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Books You Couldn't Finish

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I generally make a point of finishing books once I start them. If necessary I will restart and try again (my poster child for that was The Master of Ballantrae, by Robert Louis Stevenson, which I finished last year after it sat on my bookshelf for two decades).

One book I haven't made another crack at is Ulysses, by James Joyce. 

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My friends and my kids always get upset at this, but I could not finish Harry Potter & The Sorcerer's Stone.  I got about halfway through it and could not continue.  I had never read anything that was composed of so many cliches, just one on top of another.  It made me hate all the characters to the point that I just had to stop. 

I have been told that her writing improved greatly as the series progressed.  I plan on never knowing whether that was true.

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i'd be surprised if 1/10 of the people i've talked about the Silmarilion to have finished it.  Utter dogshit. 

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26 minutes ago, Spaßvogel said:

 I had never read anything that was composed of so many cliches, just one on top of another.  It made me hate all the characters to the point that I just had to stop.

For compilation of bad fantasy cliches, try Wheel Of Time series.

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I try to finish whatever I start but it doesn’t always work out. Most recent book I put down and never picked back up was Tigana. Maybe one day I’ll finish it.

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Doesn't really happen...my mom had me reading the Russians at 9-10, which sort of makes pushing through an ethos...but man are there times I wished I'd not bothered. Top of my head there was this novel The Ninth Orphan which was so cliche-ridden and godawful I actually yelled at it more than once. But still finished. Yeah. 

I realize I'm the problem here. 

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11 hours ago, Argonath Diver said:

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. 

This. Though there is one difference, I know which book I got to. ;)

Other than that, I couldn't get into Stephen King's Dark Tower series. I can't remember which book I started reading and it just didn't fit.

Another one is Gormenghast. Don't know why, but reading it just felt like hard work.

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1 hour ago, BigFatCoward said:

i'd be surprised if 1/10 of the people i've talked about the Silmarilion to have finished it.  Utter dogshit. 

And you are not joking!

One that I recently gave up reading was 'Before They Are Hanged' by Joe Abercrombie - the second book in his The First Law trilogy. That'll surprise a lot of the board members here, as there is a thread dedicated to his work, but I found it a bit of a chore to read and wasn't excited to continue reading it. I think when I read about the story before starting to actually read the books I was excited by the sound of it, so maybe I had too high expectations. I'd like to finish it, but it's nearly been a year since I stopped reading it and I don't fancy starting it from the beginning again.

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There's fucking loads. David Eddings broke me. When I was young I would finish anything and everything, but when I tried reading the second book of The Dreamers (his final series) I couldn't read more than a couple of chapters without having some kind of mental breakdown and since then my trail has been littered with unfinished books, including some that are clearly quite good but I'm not feeling in the moment (I do usually try to pick those back up down the road).

Mind you, come to think of it, pertinent to discussions in the other topic the one book I'm pretty sure I tried and didn't finish from before that time is The Eye of the World. I mean I'm not 100% on whether I tried it before but I feel I must have done at least one time. And if so, considering the kind of books I was able to bring myself to finish, that's quite a mark of shame...

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Another book I couldn't finish was Endymion by Dan Simmons. I did read Hyperion and Fall of Hyperion.

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1 hour ago, baxus said:

Other than that, I couldn't get into Stephen King's Dark Tower series. I can't remember which book I started reading and it just didn't fit.

 

 I'm an unashamed fan of the Dark Tower, but I couldn't get back into it. I fear I'll never re-read it, it really is a 'first impression' kind of series.

 I tried Wheel of Time, but couldn't get halfway through the first book. Maybe I'll try again someday. Another one I struggled with was his Dark Materials, but I really think I need to try again. I find certain books don't lend themselves to specific situations, like being read in short pieces over many weeks. Maybe I need a reading holiday.

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Wizard's First Rule. I saw there were a lot of threads on here about Goodkind so I thought I'd give him a shot. Then after starting the book I actually read some of those threads and bailed after about 200 pages. That's pretty rare for me though, usually even if I don't like a book I feel the need to finish it. Like I despised everything about Lord Foul's Bane but I still got through it. I stopped the series there, but I finished that first one.

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Gardens of the Moon!

This book actually made me take a break from buying new books it was so bad. I ventured into used stores after that.

Edited by Lady Noble

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16 hours ago, Astromech said:

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.

 

See this is my pick but for different reasons. I was really enjoying reading it but it was also...a bit much, and I kept putting it down and taking a little longer to pic it up again and now I haven't read it in about a year and I think my copy is still at my nans and if I were to read it again i'd have to start it all over because I've forgotten it all lmao.

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4 hours ago, polishgenius said:

my trail has been littered with unfinished books, including some that are clearly quite good but I'm not feeling in the moment (I do usually try to pick those back up down the road).

 

This is my biggest problem. I've read rubbish books and stopped and forgotten about them but most of the time I'm quite picky with things I start and I'll be absolutely loving a book like Vernor Vinge's Fire Upon the Deep and then I put it down, get tired, things happen and it's been 6 months and I haven't read another page. Woops! 

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Loads. These are just some recent or memorable ones. 

Broken Angels by Richard Morgan. I thought Altered Carbon was pretty great but the ludicrously drawn out, over the top sex scenes were kinda bothersome. Then he just cranks the rimjobbery up to 11 in the early part of the second book and the plot had failed to hook me anyway so I just put it down. I got nothing against erotica but it's not what I'm looking for in a novel. 

The Library At Mount Char by Scott Hawkins. Everything about the premise of this book piqued my interest, I put Assassin's Apprentice on pause to give it a shot cause I was so excited about it, and it just lost me within five or six chapters. I was just bored. In this case the audiobook probably had something to do with it, the narrator was very monotone. 

Malazan Book 1. Another instance of a dull as dishwater narrator making it hard to stay interested, and the book seems hard enough to follow at the best of times. I got lost very quickly. I think there's a newer audio version with a different narrator, I'll give it another shot eventually. 

Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence. I love me some grimdark but when the opening chapters of your book involve the main character(s) bragging and joking about how they raped, tortured and murdered a bunch of innocent people for shits and giggles you've gone a few steps too far for my taste. 

Edited by KiDisaster

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His Dark Materials.  Third book.  It was like he was actively trying to make me quit, and finally succeeded halfway through.

Erikson is an example of what others have mentioned in that I'm constantly putting him down because I want to read something else, and 6 months later I'll come back and get back into it and wonder why the hell I ever put it down.  Happened with Gardens of the Moon, Bonehunters, and now I've had Reaper's Gale on pause after reading 300-400 pages a couple months ago.

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