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  • What awful book did you have to read....

    for English Literature. I say 'awful' because my school always picked the most boring, tedious, uninteresting books they could find. Even the other class got to read War of the Worlds. Not us. Oh no. We got Kipps, what a yawn. Other horrors were Sheridan's The Rivals not to mention Shakespeare and Chaucer. Just awful.

    What did you get ? Something worse than this ? Is it possible ?
    Last edited by Pussywillow; 04-03-2021, 14:28.

  • #2
    I remember being made to read and write about one particularly awful, and very dated, story about an old rural black woman. What was so awful about it is that I swear it had to have been written by some young white man who had never been outside a large city much. I got even then what i was 'supposed' to react to about it, but I felt like writing on what a cardboard piece of junk that wouldn't fool a pre-schooler it was. I think I did say something to the teacher about it. Some books were very dated, this one seemed to have been from the '50s. I would've liked to have read the story of an old rural black woman written by one, this was absolutely not it however.

    Where we did have Shakespeare part of it was explaining things to us about it. I never did find out who would fardels bear though! Whoever it was it said they would grunt and sweat, very confusing, poor bear.
    Last edited by beccabear67; 04-03-2021, 02:31.
    My virtual jigsaws: https://www.jigsawplanet.com/beccabear67/Original-photo-puzzles

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    • #3
      Paradise Lost - John Milton's epic. Now that was hard going, and if you took your eye off it for a even a sentence then the whole thing become an even more turgid nondescript farce.

      Some Shakespeare I quite enjoyed. MacBeth, The Tempest and The Merchant of Venice were all ok. I wasn't so keen on Romeo & Juliet (this was at the time of the "Shakespeare In Love" film, when our class was reading it, so there were lots of irrelevant parallels drawn to the play), and while others quite liked it I didn't get my head around "A Midsummer Night's Dream".

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      • #4
        We read Shakespeare rather boringly in high school(just taking turns reading parts from the textbook). The outdated terms, with constant footnotes, slowed down the experience.

        I also remember having a hard time getting through John Steinbeck's 'The Red Pony' in my last year of elementary school. It had more to do with the demanding teacher than the book itself, but it ended up being my least favorite of Steinbeck's works.

        But by far, the most tedious 'required reading' was 'Beowulf', in college. Dear God, never make me read it again...

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        • #5

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          • #6
            Originally posted by catflap View Post
            Now that looks a real thriller

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Pussywillow View Post
              for English Literature. I say 'awful' because my school always picked the most boring, tedious, uninteresting books they could find. Even the other class got to read War of the Worlds. Not us. Oh no. We got Kipps, what a yawn. Other horrors were Sheridan's The Rivals not to mention Shakespeare and Chaucer. Just awful.

              What did you get ? Something worse than this ? Is it possible ?

              I actually enjoyed Chaucer and found it really fascinating to see how the English language has developed (and The Miller's Tale is deliciously rude - like a sort of Middle Ages Benny Hill sketch!

              We also did Lord of the Flies, which was pretty good and a 17th century gothic tale called The Duchess of Malfi, featuring vampires, zombies and other such horrors.
              For French O level also did Voltaire's Candide, which was absolutely brilliant - most of the satire and gags still work today!

              Wasn't a great fan of Shakespeare (did both parts of Henry IV and Anthony and Cleopatra) but grew to enjoy his work later in life.

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              • #8
                One of the books I had to read was Hobson's Choice by Harold Brighouse which I found incredibly dreary, we all have different tastes of course. Gerald Durrell's My Family and Other Animals was far more engaging and upbeat, I suspect most of my classmates thought so too.

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                • #9
                  The only books I recall reading in English at school were Kes (also called, A Kestrel For a Knave), Brighton Rock and a script version of Steptoe and Son.

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                  • #10
                    I would never refer to Shakespeare as being "awful" - he was one of the finest authors of English literature (well, at least that was the case until around 100 years ago).

                    We also did Kes as well - it was fascinating as it meant that our teacher would have to use bad language as he was reading it out to the class. The film it was based on starred Brian "nowt taken owt" Glover and Lynne "Ivy Tilsley" Perrie in it.
                    I've everything I need to keep me satisfied
                    There's nothing you can do to make me change my mind
                    I'm having so much fun
                    My lucky number's one
                    Ah! Oh! Ah! Oh!

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                    • #11
                      There were some booklets rather than books, I'm going back to the early seventies. They each had a theme, the one I remember in particular had a black and white papier mache mask on the front cover oozing some very tomato ketchup like blood from the nose. The theme of violence was dedicated to that volume. There were others in the same series too and for the life of me I can't remember remember what they were dealing with although no doubt addressing other social issues.

                      Any thoughts or recollections?

                      ​​​​​​

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                      • #12
                        Henry V, could never get away with Shakespeare and Jane Eyre, didn’t enjoy either

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Semi42 View Post
                          Henry V, could never get away with Shakespeare and Jane Eyre, didn’t enjoy either
                          If you were around 400 years ago, you would have thought differently about the Bard.
                          I've everything I need to keep me satisfied
                          There's nothing you can do to make me change my mind
                          I'm having so much fun
                          My lucky number's one
                          Ah! Oh! Ah! Oh!

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by George 1978 View Post

                            If you were around 400 years ago, you would have thought differently about the Bard.
                            I suspect even in those days, there would have been people who disliked his works

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