books you didn't finish

Bendyha

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I tried "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" twice- I liked it, but both times the book somehow disappeared when I was halfway through; I decided it was not meant to be. Haven't had a problem in general with books disappearing.
That is a shame. I thought the book was excellent. I finished reading the last few pages as I was waiting in line to see the film. That was a mistake! The film was bloody awful.

Is it bragging rights to say you finished a 'classic' even though you hated it? That's just weird. I've read a fair few books in Balzac's Comedie Humane, but nothing would induce me to read Dickens.
I wouldn't necessarily call it bragging, as it need not be, but there can be a degree of self-satisfaction at having achieved it, and thereby being in a position to explain a personal opinion of why one did not like it, or understand why it may have obtained cult status.
As to Dickens, I have read and thoroughly enjoyed many of his books, some of them twice. Some are definitely better than others, and different people favour different novels of his. I, for one, could not find any enjoyment or humour in the Pickwick Papers, and have never managed to finish reading it, even after having taking several runs at it, yet many consider it to be his most enjoyable novel. I like Hard Times and Bleak House best.
 
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Charlie Bernstein

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Cloodie said:
Catch 22.

A book I should really love, it's a classic, it's set during a period of history that I've read hundreds of books about (and probably watched hundreds of documentaries about) but I just couldn't enjoy it. I'm a big reader and yet that's the only book I've never finished.



Thank you. I also feel I 'should' like it, but I tried several times, and just couldn't get into Catch-22. The circular reasoning dialogue in that book is very irritating to me. One of my best friends is a HUGE Heller fan and quotes the book often and does that style of dialogue at times, and I find it irritating when he does it as well haha
Yup. You just need to get your friend to cork it.

The circular reasoning is the bad joke Heller felt the military is.

Yossarian is in a bad fix. How long is he going to go along with the bad joke? How much worse can the bad joke get? Can he get out of it? How?

Generally, people find themselves rooting for him enjoy the book, and people who don't don't. No shame either way.
 

jman72

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I love Stephen King , this is the first book of his , that I could hardly start . Not sure what happened , but it just did not grab me .
It was my favorite book of all time. I've read it at least 10 times over the years. I do think that the popularity of the movies probably detracts from the book now since the storyline has been widely spilled in the media. That spoils the surprise.
 

pixeljammer

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I used to be ashamed that I didn't finish Gravity's Rainbow by Pynchon. Then I read that he wished he hadn't written it, and that it sucked, and that stopped me caring. That was all long ago. Now I quit any book that I don't like after a little bit, and I don't worry about it. There are way too many good books to was time with stuff that I don't dig.
 

Colo Springs E

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The Stand
i couldn't stand to finish it- with all the epic-ness of it, it simply collapsed under it's own weight

King is one of those "emperor has no clothes" writers to me.
He used to be my fave

The Shining is still an absolute masterpiece
Damn The Stand is one of my fave King books! Agreed, The Shining is first rate.
 

Harry Styron

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I’ve tried Tristram Shandy several times. I saw a movie version that made me want to try again. By I couldn’t still couldn’t stay with it.

I can’t read John Irving; Garp was enough.

I read the whole dang Remembrance of Things Past and breezed through War and Peace and Crime and Punishment, so I’m a persistent reader. But some writers create words that just taste bad to me or make me want to clean out the garage.
 

thunderbyrd

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i bailed on the Illearth Saga. read the first, hated it, but my buddy insisted it would get better. it did not. but he assured me the 2d was better. i read about 1 third of it. it didn't get better and i quit. HATE those books.
 

Charlie Bernstein

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Mason & Dixon - which is the next one after Vineland - is really, really good - maybe his best. I also like Against the Day, although portions of it are a slog (and a few parts are downright ugly), but the non-slog parts shine with the light of a thousand suns. I liked Inherent Vice too, but it’s a bit lighter weight than most of his other work, but that makes it more accessible, and there are plenty of gems in there.
Aha! I don't know Against the Day. I'll have to dig it up. Thanks! My favorites are still V and Rainbow, but they're all rolicking rides.
My hypothesis is that The Silmarillion appeals more to those (like me) who found something in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings that transcended those stories - the myths and legends of an entire world - and all of that is what The Silmarillion provides. But I fully recognize it’s not for everyone, and is not the easiest read even for the semi-obsessed like me. I do find a lot of grandeur and depth in it though.
Sounds right to me. That's one didn't finish.
 

Lowspeid

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Dicey’s Song. Had to read it in 7th grade. I stopped after the 2nd chapter and read The Outsiders, Tex, Rumblefish, and Taming the Star Runner by S.E. Hinton in the time it took the rest of the class to read the assigned book.
 

Charlie Bernstein

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. . . As to Dickens, I have read and thoroughly enjoyed many of his books, some of them twice. Some are definitely better than others, and different people favour different novels of his. I, for one, could not find any enjoyment or humour in the Pickwick Papers, and have never managed to finish reading it, even after having taking several runs at it, yet many consider it to be his most enjoyable novel. I like Hard Times and Bleak House best.
Haven't read a lot of him. I did read Bleak House a year or two ago and liked it a lot. The first two pages should be framed.

So I'll try Hard Times. Thanks for the tip!

PS — I used to date an English department chair. She called herself a feminist Dickens scholar. How she managed to pull that off that I'll never know.
 

Charlie Bernstein

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I read The Hobbit and LOTR to my grade-school age son over the course of three years. That was quite an experience together! I don't know if I would have got through the Trilogy alone, though. It would have been better edited down to two books.
Maybe. The way he explained it was, he sent copies of the manuscript to a bunch of people asking them what they'd cut, and everyone named a different section. So he just left everything in.

No complaint here!
 

BrazHog

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I'm the opposite to the OP, Lord of the Rings got me hooked from page 1. The way he introduces the hobbits, I found it mysterious and intriguing, and I just kept going.

On the other hand, I love a good adventure book, the more shootouts and fistfights the better. But, I'm just too picky! Lots of books where I either didn't buy the premise, or the characters, or just didn't care about what was going to happen, and I just dropped the book.

No biggie, there's always some other Beta Commando waiting for me at the local secondhand bookstore.
 

Charlie Bernstein

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Cloodie said:
Catch 22.

A book I should really love, it's a classic, it's set during a period of history that I've read hundreds of books about (and probably watched hundreds of documentaries about) but I just couldn't enjoy it. I'm a big reader and yet that's the only book I've never finished.



Thank you. I also feel I 'should' like it, but I tried several times, and just couldn't get into Catch-22. The circular reasoning dialogue in that book is very irritating to me. One of my best friends is a HUGE Heller fan and quotes the book often and does that style of dialogue at times, and I find it irritating when he does it as well haha
PS —

An interesting thing is, the movie isn't a comedy, it's a drama. The things that happen in the story aren't funny — they range from sordid to grusome.

It's the dialogue and tone of the writing that make people laugh. (Or not.)
 

ahiddentableau

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Maybe. The way he explained it was, he sent copies of the manuscript to a bunch of people asking them what they'd cut, and everyone named a different section. So he just left everything in.

No complaint here!

This is really funny to me. I hadn't heard this before. Seems like a sensible reaction from Tolkien, all in all. But it doesn't change my mind. I am certain I will go to my grave believing the LotR books are at least 500 pages too long, maybe considerably more.
 




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