“What’s the worst ‘best’ book you’ve ever read — the one everyone says is so great, but you can’t figure out why?”
Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
It was not insightful. It paints Africans as soulless savages and doesn't even allow for culture shock.
It was not cleverly written. I realize that English is Conrad's second language, but the teacher who taught the study of this book made an absurd statement about how his syntax and structure is brilliant. My opinion: the use of polysyllabic words does not make a good writer.
The plot was not as engaging as I like a plot to be.
Much more useful texts on Africa (even from the white perspective) are The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver and Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe.