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What’s Your Unpopular Book Opinion?

This post on Reddit inspired me. And that’s saying something. Because to find anything inspiring on the Reddit Books forums is a rarity, unless you’re inspired by pretentious jerkwads.

So, today, I’ll ask you this:

What’s one of your unpopular opinions about books? You guys unfortunately read my opinions all the time–it’s kind of what a blog’s about. So you already know so of my unpopular opinions–like how I hate Mrs. Dalloway and how Stanley Kubrick’s version of A Clockwork Orange was a slap in the face to Anthony Burgess.

So I’m going to tell you about one of my unpopular opinions that I haven’t talked about as much–at least since I read the Watchmen graphic novel. It’s this:

I really, really dislike superhero stories. Pretty much in any form.

I had a phase during my childhood where I got into Superman and Spiderman and all that, but I just don’t get all the immense adult interest for those stories–especially the films–today.

I don’t have a problem with my sons getting into superheroes. I actually hope they do. I feel like it’s just part of the experience of being a little boy. And I’ll take them to see the movies when they get a little older. But, as an artform, I just kind of think superhero stories are redundant, silly, and, frankly, not very creative.

I watched The Avengers a few years ago and I wanted to pull my eyes out. It’s basically 90 minutes of superheroes fighting aliens flying out of the sky. Where’s the creativity in that? Where’s the story? You know Hollywood is out of ideas because they keep rehashing these superhero movies every 10 years. How many different versions of Spiderman, Superman, and Batman have we had in the last 20 years?

One final disclaimer and I’ll end my rant: I thought this last round of Batman movies, with Christian Bale, were really well done. I never saw the third one, but that second film with Heath Ledger as The Joker was pretty amazing. So I like that version of Batman, but that’s about it.

Rant over.

I’m full of crap, right?

So what about you–what’s your unpopular opinion about books?

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79 Comments Post a comment
  1. Brandon #

    Unpopular opinion: It all went downhill after 1400 AD.

    Like

    May 30, 2014
  2. Brandon #

    PS “Because to find anything inspiring on the Reddit Books forums is a rarity, unless you’re inspired by pretentious jerkwads.”

    Ooooooh, shots fired….

    Like

    May 30, 2014
  3. Make that all action films for me. Except Lawrence 0livier’s Henry the fifth.

    Like

    May 30, 2014
  4. First of all, let me state that I am a middle school teacher. So my opinion may not be unpopular with every crowd, but with the middle school crowd it certainly is.

    I did not like The Hunger Games series. I thought there was a severe lack in character development and several plot lines that weren’t fleshed out because she was too focused on trying to kill them all.

    Like

    May 30, 2014
    • I agree, Andrea! I find that series very troubling, and I found the first movie quite upsetting, particularly in that it was being marketed as the next Harry Potter. Which it most assuredly not.

      Like

      May 30, 2014
      • Andrea Ward #

        I didn’t bother finishing the series or seeing the first movie. I read part of book two and the last chapter of the third book. Just in case the character development got better. It didn’t, so I just stopped trying to like it.

        And it is most definitely not the next Harry Potter. That series was written much better.

        Like

        May 31, 2014
    • That’s the thing about character development. It tends to make you feel for a character. It turns them into a human being. But if you’re going to kill everyone around you, it’s best not to think of them as human beings.

      Like

      May 30, 2014
      • Andrea Ward #

        You’re right! They don’t feel like human beings.

        Like

        May 31, 2014
  5. Best sentence I will read all day: “Because to find anything inspiring on the Reddit Books forums is a rarity, unless you’re inspired by pretentious jerkwads.” Amen! As for superheroes, I love them, but my dirty secret is that I don’t like Shakespeare very much. Which is exceedingly problematic for me because I have a Masters in theater and have written about Shakespeare extensively, at least in my academic days. But I just never actually liked any of it. No fun to read, no fun to watch unless the right people are doing it, too many characters, too many plot lines, and just too much. But I feel like none of us are actually allowed to admit we don’t like Shakespeare. So there you are.

    >

    Like

    May 30, 2014
  6. I am not a big fan of poetry. I find it hard to understand and relate to.

    Like

    May 30, 2014
    • Nan #

      Amen, amen, amen. I was not a happy camper when they made us take not one but TWO poetry workshops in my non-fiction degree track.

      Like

      May 30, 2014
  7. Greg Streech #

    Careful Brother Bruce. We live in a society that any dissenting opinion is cause for vilification and criminal charges. Political correctness is all the rage!

    And Shakespeare, like most of the “classic” authors, stinks. Unreadable.

    Like

    May 30, 2014
  8. I HATE the Twilight drivel – books and movies: mind-numbing. YA readers deserve more respect than was shown them by the author. Her writing is, at best, formulaic and unimaginative. Meh.

    Like

    May 30, 2014
    • Andrea Ward #

      I hated seeing her writing process in the middle of reading those books. I wasn’t at all drawn into the world she was creating. I just kept predicting what she would do next.

      Like

      May 31, 2014
  9. I love this post. You can go much farther with this. Talk more about the lack of originality in hollywood. This was my favorite: “I watched The Avengers a few years ago and I wanted to pull my eyes out. It’s basically 90 minutes of superheroes fighting aliens flying out of the sky. Where’s the creativity in that? Where’s the story? You know Hollywood is out of ideas because they keep rehashing these superhero movies every 10 years. How many different versions of Spiderman, Superman, and Batman have we had in the last 20 years?”

    Like

    May 30, 2014
  10. I think the credit for the Batman trilogy goes to Nolan and the power star cast – even I didn’t like the earlier Batman movies though I like Marvel movies in general. Coming to my unpopular opinion, I’m not a Harry Potter fan. A lot of people think I just say that to stand out or something but I actually read 2 books before reaching that conclusion. So there is my unpopular opinion that is sure to rub a lot of people the wrong way !

    Like

    May 30, 2014
  11. I absolutely hated Catcher in the Rye.

    Like

    May 30, 2014
    • Nan #

      GASP WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU!??

      Just kidding.

      No, seriously, what is wrong with you? 😉

      Like

      May 30, 2014
    • Andrea Ward #

      I didn’t hate it, but I certainty wasn’t impressed by it. I felt like I wasted my time.

      Like

      May 31, 2014
    • I’m with you. I think as a teenager Holden Caufield is relate-able but as a grown-up I find him insufferable.

      Like

      June 3, 2014
  12. Patrice #

    The Left Behind Series. William Faulkner. Hemingway.

    Like

    May 30, 2014
    • Oh dear, but these are all so different in terms of quality? Left Behind shouldn’t even be in the same discussion as those two.

      Like

      June 2, 2014
  13. I really dislike cartoon characters with big eyes.

    Like

    May 30, 2014
  14. I love superheroes but I really enjoyed your words ahaha

    Like

    May 30, 2014
  15. Ren Ellis #

    I received quite a few disbelieving looks from my classmates during one of my college literature courses when I said I disliked both Alice in Wonderland as I found it a very odd tale and Jane Eyre as it was thoroughly depressing.

    Like

    May 30, 2014
  16. InstaScribe #

    My unpopular book opinion is that you are unlikely to know anything about the scent of “freshly printed paper” that physical books have, unless you are a printer, or handle operations of a publisher right after printing 😀

    (I do love reading physical books. But it has nothing to do with scent of “freshly printed paper”)

    – Jaya

    Like

    May 30, 2014
  17. You are not full of crap. You are generally right. I agree with you that the latest Batman films have been quite good. And I also think that (with the exception of all the ridiculous Wolverine ones) the Xmen chronicles are typically more interesting. The whole civil rights thread is at least a bit smarter and more captivating. Also Ian McKellan and Patrick Stewart are capable of getting me into all the theaters.

    Like

    May 30, 2014
  18. deweydecimalsbutler #

    I think Hamlet is overrated.

    Like

    May 30, 2014
  19. Totally with ya on the Superhero stuff. I’m way over it. I also totally agree with you on the Christian Bale front – Bale has yet to disappoint me.

    I don’t get why John Green is such a big deal (even after reading three of his books, including the The Fault in Our Stars), Divergent was “Eh,” (I have no desire to read anymore and didn’t even finish the movie) and The Percy Jackson books made me want to physically injure someone. It’s just a bunch of random things happening! I don’t get it and I don’t like it! (Sadly I have one more Rick Riordan book on my Book Challenge list.)

    Also, How I Met Your Mother went on for too long. I didn’t care for Up, Wall-E, or Despicable Me. I don’t believe that Friends is one of the best shows ever and I genuinely enjoy the first few seasons of Glee.

    This is fun!

    Like

    May 30, 2014
    • My aunt fell asleep during Wall-E… however, I stand by the opinion that it is one of the greatest Pixar films ever made.

      Like

      May 31, 2014
      • I just don’t get it! Maybe I should give it another chance.

        Like

        May 31, 2014
  20. I absolutely agree! Though I do think there are some exceptions, they are all so redundant. Which I guess is just the nature of superheroes. I mean, how creative can you be about a guy with a secret identity who gets powers and saves the world? I thought the most recent Spiderman was evidence of this. I actually liked the first one, but felt it was a lot more character and emotion focused. This one spent too much time on big fight scenes destroying half the city set to dubstep (why?). I mean, it had two boss showdowns. Two.

    Like

    May 30, 2014
  21. Don’t apologize for your opinions. Superheros are WAAAAAAY overrated. 🙂

    As for my unpopular book opinion, I’m probably the only teenager alive who doesn’t like Edgar Allan Poe. Sorry!

    Like

    May 30, 2014
  22. My most recent (probably unpopular) opinion? The Fault in Our Stars – I don’t get what’s the big whoop about it. The story’s ok, the writing good, but those characters were so blah.

    Others: I absolutely hate Tristram Shandy. Game of Thrones: the writing I find somewhat long-winded and tedious to get through. Only saw S1 of GoT, good tv series, but as the rest of my friends is somewhat more up to date, I keep hearing spoilers and spoilers and more spoilers which takes the fun out of watching/reading it. Superhero/action films: boring.

    Like

    May 30, 2014
    • Nan #

      I couldn’t get through the second chapter of the second GOT book. I mean… wow, what an over-worded snoozefest.

      Like

      May 30, 2014
      • Ah, that doesn’t bode well. I haven’t started the second one yet – it’s happily collecting dust on my bookshelves. It will probably be that way for a little while I guess.

        Like

        May 30, 2014
      • sally1137 #

        I’m slogging my way through Fire and Ice. I bet if I cared about any of hse characters it would be easier to keep them all straight. So, no hope.

        Like

        May 31, 2014
        • Why do you keep reading? In hopes that it will get better? I usually give up after the first couple of chapters if I don’t like a book. Life is too short, and there are too many other books waiting in line.

          Like

          May 31, 2014
          • sally1137 #

            I keep thinking that if I can figure out which charcter is which, I’ll care about the story.

            Like

            June 1, 2014
          • 😀

            Like

            June 2, 2014
    • marleah #

      Agree on The Fault in Our Stars. I’ve explained my feelings to people by saying that liking that book is a Cancer Perk.

      Like

      June 1, 2014
      • Ha, well put! 🙂

        Like

        June 1, 2014
      • I don’t understand at all where the whole fandom of The Fault In Our Stars came from. I read it expecting big things from the hype surrounded by it but it was absolutely GARBAGE. I thought the writing was awful and the characters made me want to paint the walls with my brain. I know it’s supposed to be a YA novel but it just kicked the shammy. To me it was as if a 14 year old Tumblr girl wrote a ‘romantic’ story and then an adult put a somewhat story line to it to make it somewhat plausible. I can’t even begin to describe how much I despise that book and even the writer. That book should never have been written.

        Like

        June 2, 2014
  23. Reblogged this on fadinglightblog.

    Like

    May 30, 2014
  24. I don´t like Chekhov. The little I have read from him I find it oh so boring.

    Like

    May 30, 2014
  25. I have no problem with pornography just keep it away from my kids, the problem is that it’s on every give a book take a book shelf in the form of trashy romance novels. There is a clause in the law that says that if it’s not one scene right after another it’s not considered pornography.

    Like

    May 30, 2014
  26. Caitlin McEwen #

    1. While I politely disagree, I love the superhero stories, it was explained to me one day why we keep getting 5 million spiderman movies (or whatever superhero you want to use as an example). Spiderman, originally created by Marvel, is now owned by Sony. Marvel still has Avengers (and others). Because Sony has Spiderman, Marvel cannot use Spiderman in an Avenger movie. But, as a caveat, Sony must produce x-number of movies/tv shows in a timespan to keep those rights.

    2. My personal unpopular opinion – Emily Dickinson’s poems are trash. I have never found one I like…

    Like

    May 30, 2014
  27. The thing I resent the most is the cookie cutter approach to story. That’s what we are getting in every sort of media these days. You pretty well know the ending when you begin. The other thing is this current fascination with zombies, werewolves and vampires.

    Like

    May 30, 2014
    • Yes, I think we should ban all creatures from literature/film whose names begin with the last four letters of the alphabet.

      Like

      May 31, 2014
      • Don’t forget that old English saying you hear so many times on the moors, “To eyre is jane, my friend, to eyre is jane.”

        Like

        May 31, 2014
  28. I….like the Twilight series. And Eragon series.

    They are not great literature, no. But, shit. They’ve produced more popularity than anything I’ve written, and I was able to escape to a different world for a bit.

    More importantly, and this is more towards Twilight, THEY HAVE KIDS READING!
    I worked at Borders for two years. I couldn’t tell you how many people I had coming in asking us, “me/my child would never touch a book before, but they/I just finished the Twilight series and LOVED it. What can they/I pick up to keep reading??”

    I’m just more about getting people to read than I am being a book snob. Like, I despite general romance novels. I think they’re trash. But that’s *my* personal taste. I will not judge someone who loves romance novels, because at least they’re reading something!

    Like

    May 31, 2014
  29. I don’t like Charles Dickens’ stories. They read like he was paid by the word (which he was).

    Like

    May 31, 2014
    • Also, I agree with your sentiment about superhero movies. I was honestly a bit disappointed by Captain America: TWS. The “complexity” behind superpowers seems to be limited to the angst of “other-ness” and corruption through too much power; the problem is not something with the genre itself, but with how multiple movies are making the same inroads through the same genres. I only watched the movie for its hotness factor. 🙂

      What the superhero genre really needs is a genre deconstruction story, like the Watchmen did (and which you commented upon), or at least a film/story that turns several of its tropes on its head. Recently I’ve watched Puella Magi Madoka Magica: The Rebellion Story, which is the final installment in a trilogy of magical girl films (and was part of the 15-film shortlist for the Best Animated Feature Film 2013 Oscars!). Now, after Sailor Moon all of the magical girl stories seemed the same, so watching this was a breath of fresh air. The superhero genre needs its PMMM equivalent.

      Like

      May 31, 2014
  30. Reblogged this on AnitaJayDawes and commented:
    I totally agree. The only thing that made the Heath Ledger role worth watching was the empathy the actor and the writer gave to it, making it unforgettable. That’s what we want to find, the unforgettable’ness!

    Like

    May 31, 2014
  31. I don’t like Dave Eggers’ writing. Zeitoun was interesting because of the subject matter, but the “Genius” book is pretending to pretend to be self-indulgent when it actually is just that. On the other hand, I can read anything Dickens or Shakespeare ever wrote, and I like poetry that divulges one layer of meaning on first reading, but not the kind that sounds like the oracle of Delphi dictated it.

    Like

    May 31, 2014
    • Yes, I thought the first half of “Genius” was good, but the second half self-indulgent. I thought Zeitoun was good, if occasionally a bit repetitive. I read the excerpt of The Circle in the NYT magazine and thought it was well done. I bought the book but haven’t started it yet. And I’m with you on the great Shakes and Dickens. Poetry is a sticky wicket that is difficult to discuss in an online forum without coming to blows.

      Like

      May 31, 2014
  32. I really don’t like “The Lord of the Rings” books. Wherever I go, I’m rather lonely with this opinion. I read and loved “The Hobbit” when I was 12 years old, I like the movies by Peter Jackson but the books… I was bored. Too many parts that weren’t necessary for the story like sites and sites full of Hobbit – songs and a protagonist who is moaning all the time. Though I read them all and didn’t break up because I was hoping permanently that it’s getting better, it didn’t. To me, the whole trilogy was a waste of time.

    Like

    May 31, 2014
    • 100% agree with you! My Dad does as well – says the only reason he finished LOTR was that he was living in a remote cabin working on a fishing boat in the 70s (on the west coast of NZ, coincidentally!) with no neighbours and no TV.

      Like

      June 1, 2014
      • Thank you so much for reassuring me that I’m not alone and not as much an alien as I thought I would be! =)

        Like

        June 1, 2014
  33. The French Lieutenant’s Woman by John Fowles outraged me. It’s still at the top of my literary hitlist. If the author can’t make up his mind how his book ends, he shouldn’t publish it.

    Like

    May 31, 2014
  34. I just can’t get to liking Jane Eyre, or Wuthering Heights, or Tess of the D’Ubervilles…
    The heroines are just way too depressed and helpless for my liking. Where’s the comedy?!

    That being said I really enjoyed Agnes Grey and Far From The Madding Crowd, so I suppose you can’t judge a book by its author (or its author’s sisters!) all the time.

    Like

    May 31, 2014
  35. I have wondered why no one brings how we can tell our kids not to use drugs. That’s how Captain America got his powers. Drugs. What kind of confusing message are we sending. Oh, and I don’t care what anybody says. Vampires do not sparkle and they can’t go out into the sunlight.

    Like

    May 31, 2014
  36. I have a VERY unpopular one: I hated John Green’s “The Fault in Our Stars.” I thought he took advantage of a tragic situation (kids w/ cancer). I didn’t think it was particularly well-written, either, and the “characters” struck me as idealized and unrealistic.
    P.S. I also don’t like superheroes, except sometimes Iron Man.

    Like

    May 31, 2014
  37. marleah #

    I hated Eat Pray Love, and I’m a verycloseto30 woman. Sure, to solve all my problems I just need someone to pay me to travel the world…..

    Like

    June 1, 2014
    • Andrea Ward #

      I agree. I did not like that book at all. She just seemed so whiny even when they were paying her to travel the world.

      Like

      June 1, 2014
      • Brenda #

        I’m glad I’m not the only one who feels that way about Eat Pray Love. What a snooze fest. It took me forever to finish because I would put it down for a few months before trying again to get through it. I could not give it away fast enough when I was finally through.

        I am beginning to regard books the same as I do movies…the more they are hyped, the more I resist them.

        Like

        June 1, 2014
  38. I think Tolstoy was a poor writer, he had to explain everything rather than allowing his characters actions to speak for themselves. Show don’t tell!!

    Like

    June 1, 2014
  39. My dear reader what do you feel about d book MARIPOSA cos d book totaly confused me so much dat after reading half of the book i stil couldnt figure out wat its al about even after reading d synopsis at the back over and over again, also i feel d writer didnt get d chapters write cos he just muddle d whole thing up. So plz robert nd others wat du u tink

    Like

    June 1, 2014
  40. Grace #

    I just wrote a review on the Hunger Games, and it’s negative. I don’t think Hunger Games fans like that.

    Like

    June 1, 2014
  41. I do not like Terry “national treasure” Pratchett. As a human being he seems perfectly nice, but as a writer I think he is terrible. More than his book though, I hate the rabid obsession he inspires in Discworld fanboys. To hear them speak about Pratchett you’d think he was Shakespeare or Joyce and not some third rate author with a few interesting ideas which are terribly executed. Anyway, rant over. That is my unpopular literary opinion. Thanks
    Tolstoy’s Top Hat

    Like

    June 1, 2014
  42. I can’t stand Anna Karenina. I really have tried, and I just don’t care.

    Like

    June 1, 2014
  43. Helen #

    (Sort of) unpopular opinion: I can’t stand Ernest Hemingway’s books. I am not sure why, but I find them boring. The topics themselves are not boring to me; love and loss and war. I realize his importance and his influence on writing style, hell, I even like authors that followed and were influenced by him, but Hemingway, the trend-setter, I just can’t read.

    On a different note (I realize this won’t change your mind about comic book superheroes and I am not trying to do so, everyone’s entitled to their opinion), you might be interested in reading the other side’s view. http://comicsalliance.com/ask-chris-96-why-spider-man-is-the-best-character-ever-yes/

    It goes a long way to demonstrate the depth that particular character has. Of course, when you are dealing with characters that have been around for 50+ years and have to publish new stories about them every month, naturally most (if not all) of those stories are going to be contrived.

    Like

    June 2, 2014
  44. Becky Todd #

    I don’t like Charles Dickens because of the descriptive peices. I just cant bear the dull pace. I know, blasphemy…

    Like

    June 3, 2014
  45. So many choices……
    For me, it would be anything featuring talking animals. I’m having to read Wind in the Willows for a book club read (that choice brought on my rolling eye syndrome) and i really can’t get past page 50.

    Like

    June 4, 2014
  46. Mine would probably be my hatred of The Great Gatsby. I so wanted to love it but ended up hating it. The same happened with I Capture The Castle- everyone else seems to love it. I fully expected to love it, as it’s exactly my sort of book. By the time I finished, I wanted to hurl the thing in the fire.

    Like

    June 5, 2014

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