What’s the best book you couldn’t finish?

Goodreads has a list of the top five books that people couldn’t finish:

Hmm.  I’ve already posted about my inability to finish Atlas Shrugged. Its popularity makes me realize there is a limit to my ability to understand human nature.  I re-read Moby Dick a couple of years ago; I finished it, but I have to admit it was a struggle — too much stuff about whaling!  Ulysses is not a book you’re going to get through without a large commitment of time and effort; plus, you’re going to need some help.  But it surely repays the effort.  I have no idea why anyone would have any difficulty finishing Lord of the Rings or Catch-22.

I suppose the most important book I haven’t been able to finish is Proust’s Remembrance of Things Past (if you consider that a single novel).  I forced myself to read Swann’s Way a few years ago, but I hated every minute of it.  I also couldn’t make it through anything by Thomas Mann except Death in Venice; I only finished that one because it was so short.

There are plenty of lesser novels that I haven’t finished, and I get more impatient as I grow older.  I did manage to finish Dan Brown’s Inferno, though, and I’ll blog about that when I gather up my courage.

5 thoughts on “What’s the best book you couldn’t finish?

  1. I’ve happily finished Catch-22, Atlas Shrugged, Don Quixote, The Count of Monte Cristo, War & Peace and a few other Russian masters besides. Three book still have a book mark half-way through – Deception Point by Dan Brown, boy is that bad; The Arabian Nights, left on holiday with it half-finished and have not picked it up again yet; and Planet Simpson by Chris Turner, I had to put it down because it was blowing my mind and gave me some much to think about.


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