Books you wish you'd never bothered to finish?

(167 Posts)
FuntimeFuschia Tue 04-Sep-12 22:46:07

Hello, hope its ok me posting on here, I very rarely post. Had a chat with a friend today which has made me think - have you ever finished a book and then thought what a phenomenal waste of my time that was? I recently read 'The Haunting of James Hastings', which I wanted to bin about halfway through, but persevered and regretted it.

I read a lot, many different genres and have never actually thought anything I read was a waste of time before this book. I would be very interested to hear what books anyone actually resents giving the time to and if anyone can tell me what the hell actually happened at the end of the above mentioned novel I'd be very grateful

I adored Shantaram, but was put off by reading interviews with the author. And, now that I think about it, I did skim over a lot of the 'philosophical' conversations which dragged on forever blush

Yyyy to The Slap, also The Wisdom of Crocodiles which I found horrible.
Anything by Jodi fecking Picoult-drivel!

And a god awful 'sequel' to Pride and Prejudice, called something like 'The Independance of Miss Mary Bennett' OH MY FUCKING GOD who published that????? Please do not waste even 5 minutes of your life on this book!!

Thirstysomething Wed 12-Sep-12 23:56:19

oh my god, The Museum of Innocence - had forgotten the tedium, the tedium, the tedium.... the teeeeeddiiiiiiiuuuuuum.
Shantaram - I hated him. He loved himself so much, the smug git.
Sorry, I seem to get really opinionated late at night.

CaptainHoratioWragge Wed 12-Sep-12 18:49:10

The Museum of Innocence. Between pages 50-300 it is the same page 250 times with the words slightly moved around.

I clearly have no taste as some of my favourite books of all time are named on here like the shipping news and the famished road. Oh dear.

Ladydepp- Shantaram definitely gets worse. The first 200 pages or so of life in Bombay are great, after that not so much. Give up before it gets to fighting in caves in Afghanastan.

CleoSmackYa Wed 12-Sep-12 12:44:23

Wuthering Heights and Fifty Shades of Grey (at least I think I finished it. It's too repetitive to tell).

BoerWarKids Wed 12-Sep-12 11:58:20

A couple of people have mentioned Girlfriend in a Coma, Douglas Coupland. I bought a withdrawn library copy for 20p recently, I'll give it a go grin

I thought One Day was alright, just a holiday read, really.

Sophie's World - I had this book for years, never managed to get past the first couple of chapters and eventually gave up.

The Mayor of Casterbridge - wading through treacle, I willed it to end sad

I've tried to start Beloved by Toni Morrison a few times, I just can't get into it. I'll have another crack before it goes in the charity bag.

greenhill Wed 12-Sep-12 11:48:46

whatkung ditto free with a magazine.

whatkungfuthat Wed 12-Sep-12 11:30:42

greenhill that sounds familiar, in my defence I think I got it free with a mag and I was on a long train journey blush

ladydepp Wed 12-Sep-12 11:18:08

I also LOVED the Kite Runner and the Crimson Petal and the White.

Another one that was a waste of many hours: The English American

I am currently plowing through Shantaram (have made it to p.400), kind of liking it but kind of thinking I will never finish it (900 pages+). Anyone have an opinion on whether it gets better/worse/stays the same??

ladydepp Wed 12-Sep-12 11:12:27

Before I go to sleep - unbelievably bad and actually got worse as it went on

the Room - similar to Before I go to sleep

Luckily stopped the Accidental by Ali Smith which was awful

I quite liked Salmon fishing in the Yemen though!

NicknameTaken Wed 12-Sep-12 11:10:42

I clutch my breast all the time, cj.

<reluctantly withdraws hand from bra>

cjbk1 Wed 12-Sep-12 11:07:56

I'll tell you one right now; The Promise of Happiness by Erin Kaye, how many times can a modern person "clutch their breast" or have their "hand fly to their breast" ? and I think she's crediting the modern Irish man with a bit too much sophistication IME iv abandoned it

NaiceSpam Wed 12-Sep-12 11:01:08

I once found a sequel to Gone With The Wind in a charity shop, written by another author after Margaret Mitchell's death. It was horrible. Boring, stupid, absurd plot, and worst of all, if the idiot woman had even read GWTW then she was clearly senile and forgot immediately what Scarlett's character was, because she wrote a completely different character and then got Scarlett and Rhett back together and they lived happily ever after. I honestly think that book should be banned, GWTW was a perfect story which ended exactly as Mitchell wanted it to and it's a crushing ending but the only one there could ever be for that story and those characters. She'd be sick if she knew what this woman had done, it's an absolute traversty to her creation. Her estate clearly wanted an extra few bucks so paid some talentless moron to piss all over her grave angry angry angry

greenhill Wed 12-Sep-12 10:50:16

whatkungfuthat do you mean Four Play about a woman abandoned by her husband who is chased by 4 men, in spite of the children?

I have this, the fact I don't remember it suggests it has been gathering dust for nearly 10 years.

whatkungfuthat Wed 12-Sep-12 09:39:33

Can't remember the name but it was a book by Jane Moore the journalist. It was terribly written and the story was cobbled together from a million chic-lit clichés.

FoFeeFiMum Tue 11-Sep-12 17:59:08

More votes for Kite Runner, White Moghuls (had managed to wipe that from memory until saw it above) and anything by Jodi Picoult or Nicholas Sparks - both appear to churn out the same Unremitting crud time and again.

Also, The Count of Monte Cristo - about 8 times as long as it needs to be;
Ruth by Elizabeth Gaskell;
Valley of the Dolls by Jacqualine Susann - just mindnumbingly tedious, despite so much happening; and
The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorn - had to read it for A Level and it is awful

WipsGlitter Tue 11-Sep-12 15:23:57

Agree re Eat, Pray, Love. This book actually caused a rift in our Bookgroup and someone left. shock

More recently, the Kathryn Flett one - bilge. And Where d'you go Bernadette. My sister raved about it. Boring and unappealing main character.

Flakita Tue 11-Sep-12 15:12:53

Just finished The Unconsoled the previous week! Still undecided as to whether it was a waste or not, though... :-)

MentalOriental Tue 11-Sep-12 10:30:37

Anything by Ira Levin!! Read The Stepford Wives, Rosemary's Baby and another one I can't remember as part of a "Bestseller" set, and really couldn't believe I'd wasted my time on them.
Also, Tess of the d'Urbervilles ... Tried reading it so many times but it's just uuurgh!

Thirstysomething Tue 11-Sep-12 02:43:36

The Slap, ugh. Can't stand books without a single sympathetic character. Bonfire of the Vanities, that sort of thing.
Mansfield Park - have read it about five times (school, uni, because I thought I ought to, because there is something weirdly compelling about it) and I haaaaaaate fecking Fanny fecking Price, the mewling prawn. I know this will bring wrath down on me and I DON'T CARE. Oh, hang on, was this supposed to be about books we couldn't finish?
I compulsively finish all books, even '50 shades of boring magnolia pretending to be fire engine red', but there was one we read for book club that was so boring I can't even remember its name. I literally threw it out of the window. Of a train. And if it hit you on the head, I'm sorry.

Selki Mon 10-Sep-12 22:45:29

Isleangel I read girl with the glass feet too, totally surreal!

Selki Mon 10-Sep-12 22:42:52

Has to be the White Mughals by Wiilliam Dalrymple. Tried hard' even moved it to bathroom thinking I could read it in small bites. Stayed in there for three years til I finally gave up!(very closely followed by the first fifty shades - save your money and buy a woman's own instead, far more gripping!)

TwllBach Mon 10-Sep-12 22:41:41

Anything and everything by jodi picoult I have all her books it's like reading the same thing over and over and over.

I hated one day too.

I would also like to nominate 'The Shack' by William something or other. I have never been so enraged.

jessirobin Mon 10-Sep-12 22:30:36

Natasha Solomons wrote a book I loved called Mr Rosenblum's List. So I read her follow-up, The Novel in the Viola, which was such a shocking pot-boiler that I raged about it for days afterwards. I felt like writing to the author with my fury, telling her that she can do so much better! It has a sad holocaust story at it's heart, but the characters are so thin and unreal, the descriptions of the scenery so overblown and the central love story is utterly unbelievable that I felt cheated by faked sentimentality. It was a Straight to DVD novel.

Oh, and The Girl on the Landing by Paul Torday. Do your research properly before writing a book!

brass Mon 10-Sep-12 07:33:13

Thumbwitch I don't like the violence in them either, but with Kite Runner it was more how contrived the plot was and how the characters were mechanically intertwined from childhood through to adulthood.

Agree that Corelli's Mandolin had a dire ending although I enjoyed the beginning describing island life it was like the author got bored half way through.

Empusa Mon 10-Sep-12 00:45:32

Oh and Dracula, yep the one by Bram Stoker. So over rated!

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