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message 1: by Chip (new)

Chip (chipie) | 0 comments I know that there must at least be one other person who has this trouble with some of their reads; but sometimes I feel like I am the only one that just has to give up and pick up another in its place.

I am not a fan of leaving a book unread and will often battle my way through the entire thing/series, willing, hoping, that it will get better, live up to the reviews or just have an amazing twist for an ending (quite similar to the Twilight Series), but there are always a few that I just have to sigh and place back on the bookshelf for another time.
Actually to be honest, its partly when my partner has had enough of me complaining and asks for the sake of his sanity to give it up. :)

So which books, if any, have the same affect on you?


message 2: by [deleted user] (last edited Sep 13, 2010 05:25AM) (new)

Your have found my weak spot Chip. I have a number of books on my Could-Not-Finish shelf which reflect poorly on me, not on the books. They are as follows.

Middlemarchby George Eliot - 3 attempts to complete- lack of sympathy for the characters. (I just wanted to smack them)
Earthly Powers by Anthony Burgess- 2 attempts - Just couldn't get into it.
The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens- 2 attempts - Just couldn't get into it. I love Charles Dickens but this one really..... the characters were just annoying. I left them on some mock battlefield.
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck 1 attempt (I will probably give this another go.) Hate whiny farms who are suckers for being ripped off. (I am a country girl turned city girl)

My unfinished books fester on my bookshelf until I eventually finish them. The first three I can't see myself ever finishing, they have been on my book shelf at home for years now gathering dust.


message 3: by Jacinta (new)

Jacinta Hoare | 62 comments I struggle with anything written by Peter Carey I am sorry to say.


message 4: by Mandapanda (new)

Mandapanda I struggle with any books that are too sad. I think it's because I've been a nurse all my life and have to help people deal with so many tough issues that when I read I want to be transported away from that. I can't think of any book in particular at the moment but I will ponder for a while and come back to it. This is a great thread Chip!


message 5: by Tango (new)

Tango | 290 comments A Tale of Two Cities is one that I can't get through for some reason. I had a similar problem with Heart of Darkness, but managed to read it this year(some 20 years after my first attempt). Gail I would persevere with Middlemarch and The grapes of Wrath - I loved them both.


message 7: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl (cherylllr) yeah, I gave up on Lord of the Rings, too

and Frank Herbert's Dune

and I'm intentionally not doing links because I don't want to share the misery :)


message 8: by [deleted user] (last edited Sep 24, 2010 03:02PM) (new)

Jacinta wrote: "I struggle with anything written by Peter Carey I am sorry to say."

I really, really struggled with Oscar and Lucinda, where as my husband loved it. It's his favourite book. I haven't picked up a Peter Carey book since. He has a book currently shortlisted for the booker prize...


Fortunatly we all have differing tastes. I think I have struggled to the end of LOTR, oh maybe 5 times. :D


message 9: by Murray (new)

Murray Gunn (murraygunn) | 211 comments I never got to Lord of the Rings. I had enough trouble with The Hobbit.

Unfortunately, I had Dart-Thornton's trilogy when I was in Bhutan and desperate for English books, so I made it through the lot. The best I can say is that it taught me a lot about writing...

I didn't mind Dune, but I think I only read the first book.


message 10: by [deleted user] (new)

I also only read the first Dune book. I loved it but didn't feel any desire to continue. :)


message 11: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl (cherylllr) There are *so* many books out there - even just reading the so-called 'classics' would take a lifetime, leaving no time for fun reading. I no longer feel guilty if I give up on something.


message 12: by [deleted user] (new)

Being part of Goodreads is good for that Cheryl. Before I joined GR I never knew what to read next. Now I have an amazing number of fabulous books on my TBR list and it's growing all the time. Heaven.


message 13: by Murray (new)

Murray Gunn (murraygunn) | 211 comments I've been reading a lot of free classics recently (haven't yet registered my ereader for DRM) and most have been great, but I really struggled with 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. It seemed to be adventure for the sake of passing on scientific 'facts'. I'm hoping Journey to the Centre of the Earth and Around the World in 80 Days won't be like that.


message 14: by Soma (new)

Soma Helmi (somahelmi) | 11 comments Sweetness in the Belly and In the Kitchen . I just can't seem to get past the first third of these books. I usually devour a book but...meh.


message 15: by Paul (new)

Paul Daniels (mrpld) | 155 comments Glad to see I wasn't the only one who found myself struggling with The Hobbit and LoTR. Many a time I've tried and each time I just feel like I'm being forced to do something against my will, strapped down into the chair while snakes slither in my stomach.

On the more 'technical' side, there was a book "Fuzzy logic" which drove me insane because each chapter was essentially the same but used a different object or scene to describe an essentially identical concept. Many times I felt like the publisher had accidently duped chapters - needless to say that went in the bin.


message 16: by Chip (new)

Chip (chipie) | 0 comments I had a lot of trouble with The Story of Edgar Sawtelle. I can't believe I was reading the same story that everyone else was praising.

Maybe because what the story turned out to be was very different to what I had in mind, but I just kept turning the pages thinking 'The story is about to begin' or 'something has to happen soon'.
In the end I placed it down and will have to try again another time.


message 17: by Murray (new)

Murray Gunn (murraygunn) | 211 comments Chip wrote: "I had a lot of trouble with The Story of Edgar Sawtelle. I can't believe I was reading the same story that everyone else was praising.

Maybe because what the story turned out to be..."


I had that experience with
Contact. I started it three times thinking it was a biography of an astronomer. When I finally pushed past about 50 pages and realised it was a novel, it became a favourite.


message 18: by Mandapanda (new)

Mandapanda I've just remembered a book I found it impossible to get through. The infamous and extremely over-rated The Satanic Verses. I have no idea how people could find it offensive because it was INCOMPREHENSIBLE!!


message 19: by [deleted user] (new)

Can't say I've been tempted to try Mandy.


message 20: by Kevin (new)

Kevin Klehr (goodreadscomkevink) | 78 comments For me I gave up on Pride and Prejudice and thanked the BBC for filling in the gaps, especially in the scenes with more characters. Underwritten in the novel, fleshed out by producers.

Another book I haven't finished is Atonement by British Ian McEwan. It is so beautifully written and I love the language, but I've been tainted by the film. The major turning point happens early in the movie, but takes half a novel to reach that same point. I know I'll get back to it one day because its worth finishing, I just have to learn to absorb myself in the slow telling of the tale.

Also, Call Me by Your Name by André Aciman. Again, well written but for goodness sake, can something actually happen to progress the story! It's like staring at lovely wallpaper all day expecting to find drama in the pattern somewhere.


message 21: by Dee-Ann (new)

Dee-Ann | 644 comments Mandy wrote: "I've just remembered a book I found it impossible to get through. The infamous and extremely over-rated The Satanic Verses. I have no idea how people could find it offensive because it..."

I agree Mandy, someone recommended and gave me a copy years ago, and I could not get past the first chapter.


message 22: by Mandapanda (last edited Sep 15, 2010 06:24PM) (new)

Mandapanda Kevin wrote: "Again, well written but for goodness sake, can something actually happen to progress the story! It's like staring at lovely wallpaper all day expecting to find drama in the pattern somewhere..."

Kevin I just love that phrase you wrote! I wish I had thought to say that when I was living in Geneva and my francophone friends used to force me to watch those typical french movies where they sit around the dinner table all night and do nothing but talk!!!!


message 23: by Kevin (new)

Kevin Klehr (goodreadscomkevink) | 78 comments Thanks Mandy.


message 24: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl (cherylllr) "Also, Call Me by Your Name by André Aciman. Again, well written but for goodness sake, can something actually happen to progress the story! It's like staring at lovely wallpaper all day expecting to find drama in the pattern somewhere."

OMG Kevin that is so true about so many books I've tried to read; you've gotta find a way to copyright the quote - or tell us to feel free to use it.

For example, I want to edit my review of The Left Hand of Darkness to add "there really isn't much going on that I can care about, as Kevin K. said on Aussie Readers, "It's like staring...." So, think before you say yes, do I have your permission to do so?


message 25: by Kevin (new)

Kevin Klehr (goodreadscomkevink) | 78 comments Cheryl wrote: ""Also, Call Me by Your Name by André Aciman. Again, well written but for goodness sake, can something actually happen to progress the story! It's like staring at lovely wallpaper all day expecting ..."

Yes, go ahead. But make sure you attribute it back to me as in your example. I'll pop my ego away now until next time. ;~j


message 26: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl (cherylllr) Thanks - and yes of course you deserve credit.


message 27: by Jacqueline (new)

Jacqueline George (jacquelinegeorge) I struggled with Catch 22. I think it took 3 attempts before I finally got over the hump and started to understand it. Since then it has been my nomination for Novel of the 20th Century.

By the way, I also liked the film of that one. One of the few where Hollywood managed to reflect the book and not dumb it down to win sales.

An anecdote: my father, who was modest and not at all what you would call an intellectual, had been a meteorologist during the war. He spent the entire war, and many years after it, working on RAF bases. I took him to see Catch 22 one evening (on an RAF base in Germany, as it happens). Afterwards I asked him how he had liked it.

"I didn't understand anything," he said, "But I've met all those people."


message 28: by [deleted user] (new)

Jacqueline wrote: "I struggled with Catch 22. I think it took 3 attempts before I finally got over the hump and started to understand it. Since then it has been my nomination for Novel of the 20th Century.

By the ..."



Is Catch-22 the book that has the rat in the cage scene or was that 1984, I remember starting one or the other of them many years ago, I got to a scene where they were going to attach a hungry rat in a cage to some ones face (or something like that) and I stopped reading. I need to read both. My reading tastes have matured a little since I first tried to read them.


message 29: by Kevin (new)

Kevin Klehr (goodreadscomkevink) | 78 comments It was 1984.


message 30: by [deleted user] (new)

Thanks Kevin I knew someone would know the answer. :)


message 31: by Amber (new)

Amber (elfkingdom) | 366 comments I know I'm probably in a class of my own, but is there anyone else who absolutely hated the Harry Potter series? And The Da Vinci Code? I tried to get into them, but they bored me beyond belief and I couldn't get past the fifth chapter of Da Vinci, and only got through the first hundred pages of the Philosopher's Stone...I admire their success, but I cannot get into their books...


message 32: by [deleted user] (last edited Sep 20, 2010 05:13AM) (new)

I didn't mind Harry Potter, they are kids books after all though a lot of adults read them. I am with you on the Da Vinci Code. I would never read another Dan Browne.


message 33: by Amber (new)

Amber (elfkingdom) | 366 comments I'm with you on the Dan Brown stand - never again another DB book for me! And I know this is veering slightly off-course, but here it is: I found the Twilight books ok, but the movies are excruciating! Kristen Stewart's Bella whines her way through every scene, and Robert Pattinson's Edward talks so slowly it's enough to put me to sleep...but on the book thread, yes they were ok. Probably won't read them again though.


message 34: by [deleted user] (last edited Sep 20, 2010 05:16AM) (new)

I am also sure that if you hadn't read the books the Twilight movies wouldn't have made much sense. Agree with Bella & RP ick!

Oh and it's perfectly okay to go off track on the threads. :)


message 35: by Kevin (new)

Kevin Klehr (goodreadscomkevink) | 78 comments Amber wrote: "I know I'm probably in a class of my own, but is there anyone else who absolutely hated the Harry Potter series? And The Da Vinci Code? I tried to get into them, but they bored me beyond belief and..."

Yes, I forgot I even read The Da Vinci Code. As someone said to me before I read it 'not a great book but it is a page turner'. I was travelling in Europe and the UK when I read it so I got to see the locations for real.

But it definately didn't inspire me to read another Dan Brown. Liked the film adaption of that other book of his, though.


message 36: by [deleted user] (new)

I have heard that Angels & Demons is a much better book. I just have sooooo many other books I would like to read, I couldn't be bothered going back. :)


message 37: by Kevin (new)

Kevin Klehr (goodreadscomkevink) | 78 comments Just see the film. It's not bad.


message 38: by Murray (new)

Murray Gunn (murraygunn) | 211 comments If Angels and Demons is a better example of Dan Brown, I'm not going near his others either. I had no interest in DV Code but struggled through the movie just for Audrey Tatou.


message 39: by Kevin (new)

Kevin Klehr (goodreadscomkevink) | 78 comments Did you see Angels and Demons?


message 40: by [deleted user] (new)

A very wise move Murray. Funnily enough Audrey didn't make watching the movie worthwhile for me and Tom Hanks just doesn't do it for me either. All in all the DV Code movie was a bit of a fizzer.


message 41: by Jacqueline (new)

Jacqueline George (jacquelinegeorge) I think Dan Brown is GREAT! Any time anyone is rude about my writing, I can just dip into The Da Vinci Code and instantly feel better. If writing like that can make it, there's hope for us all.

I get on well with Harry Potter, although just as bits of fun and not a great books. 90 - 150 years ago, there was a whole genre of kids' stories set in English private schools. They were all adventure stories, involving an unlikely child hero/heroine. They had interesting old schools, good masters, bad masters, villains from outside attacking the school and its inmates... is this ringing any bells?

I'm not knocking J K Rowling (far from it - I'd trade her sales figures for mine any day), but it is interesting that she got in on the modern paranormal wave while using such a traditional format. I notice that, with fame, she is able to write fatter and fatter books. I'm sure the sort of publisher I talk to would be demanding cuts down to 100,000 words tops.


message 42: by Casey (new)

Casey (caseynanako) Well Jacqueline, try not to be too much of a jealous bitch... oh wait.

I struggle through Jane Austen stories, particularly Pride and Prejudice.


message 43: by Tango (new)

Tango | 290 comments Goulds Book of Fish did not hook me at all.


message 44: by [deleted user] (new)

Ahhhh Tango, that's the sort of line my husband likes to come out with. :)


message 45: by Laurel (new)

Laurel Lamperd Amber wrote: "I know I'm probably in a class of my own, but is there anyone else who absolutely hated the Harry Potter series? And The Da Vinci Code? I tried to get into them, but they bored me beyond belief and..."

I couldn't finish the Da Vinci Code book and don't want to see the movie. I feel I don't want to read another Dan Brown. Even though I feel the Harry P books and movies are great for young people and are so clever, I prefer Lord of the Rings myself. Laurel


message 46: by Sophie (new)

Sophie (sophie714) I have to say one of the biggest struggles I ever had was "Madam Bovary" by Gustave Flaubert. It was beautifully written and a complete masterpiece in its own right, but the fact that you can't help but HATE the main character makes it an extremely hard novel to get through... did get through it in the end but it took over a year!!


message 47: by Jacqueline (new)

Jacqueline George (jacquelinegeorge) A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich is an important historical document and portrays life as it was in Stalin's camps. Also a great story and you will feel you have learnt a lot when you have finished it.

The Lord of the Rings is a romance in the grand tradition (as opposed to the M&B tradition) and part of a foundation trend of European culture. It does have a slow start as you slow down and tune in to different ways of living, but after you have done that, you won't be able to put it down. Trust me!


message 48: by Jenny (new)

Jenny | 114 comments I couldn't stck with Da Vinci Code or Angels and Demons--only lasted a couple of pages on the last one. I think the problem, for me anyway, is Brown's 'voice'.

Another I really couldn't stomach is: A Confederacy of Dunces. Bought it after seeing it reviewed on First Tues Book Club: hated the main character with a passion!


message 49: by Ashleigh (new)

Ashleigh (ashleigj) Jane Eyre.
I'm trying my hardest to get through it, but it's just getting the better of me.
also:

Wuthering Heights.
Again, another classic and I am trying...


message 50: by Mandapanda (last edited Oct 16, 2010 11:16PM) (new)

Mandapanda Ashleigh wrote: "Wuthering Heights.
Again, another classic and I am trying..."


I know it's very naughty but I preferred the song!:DD

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BW3gKK...


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