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Hard to read, the fiction.

post #1 of 131
Thread Starter 
Let's talk difficult fiction. I tried Joyce's Ulysses a couple times, but I went soft. I tried Umberto Eco's Foucault's Pendulum, but I lost momentum rather quickly. Please list your failures as a reader.
post #2 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by denimdestroyedmylife View Post
Let's talk difficult fiction. I tried Joyce's Ulysses a couple times, but I went soft. I tried Umberto Eco's Foucault's Pendulum, but I lost momentum rather quickly.

Please list your failures as a reader.

By your definition, Proust is one of my failures. I prefer to think of it as the better part of valor.


Vikram Seth's monstrous A Suitable Boy kicked my ass. It's not difficult reading per se, just kind of overwhelming. I'm a big fan of Ulysses, but I've never come close to making it through Finnegans Wake at a go.
post #3 of 131
Atlas Shrugged. I am not sure if that counts because I managed to get through it by skipping the monologues and don't think I missed anything.

I know there is another well known, highly regarded author that I found unreadable but I must have blocked his or her name out of my mind.
post #4 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by dopey View Post
Atlas Shrugged. I am not sure if that counts because I managed to get through it by skipping the monologues and don't think I missed anything.

I know there is another well known, highly regarded author that I found unreadable but I must have blocked his or her name out of my mind.

I don't think that atlas shrugged is so hard to read as poorly written.


I have read a lot of gabriel garcia marquez, but I wasn't able to read 100 years of solitude - I tried several times, just couldn't get through it.
post #5 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by dopey View Post

I know there is another well known, highly regarded author that I found unreadable but I must have blocked his or her name out of my mind.

Does it rhyme with Pantongiavanni?
post #6 of 131
Dune. I don't understand why it's such a popular science fiction piece when the writing is so horrible.
Quote:
Originally Posted by dopey View Post
Atlas Shrugged. I am not sure if that counts because I managed to get through it by skipping the monologues and don't think I missed anything.
I've read it many many times, but I have not yet read all of Galt's speech at the end. I have not yet met anyone who has, and I will be suspicious of the first man who claims it.
Quote:
I don't think that atlas shrugged is so hard to read as poorly written.
Rand was Russian and English was not her first language. It is no literary artpiece, but I would rate the writing quality as being better than what's put out nowadays by many native speakers.
post #7 of 131
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by globetrotter View Post
I have read a lot of gabriel garcia marquez, but I wasn't able to read 100 years of solitude - I tried several times, just couldn't get through it.
Ah, here is the best part of a thread like this: I read 100 Years of Solitude and enjoyed it. Keeping track of several generations of characters can be a challenge, I guess, especially when some share the same name, but I managed it. :brainflex:
post #8 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by robin View Post
Dune. I don't understand why it's such a popular science fiction piece when the writing is so horrible.


I've read it many many times, but I have not yet read all of Galt's speech at the end. I have not yet met anyone who has, and I will be suspicious of the first man who claims it.


Rand was Russian and English was not her first language. It is no literary artpiece, but I would rate the writing quality as being better than what's put out nowadays by many native speakers.

compare it with Conrad - Conrad was a native polish speaker, and learned English at about the same age. I don't think that language is the issue - I think that Rand was a philosopher, not a writer.

oh, and I've read Galt's speech.
post #9 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by denimdestroyedmylife View Post
Ah, here is the best part of a thread like this: I read 100 Years of Solitude and enjoyed it. Keeping track of several generations of characters can be a challenge, I guess, especially when some share the same name, but I managed it. :brainflex:

good for you - I mean that with no sarcasim. I honestly love some of his other writing, and my wife loves his writing, and I value my ablity to read and comprehend literature. it was a bitter failure for me not to be able to handle this book.
post #10 of 131
Never been able to finish Cryptonomicon.
post #11 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by globetrotter View Post
I think that Rand was a philosopher, not a writer.
That too.
Quote:
Originally Posted by globetrotter View Post
oh, and I've read Galt's speech.
Are you a masochist or was it for a dissertation?
post #12 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by dopey View Post
Atlas Shrugged. I am not sure if that counts because I managed to get through it by skipping the monologues and don't think I missed anything.


Wish I'd thought of that. I just started reading the same paragraphs over and over, then I set the book down and wept.

Oh, Crime and Punishment (Dostoevsky), and Green Hills of Africa (Hemingway). Stalled on those as well and haven't had the desire to look at them again.
post #13 of 131
Gravity's Rainbow ground to a halt in my brain about 50 pages in. I think I could read it if I just poured myself into it without stopping over a weekend. There's a tipping point that needs to be reached with books like that. I read Absalom, Absalom! that way and it worked.
post #14 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tokyo Slim View Post
Never been able to finish Cryptonomicon.
I thought that was always more of a joke book - are you saying that people actually try to read it?
post #15 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by robin View Post
Dune. I don't understand why it's such a popular science fiction piece when the writing is so horrible.


Dune is awesome and it is popular for a million different reasons, most of which are probably valid.
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