Wednesday, January 23, 2008

"What is the What?" A Pseudoreview


One of the reasons for joining this challenge was to force me to finish books I may have otherwise written off before reaching the final page. Typically, if a book does not hold my attention, I move on to the next item on the bookshelf without a second thought. So, when "What is the What?" started to bore me, my theory began being tested.

After recently finishing, "The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao" in three days, I imagined I could plow through Egger's novel in under a week. Within the first two hundred pages, I was bored to tears. Several other used books arrived in the mail that were calling my name. I was insistent however, that if I was going to submit a review, I should at least finish the book.

Here I sit, nearly a week later, and as a result of my effort to finish the novel my time spent reading has been reduced to nothing at all. I have scarcely finish 10 more pages since last week, and my guilty conscience has preventing me from beginning other books.

Of the novel, I will say little. It is probably unfair to critique without bothering to get past the halfway mark. That alone should give a fairly complete review of the book from my perspective. I am curious however, if others reading this blog tend to push through a book when you know you are not enjoying it, or do you pull the plug and move on? What is the breaking point for you? When is the earliest you've called it quits, or do you always solider on?

3 comments:

Wendy said...

Well, I'm with you on this, Thomas. I find myself willing to tolerate a less than compelling book if I'm trying to complete it for a challenge...which is not always in my best interest. In fact, right now I'm doing that with Great Expectations...and I'm getting frustrated as I sit looking at my stacks of much more intriguing books to be read. I have occasionally just thrown in the towel on a book - and often challenge hosts will let you substitute an alternate, so nothing is really lost (by the way, you can do that here!!).

As I creep toward my 50th birthday, I am growing more likely to abandon books that I'm not enjoying. There are just too many wonderful books out there to spend my time yawning through one that doesn't do it for me.

J.C. Montgomery said...

I agree with Wendy. Its great that we tend to work harder toward completing a challenge, but it is also nice to know there is flexibility regarding our choices if we need it.

When I am having a hard time getting through a novel, I have to ask myself if finishing it requires a prod or a crop. Obviously I prefer the former to the latter!

As I don't mind pushing myself a little to get any difficult task done, I will not do so at the cost of having to set aside something that might prove to be more pleasurable.

I appreciate your effort, and especially your honesty. For me, these challenges are not simply to get me reading more, it is also to introduce me to genres and authors I would not normally be exposed to - and reviews like yours help steer me in the right direction.

Of course, we all have different opinions - and by sharing them, at least we can be more informed about our choices. Thanks for sharing and helping to do just that.

Pam said...

I agree also Thomas. I used to try to finish every book, but then I figured that I'm not getting any younger and there are so many books that I want to read, why waste my time. Though it really is hard to admit defeat.