Hard to read, the fiction.

Discussion in 'Entertainment, Culture, and Sports' started by denimdestroyedmylife, Mar 12, 2008.

  1. denimdestroyedmylife

    denimdestroyedmylife Big Winner

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    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.
     


  2. lawyerdad

    lawyerdad Senior member

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    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.
     


  3. dopey

    dopey Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    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.
     


  4. globetrotter

    globetrotter Senior member

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    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.
     


  5. lawyerdad

    lawyerdad Senior member

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    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?
     


  6. robin

    robin Senior member

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    Dune. I don't understand why it's such a popular science fiction piece when the writing is so horrible.
    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.
    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.
     


  7. denimdestroyedmylife

    denimdestroyedmylife Big Winner

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    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:
     


  8. globetrotter

    globetrotter Senior member

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    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.
     


  9. globetrotter

    globetrotter Senior member

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    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.
     


  10. Tokyo Slim

    Tokyo Slim In Time Out

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    Never been able to finish Cryptonomicon.
     


  11. robin

    robin Senior member

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    I think that Rand was a philosopher, not a writer.
    That too.
    oh, and I've read Galt's speech.
    Are you a masochist or was it for a dissertation? [​IMG]
     


  12. Thomas

    Thomas Senior member

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    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.
     


  13. Baron

    Baron Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    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.
     


  14. robin

    robin Senior member

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    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?
     


  15. GQgeek

    GQgeek Senior member

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    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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