It took me a couple years to get through Atlas Shrugged.
It's so tedious to start, and I'd set it down and forget about it for months at a time. Once I was about half way through it, it got a bit easier to get into. Honestly, that's the longest it's ever taken me to read any book. Usually, if it doesn't grab me and make me want to keep reading it, I generally don't force it. Usually , if I like it, I can finish a regular length novel in a few hours. I was so shocked at how long it was taking me to slog through A.S., it became a challenge even though my heart wasn't in it.
Ulysses by James Joyce. And I tried SO d@mn hard! I majored in English and had this one incredible, inspirational professor (BA & Master's from Harvard, taught @ Cornell) who encouraged us all to read Ulysses because it's such an important piece of literature. He said that, even if we had graduated, to please call him any time if we wanted to meet for coffee and discuss it, and he was always saying that we didn't need the "supplemental" things to figure it out b/c we were all so intelligent, etc. Just a really encouraging, passionate guy. I really, really tried to read it, but I don't think I made it past page 40. Usually if I'm confused about something I can just continue reading and muddle through and eventually figure it out, but it never happened with Ulysses!
Oh! I forgot the most embarassing one.. My Grandfather's book. I tried very hard! (after all he was my Grandfather)..
I have forgiven myself, since there is no way in hell that anyone who is not in post graduate studies of the classics (especially Greek Tragedy) would understand it.
I love having that book, and his Livy translations from Greek to English . The translations, I have read and enjoyed.
I have a copy of his dissertation. I can't make it through that either..
I usually can read fast enough to get through just about anything. I am a text junkie and it takes a determined effort of will to not read something (if it's at hand). There are exceptions and if I put a book down and don't open it for a week I usually don't open it again (beyond retrieving the bookmark). There haven't been many I gave up on, but the most memorable on is Marion Zimmer Bradley's The Mists of Avalon - I slogged through that sucker and gave up with something like 40 odd pages left. Just couldn't go on with it.
I quit Pillars of the Earth too. About a third of the way through I think.
I did read The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and have zero interest in seeing the movie or reading the sequel. Though if I were locked in a room with a copy and nothing else to do I would probably read it.
I read The Game of Thrones and sequels except for the final one (A Dance With Dragons). I am really ticked that they held off for so long on releasing it in pocket book. I'd have to go back and reread the others first at this point.
All the books I struggled to finish I had to because they were for school...
-As I lay dying. UGH.
-Adam of the road. I can't even remember who the author of this monstrosity is, but we had to read it in middle school over the summer and there was such an uprising that it was taken off the list for the next year.
-Grapes of Wrath. Another summer reading disaster.
-The Scarlet Letter. Most depressing book ever.
Unrelated to school, I have yet to finish the last 2 in the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I should probably get on that.
There are some books I just get bored with and skip to the end. Those are mostly trashy books that have no character development or plot.
"Choose to chance the rapids, and dare to dance the tides" - Garth Brooks
"With your permission, dear, I'll take my fences one at a time" - Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey
For those who struggled with "The Gulag Archipelago", may I suggest instead "Alexander Dolgun's Story: An American in the Gulag". This is a life changing booking, fascinating, and certainly not boring.
I've tried to read Gravity's Rainbow several times and never managed to finish it.
- I once had a dream that I met Thomas Pynchon, and I told him I could NOT read his books.
I carried that book around Europe with me, and finally left it behind in Greece.
I wonder how many people have tried to read it since?
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The one I could never finish was The Great Gatsby. My husband loves it, and I'm an English teacher and know I should read it, but it just plain bores me. Hemingway too; I slogged through The Sun Also Rises and Old Man and the Sea, but eh.
I dragged myself through Gatsby but never liked it. Hemingway, same deal.
"I'm not always sarcastic. Sometimes I'm asleep."
- Harry Dresden
-Grapes of Wrath. Another summer reading disaster.
You & me both. I HATED Grapes of Wrath. It was the one book that I had to read for school that my mom actually okayed my use of Cliff's Notes for. She had tried reading it herself and knew how freaking awful it was.
Recently, I tried to read The Imortal Life of Henrietta Lacks and got through the first part of it only. Interesting subject but couldn't stand the author's style. I also ditched "Buddah in the Attic" recently...talk about author style that'll drive you mad. Both were library books - I'm much more willing to give up on a book I've borrowed than one I payed actual money for (which is why I finished the second Twilight book...if it was free, I think I would have jumped ship at page three).