Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Letting Go on "The Guardian"

A copy of my post on "The Guardian" blog about books I've left and let go:

I struggled through and finally gave up on Jared Diamond's "Collapse." I loved "Gun, Germs, and Steel" but I found "Collapse" entirely too dry. It seems as if Diamond made absolutely no attempt to interest his readers in what, at least in theory, should have been a compelling subject. Also, sigh, I never finished "War and Peace." One day I will though. I loved Charlotte Bronte's "Jane Eyre." It's on my top ten list, in fact. But I was absolutely unable to make it through "Villette." I absolutely hated "The World is Flat" by Thomas L. Freidman and left it unfinished with no regrets. Also never finished Nick Hornby's "How to Be Good." I love Hornby as a critic but I have my reservations about his novels. And finally "Love in the Time in Cholera" by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Prose was great, subject (unrequited love for a woman who absolutely doesn't deserve it) wasn't.

That's all I can think of so far but I'm sure there's more. My only defense is that I've finished plenty more than I've given up on and it always leaves me feeling a little defeated when I just have to move on, which I think is a good thing.

And here's the response I got from Carefree:

Blimey, LitChild [that's me], I loved Collapse by Jared Diamond, and I'm usually a strictly fiction reader, but I've always been fascinated by the myths of Easter Island and the Viking sagas, so I devoured this - and subsequently leant to a friend about a year ago and desperate to get it back so I can read it again one day!

On an off-topic note, I think EVERYONE should read Collapse to try and get some historical perspective on what we're doing to the planet. And then act on it - it was an inspirational read for me.

Blimey?! Ha, ha! Oh, you gotta love those Brits. But come on, surely, despite its noble purpose, I wasn't the only one who couldn't wade through Collapse.


J.S. Peyton said...

I should add that I've also started and stopped Henry Miller's Tropic of Cancer, E.M. Forster's A Passage to India, and Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment. All of which I plan to finish one of these days...

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