Thursday, 1 December 2011

I have never...

Have you ever played "I have never..."?  It's a great drinking game, although I do blame it for the biggest hangover of my life on my 30th birthday.  Don't worry though, I've not got the shots of sambuca out tonight.  The latest series of I've Never Seen Star Wars has just ended on Radio 4, and it made me think about the cultural experiences that I'm lacking.  For instance, until last week I had never read, nor seen, The Lord Of The Rings.  To be entirely accurate, I still haven't as I'm a few hundred pages - and many hours of DVD - away from finishing.  My brother, Richard, has just finished the last Harry Potter book, after being convinced of their worth by a small girl he met on a train in America.  Coming late to a cultural phenomenon is an odd experience because you approach the book or film with many preconceptions.  The first hundred or so pages of LOTR were confusing for me, not least because from what I'd picked up over the years, my impressions of Gandalf didn't mesh with the character who spends much of the opening putting on a firework display for someone's birthday.

For an English teacher, I have a real paucity of knowledge when it comes to certain key texts in the literary canon.  I've never read To Kill A Mockingbird or One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest.  Not seen the films either.  I'm embarrassed that I've read Twilight but not Wuthering Heights, but I'm not in any hurry to go and find my copy of the Bronte classic.  When I was younger I fiercely resisted reading any book my mum recommended to me, preferring to discover things for myself.  I think that as an adult I still have that stubborn streak within me: most books, films or TV shows regarded as a 'must-read/see' tend to pass me by.  Essentially, I don't like being told what to do.   So what cultural experiences would you be able to say "I have never..." about and why? 


  1. I cannot believe you have never read To Kill A Mockingbird it is my favourite book!

    I have never... watched or read Twilight, I don't really "get" the whole vampire thing.

  2. Great post. I am also a tad bashful to admit that I have never read any Harry Potter books (or seen the movies), never seen the Shrek movies or read Lord of the Rings!!

  3. I've had To Kill A Mockingbird on my shelf for years, really must read it. Jenny you would love the Shrek films, they're great fun!