennui of the characters, their insipid ramblings and awful behaviour. But clearly, it’s going over well with the “right” sort of people, so what do I know?

Atonement– honestly, I’d really rather McEwan doesn’t end up in the classics’ section. I once went to a lecture where the professor praised him for his sense of chronology… and if that doesn’t tell you the levels of mediocrity I think his writing stoops to, I don’t know what will. Anyway, what was I saying about him being a future classic? Oh yeah, it’s probably going to happen. Because there are people (far more important than me and you) who think that he’s saying something profound with his writing. And I for one think that if it has to happen with any of his books, it ought to be Atonement, quite simply because it’s the best of a bad bunch. In theory, it has an interesting plot and characters (even if in actuality its rather a dry book that’s surpassed by its film adaptation).

Girl Woman Other– I’m going to struggle to say anything positive about this book, since I’m rather a fan of punctuation. Still, there are those who deem it an important and seminal work of literature… I think you’ll have to go find a review from one of those people if you want to know why it’ll probably end up as a classic. Also, it has a Booker Prize, so it’ll probably end up as a classic whether I care for it or not.

Handmaid’s Tale– this is perhaps the most meritorious of the books on this list. Particularly as Atwood is such a stellar writer. However, as I’ve made clear in other posts, I’ve no admiration for Atwood’s logic (or lack thereof) in her worldbuilding, so this will never be a favourite of mine. That said, I think that it certainly leads to thought-provoking discussion.

The Goldfinch– okay this is also not a bad book at all, just one I didn’t love. I strongly believe that the Secret History is Tartt’s masterpiece, BUT I can see the intrigue and deep characterisation in this book, even if I wasn’t bowled away by it. I definitely think that this could warrant being studied and pored over by future generations.

Okay, I think I managed to shake off some of my negativity towards the end of this post! Even if it was a tricky task!!

What do you think? Will these end up as classics? Do you agree or disagree with my sentiments? And do you have any books you hate that you reckon will become classics anyway? Let me know in the comments! Don’t be shy!

13 thoughts on “Books I don’t like that will end up as classics

  1. Oddly I haven’t read any of these novels. But I am curious what your thoughts are on other pieces…. Have you read The Candy House? I am still so up in the air with this one. But the hype that surrounded its release, I’m surprised it’s not being piped as book of the year. Thoughts?


  2. Oh I feel you about Girl, Women, Other. I wanted to like it, but I had to DNF it for the writing and the lack of punctuation. Also, I think Sally Rooney’s books are very mediocre: all characters of every book fit right into another of this author’s books. Also they’re boring.


  3. I’d say The Handmaid’s Tale is already considered a modern classic! I’ve read two McEwan books, and find his prose awfully difficult to connect with, so I’m with you on him in general. (The first book of his was The Innocent, and I was more grossed out than impressed). Great post!


  4. I have to agree with those in the comments who say that The Handmaid’s Tale is already considered a classic. Honestly, I’ve heard so much about it in recent years that I thought it was a much older book than it already is. I don’t have any desire to read it for myself, though, so I’ll probably never be able to say whether I agree with your assessment of it, or not.


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