- how long should you stay with a book before you throw in the towel?
- are you obligated to stay to the end?
- should you persevere and be rewarded?
Here’s my game plan:
- if it doesn’t grab me within the first few chapters I’ll put it down
- return to it in a couple of days
- but if still a no go, then it is definitely a Stop, Do Not Pass Go moment.
Maybe it all about timing too? You want a page turner and instead you get a meandering character study. And sometimes a book is just not what you expected, despite the rave reviews and recommendations.
Other times something better comes along and gets your immediate attention.
Below are 2 books that just didn’t work out. To be fair there a few that I did return to, but still Do Not Pass Go moment.
Susanna Clarke: Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell - A Novel
A little too twee and clever for my liking, the whole footnote ploy really started to annoy me. I did get further on the second attempt, however still couldn’t get involved as the story was too slow. Way too many long winded descriptive paragraphs - when I was screaming on the inside "Show me the MAGIC!".
And oh yeah, totally put off by size - a freakin tomb. I really couldn’t invest that much time on something I was very so ambivalent about.
Maybe, I’ll just wait for the movie, when they condense the story down to the main bits and action. (Now, that is very Generation Y sorta attitude!)
Patrick Rothfuss The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle, Day 1)
I was so looking forward to this, it got really good reviews too. I kept reading and reading, hoping it get better but in the end I was really quite bored. Powerful magician retells his life tale -sounds a bit familiar?
A little too derivative of Ursula K. Le Guin’s masterful Earthsea trilogy. I kept thinking this is a bit too shallow and wanted to see Ged/Sparrowhawk appear to give it some depth. You know you it's not going well when you wish for a character from another book to appear!
Other books I've left:
- Michael Faber: The Crimson Petal and the White (2 attempts)
- Matthew Pearl: The Poe Shadow (2 attempts)
- Anne Tyler: Digging to America (3 attemps - I really tried)
- Kathleen Tessaro: Elegance
- Matt Rubinstein: A Little Rain on Thursday
- Curtis Sittenfeld: Prep