There's a fun article in the Christmas issue of The Spectator, The greats we hate, in which columnists and others are talking about the classic books they most dislike. For example, Quentin Letts finds Anthony Powell's The Acceptance World (volume 3 of A Dance to the Music of Time) distinctly putdownable - sorry, Lindsay (I did feel rather the same to begin with but then it perked up - I still haven't finished the series, though).
Geoffrey Wheatcroft shares John Bayley's experience of Ford Madox Ford's The Good Soldier: "he couldn't work out what had happened, or see the point of the book at all, or begin to understand why people claimed to admire it". You may remember that the book group read it last year - I am firmly in the Wheatcroft and Bayley camp.
Elsewhere in the article, P.D. James explains why she has little time for The Portrait of a Lady, a couple of people weigh in against Proust, though one of them is Susan Hill who is, I think I am right in saying, very keen on The Good Soldier, thereby proving the old adage that one man's meat is another man's poison.
Come on then and name, if you will, a classic work with which you just can't get on. An Austen? Some Dickens? The great russian novels? It could be an "emperor's new clothes" type of book, one whose accepted quality you cannot begin to understand or appreciate, or something which you agree has great merit but which nonetheless drives you mad with boredom or frustration. What's it to be?