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Post Reply Worst Book Ever To Be Made Required Reading In School?
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20 / M / Imoutoland!
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Posted 6/22/16

gornotck wrote:

...What gets me is that I think of just about every single book or piece of literature mentioned here as 'required reading'.
Great Expectations was wonderful. It was slow, ponderous, and tedious, which was entirely the point of the book as it was about the old English legal system and the people caught in it.

Tried thinking of a book worse than what is currently on these required reading lists for several hours, and all I could think of was If I Did It, by O. J. Simpson, or one of the Barack Obama biographies written in the last 8 years.

You win.
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Posted 6/22/16 , edited 6/22/16

gornotck wrote:

...What gets me is that I think of just about every single book or piece of literature mentioned here as 'required reading'.
Great Expectations was wonderful. It was slow, ponderous, and tedious, which was entirely the point of the book as it was about the old English legal system and the people caught in it.


What you don't notice until you sit down and read Dickens is that his passive hostility toward all the Victorian social ills he was attacking or satirizing erupted in perfect bits of sarcasm that you don't credit a stuffy old Victorian with. (And wasn't Bleak House about the slow English legal system?)
Our hero in GE asks a wag co-worker about the fact that his roommate is overspending himself as a London bachelor and wants to borrow money--The reply he gets is: "There are six bridges in London, including Tower Bridge and London Bridge...My advice would be to take that money up to the top of one of those bridges, tear it up in little pieces and drop it into the river. This, I think, would be a wiser use of your money than trying to make a debtor out of your friend, as you are likely to lose both the debt and the friend by it."

There's also a chapter of a rowdy audience watching an amateur production of Hamlet, and Dickens' account of the hecklers could have come straight out of MST3K.


runec wrote:


Ejanss wrote:
Luckily, we always got to watch the Franco Zeffirelli versions on tape afterwards.
Not Leo DiCaprio. Not Kenneth Branagh. THE Zefferelli classics.


Yeah, thats the version we got to watch too. Can they even show that version these days? I can envision some parents going on a bender over the nudie bits in it. Our teacher was basically "Yes, there's a nude scene. But its not like its anything you haven't already seen elsewhere so behave yourselves." and we did.


"The" version (meaning Romeo & Juliet)? We also got to watch the Richard Burton/Eizabeth Taylor "Taming of the Shrew", which also fortunately put that icky final speech into perfect literary context, so as not to warp us into adulthood.


I also remember our science teacher showing us some British movie that was just a complete dystopian horror involving kids. Not for any particular reason either. There was just a meeting or something and the class had been nixed. Just to traumatize us I guess ;p


Lord of the Flies? (Yeah, as others have noted, they do try to inflict that one on us as kid, but that's only because kids are in it, and Lost wasn't on the air yet.)
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Posted 6/22/16 , edited 6/22/16

Ejanss wrote:
"The" version (meaning Romeo & Juliet)? We also got to watch the Richard Burton/Eizabeth Taylor "Taming of the Shrew", which also fortunately put that icky final speech into perfect literary context, so as not to warp us into adulthood.


Yes, Romeo & Juliet.


Ejanss wrote:
Lord of the Flies? (Yeah, as others have noted, they do try to inflict that one on us as kid, but that's only because kids are in it, and Lost wasn't on the air yet.)


No, not Lord of the Flies. While horrifying LotF wasn't exactly a dystopian future. This was a post nuclear apocalypse setting.




Ranwolf wrote:
Really mate you're going to defend the Canadian education system? It's a laughing stock, we've fallen behind the Europeans and the Asians in terms of raw academic performance. For fucks sake we're behind India and goddamn Singapore. Places were in some parts of the country running water and electricity are considered luxuries.


East Asian countries have always had high academic performance and what do you think Singapore looks like anyway? Its not a third world country, dude. Where are you even getting all this? -.-

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Posted 6/22/16
I wasn't a fan of 1984, or Lord Of The Flies. Actually, a lot of the required reading I had in high school bored me. I wanted to learn about other things relating to the cosmos, rather than boring or completely weird (to me) stories that I can't relate to.
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25 / F / New Jersey, USA
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Posted 6/22/16
Wow, I must be the only one who didn't have to read some terrible book for school.
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Posted 6/22/16
Well I purposely didn't read The Lord of the Flies. I also dislike some of Shakespeare's work the rest can be entertaining.
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Posted 6/22/16

PeripheralVisionary wrote:


gornotck wrote:

Almost everything considered 'classic literature', such as 1984, Animal Farm, Lord of the Flies, Brave New World, or other politically motivated literary masturbation from the 30s to 80s..

Never heard of the Turner Diaries, but that definitely fits the bill.


I like Animal Farm, but I see your point. Although, in all fairness, it was based on true events.


IshokuOsero wrote:

1984 and Brave New World were great! But I love dystopian adult fiction (not to be confused by all this psudo-dystopian teen crap coming out lately).

I think Ayn Rand is horrible in schools, and I also would detest anything like Twilight making it into required reading. Just ugh.

The jokingly it'd-never-happen-lol side of this question though? 50 Shades! LOL


They keep pushing the fictional side of Rand which I found to be just masturbatory, like most fiction that pushes a philosophy and occasionally a single moral.


I find the morals of Rand to be masturbatory lol. It's like Trump talking about being humble. It's beyond Hypocritical. I don't know if Rand is required reading in some schools or not. If so then I really feel sorry for whoever this junk is being pushed on. It would be like making Battlefield Earth required reading which is just bad for completely different reasons but still bad. 50 Shades of Grey should be studied in school though because of it's extreme ineptitude and lack of anything even remotely resembling good grammar or prose. It might be able to teach a few people how NOT to write a book. Then again it could also send the wrong message that you don't even need a basic comprehension of English to be able to write a book and make it rich so maybe not. I thought Koontz was bad until I looked through the pages of 50 Shades of Grey. To be fair Koontz did have two really good books whereas EL James has none. Sorry, I'm probably getting way off topic now.
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Posted 6/22/16
Any of the books that are part of "In Search of Lost Time" by Marcel Proust. That is one of the books that I couldn't stand reading. It bored me to the point where I now can't remember what happened in most scenes. I only remember the beginning. I do not want to insult the dear author, but I could not find any reason to enjoy his work. I hope others haven't felt the same way about it.
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19 / M / ya mum's house
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Posted 6/22/16

PeripheralVisionary wrote:



Puberty in novel form.


What books do you think should absolutely not be required reading in schools?


I disagree with you on that note. I think catcher in the rye is great, but people all have their own opinion I guess. it was cool knowing that the book inspired john Lennon's murder

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Posted 6/22/16 , edited 6/22/16

TheOriginalStraynge wrote:
I find the morals of Rand to be masturbatory lol. It's like Trump talking about being humble. It's beyond Hypocritical. I don't know if Rand is required reading in some schools or not. If so then I really feel sorry for whoever this junk is being pushed on.


Again, my only experience with Rand is watching the movie adaptation of Atlas Shrugged (we weren't as progressive about somber PC-pretentious Summer Reading Lists back in my high-school day, I don't remember if we even had them back then)
To make a long, long, long, long story short (too late), the government cracks down and seizes American industry in a crisis--while more and more movers and shakers literally disappear to join some mysterious Bernie Sanders-like socialist messiah--our lone maverick entrepreneur resists being forced to turn over his industry and revolutionary Jobs-like technology to the government at riflepoint, and becomes a national hotpoint.

In the movie that was made in the 00's, this is illustrated by cheesy right-wing parallels meant to suggest he's just triggered a power-of-the-people Occupy Wall Street, with the same hand-drawn cardboard slogans now saying the same thing about the government's "1%".
Only...if my memory serves correctly, wasn't Occupy Wall Street about the fact that most of the average people didn't find big business "persecuted" and "bold American icons", and actually DID want government control over them?
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19 / M / ya mum's house
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Posted 6/22/16
great expectations and romeo and juliet
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29 / M / Oregon
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Posted 6/22/16
Had to read As You Like It in freshman English. Shakespeare has many interesting stories. This is not one of them.
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Posted 6/22/16
Has anyone here ever read interesting required books in their schools? I have read some of the boring "masterpieces" throughout my high school, but the best required readings came around the time I had to take an English elective course (ironic since I had to choose an elective). Seems like I made the right choice by picking Sci-Fi Literature because that was an actual thing and it had many interesting stories. Out of the three/four long books we read, I only felt indifferent towards Who Goes There?, while other stories like The Time Machine and The Invisible Man were a blast to go through. All of that came with other short stories and movies to go along with it.
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27 / F / The state of Wash...
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Posted 6/22/16
Ann Rand was actually a communist plant sent to help break down all the positives of American society.
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Posted 6/22/16 , edited 6/22/16

abdallahm96 wrote:

Has anyone here ever read interesting required books in their schools? I have read some of the boring "masterpieces" throughout my high school, but the best required readings came around the time I had to take an English elective course (ironic since I had to choose an elective). Seems like I made the right choice by picking Sci-Fi Literature because that was an actual thing and it had many interesting stories. Out of the three/four long books we read, I only felt indifferent towards Who Goes There?, while other stories like The Time Machine and The Invisible Man were a blast to go through. All of that came with other short stories and movies to go along with it.


We had a fantasy section one semester, and after slogging through Beowulf (which did actually create some historical understanding of why the Rings in LOTR, and dragons guarding their treasure in The Hobbit, were actually linked by 7th-century symbolism of the day), we had other fantasy stories, including a fairly recent bestseller that had only just gotten underground cult attention ten or twelve years earlier: "The Princess Bride", by William Goldman.
The uncut book version, BEFORE everyone could quote every running-joke from memory.
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