30 Day Book Challenge Day 9:

Most Overrated Book

Lady Chatterley's Lover by D.H. Lawrence book coverEverybody has their own taste in books. One person’s favourite book is another’s most hated. Sometimes a book comes along that is almost universally loved or loathed and, like people, a book’s reputation is often entirely undeserved. Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D.H. Lawrence is just such a book.

This book definitely deserves a place in literary history – I do not disagree about that. After all, it was extremely explicit for its time and Lawrence used the shock tactics of forbidden topics to advance his views on class and gender and the differences and inequalities therein.

There is also a certain thrill involved in reading a book that was banned in so many places for such a long time – not to mention the voyeuristic quality of reading the details of another’s sexual encounters.

I get the appeal. I really do. However, I do not understand why this book is included in almost every list of books to read before you die. I get the attraction this book has to those who haven’t read it yet, but I do not get why it is so popular amongst those who have already read it.

This book may have historical significance, but a pleasant read it is not. The language and style of writing are fine – the problem lies in content. I found this novel to be bleak, depressing and pessimistic and, if this was truly Lawrence’s view of life and love, then I pity him. Even given the era this was written, with its increased industrialisation, collier strikes, the aftermath of one war and the spectre of another, surely there was still room for hope?

To top everything off, this book has the same tendency of many other classics to be a heavy, difficult read that has to be waded through rather than enjoyed. Many people like this work, but it is not for me.

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4 replies


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