First off, Happy Independence Day to all our fellow Americans! Please be safe, and don’t blow any fingers off if you’re playing with fireworks. It makes writing a tad difficult.
My pick for my classics rant is… probably a tad controversial (similar to Lissa’s pick with Invisible Man).
A Classic I Loathe:
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer/The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
I’ve heard great things over the years about Mark Twain’s stories. Some of his books are still on my ‘want to read’ list, such as The Prince and the Pauper. I picked up The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn years ago because I’d heard that they were some of the best American literature (and Wishbone made it sound like a neat story!)
I didn’t make it very far, and what I came away with was a lasting impression of:
Mark Twain is why the rules about dialogue tags, and using dialect and colloquialism in fiction, exist.
Perhaps if I’d grown up in a region (or with family) that were more typical of the South that Mark Twain portrays in those stories, I would have had an easier go of it. But alas, I am the descendant of Irish, Norwegian, and Scottish immigrants who all went to the West Coast. And most of them didn’t even arrive here until well after the Civil War (or even until the 20th century). So the cultural language and idioms pretty much flew right over my head. Then when unfamiliar words and phrases are further confused by spelling them phonetically? Yeah, count me out.
And just… dialogue tags. They exist for a reason, and I’m positive that Mark Twain’s tendency to have an entire page of back-and-forth quips between characters with absolutely no indication of who is speaking after the first retort is the reason.
If any of his other works I want to read have the same flaws… well, they will definitely end up on the ‘loathe’ list as well.
A Classic I Will Never Read: Lord of the Flies by William Golding
In all my exposure to this story, which consists of excerpts I had to read on the ACT when I took it some… 15ish years ago, and all the commentary/critique I have heard from other readers and writers, this is definitely one book I can do without reading. I haven enough experience already with knowing the flaws of human nature. That’s what happens when one of your parents is a narcissist.
And now for a quick blurb…
I (Ferret Rebekah) will be relaunching a blog hop on my own blog tomorrow (July 5th). I initially started it about a year and a half ago, and had to put it on hold for a while after a few months. But it’s back! If you write speculative fiction (fantasy, science fiction, paranormal, etc) you might be interested! Just click the image below to find out more.