A lot of books, particularly ones I read during college, have made me angry. I even remember literally throwing a few of them across the room. The one that stands out as having pissed me off the most is Madame Bovary.
Perhaps it’s because I’m an eternal optimist, always seeing the bright side and reminding others that everything will work out, but through the whole of the book I thought Mme. Bovary needed a good, sound slap. She whined and moped, moped and whined, even when things happened exactly as she wanted them to.
And when she couldn’t figure a way out of the predicament she’d gotten herself into by being a greedy, self-centered strumpet, she killed herself in a horrific manner and left her poor, devoted husband and young, innocent daughter (neither of whom she much cared for in the first place) with one hell of a mess. Unfortunately for them, their entire lives were ruined by Emma’s egotism.
The character of Madame Bovary did not grow or change or learn anything at all, which I see as the point of not only literature, but of life. I was angry that I had wasted my time reading one long kvetch, and, frankly, I still am. I could have used that time to read something worthwhile.