7 Beautiful Literary Passages From Books I Thought Were Otherwise "Meh"

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We all have the books that we love, books we read and re-read until they come apart at the binding, books that make us who we are. And we all have books that we hate, books that we blog about and rant about and denounce aggressively to our friends who probably weren't going to read those books in the first place. But sometimes we come across books that are just kind of... meh. They're not good. They're not awful. They're just middle of the road. Still, you can find the occasional diamond in the rough: here are a few epic passages otherwise "meh" books, because even the most mediocre of reads can sometimes surprise you.

And look, I'm not here to judge anyone's reading habits. I loved Twilight back in the day, before I understood that stalking was not sexy. I adored The Phantom of the Opera and Eragon and any number of other books that I would now consider... meh. So if you love or hate one of these "meh" reads, feel free to continue doing so. Good books are subjective. But I think we can all agree that these are the stand out passages from their respective books, even if the books themselves are just kind of... fine:

'The Host' by Stephenie Meyer

The Host is more or less Twilight with aliens... but it still has the odd moment of cosmic beauty:

'Angels and Demons' by Dan Brown

Poor Dan Brown gets a lot of hate for his schlocky, vaguely religious thrillers, but he does hit on a good theological point every now and then:

'Eragon' by Christopher Paolini

Eragon was written by a 15-year-old. It reads like it was written by a fifteen-year-old, in that the plot is a not-so-subtle mash up of Star Wars and Lord of the Rings. But youthful Christopher Paolini still has a few words of wisdom for us all:

'Little Bee' by Chris Cleave

Little Bee has its heart in the right place... but at the end of the day, a white British man writing from the perspective of a young Nigerian girl is always going to feel a tad disingenuous:

'The Scarlet Letter' by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Sorry to all high school English teachers everywhere, but The Scarlet Letter isn't exactly a page-turner. Hawthorne's turn of phrase is beautiful, don't get me wrong, but all the Puritans and lack of plot make this a classic snoozefest:

'The Angel Experiment' by James Patterson

James Patterson churns out books that are certainly thrilling, but sometimes, he writes one that is not exactly... good. Still, he manages to stick a few zingers in even his clunkiest of novels:

'Moby-Dick or, The Whale' by Herman Melville

Moby-Dick is a brilliant, beautiful novel, buried under several metric tons of literary dithering. It's not really Melville's fault that his masterpiece is almost unreadable for modern audiences. But next time, maybe go a little lighter on all the technical aspects of the whaling industry?