Author Topic: Books you try to read but can't  (Read 7081 times)

Andrij

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Re: Books you try to read but can't
« Reply #25 on: January 21, 2013, 12:27:56 pm »
The Silmarillion.  I used to be a voracious reader.  I've not enjoyed everything I've read (some books of the summer reading lists for school come to mind) but The Silmarillion is the only book I've started but not finished.  I've even read The Bible cover to cover, but this Tolkien work defeated me.

At the moment I'm struggling with Švejk.  I've read it before - and enjoyed it - but just not finding sufficient tuits to finish reading it in a different language.
 
;D  Andrij.  I pronounce you Complete and Utter GIT   :thumbsup:

Re: Books you try to read but can't
« Reply #26 on: January 21, 2013, 12:29:25 pm »
Moby Dick.

The book is cursed. We chose it as the group read for a group holiday.  As we began reading it, bad things happened, cars crashed, luggage was lost, people got ill. We all stopped reading the book and things went back to normal. We all agreed to never try read the book again, and left our copies in the farmhouse we were staying in. So if you find 5 copies of Moby Dick in a French farmhouse, back away, they be evil!

Re: Books you try to read but can't
« Reply #27 on: January 21, 2013, 12:33:47 pm »
Agree about The Silmarillion.  I tried about 30 years ago but did not get far.  At the time I described it as like trying to read The Old Testament as a novel.

At the same time The Gormenghast Trilogy was trendy.  I never very far before abandoning it.  Perhaps I will try again one day.

Hillbilly

Re: Books you try to read but can't
« Reply #28 on: January 21, 2013, 12:53:36 pm »
Most recently, Paradise Lost by John Milton.  Just didn't enjoy it. It's unusual that I choose to stop reading a book I'm not enjoying, rather than simply skim reading to get the jist of it - I suspect that the blank verse used by Milton just didn't lend itself to that ruse.  In any case, this was my third attempt and I just couldn't force my way through it.

I've also put aside books like Atrocity Exhibition by Ballard and Golden Notebook by Lessing.  More because I suspect you have to be in the right frame of mind to tackle, although these are in the pile that are (literally) set aside for picking up again at a later date.  Always worth giving them another   Although the Ballard one might slip into the "no, just not for me" donations box given I've tried it a couple of times.

Mr Larrington

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Re: Books you try to read but can't
« Reply #29 on: January 21, 2013, 12:56:17 pm »
The Silmarillion is this: a rubbish.

I enjoyed Švejk up until the moment the author died before finishing it, the git.

Gormenghast was also terrible, but I finally got to the end courtesy of five hours in A&E >:(
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Cudzoziemiec

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Re: Books you try to read but can't
« Reply #30 on: January 21, 2013, 12:56:50 pm »
At the moment I'm struggling with Švejk.  I've read it before - and enjoyed it - but just not finding sufficient tuits to finish reading it in a different language.
Are you reading it in Czech?
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vorsprung

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Re: Books you try to read but can't
« Reply #31 on: January 21, 2013, 01:00:21 pm »
August 1914.

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

I had a copy for a few years but it seems to have vanished.  Before I got around to starting it :)

I have Solzhenitsyn's Biog. if you are interested
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Andrij

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Re: Books you try to read but can't
« Reply #32 on: January 21, 2013, 01:01:31 pm »
At the moment I'm struggling with Švejk.  I've read it before - and enjoyed it - but just not finding sufficient tuits to finish reading it in a different language.
Are you reading it in Czech?

I probably could, with lots of spare time and a dictionary by my side, but can't see myself ever collecting that many tuits.  I've read it in English, now working through a Ukrainian translation.
;D  Andrij.  I pronounce you Complete and Utter GIT   :thumbsup:

Morrisette

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Re: Books you try to read but can't
« Reply #33 on: January 21, 2013, 01:02:51 pm »
Agree about The Silmarillion.  I tried about 30 years ago but did not get far.  At the time I described it as like trying to read The Old Testament as a novel.

At the same time The Gormenghast Trilogy was trendy.  I never very far before abandoning it.  Perhaps I will try again one day.

LOL those were two of mine as well! Lorna Doone is the other. Tried several times, can't read more than 10 pages without falling asleep!
Not overly audacious
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Re: Books you try to read but can't
« Reply #34 on: January 21, 2013, 01:06:44 pm »
The Silmarillion also. And War and Peace. And Midnight's Children.
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Andrij

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Re: Books you try to read but can't
« Reply #35 on: January 21, 2013, 01:12:25 pm »
The Silmarillion...

Agree about The Silmarillion...

Agree about The Silmarillion.  I tried about 30 years ago but did not get far.  At the time I described it as like trying to read The Old Testament as a novel.

At the same time The Gormenghast Trilogy was trendy.  I never very far before abandoning it.  Perhaps I will try again one day.

LOL those were two of mine as well! ...

The Silmarillion also...

I see a trend developing...
;D  Andrij.  I pronounce you Complete and Utter GIT   :thumbsup:

Re: Books you try to read but can't
« Reply #36 on: January 21, 2013, 01:16:25 pm »
anything / everything by salman rushdie and umberto eco.



dasmoth

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Re: Books you try to read but can't
« Reply #37 on: January 21, 2013, 01:21:59 pm »
Quicksilver by Neal Stephenson.  Odd, because I usually like his stuff, but completely lost momentum on that...

...then tried again recently and got even less far.  Ah well.
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Re: Books you try to read but can't
« Reply #38 on: January 21, 2013, 01:26:49 pm »
The Glass Bead Game by Hermann Hesse. I read Narcissus and Goldmund and loved it, but just couldn't get to grips with TGBG.
Working my way up to inferior.

Re: Books you try to read but can't
« Reply #39 on: January 21, 2013, 01:40:40 pm »
The Glass Bead Game by Hermann Hesse.
I think I've read that. Must have made an impression, as I can't remember anything about it.
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Re: Books you try to read but can't
« Reply #40 on: January 21, 2013, 01:50:59 pm »
Quicksilver by Neal Stephenson.  Odd, because I usually like his stuff, but completely lost momentum on that...

...then tried again recently and got even less far.  Ah well.

Currently 3/4 of the way through that at the 2nd attempt...... it's a bit of a slog though.
Not fast & rarely furious

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citoyen

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Re: Books you try to read but can't
« Reply #41 on: January 21, 2013, 02:20:41 pm »
I see a trend developing...

Add me to the list. I loved the Hobbit, then grinded my way through LoTR, though if I'm honest, I didn't really like it all that much. The Silmarillion was just too obtuse. I think I read the first three or four pages half a dozen times before finally giving up.

d.

slohill

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Re: Books you try to read but can't
« Reply #42 on: January 21, 2013, 02:26:49 pm »
James Joyce---Ulysses---and I couldn't understand the film either!
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Salvatore

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Re: Books you try to read but can't
« Reply #43 on: January 21, 2013, 02:38:38 pm »
I'm sure I would have added Crime and Punishment to the list, but it was the only book I had with me on an extended camping trip. I struggled through the first couple of hundred pages, but by about page 400 I couldn't put it down.
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et avec John, excellent lecteur de road-book, on s'en est sortis sans erreur

Kim

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Re: Books you try to read but can't
« Reply #44 on: January 21, 2013, 03:24:57 pm »
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.

This.

I'm not entirely sure why.

I've struggled to read fiction for many years now.  Non-fiction's easier as it's more easily read in small doses, or you have a specific incentive to actually read it in order to learn how to get something done.

I think some of it's about ergonomics - I can't read in bed for more than an hour or so without shoulder pain, and don't have a comfy armchair any more.  Dead tree books are doubly irritating in this regard, with their weight and self-closing habits, though I'm equally crap at reading ebooks.  I'm disinclined to start if I'm only going to end up having to stop after a short time because of pain, or (if it's a decent book) bugger up my shoulders through keeping reading.
 

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That, and audio books are expensive, and often read 'wrong' with jarring accents and the like.

Audio books are a work of Stan, unless you're one of those people who can listen to recorded speech in a moving vehicle without getting travel sick.  I don't get why anyone with normal reading ability would want to have something read to them at a frustrating fraction of the proper bitrate, even if it was in the delightful tones of Stephen Fry or Morgan Freeman or similar.

Oddly, radio drama doesn't annoy me.  Though it still makes me travel sick.



And yet I'll read vast swathes of random (and I do mean random) crap on the internet.  General wiksand; NASA reports; fan fiction (of fandoms I don't even know); academic papers; WW2 submarine manuals; reviews of books I know I'll never get round to reading; websites, usenet and forum posts about all sorts of things I have no specific interest in.  I lurked on uk.business.agriculture for months, FFS!  I'm reading as much as I ever did.  But not proper books.

I think it's related to why I haven't played computer games (other than a couple of hours of Portal) in the last decade.  Sure, some of them are quite good, but in doing so there's a world of interesting *real* stuff out there that I'm neglecting.  It feels like the information equivalent of people who grew up post-war being psychologically incapable of not clearing a plate.
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citoyen

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Re: Books you try to read but can't
« Reply #45 on: January 21, 2013, 03:57:15 pm »
Has anyone actually read The Silmarillion?  ;D

clarion

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Re: Books you try to read but can't
« Reply #46 on: January 21, 2013, 04:01:47 pm »
My brother did.  He was a Tolkein nut.  I read William Morris and the Penguin Sagas first (Vinlanda, Laxdaela, Njal's, Egil's & Hrafnkel's), so I realised how derivative it all was.
Getting there...

Cudzoziemiec

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Re: Books you try to read but can't
« Reply #47 on: January 21, 2013, 04:37:41 pm »
I'm sure I would have added Crime and Punishment to the list, but it was the only book I had with me on an extended camping trip. I struggled through the first couple of hundred pages, but by about page 400 I couldn't put it down.
Dostoevsky comes in a different category for me. Probably my favourite author overall, but if I were ever to read two consecutively, it would send me spiralling into a black hole of doom. Writers like Dostoevsky need to be interspersed with books by writers like Wodehouse.  :thumbsup:
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citoyen

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Re: Books you try to read but can't
« Reply #48 on: January 21, 2013, 04:42:27 pm »
Works the other way too - I read a lot of Wodehouse but he needs to be interspersed with something a bit more substantial.

mattc

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Re: Books you try to read but can't
« Reply #49 on: January 21, 2013, 05:14:39 pm »
Audio books are a work of Stan, unless you're one of those people who can listen to recorded speech in a moving vehicle without getting travel sick.
I think thats .... everyone in the world except you. Isn't it? I've never heard of this problem.  Have you checked you're doing it right?

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  I don't get why anyone with normal reading ability would want to have something read to them at a frustrating fraction of the proper bitrate, even if it was in the delightful tones of Stephen Fry or Morgan Freeman or similar.
It's not to slow it down! If bitrate was everything, wouldn't you speed up every movie you watched?!?
It's a lot to do with the delivery. Certainly some readers have f**ked up audio books (there is one that N listened to for 'king weeks, read by this woman with the most whiny irritating voice. Aaaaaaaarghh!). Some really add something. The version of Rogue Male that the beeb did is just superb - they just found someone with the perfect voice, for my ears anyway.

It's a different performance - reading a Shakespeare play is not generally better than watching them. Also I've generally preferred abridged works to the full readings - perhaps because the latter tend to be overlong! Thinking about it, short books do seem to work best - especially kids books, and less dense stuff that you can wash-up to etc. (clearly some books would abridge terribly).

[Has not even tried the Silmarillion.]
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