I had to read Hemingway's 'The Sun Also Rises' for an assignment, and my first impression was 'What the hell is this?' Up to Chapter 12 it reads like some pedestrian travelogue, along with some forced dialogue and men running after 1 loose woman.
But in Chapter 12, something actually happens! Hemingway goes straight back to the classics, and creates a 'complex pastoral vision' (you might have to go and look that one up - I did). And then it goes back to as before, but with that edge from Chapter 12 still running through the reader's mind.
I can now see why it's a classic.
But my question is, why did I have to drag myself through 11 chapters to get to the juicy bit?
Still, I'm glad I did :-)
You can't beat a classic...unless you're looking for pure entertainment, which is 'The Bethlehem Fiasco' :-)