Author Topic: Books you try to read but can't  (Read 7082 times)

Cudzoziemiec

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Books you try to read but can't
« on: January 21, 2013, 09:52:20 am »
I've taken Love in the Time of Cholera back to the library. It was due for its third renewal, which means I'd had it for 3 weeks. That's how long it had taken me to read 104 pages - a bit less than a third of the book. During that time I'd read several other books from cover to cover. I'm sure Gabriel Garcia Marquez really is a great writer, but somehow he just doesn't click with me.

What have YACFers failed to read despite trying?
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Mr Larrington

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Re: Books you try to read but can't
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2013, 09:54:01 am »
The Trial.  $DEITY knows, I tried :'(
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CAMRAMan

  • Formerly A Warwickshire Lad
Re: Books you try to read but can't
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2013, 10:06:10 am »
The Dice Man. I need solitary time to get through it and I won't get that till easter.
Haggerty F, Haggerty R, Tomkins, Noble, Carrick, Robson, Crapper, Dewhurst, Macintyre, Treadmore, Davitt.

Basil

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Re: Books you try to read but can't
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2013, 10:12:18 am »
Many years ago,  Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintainence.
I eventually realised that I just couldn't be arsed.
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vorsprung

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Re: Books you try to read but can't
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2013, 10:13:08 am »
Anything by Salman Rushdie

"The Varieties of Religious Experience" by William James

I don't like several authors (ie Dickens) but I take the simple step of never starting their books
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vorsprung

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Re: Books you try to read but can't
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2013, 10:14:09 am »
The Dice Man. I need solitary time to get through it and I won't get that till easter.

This one is kinda easy reading...no concentration required
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CAMRAMan

  • Formerly A Warwickshire Lad
Re: Books you try to read but can't
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2013, 10:15:47 am »
Not my experience. I managed War and Peace, but this one just got stuck.
Haggerty F, Haggerty R, Tomkins, Noble, Carrick, Robson, Crapper, Dewhurst, Macintyre, Treadmore, Davitt.

Mr Larrington

  • A bit ov a lyv wyr by slof standirds
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Re: Books you try to read but can't
« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2013, 10:17:19 am »
Many years ago,  Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintainence.
I eventually realised that I just couldn't be arsed.

That is so much one of my favourites that I even retraced the protagonists' route in 2009...
External Transparent Wall Inspection Operative & Mayor of Mortagne-au-Perche
Satisfying the Bloodlust of the Masses in Peacetime

mcshroom

  • Mushroom
Re: Books you try to read but can't
« Reply #8 on: January 21, 2013, 10:18:17 am »
Beowulf - I bought one with both a modern translation and an old english one, but I can never get myself into it enough.

I also have a couple of french and german books that I intend to read through to revive my rusty french & german, but I never get round to reading them.
Climbs like a sprinter, sprints like a climber!

Re: Books you try to read but can't
« Reply #9 on: January 21, 2013, 10:25:47 am »
"To kill a mockingbird."

It was one of our set texts at school. I hated it and never finished it.

Also, anything by Dan Brown.
Cats to the left of me, cats to the right of me, cats sitting on my keyboard making far more sense than I do.

CAMRAMan

  • Formerly A Warwickshire Lad
Re: Books you try to read but can't
« Reply #10 on: January 21, 2013, 10:25:58 am »
I also have a couple of french and german books that I intend to read through to revive my rusty french & german, but I never get round to reading them.
I have two Swedish tetraologies to get through. Vilhelm Moberg's superb Emigrants series - also available in English & highly recommended; and Eyvind Johnson's* semi-autobiographical 1914. Both are 2000+ pages & I've read them before a good while ago, but I can't seem to find the time now.

*Who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1974. That was the year Graham Greene was tipped to win it, but it went jointly to Johnson & Harry Martinsson. The latter two just happened to be on the committee that chose the winner(s)...
Haggerty F, Haggerty R, Tomkins, Noble, Carrick, Robson, Crapper, Dewhurst, Macintyre, Treadmore, Davitt.

fboab

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Re: Books you try to read but can't
« Reply #11 on: January 21, 2013, 10:31:26 am »
Everything.
I can manage about 5 pages of any book. I think I've read 2 in the last 5 years. Am really hoping this year is the year I get it back- I've got a houseful of books I once enjoyed, and shelves of new books I'd like to read.
That, and audio books are expensive, and often read 'wrong' with jarring accents and the like.
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CAMRAMan

  • Formerly A Warwickshire Lad
Re: Books you try to read but can't
« Reply #12 on: January 21, 2013, 10:31:38 am »
Despite going to a grammar school, I've never read a Shakespeare play.
Haggerty F, Haggerty R, Tomkins, Noble, Carrick, Robson, Crapper, Dewhurst, Macintyre, Treadmore, Davitt.

Juan Martín

  • Consigo mi abrigo
Re: Books you try to read but can't
« Reply #13 on: January 21, 2013, 10:36:40 am »
Anything by JG Ballard. I think I have only managed to finish one of his books but have tried to read a few over the years. I want to read them but it is just lost on me!

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: Books you try to read but can't
« Reply #14 on: January 21, 2013, 10:38:23 am »
Many years ago,  Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintainence.
I eventually realised that I just couldn't be arsed.

That is so much one of my favourites that I even retraced the protagonists' route in 2009...
I'm with both of you here. I started it when I was about 20 and found it just boring, gave up. Then I read it all a couple of years ago and found that it's actually very interesting.

Anything by Salman Rushdie
Oh yeah! Although, judging by what I've just said above, maybe I should try again.  :-\
sideways bounding monkey lounging under fruit tree

Jaded

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Re: Books you try to read but can't
« Reply #15 on: January 21, 2013, 10:45:53 am »
August 1914.

Never got more than a few days into it...
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nicknack

  • Hornblower
Re: Books you try to read but can't
« Reply #16 on: January 21, 2013, 10:57:27 am »
Godel, Escher, Bach

Managed about two thirds of it and my brain just gave up the ghost.

On The Road

Didn't make it to the end cos I just didn't give a shit what happened to these losers.
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Re: Books you try to read but can't
« Reply #17 on: January 21, 2013, 11:10:41 am »
The Golden Notebook.

The protagonists are so damn annoying, I put the book down.

<i>Marmite slave</i>

Re: Books you try to read but can't
« Reply #18 on: January 21, 2013, 11:26:37 am »
The Oblivion Stories by David Foster Wallace. Despite them being short stories, I struggled to reach the end of each of the first 3 and then gave in.  >:(
If it ain't broke, fix it 'til it is...

CrinklyLion

  • The one with devious, cake-pushing ways....
Re: Books you try to read but can't
« Reply #19 on: January 21, 2013, 11:34:53 am »
Everything.

Almost everything, at the moment, in my case.  Encouragingly, I managed at least half a dozen books last year.  Which is a bit less than I used to read in an average week, but it's a start, innit?

Historically there've been very very few books I couldn't read.  Watership Down defeated me at about 8, but I tried again a couple of years later and finished it, although I didn't particularly enjoy it.  I've never managed to finish The Hobbit or and of the LOTR stuff either, which I was bought for my 11th birthday and has followed me mockingly round ever since.  But other than those, nowt that I remember although I have read a load of old shite over the years.  Mind, our mam always used to say that in the absence of any better reading material I would read the phone book or the cornflakes box....

citoyen

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Re: Books you try to read but can't
« Reply #20 on: January 21, 2013, 11:39:30 am »
I tried reading a Jack Kerouac book once. Soon decided life's too short. Might give him another go one day, but I've got more than enough books that I actually want to read to keep me going for some years, so probably won't bother.

d.

tiermat

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Re: Books you try to read but can't
« Reply #21 on: January 21, 2013, 11:48:57 am »
In the vain of "Anything by...", anything by Charles Dickens, but especially "Hard Times".  Just too bloody bleak, too wordy (says the guy who enjoys the occasional Tom Clancy or James Patterson novel) and, as others have said, LIFE IS TOO SHORT!

Having worked through something like 40 novels in the last 3 months (the only advantage of an hour long commute, each way, every day) I can say that I am still struggling to find another author that I just don't get.
I feel like Captain Kirk, on a brand new planet every day, a little like King Kong on top of the Empire State

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: Books you try to read but can't
« Reply #22 on: January 21, 2013, 11:57:38 am »
I've never managed to finish The Hobbit or and of the LOTR stuff either, which I was bought for my 11th birthday and has followed me mockingly round ever since.
I enjoyed The Hobbit, I think I was also 11, but a couple of years later I tried LOTR - managed to write a "review" for school of the whole trilogy despite only having read the first book!
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ian

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Re: Books you try to read but can't
« Reply #23 on: January 21, 2013, 12:00:17 pm »
Anything by Terry Pratchett, I suspect. I tried a few based on strong recommendations and gave up every time. In a similar vein, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (I may have finished this one in my younger years, but definitely gave up on the sequels). They're just not me. Try as I might, I can't find them either funny or interesting. To be honest, any kind of 'fantasy' novel is a bit of a no-no, from Harry Potter through to LoTR. My boat isn't floated.

Louis de Bernieres. Good god, I can't remember the book, but it was awful. I was like wading through some kind of sludge extracted from the brains of failed English literature students. Anything else dug from the midden of overwritten, meandering 'literature' beloved of broadsheet review pages, for that matter. I can appreciate some of it may be well-written, but it's like eating a block of butter with a spoon.

Finnegans Wake. That was a bit of a watershed moment when I realised life was simply too short to read books because I thought I should (or because I'd look clever and girls would sleep with me), rather than because I wanted to.

Hmm, there's also a copy of Robin Lane Fox's The Classical World that's been sitting by the bed for about two years. I got about half-way but despite it being the kind of book that should float my boat, I find strangely tedious for some reason I can't put my finger on, it's just very spotty and has that off-putting Oxbridgy knowing tone. I suspect I'll never get to the end before it falls victim to one of my wife's tidying massacres. I've rescued it a few times, but I think the next time, I let it die.

Jared Diamond. Tried and died with two of his, both were like an endless geography class where the teacher keeps reiterating the same conclusions over and over, seemingly in the belief that in the last fifty pages the reader would have forgotten everything that had gone before. Understandable, my brain had climbed out of the window and gone to play in the park.
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RJ

  • Droll rat
Re: Books you try to read but can't
« Reply #24 on: January 21, 2013, 12:23:55 pm »
Beowulf - I bought one with both a modern translation and an old english one, but I can never get myself into it enough.

Have you tried the Seamus Heaney version?  Worth a go ...

My "highly-thought-of-but-in-my-case-unreadable" book list includes (in no particular order):

Crime and Punishment; Downriver (Iain Sinclair); Tristram Shandy ...