Dawkins' response is:
“Pride and Prejudice.” It must be my prejudice, and I am not proud of it, but I can’t get excited about who is going to marry whom, and how rich they are.His reaction to Austen's classic seems to fit well with his other answers, in that he seems a fairly literal reader and the fiction he likes he likes for sociological reasons. For instance, he waxes eloquent about a historical novel set in Africa, Red Strangers, which he describes as interesting because it gives the reader an in depth understanding of what it was like to be a Kikuyu.
This got me wondering how I would respond to the same question. At first I was stumped, as I tend to be pretty good at not reading book that I don't expect to like. However, after consultation with memory and Goodreads I came up with the following:
Swans Way by Marcel Proust -- I expected to at least find the first volume of Remembrance of Things Past interesting because novels dealing with the theme of memory often attract me, and I'd heard Anthony Powell's Dance to the Music of Time novels compared to Proust's better known works. However, I found myself consistently annoyed by most of Proust's characters, and it deals with memory in terms of association rather than recollection. I ended up finding it rather hard to get through.
The Cunning Man by Robertson Davies -- Davies is an author that I generally like a great deal, indeed I've at times rated some of his books among my favorites, but this last novel of his rubbed me very strongly the wrong way. I found the characters repulsive and in the end found myself wondering why I'd read it.
Portrait of a Lady by Henry James -- Throughout the book, people keep saying there's something exceptional about Isabel Archer. Personally, she simply drove me up the wall. Which made it rather hard to care about the rest.
Which books did you feel you were supposed to like but didn't