Thursday, 28 March 2013

Books I can't get on with

Over on the Ship of Fools Forum, there's a discussion going on about books that are acclaimed classics, but which you can't manage to read or enjoy.
I have a few of those, and I refuse to feel guilty about it; there are so many books in the world that I want to read that I'm not going to worry about the books that are supposed to be classics and that well read people 'ought to read'.
So I'm not going to be revisiting any of the Russian authors any time soon. I tried War and Peace once, and after three pages I got so confused by all the different names for the same people that I gave up.
Likewise, The Worm Ouroboros by Eddison - a fantasy classic, but I have no idea what it's about. There were three different languages in the first three pages of that - without any translations. Also, the title always makes me think of the Red Dwarf joke about Our Rob or Ross.
As far as Virginia Woolf is concerned - look, just go to the Lighthouse, for heaven's sake!
And Madame Bovary - pull yourself together!
Thomas Hardy is depressing (and gets more so as he goes on), and Jane Austen's plots move at such a glacial pace it's like watching paint dry.
I tried to read Lady Chatterley's Lover when I was twelve - but all I remember of it was a description of a rainy garden, and as nothing exciting seemed to be happening, I gave up on that.
There was a CJ Cherryh fantasy that I tried to read that had the characters slogging through mud and cold rain for three chapters, and they were having such a miserable time of it that I gave up on that one too! (It wasn't the Morgaine one where the entire planet is drowning - I was fine with that one).
It's not as if I have any shortage of reading matter anyway - my 'mountain of books that must be read' will last me at least two years if I don't add any more to it.

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