Has anyone mentioned this thread yet?
I mean, I'm answering a bunch of troll-ish posts with another troll-ish one, but FFS sake-- the Bible? Nice political statement there.
Moby Dick? I just finished reading it, as a matter of fact, and while I learned a heck of a lot that I never really wanted to know about the whaling industry, there was a lot of good literature packed into that book. Shakespearean, even.
No, I'm not a fan of the 17th and 18th century habit of going on and on about nothing, but that book was much less tedious than say, Frankenstein by Mary Shelley.
I will agree that Stephen King should have stuck to short stories. It gave me temporal whiplash. The Stand started out good, then after the second or third chapter segued into an entirely different, and fairly crappy story about good versus evil. The guy really needs to find a religion or something.
I know everyone likes to bag on Harry Potter. The story in an of itself was decent, it's just that the writing is bad. Not that Rowling was ever encouraged to tweak it up or anything-- the publishers were in as much hurry to get the manuscript as she was to generate it.
I tried to read Catcher in the Rye... just couldn't do it. I guess I was spoiled by reading Brian Jacques' Redwall books (good lord, please stop with the describing the food every fifth page!).