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Books You Couldn't Finish

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What are some books that, no matter how hard you wanted to or tried, you could not finish?

So far for me? Gravity's Rainbow. I love it. I really do. But man, if it isn't hard to follow.

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You and me both.  About 100 pages into it, I was like, this may be the best book I've ever read.  Such great writing.  About 200-250 pages in, WTF?  I just couldn't go on.  I may still try someday though.

More recently, Rothfuss's The Slow Regard of Silent Things.  Much as I love the first two books of Kingkiller, that short novella seemed like the length of those two books together with absolutely nothing of substance.  Couldn't get through it.

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One Hundred Years of Solitude.

I've tried several times to finish it when I was younger, but the book always made me so sick to my stomach that I had to drop it. It also felt like it's the longest book I've ever read (or tried to read).

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I know that I'm going to draw some gasps here, but I could not go through Ann Leckie's Ancillary Justice. I think I got about halfway through it, and just couldn't go on. While it certainly has some unique elements to it, I found it dreadfully slow, and quite confusing.

Halfway was also the point where I stopped with Brian Ruckley's standalone fantasy novel The Free. I found the characters, mainly the young protagonist that served as witness to the deeds of the other characters, very dull.

More gasps: gave up on Robin Hobb's Ship of Magic after about 40% of the book. I didn't care for the world in this one, even though it's still part of the realm of the Elderlings.

And while I was able to finish individual novels, I cannot bring myself to finish another popular series on this forum, The Long Price Quartet by Daniel Abraham. I read the first 2 books. The first time I tried reading this series, I gave up on it after the first novel. The second time, I re-read the first one, and still didn't improve my opinion of it, but kept going and read the 2nd one. And then I called it quits again. It's mainly the characters for me with this one. I do not care for any of them. 

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29 minutes ago, Corvinus said:

I know that I'm going to draw some gasps here, but I could not go through Ann Leckie's Ancillary Justice. I think I got about halfway through it, and just couldn't go on. While it certainly has some unique elements to it, I found it dreadfully slow, and quite confusing.

Halfway was also the point where I stopped with Brian Ruckley's standalone fantasy novel The Free. I found the characters, mainly the young protagonist that served as witness to the deeds of the other characters, very dull.

More gasps: gave up on Robin Hobb's Ship of Magic after about 40% of the book. I didn't care for the world in this one, even though it's still part of the realm of the Elderlings.

And while I was able to finish individual novels, I cannot bring myself to finish another popular series on this forum, The Long Price Quartet by Daniel Abraham. I read the first 2 books. The first time I tried reading this series, I gave up on it after the first novel. The second time, I re-read the first one, and still didn't improve my opinion of it, but kept going and read the 2nd one. And then I called it quits again. It's mainly the characters for me with this one. I do not care for any of them. 

*multiple gasps*

We must Kung Fu fight.

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43 minutes ago, Gronzag said:

One Hundred Years of Solitude.

I've tried several times to finish it when I was younger, but the book always made me so sick to my stomach that I had to drop it. It also felt like it's the longest book I've ever read (or tried to read).

This one.  Tried twice.

The Gone-Away World by Nick Harkaway - just terrible.

World War Z by Max Brooks - just as the narrative was getting interesting we'd shift to some other bullshit, and then that would just starting getting interesting and then it would immediately shift again.

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Susanna Clarke's Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell  I made it halfway and fuck all happened. The footnotes were better than the actual story. I was also not a fan at all of the imitation Jane Austen prose. Thankfully BBC had an adaptation of the novel that was better.

Naomi Novik's Uprooted. I never understood the praise. The Dragon was an uninteresting asshole and Agniezska was the most special, most amazing protagonist ever, who didn't realize how special and amazing she was. Also the dullest protagonist I've had the displeasure to read in a while as well.

I also gave up on Stephen King's The Stand, but to be fair, this was my teenage years and was a relatively impatient reader back then.

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I'm also in the minority of posters here that I didn't enjoy or finish the Long Price Quartet. Abraham has some lovely writing, and certainly seems like one of the most respected authors on this board, but I haven't enjoyed any of his characters. I didn't finish the Dagger and the Coin series, either.

I also don't think I'll ever finish Robin Hobb's latest Fitz series. While I adore so much of her world, and felt a great attachment for a long time to Fitz and many of her supporting cast, I simply couldn't keep on with his and Bee's story. Hobb is such a superb writer, but in the end there were just one too many "Oh gosh, Fitz is making another bad decision and later on will have to make up for it, and I'll feel sad again" moments. I'm content to dream that he lived out his life with Molly and the fam.

I sometimes forget that I've never actually finished The Wheel of Time. At this point, I can't even remember which book I got to. Every time a Forsaken was resurrected, or another Black Ajah was revealed, I lost a bit more interest. 

I have a lot of respect for all three works. Having a hard time thinking of a book that I put down simply because I thought it was awful. I guess Goodkind's Sword of Truth schlock, but when I thought those were super cool and awesome, I was still a big fan of the Boondock Saints and other late-teenage fluff.

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This thread hurts my soul to its core :( 

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The Lightning Thief - The Fault in Our Stars - The Hunger GamesEveryone else loved it, but I got bored and gave up multiple times.

The Hobbit - I didn't like it to begin with. But I kept hearing talk about how it's part of the greatest fantasy series ever written, so I kept forcing myself to read on, hoping to get enlightened. Both times, after 100 pages, I realised I just didn't care anymore. 

Edited by 4 Eyed Crow

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27 minutes ago, HelenaExMachina said:

This thread hurts my soul to its core :( 

Yes, its like bizarro land in here.

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I ditched Too Like the Lightning about half way through. I had so many people whose opinions I genuinely respect tell me it was brilliant, but I just didn't get what was so great about it.

My problem may have been listening to it on audible. One of these days I might go back and try to read it, but for now my pile is big enough with things that didn't piss me off.

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16 minutes ago, Darth Richard II said:

Yes, its like bizarro land in here.

Surely you expected dissenting opinions in a thread with this title. I'm sure the vast percentage of us would put down 50 Shades or a novelization of the latest Transformers movie. Although there's going to be a ton of subjective variance between all the users of this forum, for the most part we came here because we like at least some corner of modern fantasy fiction. Responses here are, by expectation, going to be regarding books that others here probably loved. I suppose I could have said The Fountainhead hoping for a lot of appreciative stomps on the collective floor, but I immediately thought of my dislike of Abraham's characters, despite fully knowing that he's one of the most well-loved authors here. I'm sorry my opinion is bizarro land to you. I have felt the same to many hundreds of posts here over the years as well, but won't belittle them. 

Cheers.

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Despite definitely being the biggest opera fan on this board I couldn't make myself get back into Mary Gentle's The Black Opera after an incredibly tiny detail poked me right in the "That doesn't work, it doesn't work that way, and you clearly did your research, so it actually galls me" button.

 

I made myself finish Grace of Kings with a lot of skimming but all comments have made me glad I'm not picking up the sequel.

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Oh that book Bear and Monette wrote were wolves are apparently a hive mind and turn you gay but only when it's hot. I never finished that one, but your comment about research made it pop in my head. That's...not how wolves are. At all. Even a little bit.

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2 hours ago, Let's Get Kraken said:

I ditched Too Like the Lightning about half way through. I had so many people whose opinions I genuinely respect tell me it was brilliant, but I just didn't get what was so great about it.

My problem may have been listening to it on audible. One of these days I might go back and try to read it, but for now my pile is big enough with things that didn't piss me off.

WHAT

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FT4YbO_1mvA

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