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Fastest You Ever Gave Up On A Book

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Fastest You Ever Gave Up On A Book

Old 01-03-14, 12:04 PM
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Re: Fastest You Ever Gave Up On A Book

I gave up on American Gods as well. I tried for about 15% of the book before dumping it. It's unlikely I'll try it again.
Old 01-03-14, 02:39 PM
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Re: Fastest You Ever Gave Up On A Book

The fastest I've ever quit a book was probably Thomas Harris's Manhunter. I had seen the movie first and figured the book would be even better, as is usually the case. The dialog was terribly written and just unrealistic as to how people would speak to one another. Example: In describing how much she loved living in the Florida Keys, Will Graham's wife says to him something to the effect of, "I dread the possibility of ever leaving. It's keen and sweet here." I bailed shortly after reading that. Good, smart and realistic dialog is a must for me to enjoy a book even if the plot is interesting.
Old 01-03-14, 07:42 PM
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Re: Fastest You Ever Gave Up On A Book

I made it through American Gods; thought the book was decent but didn't get all of the praise it received. Seemed like Gaiman mined the same territory with Sandman, and did it better the first time.

I did give up halfway through the sequel, Anansi Boys, though. I found that book frightfully interesting.
Old 01-03-14, 09:05 PM
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Re: Fastest You Ever Gave Up On A Book

Originally Posted by DVD Polizei
WWZ by Max Brooks. I read the intro on Amazon and got bored on the first few pages. I'll be giving it another try.
Think of it as a documentary or non-fiction/history. It is awkward at first, but well worth it once you pick up on the flow.
Old 01-04-14, 07:33 AM
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Re: Fastest You Ever Gave Up On A Book

I only made it a couple chapters into American Gods as well. His newest just won a few awards, so perhaps his prose has improved.
Old 01-08-14, 03:38 PM
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Re: Fastest You Ever Gave Up On A Book

I made it two pages into a translation of Seven Against Thebes. I hit three words I didn't know in the first two pages, and since I have a large vocabulary, I decided that the translator was doing it on purpose.
Old 01-08-14, 03:48 PM
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Re: Fastest You Ever Gave Up On A Book

Just started Neil Stephenson's 'Anathem' and for a 900 pager I may give it a couple hundred pages before I bail (unless it hooks me somehow - which it has yet to do after 75 pages)
Old 01-08-14, 04:10 PM
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Re: Fastest You Ever Gave Up On A Book

Dune, maybe 3 chapters in...
Old 01-19-14, 05:09 PM
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Re: Fastest You Ever Gave Up On A Book

Originally Posted by Groucho
My reaction to "Finnegan's Wake":

Snap, for Ulysses and Kerouac's Dr. Sax.
Old 02-03-14, 07:49 PM
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Re: Fastest You Ever Gave Up On A Book

Originally Posted by Pointyskull
Just started Neil Stephenson's 'Anathem' and for a 900 pager I may give it a couple hundred pages before I bail (unless it hooks me somehow - which it has yet to do after 75 pages)
I've got bad news for you: you need to read that book at least twice to get it. The good news: it may be my favorite book of all time.

"The God of Small Things": so fucking pretentious. So fucking sophomoric. So fucking judgmental. So fucking irritating. I have no idea why this book was praised. I suspect because of some sort of ill-considered political correctness. I gave up quickly. Note that nothing else Roy has ever written has been praised. I have no idea why critics liked this one.

I had a similar reaction to "Their Eyes were Watching God" although I was forced to soldier through as I was reading it in school. There's so much good black literature out there and this is the book that schools seem to have latched on to. This book is simply bad. Try "Invisible Man". That's a masterpiece.
Old 02-09-14, 09:11 AM
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Re: Fastest You Ever Gave Up On A Book

Originally Posted by Hiro11
I had a similar reaction to "Their Eyes were Watching God" although I was forced to soldier through as I was reading it in school. There's so much good black literature out there and this is the book that schools seem to have latched on to. This book is simply bad. Try "Invisible Man". That's a masterpiece.
I haven't read either one, so I can't speak to the facts. The cynic in me recalls Nichelle Nichols comment about her role on Star Trek: They took the token Black and the token woman and consolidated them into the same character. Is the rest of the high school reading list dead white men?

Last edited by Nick Danger; 02-09-14 at 09:23 AM.
Old 02-16-14, 06:17 AM
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Re: Fastest You Ever Gave Up On A Book

I've been strugging with Kate Atkinson's Life After Life. It's gotten a lot of good reviews, many top 10 lists for 2013, and I've been kicking it around for about a month and am not 100 pages or so in. I wanted to read it because of the reviews, but it doesn't seem to be my type of book, and I just end up rereading lines, and I still have no idea who the characters are. I might go back to it eventually, but for now, I think that it is a lost cause.
Old 02-16-14, 09:28 AM
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Re: Fastest You Ever Gave Up On A Book

Originally Posted by Norm de Plume
Yeah, I basically had the same reaction to "A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man". I saw the gibberish on page 1 and decided I wasn't going to waste my time.
That's probably my 3rd or 4th favorite novel of all time. Give it another chance. It's absolutely magnificent.
Old 02-20-14, 12:55 AM
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Re: Fastest You Ever Gave Up On A Book

Originally Posted by Hokeyboy
That's probably my 3rd or 4th favorite novel of all time. Give it another chance. It's absolutely magnificent.
I'll consider it. Maybe I gave up too soon, but I have little patience for what seems like insufferably twee prose. It's up at the cottage, so it'll have to wait a couple more months at least.
Old 02-20-14, 12:16 PM
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Re: Fastest You Ever Gave Up On A Book

Methinks you shouldn't complain about "twee prose" if you have a "cottage"
Old 02-20-14, 02:55 PM
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Re: Fastest You Ever Gave Up On A Book

A cottage here is not twee in the sense of a British cottage. It's a cabin on a lake; a summer paradise of swimming, boating, reading, relaxing, renovating, guilty pleasures. Really down-to-earth, back-to-nature stuff. Besides, it's not mine, it's my parents'. I've spent summers there my entire life.
But I promise I will give "Portrait of an Artist..." another look. Maybe I'll only make it through 10 pages this time before slamming it shut, or maybe I will have started to enjoy it by that point.
Old 02-20-14, 07:51 PM
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Re: Fastest You Ever Gave Up On A Book

Originally Posted by Norm de Plume
I'll consider it. Maybe I gave up too soon, but I have little patience for what seems like insufferably twee prose. It's up at the cottage, so it'll have to wait a couple more months at least.
To the chagrin of my students, I teach it from time to time. It's gorgeously written, but as soon as they discover that it's plot-less, they go into "Why are we reading this??" mode. Probably my least favorite work in our AP Lit. curriculum.
Old 02-20-14, 09:34 PM
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Re: Fastest You Ever Gave Up On A Book

Originally Posted by TimeandTide
To the chagrin of my students, I teach it from time to time. It's gorgeously written, but as soon as they discover that it's plot-less, they go into "Why are we reading this??" mode. Probably my least favorite work in our AP Lit. curriculum.
Plotless is a problem for me, but I also like to read English. The only book with a (partially) nonsensical, fabricated language that I have actually liked was A Clockwork Orange (infinitely superior to the movie, imo).
Old 02-21-14, 12:45 AM
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Re: Fastest You Ever Gave Up On A Book

I've given up for the fourth time now on The Turn Of The Screw.

Book starts with these people who like to tell ghost stories. One of them says he has the best ghost story of all. He dosen't remember it word for word, but he's got it written down back at his house. Let him send someone to go to his house and get the story, then he'll read it to everyone. Everyone says Ok, they send someone to his house... Holy shit, why is there page after page of this? Start the fucking story when he gets the damn manuscript.
Old 02-21-14, 08:49 AM
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Re: Fastest You Ever Gave Up On A Book

Originally Posted by Hiro11
I've got bad news for you: you need to read that book at least twice to get it. The good news: it may be my favorite book of all time.

"The God of Small Things": so fucking pretentious. So fucking sophomoric. So fucking judgmental. So fucking irritating. I have no idea why this book was praised. I suspect because of some sort of ill-considered political correctness. I gave up quickly. Note that nothing else Roy has ever written has been praised. I have no idea why critics liked this one.

I had a similar reaction to "Their Eyes were Watching God" although I was forced to soldier through as I was reading it in school. There's so much good black literature out there and this is the book that schools seem to have latched on to. This book is simply bad. Try "Invisible Man". That's a masterpiece.

Fuck fuck fuck fuck
Old 02-27-14, 11:54 AM
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Re: Fastest You Ever Gave Up On A Book

The Sound and the Fury. Tough read, really tough. I cut my losses early and moved on.
Old 02-27-14, 04:43 PM
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Re: Fastest You Ever Gave Up On A Book

Originally Posted by covenant
The Sound and the Fury. Tough read, really tough. I cut my losses early and moved on.
And another one that I teach. Most challenging book I've ever read. Didn't love it, but thrilled that I made it through and "got" it.
Old 02-28-14, 07:54 AM
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Re: Fastest You Ever Gave Up On A Book

I've quit a few books pretty early on, but the first Dragonriders of Pern book sticks out. It was right up my fantasy nerd alley but I couldn't get further than the first 2 or 3 chapters. I tried it again and got no farther. I don't know how you make a book about riding dragons boring as fuck, but mission accomplished on that one.
Old 02-28-14, 08:46 PM
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Re: Fastest You Ever Gave Up On A Book

Originally Posted by covenant
The Sound and the Fury. Tough read, really tough. I cut my losses early and moved on.
About 30 pages. As soon as I realized that the time and place would change in the middle of a thought, I was out.

I started Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man when I was in my 30s. I got halfway though it before I just got bored. The lack of plot (and narrative drive) is why I also gave up in the middle of Defoe's Journal of the Plague Year.

As for elaborate prose, you've got me wondering if I would still have the patience for some of the ornate books that I enjoyed in my teens and twenties, like The Worm Ouroboros and Gormenghast.
Old 02-28-14, 09:55 PM
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Re: Fastest You Ever Gave Up On A Book

Originally Posted by Hiro11
I had a similar reaction to "Their Eyes were Watching God" although I was forced to soldier through as I was reading it in school. There's so much good black literature out there and this is the book that schools seem to have latched on to. This book is simply bad. Try "Invisible Man". That's a masterpiece.
Harold Bloom says that Invisible Man is "the greatest contemporary novel by a living African-American writer" and that it is an "aesthetic achievement." Then again, he evidently also likes Their Eyes Were Watching God too, so...

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