“Same as ‘Lost’ but with a bunch of boring details that explained everything.”
I think Least Helpful is a really funny enterprise, and I get why this is a funny “review” to read, but I also hated Lord Of The Flies when I was a kid. I read it in junior high school, and it DID feel like a punishment. Reading that sentiment here makes me wonder for the first time… why did I have to read that when I was thirteen? That book is super gruesome and agonizing.
Was it necessary to my development as a critical being that I be exposed to ideas that sophisticated and challenging and upsetting? It’s not as though the book was written for the purpose of edifying children about the tissue-thin veneer of civilization that makes us no better than animals. Definitely the themes stuck with me, as did the details of many scenes, in part because nothing had made me feel such deep horror in my life before.
I thought it was the worst book I’d ever read. As an adult who has never revisited it, I guess I think it’s a very good book. I remember the agonies of the different agonists, and my appreciation for the symbolism deepened over time until I internalized it as just part of how I would read anything from then on.
But just because we were the age of the kids in the book doesn’t mean the book was for us to read. It was very dark allegory, literature for unhappy adults.
I certainly wouldn’t make fun of a kid for not enjoying the arduous, harrowing experience of reading that book. It does feel like a punishment. So don’t read it.