Books you never finished

A slow, analog alternative to the internet

Moderators: SecondTalon, Moderators General, Prelates

User avatar
elrunethe2nd
Posts: 12
Joined: Mon Mar 01, 2010 1:21 pm UTC

Re: Books you never finished

Postby elrunethe2nd » Mon Mar 01, 2010 1:30 pm UTC

Kewangji wrote:I never finished Cryptonomicon, because it felt like there was nothing happening and it's written in freaking present tense. I can't have that.

/agree.

Also, Great Expectations. I tried. I really did.

Robstickle
Posts: 326
Joined: Sat Nov 28, 2009 10:07 am UTC

Re: Books you never finished

Postby Robstickle » Tue Mar 02, 2010 1:35 am UTC

elrunethe2nd wrote:
Kewangji wrote:I never finished Cryptonomicon, because it felt like there was nothing happening and it's written in freaking present tense. I can't have that.

/agree.

Also, Great Expectations. I tried. I really did.


Yeh I read the first 50 pages or so for school (all I actually had to read) and I thought, you know what I am going to be an intellect and read a Charles Dickens book start to finish. I made it another 50 pages before giving up.

Czhorat
Posts: 365
Joined: Fri Aug 14, 2009 12:28 pm UTC

Re: Books you never finished

Postby Czhorat » Sat Mar 06, 2010 3:45 pm UTC

Every year or so I try to read Gravity's Rainbow. I never get very far.

shieldforyoureyes
Posts: 342
Joined: Sat Apr 19, 2008 9:00 am UTC
Contact:

Re: Books you never finished

Postby shieldforyoureyes » Sat Mar 06, 2010 6:57 pm UTC

I've only read the first four volumes of Dream of the Red Chamber. Never got the fifth volume.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dream_of_the_red_chamber

Orla
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2010 8:00 pm UTC
Location: Ireland

Re: Books you never finished

Postby Orla » Thu Mar 25, 2010 10:52 pm UTC

This is slightly odd but I read through all the Lord of the Rings books and loved them, but I have never read The Hobbit. I started about a year ago after realising I'd seemed to have missed out on a brilliant book, but I gave up almost immediately out of boredom. This was after I read LotR :?

Captain Kirk
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu Sep 17, 2009 10:30 pm UTC

Re: Books you never finished

Postby Captain Kirk » Sun Mar 28, 2010 9:42 pm UTC

The Sword of Shannara. I realized that it was essentially Lord of the Rings: Redux. It wasn't poorly written...just contrived.

Okapi
Posts: 53
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2008 8:37 pm UTC

Re: Books you never finished

Postby Okapi » Mon Mar 29, 2010 12:55 am UTC

elrunethe2nd wrote:
Kewangji wrote:I never finished Cryptonomicon, because it felt like there was nothing happening and it's written in freaking present tense. I can't have that.

/agree.

Also, Great Expectations. I tried. I really did.

Yeah, I thought Stephenson was a good author because I read Anathem, but then I tried reading the Baroque Cycle. He has really dry, difficulty writing style. Like Dickens. He takes about fifty ages to say one idea, then says it poorly.

User avatar
Dave_Wise
Posts: 698
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2010 7:59 pm UTC
Location: Wales. Explaining much.
Contact:

Re: Books you never finished

Postby Dave_Wise » Mon Mar 29, 2010 11:27 am UTC

The silmarillion. I just gave up. Sooner or later you realise there isn't going to be a main story, it's just going to go on and on like this for the rest of the book.
The future is always bright. Bombs generate quite substantial amounts of illumination
-a friend.

User avatar
TiLt
Posts: 19
Joined: Sat Jul 19, 2008 7:56 am UTC
Location: North of where all of the convicts got shipped to from Old England Town

Re: Books you never finished

Postby TiLt » Mon Apr 18, 2011 12:55 pm UTC

The Lab by Jack Heath. Recommended by a friend, but said friend also told me to avoid the rest of the series. Got about half way through it and lost interest, it just seemed to be action scene after action scene with little in between to hold up the plot.
Guns and Banjos, odd band.

User avatar
AvatarIII
Posts: 2098
Joined: Fri Apr 08, 2011 12:28 pm UTC
Location: W.Sussex, UK

Re: Books you never finished

Postby AvatarIII » Mon Apr 18, 2011 3:45 pm UTC

children of dune
i read dune and loved it, so went and bought all the Frank sequels, read messiah, which was not what i was expecting, but short, then children, and I just found myself getting more and more bored by the page, and then gave up about halfway though,

cv4
Posts: 138
Joined: Tue Jul 28, 2009 8:32 pm UTC

Re: Books you never finished

Postby cv4 » Tue Apr 19, 2011 3:55 am UTC

As someone else mentioned, I couldn't finish Cryptonomicon. I read like 300 pages and still just couldn't care, so I gave up. This isn't a knock on Stephenson either, as I love Anathem and Snow Crash.

User avatar
Nattlinnen
Posts: 54
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2011 8:31 am UTC

Re: Books you never finished

Postby Nattlinnen » Fri Apr 22, 2011 7:35 pm UTC

Something Happened - Joseph Heller. Wonderful book which I have never been able to finish due to lack of time/concentration. I love it though.

Woland
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Apr 21, 2011 10:18 pm UTC
Location: Ireland

Re: Books you never finished

Postby Woland » Sat Apr 23, 2011 10:02 pm UTC

I too have struggled with Dickens. I've read about half of a Tale of Two Cities, it was alright, occasionally funny but pretty dull. (I realise I just said Dickens was "alright" :P) Really, when there are so many excellent books I would like to read, why bother.

Same with At Swim-Two-Birds, I found the kind of basic story amusing, but all that piss-taking of irish nationalists went straight over my head. I mean, I was just wondering why Finn MacCool kept popping up, an uncle had to explain it was a parody of nationalist short stories. I just didn't get it and when something has to be explained to you it loses any impact. So I gave up on that too.

Persistence is for losers :)

User avatar
Rek
Posts: 130
Joined: Tue May 11, 2010 10:36 pm UTC
Location: Galactic Sector ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha

Re: Books you never finished

Postby Rek » Tue Jun 14, 2011 8:32 am UTC

Xenocide. I just don't care about anything in the book anymore.
Words Win Wars

delfts
Posts: 63
Joined: Thu Sep 09, 2010 10:43 pm UTC

Re: Books you never finished

Postby delfts » Wed Jun 22, 2011 10:56 pm UTC

I haven't read the Silmarillion. I guess I should try. I can't really think of books I haven't finished... I guess there was that one by H. G. Wells... Oh, what was it... The one about the scientist who created some concoction that could turn animals into giant creatures that ended up terrorizing the town. It was a good book, and I got 1/3-1/2 way through it, but I never finished it for some reason.

Also, I'm (jokingly) proud to say that I finished Atlas Shrugged.
My blog about a bunch of random ideas, which are pretty darn interesting.

User avatar
Thirty-one
Posts: 342
Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2010 1:13 pm UTC

Re: Books you never finished

Postby Thirty-one » Thu Jun 23, 2011 12:11 am UTC

"The Kindly Ones" is the only one I can think of. It wasn't that I wasn't enjoying it, but I was going away and my aunt wanted to borrow it. When she was
done with it I had sort of lost my momentum. I'll probably get back to reading it some day, when I'm ready to re-read the first 3-400 pages.

Books I came close to quitting on due to frustration would be Kafka's "The Trial" and Joseph Heller's "Catch-22".
The former for it's horrible style and lack of any progress* (I realize that that may be the whole point, but still). The other one had its most interesting bit
on the first dozens of pages and the stuff that came between that and the end never really made it feel worthwhile. Mostly finished it due to stubbornness
and being stuck somewhere with nothing better to do.


*Perhaps amusingly, I also spent a lot of waiting for the guy to become a bug, as I'd recently been told about that other book of his, without recalling the title of it when I was at the library, picking this one out. This added, very slightly though, to the annoyance. I don't blame Kafka for that bit though.
Annoyed, getting worked up or bored by the post above? Help is here.

User avatar
no-genius
Seemed like a good idea at the time
Posts: 4221
Joined: Wed May 17, 2006 6:32 pm UTC
Location: UK
Contact:

Re: Books you never finished

Postby no-genius » Thu Jun 23, 2011 5:07 pm UTC

cv4 wrote:As someone else mentioned, I couldn't finish Cryptonomicon. I read like 300 pages and still just couldn't care, so I gave up. This isn't a knock on Stephenson either, as I love Anathem and Snow Crash.


Have you read The Diamond Age? As someone who liked Cryptonomicon (and apparently past/present is a different component of tense than perfect/imperfect, from looking at a book on grammar), I think reading it first made me enjoy TDA more, what with the stuff about turing machines and mythology. I might try the Baroque Cycle at some point.

I finished the first Gormenghast book (took me about a year - reading other stuff as well), but I only got about half-way through the second one. I liked it, but it takes a lot of effort to read it. At this point (3 years later), I'll probably start over (from the first book) if I do read it again.

I didn't get very far into the Silmarillion, maybe only 20 pages (probably less).
I don't sing, I just shout. All. On. One. Note.
Official ironmen you are free, champions officially

The Mighty Thesaurus wrote:Why? It does nothing to address dance music's core problem: the fact that it sucks.

User avatar
Microscopic cog
in his catastrophic plan
Posts: 769
Joined: Thu Oct 07, 2010 12:09 pm UTC

Re: Books you never finished

Postby Microscopic cog » Thu Jun 23, 2011 8:22 pm UTC

La Nausea by Sartre. It's been lying on my desk for uuh.. almost 2 years now. Started reading it like 2-3 times, never got past page 70.
Spoiler:
Interviewer: Some people say they can’t understand your writing even after they read it two or three times. What approach would you suggest for them?

William Faulkner: Read it four times.

Ended
Posts: 1459
Joined: Fri Apr 20, 2007 3:27 pm UTC
Location: The Tower of Flints. (Also known as: England.)

Re: Books you never finished

Postby Ended » Thu Jun 23, 2011 9:19 pm UTC

Woland wrote:Same with At Swim-Two-Birds, I found the kind of basic story amusing, but all that piss-taking of irish nationalists went straight over my head. I mean, I was just wondering why Finn MacCool kept popping up, an uncle had to explain it was a parody of nationalist short stories. I just didn't get it and when something has to be explained to you it loses any impact. So I gave up on that too.

I also struggled with that one and didn't really enjoy it. But have you read The Third Policeman? Much more accessible and great fun (in fact one of my favourite novels).
Generally I try to make myself do things I instinctively avoid, in case they are awesome.
-dubsola

User avatar
blu
Posts: 144
Joined: Wed Jul 07, 2010 6:48 pm UTC

Re: Books you never finished

Postby blu » Tue Jun 28, 2011 11:01 am UTC

AvatarIII wrote:children of dune
i read dune and loved it, so went and bought all the Frank sequels, read messiah, which was not what i was expecting, but short, then children, and I just found myself getting more and more bored by the page, and then gave up about halfway though,
Did you read any of the other books though? Heretics of Dune is almost as good as the first one, imo.

Books I never finished:
Some high-school required reading, most were just too dull, but I may have been too young to appreciate a few. The unimaginative teacher I had probably didn't help.
I read the first LOTR book, plodded through the second, and skimmed most of the third. Like a surprising amount of people in here, I found them too dull. And no, I read them in my early teens, not after the movies came out.
There are likely some more I forgot.

Usually, I'll decide to pick up a book after I'm relatively sure I'll find something of interest in it, so my list is rather short. Guess I should be more adventurous in my reading.

User avatar
ShootTheChicken
Best. Cheerleader. Ever.
Posts: 433
Joined: Wed Feb 16, 2011 5:11 am UTC
Location: America's Hat

Re: Books you never finished

Postby ShootTheChicken » Tue Jun 28, 2011 7:05 pm UTC

Just going to put myself down as one who thoroughly enjoyed the LotR series.

I started reading the Bible 6 months ago and still pick it up to occasionally try to slog through it but it is really difficult and I don't know if I'll make it.

That, and the Count of Monte Cristo. I got within 50 pages of the end and didn't finish it. I tried to pick up where I'd left off a couple weeks ago but couldn't remember who any of the characters were - going to start from the beginning again soon.
SecondTalon wrote:the Hot Freshness of Wicked Classic.

Ross1
Posts: 11
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2011 12:24 pm UTC

Re: Books you never finished

Postby Ross1 » Thu Jun 30, 2011 1:05 am UTC

I have yet to finish GEB, for a number of reasons, mostly down to the book itself. I doubt im going to bother finishing it anytime soon.

User avatar
poxic
Eloquently Prismatic
Posts: 4756
Joined: Sat Jun 07, 2008 3:28 am UTC
Location: Left coast of Canada

Re: Books you never finished

Postby poxic » Thu Jun 30, 2011 1:28 am UTC

The last volume of Joseph Campbell's Masks of God series. The first three - Primitive Mythology, Oriental Mythology, and Occidental Mythology - were interesting. I was really looking forward to Creative Mythology, but I just couldn't finish it. I don't remember what it was that put me off, or if I even was particularly put off. I started it twice and never made it past halfway both times.
The Supreme Ethical Rule: Act so as to elicit the best in others and thereby in thyself.
- Felix Adler, professor, lecturer, and reformer (13 Aug 1851-1933)

User avatar
rolandoftheeld
Posts: 20
Joined: Wed Jul 08, 2009 4:43 am UTC
Location: Ohio, USA

Re: Books you never finished

Postby rolandoftheeld » Fri Jul 01, 2011 4:18 am UTC

Dune. I really, REALLY want to get into all the bits about sand worms and precognition and Sting's magical underwear, but the politics are SO dense. I've never made it more than 20 pages in.
The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.

User avatar
Strawberry Moon
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Jul 01, 2011 3:23 am UTC

Re: Books you never finished

Postby Strawberry Moon » Sat Jul 02, 2011 5:11 am UTC

Gosh, Heart of Darkness was left unfinished for me for the longest time until about 2 weeks ago I just went and plowed through it.

Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead... I've been on page 450 something for half of a year already, barely remember what was going on, and can't be bothered to find out the ending.

Chuck Palahniuk's Choke... I just never really got into it.

Neil Gaiman's American Gods. It was actually interesting but I got busy with and started reading other things. I plan to get back to it eventually.

User avatar
Venn
Posts: 18
Joined: Mon Sep 06, 2010 1:35 am UTC

Re: Books you never finished

Postby Venn » Sun Jul 03, 2011 6:46 am UTC

Oh, Dune. I regret to say that was one book I only got into when someone I was vaguely romantically interested in recommended it. Teenage hormones do things that teenage willpower can't.

I haven't finished The Picture of Dorian Gray. It was honestly depressingly dull for a good portion of it, so all I did was read the beginning exposition (to set up the Central Issue of the novel) and then skipped to the end (where Shit Got Real™ and scandals came to light). The middle portion is probably overdescriptive passages on the aesthetic movement. I feel quite guilty, though, because I'm one of those people that lectures others for watching movies before books and not proceeding through literature systematically (getting the full experience the author intended).

I don't remember if I've finished Oliver Twist so I assume that means I haven't. I read it years ago and ditched it for Jules Verne.

User avatar
Microscopic cog
in his catastrophic plan
Posts: 769
Joined: Thu Oct 07, 2010 12:09 pm UTC

Re: Books you never finished

Postby Microscopic cog » Sun Jul 03, 2011 1:25 pm UTC

The only portion of Dorian Gray that I skipped were the 10 pages about jewelery, fancy parties and perfume. :P
Spoiler:
Interviewer: Some people say they can’t understand your writing even after they read it two or three times. What approach would you suggest for them?

William Faulkner: Read it four times.

Arnvidr
Posts: 39
Joined: Sat Jun 18, 2011 1:17 pm UTC

Re: Books you never finished

Postby Arnvidr » Sun Jul 03, 2011 7:36 pm UTC

Could never finish Jostein Gaarder's I et speil, i en gåte (Through a Glass, Darkly). After the spectacular weirdness of Kabalmysteriet (The Solitaire Mystery) and the philosophy goodness of Sofies verden (Sophie's World), I couldn't take it. Too much for my little mind (I was 12 at the time). I don't have the book anymore, and have too much else to read to bother going back to try again. Might have to read the other two over again soon though, they're always good.

Windowlicker
Posts: 323
Joined: Wed Dec 23, 2009 6:57 pm UTC
Location: St Andrews, Scotland

Re: Books you never finished

Postby Windowlicker » Tue Jul 05, 2011 4:32 pm UTC

Ross1 wrote:I have yet to finish GEB, for a number of reasons, mostly down to the book itself. I doubt im going to bother finishing it anytime soon.

I haven't finished it either. I got about 75% through and suddenly lost all interest in what he was saying. Part II never really caught my attention. Though I guess it was recent enough that I could pick it up now and finish it without having to start at the beginning again.. I'll maybe look into that.

User avatar
The Moomin
Posts: 359
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2010 6:59 am UTC
Location: Yorkshire

Re: Books you never finished

Postby The Moomin » Sat Nov 12, 2011 11:10 pm UTC

The only two books I definitely stopped reading are The Screwtape Letters by C S Lewis and The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens. The Screwtape Letters I just couldn't care enough about to justify continuing to read it and with The Pickwick Papers I found Dickens' style of writing too laborious.

I also haven't even attempted to start reading my copy of Only Revolutions by Mark Danielewski. At the time, the novel idea of a book that you had to rotate to progress through it seemed appealing. Then there's House Of Leaves where he indulges in all manner of shenanigans with the text. After reading House, I concluded that he used these devices to distract from the fact that he couldn't produce anything worth reading. So Only Revolutions has now become a running joke between a friend and myself as to when we'll both start it from opposite ends of the book.
I'm alive because the cats are alive.
The cats are alive because I'm alive.
Specious.

User avatar
AvatarIII
Posts: 2098
Joined: Fri Apr 08, 2011 12:28 pm UTC
Location: W.Sussex, UK

Re: Books you never finished

Postby AvatarIII » Sun Nov 13, 2011 6:23 pm UTC

blu wrote:
AvatarIII wrote:children of dune
i read dune and loved it, so went and bought all the Frank sequels, read messiah, which was not what i was expecting, but short, then children, and I just found myself getting more and more bored by the page, and then gave up about halfway though,
Did you read any of the other books though? Heretics of Dune is almost as good as the first one, imo.


No, I never did, I kind of assumed you are supposed to read them in order.

Arnvidr
Posts: 39
Joined: Sat Jun 18, 2011 1:17 pm UTC

Re: Books you never finished

Postby Arnvidr » Tue Nov 15, 2011 10:22 am UTC

I thought House of Leaves was pretty interesting. Was a hassle to keep turning and spinning and whatnot though, since at the time I mostly read books on the bus to and from work.

mercutio_stencil
Posts: 293
Joined: Tue Feb 02, 2010 8:36 pm UTC

Re: Books you never finished

Postby mercutio_stencil » Tue Nov 15, 2011 10:58 pm UTC

Dave_Wise wrote:The silmarillion. I just gave up. Sooner or later you realise there isn't going to be a main story, it's just going to go on and on like this for the rest of the book.


Another vote for the Silmarillion. I don't really think anyone actually reads it.

I also gave up on Tender is the Night, by F. Scott Fitzgerald. I love Fitzgerald, but it's just so damn depressing. I lost my copy of the book about half way through, and haven't been in a rush to replace it.

I'll also confess to not finishing Gravity's Rainbow. I've tried a few times, but i swear it makes my physically ill.

Usually I'm damned stubborn when it comes to books; if I start it, I'm going to finish it.

Aiwendil
Posts: 314
Joined: Thu Apr 07, 2011 8:53 pm UTC
Contact:

Re: Books you never finished

Postby Aiwendil » Wed Nov 16, 2011 7:06 pm UTC

Another vote for the Silmarillion. I don't really think anyone actually reads it.


Shock! Outrage! Not only have I read it many times; I've read the twelve volume History of Middle-earth multiple times as well, and as a whole the Silmarillion-corpus is probably my favourite body of literature.

I usually force my way through books I've started even when they turn out to be quite bad, but one book I did give up on was Kim Stanley Robinson's Red Mars. It wasn't even that I thought the book particularly bad - but there was something about the switching among different characters' stories that I found very frustrating.

User avatar
fersrs
Posts: 197
Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2008 9:11 pm UTC

Re: Books you never finished

Postby fersrs » Tue Nov 22, 2011 7:07 pm UTC

The Once and Future King, but not because I didn't like it. It's comprised of shorter storylines, each progressively darker than the previous. It starts out pretty much like the Disney Sword In the Stone, but gets more Game of Thrones-y near the end. I didn't want to read about the fall of King Arthur after I'd grown so attached to him, so I stopped the story right after two characters mentioned taking him out.

Tofer
Posts: 60
Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2008 7:44 pm UTC

Re: Books you never finished

Postby Tofer » Tue Dec 06, 2011 7:48 pm UTC

I almost didn't finish A Confederacy of Dunces, but the sense that I had to be missing something forced me to keep trudging onward. I should have just gone with my instinct. I hated the book. I was more interested in the story of how it was published, to be honest. Too bad that "story" ended in the first few pages. I tend to keep every book I read, but this one ended up on a book shelf in some hostel in Germany. I couldn't be bothered to lug it around with me for the rest of my trip.

Generally, I'll read a book or two each week, so you would think there would be a huge list of books I've left unfinished. Not so. The list is exactly two books long (although the aforementioned A Confederacy of Dunces almost made it, as well as the awful Under the Dome by Stephen King). What can I say, I hate to waste money.

Anyway, I didn't finish The Echo Maker by Richard Powers (it wasn't horrifically bad, by any means, but I simply didn't have any interest in the main character or the dull descriptions of cranes and bird migration) and I was defeated by Infinite Jest David Foster Wallace. I won't deny that Wallace was likely a genius, but his writing style just didn't capture my attention or imagination. I gave up somewhere around 450 pages in purely because my mind started wandering constantly, and I couldn't even recall what I had read up to that point. I wouldn't completely rule out returning to it one day, but it doesn't seem likely. I read to feel entertained; being impressed just isn't enough for me.

User avatar
folkhero
Posts: 1775
Joined: Fri Aug 01, 2008 3:34 am UTC

Re: Books you never finished

Postby folkhero » Tue Dec 06, 2011 8:15 pm UTC

Invitation to a Beheading I find the idea pretty interesting, but a fiction book that has no narrative thrust just can't keep my attention.
To all law enforcement entities, this is not an admission of guilt...

User avatar
PAstrychef
for all intimate metaphysical encounters
Posts: 3069
Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2008 6:24 pm UTC

Re: Books you never finished

Postby PAstrychef » Wed Dec 07, 2011 2:51 pm UTC

I have stopped reading books that I knew were well written, but that just didn't grab my attention. Sometimes I can go back to them later and find them interesting.
Last edited by PAstrychef on Fri Dec 09, 2011 11:44 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
Don’t become a well-rounded person. Well rounded people are smooth and dull. Become a thoroughly spiky person. Grow spikes from every angle. Stick in their throats like a puffer fish.

exporito
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2011 5:43 pm UTC

Re: Books you never finished

Postby exporito » Wed Dec 07, 2011 6:15 pm UTC

"Closing Time" by Heller. Not as good as Catch-22 as for me. Can not stop comparing them
Last edited by exporito on Sat Dec 17, 2011 6:13 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

Gerardiebla
Posts: 12
Joined: Thu Nov 10, 2011 7:47 am UTC
Location: Sydney, Australia

Re: Books you never finished

Postby Gerardiebla » Fri Dec 09, 2011 4:26 am UTC

My first thought when I saw the title was that I had hardly any, but then I got to thinking and realised I have quite a list.

There are couple that I enjoyed but just got distracted from:
- A Clockwork Orange
- Foucault's Pendulum

and then others that I just didn't like very much:
- North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell (to be fair this one was prescribed by school)
- The Silmarillion, like a lot of others it seems I just got bored and put it down.

Anyway, I had more, but they've slipped my mind. Oh well.


Return to “Books”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests