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Have you given up on any books you started reading?

(196 Posts)
yogagran Sun 05-Jun-11 22:04:08

I was given "Eat, Pray and Love" recently and found it so depressing that I gave up after about 50 pages. Are there any books that you have not managed to get through?

crimson Sun 05-Jun-11 22:14:31

The Shadow of the Wind.Was reading it on a train one day [second attempt] and said to the guy next to me that I was struggling with it. He pointed to a page about 80% of the way through the book [perhaps 90% even] and said 'that's where I gave up'. Haven't tried again since,However, it took me three goes at Titus Groan and on the third attempt I went beyond the first chapter and kept going until I'd read the trilogy. As if I needed to pass into that world before I could read the books. As someone pointed out to me 'life's too short to read a book you don't enjoy'.

numberplease Mon 06-Jun-11 01:03:43

When I was 14 I borrowed War and Peace from the school library, but found it too heavy going and gave up after a couple of chapters. However, about 3 years ago I decided to give it another go and bought a copy from Amazon. This time I did finish it, but it took me about a month, and it still didn`t exactly enthrall me, but at least I`ve read it!

baggythecrust! Mon 06-Jun-11 06:32:06

I also gave up on War and Peace in my teens. I was 18 and doing a holiday job on Blackpool trams as a clippie. The late shift went on late and often there wasn't a lot to do so I'd read my book. Not enthralled. Also gave up on the Da Vinci Code.

susiecb Mon 06-Jun-11 10:02:23

Labyryinth - OMG !!!!!

Hattie64 Mon 06-Jun-11 19:48:57

If I have bought the book I try and struggle on with it, as I now get more books from the library I have no hesitation in giving up the struggle. One of the worst books I struggled through was 'The Historian' a book about Dracula, it, in my opinion was overlong and dreadful. I have two books out at the moment, and am in the throes of giving up on them. I actually enjoyed 'Shadow of the Wind', but his book after that was awful, and did give up on that.

lionlilac Tue 07-Jun-11 18:12:36

James Joyce - Ulysses. Managed just four chapters.

Elegran Tue 07-Jun-11 18:47:06

Lord of the Rings. I read The Hobbit and found it not bad, but Lord of the Rings was sheer hard work for not much reward. All those different kingdoms each with their own languages and customs, a cast of millions and a dense plot. I found I frankly did not much care what happened to any of them, so I gave up.

Annobel Tue 07-Jun-11 19:28:00

Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses. I couldn't work up any interest in it when it was first published and haven't tried since. I loved Midnight's Children, so this was a disappointment. I did wonder if any of the people who made such a fuss about it had actually read it!hmm

jangly Tue 07-Jun-11 19:28:46

Elegran I was the same with Lord of the Rings. I loved the Hobbitt and thought Lord of the Rings would be as enjoyable. But it was just too hard to get into.

I gave up on The Cider House Rules. Boring.

baggythecrust! Tue 07-Jun-11 22:05:43

Haha! I gave up on The Satanic Verses and Ulysses too. I did enjoy another book of Rushdie's though: Haroun and the Sea of Stories. wacky but good.

crimson Tue 07-Jun-11 23:00:02

Think you read different books at different times of your life. I devoured books like War and Peace, Lord of the Rings and most of the Emile Zola books when I was a teenager but don't think I could read them now. Started reading lighter stuff when I had children, and now find myself reading Maeve Binchy and suchlike.

Annobel Wed 08-Jun-11 10:02:16

How right you are, Crimson. When I was a student, all my classmates seemed to be reading Lawrence Durrell's Alexandria Quartet. I doubt if I could stomach it now.

grannyactivist Wed 08-Jun-11 10:21:46

I devoured just about anything from the library as a youngster and then gradually became aware that there were 'classic' books that, once read, inferred a kind of status upon the reader (I was from a council estate and very influenced by my 'betters' - how times change! grin.) So, I ploughed through Shakespeare (yummy), War and Peace (yawn), Ulysses (Unhh? confused), Steinbeck, etc. etc. When I finally got around to Lord of the Rings I knew I'd met my match. Try as I may, I just couldn't get beyond the first few chapters. I think I must have left that book unfinished at least five times - before, wonder of wonders, I finally 'got it' and then I literally couldn't put it down. I was often still reading at 5 o'clock in the morning and it ruined my social life, such as it was at the time. I have now read it twice and I'm so glad I persevered. grin

crimson Wed 08-Jun-11 21:17:37

Thats how I was with Titus Groan; once I'd entered that world [at @ the third attempt] I was there for quite a while. As for LOTR and The Hobbit, I can still picture the day that my [then] boyfriend came to my flat with his copy of The Hobbit [borrowed from the library; it was the 'in' book and there was a waiting list], read the first page to me and just left me wanting more. Strangely, always thought of LOTR and The Hobbit as books about elves and beautiful things, didn't see the warlike panorama they depicted [drawn from Tolkiens experience of the First World War I believe]. Cried when I first saw Shadowfax in the film. Loved the beauty of the words. Have never attempted The Silmarilian [sp?]. Can't wait for the new film to come out.

Myfanwy Wed 08-Jun-11 22:13:57

I can't finish anything by Henry James. Somehow I can't retain anything from page one to take on to page two and so on. Someone once said that reading James was like watching a hippopotamus push a pea up Mount Everest with the end of its nose.

Granny61 Tue 05-Jul-11 23:25:25

The Time Traveller's Wife. I bought it because I like sci fi - it's totally beyond me. It jumps about such a lot and doesn't explain why he's a time traveller unless all is revealed in the last chapter. Maybe I should have another go but start at end.

crimson Wed 06-Jul-11 00:13:12

I've tried that one several times; I just keep thinking things like 'where does he get his clothes from?'....bought the dvd, but haven't watched it in case I do get into the book. My ex husband loved it, and so did a friend of mine who has a similar taste in books. I would persevere with the story if I found the actual writing good, but I'm not even impressed with that. May give it another go when I'm on holiday. If only we could take it in turns reading a chapter each. Mind you, being a book about time travel. perhaps it would be ok to start at the end..or the middle, or half way through chapter ten, or.........[heck; I'm getting as boring as the book]

baggythecrust! Wed 06-Jul-11 07:01:26

I read The Time Traveler's Wife and enjoyed it but, a few years on, I can't remember a thing about it!
I first read The Hobbit when I was in my teens. I found it quite scary so I put off reading LOTR for some years. It is a compelling story and wonderfully written, but I still find it scary (also the film) maybe because of all the fighting.
Mind you, I found Swallows and Amazons scary when I first read that, and I still get the fear feeling in my guts when Mother leaves Titty on the island alone! Hard crust, soft centre, that's Baggy!

Littlelegs Wed 06-Jul-11 08:26:46

I agree wiuth you Baggythecrust - Swallows and Amazonsd scared me too, but with my little legs it's hard to run away fast!! wink

GoldenGran Wed 06-Jul-11 08:38:07

The Slap, can't remember who it is by, as I threw it in the bin, I was attracted to it as it was loved by the critics and was about the fall out from a family gathering, during which someone slapped someone else's child. I wanted to slap all of them after a while, Loved Swallows and Amazons, I would have loved to have been left on an island by my mother. I would have waited for my "real family" to collect me!

gma Wed 06-Jul-11 09:33:01

The Slap is simply awful! Like you GoldenGran I gave up on it, something which I very rarely, and hate doing. The 'blurb' grabbed me and it promised lots but delivered zilch!!! The eight main characters were obnoxious,I agree with you, they all needed a good slap! The language was foul, the grammar was dreadful and overly long descriptions of sexual encounters became rather repetitive. I did not even bother to read the end to see what happened! ' Frankly my dear (s) I could not give a damn'. If this is an example of the best of Australian literature perhaps it is time that they gave up. I passed it to a friend who lived in Melbourne to see what she thought of it, I am still waiting for her response. Can anybody suggest any worthy Australian authors??? hmm

baggythecrust! Wed 06-Jul-11 09:37:40

Kate Grenville's The Idea of Perfection is a good read.

GoldenGran Wed 06-Jul-11 09:49:12

I'll second that Baggythecrust, the Kate Grenville book is lovely,has wonderfully flawed but very likeable middleaged characters.Fabulous read!smile

gma Wed 06-Jul-11 09:55:21

Thank you ladies! Off to the library to look for Kate Grenville!!!
You can rely on Gransnet to come up with the best suggestions!!! grin