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Books that have defeated you

(202 Posts)
Queenoftheharpies Mon 25-May-09 16:25:45


I've tried reading it three times now, and enjoyed it right up to the point where Dorothea gets engaged to Casaubon. And then, for no reason hit a stumbling block.

It's always the same point in the story as well. I think it's when there's some protracted discussion of the corn laws / agricultural practice.

Has anyone else encountered this? A book you really want to finish but that just defeats you?

bigchris Mon 25-May-09 16:26:35

Ulysess by James Joyce

Bucharest Mon 25-May-09 16:32:24

Most books involving bonnets tbh.
The TV series defeat me too. I still have the last 2 episodes of Little Dorrit to get through enjoy.

Cranford was the worst. Started it (the book) about 4 times. And 4 times it's gone back on the shelf.

Babbity Mon 25-May-09 16:33:01

At Swim-Two-Birds by Flann O'Brien. Have reluctantly conceded life's too short.

(Middlemarch is brilliant though, I loved it. Why not just skip the corn laws bitwink)

unavailable Mon 25-May-09 16:34:36

I've never got through any James Joyce actually. Many others too - Salman Rushdie, Gabriel Garcia Marques to name a couple. I loved Middlemarch tho'.
I used to try to read books I considered "worthy" (not sure what criteria I used!) but now think there are lots of good books I still havent read, so if I struggle it means its not for me. Perhaps I am being lazy, but I dont wantreading to be a chore.

Bucharest Mon 25-May-09 16:38:59

I always have a book I want to read, and a book I feel I ought to read, on the go at the same time.
Sometimes, (but not very often) I get completely hooked on the "worthy" one and it takes over my life. But more often than not, I think "not another feckin bonnet" and chuck it back on the pile....

YanknCock Mon 25-May-09 16:40:46

Catch-22 has defeated me at least three times. I don't know why, because I always enjoy the first couple of chapters and then somehow lose it.

BanjosFanjo Mon 25-May-09 16:41:13

Catch 22

mrsrawlinson Mon 25-May-09 16:44:38

A Brief History Of Time. Turns out it's not nearly brief enough.

unavailable Mon 25-May-09 16:45:27

Yes Catch 22 was another one for me too.

Queenoftheharpies Mon 25-May-09 16:50:56

I struggle with catch 22 actually as well now you mention it. But that's not so much as a defeat as a rout! I've yet to get past the first five pages.

frustratedmom Mon 25-May-09 16:59:38

Lord of the rings

Got to 2nd chapter of 2nd part and discovered i had no idea who any of the characters where or their significance to the story.

Gave up. Just enjoying film version now -too chicken to retry

midnightexpress Mon 25-May-09 17:01:19

Ulysses - can't get beyond about chapter 3.

squilly Mon 25-May-09 17:02:19

Frustratedmom, I did LOTR after watching the movie and managed to read it just fine. Couldn't get past the first chapter with the book originally....Hope you manage to read it next time.

Bucharest Mon 25-May-09 17:02:44

I have read all of LOTR- but I did have glandular fever and no telly at the time...and I glossed over the Elvish poems and what not....

PfftTheMagicDragon Mon 25-May-09 17:03:07

All Couplands.

I start them, get about 5 chapters from the end and then die of boredom. I give up. Then, for some inexplicable reason, 3 months later, I'll start another, and do the same thing all over again!

infin Mon 25-May-09 17:07:34

Ulysses, simply confuses me and sends me to sleep (like almost everyone I know who's tried it!)
Also, and somewhat bizarrely as I was expecting to love them:
Captain Corelli,
Time Traveller's Wife
Brick Lane
Red Earth and Pouring Rain

Perhaps defeated is the wrong word for these last 4 although I did give up on them, so perhaps not!!

Babbity Mon 25-May-09 17:09:16

Nope, Captain Corelli defeate me too. I got four or five chapters in and then gave up. Also Salman Rushdie - I got about 2/3 through Midnight's Children before I lost patience.

ellingwoman Mon 25-May-09 17:10:48

Mine is Tom Jones. I have started it at least twice a year since about 1980. I read the first few chapters then get engrossed in a new Lee Child or other murder mystery. Need more staying power!

LibrasBiscuitsOfFortune Mon 25-May-09 17:11:27

Iron Council by China Meville. I LOVED both PSS and The Scar but haven't yet been able to finish Iron Council despite starting it 3 times.

BanjosFanjo Mon 25-May-09 17:16:01

Youve written a book haven't you Libra? I think I've bought it if I've got that right. I must confess it is a bit on the academic side for me so I can include that as a book defeat grin

I used to be able to do academia, but my brain appears to have rotten of late blush

Salleroo Mon 25-May-09 17:27:54

The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, it's rare a book defeats me, but I just couldn't waste my time on this. No regrets either, I'll never try again.

LibrasBiscuitsOfFortune Mon 25-May-09 17:32:45

Banjo I can quite safely say that you have got me mixed up with someone else smile. I am intrigued to know who you think I am however!

sarah293 Mon 25-May-09 17:34:19

Message withdrawn

VoteMerlin Mon 25-May-09 17:37:25

Possession. I didn't get people raving about it...

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