Wednesday, 9 December 2015

The book I couldn't finish????

So where do I start on this one Vanessa? 
Life is too short to read things for pleasure if you don't enjoy isn't it? I have to read a lot of non-fiction I don't enjoy so anything else... well that needs to be something I want to read.
I gave up on "War and Peace". Maybe I was just too young when I started trying to read it? In the end I couldn't be bothered. I have tried other Russian literature since then but I have never gone back to Tolstoy and I have to admit "skimming" some other things.
And then there was the Chinese classic, "A Dream of Red Mansions" (Xueqin Cao). Our Chinese neighbours suggested I should read it. I tried but it didn't "grab" me. 
Patrick White - Nobel Prize winner. I have tried several of his and never finished one. I know several highly regarded Downunder authors who have never managed to finish one either. That makes me feel a bit better. 
"Catch 22" (Joseph Heller)- I know, I of the supposed "greats" but I couldn't finish it...I suppose I don't like those sort of stories at all. 
"The Thorn Birds" (Colleen McCullough) - yes, another supposed "great" but I gave up about half way.
"The Narrow Road to the Deep North" (Richard Flanagan) was one of those books I thought I "ought" to read. What is it with books which win the Booker and me? They are supposed to be great works of literature so it must be me...I must be a philistine when it comes to literature. 
But at least I tried to read these things. I barely got started on "Twilight" (Stephanie Meyer). I borrowed it from the library because I was curious. The Senior Cat was curious too. We sat at the table one lunch time and looked at it. Three pages in the Senior Cat handed it back to me and said, "Well, tell me what you think."
I read the same three pages, then - trying to be fair  - I skimmed a little more. I closed the book.
I couldn't finish it.
But those of you who know me as that cat sitting on a stack of books know I still have too much to read.


jeanfromcornwall said...

Interesting that you could not finish Catch 22 - OH and I both read it once but both said we could never read it again. Personally, I have to say anything by Charles Dickens - so many words signifying nothing.
Main point is when reading for pleasure, it should be just that. There isn't a sadistic teacher to say we must finish anything. We are grown-ups and we can choose.
No guilt!

catdownunder said...

Well that's a relief Jean. Of course Dickens' novels were originally serials for newspapers. I suppose if we look at them like that it starts to make sense. These days they would surely be given a heavy editing?