In the larger scheme of things, not being able to finish reading a book is not such a big deal. But in my own small little world, it is enough to shake the foundations of my existence (excuse the drama). But even the biggest book lovers, bibliophiles and book worms, I’m sure, have come across those tomes that for one reason or the other never get read.
These are not necessarily books that you hate. In fact, if I hate a book, it is more likely that I will get to the end, just to validate my opinion of it. No saving grace until the last page? Okay, then I can go ahead and check – strongly dislike. But these ones are a little harder to explain.
So here are the books that are currently in my Hall of Shame:
A Son of the Circus – I loved, really loved, John Irving’s World According to Garp, which is the reason I picked up this book. I’ve been trying to get through it for over a month now, but other books keep getting ahead. Maybe I’m not in the frame of mind to read about a circus in India in the ’80s. If it had been set in exotic foreign lands, I might have been able to imagine the romance of it. Knowing the dark reality of circus life in India perhaps takes away from my enjoyment. This one is not a lost cause however, I will be trying my hand at it again.
Lord of the Flies – Should I have read this when I was a 10 year old boy? Maybe it’s something that appeals to that demographic. In which case, it was a lost cause even when I was 10, no? Since I would have been a 10 year old girl, not a boy. I know, this isn’t a children’s adventure book. It addresses important social issues and is a highly challenged and much discussed book. For those reasons, I will hang onto it. It’s not a very big book and when I’m in the frame of mind for a thought provoking allegory, I will reach for this one.
White Mughals – Although not the main reason I haven’t managed to get through this one, a contributing factor is that the book is so heavy. Not the subject matter – the physical book. It’s unwieldy and heavy. I’ve got as far as 100 pages and then – the plot needs to move forward. Descriptions of nautch girls and the eccentricities of an English gentleman need to blossom into more. I want to know that there’s a story… and people that I’ll care about. But I loved Darlymple’s Age of Kali and City of Djinns, so this one gets another try as well.
Dune – I’m really disappointed about about Dune. I’ve tried it 3 times because it sounds like something that’s right up my alley. Sci-fi, fantasy, that sort of thing. Somehow, this world did not draw me in – neither did the characters. It’s as if every explanation and every plot point is too laboured. Too much explanation and yet not enough. That combined with multiple threads like the new worlds, enemies, magic, politics, and what not, I just lost the plot about 200 pages in. Will not be going in for round 4. So if anyone wants a slightly dusty not heavily used copy of Dune, send me a mail. Oh, wait, that means I need to add that email link on my blog!
So here, at this point in time, these are my albatrosses. At least one will be given away with some regret, others will continue to collect dust until my time comes for them. Then they will be given another chance to delight and entertain.
Any suggestions on why I should give one of these a go soon(er)? What are your albatrosses?