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Just Abandoned

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Thanks, meg, I've just read your thread on this book and your comments confirm what I have been feeling. I might gallop to the end asap as I'm half way through...

Nope, going to abandon it, it's irritating me no end.

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Me too.

I'm impressed by the staying power of those folk who can enumerate the few books they've ever abandoned. I abandon books all the time - if it's not got me within the first 50 - 100 pages, it goes. I maintain that reading is for enjoyment, so if I'm not enjoying it, I just stop. Sometimes it's a conscious decision, and sometimes a gut reaction to a passage that makes me realise I'm fed up with a book - like the squash game in Saturday.

 

I'm not impressed by their staying power at all. To finish a book that you are not enjoying is, imho, similar to sticking pins into your eyes and since my eyesight is way too precious to stick pins into my eyes so my eyesight is way too precious to waste on a book that I'm not enjoying. Way too many books out there to be read as it is, without sticking to one I don't enjoy. Abandon and move on that's what I say, life is too short.

 

Rant over :D

 

Luna

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You're entitled to your view, Luna, but what about the books that come together at the end? You and I share a love of This Thing Of Darkness, but there were parts of the book which felt like an exercise to read, but a joy to have read. Similarly, I have just finished 2666 where the sum was so much more than the parts.

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I'm impressed by the staying power of those folk who can enumerate the few books they've ever abandoned.
I'm not impressed by their staying power at all.

I'm not impressed . . . and I'm one of them. It is rather illogical really - a product of the 'If a thing's worth, it's worth doing well.' philosophy I was brought up with - fine in its place but it does get out of hand.

 

When it comes to films however, I have no compulsion to finish . . . . . . because I sit there thinking about what I could/should be doing with the time anyway!

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I'm neither impressed nor unimpressed. It's true that I might miss the odd book that

comes together at the end
but I get to read many more books that are good all the way through than I could manage if I stuck to one I was struggling with. Mostly, though, I just accept that other people treat reading in a slightly different way to me.

 

As for This Thing of Darkness, I shall probably start it again. It is on my onedaymaybewhenI'minhospital book list.

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I have persevered with books and been glad I did - Life of Pi springs to mind here, but I was urged to finish it by friends.

 

I'm currently struggling with We Need To Talk About Kevin. I would give it up as I'm finding the analysis of every little thing that's wrong in the woman's life a bit tedious at the moment and the way it's written as a letter to someone doesn't help. It sometimes feel like I'm being nagged or lectured. However, given the subject matter I suppose that's understandable and again I'm told that I'll be rewarded in the end.

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I gave up on 'Saturday' as well. It was a case of me trying to broaden my horizons and I just found the book boring. So that is two books I've given up on.

 

I don't stop reading a book unless its absolutely horrendous- I've reading a good few books in my time that I've not enjoyed and persevered with. I've no idea why as the books I tend to read are rather long.

 

I've no worries about giving up on a TV show or film (Fringe and Heroes spring to mind) but with books I feel I'm failing if I don't finish it.

 

I'm reading 'King Solomon's Mines' at the moment and not overly enjoying that but I won't quit.

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I must admit I struggled with The Count of Monte Cristo - the part where the Count is in Italy didn't strike me as too interesting or, for that matter, relevant to the story - but I was advised by somebody I trust to stick with it and I did and I was more than rewarded. Then again, TCoMC is a recognised Classic and worthy, imho, of persevering with, other books that I have come across aren't.

 

That said, from Kimberley :

It's true that I might miss the odd book that

 

Originally Posted by misterhobgoblin

comes together at the end

 

but I get to read many more books that are good all the way through than I could manage if I stuck to one I was struggling with. Mostly, though, I just accept that other people treat reading in a slightly different way to me.

(emphasis mine) Hear, hear.

 

Luna

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I am kind of doing this with the one I'm reading at the moment (not right this moment though). The book is "Abduction" by Robin Cook and I'm about two thirds the way through (at about page 214) and it has been a hard task to keep going. This particular book is totally different to other stuff i have read by him in the past such as "Coma" and "Shock". If anything he seems to have gone off the rails a bit in this one as well as sex mad. Maybe this is living out something in his subconscious as he is getting on bit now!!

I will probably keep going just to say i conquered it but i don't think i would recommend this to most readers as it just seems all a bit jumbled up and so far fetched to his usual style. (god knows what he was thinking when he wrote it, i think his publisher would have lost some credibility somewhere after printing this one and releasing it to the world)

 

Ah, so there is a distinction between giving up and laying aside.

 

I pause in the middle of plenty of books, if by page 50 I'm not hooked I'll give it a week of so then plough on.

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Not yet abandoned, but I'm struggling with Monica Ali's In The Kitchen.

I'm 200 pages or so in, and it's just slow! I like the characters, which are all well drawn, if a bit stereotypical. There is an emerging mystery and a bit of intrigue.

But the main plot is taking ages to advance. We keep getting bits of the main character's childhood, which is ok but like any working class Northern childhood - nothing very illuminating, and I don't really know why I need to know what they ate on the bus on the panto trip in 1982. And there's a plausibility issue for me in the way the main character is behaving. I think I'll give it another 50 pages.

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I am going to abandon mark Mills' Savage Garden - it seems rather tedious to me, and too similar to a raft of books I've recently finished.

 

But then, I have just picked up a copy of Lee Child's Worth Dying For...

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There is a problem with a lot of non-fiction books these days, especially biographies, the problem being that they are too long, too detailed, and I have to abandon them however much I'm interested in the subject.

 

A current case in point is Jenny Uglow's 'Hogarth', nearly 700 pages long. Despite the fact that I'm interested in the artist and his works and enjoyed the introductory chapters describing the 18th century London areas he lived in, I find I'm now struggling with the almost overwhelming level of detail that the author has scrupulously researched.

 

I've abandoned three novels this year: Marilyyne Robinson's 'Home', Anne Enright's 'The Gathering' and Christos Tsiolkas's 'The Slap'.

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I agreee about NF, chuntzy. I said something similar on another thread about books where the premise is thin and it's padded out.

But the same does apply to more worthy, serious non-fiction. I attempted a biography of Arthur Miller recently, and it's on my "not abandoned but resting" pile. I got about a third of the way through.

 

In contrast, Claire Tomalin's biography of Jane Austen was a great read: it has been around for a while, and it must have been written in the days when there were decent editors!

 

Maybe we need a thread on which to lament and lambast stuff which has been overwritten. I think I'll start one now!

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I agreee about NF, chuntzy. I said something similar on another thread about books where the premise is thin and it's padded out.

But the same does apply to more worthy, serious non-fiction. I attempted a biography of Arthur Miller recently, and it's on my "not abandoned but resting" pile. I got about a third of the way through.

 

In contrast, Claire Tomalin's biography of Jane Austen was a great read: it has been around for a while, and it must have been written in the days when there were decent editors!

 

Maybe we need a thread on which tio lament and lambast stuff which has been overwritten. I think I'll start one now!

 

Agreed. Incidentally, Claire Tomalin's 500 page biography of Pepys - Samuel Pepys: The Unequalled Self is a joy to read, so she must have that rare capacity of biographers of self-editing. But autobiographies or memoirs are often self-indulgent exercises that fail to thrill the outsider. Who cares if your granny came from Greenwich and brought you up on spinach! Or that your great-uncle was a distant relative of Oliver Cromwell - pronounced Crowell by those of his circle of radical thinkers! Cut the crap!

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With NF I have a read a chapter deal so that it is read in managable bits along side some fiction.

 

Have to do this again soon though as my sports books are piling up and I want to read a couple before 2011 kicks in.

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Agreed. Incidentally, Claire Tomalin's 500 page biography of Pepys - Samuel Pepys: The Unequalled Self is a joy to read, so she must have that rare capacity of biographers of self-editing. But autobiographies or memoirs are often self-indulgent exercises that fail to thrill the outsider. Who cares if your granny came from Greenwich and brought you up on spinach! Or that your great-uncle was a distant relative of Oliver Cromwell - pronounced Crowell by those of his circle of radical thinkers! Cut the crap!

 

Yes, I agree, Claire Tomalin's biographies of Pepys and of Hardy are eminently readable.

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I also gave up on Eragon. I didn't mind the movie, but I thought the book was horrible.

 

I can't think of any others at the moment, but i think there are a few others.

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I gave up on The Moth Diaries by Rachel Klein the other night. Maybe it's my current mood, but I just wasn't enjoying a whiny, loner girl at boarding school, I feel as if I've read that before, and I couldn't wait for the vampirism to kick in. Life's too short and too busy. There's better vamp books out there.

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I've abandoned three novels this year: Marilyyne Robinson's 'Home', Anne Enright's 'The Gathering' and Christos Tsiolkas's 'The Slap'.

 

I abandoned Robinson's Gilead and consequently will probably not read Home despite good reports from people whose opinion I value.

Found Enright's The Gathering a little draining but did think there were parts that were sparky.

Am having break from current new read, Eight White Nights by Andre Aciman. My previous read was written so succinctly and with such discipline that I find Aciman's verbosity irksome. I also have the same problem with it that I had with Ewan Morrison's Distance: however decent the writing, the conversation between the couple is so solipsistic and tedious that I'm not inspired to read on. But I'll go back to it, I hope.

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I also have the same problem with it that I had with Ewan Morrison's Distance: however decent the writing, the conversation between the couple is so solipsistic and tedious that I'm not inspired to read on.
I looked this up and am none the wiser, could you please explain what you mean?

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I looked this up and am none the wiser, could you please explain what you mean?

 

Hi Luna. I meant it not in the classical sense of being sceptical about the existence of anything other than one's self, I meant it in this sense:

 

solipsistically - With consideration only for one's own interest

en.wiktionary.org/wiki/solipsistically

 

In other words, as with Morrison's Distance, I found the characters in Eight White Nights to be horribly self involved, willing and able to spend hours and days contemplating themselves and their narrow, privileged existence, disinterested in the world around them or politics or the arts or the fate of those less well off than them, selfish and thus dull. I know in real life some people are like this but it doesn't make for exciting reading to be subjected to someone's detailed dissection of the shallow ephemera of their new relationship - the tone of voice, the exact words, the flirtation, the whining, the self involvement.

Perhaps a better term would have been navel gazing :-)

Anyhow, I may be being very unfair to Aciman. I think my initial impressions of a book are always coloured by my experience of the last book I read, and if that last book happened to be stunningly good (as Snowdrops was), then the new book suffers by comparison.

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I try not to give up on books too easily. However, there have been a couple of books this year that I have had to abandon. They were 'Captain Corelli's Mandolin' by Louis de Bernieres earlier on this year and more recently, 'Thanks for the memories' by Cecelia Ahern and 'The Rose Labyrinth' by Titania Hardie.

 

I found that the last 2 books were badly written and so predictable, that I knew what going to happen even after 1 or 2 chapters. I also found that even though 'The Rose Labyrinth' and 'Thanks for the Memories' were books written by 2 completely different authors, both storylines were very similar.

 

Having said that, the book that I am reading at the moment 'The Bones of Avalon' by Phil Rickman, was a book that at the beginning, that I was tempted to abandon also. However, as I have progressed through the novel I am enjoying it more and even though it's not the greatest book I've ever read, I shall continue with it.

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Hi Luna. I meant it not in the classical sense of being sceptical about the existence of anything other than one's self, I meant it in this sense:

 

solipsistically - With consideration only for one's own interest

en.wiktionary.org/wiki/solipsistically

 

In other words, as with Morrison's Distance, I found the characters in Eight White Nights to be horribly self involved, willing and able to spend hours and days contemplating themselves and their narrow, privileged existence, disinterested in the world around them or politics or the arts or the fate of those less well off than them, selfish and thus dull. I know in real life some people are like this but it doesn't make for exciting reading to be subjected to someone's detailed dissection of the shallow ephemera of their new relationship - the tone of voice, the exact words, the flirtation, the whining, the self involvement.

Perhaps a better term would have been navel gazing :-)

Anyhow, I may be being very unfair to Aciman. I think my initial impressions of a book are always coloured by my experience of the last book I read, and if that last book happened to be stunningly good (as Snowdrops was), then the new book suffers by comparison.

Thanks for explaining that Leyla, I just couldn't get a grasp of what you meant! I did look it up online but couldn't for the life of me fit it into what you'd written and I just wanted to know what your point of view was.

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Pleasure, Luna. Actually, my first thought on looking it up in my dictionary in order to quote the definition was how unclearly it was defined; it made my head spin despite my knowing what I'd meant.

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So when do you give up and why?

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/booksblog/2013/jul/11/give-up-on-book-why-when

 

I usually try to get to around page 100, thinking at least I have given it a fair go and I usually give up because I don't look forward to picking it up and think about my next read - clear signs that I am not enjoying the curren book.

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