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Old 02-18-2012, 04:51 AM   #46
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Originally Posted by Hamlet53 View Post
Oh yes, how could I forget Tess of the d'Urbervilles. One attempt at reading that was one too many. I could not even manage to sit through the entire film starring an incredibly hot Nastassia Kinski. I was there because the woman I was dating at the time insisted that we go see it. Even she lost patience with the Tess character perpetually doing everything she could to make herself miserable and we both left long before the closing credits.
The very book I was going to mention. I had to do it as part of my English Literature "A" Level Exam (exam qualifications for entrance to UK universities), and I hated it so much I couldn't even finish it. As a result I has to miss out a whole exam question, a third of the marks...

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A recent no-finish: Tender is the night, the MR Book Club selection. That one did grab me at first because of great descriptive writing. But the further I got into it the more I hated the characters and I honestly couldn't care less what happened to them!
I'm in the same position, though I may try to come back to it as I don't like giving up on books unless they are really badly written or plotted.
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Old 02-18-2012, 06:03 AM   #47
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I tend to run out of steam on big, historical, non-fiction works. I make it up to about the Spanish civil war in The Dark Valley, loose steam, and then forget all the players by the time I get back.

I'm also ashamed to say I've never made it more than a third of the way through The Guns of August. Even after being bitten by the Downton bug!
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Old 02-18-2012, 05:52 PM   #48
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A book I read and regretted it - Downtown Owl.

It was great right to the ending. I reread the ending (about 2 pages perhaps) at least 6 times to try and see what I was missing. Nothing except a feeling that the book actually had a reasonable ending. Was like the author was tired of writing and decided to just .....
Don't want to put in spoiler

Helen
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Old 02-18-2012, 07:19 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by tecweston View Post
I'm a big Stephen King fan but I couldn't even finish The Dark Tower. It gets real awful after book three. Here's how I'd rate them:

The Gunslinger: B
The Drawing of the Three: A-
The Waste Lands: A
Wizard and Glass: B-
Wolves of the Calla: C
Song of Susannah: D- (only read half of this but bleh)

And I didn't read any of book 7. If you don't like the first two books, I wouldn't recommend continuing at all. It just gets worse.
Heh, Heh. I guess it depends on what you like. Here is what I would have rated them:

The Gunslinger: B
The Drawing of the Three: B+
The Waste Lands: B-
Wizard and Glass: A
Wolves of the Calla: A
Song of Susannah: C
The Dark Tower (7th): D . Yeah it was really bad, but "what was in the tower" and what it represented was a real surprise.

For me the turning point was Wizard and Glass. Really, it should have been the first of the 7 books, not the 4th. Because it explained the Gunslinger's childhood and coming of age. And it did have the romantic element, if you like that stuff. I also liked Wolves of the Calla a lot - very unusual story line.
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Old 02-19-2012, 10:38 AM   #50
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'Miss Smilla's Feeling for Snow' - Peter Hoeg - did finish it but wish I'd abandoned it - started out a thriller and became some weird sci-fi thing at the end...
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Old 02-19-2012, 08:12 PM   #51
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Perhaps we should also do a list of "Love/Hate" books - some titles I notice are people's favourites (like Lord of the Rings) and some readers just loathe them. Obviously they provoke strong feelings in people. I noticed someone else hates "Name of the Rose", one of my all time favourites and I am sure other MR contributors have seen some of their great literary loves scorned by others!
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Old 02-19-2012, 11:42 PM   #52
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A song of ice and fire for me I liked the TV show and it made me curious about the books and bought all of them, I lost interest about halfway through the second (clash of kings) and have read probably at least 40 books since even though I still do intend to go back to it at some point.

I tend to read full series with no problems I actually prefer a longer story, Since I started A song of ice and fire I've flew the dresden files, Codex Alera, Changeling, The Dark Tower, Necroscope Series and a few others.

I still want to go back to it but I always find myself going for a fresh book instead.
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Old 02-19-2012, 11:53 PM   #53
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I've never been able to get through anything by Jane Austen.

I couldn't get through The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera either. I bought it because the title caught my attention, but I wish I hadn't.
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Old 02-19-2012, 11:54 PM   #54
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I've been a big Stephen King fan for a long time. But, I just couldn't get through Bag of Bones. At all. I just...couldn't get into it to save my life.
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Old 02-20-2012, 03:21 AM   #55
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Heh, reading this thread is like reading a list of some of my favourites. I loved Wuthering Heights, really liked Catcher in the Rye, loved War and Peace. The first 400 or so (lol) pages of War and Peace was a bit of a slog to get into so I can understand how people might give up, especially on the random essay parts (just skip them if you don't like them, they're not necessary), but after that and I got used to it I breezed through the last 800 or so.

I say it's all a matter of perspective. You may say "couldn't get through"; I say "partway through until I get back to it". Now those I have a few of... But I'm pretty optimistic and I hate leaving things unfinished for good, so it's a rare book that I'll completely give up on.

I can't think of any right now that I've completely given up on. I did put Ulysses down years ago, but I was determined to eventually come back to it, and now it's on my challenge list for this year, so wish me luck...
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Old 02-20-2012, 04:45 AM   #56
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A surprising one for me is Juliet, Naked by Nick Hornby.
I read all his other works and enjoyed them all. I just couldn't get into the story on this one.
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Old 02-20-2012, 05:54 AM   #57
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On a related topic, I recommended Nevil Shute's Trustee from the Tool-room to a friend and loaned her a copy. A week later she commented that the story seemed a bit slow to get going and that there was a lot of irrelevant stuff that didn't advance the plot any.

The book was sitting between us, so I picked it up and looked at where her bookmark was. She had only reached page 19 !

I told her she had about 300 pages to go, so there was plenty of time for things to pick up speed.
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Old 02-20-2012, 06:47 AM   #58
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Books You Couldn't Get Through
Quote:
Originally Posted by hard-boiled pat View Post
Post them here! Usually I finish every book I start, but sometimes it's so bad I can't do it. ....any others I should avoid?
It seems, to my probably jaundiced view, most of the new books offered free or for cents, to be honest.........
I mostly never even finish the blurb/precis - I find I know the basic plot .........

(But, of course, I make no judgement on any particular author's work.......)

Pro'bly my narrow horizons as to quality and originality - I mean, how many clone wizarding/Templar/cop with family-drugs-alchohol-money problems/vampire/ slasher etc... "original" works can there be in the fevered brains of new writers......

The perfect example - how many ancient codex/riddle versions exist of the awful Da Vinci coddle ?

Last edited by carpetmojo; 02-20-2012 at 06:51 AM.
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Old 02-20-2012, 06:58 AM   #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carpetmojo View Post
Books You Couldn't Get Through


It seems, to my probably jaundiced view, most of the new books offered free or for cents, to be honest.........
I mostly never even finish the blurb/precis - I find I know the basic plot .........

(But, of course, I make no judgement on any particular author's work.......)

Pro'bly my narrow horizons as to quality and originality - I mean, how many clone wizarding/Templar/cop with family-drugs-alchohol-money problems/vampire/ slasher etc... "original" works can there be in the fevered brains of new writers......

The perfect example - how many ancient codex/riddle versions exist of the awful Da Vinci coddle ?



thank you for reminding me... i couldn't get through Angels & Demons. it was so bad that i didn't even attempt the da vinci code.
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Old 02-20-2012, 11:16 AM   #60
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Originally Posted by Teknikal View Post
A song of ice and fire for me I liked the TV show and it made me curious about the books and bought all of them, I lost interest about halfway through the second (clash of kings) and have read probably at least 40 books since even though I still do intend to go back to it at some point.

I still want to go back to it but I always find myself going for a fresh book instead.
I would encourage you to finish Clash of Kings...the Arya Stark storyline and the introduction of the strange Jaqen H'ghar, and the climactic Battle of the Blackwater...will more than make up the novel's decidedly slower pace. ALso, I can't wait for you to get to the freakin' amazing Storm of Swords volume, which will kick ass. I promise you. Storm of Swords had so many WTF moments and just made me gasp in excitement throughout. I loved that book.
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