Monday, August 22, 2016

Hard to Start Books

[quote author=Locke on August 22, 2016, 09:44:14 AM]
Have you ever picked up a book and wanted to put it down after the first few pages or the few minutes of audio? It can be for a variety of reasons: bad prose, overuse of proper nouns, lack of engagement, etc. I'm just curious, what books have you had this response to? Currently I'm reading Waking Fire by Anthony Ryan (well listening to the Audiobook). The prologue is told in the from of a letter, but it's got this Victorian English level of detachment that it's hard to get into. Especially egregious because half of the letter is an action scene. After that, it's not as bad, I do enjoy the world and such, but I have yet to latch on to any characters.

So yeah, tell me about the books you've picked up that you just couldn't get into or for whom reading was a chore (for all you crazy completionists out there).

[quote author=Lariean Malinar on August 22, 2016, 09:51:00 AM]
aSoIaF was like that for me the second time around. I've re-read WoT constantly since 1996, but I couldn't get halfway through GoT the second time.

The Chronicles of Amber as well. I had to stop reading and pick it up a decade later before I could read it. I hated Corwin that much.

But I've read all of Stephen Donaldson (except the Final Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, for this very reason.) Mazalan is waiting, I just can't get up the interest yet. And I got bored with Sanderson after I read Warbreaker (which was a wonderful book.) Elantris was great, the first book of Mistborn was good, but after that I just couldn't read him.

Of course, those are just mainly because of personal preference. I'm sure I could make myself read, but I hate doing it.

[quote author=Gabriel Kross on August 22, 2016, 01:23:52 PM]
Honestly, I tried to read the Harry Potter books in 6th grade, but I never could get past the first chapter. The writing style was designed for younger children but I had already been reading at a 12th grade level, so it was too childish for me.

[quote author=Lael Miskeri on August 22, 2016, 06:42:31 PM]
To draw in WoT here briefly, Crossroads was murderous for me to get through. I have a mind that's really decent at trivia, so the fact that the first half of that book only established where people were at the end of the last book was rather difficult for me to slog through. I put the book down for a year and a half before I picked it back up to finish. I still won't read it if I can avoid it. Aside from that, aSoIaF was hard to get into initially, but I ended up enjoying it... just not the gaps. I still haven't read aDwD because I feel like I've lost too much of the story in the waiting. Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel's Dart was difficult as well because I didn't "get" the world immediately. And I was warned off David Eddings fairly early on, though I know people who love his work.

[quote author=Arion on August 22, 2016, 08:33:10 PM]
I found that some books are hard to get started on and I agree that the Game of Thrones is one of those books that I never really managed to dive into.

I also have found that if there is a book I think is interesting BUT for some reason I find hard getting started on, it is a good idea to buy an audio book of it just to get a better hold on what the book is about as I am out walking my dog.

Then I can buy the book and enjoy later and get more involved into the world of the book.

[quote author=Roheryn on August 23, 2016, 11:57:42 PM]
I started aSoIaF... I even got through about a book and three quarters. That's when I quit. Just couldn't get into it.

[quote author=Chiyuki Nohara on August 27, 2016, 10:21:01 AM]
It's unusual for me to not finish a novel so I'll probably come back to most of these at some point.

Empire of the Sun - JG Ballard
Stardust - Neil Gaiman
Didn't get very far with these but maybe I just need to be in the right mood. ???

Titus Groan - Mervyn Peake
A strange one but I knew that going in. :o

Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
I'm not allowed to swear, right? Twice in my life I've tried to read this. Twice I've got half way and given up. ::)

The God of Small Things - Arundhati Roy


Just no. At least it was free with a newspaper. I gave it away. :P

[quote author=Gabriel Kross on August 28, 2016, 12:23:18 AM]
I really recommend going back to Stardust, the movie just didn't do it justice. The movie was good imo but nowhere near the level of the book.

[quote author=Lael Miskeri on August 28, 2016, 01:51:47 AM ]
Return of the Native
Wuthering Heights
Jude the Obscure

Pretty much any Victorian-era novel I have trouble with. And I had to read the above 3 in high school.

[quote author=The Lagomorph Reborn on August 28, 2016, 02:58:25 AM]
I experience something similar with almost any book. I get a third of the way through and put it down for weeks at a time. I'm not really a quick or binge reader and that's on purpose. I love to read for detail, look for foreshadowing, turn back to reread a page or chapter that connects with a later spot I'm at. Often I just don't make the time for books with TV shows or video games cutting into that time. This does tend to happen more frequently when I'm reading Kurt Vonnegut novels. He's easily one of my favorite authors. Sometimes his stories just take a bit longer to get through and hold my attention for periods of time. Didn't have that problem with Sirens of Titan though.

[quote author=Haeva Stone on September 25, 2016, 02:08:11 PM]

I read Eye of the World in 1990 (OK, I started it on 24 December, so I was still pretty much a year late, but at least it was the same year it came out). I got a very strong sense of Lord of the Rings with a little peppering of Dune. I finished the book more because I had a touch of OCD about that kind of thing at the time, but ultimately I thought 'meh'. And that was that. It was in 1994-5 that a friend at Uni recommended the series to me. I did recall the first book (which was a bit less usual), but we have VERY similar taste in our fantasy literature, so I agreed to persist with it. A touch more irony... he hasn't finished the series!

I got 2/3 to 3/4 the way through Game of Thrones and decided I hated it. Not read or seen any of aSoIaF since I last put it down.

It took me a very long time to get through Tad Williams's first Otherland book! I haven't decided whether or not to read the rest of the series, yet.

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