Books you never finished

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Books you never finished

Postby semicolon » Thu Aug 02, 2007 5:19 am UTC

Do you all have books that you actually enjoyed but never ended up finishing?

I only have two:
A Confederacy of Dunces - Stopped halfway through. I suddenly lost interest in, well, basically everything. He was like fifteen paragraphs into talking about hot dogs when I suddenly decided I no longer gave a damn. The only other person I know who has read this didn't finish it either.
Mostly Harmless (I think? It was the 5th Hitchhiker's Guide book) - After reading the fourth one, which was pretty ehhhhnn, I didn't really have any steam left. I don't remember where I stopped. I don't even remember what was going on. I remember the part where
Marvin died and they saw God's final message to creation (though I don't remember what it was)
but other than that, everything after the second book sort of runs together. I read them too fast, I guess.

Edit: Okay, I just skimmed the HGttG Wikipedia article, and I remember everything a lot more clearly now (so disregard the part about them blurring together). And it turns out the part I spoilered happened in the fourth book. It also turns out that I got farther in the fifth book than I remember (and, hell, I might even have finished it! I'm not sure).
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Postby gmalivuk » Thu Aug 02, 2007 8:21 pm UTC

Andre Norton - Witch World
Joan Aiken - Midnight is a Place
Stephen King - Dolores Claiborne

Along with probably dozens of others. As I said in the disappointing books thread, I'm rarely disappointed by the end of a book, because if it's kept my interest long enough for me to finish it, it's probably pretty good. If not, I never get around to finishig it. But that doesn't mean all such books are bad, as in addition to the above three, there are quite a few others which I enjoyed but still never got around to finishing.
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Re: Books you never finished

Postby arbivark » Thu Aug 02, 2007 8:44 pm UTC

semicolon wrote:Do you all have books that you actually enjoyed but never ended up finishing?

I only have two:
A Confederacy of Dunces -

When i read the thread title, I tired to remember the name of Confederacy of Dunces but couldn't. I didn't enjoy it though - hated it.
I'd heard how great it was, bought it, terrible.

Another book I didn't finish was
Driven to Distraction" about adult ADD. I lost it before I finished it, which sort of proves the point.
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Postby The Sleeping Tyrant » Thu Aug 02, 2007 11:09 pm UTC

I have two that I couldn't finish. I, too, couldn't get through Mostly Harmless, because I tried to push through the entire series in a week.

I also couldn't finish the second A Prince of Nothing book. I loved the first, the second just bored me to tears.
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Postby Memo » Thu Aug 02, 2007 11:49 pm UTC

Crime and Punishment. I'm not sure if it was the spanish translation or something but I've never been able to finish the damn book. I stop before or a little after the crime. :?
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Postby joeframbach » Fri Aug 03, 2007 12:25 am UTC

Catch 22. I read about 80 pages, and when I realized it wasn't going anywhere, I put it down.
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Postby Koeppi » Fri Aug 03, 2007 3:23 am UTC

Never finished Hitchhiker either.
Finished Catch 22 some time ago, and I have to say, as a German who read it in English, it was one of the hardest to read books ever.

@ topic:
Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness (in English)
The Bible
Anything by Immanuel Kant
Insert quote from awesome scientist here.
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Postby evilbeanfiend » Fri Aug 03, 2007 8:46 am UTC

The History of the Peloponnesian War By Thucydides
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Postby Zohar » Fri Aug 03, 2007 11:51 am UTC

Didn't finish Crime and Punishment either (we had to study it in high school), also got stuck at the crime.

Only ones I can think of right now are Frankenstein and Gulliver's Travels. Old books can be difficult to read...
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Postby PatrickRsGhost » Fri Aug 03, 2007 8:21 pm UTC

Book I started, but never finished:

Lord Of The Rings :oops:

Yes, I'm a wuss. I never finished Lord Of The Rings. Started the first one, but quit after 10 pages.
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Postby semicolon » Fri Aug 03, 2007 8:50 pm UTC

PatrickRsGhost wrote:Lord Of The Rings :oops:

I never finished it either. No regrets, though. It was boring.
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Postby PatrickRsGhost » Fri Aug 03, 2007 11:10 pm UTC

semicolon wrote:
PatrickRsGhost wrote:Lord Of The Rings :oops:

I never finished it either. No regrets, though. It was boring.


True. I read "The Hobbit." Prequel to LOTR. That one read a lot better. What really turned me away from the trilogy was the very lengthy detail Gandalf seemed to go into about The Ring's history with Frodo, before he set off. I think the last thing I remember reading was about how Gollum was a Hobbit at one time, and he killed his brother or something over The Ring, and he ended up where he was when we first met him in "The Hobbit."
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Postby Narsil » Sat Aug 04, 2007 3:23 am UTC

It was actually a friend of Smeagol, but really it seemed closer to a gay lover.
That pert creeped me out, to say the least.
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Postby Zohar » Sat Aug 04, 2007 12:12 pm UTC

Also never finished LotR or Hobbit.
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Postby Arabella » Sat Aug 04, 2007 6:54 pm UTC

I haven't finished a million books. I start a lot. and read a lot. but the lot i start is more. Notably: Catch 22, Jude the Obscure, lots of science ones, mostly it's not because i don;t think i would like them if i finisehd them, usually it's because something easier and quicker came along or i got distracted. I liked bits of Catch 22 i just fuond it impossible to keep going because tehre didn't seem to be a plot to follow.
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Postby the Cow » Sat Aug 04, 2007 7:32 pm UTC

A Winter's Tale by Mark Halprin.

My best friend (Hammer) recommended it. I got about 50 pages in, but got distracted and never got back to it. I feel guilty about not really giving it a shot, when she loves it so much.
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Postby misskwiz » Sat Aug 04, 2007 7:56 pm UTC

joeframbach wrote:Catch 22. I read about 80 pages, and when I realized it wasn't going anywhere, I put it down.


God I love that book.

...Wait I haven't finished it either.

I also stopped on Mostly Harmless, Goblet of Fire, and uh, I still haven't read House of Leaves. Thats all I can think of at the moment.
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Postby Castaway » Sun Aug 05, 2007 2:23 am UTC

Koeppi wrote:Finished Catch 22 some time ago, and I have to say, as a German who read it in English, it was one of the hardest to read books ever.

I'd imagine so, because it's basically one long idiomatic play on words.

I never finished LotR (though I did finish The Hobbit)
I also never finished Don Quixote. That book was pretty fucking boring. I even got like 300 pages in, and just quit. I still haven't finished Dante's Inferno, but that was because school started just as I was reading it and I had other things I needed to do.
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Postby liza » Sun Aug 05, 2007 5:29 am UTC

Koeppi wrote:Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness (in English)

Oh goodness. I thought I would kill myself while reading that book. I ended up really liking it the second time through, though.

Little Women and Gone With the Wind are on my list. I intend to revisit Gone with the Wind at some point, but screw Little Women. I just didn't care.

I'm sure there are others, but these are the primary ones. I have a habit of picking up one book, getting halfway through it, picking up another book, reading a good bit of that one, and then finishing book number one. I imagine I've forgotten to pick the first book up again more than once.
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Postby b.i.o » Sun Aug 05, 2007 5:58 am UTC

Well, it took me three tries before I could read the Silmarillion. That was several years ago, I don't know if I could do it again.
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Postby dnel » Thu Aug 09, 2007 12:45 pm UTC

Anything by Will Self, I've tried 2 books so far and they both gave me headaches through his writing style, at least that's the only thing I can imagine causes it...
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Postby bbctol » Thu Aug 09, 2007 1:05 pm UTC

Shame on you who didn't finish LotR or Confederacy of Dunces or Catch-22. Those are fucking great books.

Books I haven't finished:
Beowulf -some random poet. I finished a crappy "reimagining", though, because it was required for school.
Snow Falling on Cedars -David Guterson. It sucked.
Of Mice and Men -John Steinbeck. I have no excuses.
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Postby Hammer » Thu Aug 09, 2007 2:20 pm UTC

Finnegan's Wake. I just couldn't get through the nacht-speak in the time allotted (a slow week at work). I intend to try again some day.
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Postby bookishbunny » Thu Aug 09, 2007 2:40 pm UTC

bbctol wrote:Beowulf -some random poet. I finished a crappy "reimagining", though, because it was required for school.
Snow Falling on Cedars -David Guterson. It sucked.
Of Mice and Men -John Steinbeck. I have no excuses.


Those are all very worthy reads. Someday, you'll probably go back and like them more. That's what I did with The Scarlet Letter and a bunch of others.

I never finished the second Harry Potter, therefore, I never finished the series. I'll get back to it someday...
Also, I never finished Uncle Tom's Cabin, but I want to.
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Postby bbctol » Thu Aug 09, 2007 2:42 pm UTC

bookishbunny wrote:Those are all very worthy reads.


*cough* Except Snow Falling on Cedars. Seriously, that was one of the worst books I've ever read. And Beowulf, flat translation, isn't really too "worthy"
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Postby bookishbunny » Thu Aug 09, 2007 2:46 pm UTC

bbctol wrote:
bookishbunny wrote:Those are all very worthy reads.


*cough* Except Snow Falling on Cedars. Seriously, that was one of the worst books I've ever read. And Beowulf, flat translation, isn't really too "worthy"


Well, I liked them. Beowulf is more fun in a class environment with a good teacher. What didn't you like about Snow Falling on Cedars?
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Postby bbctol » Thu Aug 09, 2007 2:53 pm UTC

Overly "This is a book about racism, so it's important", slow, not really very good writing, too simple. To name a few problems. My main problem was that throughout the book, you had a feel of "This book is important, so pay attention!"
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Postby Invisible_Insane » Thu Aug 09, 2007 2:56 pm UTC

bookishbunny wrote:[I never finished the second Harry Potter, therefore, I never finished the series. I'll get back to it someday...
Don't bother.

I started 'The Possessed' by Dostoevsky this summer, and just couldn't get through it for some reason. I was roughly 150 pages in. There's also some Faulkner I started last summer that I didn't make it through. I think school has a seriously detrimental effect on my ability to read for pleasure.
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Postby notyouravgjoel » Thu Aug 09, 2007 2:57 pm UTC

Silver2Falcon wrote:Well, it took me three tries before I could read the Silmarillion. That was several years ago, I don't know if I could do it again.


Try reading it again; I was the same way the first time I read it. Then, once I read it, I re-read LOTR and understood much more of the back stories, the surroundings, etc. After that, I reread Silmarillion, and it was very interesting, and now is one of my favorite books.

In my experience, the books that are most worth reading are those that force you to read them multiple times before really enjoying them.


On topic, I haven't finished The Life of Mahatma Gandhi. I picked it up at least three times and put it down later. The book is fascinating, until you get to the middle, where the author is telling you more of the same and stops providing the fascinating insights into Gandhi's mind. I will finish it someday, but I doubt I will relish it.
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Postby bookishbunny » Thu Aug 09, 2007 3:02 pm UTC

bbctol wrote:Overly "This is a book about racism, so it's important", slow, not really very good writing, too simple. To name a few problems. My main problem was that throughout the book, you had a feel of "This book is important, so pay attention!"


I didn't get that "important" feel from it, but I read it when it first came out, so there was none of that aura about it.
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Postby gmalivuk » Thu Aug 09, 2007 3:19 pm UTC

Others that I've remembered more recently:

The Mists of Avalon - depressing as hell, so I decided to stop about halfway through.
Heart of Darkness - dunno why, but I just lost interest and picked up something else
Gulliver's Travels - I only read the first part, and never got around to the rest.
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Postby Malice » Thu Aug 09, 2007 10:42 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:Heart of Darkness - dunno why, but I just lost interest and picked up something else


Try again. That book gets progressively more awesome as it goes.
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Postby roxormancer » Thu Aug 09, 2007 11:08 pm UTC

PatrickRsGhost wrote:Book I started, but never finished:

Lord Of The Rings :oops:

Yes, I'm a wuss. I never finished Lord Of The Rings. Started the first one, but quit after 10 pages.


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Postby German Sausage » Fri Aug 10, 2007 9:04 am UTC

ok...
LotR - i was reading it on a holiday, and got home before i finished it. i was about thirty pages into the return of the king, and i really don't understand what all the fuss is about.
The Malayan Trilogy by Anthony Burgess - i got a few hundred pages in and got distracted. but i would like to finish it at some stage
The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco - much the same
Seeing by Jose Saramago - I really liked most of the characters, and the idea was a good one, but it seemed like a set of short stories linked by the characters i didn't like.
Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak - meh. but apparently its good.

and thats not even counting the books for school i never read - why do they insist on giving insufferably bad 'young adult fiction' to early high school students? honestly, there is neither a time nor a place for Catherine Jinks.
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Postby PyroMyrmidon » Sun Aug 12, 2007 5:02 am UTC

Heart of Darkness, which is a shame, because it's incredibly short.
I... I don't exactly have the best attention span.
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Postby Malice » Sun Aug 12, 2007 6:55 am UTC

German Sausage wrote:Seeing by Jose Saramago - I really liked most of the characters, and the idea was a good one, but it seemed like a set of short stories linked by the characters i didn't like.


Did you read Blindness, first? Because it's the sequel.

Blindness, by the way, is the ultra-award-winning one. It's also excellent, and has a much more linear structure (and has likeable characters, but that's just me). So if you haven't read it, try it.
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Postby Sandry » Mon Aug 13, 2007 5:18 am UTC

Heh, there are several, I'm sure, not always for good reaons... I still haven't finished Sewer, Gas and Electric by Matt Ruff, even though I was immensely enjoying it, because I got scared.

But the one that pops to mind, just because of how soon it came, is Italo Calvino - If on a Winter's Night a Traveler. The very first page of the book asks you to get all relaxed and prepared and to treat the book with respect and make sure you're not going to fall asleep or be interrupted to give proper credence to the story, or some such. Now, usually I do read books through all in a go nonstop, but once it was requested of me, I decided it was unlikely.

I really have to read that thing some day. /:
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Postby Narsil » Mon Aug 13, 2007 4:53 pm UTC

Johnathan Strange and Mr. Norrel

Quit 50 pages in.

To be fair, this was towards the end of my "peak reading season" and I read this right after tackling the 1000 page behemoth that is Count of Monte Cristo. Bad choice. I've had a summer to cool down since then and read easier books, so once school starts up and I get back into my days of knocking out 500 page novels in one day, I'll pick it up again.
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Postby ArchangelShrike » Mon Aug 13, 2007 7:59 pm UTC

War and Peace (or vice versa) and Silmarillion. Two I remember not finishing.

Some translations, such as Odyssey where I bought the book just to complete the collection and tried to read it again, yet got bogged down/ran out of time.
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Postby Malice » Mon Aug 13, 2007 9:51 pm UTC

Narsil wrote:Johnathan Strange and Mr. Norrel
I'll pick it up again.


Good. It's one of the best fantasy novels of, I dunno, let's say the decade.
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