There's a veritable feast of critic's names featuring in this article in yesterday's Sunday Times. They were asked what their most hated book was and why. The answers are interesting in that they highlight the usual considerations: good or bad writing, style and length, and genuine entertainment; as well as more personal ones.
For example, Bryan Appleyard isn't that keen on Henry James' 'The Awkward Age,' saying that although the behemoth of critics, F.R. Leavis might have loved it, it didn't mean that he had to and besides, 'Leavis was mad.' Good on ya, Brian, I often thought that meself.
I remember reading 'The Portrait of a Lady,' or rather wading through all the accumulated clauses, sub-clauses and gluts of psychological description and wondering if I was ever going to get to the end of it. Mind you, there was a good reason for me having to wade through it: it was part of my 19thc literature course.
Funny thing was, by the end of the course and the book, I had learned to love it - the slowness, the deliberation and the really rounded characters (plus I sped-read past the boring bits). The 19thc is a foreign land to us here in the 21stc - they did things differently then and probably didn't have a remote control to flip between things when they got bored. They even did bored differently. They called it 'ennui.'
So, I'm sure there must be books that you detest - why don't you tell me what they are, and why!