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Adagio
01-14-2007, 03:42 PM
Pundits from The New York Times Book Review swoon over a book proclaimed a bestseller, a must read, the best new voice, or the best of an "old" voice . . . and yet, it did nothing to you, bored you to death.

The Shipping News. As much as I appreciate Ms. Annie Proulx (yes, I read from cover to cover Accordion's Crimes and her other novels) I couldn't finish The Shipping News. I left it to sleep for a while, picked it up again -- nothing. I told myself it's well written, turned it into a movie, I persuaded myself that Ms. Proulx is a talented writer -- nada. Maybe because she uses too much local vocabulary, local dialect, obscure words, some characters talk and talk and talk, long speeches, maybe her sentences are choppy, sticking in my throat like fish bones. I don't know. Some images are splendid, some scenes are funny. I couldn't finish. Mind you, I got that novel through Interlibrary Loan, that much I wanted to read it. I apologize to you, Ms. Proulx, in case you read my post.

Have you gone through a similar experience? This includes classics as well as established contemporary authors.

Adagio

AmyBA
01-14-2007, 05:25 PM
I couldn't get into Alice Sebold's The Lovely Bones. People I knew raved about it, but about one quarter of the way in, I just quit. I couldn't get into the story, but unfortunately, I guess, I never really bothered to put my finger on why, I just stopped reading it.

Maryn
01-14-2007, 07:31 PM
Oh, I'm so glad to have this thread as proof that I'm not the only one. I, too, could not get through The Shipping News and while I may have technically finished The Lovely Bones, I skimmed the last third.

I read the first quarter of A Prayer for Owen Meany--twice. That's all the chances a book gets with me, no matter how many people whose tastes seem similar to mine rave about it.

Maryn, whose to-read stack is daunting

Sohia Rose
01-14-2007, 08:51 PM
Truman Capote, In Cold Blood. He spent like 10 pages describing the kitchen. :sleepy:

Also, I couldn't get through James Frey, A Million Little Pieces. By the time I got to page 200 or so, I was still waiting for something to happen. :Shrug:

P.H.Delarran
01-14-2007, 09:05 PM
Both Accordian Crimes and the Shipping News sit unfinished for this reason, although I did get several chapters into Accordian Crimes before giving up.

The God of Small Things, by Arundhati Roy - same thing, I tried but I could not get into it. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, by Betty Smith, is probably very very good, I had no problem with the weay the story was told, but I tried and tried and could not bring myslf to finish it. I think in this case it was just a story I did not desire to hear.

aruna
01-14-2007, 09:17 PM
Me three with Lovely Bones - though I did finish it. I didn;t enjoy, it, though.

Two books I didn't finish were The Autograoh Man ans On Beauty - both by Zadie Smith. Blah.

Cathy C
01-14-2007, 09:50 PM
Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell (yes, yes---I know a lot of you liked it, so don't throw sticks at me. :scared: .) I made it through the first 150 pages . . . desperately waiting for the story to start. It didn't. And since 150 was barely a 7th of the way into the book, I donated it to the library!

Oh, and another one was The Ladies No. 1 Detective Agency. It was an odd collection of short stories tied together by the MC being the owner of an African female detective agency. If only she would have investigated something. :Shrug: BORING...

Soccer Mom
01-15-2007, 10:00 PM
Oh, I loved The Number One Ladies Detective Agency books! Different strokes. And I didn't like Lovely Bones.


::Spoiler Alert::










































The scene where she takes over her friend's body and has sex with the BF. Ick. Just ick. It destroyed any sympathy I had for the character.

maestrowork
01-16-2007, 03:16 AM
I admit I couldn't finish most of Stephen King's novels. I know, it's just me.

Dawno
01-16-2007, 03:36 AM
I've had a bookmark stuck on page 251 of 642 of The Historian for, ummm, I'd guess 5 months now. I *will* finish it but I keep finding more interesting stuff to read. Like the fine print in the junk mail I get from people trying to get me to take out a second mortgage on the home I rent. So far the small print hasn't shown me a loophole that would get me rights to the equity from something I don't own...

Aeryn
01-16-2007, 05:09 AM
Just cruising through after signing up, (Hello!) and wanted to add a couple of my all time reading lows.

Underworld by Don Delillo. Couldn't finish it. Twice. Have got it in for him now. ;) (Kidding! or maybe not? Hmm.)

His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman - finished the trilogy reluctantly (i.e. had to...just to make sure I didn't like it). I think I'm one of the few, but I couldn't stand these books....I could write an essay about it, but I'm trying to put them out of my mind. ;)

Two old nemeses are, respectively: Thomas Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow and One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez. One day I will conquer them both! :tongue
Or possibly I will just admit that books with lots of big words and names defeat me....and I should perhaps stop putting literary masterpieces on my library list. ;) - Lifes too short!

Dawno
01-16-2007, 05:19 AM
Welcome Aeryn!

Adagio
01-16-2007, 05:23 AM
I admit I couldn't finish most of Stephen King's novels. I know, it's just me.

I finished The Stand. Started Cell but when I reached the gory stuff, I returned the book the library. I started Lisey's Story, hoping it's different.


I've had a bookmark stuck on page 251 of 642 of The Historian for, ummm, I'd guess 5 months now.

Dawno, same here. I bought The Historian based on reviews (although I'm not into Dracula stuff). I was curious to see how she portrays Vlad. Couldn't warm up to the story -- it sags in the middle and I lost patience. What pissed me off was that the author wrote about a country she hasn't visited during her research trips (according to an interview).

paprikapink
01-16-2007, 06:07 AM
Maybe I'm the only writer in the world who doesn't appreciate Eats, Shoots, and Leaves? It just seems mean to me, to crow about other people not being as knowledgeable as you are. I'm sure there's a book's worth of material about what a math fool I am, but who wants to read that?

poetinahat
01-16-2007, 06:14 AM
I raced through The Shipping News and loved it -- go figure. I won't see the film, though; the main character would've needed to be awkward and unattractive. Knowing Kevin Spacey was cast in the part, I didn't think the rest of the film would hold for me.

I made it through Soul Mountain, by Gao Xingjian, but wanted my weeks back. It won a Nobel Prize for Literature, but I got very little from it at all.

I've read Ulysses halfway -- twice. I'll get there.

John Steinbeck's The Red Pony and Henry James' The Turn of the Screw were two shortish books that died early for me.

TrainofThought
01-16-2007, 06:17 AM
There is only one book I couldn’t finish and that was The Name of the Rose. I feel an obligation to the writer to finish. I know, I’m weird.

I liked the The Shipping News too.

poetinahat
01-16-2007, 06:20 AM
I haven't read that one, Train, but I enjoyed the film (completely irrelevant, I know). I like the notion of obligation to the author; that's probably a good description of why I'll bang away at Ulysses again.

I did read another Eco book, Foucault's Pendulum. It's not an easy read by any stretch, but I did enjoy it, and I found a great sense of humour underneath all the abstruse references and labyrinthine plot workings.

TrainofThought
01-16-2007, 07:04 AM
I probably will go back and read The Name of the Rose, but it just doesn’t fit in my life right now. Maybe in time I will relish it emotionally.

Mud Dauber
01-16-2007, 07:51 AM
:hi: Another vote for Lovely Bones. I, too, couldn't get past what SoccerMom posted in her spoiler alert. I wasn't really digging the story to begin with, but once I got to the aforementioned spoiler, I wanted to toss the book across the room. I forced myself to finish, and I thought it was a waste of time.

Lisey's Story by Stephen King didn't grab me right away either. I only gave it 30 pages, but...:e2yawn:

P.H.Delarran
01-16-2007, 08:34 AM
I haven't read Lisey's Story, but I did struggle to finish The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, (it was good but a bit redundant or mundane or something) and gave away Gerald's Game about halfway through. I've enjoyed the other King novels I've read, and read the Stand twice.

Mud Dauber
01-16-2007, 09:22 AM
I haven't read Lisey's Story, but I did struggle to finish The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, (it was good but a bit redundant or mundane or something) and gave away Gerald's Game about halfway through. I've enjoyed the other King novels I've read, and read the Stand twice.

Someone told me he wrote the book that Stand By Me was based off of. Has anyone read it? Is it any good? That's one of my all-time favorite movies.

I really want to be able to say 'I've read a Stephen King book.';) But apparently, it's not going to be Lisey's Story.:scared:

Adagio
01-16-2007, 09:30 AM
There is only one book I couldn’t finish and that was The Name of the Rose. I feel an obligation to the writer to finish. I know, I’m weird.

I DID finish The Name of the Rose. I read somewhere that if you manage to get through and past the page where the narrator describes The Door, you're in.:hooray:

You're not weird. I'm partial to Ecco, to myopic monks copying musty parchments in feezing-cold scriptoria lighted by flickering candles, and to librarians, ancient and modern. :D

blacbird
01-16-2007, 10:43 AM
Moo, by Jane Smiley. I've heard it's supposed to be funny.

caw

limitedtimeauthor
01-16-2007, 10:52 AM
Most of the ones I couldn't finish I didn't bother to remember the names of. But it's great to have a thread where I can let my big secret out. And it's not that I'm King-bashing, because I loved The Shining and Cujo, but at the risk of getting kicked out of the Cooler for this one...

I couldn't finish On Writing. <ducks>

Maybe I was just in a hurry for some nuts and bolts writing instruction, and this was more of a memoir. That was probably the reason.



ltd.

triceretops
01-16-2007, 11:44 AM
Couldn't get through Dune twice and don't know why. I'm struggling through the long version of the Stand--it's been a year now. An awful lot of words to tell such a story, me thinks.

Tri

Inkdaub
01-16-2007, 02:27 PM
Foucault's Pendulum is the one that has thus far defeated me.

I loved Shipping News.

Manderley
01-16-2007, 04:00 PM
Ulysess by James Joyce - Couldn't get past the first 30 pages.
The Growth of the Soil by Knut Hamsun - Put it down half way through and have never been tempted to pick it up again.
Brave New World by Huxley - Put it down when I had 20 pages left.
To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf - Left it 50 pages in.
Querelle de Brest by Genet
On the Road by Kerouac - Loved the music of the language, was bored stiff by the story.

CaroGirl
01-16-2007, 05:55 PM
Someone told me he wrote the book that Stand By Me was based off of. Has anyone read it? Is it any good? That's one of my all-time favorite movies.

I really want to be able to say 'I've read a Stephen King book.';) But apparently, it's not going to be Lisey's Story.:scared:
Stand Be Me is based on a novella called The Body and it was published in a collection of four called Different Seasons. It also has the story The Green Mile. It's the best Stephen King I've read, although I stopped reading King some ago.

CaroGirl
01-16-2007, 05:56 PM
Foucault's Pendulum is the one that has thus far defeated me.

I loved Shipping News.
I agree wholeheartedly with both those statements.

Shadow_Ferret
01-16-2007, 06:56 PM
Pundits from The New York Times Book Review swoon over a book proclaimed a bestseller, a must read, the best new voice, or the best of an "old" voice . . . and yet, it did nothing to you, bored you to death.


All of them. Every last one of them. Literary fiction is not my cup of tea.

pink lily
01-16-2007, 07:49 PM
I admit I couldn't finish most of Stephen King's novels. I know, it's just me. No, it's not just you. I couldn't read most of Stephen King's novels. I read Christine 12 times, but couldn't get through It, The Shining, or many others. I love his short stories; I read On Writing when I was in high school or college. But I really can't get into him.

I recently couldn't read the Sam Harris book, The End of Faith. I got up to page 40 after quite a struggle, then gave up. I ordered the new Sam Harris book (Amazon says it's been shipped), and at 94 pages, I hope I can stand it.

I'm a horrible reader with a short attention span. I can't blame the authors. I think it's just me.

Anonymisty
01-16-2007, 08:46 PM
The Historian

I just couldn't force myself to finish. I found myself wanting to do laundry and dishes instead of read. I ended up returning it to the friend who'd lent it, and she admitted SHE hadn't been able to finish it either. *hee*

Lyra Jean
01-16-2007, 08:53 PM
"Lord of the Rings" I only finished the first book because I grabbed it from a friend when he was in the middle of reading it and thanked him for letting me borrow it.

One book I actually finished and I want my time back for it is "The Princess Bride" This is the only one where I'll say watch the movie and skip the book.

benbradley
01-16-2007, 09:21 PM
James A. Michener, "Space." I got maybe 1/4th way through it and didn't feel like it was going anywhere, much less into outer space. I'll probably never try to read another Michener novel.

I also tried "Atlas Shrugged", but it's hard to get into a 1,000+ page book when I've heard so much about it that reading it seems redundant. I may try again, but it's almost like reading L. Ron Hubbard; there's so much of a cult following (in several meanings of the word) around Ayn Rand that I see her writings as somehow tainted.


I couldn't finish On Writing. <ducks>

Maybe I was just in a hurry for some nuts and bolts writing instruction, and this was more of a memoir. That was probably the reason.

It had an "interesting" story in it, "Famous Writer walking along road is hit by van, nearly dies."

I read the first few pages of the first section with the hundred-odd events in in his life starting with his childhood, then the last couple of pages of it where he gives the usual cliches about what he's like because he's an alcoholic, then I read the rest of the book.

VeggieChick
01-16-2007, 09:33 PM
Life of Pi. I hated it. I always finish ALL books I start, even if it means skimming 80 percent of it, because I need to know the end. Life of Pi was one of the most painful reads of the last few years.

Mud Dauber
01-16-2007, 09:37 PM
Stand Be Me is based on a novella called The Body and it was published in a collection of four called Different Seasons. It also has the story The Green Mile. It's the best Stephen King I've read, although I stopped reading King some ago.

Thanks for this info. I was just at the library this morning looking at all his books and didn't see one that resembled the story of Stand By Me. Now that I know what I'm looking for:tongue it should make things a little easier. (Of course, it'd help if I'd have bothered to look online before I went, but ya know...)

Mud Dauber
01-16-2007, 09:40 PM
Life of Pi. I hated it. I always finish ALL books I start, even if it means skimming 80 percent of it, because I need to know the end. Life of Pi was one of the most painful reads of the last few years.

Really? I heard such good things about that one. A lady at the bookstore told me if I liked Kite Runner (which I not only liked, but loved) that I would like the Life of Pi.

aruna
01-16-2007, 09:47 PM
Really? I heard such good things about that one. A lady at the bookstore told me if I liked Kite Runner (which I not only liked, but loved) that I would like the Life of Pi.

I LOVED Life of Pi!!;)

I haven't read Kite Runner but I gave it to a friend for Christmas, a friend from whom I always borrow books, so when she's finished I'll read it.

BRICK LANE!!!!!!! Now THAT was the Emperor's new clothes!

thethinker42
01-16-2007, 10:47 PM
I forced myself to finish Stephen King's "It", thinking that because of all the raves I've heard from friends and critics, it HAD to get better at SOME point. It didn't.

Since then, if I can't get into a book by page 100 (50 if it's a shorter book), I don't bother. It goes into the "Take to Used Bookstore" box.

virtue_summer
01-16-2007, 10:47 PM
I can't get through most of Koontz's novels. I loved One Door Away from Heaven. After that I just couldn't seem to get into them. It's funny because Koontz is one of my mother's favorite writers and normally we have very similar taste. Oh well. Other books I've had trouble with include Ulysses (couldn't get past the first few pages) and Michener's Mexico.

thethinker42
01-16-2007, 10:53 PM
I admit I couldn't finish most of Stephen King's novels. I know, it's just me.

I'm right there with you. I've read probably 7 or 8 of them, but I only really LOVED "The Stand" (ok, and "On Writing", but I'm thinking mostly fiction here). I liked Misery, Christine, and one other that's escaping me at the moment. I hated "It" with such a fiery, venomous passion (probably because I was so mad at myself for grinding through and reading the WHOLE 1000+ pg book in a vain hope that it would eventually get better), "Pet Sematary" was ok. I read one of his fantasy books (maybe the only one?), can't recall the title...it wasn't great, but it was ok.

In general, I really don't care for his writing. Ironically, he wrote one of my all-time favorite movies, "Shawshank Redemption".

waylander
01-17-2007, 12:11 AM
Light by M John Harrison

A Princess of Roumania by Paul Park

Just Me
01-17-2007, 07:23 AM
I forced myself to finish Stephen King's "It", thinking that because of all the raves I've heard from friends and critics, it HAD to get better at SOME point. It didn't.
I'm about one-third through It. I like the writing overall, but it rambles SO MUCH. I already get the feeling Mr. King could've cut the length in half and the story would have been better for it.

As for other books, I tried reading Eragon and couldn't. I just couldn't. Not to be mean to the kid (okay, he's 23 now) who wrote it, but.... I gave up when I realized that after almost 200 pages, I still didn't care about any of the characters.

Then, there's The DaVinci Code. Again, I tried to read it to see what the fuss was all about. The idea is intersting; the writing is just bad. I wish I could finish it, but my brain would hate me.

~JM.

Mom'sWrite
01-17-2007, 07:53 AM
Life of Pi. I hated it. I always finish ALL books I start, even if it means skimming 80 percent of it, because I need to know the end. Life of Pi was one of the most painful reads of the last few years.

Gotta go with you there. The ending pissed me off for a week solid. The book had come to me with a glowing recommendation. Yuck.

Mom'sWrite
01-17-2007, 08:09 AM
I usually finish any book I start reading out of a deeply imbedded sense of guilt, but recently (and to quell the demands of my literary friends) I drop it if it can't keep me awake. This week's snore fest is Antonia Fraser's Marie Antoinette.

Southern_girl29
01-17-2007, 09:37 AM
I couldn't finish the Da Vinci Code either. I didn't even get to page 30. It just didn't hold my attention.

Anything by Tolkien. I didn't even like the hobbit. I know, I know, something must be wrong with me.

MMcC
01-17-2007, 10:22 AM
ANYTHING recommended by Oprah at ANY time. Even books I've loved by Morrisson and Walker stopped being fun after that twerp starting spewing what she overheard Maya Angelou say about them. The woman has never had an original thought in her life and has terrible taste in books.

Just my opinion.

thethinker42
01-17-2007, 05:56 PM
Anything by Tolkien. I didn't even like the hobbit. I know, I know, something must be wrong with me.

I'm right there with you!!!!

pink lily
01-17-2007, 06:09 PM
Oh, yes, I agree with you guys about The DaVinci Code. Horrible book. The movie was worse.

benbradley
01-17-2007, 10:04 PM
Another one, after seeing it mentioned as one of several books to read in "a writing book" I recently read the first 20-40 pages of John Grisham's first novel "The Firm" but found it somehow, I don't know, "artificial." I suspect I was having a hard time believing the premise, but there was something about the writing that seemed hard to believe as well.

Adagio
01-17-2007, 11:10 PM
Oh, yes, I agree with you guys about The DaVinci Code. Horrible book. The movie was worse.
Deep breath. Smirk. *blush* I thought I was the only one. Tell me why, people? It has everything I'm taught (and critiqued if I don't follow) that makes a book saleable: a hook (Ms. Snark would drool over this); it starts with a corpse; original idea (I won't go into how original is); FAST pace. Ain't it too fast? Mr. Dan Simmons says in his site that characters never stop to eat or go to the restroom (good point, Mr. Simmons!) It has mystery, two likeable MC's, an albino villain ... and plenty of itch-inducing, controversial topics. One in a million title (I picked up the book first by the title, a dangling carrot under my nose). I read it breathlessly. Yup. It left me, how should I say? As if I ate those candy-cotton, sugary, colorful things (I can't recall their names). It left me with a sticky sensation, and then bleh. But, again, I do see how Mr. Brown used all the tricks of the craft. There's an article in Absolute Write home page about why Da Vinci Code is a good book. Worth reading the article. It shows why publishers are looking desperately for another book that would equal the prophits brought in by Da Vinci Code.

I remember: MC's (He and She) are running to save their lives ... then they stop because He has something to explain, and he explains and keeps explaining, or thinks to himself for a couple of paragraphs, as if in suspended animation while the villains, a few feet behind, wait until He finishes his cogitation, and then they keep rubbidly the chase, until another explanation is necessary ... This shows a bestselling author can get away with murder.

Another deep breath. Ready for confession. Did I buy another book by Dan Brown? Yup. Angels and Demons. And Deception Point. True, I'm a sucker of thrillers, so I'm sold. Sucked in by deception. Still sinking.

Another thing I hate: when a new thriller is published, it has splayed over the cover: "If you like Da Vinci Code, you'll like this book." This poor author lost his originality. His/her book is saleable only by association with the Big Book.

Inkdaub
01-18-2007, 02:10 PM
Deep breath. Smirk. *blush* I thought I was the only one. Tell me why, people? It has everything I'm taught (and critiqued if I don't follow) that makes a book saleable...

...Another deep breath. Ready for confession. Did I buy another book by Dan Brown? Yup. Angels and Demons. And Deception Point. True, I'm a sucker of thrillers, so I'm sold. Sucked in by deception. Still sinking.



I quoted the first part of your comment because it struck a cord with me. The reason is that we shouldn't try to reduce writing to mathematics. Anyone who says otherwise should be ignored. So when you are critiqued in that way...take it with a grain of salt. Too many people fall into the trap of thinking there is a 'way' to write a good novel. There isn't. It feels good to believe so because it gives us the illusion of control.

And the second part of your comment that I quoted...haha...don't sweat it. I am also a thriller junkie and will read the bad right along with the good. I read Angels and Demons and thought it a great idea and a bad book. Then DaVinci came out and I refused for a long time to read it...but I finally did. Great idea and a bad book.

jodiodi
01-18-2007, 10:38 PM
I couldn't get through Beloved. I guess I'm not into literary fiction either and I never read any of Oprah's recommendations.

I've read most of SKing's books and enjoyed most of them for their creepy moments. Not every book is a gem, but almost all of them have at least something I remember. As for It, I kinda liked it up until the last quarter of the book. Then it seemed he wrote himself into a corner and just suddenly slapped together an ending for it.

I read Angels & Demons first, then DaVinci Code and I enjoyed the stories. I don't usually read for the beauty of the words or whatnot. I'm a pretty good audience: I will willingly suspend my disbelief and give everything a chance and if I keep wondering how it'll all work out, then I enjoy the story.

Tolkien was hard to get through, but I did it. I loved the stories. I can't abide Ulysses or Atlas Shrugged or any of the other alleged 'Great Books'. I was just bored stiff by them and only read them to get through the classes.

Maybe I'm just easily entertained.

ETA: And Jane Austen--what a snooze-fest.

pomegranatetears
01-19-2007, 07:44 AM
Heh I love Jane Austen.

I haven't finished Moll Flanders or Vanity Fair although I keep telling myself I should - being one who likes literature and all.

I've started Wicked, I think I should like Wicked, and am reading Wicked because - well - I should like it; but I hate it. There it's out in the open. This book is boring and there is something about it that makes me feel like it's not right. I heard once that people don't like animated movies that are extremely lifelike because something feels wrong about it - like it looks alive but they know in their core that it's fake. That's how I feel about Wicked.

jodiodi
01-19-2007, 08:03 AM
Oh, I have Wicked and I so hope I enjoy it. Now I have doubts ...

BlueTexas
01-20-2007, 02:16 AM
James A. Michener, "Space." I got maybe 1/4th way through it and didn't feel like it was going anywhere, much less into outer space. I'll probably never try to read another Michener novel.



I love Michener, and hated "Space." Try the rest; they're all much better.

jennifer75
01-20-2007, 02:26 AM
I couldn't get into Alice Sebold's The Lovely Bones. People I knew raved about it, but about one quarter of the way in, I just quit. I couldn't get into the story, but unfortunately, I guess, I never really bothered to put my finger on why, I just stopped reading it.

I really enjoyed Lovely Bones. Something I completed but found it difficult was The Killer Inside Me by Jim Thompson.

jennifer75
01-20-2007, 02:27 AM
Truman Capote, In Cold Blood. He spent like 10 pages describing the kitchen. :sleepy:

Also, I couldn't get through James Frey, A Million Little Pieces. By the time I got to page 200 or so, I was still waiting for something to happen. :Shrug:


The beginning was very painful, I'll admit. But it gets so much better. Give it another try. It helps paint the picture of the crime to go into such detail on the house. A really good mental picture is needed for the description of the murders.

BlueTexas
01-20-2007, 02:29 AM
The beginning was very painful, I'll admit. But it gets so much better. Give it another try. It helps paint the picture of the crime to go into such detail on the house. A really good mental picture is needed for the description of the murders.

I have to agree - I read In Cold Blood about a month ago, and it gets better. It's worth slogging through the beginning.

jennifer75
01-20-2007, 02:30 AM
Oh, I loved The Number One Ladies Detective Agency books! Different strokes. And I didn't like Lovely Bones.


::Spoiler Alert::



Yes, that part of the story was a little much.

jennifer75
01-20-2007, 02:34 AM
Most of the ones I couldn't finish I didn't bother to remember the names of. But it's great to have a thread where I can let my big secret out. And it's not that I'm King-bashing, because I loved The Shining and Cujo, but at the risk of getting kicked out of the Cooler for this one...

I couldn't finish On Writing. <ducks>

Maybe I was just in a hurry for some nuts and bolts writing instruction, and this was more of a memoir. That was probably the reason.



ltd.

Oooooooooooooooooooooooooohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Man.

BlueTexas
01-20-2007, 02:34 AM
Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell (yes, yes---I know a lot of you liked it, so don't throw sticks at me. :scared: .) I made it through the first 150 pages . . . desperately waiting for the story to start. It didn't. And since 150 was barely a 7th of the way into the book, I donated it to the library!



I have to agree on this one, too. I'd heard such good things that I read the whole brick of a book, and at the end, I just wanted to throw it at the wall. I'm tempted to use it as a step in aerobics class...

jennifer75
01-20-2007, 02:36 AM
Life of Pi. I hated it. I always finish ALL books I start, even if it means skimming 80 percent of it, because I need to know the end. Life of Pi was one of the most painful reads of the last few years.

Wow! I've been recommending it to everybody. I loved it. I'll even RE-READ it sometime. They're making it into a movie too. hehehe.

BlueTexas
01-20-2007, 02:42 AM
Oh, I have Wicked and I so hope I enjoy it. Now I have doubts ...

I was really dissapointed with Wicked. I wanted to love it and just barely finished it. A lot of it was very interesting, a lot of the ideas, but man did it drag.

Sorry.

Nyna
01-20-2007, 11:10 PM
I liked Wicked; it wasn't one of my favorite books ever, and nothing it said really lingered, but it wasn't a drag to read or anything.

And I'm joing the club of people who can't do Stephen King -- having tried, at various times in my life, to read 'On Writing,' 'The Dead Zone,' 'The Stand,' and 'Gerald's Game,' I've finally given up. I couldn't get past the first few chapters in any of them.

One book I will finish one day, swear to God -- 'Swann's Way.' It'll happen. I've gotten past bedtime and the crazy aunt, at least.

Insert Name
01-20-2007, 11:55 PM
Books highly prized you couldn't finish

The Bible. It just seems to be didactic.

jbal
01-21-2007, 03:19 AM
I got stuck on the Shining about ten times before finally reading it last year.
And Mud Dauber- the story in question is "the Body" from a collection called ":different seasons, which also has the Shawshank redemption if memory serves.

Sean D. Schaffer
01-21-2007, 08:06 AM
For me, the major treasured novel I can think of that I could not finish was Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ by General Lew Wallace. Heck, I couldn't even get into the work. It was just too slow moving for me to really get through the introduction.

san_remo_ave
01-21-2007, 08:40 AM
War and Peace - I was so confused trying to keep up with all of the names that I became hopelessly lost and ended up tossing the book under my bed. Where it remains. Ugh.

The Good Earth - Couldn't do it. Too slow....

Wicked I did read when it first came out. It's definately a different pace, but an interesting read. I thought it so, anyway, because the POV is of, well, the wicked witch....

kborsden
01-21-2007, 02:55 PM
The Davinci Code, what a load of shit!!

The Holy Blood, the book where the davinci code is ripped from, is much better.

Sonarbabe
01-23-2007, 12:23 PM
Of all the perfect titles, Insomnia by Stephen King. I could not get into that one to save my life. I'm a fussy reader and that one had me wondering if I'd fertilized the lawn that day. Bad indication. I'm sorry to say that I also had to force my way through Dracula. Can't explain it, but it just didn't do anything for me.

Sour Lemon Pie
01-27-2007, 08:28 AM
Motherless Brooklyn, by Jonathan Lethem. (sp?). Bought it when i found out Edward Norton was going to be the main character. I can be so silly!

wm_bookworm
01-27-2007, 11:29 AM
Oh dear, there have been a few over the years.

Contact by Carl Sagan was the first book I ever left unfinished growing up. I read at least a book a week through much of my childhood, but I couldn't get into this book. Even at the halfway point.

Moby Dick still agitates me. I got about 1/3 in and gave up. I dislike his style of writing. It makes me cringe at spots, but that might just be me.

Anything Tom Clancy. I've tried several of his books, including Hunt for the Red October, but just can't get into it.

Adagio
01-27-2007, 12:25 PM
Oh dear, there have been a few over the years.

Contact by Carl Sagan was the first book I ever left unfinished growing up. I read at least a book a week through much of my childhood, but I couldn't get into this book. Even at the halfway point.

Contact! Yes, I remember having a hard time getting through it. I love sci-fi. I was in loooove with Mr. Sagan :D But his novel was so complex. The movie, with the help of Matthew Mc ... (whatever) was much more digestible. I went as far as buying the movie poster, and I don't buy posters (I don't know what to do with them other than keep them rolled up and dusty behind my bookcase).


Moby Dick still agitates me. I got about 1/3 in and gave up. I dislike his style of writing. It makes me cringe at spots, but that might just be me.

:D You're funny!


Anything Tom Clancy. I've tried several of his books, including Hunt for the Red October, but just can't get into it.

And the winner is ... Tom Clancy! I finished Red October, but nothing else. I moved on. But that might just be me (and you!)

SherryTex
01-28-2007, 12:04 AM
Sorta finished Wicked but never quite felt like it enjoyed itself enough to warrant the praise it has received --daughter is obsessed with the music which I don't mind though.

My problem is with some "Greats" that I have tried to read, in the interest of becoming more literate and more educated.

Books I have tried more than once and failed to finish:

Zen and the Art of Motorcyle Maintenance. (ZZzzzzzzz.)
Anything by James Joyce (I know, I know he's great but I get lost)
The Sound and Fury by Faukner --I read this in college and didn't get it, I've tried to reread it and figure I'm still just too stupid.
The only book I've ever returned after thirty pages for a full refund, Anne Rice's first book of that Vampire series. I remember I had a layover, thought I'd give her a try and see what the fuss was about and spent the rest of the time in that airport trying to get the images out of my head.

Sean D. Schaffer
01-28-2007, 02:00 AM
The Odyssey by Homer. I had to read it in High School. Never actually finished it, though.

Hated parts of it, frankly.

thethinker42
01-28-2007, 03:43 AM
The Bible. It just seems to be didactic.

I read it...twice...but it was about as enjoyable as getting a root canal. Most religious texts I've read -- the Qu'ran, parts of the Book of Mormon, the Satanic Bible, etc -- are not exactly easy to read, nor are they enjoyable. But then, I guess they weren't intended to be. LOL

Anonymisty
01-28-2007, 05:13 AM
The Odyssey by Homer. I had to read it in High School. Never actually finished it, though.

Hated parts of it, frankly.

Wuthering Heights was the bane of my 8th grade existence. Each of us was assigned a chapter to read aloud and lead discussion for, and mine was Chapter Three. I didn't read a word past that.

BlueTexas
01-28-2007, 08:24 AM
Wuthering Heights was the bane of my 8th grade existence. Each of us was assigned a chapter to read aloud and lead discussion for, and mine was Chapter Three. I didn't read a word past that.

Oh, this book. This is the only book I ever skipped reading and watched the movie before I wrote the report. I read the first chapter and just couldn't do it.

thethinker42
01-28-2007, 09:02 AM
Wuthering Heights was the bane of my 8th grade existence. Each of us was assigned a chapter to read aloud and lead discussion for, and mine was Chapter Three. I didn't read a word past that.

I think I hated every book I was assigned to read. That probably had more to do with the fact that I had to a) read it at someone else's pace, b) pick it apart and view all the little intricacies and crap that someone ELSE felt was important, and c) I had to read it because someone else told me to. Can you tell I don't like being told what to do? LOL (If my bad back hadn't kept me out of the military, my problems with authority would have...)

As such, I hated "House on Mango Street", "Lord of the Flies", "Animal Farm" (though I enjoyed that one LATER), etc.

Incidently, I had an oppressively opinionated English teacher my sophomore year who practically told us what to think of each book. One question on a test began with "In your opinion...", and I got the question wrong. Go fig. So, the last book of the year was "Julius Caesar". I didn't even bother to get the Cliff's Notes on that one (as I had with a prior book in that class, rather than actually reading it). I just listened to her lectures, listened to what she interjected into class discussions, and used that for my answers on the final exam and paper. Guess what? Got an "A". To this day, I haven't read "Julius Caesar".

I never took high school English again. I enrolled at the community college my jr and sr years, and said to hell with HS English.

Sorry for the ramble...that's what I get for posting at midnight. LOL

SherryTex
01-28-2007, 11:44 PM
Just laughing as I remember the Carol Burnette version of Wuthering Heights...

aadams73
01-30-2007, 06:03 PM
The Odyssey by Homer. I had to read it in High School. Never actually finished it, though.

Hated parts of it, frankly.

I read both The Odyssey and The Iliad in Greek when I was 14. It was required reading in high school and I really struggled.

Withering Wuthering Heights gets my vote. Miserable wretched book.

Pagey's_Girl
01-30-2007, 06:42 PM
Couldn't get through Dune twice and don't know why. I'm struggling through the long version of the Stand--it's been a year now. An awful lot of words to tell such a story, me thinks.

Tri

I love The Stand but I've never been able to finish Dune, either. There was also a book Frank Herbert's son wrote called Sidney's Comet. It looked so good, and I wanted to like it, but I got fifty pages into it and just couldn't read any more.

Years ago, a friend told me I'd love Flowers In The Attic. I think I threw the book out about a third of the way through.

Inkdaub
01-31-2007, 01:32 PM
Well I loved Dune and even though the subsequent books weren't as good I still read them. Now we have the prequels being written by Anderson and someone else. I read House Atreides and liked it. It took me back to the world of the characters I liked and showed me some of their past. Not as good as Dune but pretty good. I got House Harkonnen and read about half of it before putting it down. It wasn't bad...I just put it down after reading for the night and haven't picked it up since. I assume I'll get back to it one day.

Right now I'm reading An Instance of the Fingerpost by Iain Pears. The writing is great, very witty and funny. It's written in a very formal voice...at least so far...as the current narrator is a dandy sort of guy. I will finish the book no doubt but I can say it will take a while. The reading is slow going and the book is pretty fat.

Hillgate
02-01-2007, 09:14 PM
Has anyone on this forum actually read all of 'Origin of Species' by Charles Darwin? A seminal, perhaps controversial little number. I cheated and just read the chapter summaries, mainly because by page 20 I'd had enough of plants, bugs and pigeons...

scarletpeaches
02-01-2007, 09:18 PM
Another vote for The Lovely Bones. It seemed too whiny and...ick.

I managed to finish PS I Love You...on the third attempt. I'll never get that time back.

Also, War and Peace and Lord of the Rings.

Think of the trees, man, won't somebody think of the trees?!

scarletpeaches
02-01-2007, 09:19 PM
I've read Wuthering Heights twice. :D

(Through choice, too).

Ashtal
02-01-2007, 09:20 PM
Anything by Tolkien. I didn't even like the hobbit. I know, I know, something must be wrong with me.

Another ditto here, even though I'm a big fantasy fan.

I did read and enjoy the Hobbit, though only after coming to it years later. When I tried (for the third time) to read The Fellowship of the Ring, I still found it impossible for me to do so. I've stopped trying. :D

scarletpeaches
02-01-2007, 09:27 PM
180 pages into LotR and I'm left wondering...why? Why, God, why? :(

CheshireCat
02-01-2007, 10:39 PM
Lord of the Flies
The Scarlet Letter
Last of the Mohicans (movie was soooo much better!)
Wuthering Heights
Les Miserables
Jane Eyre (though I read it first as a stage play, and loved that; I also enjoy the various TV adaptations)

I'm a King fan, but don't like all his; the earlier books are among my favorites, with Carrie, The Stand (bloated but amazing), The Shining (creepy as hell), and Salem's Lot (scared the shit out of me as I read it alone in my home late at night!) topping the list of favs. I couldn't finish The Tommyknockers, and nearly threw It across the room when I got to the end.

I finished Da Vinci Code; I thought Brown took some interesting ideas that had been around a while and wove them with myth and speculation to produce something fascinating, and kudos to him for ending it the way he did without (as far as I know) causing his audience to mail him copies ripped to pieces. :D I also thought it was dry, stiff, filled with cardboard characters, and his "writerly" tricks were on every page. (End every section on a cliffhanger; stretch out the MC sharing the facts, info, and conclusions he's reached rather than have him explain them as quickly as he should have; give the characters jets and other such "tools" to travel all over the world in record time by having the MC "just happen" to know somebody wildly rich and insanely motivated to help, and so on.)

The Vampire Lestat. I tried, I really did. For months I kept picking up that book and slogging on, mostly because I had loved Interview with a Vampire. But just couldn't get through it.

Adagio
02-02-2007, 01:08 AM
Has anyone on this forum actually read all of 'Origin of Species' by Charles Darwin? A seminal, perhaps controversial little number. I cheated and just read the chapter summaries, mainly because by page 20 I'd had enough of plants, bugs and pigeons...

Hah! Good mark, Hillgate. I never thought of Papa Darwin. True, it's not literature. As for "controversial" ... oh boy! No, I didn't read the book. We studied it in school though, I mean the theory of evolution. You gave me an idea to pull the book off the shelf and give it a try. Lol.

Adagio

jpserra
02-02-2007, 08:47 PM
The Bloody DaVinci Code. What a piece of drivel.

John

Thomma Lyn
02-03-2007, 01:46 AM
To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf. Woolf is brilliant and what she does with language is amazing, but... *sigh*. I just couldn't work up enough interest in what was happening with her characters to stick with them.

Soccer Mom
02-03-2007, 02:05 AM
I like Stephan Crane's peotry, but The Red Badge of Courage makes me want to gouge my eyes out. We had to read it in sixth grade and then I moved and had to read it again in my new school district. I've been forced to repeatedly read that stupid book. How many pages can you take to describe a sunset?

MightyScribbler
02-03-2007, 04:15 AM
Couldn't get too far with Cold Mountain, but I'm not big on the Civil War I think on account of the fact that my history classes from K-12 taught nothing but Civil War, Revolutionary War, and Columbus "discovering" America.

Just Me
02-03-2007, 07:02 PM
The Vampire Lestat. I tried, I really did. For months I kept picking up that book and slogging on, mostly because I had loved Interview with a Vampire. But just couldn't get through it.
My problem with Lestat is that I just can't take it seriously. Every time I get to the "I am what America calls a Rock Superstar" line, I giggle, which makes it really hard for me to suspend my disbelief after that.

~JM.

CheshireCat
02-04-2007, 01:36 AM
My problem with Lestat is that I just can't take it seriously. Every time I get to the "I am what America calls a Rock Superstar" line, I giggle, which makes it really hard for me to suspend my disbelief after that.

~JM.

Yeah, I can see how that would be a hindrance.

:ROFL:

Hillgate
02-04-2007, 01:56 AM
Hah! Good mark, Hillgate. I never thought of Papa Darwin. True, it's not literature. As for "controversial" ... oh boy! No, I didn't read the book. We studied it in school though, I mean the theory of evolution. You gave me an idea to pull the book off the shelf and give it a try. Lol.

Adagio

Good luck Adagio! It's heavy-going stuff. I made myself read it for 'research purposes' and I tried, I tried, I tried, but then at least I managed the chapter summaries and believe me, when you read it you'll see even the chapter summaries require quasi-superhuman effort ...

WWWWolf
02-09-2007, 02:34 AM
The Odyssey by Homer. I had to read it in High School. Never actually finished it, though.

The ones they force you to read in school tend to be the most uninspiring books ever, no matter what the circumstances. Um, I almost read through some German play with over-flowery dialogue (I can't remember exactly which it was, a bit less-known play anyway), and then there was this Certain Very Famous Book about an old guy who goes boating and fishing and ponders on deep stuff - none in our work group said they had actually finished it, so the project report ended up rather vague - yet strangely correct...

An then there's the never-ending history project. I think we needed to read a historical novel for our first history class in lukio (upper secondary school). I picked Mika Waltari's The Egyptian... which, based on the bits I read then, was actually so good I actually bought a copy of my own. That was in 1995.

Yet, I certainly didn't finish reading the book then (heck, the course was over and I was graded and no one reminded me or anything).

Then in 2005 I got this bright idea that I should finish reading the book one day. It was not actually as frightening project as it seemed like.

You know, there's nothing wrong with the book. It's a great book. Just a bit intimidatingly sized - 786 pages just tends to look a bit frightening at first. Reminiscent of a giant stone slab. If this were a hardcover edition, not even Howard Carter could have figured out how to get through. (Plenty of wonderful things inside, though :) )

(And as a side note, I have no idea how some of my classmates managed to convince the history teacher to quiz them about The Lord of the Rings, but I'm fairly convinced there was an entirely rational, simple explanation for that...)

CatSlave
02-16-2007, 02:38 AM
The only book I've ever returned after thirty pages for a full refund, Anne Rice's first book of that Vampire series. I remember I had a layover, thought I'd give her a try and see what the fuss was about and spent the rest of the time in that airport trying to get the images out of my head.

Several of her earlier works were beautiful: Cry To Heaven and The Feast of All Saints. I thought Interview With a Vampire was quite good, but then the deluge of vampire lore after that seemed to be just word-salad, egotistical blatherings with no sense of continuity or grace as were in her earlier novels. The plots were disjointed and the characters were shallow, predictable and boring. After attempting to read her later vampire "chronicles" I longed to pound a stake into her heart myself.

underthecity
02-16-2007, 05:39 AM
We read Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn in 5th grade. I have to admit I didn't like them, and still don't. I don't remember how much of the books I actually read, but I know I didn't finish them on my own.

In high school senior English, we read several classics (well, everyone else did, I just skimmed them and relied on Cliffs Notes). The only one I remember is Wuthering Heights. I absolutely could not read it.

A few years ago I bought a copy of Dracula because I wanted to finally read the thing. I made it about halfway. Late last year I picked it back up and tried reading it again. Again, I got about halfway through. I still mean to finish it, but I've been concentrating on my own book mostly.

allen

blueskyscribe
02-17-2007, 11:18 AM
I made it through The Fellowship of the Ring and halfway through . . . Man, I can't even remember the title of the second one, shame on me. Anyway . . . It's hard to believe that someone with such grand, creative ideas could put together a book so boring. Too dry, too much description, and too much elven poetry!

I loved The Hobbit, though.

Sean D. Schaffer
02-17-2007, 11:28 AM
The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien. I got to the first few pages and could not read on. It was too intricate and too slow-moving for me.

martand
02-20-2007, 12:01 PM
I could never finish finish Anna Karenina.

Kudra
02-23-2007, 04:40 PM
I've picked it up for the second time, but just can't get pulled into I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou. I'm less than half way into the book, so I'm hoping it'll get better, but if it doesn't, I may just have to move on to something else.

ETA: Okay, a few more chapters in, and I'm liking it much better. I'll be finishing the book, for sure.

truelyana
02-24-2007, 02:57 AM
The last generation by Fred Pearce and The meaning of the 21st century by, James Martin

I saw someone reading the one by James Martin on the underground. Thought that it might be an interesting read. I'd rather not finish it now. It is far too ideal and storylined that i've grown out of it purely because, it is envisioning what the world will be like - using technonology and everything else in a perfected language.

The other one by, Fred Pearce is okay; suptle. Somehow, the period of reading them has stopped a couple months back. I can't seem to get into this one neither. Even if i haven't read it over a while, i'd rather not pick it up at all.

nighttimer
02-26-2007, 07:10 AM
After the totally contrived end of The Firm I swore off John Grisham forever. The man cannot write a coherent plot to save his life. My brother used to try and pass off his Tom Clancy books to me, but fortunately I escaped without being beaten into submission by Clancy's ham-fisted prose.

My son has the first two or three Harry Potter books because my wife thought he'd enjoy them but he gave them away the last time the school had a book sale. I have tried to get through the books of Toni Morrison but I find them slow, tedious and turgid. I respect her accomplishments as a woman of letters, but she takes herself way too seriously.

As for the much mentioned and maligned Mr. Stephen King, Needful Things, The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, Desperation and Hearts In Atlantis sit on my bookshelf unread and unloved. Perhaps one day I will crack them over and devote an hour or so to delving into them.

But probably I won't. :e2thud:

Adagio
02-26-2007, 07:34 AM
As for the much mentioned and maligned Mr. Stephen King, Needful Things, The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, Desperation and Hearts In Atlantis sit on my bookshelf unread and unloved. Perhaps one day I will crack them over and devote an hour or so to delving into them.

But probably I won't. :e2thud:

*Grin* I didn't read the books you mentioned (Mr. King's) but I am worming my way trough Lisey's Story. So far, I like it. From what I understood, it's his homage to his wife, Tabitha, who is also a writer (and a good one), living in the shadow of the big man!:gone:

Adagio

SlowRain
03-04-2007, 07:45 AM
The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje
The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton

I loved, loved, both of the movies, but just couldn't get into the novels.

nancy02664
03-04-2007, 10:44 AM
How funny - I loved The Shipping News. I agree about the choppy sentences, though.

I can't get past the first ten pages of any Pynchon book. I've tried maybe 3 of them, and it's just a no-go.

weatherfield
03-07-2007, 08:37 AM
I'm usually good about finishing pretty much anything, even if I have to keep coming back to it, but Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises has defeated me not once, but five times. I know he's famous, I know it's short. But every single time they get to Spain and they're on the bus (and the road is dusty, the hills are dusty, the people and the livestock and the vehicles are dusty), I stop.

Every now and then, I'll pick it up again, telling myself how it's important to have a solid background in the classics, but in the end, it never works out. I've read enough Hemingway to know that I'm not partial to him, but I've still gone ahead and finished the others. This is the only one where I just can't bring myself to do it.

scarletpeaches
03-07-2007, 08:47 AM
The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje
The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton

I loved, loved, both of the movies, but just couldn't get into the novels.

That's one of the last books I bought. This will be the third time of trying - the other two times were when I borrowed it from the library, so I'm hoping shelling out my cash-pences will encourage me to plough through it!

Strange, as I adore the fillum. You'd think I'd whiz through it (shame on me for seeing the film before reading the book I know) but the shifting POVs and timeframes do my tiny little mind in.

Anya Smith
03-07-2007, 08:52 AM
I couldn't finish any of James Mitchener's books.

Angels and Demons, and most of Steven King's books I've tried. There are more, but I don't remember them.

Lady Esther
03-07-2007, 10:22 AM
I admit I couldn't finish most of Stephen King's novels. I know, it's just me.

I never finished From a Buick 8.

RumpleTumbler
03-14-2007, 11:59 PM
The Lovely Bones was really hard for me to finish but I did it. A testimony to my superhuman perseverance.

I originally checked it out because so many people in this thread http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=47406 said it made them ball.

I then asked what I'd missed and was thrilled and laughed out loud when Julie Worth responded.
Lovely Bones was idiotic. Don't worry that you didn't get it.

So thanks Julie for affirming that it was of course "them" and not me.

Jaycinth
03-15-2007, 12:21 AM
I believe it is only polite to finish a book once you have picked it up.
Therefore I have read a lot of horrid fiction and biographies, and I know who I'll never read again.

There is one book though. I couldn't finish it. I bought it because I thought I'd love it. Everybody said I'd love it. The cover said I'd love it. I love Science Fiction so I should have loved this book. I have never been able to drag myself past the first 30 pages.
I kept trying for 16 years.

I feel terrible.

it is:
'Dahlgren' by Samuel Delany.

I am sooooooo sorry.

Flay
03-15-2007, 01:41 AM
I give up pretty quickly if there's nothing in the prose that gets my attention within the first few pages, or if there's something that annoys me (Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks comes to mind). I feel that I've discharged my obligation to the writer by buying the book & looking at the first page; after that, it's the writer's job to keep me interested. Life really is too short to be wasted on bad books.

scarletpeaches
03-15-2007, 01:43 AM
Birdsong? A 'bad' book???

jonereb
03-15-2007, 02:56 AM
I finished Lovely Bones at a time when I felt compelled to finish anything I purchased. Now, if I don't like a book, I donate it to the library. Maybe someone else will appreciate it. Of the last five books I've picked up, I finished only one. I'm in a rut. In one of these books, the author attempted to use the F-word on every page. After 150 pages, I finally said enough is enough. I enjoyed Farewell Summer by Ray Bradbury, after suffering thru the first 20 or 30 pages. So now I'm decided to read Dandelion Wine which appears to be random, unassociated chapters thrown together to make a book. But I'm less than halfway through so maybe it will all come together.

aruna
03-15-2007, 09:57 AM
The Lovely Bones was really hard for me to finish but I did it. A testimony to my superhuman perseverance.



There's another thread all about the Lovely Bones and I'm one of several who said they hated it - so you're not alone!

Here's the thread:
http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=31897&highlight=lovely+bones

Flay
03-15-2007, 10:44 AM
Birdsong? A 'bad' book???
It's been years, so I can only say that I found nothing in the few pages I read that made me want to continue. Tastes vary.

ccarver30
03-15-2007, 09:00 PM
Dune.
Ack.

CatSlave
03-15-2007, 09:07 PM
Dune.
Ack.
I LOVED the first one.
The remake was horrible though.

I was amazed at how closely the first one followed the details of the book. I'm not a connoisseur of sci-fi, so maybe this is the norm. Anyway, I was impressed with the story and the special effects. The Baron and his minions were especially gross!

Shady Lane
03-16-2007, 03:14 AM
Inexcusable by Chris Lynch...supposed to be this great, revolutionary YA, and I couldn't stand it. Dreadful.

I also hated Of Mice and Men with firey burning passion.

Appocolyptik
03-17-2007, 03:02 PM
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens appalled me. I've never read such long winded tripe without any sort of plot or development. The description is so ridicolously thorough that it leaves NOTHING at all to the imagination of the reader, and without the reader being able to imagine the scene then it just falls apart. Pip is one of the weakest most servile main characters I've ever had the displeasure of reading about and everyone else in the story was so 2D that it was impossible to care about them in the slightest.

J. Weiland
03-17-2007, 03:06 PM
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens appalled me. I've never read such long winded tripe without any sort of plot or development. The description is so ridicolously thorough that it leaves NOTHING at all to the imagination of the reader, and without the reader being able to imagine the scene then it just falls apart. Pip is one of the weakest most servile main characters I've ever had the displeasure of reading about and everyone else in the story was so 2D that it was impossible to care about them in the slightest.

:Jaw:

Great Expectations was on my curriculum at the university, and I enjoyed it very much.

Maybe you were too young to appreciate it.

aruna
03-17-2007, 03:06 PM
Has anyone mentioned Brick Lane?

(Edited to say: yes, I did! On this post! (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showpost.php?p=1055021&postcount=38))

J. Weiland
03-17-2007, 03:11 PM
Life of Pi is brilliant. Not at all what I expected, but I was pleasently surprised.

As to the heading of this thread. I don't buy expensive books unless I'm 100 percent sure that it is a book that has something to offer me.

Appocolyptik
03-17-2007, 03:43 PM
:Jaw:

Great Expectations was on my curriculum at the university, and I enjoyed it very much.

Maybe you were too young to appreciate it.

Maybe I just don't conform to what literature fanatics standardize as great. The only reason I read past the first few pages was because I had to read it for my GCSE coursework.

Carmy
03-25-2007, 11:21 PM
Anything written by Margaret Attwood. By chapter three I'm bored to tears.

cool_st_elizabeth
03-25-2007, 11:58 PM
I raced through The Shipping News and loved it -- go figure. I won't see the film, though; the main character would've needed to be awkward and unattractive. Knowing Kevin Spacey was cast in the part, I didn't think the rest of the film would hold for me.

I loved The Shipping News and I saw the movie, which had little resemblance to the book. I usually adore the work of Kevin Spacey, but ideally Quoyle should have been played by Wayne Knight (Newman on "Seinfeld"). And Julianne Moore is much too pretty to play the character she played.

Couldn't finish Accordion Crimes. I think I've read all of Annie Proulx's books except that one.

cool_st_elizabeth
03-26-2007, 12:02 AM
Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace. My daughter recommended it, so I bought it & sincerely tried to enjoy it ... but it seemed like a whole lot of endless gobbledygook about tennis and movies. I'm not really a fan of either one.

A.C.
03-27-2007, 02:03 AM
Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice.

I got halfway through and didn't really care about it so I stopped reading. It wasn't bad, it just wasn't interesting to me.

-A.C.

Ralyks
03-27-2007, 02:25 AM
Lord of the Rings. I was forced to read it for a "Popular Fiction" class in college (which I took only in order to fulfill my "non-traditional" English requirement). I confess to skimming it.

David McAfee
04-24-2007, 09:33 PM
Here are some novels I could not finish:

The Historian (UGH!! Bored me to tears)
The Lord of the Flies
Insomnia
Interview With the Vampire (GAK! How did that one get so popular??)

After trudging through Lord Foul's Bane I decided not to try and force myself to finish books I don't like anymore. Now I'm up there with a previous poster; if they don't grab me by 100 pages in I tag 'em for the used bookstore.

Rich
04-24-2007, 09:40 PM
The Great Gatsby

And (sorry) anything by T. Drieser.

Penguin Queen
04-24-2007, 11:25 PM
Any novel by Virginia Woolf other than Orlando.

I love love love her non-fiction and I adore Orlando, but I just cant get into any other fiction by her. http://boards.gingerbeer.co.uk/Smileys/classic/embarrassed.gif


Miss Smilla's feeling for Snow.
I tried, I really did, but it just didnt do anything for me.

Mark A
04-24-2007, 11:27 PM
The Talisman, by Stephen King and Peter Straub. After a hundred pages or so, I put it down, and never again picked up a Stephen King book. Good thing for Stephen that about one billion other people continued to buy, eh?

Penguin Queen
04-24-2007, 11:31 PM
Stephen King scares the living daylights out of me, and bores me, in pretty much equal measure. Ugh.

Tymolee
04-24-2007, 11:38 PM
I'm also one of those people that just couldn't do The Lord of the Rings. Oddly enough, I really enjoyed The Hobbit, which prompted me to pick up the box set of LOTR. Made it halfway through Fellowship and thought "Screw it!".

Most of Anne Rice's Books just bored me to tears, too.

And as much as it pains me to admit it, I read half of Good Omens by Gaiman and Pratchett (I think that's who wrote it) and put it down. And just kind of forgot about it. I know so many people love that book and I will finish it someday.... but i put it down and it just slipped my mind.

Loved Neverwhere by Gaiman, though.

althrasher
06-22-2007, 11:52 PM
I finished The Historian, but I want that week back now. By the end of it, I was like, "Can we be done now? Please?" BOORING!

I really enjoyed The Lovely Bones and Life of Pi, even though many say they didn't. Also, I'm currently fighting through Eldest, so we'll see how long that takes me!

scarletpeaches
06-23-2007, 12:02 AM
Anything written by Margaret Attwood. By chapter three I'm bored to tears.

I'm surprised anyone makes it that far.

Sandy J
06-23-2007, 12:07 AM
I just stumbled across this thread and have been thoroughly enjoying reading all your posts!! :)

I have to agree with several people. I hated Lord of the Rings, In Cold Blood, and absolutely anything by Charles Dickens or George Orwell. With the exception of Harrison Bergeron, Kurt Vonnegut doesn't do much for me either. My sophomore year of high school, we had to read A Tale of Two Cities and The Great Gatsby. I would have rather had someone give me a root canal without anesthetic. :tongue

My problem is I used to have an inability to put aside a bad book. I always had to finish it, regardless. I'm happy to say turning forty helped me learn to prioritize better. If it sucks, I no longer feel the need to see it through to the bitter end.

triceretops
06-23-2007, 01:08 AM
I'll burn for this, but the biggest disapointment I have ever HAD was Ender's Game by Card. A double-award winner too. We have a kid genius bouncing off wall for 280 pages in null-grave, with a...was this supposed to be a twist ending? I'm so sorry. Saw it coming a mile away. I guess he hooked me like a tarpon because I did finish the damn thing. This might have worked decades ago, but it left a very bad taste in my mouth. The biggest WTF I've ever experienced.

Tri

JamieFord
06-23-2007, 01:14 AM
Kavalier & Clay.

It's pretty bad when you're on an airplane with a book and you find yourself reading SkyMall instead.

zahra
06-23-2007, 01:15 AM
I do tend to finish books by skimming if I hate them, but 'Jonathan Strange' remains under my bed, three-quarters unread, gathering dust-bunnies. 'Wicked' I wouldn't even give under-the-bed room. 'Charlotte Gray' bored me catatonic. I couldn't get with the MC's dry character, she just reminded me of irritating girls I'd been at school with. 'Lord of the Rings' - eek.

Did finish, but want time back for: 'Ladies Detective Agency' - patronizing yawn-fest, King and Straub's 'Talisman' - pretentious hokum, 'Saturday' by Ian McEwan - like chewing glue.

I'm heartened to hear so many people don't like 'The Historian', because I keep looking at it in bookshops, reading the praise, and yet, instinctively...nah.

Kudra
06-23-2007, 01:25 AM
I just gave up on The Divine Secrets of the Ya-ya Sisterhood today. I dragged myself through a 100 pages, but really just couldn't read any longer.

licity-lieu
06-23-2007, 02:05 AM
:cry: "White Teeth" by Zadie Smith. I wanted to love this book so much. I just couldn't get into the two male MCs. I loved the female characters and wanted more. I'm half way through. Anybody care to set me straight?

althrasher
06-23-2007, 02:21 AM
I forgot one--I Am Charlotte Simmons by Thomas Wolfe. That book seriously pissed me off, but I did finish it. Still, I've never had a book infuriate me so, and I'm still not sure why :-p

yesandno
06-23-2007, 02:27 AM
Gravity's Rainbow by Pynchon. Gah. I must have tried a dozen times before I finally gave away my copy.

Harper K
06-23-2007, 04:22 AM
I've attempted Infinite Jest, by David Foster Wallace, about five times now. I haven't made it past page 50. I guess I'll keep it around to use as a freeweight.

I've taken Carson McCullers's The Heart is a Lonely Hunter off my shelf many times over the years and read the first few pages, but so far it hasn't clicked with me enough to keep me reading. I figure that one of these days I'll get back to it. It's like that with books I own: I'm much more lax on forcing myself to get interested and stay interested. With books I get from the library, I'm more likely to soldier on through a less than exciting first chapter as long as I'm fairly sure that the book is something I'll eventually like.

aruna
06-23-2007, 08:04 AM
What about "Books highly prized you can't even get past the first page?"

I bought "The Inheritance of Loss" by Kiran Desai for a friend a few months back; we always exchange books and I knew that I would get it sooner or later, and looked forward to it. I would never buy a new book for myself.

Anyway, this book one the last Mann Booker prize among much acclaim, so it was bound to be good, right?

Wrong. Even the first paragraph was so turgid I had to read it a few times to get myself to focus. I read on a little bit more and finally put the book down,. That was a few days ago. I am trying to gather the motivation to read on but find it difficult.

I read several negative amazon reviews and I now believe I will not like this book at all, so I may not try again. Should have read those reviews before buying the book.

My friend by the way did not finish it either. She just couldn't get into it.

scarletpeaches
06-23-2007, 05:41 PM
Oh dear. The Inheritance of Loss was one of the most recent books I bought.

Ne'ermind. I shall take that as a personal challenge to read it, cover to cover!

gerrydodge
06-23-2007, 05:53 PM
I could not read James's THE TURN OF THE SCREW. I've probably began that short novel ten times and just can not do it. I have trouble with Henry James.

aruna
06-23-2007, 06:37 PM
Oh dear. The Inheritance of Loss was one of the most recent books I bought.

Ne'ermind. I shall take that as a personal challenge to read it, cover to cover!

I picked it up today again, and read a few pages. It seems to be written froman omnicient POV or is it just plain head-hopping? With some sentences she seems to be trying very hard to be literary. Oh well. At least she mentions Guyana on page 22.

gerrydodge
06-23-2007, 06:41 PM
I could not read James's THE TURN OF THE SCREW. I've probably began that short novel ten times and just can not do it. I have trouble with Henry James.

I meant to say, "I've probably begun that short novel..." Yikes!!!

Sandy J
06-23-2007, 06:49 PM
I meant to say, "I've probably begun that short novel..." Yikes!!!


I don't think anyone is grading on spelling or grammar. :tongue I make the teacher in me take a break when I'm here. I hope no one points out all the errors I make. ;)

BenPanced
06-24-2007, 10:21 AM
I'm another who's tried Tolkien. I thought Frank Herbert was verbose; the same blade of grass Herbert describes in 4 paragraphs gets 4 chapters in Tolkien.

I also tried ...And Ladies of The Club when it came out (anybody else remember that one?). Working at a library at the time, I'd heard so much about it, how good it was, what an instant classic, blah blah blah fishcakes, I couldn't wait to throw it across the room finish the first 100 pages. It was a looooooooooooong sucker, too.

Moby Dick was a crashing bore. Think I'll become a sailor. Oh, noez!!!11!eleventy-one!! The captain's insane! He's after the whale that done et his leg! Oh, noez!!!11!eleventy-one!! The whale that done et the captain's leg done et the rest of the ship and crew! The end. There were 8 or 9 of us passing around the Cliffs Notes so we wouldn't actually have to read the thing.

I can't get through anything by Isaac Asimov, either. He just bores the snot out of me.

And Eats, Shoots & Leaves was just too "preshus" for its own good. I thought the author was incredibly snotty and condescending.

gem1122
06-24-2007, 06:04 PM
I love The Shipping News. One of my all-time favorites. I also really enjoyed Lovely Bones. I think "that scene" that others have mentioned is so emotional and, well, lovely. I didn't see it as icky at all. Anyway, onto the unfinished list...

Life of Pi. The first several pages is an info dump! What is this? Danielle Steele?

Wicked. Wicked boring.

Moby Dick. Tried several times, but can't get past the super-detailed whale descriptions.

On the Road. Pointless, which I suppose is the point, but annoying as hell.

Zen and the Art of Motorcyle Maintenance. ?!?!

Though I enjoyed The Stand, I could never finish other King books. Interesting stories, but the writing is just plain bad.

Harry Potter. "You'll love them! They're not just for kids, really!" Ugh.

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green. I finished Looking for Alaska, which was okay, but not the great YA novel everyone seems to think it is. Katherines is awful. Whiner.




Boy, that felt good! :D

Harper K
06-24-2007, 06:58 PM
I also tried ...And Ladies of The Club when it came out (anybody else remember that one?). Working at a library at the time, I'd heard so much about it, how good it was, what an instant classic, blah blah blah fishcakes, I couldn't wait to throw it across the room finish the first 100 pages. It was a looooooooooooong sucker, too.


Oh, I remember that one! I had a friend in high school who lived and breathed that book. She wouldn't rest until she got me to read it, and she even lent me her much-loved copy. I couldn't get interested in the beginning and eventually turned to the middle and read about 100 pages, which was about 1/10 of the novel's heft, if I remember correctly. It was enough for me to be able to "discuss" the book with my friend (read: listen to her gush about it).

aruna
06-24-2007, 07:16 PM
I remeber beginning it. It was a BIG book, right? I didn't get past the first few pages - and I love BIG books, normally.

BenPanced
06-24-2007, 08:59 PM
I remeber beginning it. It was a BIG book, right? I didn't get past the first few pages - and I love BIG books, normally.
I looked it up over on Amazon. The hardback is almost 1200 PAGES.

aka eraser
06-25-2007, 12:53 AM
It verges on sacrilege I know, but I couldn't get through Heller's Catch 22 or Toole's A Confederacy of Dunces. And Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow? Fahgeddaboutit.

moonslice
06-25-2007, 01:26 AM
I also liked The Shipping News but did not finish it for some reason. I also stopped after 500 pages of Les Miserables.

gem1122
06-25-2007, 01:26 AM
It verges on sacrilege I know, but I couldn't get through Heller's Catch 22 or Toole's A Confederacy of Dunces. And Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow? Fahgeddaboutit.

You know, reading this thread gets me to wondering who are all these people who we apologize to who say "You have to read this or that book. It's one of the greatest books of all time...." Critics? Teachers?

Obviously, there are a lot of folks who claim to love hefty, complicated, critically-acclaimed books simply to sound smart. So are we apologizing to a bunch of uppity people with low self-esteems?

Melanie Lane
06-25-2007, 01:51 AM
Heh. I have several repeat books that I've picked up and wasn't able to finish, and a few new ones as well.

Lord of the Rings. Didn't make it past page three. And I love fantasy.
Eragon. Forced myself to finish it and wondered why I bothered.
The Amazing Mrs. Pollifax. I read the first two pages in a Reader's Digest compilation, and kept wondering why they called it a spy novel.
The Wind in the Willows. I don't know why I couldn't read this one.
Gossip Girls. I was forced to read the first five pages, duct taped to a chair.
One for the Money - Evanovich. (sorry). I forced myself through this one, and thankfully was eventually rewarded. The next books were better.
Lovely Bones. Another three pager.
The Odyssey.
Johnny Tremain.
Across Five Aprils (eye twitch).
Anything by Mark Twain
On Writing.
The Great Gatsby.

And the biggest disappointment - Wicked. Loved the musical to bits, lived, breathed, and ate it for a year because we did mostly Wicked songs in choir that year and went to see it. The book was... I don't even know what to say...

And most things deemed 'classics'. In my opinion, just because they're classics doesn't mean they have to appeal to me...

BlueTexas
06-25-2007, 02:05 AM
I made it through about 60 pages of On Beauty by Zadie Smith. I loved her first book, but this one was just dull.

BenPanced
06-25-2007, 03:32 AM
It verges on sacrilege I know, but I couldn't get through Heller's Catch 22 or Toole's A Confederacy of Dunces. And Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow? Fahgeddaboutit.
(bolding mine)

I didn't even finish 50 pages of Dunces. I've just met too many people that I can't stand in real life like the main character, so why would I want to read a book about them?!

Oh, and Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil was a putter-downer-really-quick-like. The first third of the book was spent talking about Savannah and the people who lived there and the people who live in Savannah and Savannah and its people and *headdesk* so much, I didn't care when the book's fabled murder finally occurred (I labeled it a mercy killing.)

cooltouch
06-25-2007, 04:21 AM
Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, soon to be a Major Motion Picture (!) was so incredibly boring, I could put it down. And I left it there.

Anything by Umberto Eco.

Most Victorian era "literature."

Best,

Michael

CatSlave
06-25-2007, 04:53 AM
It verges on sacrilege I know, but I couldn't get through Heller's Catch 22 or Toole's A Confederacy of Dunces. And Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow? Fahgeddaboutit.
You abandoned Ignatius ??
He improved as the story got along. The uprising he led at the Levy Pants Factory was...:roll:

My "refuse to read" list is headed up by any of the Anne Rice vampire disasters, although I loved Cry to Heaven and Feast of All Saints.

aruna
06-25-2007, 08:33 AM
It verges on sacrilege I know, but I couldn't get through Heller's Catch 22 or Toole's A Confederacy of Dunces.
Hey there! Those are two books, books I BOUGHT becuase they had been so highy recommended - and I never read past the first few pages! I was especially disappointed with Catch 22, beause everyone says it is so great. But I just could not get into it - it's the whole style that grated on me.

aruna
06-25-2007, 08:34 AM
Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, soon to be a Major Motion Picture (!) was so incredibly boring, I could put it down. And I left it there.



Me too! Another one I bought new.

sadron
06-25-2007, 01:55 PM
Lord of the Rings I bought and I haven't finished reading it. Someday I will read it to the end.

Tifferbugz
06-28-2007, 10:50 PM
I enjoyed The Lovely Bones and Anne Rice's first couple of books in her vampire series, but like someone mentioned earlier in the thread once Lestat became a rock star it seemed too hokey. I tried to read the first book of her witch series (can't remember the name offhand) and couldn't make it halfway through. =(


Of all the perfect titles, Insomnia by Stephen King. I could not get into that one to save my life. I'm a fussy reader and that one had me wondering if I'd fertilized the lawn that day. Bad indication. I'm sorry to say that I also had to force my way through Dracula. Can't explain it, but it just didn't do anything for me.

I loved Insomnia, but couldn't get into many of Steven King's books like The Stand and It. I mostly like his older novels like Desperation and some of his Bachman books. I did like The Cell. Although I finished it, I was more fond of the movie The Green Mile than I was of the book. It's hit or miss with his books for some reason.


I made it through The Fellowship of the Ring and halfway through . . . Man, I can't even remember the title of the second one, shame on me. Anyway . . . It's hard to believe that someone with such grand, creative ideas could put together a book so boring. Too dry, too much description, and too much elven poetry!

I loved The Hobbit, though.

I also made it through the first book and halfway through the second! I love fantasy/sci-fi books but I just couldn't get into these. :(

Maybe I'll try The Hobbit.

kristin724
06-29-2007, 07:53 PM
Hee. I hardly ever buy a new book outright for the full price. I usually go the used or second hand route. Mostly books are a buck tops. I did pay $3 for Mists of Avalon awhile back, but the jury is still out on my opinion of the book. I was tempted to pay full price for it at first, but now I wouldn't recommend it.

I paid 5 dollars for The Three Musketeers. I love the movies and the book The Count of Monte Cristo, but 3M is one of the few books I've willing put down rather than finish. I just paid the same price for the unedited Lady Chatterley's Lover and zipped through that one as one of the better books I've read.

Go figure!

Varthikes
06-29-2007, 11:03 PM
I lost count of how many times I dozed off while trying to read J.R.R. Tolkien's The Silmarillion. By the end of a month, I finally gave up.

I also had a hard time getting into TimeStorm by Golden R. Dickson (I think...)

EriRae
07-05-2007, 02:58 AM
I also had a hard time with James; The Ambassadors: supposed to read for class and didn't.

Glad I didn't start Eragon...had a hard time getting over the title. It's Dragon with an E instead of a D...and it's about a DRAGON. Clever, teehee.

I couldn't make it through Koontz. I do like the occasional Steven King. I picked up The Wastelands (book 3 in the Gunslinger series) and it was a funny read by itself, and my friends told me to read the rest of the series. I can't. Books 1&2 are superfluous now that I've read the meat and bones of book 3, and book 4 is mostly flashback. I lost it after I read 100 pages, flipped ahead to see when he would get back to the main action (approaching the castle) and it wasn't until the last few pages! AH!

I have a very hard time with King's shorts. And Fitzgerald's. In fact, I don't think I've ever read an entire short story anthology all the way through. I tried reading Chabon's Model World and Werewolves in Their Youths. Can anyone recommend a good book of short stories?

aadams73
07-05-2007, 04:10 PM
Can anyone recommend a good book of short stories?

Neil Gaiman: Fragile things, and Smoke and Mirrors.
Ray Bradbury: Bradbury Stories, 100 of his most celebrated tales.

scarletpeaches
07-05-2007, 04:11 PM
Smoke and Mirrors is the only short story collection I've ever finished.

Soccer Mom
07-05-2007, 05:01 PM
Neil Gaiman: Fragile things, and Smoke and Mirrors.
Ray Bradbury: Bradbury Stories, 100 of his most celebrated tales.


Oh yeah, those are some great ones. I just finished "M is for Magic" which is Gaiman's new one for teens. It's got a few great stories in it. Definitely worth the read.

Celia Cyanide
07-05-2007, 06:17 PM
Years ago, a friend told me I'd love Flowers In The Attic. I think I threw the book out about a third of the way through.

I consider Flowers In The Attic one of the dumbest books I've ever read, but I enjoyed it in a bad movie sort of way. But I can see why you gave up on it. I thought the first 2/3 of the book was boring and overdescribing a bunch of inane crap. Can't really say it gets "better," but after a while something...happens. Not something profound or even believable, but more than just the same thing over and over again for several days. I actually read the prequel first, which Andrew Niederman ghostwrote after she died, and I found the writing to be much more even.

Nakhlasmoke
07-05-2007, 06:25 PM
I just couldn't finish The God of Small Things, by Arundhati Roy. And I really wanted to enjoy it. i just found the writing a little precious - to try-hard literary.

Normally I love John Irving, Setting Free the Bears and A Prayer For Owen Meany are firm favourites, but I could not get through The Fourth Hand. Funnily enough that's the one my hubs liked, he can't get into any of Irving's other work.

And I cannot read Dickens. DH keeps telling me that because I like Pratchett, I'll like Dickens. Er, no. I won't. I've tried, I really have, but he bores me to tears.

Crème de la Gem
07-07-2007, 04:31 AM
I put down Hitchhiker's Guide to Galaxy. It was funny, but funnies couldn't keep me reading.

I'm having a very difficult time with the Count of Monte Cristo, and after reading this forum, I think I'm going to put it down, since I am not enjoying it much. I feel better about putting down because people are putting down supposedly great books left and right and trashing them!

Great Expectation was difficult too but finished it because I loved the movie with Ethan Hawke and Gwenyth Paltrow and keep wanting to see the ending. I found out that the movie was so much better... for the first time.

blacbird
07-07-2007, 07:11 AM
I'm having a very difficult time with the Count of Monte Cristo, and after reading this forum, I think I'm going to put it down, since I am not enjoying it much.

Then by all means, put it down. Life is too short to force yourself through books you don't enjoy reading. I think Monte Cristo is one of the great novels of forever, but I also know that such preferences are intensely individual. I can't read Charles Dickens to save my life . . . well . . . maybe to do that, but . . .

Tom Robbins gives me hives. Thomas Pynchon, asthma. James Joyce is the literary Antichrist. But I know people who think these writers are gifts from God. I have a close friend addicted to Thomas Hardy and Henry James. I need a stiff drink, soon.

Enjoy what you read, and read what you enjoy. But take a reading adventure now and then, and if it works, the surprise is extra-rewarding. That's the way it was for me with Monte Cristo.

I'll recommend:

Mildred Pierce, James M. Cain
The Ox-Bow Incident, Walter Van Tilburg Clark
Watcher in the Shadows, Geoffrey Household
Brighton Rock, Graham Greene
The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, Carson McCullers

caw

Crème de la Gem
07-07-2007, 11:39 AM
Cool, The Heart is a lonely Hunter is on my to read list, though i know nothing about it. The rest, ahem, haven't heard of... I'll check them out.

Some said they couldn't read Wuthering Heights, but man I enjoyed that book! I was really impressed by that one. I read it because I read a lot of Anne Rice books, and she recommended it. And it was a joy to discover the element in the Bronte's book which seemed to have influenced Rice's gothic quality.

I've put down Monte Cristo. I really enjoyed three musketeer when I read them in Manga comics and watched anime version when I was little, though, hehe. Now I'm going to read: Anna Karenina. What a ginormous book! First few chapters of the part I seems very promising.....

gerrydodge
07-07-2007, 03:39 PM
Then by all means, put it down. Life is too short to force yourself through books you don't enjoy reading. I think Monte Cristo is one of the great novels of forever, but I also know that such preferences are intensely individual. I can't read Charles Dickens to save my life . . . well . . . maybe to do that, but . . .

Tom Robbins gives me hives. Thomas Pynchon, asthma. James Joyce is the literary Antichrist. But I know people who think these writers are gifts from God. I have a close friend addicted to Thomas Hardy and Henry James. I need a stiff drink, soon.

Enjoy what you read, and read what you enjoy. But take a reading adventure now and then, and if it works, the surprise is extra-rewarding. That's the way it was for me with Monte Cristo.

I'll recommend:

Mildred Pierce, James M. Cain
The Ox-Bow Incident, Walter Van Tilburg Clark
Watcher in the Shadows, Geoffrey Household
Brighton Rock, Graham Greene
The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, Carson McCullers

caw

Molly Bloom's soliloquy in Ulysses, in my humble opinion, is one of the great passages in all of English Literature. Joyce is the man--along with Faulkner, Melville and Hawthorne. I love Graham Greene and Carson McCullers is just plain fine.

lostgirl
07-07-2007, 06:20 PM
I'm a freak. I HAVE to finish a book if I start it even if I hate Hate HATE it. It's an OCD obsession of mine. The ONLY book I couldn't do that for was "Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man" by James Joyce. When he went on for paragraphs about the sucking sound a drain makes I calmly set the book down and walked away. I never looked back but I do have the occasional nightmare. *shudders*

plaidearthworm
07-08-2007, 05:40 AM
I'm so glad someone else mentioned Neil Gaiman. I have three of his books, and I haven't finished one yet. Started with American Gods, just couldn't get through it. Love his blog, he seems like a great writer, but I just can't manage to read a whole book of his.

Alexandra Little
07-08-2007, 06:16 AM
Thomas Pynchon, the Crying of Lot 49, and Joyce's Portait of the Artist as a Young man. The former book was assigned by my Amer Lit professor, who wrote his dissertation on Pynchon, and I would not have finished it except it had been assigned. The same with Joyce but different teacher--five pages in I was like "why do I care?"

Jury's out on Pullman--I want to read the books before the movie comes out though.

kristin724
07-10-2007, 07:08 AM
My hubby is into audio books now. THat is the only way he got through Tolkien. I really enjoyed LOTR, but I'm not interested in reading the earlier work or the histories. I did almost put down the Fellowship in the beginning. You really do learn more about hobbits then you're every going to need, but once they met Strider at Bree I was hooked for the next four months.

I can't say the same for the novelization of Van Helsing. I really love David Wenham so I wanted to read more for the Carl character, but man it was bad! Then, I got the idea to underline all the passages I thought were poorly done, but I ending up underlining entire *pages*. So, I gave up.

jonereb
07-10-2007, 03:56 PM
And I cannot read Dickens. DH keeps telling me that because I like Pratchett, I'll like Dickens. Er, no. I won't. I've tried, I really have, but he bores me to tears.

I tried reading A Tale of Two Cities on three occasion. The third time was the charm. Even then, it took three chapter or more for me to get in the mood. I had no idea what was going on. Then magically, everything clicked. I understood. Now it's one of my all time favorites. But I must say, I haven't attempted any other Dickens novels. He is a difficult read. I'm glad I made the effort on A Tale of Two Cities...great story!

Nakhlasmoke
07-10-2007, 04:12 PM
<snip> He is a difficult read. I'm glad I made the effort on A Tale of Two Cities...great story!

Funnily enough, it's Tale Of Two Cities he keeps foisting on me. I have managed to finish Great Expectations though.

Saanen
07-10-2007, 05:20 PM
I've never been able to get into anything by Anne Rice or Steven King--but I don't like that type of book anyway. I never finished On Writing, either. And I can't stand Tom Robbins. Can't. Stand. Him.

I read Wicked because a friend loaned me his copy and gushed over it so much, but I didn't like it. It was well written and had good ideas, but I found it abyssmally depressing and rather dull. My mother read The Historian last year and loved the first part, then started complaining about how boring it was getting. I think she finished it, but I sure didn't pick up her copy when she was done!

Looking back on all the books I had to read in school (from junior high up through my undergraduate years as an English major), many of the books I loathed then really deserve a second chance. I was too young to appreciate many of them fully. Except for Vanity Fair, of course, which is horrible. And Sister Carrie, which is horrible and stupid. I recently read RLS's Kidnapped and Kipling's Captains Courageous and enjoyed both of them very much, though.

I had a loathesome English professor who assigned us Frankenstein when I was a sophomore; I read the first half and found it very readable and interesting, but totally bogged down when the monster apparently learned 100% perfect English by eavesdropping from under the floorboards of a house. I never finished it. The loathesome professor (my God, he did his best to destroy everyone's love of literature--that sort of teacher should be stripped of tenure and ridden out of town on a rail) started a discussion about the book, which everyone in class engaged in with great interest (which was unusual in his classes), and then he smirked and told us all that Frankenstein was a naive, immature work and that was probably why we all liked it. I do think it's a naive, immature work, but to insult us all for enjoying something he'd assigned us was bizarre.

Justin91
07-10-2007, 05:43 PM
I made it through half of Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, it is still sitting on a shelf in my house waiting to be finished. I really struggled through the last 1/4 of Middlesex, which I really just skimmed thta last portion. I still have not been able to finish Atlas Shrugged.

Captain Morgan
07-10-2007, 07:52 PM
I've seen others mention this, and I'll mention it as well...

I simply can not Stand, 'The Stand' by S. King.

I think I maybe have actually got close to the end, but dear God, that was work! Certainly with the super-uber extended version I had, which I could instantly tell why other versions had been stripped down so much by the editors!

I'd like to say I only got suckered into the venture by my English feminist-extremist teacher in highschool. She mentioned one day to the class how she was reading the book, and found it her favourite. She also mentioned something along the lines of King being one of the best, or the best.

Now, the fact that our over-bearing feminist was praising a male-author, really shocked me as we had never seen her so much as say even the smallest positive thing about the opposite sex.

So.... The fact that SHE was saying this, I assumed it HAD to be true. And the fact that SHE was an english teacher (though not a good one), me being just a grade 13 student, I assumed I was just 'not getting it' and gave King some more chances.

Maybe I still just don't get it, not sure. But I haven't touched a King book since, and I don't plan to ever. I never liked any of his movies either, which should have been fair warning to me.

Toxic_Waste
07-10-2007, 10:01 PM
I think I maybe have actually got close to the end, but dear God, that was work!

Ditto here. I could not finish that book and I thought I was a big King fan. I also could not finish The Tommyknockers.

Captain M, you have no doubt learned that teachers are not gods...just people with their own likes, dislikes and opinions. Don't let yourself be TOO influenced by the opinions of others. Just use them as a way to instigate your own queries and conclusions.

J. Weiland
07-10-2007, 10:11 PM
I'm sending Mr. Flagg to get you two.





Seriously, the quality of movies based on books is not indicative of the quality of the original work. Stephen King is a huge success because he is a great storyteller. You should give him another try. At least if you enjoy the genres he works in otherwise.

kristin724
07-11-2007, 03:24 AM
I love Dickens, but I can absolutely see that his work isn't for everybody. Although I think everyone ought to give something by him a chance. Except Hard Times. Oh I loathe that one!

Likewise I don't do Stephen King. On Writing is the only book I've read by him, and I am still Meh about it. I lost interest in Anne Rice along time ago.

Justin- sweet avatar!

Hillary
07-19-2007, 07:47 PM
Blindness by José Saramago.

I've scoured all eight pages of this thread and I am apparently the only one who could not make it through this book. I curse myself a few times a year for this, because it won the freakin' Nobel Prize for Literature! In my defense, I was only 16 when I tried to read it, but still. I'm embarrassed.

Go me!

Justin91
07-19-2007, 08:12 PM
Blindness by José Saramago.

I've scoured all eight pages of this thread and I am apparently the only one who could not make it through this book. I curse myself a few times a year for this, because it won the freakin' Nobel Prize for Literature! In my defense, I was only 16 when I tried to read it, but still. I'm embarrassed.

Go me!

Oh yeah...I completely forgot about Saramago! I started "The Double" but only got through the first few chapters. I do want to finish it, I just need to be in the right mood.

Robin Bayne
07-20-2007, 12:07 AM
I lost count of how many times I dozed off while trying to read J.R.R. Tolkien's The Silmarillion. By the end of a month, I finally gave up.
)


Had to read that in college--the whole course was based on Tolkien's books. That one was the only bad one in the bunch--it was horribly boring.

rosebud1981
07-23-2007, 03:13 AM
In theory I'm still reading LOTR, but I haven't picked it up in nearly 3 years. Might come back to it some rainy day when I'm (really)*1000 bored.
James Joyce's Portait of the Artist as a Young Man was very drawn out and a tortuous read too, but I did manage to finish it as at least it wasn't over 1000 pages long :tongue

JCT
07-23-2007, 03:28 AM
In theory I'm still reading LOTR, but I haven't picked it up in nearly 3 years. Might come back to it some rainy day when I'm (really)*1000 bored.
James Joyce's Portait of the Artist as a Young Man was very drawn out and a tortuous read too, but I did manage to finish it as at least it wasn't over 1000 pages long :tongue

I never read all three LOTR book though I know the trilogy inside and out. I probably should feel guilty about that. The Silmarillion I actually read; it took me two long months in high school which was forever for me (when I could read a novel in a week, ah the days). I never could do it now. It is really, really dry.

Aeryn
07-23-2007, 03:38 AM
This is still a great thread. Just goes to show that someone's hate-book is someone elses love-book. Yay for that! :D

I loved both Life of Pi and The Lovely Bones - but also sleep-read my way through LOTR's at a late age, and somewhat regreted the time lost, LOL - am just about to read Mr King's The Stand....might go either way....ooohhhh the anticipation! LOL.

Some of my arch enemies (e.g. Pynchon, Marquez) seem to bother others too...am glad I'm not alone! :)

Manat
07-23-2007, 07:57 PM
Focaults Pendulum and The Name of the Rose, both by Umberto Eco, bored me to tears and I never finished, ditto Angela's Ashes. Anything and everything I've ever tried to read by James Joyce has annoyed the hell out of me. I don't mind a challenge, but I've realized I want to be interested by and find pleasure in what I read. I'm not getting any the book becomes a doorstop, and then turns up at the used bookstore

BenPanced
07-26-2007, 11:59 PM
I've read one of Terry Prachett's books, but I can't remember which one it was. Yeah, I'm compelled to read more of them.

SteveCordero
07-27-2007, 01:04 AM
Great thread.

Like others, I finish all the books I have, but some are way harder than others to finish. The worst was The Dream of Scipio, a bestseller with a great reviews. I like to keep all the books I've read, but I had to donate this book to the library. I refused to keep it in my house.

lostintheweb
07-28-2007, 03:08 AM
Oh thank God! Every time I told people that I could never get through Heller's Catch 22 I got dirty looks. I have tried at on at least four separate occassions to read the book, and each time I had to give up. I even tried read Heller's Something Happened--suffice to say it didn't.

It is hard to get me to give up on a book. I have read books that could easily have made people quit readingfor pleasure (including Xiajing's Soul Mountain, Mattheissan's Killing Mr. Watson, and Sholokov's "Don" series), but Heller made my brain hurt.

Justin91
07-28-2007, 03:43 AM
I have a very hard time with King's shorts. And Fitzgerald's. In fact, I don't think I've ever read an entire short story anthology all the way through. I tried reading Chabon's Model World and Werewolves in Their Youths. Can anyone recommend a good book of short stories?

This must be a matter of taste...I love short stories. including King and fitzgerald. I have about 50 books of collected short stories and love them all.

Azraelsbane
07-28-2007, 08:39 AM
I couldn't get into Robert Jordan's Eye of the World AT ALL. It just didn't do it for me.

ccarver30
07-28-2007, 10:19 AM
Dune. I lost interest after the MC had to go prove himself to this clan. I didn't care. :(

eastcoastgal
07-31-2007, 10:48 PM
His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman - finished the trilogy reluctantly (i.e. had to...just to make sure I didn't like it). I think I'm one of the few, but I couldn't stand these books

You're not alone-- my friend forced herself to get through His Dark Materials too and she wasn't too impressed. In my case it was Shadow in the North, one of Pullman's books in the Sally Lockhart series. I went into that with outrageously high expectations; I had seen the BBC adaptation of Ruby in the Smoke, and I was stoked for an adventure. I thought that surely the books would be even more compelling than the film; after all, what film EVER lives up to its print-precedant?

I was so disappointed; theoretically I suppose it was great, but absolutely nothing about it drew me in. I've got to at least care a little about what happens to the characters to enjoy myself, and in this case I found that I had to keep forcing myself to read more. After about seventy pages I realised that really wasn't going to change any time soon, and I just let it go.

Sunnyside
08-01-2007, 01:14 AM
James Joyce's Ulysses. I want to like and appreciate it, I really do, but I just can't make it. ("All work and no play make Homer something something...")

*sigh* Maybe I'll go back and try again.

MerryDay
08-01-2007, 04:32 AM
Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby. I should have liked it - fine plot, great setting, a societal message, but...I just could not care about the characters what-so-ever. It's a classic, but when I had to read it again in college, Cliff's Notes definitely came in handy. :D

carousel
08-27-2007, 07:02 AM
I couldn't finish the Da Vinci Code either. I didn't even get to page 30. It just didn't hold my attention.

Anything by Tolkien. I didn't even like the hobbit. I know, I know, something must be wrong with me.

Whatever is wrong with you must be the same thing that is wrong with me. Tolkein just doesn't ring my bells.

Priene
08-27-2007, 06:35 PM
Nabokov's Lolita. He had the most beautiful and articulate style, but the subject matter was hideous. After fifty pages, I just couldn't stand it any more.

I regret not toughing it out, though.

cletus
09-05-2007, 05:41 PM
James Joyce's Ulysses. I want to like and appreciate it, I really do, but I just can't make it. ("All work and no play make Homer something something...")

I have not tried Ulysses, but A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by Joyce left me the feeling the same way. Could not get past the first 10 pages. I agree with the Amazon reviewer that calls it "portait of a writer as a complete bore".

larocca
09-05-2007, 05:46 PM
All three of the Faulkners that Oprah boxed up for us.

That Margaret Atwood that won the Man Booker Prize, not to be confused with the Booker Prize, which was pretty damn good before sponsorship killed it.

I wish I hadn't read Thinner, but I was on the guard desk unexpectedly and didn't have my library books with me.

Anything by DBC Pierre.

Most books about Thailand.

Anything by Michael LaRocca.

Anything by Albert Camus.

Anything by Emile Zola.

Anything by DJ --- just kidding!

RickN
09-06-2007, 04:50 AM
[quote=TrainofThought;1053790]There is only one book I couldn’t finish and that was The Name of the Rose.quote]

I heard that. Why say in 1 page what you can say in 10. A rare book where I liked the movie better than the book.

Rick

crazynance
09-06-2007, 05:02 AM
I am still reading several books. If they come to a point in the plot I don't like/agree with, I have to work myself into a reconciliation before I can keep reading the book. Same if they are being STOOPID. I get irate and my family makes me put the book down and slowly back away..

crazynance
09-06-2007, 05:08 AM
This must be a matter of taste...I love short stories. including King and fitzgerald. I have about 50 books of collected short stories and love them all.

Charles de Lint : Waifs & Strays
I liked most of it.

EriRae
09-06-2007, 09:58 AM
I read thru the whole post again and have to concur with a few, and add a new one:
Les Mis...lost me midway
DaVinci Code...I read Angels and Demons first, and couldn't get past the fact that the heroine from the first book isn't even a thought in Langdon's mind in DC...jerk.
Dracula...I've tried, many, many times
New one: Stranger in a Strange Land I grokked the first half, but didn't care about any of the characters. Felt like a big waste of time. I was so sad, because I LOVED Starship Troopers.

Azraelsbane
09-06-2007, 10:21 AM
Anything by Virginia Woolf. Most things by Hemingway. I stand by my belief that prior to killing themselves, they read one of their own manuscripts.

Oh wait, no. I finished them. Maybe that was my problem.

gingerwoman
10-05-2007, 03:03 PM
.
I didn't even like the hobbit.
Add me to that. I LOVED the first chapter of The Hobbit with the Dwarves all annoying the uptight Hobbit but the rest of the book, the long boring quest with no female characters ugggg. I did force myself to finish it but Ugggg. I'm sure never going to read LOTR.

I also dislike The Catcher in the Rye. Maybe it was amazing and new in it's day but all it really is is a spoiled teenager whining and being negative about everyone around him.


Great Expectations by Charles Dickens appalled me. I've never read such long winded tripe without any sort of plot or development. Oh I loved it!

Oh, this book. This is the only book I ever skipped reading and watched the movie before I wrote the report. I read the first chapter and just couldn't do it.
Ooooooooo you can';t say that! lol
The first chapter is much more boring than the rest of it. Oh I love Wuthering Heights!

Voyager
10-05-2007, 03:16 PM
American Psycho

Wraith
10-05-2007, 03:20 PM
I agree with the Amazon reviewer that calls it "portait of a writer as a complete bore".
:roll: Yeah, that's one I couldn't finish. I don't give up easily on books, but I couldn't find a decent reason to read any longer. I'm reading Ulysses now - sort of - and don't hold a lot of hope for it either, though it does have interesting parts.


There is only one book I couldn’t finish and that was The Name of the Rose.
Wow, never thought there were so many people who found it hard-going. It's one of my fav books ever, although I don't particularly like Eco - his writing gets too erudite at times. I'm reading 'Foucault's pendulum' and don't like it as much, although it's interesting. I couldn't finish 'The Island the Day Before' by him, though.

I couldn't finish the Divine Comedy, but one day I will. I hope. :D Also for some reason I stopped halfway through Marquez's 'One Hundred Years of Solitude' despite absolutely loving it. Strange enough... It's now in my TBR pile until I get back to it. But it's a huge pile.

KTC
10-05-2007, 03:23 PM
I threw Million Tiny Pieces by James Frey across the room. After lighting it on fire and spitting on it numerous times. The spine was hardly cracked when I did this. That guy has got to be the worst writer I ever read. I know, I said this before here...numerous times. I am not sure what language is his first language...but he does not understand the English language. My God, it was horrible. I'd like to introduce that man to writing...I really would. It made all the controversy that much harder to listen to, since I felt the most important fact was being overlooked. The man couldn't write worth shit. (Don't try to argue with me on this one. I bite.)

Deirdre
10-05-2007, 08:31 PM
Lord of the Rings. Loved The Hobbit the first time I read it though. I doubt I could re-read it now.
Pretty much anything by Heinlein.

Deirdre
10-05-2007, 08:34 PM
I have not tried Ulysses, but A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by Joyce left me the feeling the same way. Could not get past the first 10 pages. I agree with the Amazon reviewer that calls it "portait of a writer as a complete bore".

I never will try Ulysses, but I enjoyed the portion of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man that I read in an Irish lit class. That said, I vastly prefer Synge's work, especially The Aran Islands.

donroc
10-05-2007, 08:55 PM
Deirdre, if you can find a recording of Siobhan McKenna and E.g. Marshall reading the soliloquys of Molly and Leopold Bloom (Caedmon ca 1959), you will have an aural treat.

www.donaldmichaelplatt.com

Vandal
10-05-2007, 08:59 PM
The Grapes of Wrath.

Is it a metaphor or is it just a turtle crossing the road for an entire chapter?

Deirdre
10-05-2007, 10:27 PM
Deirdre, if you can find a recording of Siobhan McKenna and E.g. Marshall reading the soliloquys of Molly and Leopold Bloom (Caedmon ca 1959), you will have an aural treat.

www.donaldmichaelplatt.com (http://www.donaldmichaelplatt.com)
Darn, Amazon doesn't have it. Well, maybe I'll find it. That said, they do have other stuff Siobhan McKenna read, so maybe that's a start.

WriterX
10-06-2007, 08:13 PM
I think I was (apparently) one of the few people who hated THE DA VINCI CODE by Dan Brown. I couldn't even get past the second chapter. If I recall there was a lot of explanation in that book that I found intensely boring.

I did, however, love ANGELS AND DEMONS, also by Dan Brown, which was a heart-pounding action filled book.

I too, have never been able to get through an Ann Rice book. I've tried...

I go hot and cold on Stephen King. I bow to the man's contribution to Horror writing, but I don't like many of his books. The ones I do like, I like a lot. Books such as THE STAND and one of the new ones CELL (was the good old Stephen King). But stuff like IT?! OMG! I hated that - got maybe 50 pages in.

scarletpeaches
10-06-2007, 08:19 PM
I think I was (apparently) one of the few people who hated THE DA VINCI CODE by Dan Brown. I couldn't even get past the second chapter. If I recall there was a lot of explanation in that book that I found intensely boring.

Oh trust me, you weren't the only one. I've read it (twice). So yes, I managed to finish it, but I only read it on those occasions to reassure myself I'm not the worst writer in the world and yes, it really is laughably rank.


I did, however, love ANGELS AND DEMONS, also by Dan Brown, which was a heart-pounding action filled book.

I've read that too - only once though. The historical and geographical inaccuracies pissed me off though. How dare he stay as FACT that which is clearly not?!

WriterX
10-06-2007, 08:26 PM
I've read that too - only once though. The historical and geographical inaccuracies pissed me off though. How dare he stay as FACT that which is clearly not?!

I wasn't aware of the inaccuracies, if I had been it may have bothered me too but as far as a good, fast-paced read, I found it to be that. But I know what you mean. That can ruin a story for you.

Love your avatar, by the way. Nice angle. :)

scarletpeaches
10-06-2007, 08:29 PM
Read these books; they say what I'm too angry at Dan Brown to, myself.

Secrets of the Code (http://www.amazon.com/Secrets-Code-Unauthorized-Mysteries-Davinci/dp/1593153678/ref=pd_bbs_sr_2/102-9935034-5170526?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1191688091&sr=1-2)

Secrets of Angels & Demons (http://www.amazon.com/Secrets-Angels-Demons-Daniel-Burstein/dp/0297848712/ref=pd_bbs_sr_3/102-9935034-5170526?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1191688132&sr=1-3)

WriterX
10-06-2007, 08:35 PM
Read these books; they say what I'm too angry at Dan Brown to, myself.

Secrets of the Code (http://www.amazon.com/Secrets-Code-Unauthorized-Mysteries-Davinci/dp/1593153678/ref=pd_bbs_sr_2/102-9935034-5170526?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1191688091&sr=1-2)

Secrets of Angels & Demons (http://www.amazon.com/Secrets-Angels-Demons-Daniel-Burstein/dp/0297848712/ref=pd_bbs_sr_3/102-9935034-5170526?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1191688132&sr=1-3)

Thanks, I'll check them out!

wyntermoon
10-06-2007, 08:55 PM
Madame Bovary and The Brothers Karamazov -- I tried, I really tried.
Gerald's Game by S. King -- couldn't make it past one particularly graphic scene. Blech.

nerds
10-06-2007, 08:57 PM
Ulysses

Over the course of 35 years I made five valiant efforts to get past the first third of it. Never again.


Bourne books. The ones written by the actual living Ludlum. (I do love the films though).

The Shipping News Perhaps the fastest ditch I've ever done with any book.

There was one novel (can't recall title or author) which would have been a good read but for one of the characters' habit of ending her sentences with a question mark? Constantly? Used sparingly, this would have been a humorous device? Ack.
As it was, I threw the book out the bathroom window somewhere around Chapter Five. I think it's still on the lawn.

Sometimes I want to do that with John Irving, too, when he gets going with his exclamation points everywhere. But I'm too fond of his stories to send him out the window, so I stick with them.

gingerwoman
10-07-2007, 10:46 AM
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man I remember enjoying it back when I was 19 or something. Don't know if I'd like it now I'm a very different person.

The Great Gatsby- What was so great about it? I remember it was painfully boring and I think I skipped parts and I can't remember ANYTHING about it.


American Psycho What's it like? I've seen the movie.

Azraelsbane
10-07-2007, 04:37 PM
I don't know if I'd call it highly prized, but Terry Brooks is a pretty popular fantasy author, so I'm counting it. ;)

First King of Shannara

I threw the book across the room and sobbed for hours. Never picked it up again. That's what happens when the only character you even remotely care about dies halfway through the book. I have been assured that the other MCs, who I found to be unlikable, rise above their petty ways to become wonderful characters, but I already hated the guy meant to be king far too much to care.

gingerwoman
10-08-2007, 02:00 AM
The books I've mentioned so far "Catcher in the Rye" "The Hobbit" "The Great Gatsby" were all books I did manage to force myself to finish but just didn't enjoy.
I never got far into Beloved and I passed up Wicked for other more interesting books. Like some others have said I thought I would love it and it has interesting images but it's so all over the place and maybe trying too hard?

JoNightshade
10-08-2007, 02:04 AM
Dune. I read it because my husband said that any true sci fi fan needs that one under her belt. Ugh! This is a classic? The first fifty pages (and most of the rest of the book) are just one big huge info dump. For the whole book I felt like the author was just dangling little pieces of understanding at me, little clues of WHAT THE HECK WAS REALLY GOING ON (in terms of the big picture-- the empire, the Bene Gesserit, etc.). And he NEVER GAVE ANY ANSWERS. Then I get to "the end," I turn the page, and what do I find? 50 more pages of APPENDICES that simply give me all the answers. HUGE info dump. It was like he wrote the book, nobody could understand WTF was going on, so he said, "Okay, here, I'll just tell you. INFO DUMP." GRRRR.

melaniehoo
10-08-2007, 02:07 AM
I'm stuck on page 52 of Catch-22. It's been almost a month and I typically finish a book in a week so the outcome is not looking good.

I had to read the spanish version 100 Years of Solitude in college & it was the only book I didn't finish. It was a weekly class & we had to read a novel per week. I finally read it, in english this time, last year.

KTC
10-08-2007, 02:40 AM
Howsabout I beat you over the head with Catch22 and help it get into your head in a sort of osmosis like way?

gingerwoman
10-08-2007, 04:03 AM
:roll:

melaniehoo
10-08-2007, 09:06 PM
Howsabout I beat you over the head with Catch22 and help it get into your head in a sort of osmosis like way?

That might be the only way it's getting in my head. I started another book last night - gramma was here and left me all her trashy mysteries!!! - but Catch is still sitting out. It's inching towards the bookcase but I haven't abandoned it yet. :)

maestrowork
10-09-2007, 12:45 AM
Children of Men by PD James. I'm still struggling through chapter 3. Talk about expositions... I know it's going to get better, but I'm really having trouble slogging through the first few chapters...

JoNightshade
10-09-2007, 12:46 AM
Children of Men by PD James. I'm still struggling through chapter 3. Talk about expositions... I know it's going to get better, but I'm really having trouble slogging through the first few chapters...

Oh, just rent the movie. ;)

maestrowork
10-09-2007, 12:53 AM
I already saw the movie three times. ;) I just want to see if the book is better. Not likely...