The Books I Never Finished

This is a list of books I attempted to read but never finished, for varying reasons which I will shortly explain after each entry. Because I never read them completely (thus not taking in all the plot lines, details and ideas) I will not write a full review. There are some however that I want to have another crack at (an * will indicate which ones I’m going to attempt again).

  • Frankenstein – Mary Shelly* Tried to read this in high school. Found the writing too flowery and the story too slow. Will attempt again some day.
  • Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte* I actually tried to read this when I was 10 or 11. Not a good idea, I couldn’t understand a thing. Now being grown up (supposedly), I would like to try again.
  • The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – C S Lewis Even as a child I didn’t really buy into thinly veiled religious propaganda. Plus, talking badgers are lame.
  • Emma – Jane Austen* I was forced to read this in high school. Though I hated it at the time, this may be due to being forced. Will try again.
  • The Eye of the World (Wheel of Time series) – Robert Jordan Irritating female characters, crap bad guys and overly detailed to the point of wanting to tear my eyes out. I put it down within 50 pages and it contributed to turning me away from the fantasy genre for a long time.
  • The Ring of Five Dragons – Eric Van Lustbader Though this was well written, I couldn’t help but feel irritated when a female character didn’t address the ramifications of being raped during the first chapter till two thirds into the book. Also, a mother popped her tit into her sons mouth as a way of showing grief. No, put it down two thirds into the first book in the series.
  • Across The Nightingale Floor – Lian Hearn Good book, couldn’t feel an emotional connection with the characters and as such wasn’t interested in reading the rest of the series.
  • Legend of the Five Rings: Clan War – multiple authors (the scorpion, unicorn) see above
  • Deltora Quest Series 3 – Emily Rodda Though I loved Deltora Quest Series 1, I struggled through series 2 and it was quite obvious within a page of series 3 that Emily was doing it for the money, not the love.
  • The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown I had a crack, but it was very unimpressive.
  • The History of Sexuality Volume 1 – Michel Foucault The language in this book was so confusing that I could not understand what he was saying, let alone his actual points. This may be due to bad translation (it was originally written in French), but Penguin should be slapped for adding it to their Popular Penguins release.
  • Demons – Fyodor Dostoyevsky (also known as ‘The Possessed’ and ‘The Devils’)* When I read the blurb containing the words ‘russian terrorist cell’ I was expecting something more akin to a thriller, not a Russian political Pride and Prejudice. However, I may return to this in future – it seemed interesting, though long-winded.
  • The Age of Reason – Jean Paul Sartre I really loved Sartre’s crazy descriptions, but every single one of his characters was so god damn emo – each one hated themselves, everyone else and the world. It got old very fast. I’m starting to become suspicious of french literature.
  • The Nipper – Charlie Mitchell It’s basically a poorly written example of the tragedy porn genre, about some kid being abused by his alcoholic father. It was a recommendation from a person in real life, which leads me to be also suspicious of recommendations by people who don’t read.
  • Torments of the Traitor – Ian Irvine After reading and reviewing the and series’ of this story, I just couldn’t make it through this one. Irvine’s writing skills are actually regressing, instead of improving. I’ve always clung to him, because he does have an original way of thinking, but unfortunately he is undisciplined and I can’t excuse it anymore.
  • Eating Animals – Jonathon Safran Foer There was some beautiful prose in this book – but it is just too pretentious and self-aware to be taken seriously. I really don’t trust any of his opinions on nutrition at all. I think I would have pushed on just for the prose and interesting stories,  if I had bought the book, but it was overdue back at the library also.

Please feel free to abuse me, I’m sure many people would find some of the books on the list blasphemous to put down. The purpose of this is to find out whether I was really wrong and should bother dedicating my time to them again. I dislike giving up on books.

6 Responses to The Books I Never Finished

  1. James says:

    I can see what you mean about “Frankenstein”; I had to read it in school too. But I actually quite liked it; yes it was a little slow but I really liked how it was written.

    But like so many slow “well written” books, I don’t think I could read it again.

    I’m shocked that “Moby Dick” and “The Da Vinci Code” aren’t on the list; I couldn’t make it past the third chapter of either of them…

  2. goldnsilver says:

    Haha, I forgot about the Da Vinci Code. I actually tried to read that but stopped from lack of interest!

    I will give Frankenstein another shot soon – as I think immaturity contributed to me not finishing it at the time. And I do agree about not reading ‘well written’ books again – there are some classics which I thoroughly enjoyed but also felt that once was enough.

  3. Pingback: you can never be too suspicious of the french and their literature « meditations in an emergency

  4. Anita says:

    Hi there,
    Interesting list, some i’ve never heard others I’ve read and thoroughly enjoyed. My reading thorn is The lord of the Rings trilogy. I know I should but I just cant get further than a few pages. Mind you may be inspired to try again, who knows.

  5. Roger Reed says:

    I just stumbled onto your blog, so forgive my replying to years-old posts. Your omnivorousness is inspiring and daunting; you should never feel bad about not finishing something. Way better than not starting something! There is too much to read in one lifetime, so you have to give yourself some slack. I appreciate your reviews as I can’t read but a small fraction of what I’d like to. I find that books-on-tape while driving is a good way to take in the ones I’m not sure I can invest in reading. Thanks again.

  6. jerson says:

    Jesús amor chuch

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