So what book have you slogged through lately?

I am reading at least one book at all times. I refuse to leave a book unfinished even if I don’t like it. Its a habit I’ve had for as long as I can remember. If I start a book I will slog through it til the end. There have been maybe two books in my life that I haven’t finished.

Right now I am reading Michael Flynn’s The Wreck of the River of Stars. Ugh. I am big Michael Flynn fan, I recommend all his other books. However, this one is like swimming in molasses. It is about an inter-system space ship heading for disaster. The crew runs the gamut from inexperience to incompetance. The book is full of foreboding and foreshadowing suggesting what the wreck in the title is for. My big problem is that it would have made a good 250 page book. At 550 it is way to slow. I’m at about page 300 and still going. I do want to see how he resolves the plot but I’m sick of all the other crap in the book.

Anyone in the same boat? Do you slog through books you don’t like? Please no books you have to read for school

Oh, but this means I lose my chance to brag about having finished The Faerie Queene! :wink:

Sorry to break the rules, but . . .

I generally finish books, but there have been a few notable exceptions:

Godel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal Golden Braid
Clausewitz On War

I never pick up a Stephen King book any more, because I’m pretty sure I won’t be able to finish it. I’ve read about 10 - the early ones, plus some short story collections. He started repeating himself a long time ago, so there’s no reason to go back to him.

Life’s too short to slog.

If I’m not grabbed by the time I’ve read 50 pages, I’ll put it aside. If I think my lack of interest might be about timing or mood, I’ll set it aside and try it again later – but if I just don’t like the book, I have no compunction in putting it down and not looking back.

I will sometimes get halfway through a book and decide it’s a waste of my time, but I’m equally ruthless then. Once or twice I’ve gotten 3/4 of the way through a book, in which case I may skim the rest or just jump to the last chapter, if there’s some question at stake (will Celia and Thor find true love together? did the butler really do it? what will it take to stop the alien overlords?), but with nonfiction and literary novels, not even that.

Finnegans Wake. I’ve been reading it on and off since 1983 and this time I have reached page 112 without giving up. Being currently unemployed, I’m determined to get to the end (or is that the beginning?) in one go this time.

The Confusion, by Neal Stephenson. I’ve loved just about everything he’s done, but after Quicksilver this is becoming a bit tedious. Although my hard headedness will not let me give up on the book, it’s taking me a lot longer to read this than it would normally. Probably not helping is the fact that James Morrow just came out with a new book, and my girlfriend bought me Baudolino by Eco the other day, so my heart really isn’t in it.

Infinite Jest After fifteen months, I’m on page 60. I’ll make it, I just know I will.

I agree with twickster.

If you force yourself to finish every book you start, you may end up avoiding anything new or different. There’s nothing wrong in trying a new author you’ve never heard of before, discovering his writing is crap and abandoning the book.

On my nightstand I have Alfred Russel Wallace : A Life, by Peter Raby. Wallace’s the guy who came up with the idea of natural selection about the same time as Darwin.

He was a Victorian naturalist who traveled the world and it’s really interesting to read about the exotic places he visited, the native people, the Europeans who were all about the exploitation, the dangers he encountered, &c. I also really like the passages quoted from his correspondance with friends, family, and scientists, because I have an interest in letter-writing. Also, Wallace was a free thinker and socialist, so his reactions to all the different cultures are fascinating. And of course his thinking as a scientist is what’s really exciting to me.

However, the book was clearly written primarily for readers who have a scholarly interest in Wallace, because it’s chock full of boring lists of specimins that he collected, meticulous accountings of dates and exactly what boring thing he was doing on such-and-such a date, tedious recountings of the comings and goings of members of his family, etc.

So I want to keep reading for the stuff I’m interested in, but the overall tone of the book is bland and dry enough that it never actually occurs to me to go out of my way to pick it up and start reading. It’s on the bedstand, so when I bundle in under the covers and decide that I’m not quite ready to go to sleep, I can pick it up and read a few pages. I’m about half way through, and I’m sure I’ll finish it someday.

Otherwise, I’m with twickster and Lionel. I used to feel a compulsion to finish every book I picked up, but at some point the realization dawned that there are many, many truly excellent books in the world, and one of the great tragedies of life is that I’m not going to get to read them all. So why shoud I waste my precious little reading time on bad books that I’m not enjoying?

Yes, indeed, that’s my new philosophy. I slogged (and I do mean slogged my way through The Blind Assassin about a year or so ago, and I just hated the damn thing, but felt like I had to finish it. Two summers ago, I slogged through We Were The Mulvaneys, and while I didn’t hate it, it just didn’t grab me. I disliked some of the characters and they way they reacted to the book’s conflict, and I didn’t care for the general direction the plot took about halfway through.
Never again. If I’m not hooked right away, I’ll skip to the end (maybe) to see how it ends, but I’m not wasting my time reading books I don’t like.

I must be weird (well, yeah, but I’m talking about in this case… :)) but I have found the first two books of Stephen King’s Dark Tower series immensely slogworthy. I made it through the first one and managed to get about halfway through the second before realizing that, as someone else pointed out, life was too short to slog through such a dull book.

This is weird, because I love Stephen King normally, especially his horror stuff. I want to like the DT books, but unless somebody can assure me that they experience an immense improvement after book 2, I just don’t think I’ll give the series another chance.

Fortress of Solitude by Jonathan Lethem. 6 months and no promised super powers I get about a chapter through everytime I pick it up. i don’t think I’ll ever finish it.

I am trying to break the habit. Its not working very well. With this book I am going on out partially out of respect for this author. He is one of my favorites. I do want to see how all the foreshadowed events come together. I am finding myself doing some serious speed reading through some of the pages. BTW it gets 4.5 stars on Amazon, maybe its just me.

I hardly ever put a book down without finishing it, but I’m definitely slogging through David Weber’s The Shiva Option. I love David Weber, but this one is a little too much for me, and besides, I found The Dark Tower series while I was in the middle of it. I’m sure I’ll have all seven read before I pick that one up again.

As I recall, the last “efforts” of Tom Clancy (The Teeth of the Tiger) and Anne Rice (Blood Canticle) both sucked and took me forever to read. I did finish them both though.

I haven’t been able to slog through an Eric Lustbader novel lately. It’s not that I don’t love me some Ninja intrigue and raunchy sex… it’s just that I feel like I need a flow chart to keep track of all the characters and thier changing identities.

I agree with you guys as well (though I do sometimes feel guilty if I don’t finish a book). The book I recently slogged through, though, was by an author I liked. Catch-22 and Closing Time were both good, right? So I gave Something Happened a go.

Wow. 565 pages of nothing. I kept at it, hoping that it would get better, but it just got worse. Mundane, depressing, tedious, with parentheticals that appear every two sentences and sometimes run on for pages. Here’s an example paragraph (bolding mine):

What a mess.

Ok, that deserves an exemption.

I have read every David Weber book and I enjoyed this one too

I’m currently trying to convince myself to continue the slog through Peter Straub’s Shadowland.
If anyone has a good argument that might strengthen my resolve, please share it.

I am currently slogging through Ursula K. LeGuin’s “The Left Hand of Darkness”. I have had it recommended by a handful of people, and it’s supposed to be a real breakthrough in sci-fi, but man it’s kind of boring. None of the characters ever get excited about anything, and it’s

politics, politics, politics.

Don’t I get enough of that in real life?

And it’s all very vague, with names of organizations and foreign words thrown in at you left and right, with only minimal explanation. The only reason I am finishing it is because it’s only 400 pages and I’ve managed to get through half, so may as well find out what all the hype is.

Ardred is currently reading Jinn by Matthew BJ Delany. He won’t quit reading it, but he does give me some gems of bad writing once in a while.

An example (this may not be exact, but it’s close).

“The door was big and maple, the brass fittings cool under his hand, the door sliding open.”

No, it’s not poetry, why do you ask?

The book is FULL of stuff like this, tenses not agreeing, sentence fragments stuck together to make a big sentence fragment that still doesn’t make sense, words missing or incorrectly used, etc. It’s like an awful book horribly edited.

It starts out with an incredibly long battle sequence that seems to have little to do with the main character or plot.

The Davinci Code is the last book I slogged through. Luckily it was short.

Too bad you didn’t like the Dark Tower stuff, winterhawk11, I loved them, as a lot of people do, but I couldn’t read Wizard and Glass (book 4) again if I tried. Luckily I have in on audio book read by the inestimable Frank Muller, so I can just listen to him voice my beloved characters. If you don’t care about the characters, you won’t like the books.