I enjoyed reading this column on Slate where the author asked a bunch of authors and literary types what their least favorite "great novel" is. If you can get past some of the self-infatuated posturing by the lesser writers (hello, Yale Review editor) the responses are pretty good.
My all-time least favorite "great book" is The Old Man and the Sea. It's the most mind-numbing book I've ever read, and I was an English major. We eat mind-numbing books for breakfast.
Hemingway in general doesn't do anything for me, and after slogging through that (thankfully short) book, I came away thinking he was probably hammered one day, maybe he'd just read Moby Dick, and wrote a bunch of crap, realized it wasn't long enough, added in several 3-page descriptions of unimportant items (jellyfish, for example), then decided to throw it at the publishing wall to see if it stuck.
And then nobody thought someone as great as Hemingway could possibly write such a boring and pointless novel, so they figured it must have Hidden Meaning. So they inflicted it on innocent 10th graders around the country.
So what about you? What's your least favorite "great book"?