Sunday, May 31, 2009

BTT: Unread

Though I'm late in responding to this week's Booking Through Thursday prompt, I really wanted to reply to the question asking “Is there a book that you wish you could “unread”? One that you disliked so thoroughly you wish you could just forget that you ever read it?”

Indeed! Not only have I read one that I simply hated, but that experience finally taught me that not all books have to be finished. I can't remember how long ago it was, but following recommendations from people that I respected, I picked up a copy of Lord Foul's Bane by Stephen Donaldson, the first book in the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever. Thomas Covenant is the most unlikeable lead character that I have ever encountered. Yes, there have been despicable villains in many of the books I have read, but Covenant is supposed to be the ‘hero’—or rather the ‘anti-hero’ of this series.

So, I hated the main character and got really annoyed by his whinging throughout the book. He just kept moaning and complaining about all the bad things in his life, and there was nothing likable about him. But, I kept thinking, “Surely it will get better. Too many people said this was a good book.” But it didn't get better and when I read the last page, I felt like my time had been stolen from me.

While I couldn't get that time back, I did decide that I would no longer consider it a failure if I abandoned a book part-way through. It's rare that I give up on a book. I have been known to set one aside for a very long time and eventually return to it. But when I just know I can't find anything to enjoy in the book and I'm not interested in any of the sequels, I'm now willing to just admit I picked a book that isn't going to work for me and move on.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, I'd forgotten about the Donaldson books I hated. The Mirror series. Bleh.