Books you keep meaning to read but can't quite get into.

Discussion in 'The Front Room' started by mank!, Dec 25, 2003.

  1. mank!

    mank! Part of the furniture

    I've got a few books that I've started to read a number of times but just can't get into them, or lose any desire to persist with them. The biggest offender is Hermann Hesse's Steppenwolf which I must have read the first few chapters of at least ten times now. I just can't get into it and I have no idea why, I just lose any desire to continue reading it. Another one that's suffered the same fate is Joseph Conrad's Heart Of Darkness because the first few pages alone have more footnotes than anything else, which irritates me beyond belief. I've also tried to read a biography on the musician Nick Drake which I gave up on due to the fact his schooldays were deathly boring...

    I presume I'm not alone in these dilemmas so share your eternal struggles with works of fiction and discuss books that people have mentioned.

    Or don't, if you don't want to.
  2. Doh_boy

    Doh_boy Resident Freddy

    Joyce - The Portrait of the artist as a young man.
    It gets weird a bit of the way in so I stopped reading it (read the harry potter series instead :D) and I've never managed to pick it up.

    Hardy - The woodlanders.
    Very slow at first then same as above, apart from the harry potter thing.
  3. Patriarch

    Patriarch Fledgling Freddie

    The Man in the Iron Mask by Dumas. I found it so boring I had to give up. There are more books that I should have read but haven't- Catch 22 and 1984 being my two biggest embarasments. :eek:
  4. Hot Soup

    Hot Soup Fledgling Freddie

    Ivanhoe ... simply because of the ye olde style language
  5. Maljonic

    Maljonic Can't get enough of FH

    I want to read 1984 too, but I keep forgetting that I want to read it and buy something else instead. I also keep meaning to read some ordinary fiction by newish writers but forget to do that as well and read another fantasy or SF novel.
  6. xane

    xane Fledgling Freddie

    The Ben Elton's books ever since This Other Eden, they have always been a good read but left me with a feeling of dissappointment, so I've never been able to get back into them.

    Also Iain Banks' non-sci-fi books.
  7. Darthshearer

    Darthshearer Can't get enough of FH

    The books without Pictures :(

    No Really I tried a couple of Tom Clancy books and they dont really get me "Fixed" from the start
  8. Sar

    Sar Resident Freddy

    1984 here as well - but I'm worse as I've actually bought the damn thing a while back.

  9. caLLous

    caLLous I am a FH squatter

    Please read Stark if you haven't already done so, it's still his greatest work and one of the funniest books I've ever opened (it fights for the topspot in my head with some of Robert Rankin's finer books, like Snuff Fiction for example).
  10. Maljonic

    Maljonic Can't get enough of FH

    I've thought of reading Stark myself but I just can't stand Ben Elton, if it really is as funny as Robert Rankin I might have to read it anyway though. :)
  11. ECA

    ECA I am a FH squatter

    I keep meaning to get some Dante and Nietzsche but never get round to it.

    !984 and Catch 22 are good btw.
  12. caLLous

    caLLous I am a FH squatter

    Funny in a different way. Rankin is all for the subtle humour and madness inducing dialogue (and talking sprouts and living teddy bears full of sawdust) whereas Elton is just full on hilarious when he's in his element.
  13. Maljonic

    Maljonic Can't get enough of FH

    I'll buy it if I see it in a charity shop, that way some good has come out of it even if I don't like it.

    As for Nietzsche, I want to go back in time and kick him in the fork; can't stand the bloke.
  14. Anul

    Anul Fledgling Freddie

    I now excactly waht u mean i also want to try something else but i always end up with a fantasy book instead.
  15. Maljonic

    Maljonic Can't get enough of FH

    A couple of months ago I went into town with the intent of buying someone's autobiograghy, but when I got to the book shop everyone on the shelf was either of no interest to me or a complete tosser; so I bought Sprout Mask Replica instead. :)
  16. MrBlack

    MrBlack Fledgling Freddie

    I'm 1/6th of the way through Six Easy Pieces (Richard Feynman), which has taken me 6 months, so far.

    Now I just got Six Not-so-easy Pieces for Christmas. Help!
  17. Brynn

    Brynn Can't get enough of FH

    I read Catch 22, not missing much :p
  18. Afx

    Afx Fledgling Freddie

    Just thought id stick my oar in with a few words about Robert Rankin. He really is one of my favourite authors, Its just unfortunate that ive read too many of his books in too short a space of time and just seem to have become a bit burnt out on him, Same thing happened with Pratchett too :/
    Im sure ill get back into reading his stuff again soon enough, He should write more pooley and omally stuff though :)

    As for books ive been meaning to read, well tbh i nearly always persevere with every book i buy, even if i dont really enjoy them at first. One of the toughest to get into though was probably catch 22, Its a brilliant story but the writing style doesnt exactly make it an easy read. I was really glad i persevered though as its a great book.

    Only other ones i can think of are that ive got the entire Thomas Hardy collection, but even though jude the obscure is one of my absolute favourite novels i just cant seem to get into reading the others, Im definitely going to have another go at tess of the d'Urbervilles one of these days though :)
  19. Patriarch

    Patriarch Fledgling Freddie

    I haven't read enough classics, but receiving The Complete Works of William Shakespeare for Christmas is probably a step in the right direction.
  20. Lemming

    Lemming Fledgling Freddie

    Keep meaning to read Lord of the Rings but can never quite get into it (think I stopped somewhere around the end of Two Towers last time) Been going at it for around a year!
  21. xane

    xane Fledgling Freddie

    I did start with Stark when it came out, obviously, then onto Gridlock and This Other Eden.

    The problem, his books address a recent fad; Stark being environmentalism, Gridlock about congestion, etc, one of the latest is Dead Famous about reality TV.

    Afterwards, you can't help thinking he's just jumping on early bandwagons, and the issues he tries to address never actually resolve themselves as problems. For example Stark was about environmental disaster based on chronic chemical pollution (as opposed to the newer "global warming" hypotheses nowdays), this never really materialised and probably never will, and as the whole crux of the book depended on that issue, my cynical mind will reject it from the start, so the book loses a lot of its context.

    I'd really like to get back on track with his books but as time moves on and the bandwagon becomes more obvious, they start losing their charm, so it ceases to become an enjoyable read. You get the same feeling if you read an early Tom Clancy book like Red Storm Rising, when we all know nowdays that limited war between the superpowers is never going to happen since the Berlin Wall came down.

    Take a quick look back at Stark and you'll see what I mean, a lot of the "radical" stuff that forms the core of the book is completely inappropriate nowdays. If ou don't read Elton when it comes out then it loses something.
  22. Shovel

    Shovel Can't get enough of FH

    I keep meaning to finish Catch 22 - I've been halfway through for eighteen months. Outstanding book so far though.

    The Lord of the Rings series needs reading at some point too.
  23. Afx

    Afx Fledgling Freddie

    I found with lotr that the first half or so of fellowship just doesnt really grab you, So at that point its a pretty easy book to put down. If you can persevere beyond that though then it really does improve.
  24. Maljonic

    Maljonic Can't get enough of FH

    The bandwagon stuff is why I never really liked Ben Elton in the first place; I find that type of current issue humour stuffy and boring, partly because I know it is only a current issue...
  25. Tenko

    Tenko Fledgling Freddie

    God yeah, I still havent read 1984, Animal Farm, Catch 22 and War and Peace and I have the lot on my shelf.

    I tried reading Clauswitz, On War, that was bloody heavy going too, really quite dull to be honest.

    Oh and I keep on meaning to read Pride and Predjudice but always pick up something with killer robots in instead.
  26. SawTooTH

    SawTooTH Can't get enough of FH

    "Foucout's Pendulum" (Umberto Eco). I read Name of the Rose but the pendulum book just didn't swing it for me. Some books just disappear so far up their ass that they will never see the light of day again.
  27. mank!

    mank! Part of the furniture

    The Torture Garden by Octave Mirbeau is another one. I read the first part of the book, but found the second part very dull.
  28. Gombur Glodson

    Gombur Glodson Fledgling Freddie

    The silmarillion. Started reading it awhile back but then I got away from it.
  29. caLLous

    caLLous I am a FH squatter

    I noticed the links between current issues and his books as well, but I honestly don't have a problem reading a book (I know to be fictional) over and over again. It's not the story that made me love him as an author, it's the characters, the locations, the descriptions.

    The same is true (although not to the same extent, Stark will always be my favourite) for Popcorn, Blast from the Past and his latest, High Society. Inconceivable was very good, I thought, and although it tackled an important and personal issue, the book did it with style and humour in all the right places.
  30. Talyn

    Talyn Can't get enough of FH

    I kept meaning to try LOTR and the like, but never got round to it. Now the films are out, I don't need to anymore!!

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