It might be hard to believe, but many of the books that are now considered literary masterpieces were greeted with disdain, disgust, and even mockery when they were first published. As time passed and cultural norms changed, these books managed to overcome this initial disapproval; today they are firmly rooted in the canon of classical literature.
Gatsby the magnificent
F. Scott Fitzgerald’s tragic and tumultuous 1920s tale is often required reading in high school English classes, with adults and teens drawn to its portrayals of the glittering Gatsby lifestyle in New York City and its obsession with his long lost love, Daisy. Yet when it was first published in 1925, it only sold 21,000 copies, probably because first opinions Called it a “dud”, a “glorified anecdote” and read it with a “sense of regret”. Despite these negative reviews, the book has endured and is now widely regarded as one of the greatest contributions to classical American literature. Check out these other high school English books you should reread as an adult.
The catcher in the rye
JD Salinger’s 1951 coming-of-age novel often strikes a chord with young readers because of its themes of adolescent angst and rebellion, as portrayed through the eyes of Holden Caulfield. However, when it was first published, The catcher in the rye was described as “disappointing”, with a first exam in The New Republic pointing out that the reader “gets tired” of Holden’s “explicit, repetition and adolescence”. the New York Times the reviewer said the book was “monotonous” and “too long,” echoing the sentiments of other reviewers at the time. Despite the negative press early on, the book has grown into a cultural phenomenon and has sold around 65 million copies since its first publication.