25 October 2007

Read With Abandon?


Today’s suggestion is from Cereal Box Reader:

I would enjoy reading a meme about people’s abandoned books. The books that you start but don’t finish say as much about you as the ones you actually read, sometimes because of the books themselves or because of the circumstances that prevent you from finishing.

So . . . what books have you abandoned and why?

I'm sure that over the years, I've abandoned more than one book, but the only one that comes to mind thinking about my response is Dogs of Babel by Carolyn Parkhurst. It started out as a book that I was really enjoying: a man who loses his wife unexpectedly, and latches on to the dog she had adopted and loved, as a way to feel close to her.

Then, the more I learned about the wife, the more I thought she sounded like one of those people that is so busy being quirky and lovable, you fail to notice that there's really nothing there. Then further into the book, the husband started to annoy me. But there came a part when I had to stop reading altogether, when it got into details about what happened to the dog, and I felt that part of it was because of the carelessness and stupidity of the husband. At a certain point, reading about such cruelty in the name of "science" meant I couldn't take it. I returned the book to the library, and actually hadn't thought about it again until today.

I recall that reviews and word-of-mouth for the book were quite positive. So maybe it was just me, but I do not plan to ever pick it up again!

9 comments:

sprite said...

I think you and I must have put this book down about the same time. Yuck!

Carol said...

I seem to put everything down these days. That's because I now have the attention span of a cat. No offense intended to the kitties. Wait! I see a leaf!

Linda said...

The only book I remember abandoning is Silmarillian by J.R.R. Tolkein. I've tried to pick it up again but find it too difficult. While I enjoyed The Hobbitt and Lord of the Rings immensely, Silmarillian is just hard work - too many strange names and terms making it impossible to follow the narrative without the constant use of appendices. I now have it on cd and am hoping that I enjoy it in that format.

Carol said...

How's the arm, Gimpy McBandage?

I abandon books a lot. Mostly b/c I don't have that much time to read, and so if a book doesn't grab me and hold my interest, for whatever reason,fuhgiddaboutit. I used to force myself to finish books, but I quickly realized that finishing a book out of anal-retentiveness wasn't fair to me or the book.

I recently abandoned The Lovely Bones by A. Sebold because I found the premise to be so disturbing I couldn't continue. I know, I know, it's supposed to be uplifting, but I couldn't do it.

The Knitting Blog by Mr Puffy the Dog said...

I've abandoned many books - sometimes because I think the thinking is just "sick" and I don't want to put in into my mind. On the other hand, there are some books I start but can't bare to read the ending again - like Gone With the Wind - it's too painful to finish.

KSD said...

I am right there with you on Dogs of Babel. What was all the fuss about?

Another one like that for me was bel Canto. Some people are still talking about it. I just didn't see it.

Continue to heal. And know that I have begun a new Good Work: The Home for Abandoned/Unused/Unneeded Vicodin. Just in case you hear a sad story somewhere along the way. . .

Maureen said...

I could not get through The English Patient. Dear lord, it dragged!

Carrie K said...

Remind me to never start Dogs of Babel. I can't handle animals in peril.

mary said...

I'm late to the comment party once again but the book I've started several times and can't finish is Dune. Don't ask me why. One of my sisters gave me a First Edition copy for my birthday years ago and I've still not read the book.

I love science but I never read science fiction. Life is so darn fascinating and frustrating today, who needs future fiction?

Another genre I try to read but can never finish is time travel stuff. Guess I just don't get it. I have a friend who is budding author and one of her few published books is a time travel romance. I feel so guilty I haven't bought it...

Now the J.D. Robb books are an exception. I love those books, even though I'm not otherwise a Nora Roberts fan. Weird.