True confessions: I don’t like Pride and Prejudice.

Several years ago, I was catching up with two friends when the conversation turned to favorite books.  When I posed the question, “What is the best book you’ve ever read?” my two friends replied “Pride and Prejudice” in almost perfect unison.  Having never read it myself, I was intrigued.

As luck would have it, I found a paperback copy of Jane Austen’s classic at the local market for just $2.  I took it home and curled up in my comfy chair for a good read.  To my disappointment, by the time I had reached the 50-page-mark I was bored shitless.  I reluctantly finished the book, waiting eagerly for something incredible to happen.  I expected a epic twist in the tale, the introduction of a brilliant character or a touching moral to win my heart.  But nothing happened.  I didn’t hate the book, I just didn’t like it.

This puzzled me.  Why did I feel so lukewarm about the tale that had gotten both of my friends into such a tizz?  Had I read it wrong?  Had I missed something?  Several weeks later, I was struck down with a nasty cold.  In  my bedridden state, I decided to give the book another go.

The second reading produced similar results.  It wasn’t a bad story, I just found it bland.  I didn’t connect with any of the characters.  As for Mr Darcy, the hero who had my friends practically fainting from adoration, I found him arrogant and dull.  By the end of the book, I just didn’t care what happened.

This isn’t the first time I’ve had lukewarm feelings for a text that’s widely adored by the members of my gender.  When I was fifteen, I went to visit my cousin.  After a lengthy conversation about our favorite films, she was gobsmacked that I’d never seen Dirty Dancing.  She flew across the room, slammed the cassette into the VCR and parked me in front of the telly.  When the film finished, she  eagerly asked what I thought of the film.  When I told her I hadn’t liked it, her jaw unravelled.  Defiantly, she rewound the tape and made me watch it again.  I had  to admit to her that the second viewing didn’t please me any more than the first.

Since then, I’ve been almost ashamed to admit that I don’t like Dirty Dancing.  So many women list it as one of their favorite films, and even admit to having fantasies about Patrick Swayze after watching it.  When I tell people that it just didn’t do it for me, they usually look at me like I’ve gone nuts.  It’s as though they think I must have an igloo in my drawers to not find that movie sexy.  What can I say? It just wasn’t my bag.

It just goes to show that everyone is different, and that even though everyone else thinks something is brilliant, doesn’t mean you necessarily will.

Is there anything that everyone else seems to love, but which just doesn’t do it for you?  If so, leave a comment and tell me all about it!

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19 comments

    • A lot of the classics just don’t grab me. I tried to read Atlas Shrugged a few months ago and just felt bogged down in the tedium of the story. I’m glad to know that I’m not the only one who finds many great authors less than entertaining.

  1. …I’m sorry, Ness, but I’m going to have to confiscate your girl-card.

    Seriously, though, there are heaps of things that I feel like I’m supposed to like but which I just, well, DON’T.

    Two of the big things would be reality cooking shows (I’m so BORED of listening to the women at work gush about My Kitchen Rules or Master Chef or whatever similar show happens to be currently airing) and George Clooney (I just don’t find him attractive. Not even in an “older guy” way. He’s like an unattractive, un-funny Shaun Micallef).

    • I totally agree on both counts. Reality cooking shows bore me to tears. Cooking shows are fine (particularly when hosted by Jamie Oliver), but when you add bitchiness and competition, I lose interest.
      And George Cloony. Yeah, he’s alright. But there are so many more attractive older men out there.

  2. I’ve never read P&P. Just reading the synopsis on the back didn’t interest me. When I hear people raving about it I feel like I’m missing out on something… just not enough to actually read it.

    • I think everyone needs to make their own mind up about it, but if you aren’t even excited about cracking the first page, I’d give it a miss. There are too many awesome books out there to waste time on the ones that don’t really tickle your fancy.

  3. I have to agree – Pride and Prejudice is just one of those books which I can’t get into. (I’ve had my copy for …hm… 5-10 years and haven’t managed to finish it…) It’s comforting to know I’m not the only one who found it dull, lol.

  4. Top Gun. My sister in law and every other woman I know goes crazy over that movie – does NOTHING for me. I’ve even had people question my, ahem, interest in the male of the species due to my inability to get all hot and bothered by that movie. (ps I really like Pride and Prejudice)

  5. Wait, WHAT! You don’t like Dirty Dancing!? Woah. I guess we all have our own tastes, it would be a little dull if everyone liked the same thing. I love the P&P movies, but I agree the book is rather dull. I love pretty much any period drama though.

    The Simpsons. I don’t like the Simpsons. I think it is due to the fact my Mum doesn’t like it, I was never allowed to watch it, and as i’ve grown up it never really appealed to me.

    • Sorry, but it’s true. It just didn’t do it for me. I haven’t seen the Pride and Prejudice films. Perhaps I’d feel differently about them.

      I adore the Simpsons, but I can see why somebody wouldn’t like it.

    • Oooh. It’s so hard to pick just one favorite book. I adore To Kill a Mockingbird and Little Women is another favorite. I also love Harry Potter and Dear Fatty by Dawn French. There are just too many awesome books out there to choose from.

      • Popping in to say Hey Emma! We are polar opposites – I loathed The Great Gatsby, and have read Pride and Prejudice multiple times. Have a good week!

    • Dang! I know I’m late, but I wanted to say that you are literally my soulmate guurlll. :)) There’s no book (or even movie adaptation for that matter) than I can ever feel more strongly about. My English teacher forced me to read write and report on P&P, even though I had clearly expressed how I feel for The Great Gatsby. Guess now I have one more reason to not like the book lol. *cries*

      • Awwwwww, I’m always excited to find someone else who dislikes the same things I dislike! I just couldn’t get into it, and I’m so relieved that I never had to study it for school.

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