Abandoned Books

Sadly, I have had to abandon several books of late, three of which I originally chose as part of my Classics Club list.  I have written a short series of thoughts about each below, and will certainly give them another go in future if anyone thinks such an act is warranted.

Celia’s House by D.E. Stevenson – I was so looking forward to this, but the plot is stretched incredibly thin.  The writing is beautiful in places, but I spent too much time willing something to happen and simply could not get into it.

Go Down MosesAbsalom, Absalom!Light in AugustFlags in the Dust and The Reivers by William Faulkner – I have issues with a lot of Faulkner’s work, despite very much enjoying As I Lay Dying.  I find his sentence construction jarring and his almost-Joycean books difficult to enjoy.

Anne of Green Gables: Avonlea by L.M. Montgomery – Despite very much enjoying the first book in the Anne of Green Gables series, I just could not bring myself to finish the second.  I did not find it engaging, and the once adorable Anne sadly felt like an entirely different character.

Be Safe, I Love You by Cara Hoffman – I set my hopes too high with Viragos, it seems.  The prologue was well-sculpted, but as soon as it reached its first chapter, I became rather bored with it.  The narrative is dull and the characters felt flat.

The Beetle: A Mystery by Richard Marsh – Part of my Classics Club list, I sadly could not finish this.  Its premise is intriguing, and the first person narrative perspective works well, but what I read felt largely like a rehash of Franz Kafka’s Metamorphosis, which I must admit I am not overly fond of. 

The Ambassadors by Henry James – I very much enjoy James’ shorter books, but the beginning of this weighty tome did not engage me enough to warrant my carrying on with it.

Ann Veronica by H.G. Wells – Another on my Classics Club list.  I was fascinated to see the differences between Wells’ science-fiction and this vastly different novel, but I simply could not engage with the characters, nor care about them enough to view their outcomes with much interest.

Heidi by Johanna Spyri – I am sure that this is a perfectly lovely book once one has waded through its treacly beginning, but on my second attempt, I just couldn’t finish it.  I remember trying to read it as a child and becoming rather despondent with it, and it seems that nothing has changed.  The third failure on my Classics Club list.

Which books have you abandoned recently?  When do you tend to give up on a book if you do not enjoy it?

9 thoughts on “Abandoned Books

  1. I am so bad about abandoning books. I was just saying earlier this evening (it’s night time where I am 🙂 ) that in the last four months, I’ve started about ten books and only finished one (and that one was barely long enough to be called a book!). I’m still working on a few of them, but most of them I simply gave up on. In most cases, it wasn’t that I disliked the books, it’s just that there were other things that I wanted to read even more.

    I read the Anne of Green Gables books when I was younger and though I really liked Anne of Avonlea, I think Anne did seem like a completely different character. I still liked her, but she just wasn’t as bubbly and effusive as she had been before. It didn’t bother me much at the time, but I wonder if now that I’m older, I would notice the flaws in it a bit more.

    So I’m not the only one who found Heidi unbearable! I only read the first chapter and then I quit. The story just seemed to be going nowhere.

    • I have that too; almost like a book slump, isn’t it? I get really excited about books sometimes, and if they don’t grab me within the first two chapters, I generally move onto something else. I just don’t have the patience anymore.

      I wish I’d read the Anne books as a child; like you, I think I would appreciate them more had I been that bit younger.

      Not at all! I kept expecting something more interesting to happen, but again, lost patience with it entirely.

  2. I abandon them pretty quickly nowadays if they don’t grab me instantly. Doesn’t mean I won’t go back to them at some point, but I’m not going to persevere if the mood is not right – life is too short and there are too many great books to read!

  3. That’s a lot of Faulkner you’ve abandoned…! As for Heidi, I was planning to get my boys to read it (because we live in Switzerland), but it may be a tough sell. Perhaps you have to be a sentimental little girl to appreciate it?

    • I feel I really should like Faulkner, but generally, I don’t. I think there are far better Southern authors in the canon, and I far prefer the work of the likes of Flannery O’Connor, Truman Capote, Carson McCullers, William Maxwell, Eudora Welty, etc. Possibly! I hope your boys enjoy it if you can persuade them.

  4. Lord, I hated Heidi. Even as an 11 year old I found it sickly sweet and thoroughly annoying. Cynical before puberty…. goodness. Books have ruined me.

    I’ve been terrible, I even DNF-ed a Du Maurier. Most of the things I’ve been DNF-ing aren’t because they suck though, it’s because my brain just struggles to compute after all the uni reading I do all the time.

    • I’m so glad it wasn’t just me, Bels! Seriously thought I was missing something. I remember people at school raving about it and thinking, ‘but it’s a book about a girl and some goats; surely it can’t be that exciting!?’

      That’s not terrible at all! Things must seem generally awful in comparison to H.D. too. 😉

  5. Pingback: Farewell, Classics Club List! | theliterarysisters

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