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Old Today, 09:36 AM   #1
poohbear_nc
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Books You Finally Got Around to Reading - And Wish You Hadn't

I am an enthusiastic reader of 18th, 19th, and 20th century novels. I tend to re-read novels that I enjoyed, and thus skip other titles written by my favorite authors. Thus, I occasionally will select a random unread title by a favorite author to see if I've been missing anything. Or to discover a new favorite novel. It's a hit-or-miss experience, and some of the misses have been memorable.

My latest miss is Anthony Trollope - He Knew He Was Right. It literally took me months to slog through it (over 100 chapters). A preposterous plot populated with improbable characters, with 3 equally inane subplots. Finishing it became a sort of personal endurance goal for me ... whew!

So, what books have you struggled to finish, only to rue the loss of time and brain cells you expended to reach "The End"?
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Old Today, 10:20 AM   #2
pwalker8
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Certainly, there are quite a few books that I slogged through thinking "it has to get better", but usually they are books that were recommended to me rather than books by favorite authors that weren't very good.

One that might fall into your group was the follow up books to the movie Willow. I loved that movie. George Lucus hired a writer named Chris Claremont to write a follow up novel. Claremont was best know for his work in comics, but he wrote a space opera series called First Flight, which I though was pretty good. I slugged my way through Shadow Moon, the first of the follow up novels, and somehow got through it. Never bothered reading the other two.
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Old Today, 10:55 AM   #3
issybird
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poohbear_nc View Post
My latest miss is Anthony Trollope - He Knew He Was Right. It literally took me months to slog through it (over 100 chapters). A preposterous plot populated with improbable characters, with 3 equally inane subplots. Finishing it became a sort of personal endurance goal for me ... whew!
Say it ain't so! I've been rereading Trollope and have worked my way through the Parliamentary novels and have two of the Barsetshire novels left to go, and I was saving He Knew He Was Right for a treat when I'm done. It's the favorite Trollope of a Goodreads friend.

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Originally Posted by pwalker8 View Post
Certainly, there are quite a few books that I slogged through thinking "it has to get better", but usually they are books that were recommended to me rather than books by favorite authors that weren't very good.
Yup, this is the kind of book that occurs to me off the top of my head. Two loathsome examples are the Ice and Fire books and the Dragon Tattoo books (the ones written by Larsson). Why I finished them I'll never know; momentum, mostly. I'll certainly never pick up another in either series (assuming GRRM ever writes one).

As to the original question, I'll have to think some more. Mostly I bail when I don't like a book and I'm the more likely to bail the longer it is. Little Dorrit is a fairly recent example; I had high hopes as I had just read Barnaby Rudge and was enthralled, and no one likes Barnaby Rudge! Still, I recognize the emotion, that of a forced march to get through a book out of a combination of pride and a sense, mostly a wish, that there's more there than is readily apparent, and an unwillingness to acknowledge time already wasted.
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