10 Books Not to Read Before You Die

A friend sent me this article from the Times Online (published on September 17, 2008). Its an article by Richard Wilson and he is listing the “Top 10 Books Not to Read Before You Die” and then gives a reason why.

10: Ulysses – James Joyce

9: Lord of the Rings – J R R Tolkien

This is Wilson’s best one, he writes “The best I can say about this book is that it was a very useful tool at school for helping to choose your friends. Carrying a copy of Tolkien’s monstrous tome was the equivalent of a leper’s bell: ‘Unclean! Unclean!’ I knew I would have nothing in common with anyone who had read it. Their taste in music, clothes, television, everything was predetermined by their devotion to Gandalf. Without a shadow of a doubt, in a few years, these people would be going to Peter Gabriel gigs and reading Dune.”

8: For Whom the Bell Tolls – Ernest Hemingway
Part of the reason Wilson lists this book includes “…Then you realise it’s a bit dry and boring and the more you find out about Hemingway, the more you realise he was a bore too: a terrible macho bore obsessed with bullfighting, guns, boxing and trying to catch big fish; really quite a tiresome bloke you wouldn’t want to spend time with.”

7: À la Recherche du Temps Perdu – Marcel Proust

6: The Dice Man – Luke Reinhart

5: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas – Hunter S Thompson

4: The Beauty Myth – Naomi Wolff

3: War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy

Wilson has a four word explanation “Way, way too long.”

2: The Iliad — Homer

Wilson writes “The very idea that you are somehow culturally incomplete without knowledge of Homer is ridiculous. The Iliad is one of the most boring books ever written and it’s not just a boring book, it’s a boring epic poem; all repetitive battle scenes with a lot of reproaching and challenging and utterances escaping the barrier of one’s teeth and nostrils filling with dirt and helmet plumes nodding menacingly. There’s a big fight between Achilles and Hector and that’s about it.”

1: Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen

To read the whole article (which looks like its from Wilson’s book) checkout http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/books/book_extracts/article4773601.ece?token=null&offset=0&page=1