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Books you are glad that you persevered with

(98 Posts)
muddleduck Thu 30-Jul-09 11:53:26

Another thread made me wonder about this.

I very rarely give up on a book that I've started with but it is usually the case that if I hate it at the start I carry on hating it all the way.

The only exception I can think of is Raymond Chandler's "The Big Sleep" which I was forced to read for a book club. I nearly gave up on it several times but had to concede that it is actually well worth reading.

MrsMuddle Thu 30-Jul-09 11:55:21

I nearly gave up on Midnight's Children several times, but when I had time to read bog chunks at once, I really enjoyed it.

I have no qualms about not finishing a book now. And it's liberating when you decide that you don't need to finish a book.

greeneyedg1rl Thu 30-Jul-09 12:01:07

I had a hard time with Captain Corelli's Mandolin for the first 100 pages. It seemed to be jumping around all over the place and just wasn't coherent. I persevered because I was abroad on holiday and had nothing else in English to read while lounging beside the pool (those were the days <sigh>). Once I'd broken the pain barrier I could hardly put it down.

And I'm hopeless with any book that anyone ever recommends is a good read - my brain rebels right from the first page and simply refuses to enjoy it. Takes me back to being forced to read Jane Austin for English A Level!

BlueKangerooWonders Thu 30-Jul-09 12:04:40

Wuthering heights! Finally decided to to listen to it instead. Each cd took 3 listens to make it make sense before moving onto the next disc. But it was worth it!

MrsMuddle Thu 30-Jul-09 13:14:05

My post should have read "big chunks"! Must preview.

Greeneyed, CC'sM was one of the books that I gave up on, so well done for persevering.

BettySwollux Thu 30-Jul-09 13:20:32

We need to talk about Kevin. The first 70 pages were like wading through treacle for me.I usually give myself a 100 page limit, and if I cant get into to story by then, I give up, but I had been told that this was a great read by a few people, so persevered.
So glad I did. By around 150 pages in, I was hooked.

Anyone else read it?

muddleduck Thu 30-Jul-09 13:30:18

Betty - funny you should mention "wee need to talk..". It was another of our book club books and you've reminded me that it is one of the very few that I did give up on. DS1 was very very little at the time and I decided that this wasn't the best time for a book like that. thanks for reminding me to go back to it.

BettySwollux Thu 30-Jul-09 15:11:06

Hope you stick with it muddleduck.
I'm glad I did.It's a bit disturbing in parts (esp the ending) but so intriguing,I couldnt put it down once I'd got into it.

LastTrainToNowhere Thu 30-Jul-09 18:12:46

One Hundred Years of Solitude.
Read it for a book group and the first part was really hard. But then I found the right tone of the book, the voice to read it in, and everything clicked into place. It's in my top 10 books now.
Sadly, not one other person in my book group finished it, and they all (without exception) hated it. Can you imagine the meeting, with me gushing on like a madwoman to seven stony faces wink

Ninjacat Thu 30-Jul-09 18:15:04

I'm struggling with The Inheritance of Loss". Any one made it to the end?

luckylady74 Thu 30-Jul-09 18:19:59

That book about 2 men climbing a mountain and nearly ending up dead - can't remember the name.
The first chunk is all very tedious stuff about ropes and how to climb a glacier, but as soon as they start to get into trouble it's gripping!
Captain Corelli was the same too, but I just skim read the start and got to the better bit.

UnquietDad Thu 30-Jul-09 18:20:40

Atonement. Really frustrating going for first 100 pages, all made sense/came together in the end. Not my favourite McEwan though.

FlyMeToDunoon Thu 30-Jul-09 18:23:46

I hated Atonement for the first bit but it grew on me.

TheRedQueen Thu 30-Jul-09 18:27:04

I think you may mean Touching the Void by Joe Simpson, lucklady74.

Grammaticus Thu 30-Jul-09 18:29:30

Last train - did you go on and read Love in the Time of Cholera? I loved that one.

MrsPigeon Thu 30-Jul-09 18:37:47

I also loved We Need to Talk..., think Lionel Shriver is brilliant.

Had much trouble with Italo Calvino's If on a winter's night a traveller to begin with but it was worth finishing it. Just about.

ThePlanningCommittee Thu 30-Jul-09 18:49:22

Funny you should mention Jane Austen greeneyedg1rl - I read 'Persuasion' for A Level and absolutely hated it as a know-it-all 17 year old (thought Anne Eliot was a drip and a bore).

Flash forward 5 years when I revisited 'Persuasion' for my degree as a slightly older and wiser 22 year old who'd had her heart broken a couple of times, and I absolutely loved it. It's still one of my all-time favourite novels.

Some things are wasted on the young!

BrigitBigKnickers Thu 30-Jul-09 18:50:57

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

The first 4 chapters are very slow but beyond that it's totally gripping.

MrsMuddle Thu 30-Jul-09 19:05:33

Ninjacat I loved Inheritance of Loss. Keep going - it's worth it (IMHO).

NellyNoKnicks Thu 30-Jul-09 20:35:16

I was going to put We Need to Talk about Kevin. What a fantastic book that was in the end. Took ages to read the first few chapters, but was in tears by the end.

Sidge Thu 30-Jul-09 20:38:17

I agree re We Need to Talk About Kevin. I hated the first 65 pages and nearly gave up but I'm glad I persevered. Not an enjoyable book as such but very thought provoking.

Also Steven King's The Stand - really long and wordy and took a bit of getting into but I really liked it.

crankytwanky Thu 30-Jul-09 20:48:36

It took me years to read "Jane Ayre".

I started in school, butkept giving up and having to start again a few years later. Finaly finished after having DC1, and being a captive audience, as it were, during those first few weeks.
Totally loved it!
Have re-read it since.

Also almost all Margaret Attwood's.

FlamongoBongo Thu 30-Jul-09 20:51:08

The Book Thief - I hated the style of writing and really took ages to get used to it and not find it totally irritating, but couldn't put it down by about 1/2 way through and didn't want it to end!

icedgemsrock Thu 30-Jul-09 20:59:43

Oh no I took - We Need to Talk about Kevin - back to the library after the first couple of chapters - will try again.

janeite Thu 30-Jul-09 21:01:23

Jane Eyre is brill if you miss out the whole of the first half.

I gave up on 'Kevin' and have no intention of trying again!

The Book Thief took me thirty pages or so to get into it and then I really enjoyed it.

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