Have you ever gone through a beloved classic only to find yourself in pain trying even to finish it? You’re not alone, as online book lovers reveal 25 universally adored authors they can’t seem to enjoy.
1. Neil Gaiman
One user and Neil Gaiman just can’t seem to get along. In theory, they believe they should like his stories, but how he writes them just doesn't click.
2. Stephen King
A reader shares how they love the idea of loving his writing but haven’t been able to get into any of his books. Sadly, many have realized that while they may like some of his books, they’ve abandoned way more than they’ve finished.
3. Haruki Murakami
Many have tried and failed when it comes to Murakami. In fact, most readers give up after reading one book. His surrealism isn’t for everyone, leaving many uncomfortable with incomplete endings and odd tropes.
4. Charles Dickens
One member loved Dickens when translated into their language. However, reading his work in English has been dreadful. Even for native speakers, Dickens's work is dense and hard to get through despite its impeccable quality.
5. Terry Pratchett
Fans have tried convincing others using all tactics, from recommending The Discworld series and trying again in a few to saying that one must start with Guards! Guards! instead of The Color of Magic. In truth, his work just isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.
6. Sarah J. Maas
A user abandoned Throne of Glass midway through the third book and later set aside A Court Of Thorn and Roses because of problematic content that didn’t settle well with them. They’ve tried, but they just can’t like her writing.
7. Colleen Hoover
The author is a famous name on TikTok, but as one member aptly describes, her books are the equivalent of watching the Kardashians. A lot of people say these books have no meaning, only drama and stereotypical characters.
8. Frank Herbert
The author of Dune didn’t strike a chord with one bibliophile who could find only a handful of parts moderately interesting despite spending days trying to read. They’re at a point where reading Dune has just turned into a tedious chore for them.
9. Brandon Sanderson
Despite countless attempts, a reader has failed to grasp Sanderson’s writing. According to one, his style is hard to follow and a lot of it might not make sense unless you have the right background.
10. Patrick Rothfuss
The Name of the Wind has been recommended to one fellow so many times, and they’ve tried to make it through but can't because the main character is insufferable. Another person says it was like a fantasy version of Ready Player One (2018).
11. Jane Austen
Understandably, a reader feels very alone in her distaste for Austen’s work since everyone else seems to love her books. This reader can’t get on with how she wrote: “overly and unnecessarily wordy, and took forever to get to the point.”
12. Anne Rice
Back in the ‘80s, one reader completed Interview with the Vampire, after which they got to The Queen of the Damned, which had a rockstar vampire character. This user has played in bands since the age of fifteen and is convinced Anne Rice never once saw a rock band.
13. Sally Rooney
A reader can't get past the first ten pages of Rooney’s works because they find her writing “very insipid and uninteresting.” They go on to say that Normal People was“trying too hard,” in their opinion.
14. Margaret Atwood
Some have given up on Atwood despite her success with The Handmaid’s Tale. A user gives a more nuanced take saying that Atwood can sometimes deploy devastating, effective writing while delivering cheesy, overwrought predictions in other cases.
15. RF Kuang
A reader says they’re done with R. F. Kuang after The Poppy War trilogy and Babel. Although both books have unique ideas, setting them apart in fantasy, they lack exciting characters. At the end of Babel, the user couldn't even tell some characters apart anymore because Kuang used the same template for everyone.
16. JRR Tolkien
Author of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, Tolkien is a household name in fantasy readership. However, many may find his way of writing laborious and unnecessarily lengthy. The plot is gripping, yet the writing may drag it out for some.
17. James Joyce
James Joyce may be admired and enthused, but he certainly didn't bring joy to one user. While understanding the significance of his work, these works are hard to understand, especially on your first read-through.
This name is too controversial for this list, but someone had to say it. One can love plays and still struggle to read Shakespeare’s work. However, as one person points out, they can't read Shakespeare without the accompanying glossary on every opposite page, and it's necessary if you weren't born in the 1700s.
19. Dan Brown
Famous in the Young Adult world, his charm isn’t understood by everyone. According to readers, he was only prominent because short chapters made people feel accomplished, or at least that was their thought when they read his books a while back. Conversely, a member who isn’t averse to a light read couldn’t get into The Da Vinci Code.
20. Sylvia Plath
A reader mentions loving many authors inspired by Plath and decided to give her a go. However, Plath seemed unlikeable to them, and her depiction of depression didn’t settle well. Additionally, they couldn't get past the casual racism sprinkled throughout the books.
21. Irvine Welsh
The author of the epic Trainspotting is undoubtedly well-known. However, a user remarks that the writing of very strong Scottish accents phonetically makes the book hard to read. This approach knocks them out in the middle of the story.
22. Raymond Feist
Several readers admit struggling to sit through Raymond Feist's work. One person regretfully shares they tried reading Magician but had to push themselves to get through it. The Riftwar Saga isn’t for everyone.
23. JG Ballard
Some folks can’t understand why everyone loves him when the dialogue is stilted to be expositioned by identical characters in unoriginal near-future dystopias.
24. Nick Cutter
While popular among horror readers, a member shares how they found his writing style horrible. Another reviewer says that while reading The Troop, they did like it, but was a little off-putting.
25. Virginia Woolf
The author of Mrs. Dalloway is a critical name in the classics. Unfortunately, an enthusiastic reader couldn’t surpass what they described as “the internal monologue style.” It is something that they cannot handle and had to call it quits.
Entertainment and Lifestyle Writer
- Expertise: Lifestyle, Politics and Gaming
- Education: Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science with a Minor in Political Science
- Current executive of Sukoon.ai, an AI-powered startup aimed at destigmatizing therapy
- 1,000+ articles, primarily consisting of guides and reviews
Saad Muzaffar is an entertainment, lifestyle, and gaming writer at Wealth of Geeks. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science with a focus on Cyber Security and Data Science with an accompanying Minor in Political Science. When not writing, Saad enjoys playing the latest exclusive on his PS5 while trying to maintain his authority as the best Smash player in his group of friends. Community work is his passion, and he tries to help out whoever he can to the best of his abilities. He has one cat, Riki, and loves talking about his latest scratches. At WealthOfGeeks, Saad writes contributing lists focusing on entertainment, lifestyle, and politics.