What book made you feel like you have read something completely different from everyone else
Posted on 21st of October, 2019


One book that springs to mind is Lolita and the character of Humbert Humbert in particular. I don't think I've ever watched the movies, but like everyone else I've always heard about the story, so I thought I knew what to expect when I finally got around to reading the book. Well, I seem to recall that everyone always had praise for Humbert and called him a sympathetic character despite the horrible things that he does. That is most certainly not the impression that I got when I read the book and I had a tough time finishing it because I disliked Humbert so much. I could not muster up an ounce of pity for the man as he did nothing except obsess over Lolita, judge other people and generally just act like a jerk. Don't even get me started on his sinister plans for Lolita and their children. Maybe everyone else has read a different version of the book or something? I don't know, but it feels like that sometimes when I hear or read other discussions about Lolita.
One of my professors in university saw me reading Starship Troopers right after the movie came out and asked me if I knew what it was really about. I proudly told him that Heinlein was obviously parodying facism and making fun of military culture and that these subtleties went straight over the director's head when the movie was made. The professor then pointed out to me that Heinlein was in actual fact being critical of democracy and making a point that nobody deserves a vote purely because of automatic citizenship due to birth. This kind of blew my mind because it was so at odds with the way that democracy works in our country. Heinlein was American himself, so I don't know where he came up with this believe and then managed to hide it so cleverly in his book that nobody else appears to have picked up on it.
Mary Shelley's Frankenstein has been one of those books for me. Everyone I ask describes it as a book that warns people away from playing god and trying to create life, but that's not how I see it at all. To me it is a very pro scientific story that only cautions people to take responsibility for their actions instead of running away from them. Not many seem to share that viewpoint and that's ok with me.
I'm shocked that people all appear to think that The Handmaid's Tale is just a simplistic feminist story telling people that all men are evil. If you read the book it is very clear that yes, there are evil men in the world, but they are helped by equally evil women who have no qualms oppressing their sisters for their own gain. To me this makes the story even more chilling, but it sometimes feels like I'm the only one reading too much into this book.
I'm not going to go into too much detail here because I'm tired and it's late, but it continually irks me how many people completely misunderstood The Prince by Machiavelli. The author was trolling people long before the word even existed and everyone still falls for it to this very day.

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