February 10, 2011

Thank You John Steinbeck

For years I felt I had an obligation to finish any book I started. I had the mistaken belief that there would be some redemptive quality if I just stuck it out to the end. That attitude allows me to claim on my "I read it" list such legendary tomes as Don Quixote, The Inferno, War and Peace, The Vicar of Wakefield, and that total overrated piece of shit Moby Dick. I suffered through Hawthorne, Defoe and Sinclair. I made it through Sister Carrie and the remarkably similar Communist Manifesto.

It was The Grapes of Wrath and those damn turtles crossing the road that finally convinced me life is too short to read crappy books. Since then I have failed to finish lots of authors. I lose not a minute of sleep in tossing aside the latest bestseller if it fails to entertain me(see Grishom's Ford County). Currently, I find myself reading a book I bought for the Kindle. I only paid $2.99 for it, but that was too much. Three dollars too much, if you get my meaning. I should have used the "try it free" preview feature. Another lesson learned the hard way.

At what point do you give up on a book? When I grab a novel by an unknown author from the library I have no issue tossing it after a dozen pages or so. But as a cheap bastard, I have a harder time giving up on something I paid for. I am about 1/3 through the book now. It is not funny. The plot is inane, and the story spins in a predictable fashion. It is almost as if I wrote the thing. I won't give you the title, because there is a certain segment of the population that will try to read this crap book, just too see if it is as bad as I claim. I know, I am just such a person.

I guess I will give it a few more pages then move on to other stuff. I have at least a dozen books waiting, paid and unpaid. I am sure any will be more entertaining than the current selection.

5 comments:

CnC said...

Gotta agree Joe with you on Moby Dick, When my son was a young teenager I had him read Treasure Island while I read Moby Dick then we were going to trade, I read Moby, but I knew my son would never get thru it, He loved Treasure Island.
My favorite novel, Orwells 1984 I have re-read that book almost every year since high school. I get something different out of it everytime, I also have the movie which is the best adaptation of a book I have ever seen.

Jean said...

Moby Dick. OMG. I made it about a third into it and tossed it.
Fitzgerald's short stories are in the same category. Currently snoozing through Somerset Maugham short stories...but not for long.
I have yet to find anything Hemingway I can tolerate.

However, I did like Grapes of Wrath many years ago. Wonder if I'd like it now?

Cappy said...

It's your own damn fault for buying a book Obama wrote.

Joe said...

Cappy --you are alive!

Ralphd00d said...

I usually give a book the first 25-30 pages to get my interest. If I can tell it is going to suck after that point, I toss it. If I paid money for it, I usually make sure I enjoy it. though, I could see where that can be a problems sometimes when you pick up a new one from an author you like, and it sucks (ie. 'The Cell' by Stephen King).

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