I feel like I'm taking crazy pills!

Friday, December 21, 2012

You know when you start reading a novel that has won all of the awards and received all of the praise, and every person you have spoken to (and trust the opinion of) has just gushed about how wonderful it is?

But then you're reading this book, and cringing at regular intervals, and thinking, am I reading the same book here? Have the pages of my copy been swapped out with another, really crappy book? I feel like I'm taking crazy pills!*

Is there a part of my brain missing which is required for me to like universally-liked things, like the Harry Potter series**, and bacon?*** Does this count as groupthink?

Is there some Emperor's New Clothes going on here? Will no-one admit to disliking something that a lot of other people like, for fear that they are just not intellectual enough to get it? Is it really possible I am the only one who doesn't get it?

I think the tendency to believe that your subjective opinion is the absolute objective truth is a natural human thing. But there seem to be a lot of people who will take major issue with anyone expressing a contradictory opinion, and regard it as just blatantly untrue. Especially on the internet. Especially about someone not recognising the genius of a book they love.
You should tell me what you think. Surely you dislike books that seem to be universally loved, too?  

*I hope you got that reference. I'm just going to put this here (it's totally relevant):

**This post is not specifically about the Harry Potter series. Please don't hate me for not loving the Harry Potter series.****

***I'm not a fangirl generally. I wrote about this two years ago, and unfortunately it hasn't changed. Being a terrifying intense fan of something seems fun. I feel like I'm missing out. On the upside I don't think I'll ever be a stalker.

****I wrote about some classics I read here, and I was really disappointed that I didn't really get a couple of them. I can't be a fan of everything, sure, but I enjoy understanding why other people like what they like. Maybe I'll appreciate Catcher in the Rye in ten years time.
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