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My Unpopular Literary Opinions

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By Annie KapurPublished about a month ago Updated 28 days ago 7 min read
Top Story - March 2024
21
My Unpopular Literary Opinions
Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

I have a vast amount of fairly unpopular literary opinions. From books that I feel have been overhyped to classics that I think are just people trying to sound intelligent without having any real value. From clichés and boring genres that take on no other form whatsoever to writers who are really not as great as everyone thinks they are. Here are some of my most unpopular literary opinions made flesh. I hope that you enjoy them and that we can maybe have a balanced discussion about it. (Also, please don't hate me. These are just opinions and are in no way representative of anything factual at all).

My Unpopular Literary Opinions

10. Books that are overhyped are usually awful

From: New Statesman

Here is me ranting about the books that get the most hype on social media and advertising. What I have come to realise is that when a book is overhyped, it is normally to accomodate for the lack of skill, precision or storyline - or it is to build a brand. It is rare that these books will be anything fantastic especially in the social media age. I try my best to stay away from broad social trends of reading because of this. They almost never live up to their hype.

9. You shouldn't be allowed to review books you didn't finish

From: GoodReads

Well, you might as well review a book you haven't read if you're sitting there on GoodReads reviewing under "DNF after 30%". How am I supposed to know whether the book gets any better? It is a special skill to finish a book and be able to review it critically, saying what was good and bad throughout. If you're reviewing a book you didn't finish then I don't think anyone should take it into account at all. You're basically showcasing your lack of willpower and critical skill to the world.

8. The books of David Foster Wallace might be interesting, but gosh are they exasperating to read. (And, his writing is not nearly as intelligent as everyone thinks)

From: Reddit

David Foster Wallace was a special kind of writer in the fact that his books are genuinely interesting stories, but the reading experience is a total let down the vast majority of the time. I know a lot of people who say that folks who find DFW boring are simply 'not getting it'. No, I spent an entire month analysing The Pale King and the writing was good, but nowhere near as intelligent as everyone made it out to be. The reading experience after a while becomes an exasperating chore and more than often I get to the end of the book not really having any clear feelings because of this. You simply cannot drown in them.

7. The James Bond books are a million times more interesting than the films (which are on the whole, not interesting in the slightest)

From: Fonts in Use

The James Bond franchise often gets forgotten when it comes to the literature. The films are on the whole, more attractive but far less exciting. The books are well-written convoluted spy thrillers and some get really quite dark and political. The films, I feel, go more for the low-brow action sequences and sort of abandon any real story there is to abandon. I will still watch a James Bond film, but it is nowhere near as exciting and well-formed as the literature.

6. AI stories may not be all that bad, especially when it comes to accessibility

From: Analytics Insight

Neurodivergent children often have difficulty with reading and more than often there are reading 'levels' which can make a child who is behind not only feel bad, but think that there is no point to aspire higher. This is why I propose that AI designed stories complete with comprehension questions are not all that bad. Without providing a 'level' and a 'label' for these children, we can ask them what they enjoy and design stories around that with little to no difficulty by typing in prompts. We can then test understanding (which may be more than we think since the story was generated upon interest) and make them progressively more difficult with vocabulary learning along the way. As someone who is a teacher and lecturer, this is a god-send idea for children who a) struggle with getting into texts and b) who are neurodivergent.

5. No matter how you read The Unbearable Lightness of Being, it is still an awful book

From: New Retro Wave

I have said this a few times. I've tried over and over again to read and re-read The Unbearable Lightness of Being as I thought I was in a bad mood when I read it the first time. I waited for myself to cheer up and then gave it another go. Turns out that the book is just plain awful whenever you read it. It may be an unpopular opinion but it is true. Sorry to Sir Daniel Day-Lewis (who is one of my all-time favourite actors) but the film was awful too. I honestly cannot believe anyone admits to enjoying that book.

4. Romance as a main plot is dull, boring and lazy. Romance as a sub-plot or plot device can be very interesting

From: Art UK

Think about how many different storylines you can get out of the 'romance' main plot. From Romeo and Juliet down to every Nicholas Sparks novel ever - there are not many. Romance as a main plot ends up being dull, repetitive and more than often, really bloody boring. As a side-story however, it can work wonders for character development, revenge narratives and even fit in nicely to a horror novel or two. If I've said it once, I have said it a million times - there's no such thing as a good romance novel. It is a device - not a genre.

3. The post-21st century gothic is over-saturated with women writers made on Instagram. And most of them are no good at all

From: Business Insider

I thought that the return of the gothic was going to mean I got a ton of new stuff to read but instead we have a genre that has a few really interesting and good writers such as Julia Armfield, Lucie McKnight Hardy and Mariana Enriquez - and then we have these Instagram-made authors who are actually just awful writers who have a social media presence. I believe that publishers need to go back to focusing on the quality of the writing rather than who has more followers than who - this way we can weed out all the bad literature and read some real quality stuff.

2. Rupi Kaur ruined poetry for everyone

From: Amazon

If there is any writer who has done more for the decline and fall of poetry it is Rupi Kaur. Over-saturated with fake profundity and a 7th grade vocabulary, Rupi Kaur has managed to make reading poetry a chore and an activity that is blindingly boring for a new up and coming generation. Another Instagram-made author who's entire claim to fame is that she has a word-bank under three digits, Rupi Kaur is basically the Satan of modern verse as she seeks to destroy the very essence of the art itself. Social media diseases shouldn't write poetry and that is me talking directly to Rupi Kaur.

1. Finnegans Wake is nowhere near as good and intelligent as everyone thinks it is

From: Wordsworth Editions

This may be more subjective but I tried reading Finnegans Wake when I was about 21 and honestly, it took me forever. I understand that there are people out there who love the book and to be fair, I enjoyed Joyce's Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man - I thought it was very clever. But who is god's name is reading Finnegans Wake and thinks it is an enjoyable reading experience? Especially as a first-time read. That book did nothing for me and makes me dread trying it again. I don't think it's very intelligent as it doesn't really have a great storyline and nor is it written in any interesting way. This is basically James Joyce begging someone to give him the Nobel Prize for Literature (and obviously he wouldn't get it because why would he?). Finnegans Wake is just a book-shaped headache, that's what it is.

Conclusion

Sorry if you don't agree with me but these are my opinions. Please don't go off on me in the comments and don't track me down on social media. I might come back with a part two, but as of now - I hope we can agree on at least some things.

literature
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About the Creator

Annie Kapur

195K+ Reads on Vocal.

English Lecturer

🎓Literature & Writing (B.A)

🎓Film & Writing (M.A)

🎓Secondary English Education (PgDipEd) (QTS)

📍Birmingham, UK

Reader insights

Outstanding

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Comments (13)

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  • Anna 27 days ago

    Congrats on Top Story!🥳🥳🥳

  • Babs Iverson27 days ago

    Congratulations on Top Story!!! Definitely agree with the James Bond books!!! Impressive list!!❤️❤️💕

  • An article so good, I had to give it a shoutout in my latest piece: https://vocal.media/writers/die-pre-release-demons

  • Brin J.28 days ago

    I agree with #4, and it IS a hugely unpopular opinion. Romance as the entire plot is boring. What I loved about The Hunger Games was that the entire thing was already suspenseful, but the added layer of sub-plot romance just added to the stakes. If Susanne Collins had made the romance the epicenter of the novel, it wouldn't have been as influential as it was.

  • Agreed wholeheartedly on #9 with the additional commandment that thou who hasn't purchased from the Amazon page cannot then submit a review on the Amazon page. My first book is about to go live, and I now live in fear that anyone I might rub the wrong way can then run to my Amazon product page and submit nasty reviews without even paying me the royalty. But if they DO buy, then they can roast it to their heart's content. Heck, roast the physical book, even. You buy it, you can burn it. That's my policy.

  • Olivia Barker28 days ago

    You're right and you should say it. Especially about Rupi. People seem to equate popularity with the quality of the work.

  • Cali Loria28 days ago

    “Over-saturated with fake profundity and a 7th grade vocabulary, Rupi Kaur has managed to make reading poetry a chore and an activity that is blindingly boring for a new up and coming generation.” 🙌🙌🙌🙌 I was a bookstore manager when she first hit the scene and I blanched every time a young person found their wings under her ascension.

  • Kendall Defoe 28 days ago

    I am halfway there with you. We really need to sit down and discuss how awful Ian Flemi g is as a writer one day... 😃

  • Hannah Moore28 days ago

    Got to say, I am unqualified to counter or agree on most of these, however, I would argue that romance is a device in romeo and juliet, to carry a plot about polarisation and feuding.

  • Lamar Wiggins28 days ago

    I wholeheartedly agree that romance is a device and not a genre. For me, It’s mostly painful to follow unless it’s infused with mystery. You have some great insights into reads I haven’t touched and probably won’t, lol. I’m looking forward to part 2 of this.

  • Rachel Deeming28 days ago

    So funny! I too read "The Unbearable Lightness of Being" and found it really tedious. I finished it though just so that I could form an opinion so I am sort of with you on the Goodreads DNF thing too. I have had books that I have not been able to finish - my rule is, if I'm not enjoying it, read to 100 pages and then ask myself "Do I care? Am I curious?" If the answer is "No!", then I give up because, quite frankly, there are better books to read. However, if it is literary, I do read the whole thing because I want to be able to quantify fully what I did not like. Hence, the unbearable reading of Milan Kundera. Never liked Joyce so will live my life having never read "Ulysses" nor "Finnegan's Wake". Even "A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man", I found didn't stimulate me. I don't think I've read David Foster Wallace but I might have to now to find out what that's all about but I can testify to loving Ian Fleming's Bond although I do like the vacuous action of the films too. I don't think they reflect each other very well really. I have a controversial literary dislike -Ernest Hemingway and wrote about it on here, because I wanted to know if I was on my own. Think I might be.

  • K. Kocheryan28 days ago

    I did not know James Bond was a book series. Wow. Also number 6 is very interesting and I hadn't thought about that. Great opinions. Give us a part 2!

  • Matthew Fromm28 days ago

    Love the shout out for the James Bond series…so fantastic

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