Books that you just could not get through

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by Calboner, Dec 13, 2010.

  1. Calboner

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    Have there been books that you have made a serious effort to read and simply could not get through, especially books that have a considerable reputation or following? Here are some such from my experience:

    Edmund Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France. This is supposed to be one of the seminal classics of conservative thought, but I know of no other book that uses so many words to say so little. I had to read it, or rather some selections from it, in college. I believe that I forced myself to look at the words on the page in order of succession, but they conveyed so little meaning to my mind that I hesitate to describe what I did as "reading." Since then, I have twice tried to read it and have not managed to get more than twenty pages into it. My God, what a boring book! How on earth can it be so famous?

    D. H. Laurence, Women in Love. I have read, with interest, other novels by Laurence---Sons and Lovers and The Rainbow. So, I thought, I ought to be able to read this one. Tried. Couldn't do it. Tried again, only this time made a vow that I would just keep reading and not let anything stop me. But I couldn't do it. The contents of the book bored me so fiercely that it caused a kind of paralysis in my brain. As with Burke, it got to the point where the words on the page would just pass through my field of view without conveying any meaning to me. Another boring book.

    I might include whatever crap by Tolkien I may once have tried to read, but I can't say that I made a serious effort. Why the fuck I or anyone should care about a hugely elaborate load of fantasy about Middle Earth and Hobbits and what-not I have no idea. I tried watching the movie The Lord of the Rings, thinking that it would be easier to get through, as the medium requires only that I watch and listen, not that I read, but even that bored me beyond endurance. I kept wanting to scream at the screen, "I DON'T FUCKING CARE!!"
     
  2. Enid

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    #2 Enid, Dec 13, 2010
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  3. nudeyorker

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    Salt A World History, started off so interesting and turned into a sleeping pill about half way through....
     
  4. Calboner

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    I had that problem with Mason and Dixon. (Well, actually, I think I only got about a quarter of the way through it.) I had such high expectations of the book once I heard that it had a talking dog in it, but even the talking dog was not enough to make it interesting to me.

    I did read V once upon a time, though I have not been inclined to go back to it. I have had a copy of Gravity's Rainbow for twenty-some years and have not yet tried to read it.
     
  5. curioustitan

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    Ayn Rand - The Romantic manifesto
    Dianetics.... what a load of........
    James Frey - A million little pieces (it's fascinating, but i keep getting distracted)
     
  6. curioustitan

    curioustitan Member

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    ....oh and The Brothers Karamazov and The idiot by Fyodor Dostoevsky.... i came, i tried, i 'epic' failed!!!!
     
  7. B_mitchymo

    B_mitchymo New Member

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    :eek::crying::crying::crying:

    As someone who loves Tolkien's work, especially the Hobbit and LoTR, i need to ask, do you have an interest in fantasy at all? Is it just Tolkein or does that type of book/movie normally bore you.

    I can't believe that anybody could find it boring unless they had a disinterest of fantasy.
    I'm shocked.
     
  8. accemb

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    "Atlas Shrugged"....... and anything else by Ayn Rand. I shrugged her right off my bookshelf...permanently.
     
  9. D_Tim McGnaw

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    Anything by Henry James, which isn't to say I failed to actually finish reading those of his books I've read, I just switched off about half way through despite having physically read them.

    Henry James invented a style of American writing which is so elaborate, so ornamented, so tortuous and unintelligible that in fact it is the opposite of communication since it actually communicates nothing but a mute intellectual snobbery. Endless run-on sentences which turn into entire paragraphs, and all to express the ennui and emptiness which he seems to have identified as the character of upper class Americans in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.


    This would all be fine, indeed it could even have been interesting had Henry James' style been a singular phenomenon, but unfortunately his style has been extremely influential, especially among American writers, though by no means exclusively. I find myself at the point of tearing my own flesh whenever I encounter modern writers doing homage to The Master.
     
    #9 D_Tim McGnaw, Dec 13, 2010
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  10. vince

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    I made it through The Brothers and loved Crime and Punishment, but
    last month I gave up on the Idiot halfway through one of Hippolyte's soliloquys. BORING.

    The Last of the Mohicans... what a snore fest.

    Bleak House... well named that one was.

    Robinson Crusoe… ugh. So dreary.

    Gurdjieff's Beelzebub's Tales to His Grandson.. I must have tried ten times to finish that fucker.

    Anything by James Michener
     
    #10 vince, Dec 13, 2010
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  11. Joll

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    The Colditz Story - craply written, and kinda pissed me off by painting it as a piss-easy laugh a minute. Maybe it wasn't like that, but it got on my tits since the war was tough for most ppl.

    The Gathering Storm (Churchill) - The first section is fascinating, but when war actually breaks out it becomes hard work to plough through.

    A Journey (Blair's autobiography) - just on a break from it really. Great at first, but bogged down in the middle with all the Iraq stuff.
     
  12. exwhyzee

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    James Michener's Centennial. I Liked Chesapeake very much, but Centennial put me to sleep.

    Michael Chabon's Wonder Boys...I loved Mysteries of Pittsburgh though.

    Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier.
     
  13. earllogjam

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    Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. Attempted to read it 3 times but always lost interest after 30 pages or so.
     
  14. Novaboy

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    Fugitive Pieces by Anne Michaels
    A Canadian novel about jews who servived WW2. Its prose read as dense poetry and I just couldn't read it. It won lots of awards.

    I also tried to read LOTR but could not. I'm not into fantasy though.
     
  15. The Dragon

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    The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - Stieg Larsson.

    Being a voracious reader I suffered bitterly through the first chapter before I flung it down in disgust.

    It sucks the biggest suck that ever sucked a suck.
     
  16. Calboner

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    I can't see the point of any writing that is pure fantasy. It seems to me a form of entertainment for autists.
     
  17. Calboner

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    I had that problem with The Golden Bowl and The Wings of the Dove, both of which I tried to read---more than once in the former case---but which I found simply suffocating.

    On the other hand, I love The Ambassadors (which was written in the same period) and have read it twice, as well as several of James's earlier novels and stories.

    Ha ha, you sound like Homer Simpson:

     
    #17 Calboner, Dec 13, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2010
  18. Catchoftheday

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    Janet and John Book 5, that was a REALLY hard one :redface:
     
  19. Bbucko

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    I've gotta agree with Lawrence's Women In Love. I picked up a copy at a thrift shop about two years ago, never getting past the thirtieth page: endless pages of boring people doing boring things thinking boring thoughts trapped in their boring heads.

    Someone once gave me a copy of Douglas Shand-Tucci's Boston Bohemia 1881-1900, Ralph Adams Cram: Life & Architecture. Just typing out that insanely long title tires me out.
     
  20. B_mitchymo

    B_mitchymo New Member

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    Some of the most creative and talented people in society have autism.

    Fantasy cultivates imagination and a spirit of adventure. For me, its a form of escapism.

    It is childish fun for the most part but, as entertainment goes, its no more boring than reading an autobiography or a history book.

    Just depends on what connects with an individual i guess. I don't read often, i much prefer to watch a film. The last book i tried reading was nightmares and dreamscapes, i didn't finish it, that was several years ago.
    My fave book is called EARTH and is a huge compendium of knowledge mostly about geology. Awesome.
     
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