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Books you have never finished


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Showing 76-100 of 106 posts in this discussion
In reply to an earlier post on 17 Apr 2013, 22:09:33 BST
Anita says:
Well, no, not exactly. Sometimes you just feel that the book perhaps *is* good, that you'd perhaps like it, and somehow just not up for the task. I'd find it very hard to believe that you never felt like that :)

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Apr 2013, 22:26:18 BST
gille liath says:
Yeah, I do know what you mean there. I guess the key phrase is 'whether it's going to be worth the effort'. If it's a writer I like, or (as Mrs B says) a supposed classic, I'll try harder to persevere; but even then, if it's clearly not going anywhere I'll abandon ship. As you gain experience as a reader, you can work out when a 'classic' is probably not for you.

(Yes, that's a euphemism for 'crap'.)

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Apr 2013, 23:48:09 BST
War and Peace is an incredibly beautiful book ... I found it beneficial to jot down names of characters, just to keep track; especially where sometimes a character's first name, sometimes their patronymic, would be used ... and the tirade against war at the end could bring tears to one's eyes; it brings home the stupidity, arrogance, cruelty and futility of war.

Posted on 18 Apr 2013, 06:52:55 BST
Scribbler says:
Oh yeah...Dickens! So glad to see I'm not the only one who can't stand his stuff. Also I have to say, Shakespeare. Having slogged through a couple of his plays for my 'A' levels, I never want to read any of his work again. I know he's a national icon; a literary giant but for goodness sake.....as films they are much better.
Ditto FSOG; what a load of rubbish! I laughed so I suppose that's something but honestly, EL James must have written them for a dare with her tongue firmly stuck in her cheek to see how much she could get away with.
I recently bought 'You Had Me at First Hello'; no I didn't. Total waffle. More like a Uni Student's re-hashed diaries with a large dollop of verbal diarrhoea which meant I finally gave up having been beaten into a state of utter boredome by chapter 26. Only another 30 odd chapters to go which was just way too much for me.
Anything in the FPO, any characters names after drinks and for the life of me if its a romance, lets have some real sex scenes that aren't squirmingly toe-curlingly bad. Authors if you can't write sex well, leave it alone.

In reply to an earlier post on 18 Apr 2013, 13:29:34 BST
monica says:
What's a conceptual novel? I'm trying to draw a parallel w. conceptual art & can't . . .

In reply to an earlier post on 18 Apr 2013, 19:59:33 BST
gille liath says:
I just meant any book where the concept is more important than the storytelling. Not that such books are necessarily all bad; Ulysses is one, I suppose.

Posted on 19 Apr 2013, 16:07:09 BST
The Coming of the King by Nikolai Tolstoy - turgid, awful, overwrought. A huge shame as I usually devour even the cheesiest of Arthurian myth cycle rewrites.

Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson. I had enjoyed a lot of William Gibson's work, perhaps was looking for something similar. But this didn't work for me.

In reply to an earlier post on 19 Apr 2013, 18:28:47 BST
Anita says:
Snow Crash - another one I have finished and enjoyed.

(Not feeling of snow, obviously :) )

In reply to an earlier post on 19 Apr 2013, 19:46:12 BST
Oh good, another person who couldn't finish "The Coming of the King". I never made it past about page 50. I keep wondering if I should have another go; but life's too short, and there are so many better books around ...

Posted on 19 Apr 2013, 21:53:56 BST
Anita says:
Someone's clearly offended about miss Smilla :)

In reply to an earlier post on 20 Apr 2013, 09:00:30 BST
monica says:
An Inuit with a pash on Peter Hoeg?

In reply to an earlier post on 20 Apr 2013, 11:29:00 BST
Kriss says:
It is not about what you enjoyed.

In reply to an earlier post on 20 Apr 2013, 11:30:10 BST
Kriss says:
Up to page 35 it is ok then?

In reply to an earlier post on 20 Apr 2013, 11:30:46 BST
Kriss says:
Good.

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Apr 2013, 12:28:10 BST
Last edited by the author on 21 Apr 2013, 23:20:34 BST
Death Comes to Pemberley was the first book I read on my Kindle and I loved it!
I've failed to finish quite a few books :(
James Joyce's highly regarded works are among those I have never finished and I also couldn't get through Virginia Wolf's books (at Uni). I found Dicken's Great Expectations a let down which I only skim read after the first half but I loved his A Christmas Carol - especially when read at Christmas time.
I find that some of the top books are often at the top of these lists because people think they should be, not necessarily because they deserve to be - a sort of literary snobbery. It's a bit like how all those really popular films miss out on top awards because the arty ones are deemed more artistically deserving!

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Apr 2013, 13:24:38 BST
david says:
I never started because it didn't seem to me the sort of book that I would like

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Apr 2013, 13:25:26 BST
david says:
The Smilla book was fantastic, couldn't put it down, I watched the movie as well!

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Apr 2013, 13:26:54 BST
david says:
The highway code is a reference book, you flick through it, most of the things are common sense, and those that are not are bits that we can spend a few minutes reading

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Apr 2013, 13:30:04 BST
david says:
It's not a good idea to mix up the order in which you read the books, and watching film versions is only ok to read them first if the film version made you curious to read the book. For instance, after listening to the BBC adaptation of many historic novels I am stimulated to read the full book.

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Apr 2013, 13:32:19 BST
david says:
If you think you might have problems getting through a book, try borrowing it from a library so you don't worry about having wasted your money, or you can try swapping books with friends. Also, if you buy an audiobook from Audible com they will allow to to change your books - if you didn't like the book you can have a refund and chose a new book in its place, I have often used this facility

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Apr 2013, 13:37:39 BST
david says:
You can browse many many pages of a book on the amazon site, and more pages still if you register your credit card with amazon. There is no need to go to a bookshop to do this. For me, ideas come sometimes from bookshops, then I browse 40 pages on amazon. Note that the amazon uk and the amazon com sites have different requirements regarding copyrights, and versions, so in one version you might find very few pages to browse if it's a "look inside" for a kindle edition rather than a physical printed book

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Apr 2013, 13:39:06 BST
david says:
Try the audiobook version narrated by an Irish narrator, the text comes to life, at least 50% of the book becomes more intelligible in this way

In reply to an earlier post on 23 Dec 2013, 22:38:23 GMT
I know your comment was a long while ago, but I was wondering if you saw the film? I saw the film first and then read the book. The film was so magical that I watched it twice. It is now on my top ten list of stories that I think everyone should read, it is full of symbolism which is wonderfully brought to life on the big screen. I also read other people's comments about it on various forums and was astonished by the level of emotional responses and deep understanding that were expressed. It was helpful to clarify some of the symbols through other people's interpretations which just "rang true" to me. I hope that you saw it, at least, and will maybe read it again, if you do, there is one part of the book that still confounds me, if you feel the same at the end let me know, if you are ever intrigued to try it again.

Posted on 24 Dec 2013, 08:12:35 GMT
Kriss says:
For me it is easy to recall a book I read fully. Because it is only one in the past year. 'The great gatsby'. I dropped many. Including some classics into which I ran forgetting that I had dropped the same long back. There is so much crap around. Self-publishing is not exactly a blessing in disguise.

Posted on 24 Dec 2013, 12:26:23 GMT
Last edited by the author on 24 Dec 2013, 12:28:21 GMT
Most of Faulkner, Proust, and Ayn Rand (the stiffest writer who ever breathed). Never cared for Richard Wright's Native Son either: historical importance doesn't change awful books into good ones. I don't see the point in carrying on with books you genuinely don't like, simply because others think well of them. It's dishonest, and it associates reading with false swank and snobbery in the public's eye. Worse, it can put others off reading for life.
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Discussion in:  fiction discussion forum
Participants:  62
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Initial post:  2 Mar 2013
Latest post:  29 Dec 2013

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