Hard to read, the fiction.

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

  1. Zahir

    Zahir Well-Known Member

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    Currently collecting dust in my closet is Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov, which I have yet to make more than a 100 page dent in. I like it, I like Dostoevsky and have enjoyed some of his other novels, but for some reason I find myself losing interest in The Brothers Karamazov really quickly every time I pick it up. I think it's because I can't seem to make it past the vast amount of scene setting in the beggining.
     


  2. johnapril

    johnapril Senior member

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    The Quran. Also, Gravity's Rainbow. The scenery in Islamabad was more captivating than Pynchon.
     


  3. denimdestroyedmylife

    denimdestroyedmylife Big Winner

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    Currently collecting dust in my closet is Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov, which I have yet to make more than a 100 page dent in. I like it, I like Dostoevsky and have enjoyed some of his other novels, but for some reason I find myself losing interest in The Brothers Karamazov really quickly every time I pick it up. I think it's because I can't seem to make it past the vast amount of scene setting in the beggining.
    [​IMG] That's a shame. You should push through. Dostoyevsky's novels build up slowly but by the end there is huge momentum. He spends a lot of time arranging the pieces on the board, but then the climax is all the more intense for having been delayed. I always cringe when I hear of people putting down his books after a few hundred pages because the reader is so close to the pay-off. It is like sitting through a dinner and a movie without closing the deal. Time for a cold shower [​IMG]
     


  4. Thomas

    Thomas Senior member

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    [​IMG]

    That's a shame. You should push through. Dostoyevsky's novels build up slowly but by the end there is huge momentum. He spends a lot of time arranging the pieces on the board, but then the climax is all the more intense for having been delayed. I always cringe when I hear of people putting down his books after a few hundred pages because the reader is so close to the pay-off. It is like sitting through a dinner and a movie without closing the deal.

    Time for a cold shower
    [​IMG]


    Now that you mention it I had a similar time with Balzac's The Chouans. I slogged on and my interest wavered here and there, but eventually things started happening and once I woke up to the events, it was a good read.
     


  5. Fuuma

    Fuuma Franchouillard Modasse

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    You should understand that my reading list is not up to SF standards. If two people have not been murdered by page fifty, I usually put it down.

    I'm a big fan of hard boiled litterature and related para-litterature so It's not like I would blame you.

    I tried reading Moby Dick twice and never even got through to the point when the boat left, probably the only book I've never finished.
     


  6. Fuuma

    Fuuma Franchouillard Modasse

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    As a fan of Italy, have you read Donna Leon, Michael Dibdin, or Gianrico Carofiglio? I read a lot of murder mystery/police procedural stuff for relaxation, and over the past year or two I've been mining the Italian or at least set in Italy vein.

    I recently read Romanzo criminale, lots of people are indeed dead by page fifty if I remember correctly. Definitely recommended and who doesn't love gangster novels written by Italian judges...
     


  7. johnapril

    johnapril Senior member

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    Finnegans Wake

    Still we know how Day the Dyer works, in dims and deeps and dusks and darks.
     


  8. fftfft

    fftfft Senior member

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    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.


    QFT. I've read it a few times, but as for the speech...let's just say that perhaps the most basic interpretation of "read" can apply, i.e. translation of print to words. Processing/interpretation beyond that always faded after a few pages.
     


  9. dusty

    dusty Senior member

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    Gravity's Rainbow
    Ulysses
    Underworld (which isn't even a hard read but DAMN that book is thick)
     


  10. Dedalus

    Dedalus Senior member

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    The Odyssey. I ended up putting it down a few years ago for lack of time toward the last couple of books, but I never picked it back up because I know how it ends.

    Edit: I just realized how silly that looks next to my avatar.
     


  11. Philosoph

    Philosoph Senior member

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    ^ I found the Iliad much worse than the Odyssey. The catalog of ships nearly killed me.
     


  12. lawyerdad

    lawyerdad Senior member

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    I'm a big fan of hard boiled litterature and related para-litterature so It's not like I would blame you.

    I tried reading Moby Dick twice and never even got through to the point when the boat left, probably the only book I've never finished.


    Would you have liked it better if they threw some madeleines over the side?
     


  13. lawyerdad

    lawyerdad Senior member

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    I recently read Romanzo criminale, lots of people are indeed dead by page fifty if I remember correctly. Definitely recommended and who doesn't love gangster novels written by Italian judges...

    I do not know that one but will look for it.
     


  14. Saucemaster

    Saucemaster Sized Down 2

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    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.

    Once Nabokov came along, that stopped being an excuse for ANYONE writing in his(/her) second language.

    I think that Rand was a philosopher, not a writer.

    I think you have a more generous definition of "philosopher" than I do. [​IMG]

    (I just really don't like Ayn Rand.)

    I agree with you about "don't read Rand too young", btw. Oh, and you should give 100 Years of Solitude another shot sometime, it really is great.

    finnegans wake

    +1. Just couldn't do it, and honestly... I don't really want to. I think it's enough for me to know that someone wrote it. I don't really feel a need to read it.

    Strangely, I could not make it through Pynchon's V, which is much shorter, and supposedly more accessible. When I lose track of characters, and I have to keep backtracking, that is the death knell.

    I finished V! Woohoo! And to date it's still the only Pynchon I've actually read. [​IMG] Partly because it was so difficult to get through, I think.

    Infinite Jest. I really enjoyed reading it, but couldn't really put it together as a novel. re-read it a few times, and last year picked up the study guide which gave some new light to a few things.

    Good call, I agree completely. I'd pick it up and read a bit and be impressed by its brilliance. But I just couldn't sustain it (although I think I did read all the way through). I found it to be one of those pieces that are more impressive as an exercise in virtuosity than an enjoyable or enlivening reading experience.

    I actually loved Infinite Jest, both as an enjoyable reading experience AND as an exercise in virtuosity. I have a serious weakness for DFW's writing, though. Reading him is a lot like hearing myself think.

    I think this means I'm a narcissist?

    Currently collecting dust in my closet is Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov, which I have yet to make more than a 100 page dent in. I like it, I like Dostoevsky and have enjoyed some of his other novels, but for some reason I find myself losing interest in The Brothers Karamazov really quickly every time I pick it up. I think it's because I can't seem to make it past the vast amount of scene setting in the beggining.

    Brothers K is awesome--I've read it many times. I would say, keep slogging away, it definitely end up paying off. Hell, you never even made it to The Grand Inquisitor!

    I quit reading Proust, as has been well documented in other threads here. Not so much a failure to finish as a conscious decision to halt all Proust-related reading activities. It was sort of like when half your fingernail gets ripped off, and you sit there with it hurting, knowing you should just rip the rest. Eventually, you do, but not before you sit there in pain for a while, working up the nerve.

    I started DeLillo's latest (Falling Man), and sort of lost track halfway through. It's ridiculously short, I have no excuse. I just wasn't in the mood at the time, and I tried to force it anyway.
     


  15. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Senior member

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    I don't care for anything by Faulkner or Conrad. Their styles are distracting for me.

    Cryptonomicon, IMO is a masterpiece.
     


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