Books I will never finish

  • Great Expectations
  • actually, anything by Charles Dickens
  • Vanity Fair
  • Book of Margery Kempe
  • The Ring and the Book - Browning
  • Women in Love - D. H. Lawrence
  • Heart of Darkness
  • The Grapes of Wrath
  • Wuthering Heights
  • Clarissa - Samuel Richardson
  • Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm
  • City of God - St. Augustine
  • Northanger Abbey (and I adore most Austen)
  • Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
  • Tristam Shandy
  • She Who Remembers - Linda Lay Shuler
  • Death of a Dunwoody Matron - Patricia Houck Sprinkle
  • Antarctica - Kim Stanley Robinson
  • Brain Plague - Joan Slonczewski
  • The Diamond Age - Neal Stephenson
Author Comments: 

The early part of the list consists mostly of books assigned to me in college literature courses; I would not have chosen to read them on my own (with few exceptions) and just couldn't hack it. Great Expectations was assigned three separate times and I still didn't make it through. Some weren't that bad, but I saw the movie before finishing and had no desire to finish the book as well (Wuthering Heights, Grapes of Wrath).

Now that I'm no longer an undergrad, all the new appearances are by books which had interesting covers, titles, and/or blurbs, but which simply were not worth finishing.

Had to laugh when I saw Clarissa listed. A friend of my in grad school continually refused to call the book by its title. She referred to it simply as "The B*tch."

O yeah, Grapes of Wrath. One of the few books I was assigned in school, but failed to force my way through. I'm not sure why. I would like to be the sort of person that liked Grapes of Wrath, but I'm not.

That's how I felt about a lot of them. I wish i had my college English syllibi, I could probably ass a whole lot more, but these are the only ones I could remember.

ADD! ADD! I could probably add a whole lot more! (I really need to LOOK at the preview)

That was a pretty spectacular Freudian slip. Congratulations! :-D

Look at that, Jim: your robot broke up my smiley-face. Something else for you to fix, man. :-D

"Fix smiley support". Got it.

Actually, it looks okay here, so I'm going to go ahead and blame the company that created your browser. You using IE?

IE, yes. That is, yes, my browser is IE. Is Microsoft notorious for breaking up smiley-faces? - well, Bill Gates has just about had it with me then!

Microsoft is notorious for many things, but that's probably not one of them. It was an educated guess: I'm using Netscape Navigator, and it doesn't break them up, so I figured unless you belonged to the tiny neither-Microsoft-nor-Netscape camp, it was an IE problem. And I bet they fix it real soon. ;-)

I had to laugh, because I feel the same way about Charles Dickens. And I think I should like him.... But, Wuthering Heights is actually a good story if you can get through all the 3rd person narration inside of narration-- maybe you should see the movie (not the Lawrence Olivier one, though-- I think there was one made for A & E or PBS) Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm was pretty good when I was 10, as well, but I don't know about now.

I did see a Wuthering Heights movie -- that's why I quit reading the book. Once I knew the ending, there was no further reason for me to read on.

I really think you should finish Heart of Darkness. It was worth it. Actually, the end of the book is where most of the interesting stuff happens.

It's just that Conrad's writing is so dense - I find that now that I'm not at school, I usually want relatively light reading when I get home from work. I should make an effort to do, say one serious novel a month.

This is really quite pitiful, considering I'm a Lit major, but I didn't make it through Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huck Finn. I got to chapter 15 and lost my way. I had no idea if I was coming or going, but I stopped. Luckily, I had seen the movie and new enough about the book to help me b.s. my way through the Lit exam.

knew, I knew enough about the movie. Sorry.

Twain I never had a problem with, because his plots are interesting. Most of the ones on this list do not have interesting plots, or if they do, they are bogged down by way too much verbiage (Dickens).

Huck Finn should get easier as you get older. I had to bull-shit about it in highschool, but the second reading in college, was much better. For some reason, it helped me (this was a class exercise) to draw a sort of picture-gram of the plot. It is so episodic that its hard to get lost, but a visual representation is quite interesting. Its a great book!

I am currently struggling through As I Lay Dying by William( Morbid Ass) Faulkner. Oh joy of joys! If someone could fill me in on how it goes I would rub the feet of such a kind soul. To end the time of anguish...faintly ....slowly loosing hope. I too think I will post all the things I have read for college...and a list of what I was suppose to read but just could not stomach.

OK. The super-fast version:


A somwhat more useful summary:

GradeSaver ClassicNotes

Who's your new best friend?

thanks so much!!! Based on the more complete summary I can see why I am not enjoying the reading experience. You are my bestest listology friend in the entire universe!

I was assigned Wuthering Heights in my literature class last year. I also didn't finish it. I really liked the part I read, but it felt like the story could have ended after the first half, so I stopped there. It was also an end of senior year, don't want to do any work kind of thing.

I was about halfway through when they decided to show the movie in class, and once I knew the ending, it wasn't worth finishing.

The Grapes of Wrath???
A first-class novel by a first-class writer. You should really finish that, you won't repent.

I'm very sensitive to style, along with plot and characterization, and Steinbeck just does not do it for me. I can't read him.