someone a long while back suggested I should read Margaret Atwood's The Penelopiad, said it was a wonderful book. I got almost all the way through it, and have to say it was not what I would call her best work, being as it is a slangy version of Penelope's side of things, from the grave, 'the way it really happened". It comes across as condescending (asides meant to inform, with the assumption that most readers won't have a clue about Odysseus), flip, and a sorry attempt to portray--somewhat lightly-- the whole messy business in modern terms. I was alternately bored and irritated. If someone is going to take a book like this on, it's up to them to find out who Penelope was and who Odysseus was without the author carrying the entire weight of explaining in gratuitous language.
The other disappointment was A Canticle for Leibowitz, which was written in 1959 and is considered a classic science fiction novel. At the time people were concerned about 'the bomb' and were building bomb shelters and considering the moral and ethical points of who to let in, who to keep out, all of that. This was gripping reading back then, and I can understand why. But now it's just, for me, anyway, old history that never happened, and overdone around the edges as well. I got through one chapter and gave up. Sadly. It's been sitting on my stash shelf for years, and now it will probably go to someone who will enjoy it more than I did.
It's like finding out your long awaited trip to a place you always wanted to see involves too many poisonous insects, the shots give you a rash and a blinding headache, and the scenery you wanted to explore is closed for the next six months because of renovations.