Western Courier

GQ article slams classic books

Brie Coder, Courier Staff

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For a long time now, many people have fought over what exactly a well-established book is and what it looks like. Some argue that books are supposed to take you on an adventure and take you away from reality. Others think that a good book must have some type of climax with a very strong resolution. Whatever the case may be, we all know which type of books we like and which ones we don’t. On April 19, the editors of GQ wrote a very loathsome article called “21 Books You Don’t Have to Read.” This article takes every book we have ever loved, and just destroys its original content. The baffling part was that the authors recommended books that were not relatable to the original book whatsoever. This is one of those articles you’ll have to read on your own time, but until then I’ll highlight the books that stood out to me the most. The first book on the list that made me yell out why was “The Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger. Now before I get into all the details, I know that this book is despised by many people, trust me I know I have had conversations about this book before. I have never disliked the book. Yes, Holden Caulfield was an entitled brat, but let’s be real for a second, how many people do we know in our lives who act like him? Many of us do! You know Caulfield is a well-made character, because everyone talks about him so much. Anyway, the reason the GQ editors didn’t think it’s an important book to read is because “it is without any literary merit whatsoever. Why waste adolescents’ time?” They recommend reading a book called “Olivia,” which is about a young girl in England who is sent to a France boarding school. She falls in love with her teacher, and her teacher falls in love with her, but doesn’t show it upfront, but is equally in love with her. Here’s where I have a problem. Haven’t we seen many cases where teachers fell in love with their students? And what happens, they go to jail! I know “The Catcher in the Rye” doesn’t have a sickly love story like that in its book. The second book, a series that caught my attention was The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R Tolkien. This is what the editor’s thought of the series. “While Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings books are influential as exercises in world building, as novels they are barely readable. It never seemed to me that Tolkien cared about his story as much as he cared about rendering, in minute detail, the world he built.” What they recommend to read is the Earthsea Series by Ursula K. Le Guin. The series centers on a world of islands surrounded by an uncharted ocean. If I wanted to read a series about islands and uncharted oceans, I’d just borrow another students oceanography and topography textbooks. I don’t think this series is as “precious” like Gollum is to us in The Lord of the Rings Series. Now this last one might strike a nerve with anyone who is religious. The third book that I was in awe that they had on their list was the Bible. They had the audacity to say the following things. “Overall it is certainly not the finest thing that man has ever produced. It is repetitive, self-contradictory, sententious, foolish, and even at times ill-intentioned.” They instead recommend reading a book that begins a series called “The Notebook” by Agota Kristof. This first story of three, tells the tale of young twins who live with their grandma in a small Hungarian town during the last two years of WWII. The twins are immoral, and like to lie, blackmail, kill and stand for the most unethical things known to man. Saying this story is better than a sacred text like the Bible, is causing for a war to break out yet again here in America. It’s pretty sad when Atheists comment on the site and other media platforms, defending the Bible by saying that it’s apart of history, and it’s important to many different types of religions. Yes we live in a country where freedom of expression is granted to us, but didn’t these editors go just a little too far?

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GQ article slams classic books