Saturday, March 20, 2010

Books I'll Never Finish Reading (And Why)

You start reading a book, and quickly realize it isn't for you. For whatever reason, you can't get into it, and you start fantasizing about all of the other books you would love to be reading. What do you do? A lot of people I know would finish the book no matter how much they disliked it. I, on the other hand, feel no shame in truncating my current read in favor of starting a new, more promising conquest. And why not? I have found no good reason to suffer through an unenjoyable book when I could be having a blast reading something that meets my needs.

What follows is a short list of books that I have recently picked up, only to put back down again in light of greener pastures. Am I a fickle reader, my tastes changing with the tides? Perhaps, but I am not ashamed!

Under the Dome, by Stephen King. I have to admit, I was surprised when I found myself rejecting the back half of this book. I am usually a sucker for anything Stephen King, and the premise of this novel was really interesting to me. Why did I drop it? It mostly had to do with the length:content ratio. I love long, epic books, but there didn't seem to be enough going on in this one to warrant the 1,000+ page length. A day would pass in the novel, and it felt like it would take an eternity. Although the story was gripping (something that may eventually bring me back to the novel at a later date), the pace was just too slow.

Alhazred, Author of the Necronomicon, by Donald Tyson. This one didn't last very long. It was touted as a type of "prequel" to Lovecraftian stories, being about the man who first witnessed the cosmic horrors that have been hiding in our world for countless millennia. However, it ended up being about a sniveling cannibal who ended up being one of the least likeable protagonists I have ever read about. There is little to no adherence to H. P. Lovecraft's work, and was just generally disappointing.

God's Demon, by Wayne Barlowe. Let me tell you. I was pretty excited about this one. A novel about a civil war amongst the ranks of demons in Hell should have been one of the most interesting books out there. However, something seemed to be missing. You would think an epic war fought by demons and souls damned to an eternity of suffering would pretty much blown my scifi/fantasy socks off, but this novel was filled with so much bland, political nonsense that it read like a Congressional bill, except I also had the benefit of not being able to pronounce any of the demons' names.
That's all I have to say about that. But I would love to hear what you think! Do you finish every book you start, no matter how disappointing? Or have you set some aside?


  1. Well, I have to ask, am I the "a lot of people I know"? Historically I have always finished every book I have read, even if it sucked. There is only one book that I have stopped reading, and that was after only 1 chapter - it was a pretty desperate case. But I am starting to become more about reading what I love so I am more open to not finishing it if it is that bad. And I thought you finished God's Demon?

  2. I usually suffer through them for some reason, although I have stopped reading a few. I'm pretty lucky overall though with finding great books.

    I know what you mean about Under the Dome but I thought it was well worth it at the end!