There are some classics that we just don’t like. We try but we fail. And we don’t like to talk about it.
Give me the plongeurs of Down and Out in London and Paris any day. From the jump, I’ve always found Animal Farm to be heavy-handed and ham-fisted. (Can a hand do both simultaneously? Orwell’s sure could.) The symbolism and satire are laid on so thick there’s no room left for a beating heart, or entertainment of any kind, or drama, or subtlety. How this one still floats around as a perennial ‘statement’ book is beyond me. (Do I feel this strongly about Animal Farm? Truth be told, no. I haven’t thought about it in fifteen years, at least, maybe twenty. Come to think of it, I don’t much care for Charlotte’s Web, either. So it’s entirely possible this isn’t an Orwell or an E.B. White problem but a bigger grudge I hold against farm animals.)
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