Me...Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell.
Just didn't care about the story.
War and Peace
Tropic of Cancer
The Persian Boy
Jonathan Franzen seems vastly overrated to me.
A Million Little Pieces.
He fights, he vomits, he fights, he vomits. I hung in there for 150 pages and then finally had enough.
Anything by Hemingway. I find his short, choppy "manly" sentences lacking in elegance. They bore me.
What R5 said. Hemingway is for retarded illiterates.
I had some notion, well into adulthood, that I had to finish every book I started. That was the first one I put down--it wasn't even that bad, I just think I got distracted and then realized later that I wasn't interested enough to finish it.
I was bored, unmoved, and then bored again by CONFEDERACY OF DUNCES. I felt terrible about never finishing it until I met a dozen others who had the same experience.
I'm really sorry the author offed himself, honest. But it doesn't make it a great book.
And FWIW, I did finish THE CORRECTIONS, out of stubborness. Meh. I liked it better than DUNCES, anyway.
I second The Corrections. And I add 1Q84. After 600 pages I just couldn't keep going. I had wasted enough time on it already.
2666 - amazing writing, but i couldn't get into it. I want to attempt it again, though.
100 Years of Solitude - feels like 100000 years
Tropic of Cancer - only famous because it was so controversial. not a good read.
Anna Karenina - wtf is wrong with that bitch?
Gravity's Rainbow - not that I got that far into it. I am going to try again.
The Kindly Ones - repetitive is putting it mildly.
I would add ON THE ROAD (which I did finish)...
If you don't read it when you're 19 and rebellious (or even younger)... don't bother. It's not for you, and not worthy of your time.
Anna Kareninina -- forget the spelling.
Also bagged on The Corrections. Franzen's Freedom was more palatable.
R11 you are spot-on!
I read it - or began to read it at the age of 30 and I found it so painful. It remains the only book I just gave up on.
talk about a SOB to read.
Maybe it's just Michener's style, generally, but I can only take so many consecutive pages about just precisely how green the grass was.
I also have Michener's Poland sitting on a bookshelf but, so far, haven't felt compelled to start it.
"Poland" wasn't bad...but it wasn't great, either.
[quote]I had some notion, well into adulthood, that I had to finish every book I started.
I'm like this about books I've purchased -- I'm compelled to finish books for which I've paid. If I didn't pay for it (e.g., library, borrowed, found, etc), I'm more likely to stop reading if it doesn't keep my interest.
On topic: Thackeray's Vanity Fair. It was a requirement for an Honors English class my senior year of HS. Initially, I enjoyed it and got more than halfway through it, then lost interest.
Moby Dick. I love the first half, and I re-read it every few years, but the crazier Ahab gets, the less I care.
OP, I hated that book. The footnotes were ridiculous.
"Ancient Evenings," Norman Mailer
The Tolkien Trilogy. I was halfway through the third book when I realized I just didn't care about any of it. No amount of weed was going to make me finish it!
Also Tolkien and On the Road
The Magic Mountain...great book, but I was impatient at 18.
CONFEDERACY OF DUNCES
Anything by Danielle Steele. Her stuff is just shit; I've attempted to read a couple of her "best sellers" and I've ended up throwing them across the room, unfinished.
And the Da Vinci Code sucked as well, but I finished it
[quote]I'm compelled to finish books for which I've paid. If I didn't pay for it (e.g., library, borrowed, found, etc), I'm more likely to stop reading if it doesn't keep my interest.
How many books do you think you will be able to read in a lifetime? A few thousand maybe? How many truly great books will you never get a chance to read because there just will never be enough hours in the day? Why spend one minute forcing yourself to read anything you don't like? Same goes for people who read the same books over and over. Move on, you're missing an opportunity to read something else.
We Were the Mulvaneys (saw it on Oprah's book club)..dull story
I feel like I must be from a different planet, because many of my favorite books are mentioned here.
I never made it through The Children's Book or Bleak House.
"Same goes for people who read the same books over and over. Move on, you're missing an opportunity to read something else.
Well, I usually discover something new each time I reread a book. Also there's nothing so disappointing as a bad book; sometimes I want the sure thing, so I reread a favorite one.
I hardly ever don't finish a book I start.
Love in the Time of Cholera
Infinite Jest (I got through half)
As for Jonathan Franzen, I read both of his big tomes. His prose is shockingly unspectacular, his characters are boring, his plots are nearly non existent. If he was spectacular in any one of those three, I could find a reason to like him. As it is, he's a poor mans Updike trying to write like Cheever. And he fails miserably.
I devour every page of the Enquirer and Star, but I can never get through OK or Us. Those books are just to cerebral for me.
A Million Little Pieces is not a "good book," R4, and did you even read the original post, R25?
The Weird Sisters
I started it and got a little over 100 pages in before finally realizing that it was a bunch of meaningless drivel that would never arrive at a point except to depict the lives of a bunch of middle aged upper-middle class whining women.
I'm sorry but as a woman, that sort of story offends me.
Atlas Shrugged. Reading the first couple of chapters you find it's a dreadfully dull story about a family run railroad. I was open to it changing my life as so many others have reported that it had done to them.
I've started this about three times and, at best, made it about 70 pages. But I'm hoping one day I'll pick it up and get caught up in it immediately and then rush to the subsequent volumes.
I'm with R29: re-reading is a great pleasure, finding something new even in something very familiar. My favorite re-reads: Jane Eyre and Isherwood's Single Man.
I was readin this really good book about a goat and was interrupted for some reason.
So, who's made it all the way through "Wuthering Heights"? The part after Kathy dies, and Heathcliff spends the next 500 pages acting like an asshole?
BTW I absolutely loved "Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell". And the BBC has announced a miniseries version, which is the only possible way to film it.
Three Cups of Tea - He talked WAY too much about building bridges. I got bored.
r37, "Wuthering Heights" is a simply brilliant book!
Ah, well. I'm told "Moby Dick" is, also, but I didn't finish it.
Tried to read "Bleak House" on my own in h.s.; nope.
Also started "Hawaii" as a kid, but got bored fast. I finished it later, got hooked on Michener, and eventually travelled to Spain from reading "Iberia."
I don't even bother with novels any more. I guess that sounds illiterate, but I much prefer political history, true-crime, and biographies.
One Hundred Years Of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
I know it's one of those big must read books and well acclaimed and I agree that Marquez is a majestical writer, but the story of the family depicted in the book just could not interest me.
Stop being a fucktard, R32.
One Hundred Years of Solitude for me, too. And I feel guilty about it because I know it's brilliant.
On the other side of the coin, reading A Fine Balance for the third time and still amazed by how easily one breezes through its 800 pages. Not sure if it means it's great writing or shitty writing.
Naked Lunch. I got about 2/3 through and felt it had said everything it was going to say to me. I didn't feel like the point of it was to finish it.
I've read Bleak House. Believe me, it's a thrill a minute compared with Martin Chuzzlewit. (also finished that but I was stranded during a 3-day storm with absolutely nothing to do and no one else around).
Memoirs of a Geisha was one of the most annoying book's I ever read in my life. I just can't deal with submissive women.
It's an Oprah book which is a dead sure give away for avoiding, but I think I did not know that at the time.
Oprah is more responsible for dumbing down millions of woman than all republican first ladies altogether.
"The Historian" and "Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell".
Both trying way too much.
This thread makes me feel a bit better about not being able to finish The Corrections and the Jonathan Strange books. Loved Confederacy of Dunces though and have read the Tolkien trilogy many times. But R47's post is the best.
Moby Dick, no problem. The English Patient, gave up after starting multiple times.
Blood Meridian - Cormac McCarthy. Supposed to be some awful, spine-tingling account of Wild West violence, but the first 100 pages just dragged on and on.
"Atonement" - Ian McEwan
Time Travelers Wife - got 75% through it then left it
Anna karenina - I am 20% through right now and can't decide whether to keep going...
I'll third (or is it fourth by now?) Kerouac's On the Road. It's just very dated and has little to say anymore.
I am currently halfway through "Anna Karenina" which I have put down for a while. I hear that it's the most perfect novel ever. I dunno. I love the parts with Anna and her whole story is good but the novel should be called "Anna Karenina ... and Levin too." Levin's story is so dull. I'm not even talking about the part where he mows the grass; that sequence was well-written. It's just that Levin is such a downer and there's way too much deep talk about deep things. Bring abck Anna and her hot dalliances.
I hear many say "Wolf Hall" is almost unreadable. The biggest problem is the pronoun usage.
Tender is the Night. Maybe it's because the Occupy Wall Street movement was in the news at the time, but I just could not get into a story about a bunch of rich Americans who do nothing but eat, drink and fuck.
R42, I loved "A Fine Balance" as well and think Mistry just had a gift for writing a book that was so well-written and accessible that it flew by.
R51 On Chesil Beach I found really good though. It is much shorter, too
R58 Tender is the Night is such a strange book (very racist as well, but perhaps you stopped reading before that). What kept me going was:
- it was a "good" book and I had already hated Great Gatsby - to be honest, I preferred Tender. At least it showed this group of people for what it was, no romanticism whatsoever
- it was well-written, albeit a tad unscrutable sometimes
- the sheer honesty of it. This is a view into a crazy world with unjustifiable values, as described by a very honest writer. And for that alone I value the book
I have almost always managed to slog on reading even when I wanted to quit. There is often a reward further into a book.
The ONLY book I recall finally throwing out the window Was Mailer's "Ancient Evenings". A hundred enchanting pages alternating with a hundred pages of WTF and back to enchanting. Near the end I just could not take any more.
"A Confederacy of Dunces." I just don't get it.
I've also attempted "At Swim, Two Boys" a few times and can't seem to get beyond the first hundred pages. I keep trying with that one because I found "The Line of Beauty" similarly impenetrable but suddenly, that book clicked for me, and I ended up loving it.
The Voice of the Night
[quote]I am currently halfway through "Anna Karenina" which I have put down for a while. I hear that it's the most perfect novel ever. I dunno. I love the parts with Anna and her whole story is good but the novel should be called "Anna Karenina ... and Levin too." Levin's story is so dull. I'm not even talking about the part where he mows the grass; that sequence was well-written. It's just that Levin is such a downer and there's way too much deep talk about deep things. Bring abck Anna and her hot dalliances
You're absolutely right that the novel should be called something like "Anna...and Levin, Too!" It's a gorgeous novel and contains some of Tolstoy's best writing.
It is, however, not intended as a soap opera. It's a study of contrasts: city vs. country life, Anna vs Levin, "the good life" vs "the wasted life", spirituality vs. shallow pleasure.
Tolstoy clearly identifies with Levin (their names are related and there are many autobiographical details Levin's side of the story). The book is really an exercise in working out Tolstoy's philosophy of life. He poured his soul into the book.
The Swimming Pool Library I remember really enjoying. Never read it again.
2666, Moby Dick, The Magic Mountain
I normally feel compelled to finish books I've bought, but those three lost me.
The Kite Runner. Put it down after reading a terribly sad part and couldn't pick it up again for a year. Did finally finish it though.
Confederacy of dunces
I breezed through Dubliners, had no problem with Wuthering Heights, polished off Pride and Prejudice in one weekend and loved Light in August. But I just could not get into The Sound and the Fury. After about 30 pages I had to admit to myself I had no fucking clue what was going on. I called a friend of mine who is an English Lit prof and asked him. That's when I found out the story is told out of sequence. I tried for a few more pages, but not knowing when or where the story takes place, or basic information about the characters (Are they rich? Are they poor? Are they black? White?) caused more frustration than it was worth.
I loved "The Corrections." Maybe you had to be there.
Count me in as another who considers "A Confederacy of Dunces" to be one of the worst books of all time. I've always thought reviewers who liked it to be summed up by the books title.
I'm surprised 'A Confederacy of Dunces' has appeared on this list so often. I loved that book, and I am quick to give up on a book I find boring. Books I have given up on:
Moby Dick. Dull, dull, dull.
War & Peace (I was trying to impress myself by slogging through it. Ugh). It's good, it really is. But I couldn't handle losing track of yet one more character, or reading 200 pages about a character to only then realize it was actually three completely different characters with similar names.
Ulysses. By page three I was hopelessly lost. I will leave it to the scholars.
Adventures of Kavalier and Klay. I didn't feel the love the way so many have about this book. It's possible I may have given up too soon. Considering a revisit.
House of Mirth. I had no real issue reading it-- I was enjoying it-- but when I was about a third of the way through, I was spoiled on the rest of the plot and the ending, and that made me lose interest.
The Last Dickens. Not a well-known book, but was a modest hit a few years ago. I was about 90% through and hating it, but was planning on finishing it anyway. Then I misplaced it. Found it months later but couldn't be bothered.
What R3 said.
An Instance of the Fingerpost - read it halfway through then got bogged down. Put it away. Untouched since.
Catcher in the Rye - it might have been written by a Martian for a Martian about Martians. Didn't work for me on any level...
Ender's Game - a book about *something*
On the other hand, I love Pride & Prejudice, Wuthering Heights and The Count of Monte Cristo.
Ulysses. Simply boring blarney by another Irish loser that's not worth my time. It makes stiff the wizened dicks of hack academics? Good for them.
I couldn't do Kavalier and Klay either, and I really wanted to like it.
Swann's Way is also not my favorite of the series. Have you tried Albertine Escapes (my fav) or Cities on the Plain?
[quote]Adventures of Kavalier and Klay. I didn't feel the love the way so many have about this book. It's possible I may have given up too soon. Considering a revisit.
If you can get past the stuff in Prague, which is a bit of a slog, the stuff in New York is really, really good.
The Voice of the Night
If I get 100 pages in to a book, and am bored, I do not hesitate to simply put it down for good. Otherwise, I'm just wasting time.
I recall trying to get through Roger Zelazny's Dream Master, as a child, but for whatever reason, couldn't.
Last year I tried it again, and wow, it's dated badly on a lot of levels. Just silly, and had to put it away. Disappointing, because he was always one of my favorites as a child - the Amber saga was riveting.
I bailed on "Devil in the White City" though others rave about the book.
Swann's Way is dense and overwritten. The rest of Proust is not like that. It's the end book (published long after he died) that explains it all. You just have to plow through the first part and it will all make sense to you later.
I got to pg. 200 in Ulysees and I liked it but it was like, okay, interesting, so what could possibly happen that would make reading the rest worthwhile.
Atlas Shrugged. Bad writing, unbelievable characters, writing so repetitive you couldn't help yawn every other paragraph.
R37...why did you love "Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell"?
I'm open to liking it...give me some insight.
Memoirs of a Geisha
Life of Pi
R1 You're lucky you didn't finish Gone Girl. It's rare that I regret reading a book, but I sure regret that one.
I remember the first few chapters of "A Confederacy of Dunces" were some of the funniest material I've ever read, but after that, if you held a gun to my head I couldn't tell what the book was about, not a thing.
I remember he got on the bus to go to Baton Rouge or somewhere, and after that it's a black hole.
"R37, why did you love "Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell"?"
I probably loved it for the same reason that others hate it - the sheer density and complexity of it. Others may find the slow pace and wealth of detail boring, I find it created a world and story I could totally believe in. I should say that I've always had a fondness for Fantasy, "Lord of the Rings", "Gormenghast", and Pratchett's Discworld series are among my all-time faves. I will admit that "JS&MN" has its slow bits, and did get weaker in the last act, but the denoument made up for it.
I'd like to add that I always hated "Confederacy of Dunces", because I had a relative like that. You have NO idea what torture it is to be stuck with such a person.
I loved the scenes at Levy Pants.
Kim by Rudyard Kipling
OP, if you listen to books on CD, try listening to "Jonathan Strange & Dr. Norell" on CD in the car. I wasn't able to finish reading it either, but when listening to it on the CD you can skip over some of the more long winded parts (like those footnotes!) and not really miss out. I listened to the rest of the book on CD and loved it.
As for me, I couldn't finish 1Q84. It was a good story but after 600 pages, the unnecessary detail of the story bugged the hell out me.
Anything by Saul Bellow.
I'm reading Gone Girl right now. It started out ok, but it's gotten progressively more boring. I thought I was almost done, only to see I wasn't even half way through. Ugh. Might be stopping it soon.
1000 Years of Solitude. Tried to read it several times and was so bored.
Middlesex. Ugh. The whole incest thing creeped me the fuck out and I stopped reading it.
[quote]Oprah is more responsible for dumbing down millions of woman than all republican first ladies altogether.
Bullshit. They were already dumb. She got them reading Steinbeck, Morrison, Tolstoy, etc. She got them reading, PERIOD.
I agree, R91.
A Confederacy of Dunces
Anything by Willa Cather.
Came here to vote for "the Corrections", just couldn't get through it. Felt better about it after Liz Lemon included "I never finished the Corrections" on the list of unfinished business in her life. Now I really know I'm not alone.
So weird, I finished The Corrections in two days, even calling in sick to work so I could keep reading.
R21, hello literary twin. Same happened to me and I finally acknowledged the only reason I was reading the trilogy was to say I read the series before I watched third movie.
Lolita, it creeped out.
I'm dismal with 19th century English lit--finished neither Wuthering Heights nor Pride and Prejudice.
Stopped Wolf Hall about 3 months ago halfway through. I'm blaming the format though--tiny print in paperback. I'm going to borrow the hardback or audio versions.
I finished the Tolkiens, but I'll admit I jumped right over the poems and songs.
R98, funny, a Tolkien fan told me to do the same and I'd probably finish the trilogy!
Green Lantern. Anything after 2009. Why did they haveta fuck up great literachur?
LES MISERABLES. God, what a lump of shit. Hugo was so tedious. Although I have to say the original French was better than the English translation. Because I don't know French.
I cannot read anything by Hemingway. It just smells like a man who won't wash his balls because he thinks it will keep people from thinking he's a pansy.
Willa Cather's MY ANTONIA and DEATH COMES FOR THE ARCHBISHOP. Jesus, what a humorless, plodding lesbian. She wrote like she was weeding potatoes.
The fucking Bible. That meets the criterion of "good book," doesn't it?
R90 -- stick with "Gone Girl" past the halfway point ... I gaurantee you the excitement will kick in!
"Beloved." I couldn't stand it.
Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt.
We get it. Your daddy was a drunk and you moved. A lot. Snoozefest.
.. and she got up Beyonce's ass too. How impressive.
You can read the most sophisticated novel, if you don't understand the essence of it you will still be dumb.
R8, I never finished Confederacy of Dunces either. I always felt bad about it too because I still find the basic premise of the book to be hilarious (probably because there's a real life "Ignatius" in my own family - a grossly overweight, bombastic egoist who is really just a lazy fuck who never held down a real job for more than 30 seconds or moved out of his parents' house), but the story just dragged and dragged for way too long.
Gone Girl sucked. Hated confederacy of Dunces. Life is too short to waste time reading books I hate.
R90 Put Gone Girl down now (if you haven't followed your better instincts and stopped reading it already).
It has *the* most disappointing ending I've ever read.
Another vote for The Corrections. It's not that I hated it - I enjoyed what I read. I just wasn't compelled to keep reading after a while. I skipped to the last few pages to see what happened. Meh.
I didn't like THE CORRECTIONS the first time I read it. But then I found FREEDOM in the $1 book table at the library. I liked it so much, I started back at the beginning of CORRECTIONS and sailed right through to the end.
The problem with CORRECTIONS is that I found all the characters horrendous, especially Edith and Husband of Edith.
Southern people hate "Confederacy of Dunces" because the title is the perfect real-life description of their homeland.
The only book I've started and never finished was David Eggers' A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius. Loved the title, hated everything else.
Bram Stoker's "Drucula" frightened me so much I put it down. I got as far as Jonathon Harker in his bedroom at night at Dracula's castle in Transylvania and couldn't read any further.
I'm a chicken.
[quote]Same goes for people who read the same books over and over. Move on, you're missing an opportunity to read something else.
Actually R26, I do think there's something to be said for re-reading a book many (MANY) years later to be able to see and appreciate how your perspective on it may have changed. Within the past year, I've re-read a couple of books that I read once before as a teenager, one of them being something that I didn't particularly care for the first time, although I did finish it (Angela's Ashes). Something just told me that I would find it much more compelling as an adult. I was right.
I do agree that re-reading the same book within the span of a year or two is pretty pointless though.
You mean your patience with the insufferable windiness of Frank McCourt grew.
"I remember the first few chapters of "A Confederacy of Dunces" were some of the funniest material I've ever read, but after that, if you held a gun to my head I couldn't tell what the book was about, not a thing"
It was about the adventures of Ingatious J. Reilly, a kind of modern Don Quixote, and a variety of other characters in New Orleans. That is what it is about.
A film version of it was in the works for decades but never got made. It seems like every fat actor in Hollywood had been slated for the role: John Belushi, Chris Farley, Divine, John Goodman. John Candy was a contender; he would have been PERFECT. But it's probably just as well it never got made. A Hollywood version of COD would probably have sucked.
Jonathan Strange, definitely. Also The Corrections. Neither was horrible, I just wasn't interested in the stories and gave 'em up midway through.
Almost stopped Cloud Atlas a few times, but kept getting sucked in by the writing style. The story was crap, but I enjoyed Mitchell's style.
The Remembrance of Things Past
Ha ha, R117. Perhaps that was part of it.
Another WTF vote for "The Sound and the Fury". I had a similar reaction to Umberto Eco's "Foucalt's Pendulum".
"Southern people hate "Confederacy of Dunces" because the title is the perfect real-life description of their homeland."
Southern people DON'T hate COD. You are just a fucktard with a grudge against the South.
Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance
Shadow of the wind
I really wanted to like those but couldn't take anymore halfway through
I just put down "Wolf Hall" after taking nearly a month to read the first 300 pages, leaving another 300 to go. I hate to put down a book after spending that much time on it but I just couldn't go on. Her prose is beautiful, but the book bogs down with seemingly hundreds of characters, copious references to the Bible and the history of Christianity that I didn't understand, and endless scenes of palace intrigue that never really go anywhere.
I've tried to read The Tolkiens books but I kept falling asleep. I took the hint and gave up.
Also could not finish The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration. It's an important topic but the writing was bad. I couldn't take it after a while so gave up half way through it.
R90 Unfortunately I finished Gone Girl. It wasn't worth the effort. Save yourself the trouble. Think of a dumb ending with major plotholes and you'd probably still write something better than this author.
Confederacy of Dunces: I found the main character vile and unfunny and I couldn't get past the first 50 pages.
Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius: Got off to a good start, but the section where he's auditioning for The REal World lost me and after a bit I just shut the book closed and put it out on the street for anyone to pick up.
For Whom the Bell Tolls: Self indulgent. Only Hemingway novel I've ever liked was Sun Also Rises.
And sad to say Crime and Punishment: Once again I just couldn't abide by the main character.
Interesting how many of the same books are mentioned or referenced in the posts.
I forced myself when I was younger to read certain books, Ulysses, Confederacy of Dunces, War and Peace and all of Dostoevsky. I liked Crime and Punishment and loved The Idiot.
I am a fan of Madame Bovary, Anna Karenina, Of Mice and Men, Wuthering Hights and yes The Fountainhead. Most all of Dicken's work.
I am Canadian and a life long fan of Margaret Atwood, but could not finish Oryx and Crake and without regret I did not finish One Hundred Years of Solitude.
I recommend "Fall on You Knees". (an Oprah pick, but don't let that stop you, she doesn't get most of her own picks anyway) It is a long, dense rich and sad novel, by Canadian author Anne Marie McDonald. It is a favourite book of many people I know.
Obviously most of us posting like to read challenging or complex books. A dark subject or complex language don't seem to be a deterrent.
I know that I should read A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, but also know that I probably won't do it. It's fun to be an adult.
More pleasure, less guilt. No Moby Dick.
R128, Being a life-long Atwood fan, I was shocked when I couldn't get into "Oryx and Crake." It was kinda the beginning of the end of my relationship with Atwood. IIRC, any subsequent works looked too uninteresting to even attempt. Has she done anything lately? One of my favorite Atwood works was "Alias Grace." My very favorite was "Cat's Eye."
"Fall on Your Knees" was an excellent book, as are many of Oprah's book club selections.
Another vote for 100 Years of Solitude.
I can't understand the hate for "Confederacy of Dunces." I loved that book. One of my all-time favorites. The biography of John Kennedy Toole is fascinating.
I abandoned "The Color Purple." A cartoonish rant against black men obviously written by a radical separatist lesbian. I once overheard a couple of old ladies on a Toronto streetcar discussing it. They kept referring to it as "The Colored People."
Eat Love Pray. I got through the Eat part because it is about food - a favourite topic of mine. I disliked the 'me, me, ME' aspect, though. I struggled through most of the Love section, still annoyed by all the ME ME ME. I realised Pray was coming up - a subject in which I have absolutely no interest, and I decided it wasn't worth the effort.
r56, it's interesting you say that. When I first read Anna Karenina I was 16 or 17 and found the parts about Levin interminable and tedious. I recently read the book again, aged 32, and braced myself for the tedium and was surprised to find that those same sections of the book were actually enjoyable and it was Anna's story I found heavy.
Did you REALLY read the book, R132?
It's EAT, PRAY, LOVE (in that order)! First she goes to Italy, chock full of self-pity, while mentioning every other page how many "hot" Italian guys are into her - ugh! Then, she goes to an ashram in India, where Richard-from-Texas cuts through all her superficiality - most excellent! Finally, Indonesia, where she meets Mr. Right (of course), which wasn't that bad, but the section never rose much above okay, saved by the interestibng setting.
That Dragon Tatoo shit
Me too! Fast-forwarding through Girl with the Dragon, etc was enough for me.
Infinite Jest. Was loving it, until the section where the tennis academy kids are playing that mock war game. I kept trying to get through it, but would fall asleep every time, so I finally gave the book away. That said, I love DFW's nonfiction, especially essays about the luxury cruise ship and the one about David Lynch.
"The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" , couldn't get through the 1st chapter but finally saw the movie and still didn't like it.
I finally read Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and just thought it was boring. An easy read, which was nice, but totally banal. I thought Lisbeth was a great character, but everything else? Meh at best, a paint by numbers mystery.
Paint by numbers mysteries sell wonderfully. At the airport.
Probably not considered "great" by anyone, but it's spawned an industry, so I'll throw out Wicked.
I carried that across the Atlantic twice before I finally left it on a bench for the next poor bastard. I made it to the part with the talking goat.
You should have kept reading until the tiger had sex with a Munchkin and gave it some sort of Oz-AIDS.
I found "Wicked" INCREDIBLY depressing.
Madame Bovary. I just didn't get how I was supposed to care about Emma Bovary. I thought she was a spoiled, selfish twat and I had no interest in reading her complain about her life anymore. I struggled with it for 1/3 of the book hoping she'd get hers, but no. What a twat.
Amusingly I thoroughly enjoyed Julian Barnes' book about that book and its author, however: Flaubert's Parrot.
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. Brilliant, engaging first couple of chapters; then the author goes on a bender and introduces ten characters all at once AND the main plot, it seems, in a few pages. I just felt totally lost- it was impossible to concentrate on it. I felt like any book that demands that level of concentration wasn't going to be that fun. It was annoying after that excellent opening chapter. I just felt like- what's the hurry all of a sudden?!?
Why do so many of you hate A Confederacy of Dunces? I thought it was hilarious and couldn't get enough of it. It got me through some of the more tedious parts of the company I found myself with on a random Provence villa holiday in 2006.
I struggled to finish Notes From Underground, but I did manage it. Then I read it again. Easier the second time round.
Too Big To Fail
The sickening result of corporate greed. I became so angry and frustrated it wasn't worth finishing.
Well smell you!
Gone Girl. You can tell the difference between a good writer who purposely creates obnoxious characters and an obnoxious writer who can't help it.
Wicked. I loved it in college. Recently tried to re-read it, and found it to be a talky, action-free bore that is tremendously pleased with itself.
"A Million Little Pieces" was NOT a "good book." It was a sensational piece of trash that for some reason was popular and of course being picked for Oprah Winfrey's book club made it ever more popular.
I read the first few pages in a bookstore. My first thought was "boy, this guy is really laying it on thick." My second thought was: "God, this really sucks!" It was just BAD writing. But bad writing is acceptable if it's a memoir. I heard Frey tried to sell this piece of crap as a work of fiction, but there were no takers, I guess because the writing was so awful. But as a MEMOIR, it was considered a great work. He sure got his comeuppance, though. His "memoir" turned out to be mostly fiction and he was ruined.