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General Book Discussion > Had to Stop Reading

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message 1: by Donna (last edited Feb 25, 2009 02:22AM) (new)

Donna (dfiggz) Have you ever started a book and just hated it so much that you tried and tried but just could not finish it? How far would you actually go until you said "To Hell With IT!!!!"?

There are quite a few books that I just had to stop reading. I went so far at 580 pages of Breaking Dawn unti lI said "Screw it".

There are other books that I couldn't finish, most of them were just books that I just was not in the mood for but plan on going back to, others just simply lost my interest.

What books did you have to stop reading???

message 2: by Catamorandi (new)

Catamorandi (wwwgoodreadscomprofilerandi) I stopped reading:

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
Bridge of Sighs
Northanger Abbey
A Wrinkle in Time
Something Wicked This Way Comes
An Irish Country Christmas

I read at least 100 pages in all of them and sometimes more. I figured that should be a good enough thermometer of what I think of the book.

message 3: by Laura (new)

Laura (apenandzen) Donna wrote: "Have you ever started a book and just hated it so much that you tried and tried but just could not finish it? How far would you actually go until you said "To Hell With IT!!!!"?

There are quite ..."

I stopped Breaking Dawn too, after several hundred pages. I just wanted to get off the drama wagon once and for all. The 1st book had its place, but after that - Blecht.

message 4: by Beth (new)

Beth Knight (zazaknittycat) There have been a few books that I had to stop reading, the most recent one was Beginner's Greek by James Collins. I thought this was going to be really good but I just couldn't get into it.

message 5: by Shelley (new)

Shelley There has only been one book that I had to put down - Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf. I love the first sentence in the book, but my goodness the rest is a challenge for me.

message 6: by Stef (new)

Stef (buch_ratte) | 499 comments Over the years I gave up on several books. The last one I didn't finish was ABSOLUT UNWIDERSTEHLICH ( don't know the english title, it was first published in 2004 ) by Sarah Harvey. It wasn't the first time I read one of her books but this one was a desaster. I can't remember that I ever before gave up this early. I read maybe 50 pages. At the end of each paragraph I had to reread it to remember what I had just read. It was unreadable. I am not sure whether it was the translation of the book or the book itself. I have the feeling it was the book becasue the two other books I read by her were fantastic and they were translated by the same persons...

message 7: by Christina (new)

Christina I gave up on Underworld by Don DeLillo. I think I read 150 pages in it and didn't get any further. I've read one other Delillo, I think - didn't love it, but finished it. For some reason I have a hard time with his books.
Also, I wasn't able to finish the Gormenghast trilogy - got stuck in the first novel.
I plan on retrying both though.

Beth - I really liked Beginner's Greek ... funny how different we all are!
And Fiona, I have Atomised on my to-read list ... wonder whether I will like it or not...

message 8: by Rhonda (new)

Rhonda (rhondak) I tried very hard to read Mrs Dalloway but gave up in utter disgust. After struggling through Orlando, because of its quirkiness and one other she wrote, I have deduced that I just do not care for her writing. It's oddly almost as bad as that of Gertrude Stein's!
I am interested to try a stab at Atomised after Fiona's mention of how she despised it. The only reason I made it through Twilight was that I was totally aghast that the writing was so poor throughout!

message 9: by Chantelle (new)

Chantelle (moghi437) | 7 comments Books I had to stop reading:

The Widow of the South
Appointment in Samara

I can't remember any more at the moment but I know there are a LOT more that I just couldn't read any more. For the most part, I got pretty far in them and as much as I wanted to keep reading in hopes that something exciting would happen, I couldn't. In my opinion, there are too many books to read and too little time so no need to waste it on crappy books.

Petra-X Off having adventures (petrax) I gave up Why Michael Couldn't Hit, a neurology book about why Michael Jordan couldn't turn himself into a pro baseball player. Deathly.....

Also The Sociopath Next Door. Living next to one is far worse than the book and the book is bad.

I'm just giving up (the book is still in my bag but just getting dog-eared) Brief Intervals of Horrible Sanity where the author Elizabeth Gold makes herself out to be a Truly Fantastic Person whose efforts at being a temp. teacher are not appreciated by a class of violent, promiscuous, nasty retards, i.e. teenagers. We've all suffered teachers like that. Reading her makes me want to spit.

message 11: by Donna (new)

Donna (dfiggz) Operandi wrote: "I stopped reading:

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
Bridge of Sighs
Northanger Abbey
A Wrinkle in Time
Something Wicked This Way Comes
An Irish Country Christmas

I read at least 100..."

UH OH!!! I am going to start Bridge of Sighs quite soon. ANything You want to tell me????

message 12: by Mary (new)

Mary | 5 comments This is a book that I see that a lot of people love but I could NOT stand it.

The Pillars of the Earth

I really really tried to keep reading it, but I just found it so boring and not very well written.

But I love books others don't and that's what keeps it interesting, right?

message 13: by Jessica (new)

Jessica | 34 comments I had to stop reading A Connecticut Yankee in king Arthur's Court. That book was SO boring!

message 14: by Thersa (new)

Thersa I agree with Operandi on "The Lion, the Witch..." and "A Wrinkle in Time". Although I did finish them I almost wish I hadn't. My time could have spent so much better.

I actually threw "When We Were Orphans" by Kazuo Ishiguro across the room. It was that bad.

message 15: by Emily (new)

Emily I stopped reading Holy Cow An Indian Adventure she started to really annoy me by the middle of the book.

I'm surprised at Northanger Abbey, I usually have a hard time getting into Jane Austen books, but this is the one I actually really liked.

message 16: by Donna (new)

Donna (dfiggz) OH Jeez, I also wanted to read Pillars, Mary. Oh well I still will try it out anyways LOL.

message 17: by Clickety (new)

Clickety (clix) | 8 comments I stopped reading Savoy last night. I'm pretty picky about what I read, though.

message 18: by Marsha (new)

Marsha (earthmarsha) Gee, Richard, you're the first person I've ever met who didn't like "The Wizard of Oz" (the movie).

Personally, I really enjoy reading books for children and young adults. There are some really great authors writing for that audience these days -- J.K. Rowling, Tamora Pierce, and Diana Wynne Jones, to name just a few. If a book is well-written and holds my attention, I don't give a hoot about the age group for which it's marketed.

message 19: by Marsha (new)

Marsha (earthmarsha) Gee, Richard, don't be shy, tell us how you really feel!

Sorry that you have a problem with the current and yet also somehow "dated" popularity for fantasy. Luckily there are masses of books published each year, so there's something for everyone.

Judy Garland's problems with substance abuse are well documented, and as far as I can see, started before 1939. I doubt if the reason she was drugged during the filming of "Wizard of Oz" were due to any artistic problems she had with the film itself.

message 20: by Marsha (new)

Marsha (earthmarsha) Actually, Richard, I have no doubt that there are boatloads of people who hate "The Wizard of Oz." I just haven't met them, and that's what I said. And do you REALLY find me delightful, or is that just sarcasm on YOUR end? Hmmmmm. Since I enjoy being delightful, I will take it as sincere!

As far as cloying sentimentality goes, let me offer a film that I hate and just about everyone I've ever met adores -- "It's A Wonderful Life." Oh, don't get me started on that one!

message 21: by Marsha (new)

Marsha (earthmarsha) Fiona wrote: I didn't like book or film of The Wizard of Oz. It all felt too silly for me. Besides, I hated the 'was it a dream or not' at the end. Never finished t..."

You know, Fiona, I can't blame you for disliking the "dream or not" aspect. I hate it when I've read or watched something -- science fiction television shows are particularly guilty of this -- and it turns out to have never happened at all, either a dream or fantasy or some trick of time. Makes me feel like I've wasted my time.

However, I grew up with the Wizard and can't pretend to be objective. Back in the days before VCRS and DVDs and even more my parents had a color tv (they had to tell us when the movie changed from B&W to color), we gathered around the tv once a year to watch the Wizard, and it was a big deal for us kids.

As far as Richard's punctuation (or lack of it goes), I have to agree that it's hard to read and just sets my editor/proof reader instincts on edge. I think he's channelling e.e.cummings!

message 22: by Marsha (new)

Marsha (earthmarsha) Richard, when Fiona says "full stop," she means "period." You may not be a computer wiz, but if you've used a typewriter, I think you're familiar with the concept! And "enter" is the same as a carriage return. You have a lot to say and I'd like to read it, but honestly, my eyes go crossed when trying to read a 400 word paragraph with no periods or commas and very few upper case letters.

I sympathize about the heavy volume of Proust. I started reading a complete Jane Austen after abdominal surgery, and although it's not as big as Proust, it was tricky. As for Proust, I tried to read "Remembrance of Things Past" after first learning about it from Monty Python, but just couldn't stand it.

"All About Eve" was the first movie I rented when we got our first VCR. If starting a topic on over-rated films fits into the rules of this group, go ahead and start one and I am sure I'll see you there.

message 23: by Christina (new)

Christina It's funny how The Wizard of Oz has such an importance in American culture. I think I saw part of it as a kid but got scared and I've actually never seen it or read the book... I've been thinking about both seeing and reading it because I feel that a lot of American culture points to it and I don't always grasp the meaning of these pointers, having no real knowledge about it.
Richard, I agree with the others that what you write is hard to follow because it just flows and you can't really see where you're at - but I like what you say and I agree that we don't all have to do things the conventional way so I read your posts with interests. Also, to hear how you're doing with your Proust project!
I've read one book by Coetzee (Disgrace) and I liked it but I found him a bit of a challenging writer. I plan on reading more by him (I plan on reading a lot later on, huh?) but I would like to read him with someone else do discuss as I go along - kind of like what it seems you're doing with Proust...

message 24: by Clickety (new)

Clickety (clix) | 8 comments I'm with Fiona and Marsha.

message 25: by Marsha (new)

Marsha (earthmarsha) Look what you've done, Richard! It's contagious!

message 26: by Rhonda (new)

Rhonda (rhondak) Ah, so many books to dislike and so little time! I do wish to point out that to truly appreciate The Wizard of Oz, one must have at least driven through Kansas: If I lived there, I would have invented Oz too!
As much as I like reading Jack Kerouac, I think that he is just an awful writer... and I think the spontaneous prose stuff is just so much horse manure, an excuse for not editing. Yes, I know, I don't understand the beauty of spontaneity, but there's a difference between listening to jazz improvisation and love on the beach: the former at least has a chance of getting it right depending on the virtuosity of the player, the latter a romantic idea condemned to the pain of discovery.
One book which I cannot read but have never really started is Gone With the Wind... and by saying this I realize that I am in danger of being drummed out of society altogether, at least the half that doesn't belch openly and boast about gas mileage and oddly fictitious liaisons. The worst part about saying this is that my aunt was a nut about the book: one night she was at a party in Atlanta (probably in the 70’s) and she gravitated to a room in this apartment house. The hostess, worried about her, found her sitting at a desk saying that she felt very comfortable there. It turned out to be the supposed place where Mitchell wrote the book. I must have listened to that story a thousand times!
The whole story was bad history and romantic nonsense…and I can finally admit that I preferred Ashley Wilkes too. I did have to sit through the movie a few times over the years.

message 27: by Marsha (new)

Marsha (earthmarsha) Richard, I find it most interesting that you appear to be a stickler for the rules of games, and yet you have no respect for the Sacred Rules of Punctuation!

I can see that we won't be able to stifle your form of expression, but right now I'd settle for paragraph breaks in long posts. Would that compromise your Kerouackian spontaneity too terribly?

message 28: by Rhonda (last edited Feb 23, 2009 11:21AM) (new)

Rhonda (rhondak) Richard wrote: "Oh Rhonda-first Joyce-then Virginia Woolf-even a comment "as bad as Gertrude Stein"-now my beloved kerouac-will you leave me no heros at all?"

Not as long as you spell them without the e.

Besides that, Joyce was merely difficult to read, but not without more than balanced reward. Woolf, on the other hand, wrote like the impressions from inside a woman's head spilled out onto a waxed wooden floor... and the interesting and coherent bits rolled out of sight under the divan.

message 29: by Marsha (new)

Marsha (earthmarsha) You do mean the last century, right, Richard?

I also loved your description of Woolf, Rhonda.

message 30: by Clickety (new)

Clickety (clix) | 8 comments Gaiman! And Goldman. Christie from the last century. And there's horse manure ALLLLL over the place, Richard. You don't have to go looking for a stable. ;D

message 31: by Clickety (new)

Clickety (clix) | 8 comments It's a comment, not a review. Why are you so certain it's unfounded?

message 32: by Rhonda (last edited Feb 25, 2009 10:16AM) (new)

Rhonda (rhondak) While I find continuing this train of thought a bit pointless, at the risk of unleashing another 72 bar solo of passionate rebuke, I find myself unwilling to be bullied. The only thing here which is unfounded is Richard’s supposing, one way or the other, what I know or do not know, other than what I have stated. I clearly said that although I liked reading Kerouac, I thought he wasn't a good writer, a proposition with which Richard clearly disagrees. Further, although I am sorry he finds my comment concerning Woolf glib and unworthy, I find his commentary to the contrary overly wordy and contentious, as well as superciliously affected by style. In addition, I think his desire to browbeat this conversation unworthy of one who professes the enjoyment of literature.

Despite the fact that he says that Kerouac edited very carefully, I find that the result is much like results of nouvelle cuisine: some interesting combinations, but generally without a great deal of substance. I do not find that passion, with which both of them were heavily imbued, is a substitute for good writing and I find many of the run-on word combinations tiring and trite. I do find Kerouac’s books interesting on occasion, but hardly in the realm of great literature.

As to the improvisation and beach comparison, I had supposed it would be clearer than it appears that it was, for which I apologize. I had thought it mildly humorous. All I will say in explanation is that love at the beach is better left in one's mind rather than practiced. This is also an opinion.

As to my dismissal of Woolf, I am sorry anyone found it glib, but I found reading Mrs. Dalloway an unbearable bore and stopped. This is what the original topic was about. Elsewhere I say that I struggled through Orlando, but other than an interesting concept, I found it poorly executed.

message 33: by Clickety (new)

Clickety (clix) | 8 comments As I read through the responses, I have to admit that I've been wondering - how much of a gap is there between "not terrific" and "have to stop"?

At what point do you stop hoping it gets better, and why?

message 34: by Marsha (new)

Marsha (earthmarsha) If I have to force myself to pick up a book, when reading it becomes an obligation instead of a pleasure, that's one way I know I should give up.

message 35: by Sandra (new)

Sandra (sanddune) Stef wrote: "Over the years I gave up on several books. The last one I didn't finish was ABSOLUT UNWIDERSTEHLICH ( don't know the english title, it was first published in 2004 ) by Sarah Harvey. It wasn't the f..."

Donna wrote: "Have you ever started a book and just hated it so much that you tried and tried but just could not finish it? How far would you actually go until you said "To Hell With IT!!!!"?

There are quite ..."

Yes, Lolita. I could not stand him one more moment..

message 36: by Sandra (last edited Mar 21, 2009 07:20PM) (new)

Sandra (sanddune) Richard wrote: "a "friend" once told me "the wizard of oz" was a hidden hallucinatory treasure-i don't know what he was smoking but it was as lame as the movie-worse-3 chapters was enough for me to donate it to th..."
Would you believe me if I told you some of the best writing today is written for children? Had a wonderful seminar on best of Childrens' lit recently.
but it IS written for children.

message 37: by Clickety (new)

Clickety (clix) | 8 comments Sandra wrote: "Yes, Lolita. I could not stand him one more moment.."

Oh, YES! Thank you SO MUCH! Everyone talks about how Lolita is brilliant because Nabokov gets you to identify with HH and I just DIDN'T. He just came off as a condescending, self-absorbed ASS.

message 38: by Emily (new)

Emily Aw I really liked Lolita. It's funny to see what books people hated and others loved.

message 39: by Catamorandi (new)

Catamorandi (wwwgoodreadscomprofilerandi) I can now add HP & the Sorcerer's Stone to the list of books I didn't finish.

message 40: by Lorena (new)

Lorena (lorenalilian) I have a pretty strong obssesion about finishing the books I start reading however, by choice I could not finish A Million Little Pieces and Chicken Soup for the Women's Soul ... the horror!

Allison (The Allure of Books) (inconceivably) Perpendicularandi wrote: "I can now add HP & the Sorcerer's Stone to the list of books I didn't finish."

that hurts. Really. It does.

Anna Karenina is my all time beast. Perhaps I'll give it another go one of these days...I have never been able to get through much of it at all.

More recently, The New York Trilogy by Paul Auster is one I couldn't finish. I read the first two stories, but could NOT make myself go on to read the 3rd.

message 42: by Kandice (new)

Kandice I could not force myself to finish Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell. Thank goodness Fiona gave me permission to quit! I always feel guilty about giving up on a book. It's worse if others seemed to love it, but since GR's it become easier.

I see now, that some of my all time favorite books were completely unreadable to others. How can I feel bad about hating a book? I don't have to anymore, with the upside of being able to quickly move on to a book I CAN enjoy.

message 43: by Anita (new)

Anita I'm pretty new to goodreads and I liked this question because I agonize quite a bit when it comes to putting down a book before it ends. However, life is short and sometimes ya just got to. I usually make it about 1/2 way. I've been told to read at least 100 pages but I usually go further. I couldn't stand "The Historian" (Kostova) after awhile. I know it was a huge seller and I really wanted to like it, but I found it boring and weird. Sometimes I just lose interest. They're not bad books, I'm just not in the mood. The last one that lost my attention was "Mr Clarinet". Ah, I feel better already!

message 44: by Beth A. (new)

Beth A. (bethalm) Anita,

I'm listening to The Historian. I'm a little over half way through. I was really enjoying it, but the last little bit I hit a wall, where it's starting to feel like work.

message 45: by Samantha McNulty (new)

Samantha McNulty This is such a good question.
Only two come to mind right now though.

The Prophecy of the Gems Three Girls, Three Stones, One Destiny &
Of Mice and Men

message 46: by Robin (new)

Robin Scott (robinscott999gmailcom) I had to put down New Moon, the second of the "Twilight" books. I had enough of that to last me for a while; I'll try to pick it back up later, but I don't have much hope for it. It seems to just go on and on and on without relating anything of substance to the reader.

I did love Pillars of the Earth and was surprised to love something from Ken Follet that much. I usually find his books more shallow than I found Pillars. I was understandably upset when I had to force myself to continue reading its sequel, World Without End. I read about half of it thinking it would get better, and then plowed through. I am not sure I finished it, really; if I did, I sure don't remember the ending. It should have been titled Book Without End.

And, Richard, I completely agree with you about what one considered "best" being subjective. Good taste is the same way. Two people who love Harlequin Romances agree that the other's taste in books is wonderful, when in reality, it is actually just similar to their own.

Allison (The Allure of Books) (inconceivably) I just put down Anybody Out There? by Marian Keyes. I read Part 1 and really enjoyed it, then got to the END of part 1 and found out what had really happened in the story (the character's mind was confused after being in a terrible car accident), and I now have no desire to continue with it...and am going to return it to the library.

message 48: by Anita (last edited Apr 04, 2009 07:42AM) (new)

Anita Beth A. wrote: "Anita,

I'm listening to The Historian. I'm a little over half way through. I was really ..."
Hi Beth, I know what you mean. For a vampire story it just seemed dull and even the attacks were somehow muted where they should have been building suspense. btw, once I decided to give up on it, I did read the ending and it was so dumb it made me laugh!! Seriously, I was glad I hadn't wasted any more time on it.

message 49: by Tricia (new)

Tricia | 7 comments I stopped reading Anna Karenina and Catch 22. I just couldn't get through them, but I still have a plan to tackle them again. Maybe someday I'll be in the right state of mind and I'll enjoy them.

message 50: by Anita (new)

Anita Thanks to this thread, I have added a "could not finish" shelf to my booklist. Some others are "Caramelo" and "The Queen of the South". Couldn't finish either one, but for entirely different reasons.

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