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theunkindraven's avatar

Most overrated book you've read?

Asked by theunkindraven (213 points ) January 24th, 2013

I recently read Fly by Night by Frances Hardinge. It’s a YA fantasy that some people absolutely love. I didn’t love it at all. I was wondering, Collective, what books have you read that most people love that you find are overrated? No hate, just friendly disagreement :). For the record, and this one is probably more well known than Fly by Night, I also was not a fan of Divergent, which is a YA dystopian novel that has a lot of defenders.

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24 Answers

glacial's avatar

Wuthering Heights, no contest. So much whine packed into one little book.

filmfann's avatar

Manchild in the Promised Land. What a waste of time.

tranquilsea's avatar

The Davinci Code by Dan Brown

Wuthering Heights is one of my favourite books fwiw

wildpotato's avatar

Anthem by Ayn Rand. She just pounds her damn point out over and over…and over. Not that she doesn’t also do that in The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, but at least those have some fantastic sex scenes.

jordym84's avatar

The Twilight saga – couldn’t make it past the second book.
The 50 Shades trilogy – didn’t make it past the first 3 chapters of the first book – the main character is beyond annoying!!
The Kingdom Keepers series – I don’t think I read more than 2 chapters of the first book.

ragingloli's avatar

I can not read.

theunkindraven's avatar

@glacial I reread Wuthering Heights about two years ago, and although I don’t love it (because, like you said, it is so, so whiny), I came to have a grudging respect for Brontë‘s writing style.

@wildpotato I am actually teaching Anthem now! It’s in the tenth grade curriculum at the school I teach in. I’ve grown to like it as I’ve taught it; I think I liked it when I read it back in the tenth grade, too. Your opinion is definitely in the majority, though, as far as my classes are concerned. Every year I get a handful of kids who love Anthem, but most find it anathema. I introduce it using a variety of dystopian short stories, as well as a dystopian episode of The Twilight Zone (“Eye of the Beholder”. That seems to help. I’ve never read Ayn Rand’s other works. I do have a copy of Atlas Shrugged on my ever-growing To Read pile.

The books I mentioned in my question description were books I’ve read recently that I found overrated; I’ve been thinking about them, and how much the people who like them really like them, and how I really just do not. I’m trying now to think of the absolute most overrated book I’ve ever read, since that is the question I posed, and I should answer it. Heart of Darkness was on the tip of my tongue, but I don’t think it is actually overrated, I just don’t like it. The same with The Scarlet Letter. The worst book I ever, ever read was Edgar Huntly, or The Sleepwalker by Charles Brockden Brown; I read it for an Intro to American Fiction course in college annnnnnnnnnd it’s awful. But can something nobody’s ever heard of be overrated?

SuperMouse's avatar

Either Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe or A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers.

glacial's avatar

@SuperMouse Oh, I hated Bonfire of the Vanities! I can’t stand it when I can picture the writer hunched over the keyboard, chuckling at how clever he is.

cookieman's avatar

It
by Stephen King

LOTS of detail, inane plot.

theunkindraven's avatar

@SuperMouse agree with the Dave Eggers! I read his new book too, A Hologram for the King. The NY Times loved it, I hated it. I won’t be picking up Eggers again.

I’m thinking maybe Lord of the Flies for most overrated.

diavolobella's avatar

Catcher in the Rye. Hands down. Lord of the Flies is a close second.

jca's avatar

Bridges of Madison County. 20 years ago, it was like the 50 Shades of Gray of its time. Trendy but the writing sucked.

I have not read 50 Shades of Gray, by the way, but I did look at it in the bookstore and I can tell you that you’ll find better fetish writing on a fetish site like Fetlife.

ETpro's avatar

Back in my day, everybody was talking about it constantly. But I found the this book incredibly boring. Great cast of characters, but entirely without any discernible plot… Oh, it was the Telephone Directory.

muppetish's avatar

The Perks of Being a Wallflower. As an introverted person who has felt like an outsider for a variety of reasons, I anticipated connecting with the main character. A lot of people recommended the book to me and said it was amazing and the new adolescent book that speaks for our generation. I could not stand it.

bookish1's avatar

Someone gave me the original Harry Potter book for a birthday present. I couldn’t make it past the first three pages. And I grew up on fantasy.

rojo's avatar

I would say the Bible but I have not been able to finish it so I do not know if it counts.

I have not been able to get past Genesis. There are two different accounts as to what actually transpired and when I get to the part where it contradicts itself, I get frustrated and quit reading. Maybe I need to just skip over that section.

Bart19's avatar

Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follet. Everything in that book is plain.

SuperMouse's avatar

@jca I totally agree with The Bridges of Madison County! I loathed that book and it is the reason I haven’t even lifted the cover of Fifty Shades of Gray.

Aesthetic_Mess's avatar

Moby Dick…I give books a chance, but Moby Dick just did not want me to give it a chance

newtscamander's avatar

Brave New World. I just don’t think it’s written well…at all.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

The Bible. Unlike @rojo, I have read all of it, and I didn’t like what I learned about the god it reveals.

Paradox25's avatar

Why People Believe Weird Things, written by one of the most religious individuals of all times, pseudosceptic Michael Shermer. Yes I’ve read it, and the way he mixes so many subjects up and lumps them altogether makes this one of the most dogmatic religious books ever written in my opinion.

The fact that he compares many paranormal events, which are increasingly being researched and accepted by more scientists, and of which have a decent amount of empirical evidence in their favor to young earth creationism is utterly ridiculous to say the least. His book is nothing more than playing into the information cascade, and I’m generally not into religious books.

Juels's avatar

Fifty Shades of Grey. The entire trilogy is overrated. I didn’t care for either of the main characters. I’ve heard a lot of people rave about the books. I just don’t get it.

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