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      CommentAuthormuse hick
    • CommentTimeMar 4th 2008
     (1263.1)
    For me it is Jane Austen -- I hate Pride and Prejudice and thinking as a "gothic" novel Northanger Abbey might be better I found I hated that too and cannot get through the bloody thing. I can read sentences five times and they just don't hook me at all.

    I have heard that Ayn Rand has a similar effect on some people. And if I say that my favourite thing about Dean Koontz was him getting run over in that great Family Guy episode then you get what I'm saying.

    So what books can't you even get through?
  1.  (1263.2)
    The Trial, although I love it (and Kafka), I swear there's some divine power stopping me from finishing it. I'll get so far, and then won't be able to read for a long while, and by the time I come back to it, I want to re-read the whole thing. That's happened about 3 times, no joke.
  2.  (1263.3)
    flowers for algernon. it made me miserable, being forced to read it as a "gifted" child who was forced to go to a different class for hours at a time away from all of my peers. did the accelerated teacher not grasp the irony that a fourth/fifth grader did about the situation?????
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      CommentAuthorliquidcow
    • CommentTimeMar 4th 2008
     (1263.4)
    I also failed to get to the end of The Trial, partly because (if I remember correctly) he either doesn't use quote marks for people speaking, or doesn't start a new line, or both.

    I started reading The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman, got about halfway, took a break because it was so difficult, came back to it, and gave up. Anyone who's attempted it will surely know what I mean. It is written in such a strange style, and such old language, that it is near impenetrable. It's also about 600 pages long. I kept checking chapter summaries on cliffnotes or some similar site to see if I was understanding it, and I frequently found that I wasn't.
  3.  (1263.5)
    Adam Roberts - Stone. I've read a few hard sci-fi and even enjoyed another of his novels (The Snow), but I could never get very far into this. No idea why and now my copy seems to have vanished...
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      CommentAuthorAdlai
    • CommentTimeMar 4th 2008
     (1263.6)
    I'm with you musehick, I despise Jane Austen. I had to read Emma for A-level and it was the worst thing I've had to encounter. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne is also up there.
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      CommentAuthorWaxPoetic
    • CommentTimeMar 4th 2008
     (1263.7)
    only book i decided not to finish ever was confederacy of dunces. yeesh.

    oh - well, there was that one by fitzgerald - not gatsby, some other one that made me hate all psychotherapists with every marxist bone in my body (before i gave all that up to be poet)

    and if i'd had the option (if it hadn't been for class) i would not have read The Jungle. social awareness can kiss my ass, Sinclair writes like an idiot writing for morons.
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      CommentAuthorJay Kay
    • CommentTimeMar 4th 2008
     (1263.8)
    I have heard that Ayn Rand has a similar effect on some people.


    I think her biggest problem was that she could get really long-winded. She's a pretty good writer and pulls you into a story, but I still don't see why John Galt needed to monologue for EIGHTY FUCKING PAGES. I'd recommend my personal favorite of hers, Anthem. It's a lot shorter (considered a novella) and has an interesting voice for most of the piece.

    For me, I couldn't get through Kafka's The Transformation. It might be because the teacher who assigned it to me thought I was wierd and said that I would love it because it was wierd. Well, fuck that, it's slow as hell and nothing really happened.

    This one might cause some to take out the pitchforks and torches, but...The Lord of the Rings. I'm not sure if this counts since I did eventually read all of them, but it was mostly because I'm a stubborn bastard. Fellowship espicially annoyed me with most of it being the Hobbits with Tom fucking Bombardi. By about the 13534957395th time that fucker sang I threw the book out the window, screaming that Tom Bombardi should be drawn and quartered and they should tell me what the fuck happened to Gandalf.
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      CommentAuthorliquidcow
    • CommentTimeMar 4th 2008
     (1263.9)
    I was once very ill in hospital for about six months. Various people gave me presents, obviously realising that I would be in hospital for some time and might like some entertainment, which is all very thoughtful and good. However, my uncle for some reason decided to give me Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson, a big hard-sci-fi novel detailing the complex scientific and social aspects of what might realistically happen if we decided to colonise Mars. Funnily enough, I never read it.
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      CommentAuthorGreg SBB!
    • CommentTimeMar 4th 2008
     (1263.10)
    I've got midway through On The Road three times...
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      CommentAuthorDaveNant
    • CommentTimeMar 4th 2008
     (1263.11)
    School ruined Jane Austen for me, but then I re-read Pride & Prejudice in my 20s and now it is one of my top 5. Most uncool, clearly. But school did that with literature for me. Trying to rationalise Catch 22 for instance... fucksake.

    Anyway, I can't entertain the notion of reading anything by Dan Brown.
    • CommentAuthorDracko
    • CommentTimeMar 4th 2008
     (1263.12)
    I'm having a time out until I can learn some manners.
    Kenji Siratori's <em>Blood Electric</em> is utterly unreadable, and I do mean that literally.
  4.  (1263.13)
    It took me ages to get to the end of Catcher in the Rye....mainly because it just really bored me.

    Ive re-read it a few times now...and still can not see what everyone sees in it. Its a boring story told in a annoying way.
    • CommentAuthorDracko
    • CommentTimeMar 4th 2008 edited
     (1263.14)
    I'm having a time out until I can learn some manners.
    Oh God, Ayn Rand.

    I was made to read both <em>The Fountainhead</em> and <em>Atlas Shrugged</em> on a dare and promptly proceeded to burn both of them after having done so.

    I wouldn't wish them on the worst Stalinist.
    • CommentAuthorpi8you
    • CommentTimeMar 4th 2008
     (1263.15)
    Rachel Carson's Silent Spring - One of the few books I've ever not finished and the only one I refuse to touch again, chapter after chapter after chapter of Man does X to environment, animal Y dies in horridly large numbers, not even Al Gore's intro is near enough to save it.

    I've also never made it through my copy of The Illiad, though I attribute that more to the fact that its a prose edition rather than something more sensible, and my interest in Greek Mythology peaked back in elementary school so I haven't revisited it in quite a while.
  5.  (1263.16)
    The Dune Prequels by Brian Herbert and Kevin Anderson.

    I actually threw the one I was reading out the window of my college classroom in the middle of a snowstorm.

    It needed to go.
    • CommentAuthorScottS
    • CommentTimeMar 4th 2008
     (1263.17)
    Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell . I got about 200 pages into it, but it's like pulling teeth and I eventually just gave up.

    And I will probably be lynched for saying this, but Kavalier & Clay is another one that I just cannot get into.
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      CommentAuthorTed
    • CommentTimeMar 4th 2008
     (1263.18)
    Gormenghast; like Mr Duffield, it's not so much that I hated it as got interrupted a couple of times, and have never finished it.

    I ought to pick it up again one of these years.
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      CommentAuthorbschory
    • CommentTimeMar 4th 2008 edited
     (1263.19)
    The only book I ever couldn't bring myself to finish reading: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte... it's been so many years I can't remember what about it in particular made me hate it so. What I do recall is that a teacher said to me once that you should stick through the first about 50 pages of any book, and by then you can usually tell how the book is going to be. I got to page 51, dropped the book, went out a bought the Sparknotes (I was reading it for a class), and have never looked back.

    I actually made it through the Scarlet Letter, but it was the only book I ever through across the room in disgust after finishing.

    As to Ayn Rand, well, I'll keep my opinions about her "philosophy" mostly to myself. I have to give her one thing, she's consistent in her beliefs. Otherwise, whenever I tell someone I have a libertarian leaning, I have to make sure to add "and not in the Ayn Rand libertarian sense". I had to read Anthem for a class. It was short, relatively engaging, somewhat interesting, and fairly well written. I can't say I loved it or hated it. Atlas Shrugged on the other hand, *shudders*, well, my good friend and her sister had it right when, once the finished it, they used it to start a bonfire and roast marshmallows.
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      CommentAuthorcurb
    • CommentTimeMar 4th 2008
     (1263.20)
    I started reading The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman, got about halfway, took a break because it was so difficult, came back to it, and gave up. Anyone who's attempted it will surely know what I mean. It is written in such a strange style, and such old language, that it is near impenetrable. It's also about 600 pages long. I kept checking chapter summaries on cliffnotes or some similar site to see if I was understanding it, and I frequently found that I wasn't.


    I'm hearing that. For every tangent or preamble I enjoyed, there was another one that left me scratching my head. I might try just dipping in to random sections of text and seeing if it improves any.