Monday, 14 September 2009

I won't get that time back OR Come on, come on, come on, get through it...

So Aliya's given up on Wolf Hall. Like she says, she's not usually a quitter.

I managed to get through One Hundred Years of Solitude and Lark Rise to Candleord and am glad I made it, but I did abandon Le Carre's The Naive And Sentimental Lover to the whimsy of the London Transport system, and have been put off reading any more of his work. And David Hebblethwaite has just convinced me to steer clear of Oryx & Crake and The Year of the Flood by damning them with faint praise. There are scores of other similarly abandoned and never reads littering my past. But maybe I should have persevered with some (Do I really need to read Tender is the Night? The writing is beautiful but the characters--muh.) and not bothered to finish some of the others--I'm looking at you Richard Beard's The Cartoonist.

What books have you wasted time on--and wish you hadn't--and are there any you started, but didn't finish, but have a niggling suspicion maybe you should have?


Frances Garrood said...

D.M.Thomas's The White Hotel. There was a huge fuss made about it when it came out (probably before you were born, Neil) and I foot-slogged my way through it because (a) it was a gift and (b) a hardback. I very rarely had the luxury of a hardback book as a gift, and wasn't going to waste this one. Instead I wasted time - too much time - trying to make sense of this incomprehensible novel. If anyone would like my copy, I still have it. Oh - and Doris Lessing's Golden Notebook. There must be something wrong with me - it's supposed to be her greatest work, and I like Doris Lessing - but I couldn't make head or tail of it. And I read every word.

Aliya Whiteley said...

Ooh, I love The Golden Notebook!

Doesn't that just prove it, though? If two decent writers who share the same editor can have such polar opinions on a book, then how on earth can we ever take it seriously when somebody else loves/hates the ones that we have written?

Neil said...

Thanks, Frances. After a quick check, I was indeed around when the white hotel was published, but at two years old, probably would have enjoyed it even less than you. After a brief glance at the synopsis, I don't think it's going on my Christmas list.

See, now I'm confused over The Golden Notebook.

Frances Garrood said...

Neil - if you want a really stunning Doris Lessing (and haven't yet read it) The Diaries of Jane Somers is a wonderful book; one of my top reads ever.

Aliya - I think you're probably a bit brighter than I am...How's the Munchie-grief going?

Aliya Whiteley said...

I really liked The Fifth Child as well. I bought a copy for my brother just before his son was born. Heh.

I'm getting there, thanks, Frances.