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May 11 2013

Geek Think: The Great Bores.

Welcome to Geek Think This is going to be a semi-regular part of Uncanny Flats where we’ll tell a story or give our opinion of something. We won’t usually be basing these articles on other articles, which were probably based on other articles anyway. So you’re gonna get an insight into our minds here, bring a flashlight it’s scary. If it turns out you don’t like what we have to say then do not share your opinion, if you do like it I want to see your support in the comments. As always, and especially in the Geek Think articles comments are encouraged.
Here goes…
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At the end (beginning?) of “Eaters of the Dead” Micheal Crichton explains that he wanted to write it because an English-professor friend of his was telling him he was going to teach a class canned “The Great Bores” about all the books you have to read in high school and how much they all suck. I’m not entirely sure if the class was going to be a pro-sucky books class or if he was going to try and explain how the books really don’t suck and kill his students in the process.

Anyhow, Crichton decided at that point to take of of these stories, Beowulf, and rewrite it to prove that is wasn’t boring, What he came up with was “Eaters of the Dead.” If you haven’t read it I strongly suggest that you do. All Crichton did is take the story and write it from a slightly different point of view and it came out pretty good. The thing is though, Crichton started with a story that is already a good one. I think there are a lot out there that you just can’t save.

I don’t exactly recall if the English-professor friend went into any detail about the other stories he would go over in the class but if he did he should have included some of those that I’ve been reading lately. In high school I was subjected to a lot of the same God-awful crap that I’m sure you all were. I had to read “Wuthering Heights,” “The Diary of Anne Frank,” “A Tale of Two Cities,” and the like. For “The Tale of Two Cities” it was so boring I fell asleep right after the “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,” paragraph and I never tried to start again. I rented the movie and watched that, and yet I was the only one in class to get a 100% on the tests we took every day to go over last night’s reading. Goes to show how much it helps when you know how the teacher writes his tests.

Anyway, lately I’ve been reading some of the ones I missed in high school but have heard about my whole life because they are on all the best-books-in-the-history-of-ever lists. In particular “1984”, and “The Catcher in the Rye.” “1984” at least had a decent story but it was about 50% longer than it needed to be. I’d give it a solid 3 out of 5, and I did on my Goodreads list. But “The Catcher in the Rye” was awful, it was right up there with “Hatchet” in the list of worst books I’ve ever read. I’d have given it a -18 out of 5 if that was an option.

I just don’t understand how all these awful books are still around. I thought if something sucked it went away or only hipsters talked about it. Maybe that’s the problem, hipsterism is all mainstream now so these books are back, but I kind of doubt that’s all there is. Maybe I’m missing the point in all the books, but I consider myself a pretty bright guy and I don’t think I’m just not getting it over an over again. If you agree lets start a campaign of boycotting crappy books. It will be easy, when you are about to read a classic ask around first, find someone who’s read it cover to cover and see what they think. If they liked it great, give it a go, if not don’t because it probably sucks. If you do read it on their suggestion only to find out that it sucks it is your obligation to beat them to death with the book.

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