View Full Version : Books you have begun and never finished

06-28-2011, 06:44 AM
Are there any books that you started and never finished? Why?; What about books that you started and finished a great while later?

I started A Journey to the Center of the Earth in 1981 and made it to Chapter 30 (Terrific Saurian Combat) and stopped. It was a combination of Verne's writing style and the "you've gotta be kidding" quotient. For years, I thought "I'm gonna read this thing," but never did. Finally, in 2009, I read it. I'm glad I did.

After college, I realized I had exposure to most of the major writers I'd always heard about, except one. So I embarked on a quest to become familiar with the one writer no one talked about. I read some of his short works, then started on one of his most infamous novels.

Shortly into the work, it was as if the author became bored with writing the book--it became nothing more than a list of sexual atrocities. He didn't show interest in finishing it, so why should I?

I never finished The 120 Days of Sodom by the Marquis DeSade.

And I never will.

06-28-2011, 07:49 AM
I stopped half way through Brown's The Lost Symbol... No reason really. Got my hands on a few King books that I hadn't read, o I read those. And now I got A Game of Thrones... Which has me hooked, so it looks like Brown will get pushed back even further.

06-28-2011, 08:52 AM
Really??? Yes 'The Lost Symbol' isn't as good as some others by him but i still thought that it was a great read!

06-28-2011, 10:07 AM
Whilst I have read and enjoyed most of Peter Straub's books, for some reason I just could not get into A Dark Matter. I ended up putting it down about 3/4 way through. May have to re-visit once the TBR pile is a little smaller.

06-28-2011, 10:21 AM
Really??? Yes 'The Lost Symbol' isn't as good as some others by him but i still thought that it was a great read!

I'm not saying that I don't like it. Actually, I enjoyed the first half, it's just that I got sucked in by other books! I will finish it though, maybe after A Game of Thrones and before the next book in the series.

06-28-2011, 12:58 PM
I couldn't read Drood or Black Hills by Dan Simmons. I got a couple of hundred pages into both and just didn't care what happened anymore.

There have been plenty of other books I never finished. I tend to try new authors at the library, and sometimes the books just aren't worth reading.

06-28-2011, 01:05 PM
Interesting i have heard people say that Drood is well worth reading and others saying it isn't, im still yet to read the book!

06-28-2011, 01:18 PM
I've tried to read Dune twice and both times by the time I got halfway through, I was hoping everybody would die of thirst.

06-28-2011, 02:17 PM
Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce. The only book I had to use the Cliffs Notes on in school.

06-28-2011, 08:29 PM
I hate not finishing books I begin; I tend to see each book as a conquest and it's a point of pride to say that I have read a certain number of books, and more importantly the right kind of books.

That being said, every so often, I come across a book that bores me to such an extent as to render it utterly unreadable. Mr. Midshipman Hornblower by C.S. Forrester is one such book. Something I bought in September at a Borders Outlet Mall, I attempted to read it twice, and both times just lost interest between the halfway and 3/4 mark.

06-28-2011, 09:44 PM
I started On Writing and didn't even finish the introduction! I loved it but moved on to 'Salem's Lot. I tend to do that with a lot of Stephen King novels, start one and get to page fifty or so and then quit for another one, but now I'm reading chronologically!

JJ Holden
06-29-2011, 01:43 AM
I had problems with Drood, too. Up until then I'd been pretty lucky.

06-29-2011, 04:21 AM
I tend to do that with a lot of Stephen King novels, start one and get to page fifty or so and then quit for another one,

That one hurt.


06-29-2011, 10:07 AM
I love On Writing, thought it was really well balanced between writing tips and anecdotes

06-29-2011, 08:18 PM
I had to stop reading Watchers by Koontz after 300 pages, so I read 2 sections of Seven Pillars of Wisdom by Lawrence and am now reading The Colorado Kid by King; afterwards, I should have enough renewed interest for the last 100 pages of Watchers....

06-30-2011, 03:18 AM
Buick 8. Could not dig it back in '05.

06-30-2011, 04:20 AM
Buick 8. Could not dig it back in '05.

Try again in 2011.
Many people don't like it and find it a weak tale, but I thought it was alright.


06-30-2011, 04:29 AM
Definitely give 8 another go around.

Randy D. Rubin
06-30-2011, 08:02 AM
All the James A. Michener books--Texas, Lincoln, Hawaii, yecch. Tolstoy and most assigned literature from University, Dune, White Oleander, most books where I've already seen the movie first 'cause they just lose their fizzle like a week old, open two-liter of Dr. Pepper.

07-03-2011, 08:26 PM
I read almost half of Underworld by Don Delillo. Went to pick it up again and couldn't remember much of the first 400 pages I read, so quickly put it down again and never looked back. I've adopted Stephen King's practice. If I read 50 pages in a story and it hasn't grabbed me, I put it down. I amended that for longer works though 10% or 50 pages whichever is longer.

07-06-2011, 06:09 PM
I'm one of those that if I start a book I consider it my obligation to finish it. Most of the time it's no problem as I only pick up books I have some reason (genre, author reputation, recommendations) to believe I will enjoy. Some have been a force of sheer will, but finish them I have.

Except for one.

I generally like Heinlein--mostly his shorter works. I've only read a few novels, which run the gamut from "this is great!" (Starship Troopers), to "this is ridiculous" (The Cat Who Walked Through Walls). But the only book I just could not bring myself to finish was Time Enough for Love. What a slug to try to get through. And there's just so much incest and kiddy-diddling I can take in one book, ya know?

Randy D. Rubin
07-07-2011, 08:21 AM
I don't think I've ever made it to the back cover of any Penthouse Magazine, come to think of it! EVER! (Ummmm, that's good magazine!)

07-07-2011, 01:57 PM
I don't think I've ever made it to the back cover of any Penthouse Magazine, come to think of it! EVER! (Ummmm, that's good magazine!)

Hands down, one of the best!!! ;)

07-07-2011, 03:45 PM
Hands down, one of the best!!! ;)

Three thumbs up!:o

06-06-2012, 07:06 AM
Moby Dick. Tried reading this when i was 15 i think and got bored real fast. I may give it another try now that I'm older and possibly more patient.

Beastiary by Robert Massello. I read more then half and tossed it. It just never picked up.

There are others that I've read about 100 pages, which I try to read to see if I like the book or not. if the author can't hook me after 100 pages I move on.

06-06-2012, 03:00 PM
Impossible. I just can't do it!
Once begun, I'll just have to finish the book.


Dan Hocker
06-06-2012, 03:07 PM
I don't think I've ever not finished a book. The Gunslinger did take me about 6 months to read though, as I got distracted by something else in the middle of reading it.

06-06-2012, 03:22 PM
I had one failed attempt with "Thinner" when it was first released. I got so, so tired of "The old gypsy caressed his cheek like a lover, and whispered 'thinner'." I couldn't take it any more. The second time I sped through the first half, and then it got a lot better.

06-06-2012, 03:36 PM
I always force my way through a book after I have started it. Sometimes I am greatly rewarded with a great story in the end (Insomnia) and sometimes I am left with a story that just fails to entertain me (Rose Madder).

06-06-2012, 09:29 PM
Insomnia, The bachman books(Middle of The Long Walk), and To Kill a Mockingbird.

Insomnia - Is what I called "The Cure for insomnia" I literally fell asleep almost every time I read some of it. I almost made er through and gave up.

The Bachman books - I somehow feel like Richard Bachman is not a very good storyteller. Which I am aware makes no sense. I found them boring. Well I enjoyed Rage and would like to get my hands on a copy someday.

Lucian Poll
10-01-2012, 07:48 PM
Great thread. There have been a few abandoned books, to my shame, but they remain on my TBR pile:

2666 by Roberto Bolano - I slogged through the first two parts (twice), devoured the third part (which was so much better) and then put it down just as it seemed to get interesting! I'll get back to it. In a book with a mass serial killer undercurrent you can't get to "The Part About The Crimes" and ignore it forever.

Noble House by James Clavell - I loved King Rat, Shogun, and Tai-Pan. Gai-Jin was decidedly meh, and I think this may have tainted my enjoyment of this book. Another to come back to afresh.

The Night Watch by Sergei Lukyanenko - It just didn't grab me, which is a shame as I've also got the other three books in the series to read!

Haunted by Chuck Palahniuk - 'Guts' is one of my favourite short stories, but the portmanteau structure of the book leads me to treat it like I would any collection of short stories, i.e. something to dip into.

But I do make a point of coming back to abandoned books, and sometimes it really pays off. Around eight years ago I bought a book called Q by a collective called Luther Blissett (who these days write as Wu Ming), which I started to read but put down after 30 or so pages. It wasn't bad, it just wasn't what I was looking for at the time. (It is an epic cat-and-mouse game played across Reformation Europe between two influential figures: one Lutheran, the other Catholic.) I finally pick it off my bookshelf this summer and am delighted to find a fantastic, full-blooded and utterly absorbing read that fizzed with ideas and energy. It got me thinking about writing for the first time in many a year and for that I am very thankful.

10-02-2012, 03:09 PM
Too many to list. The nice thing about the library is I can try books out before buying them. Out of every ten I get from the library, I might make it through five. A book may sound good but after a few chapters it turns out not to be. I realize that's subjective, but I often don't like books if there isn't enough dialogue, or if the author spends way too much time setting up scenes and describing things.

And sometimes it's just my "book ADD". I'm constantly wanting to move on to other things, even if I happen to be enjoying a particular book. At the moment I'm reading five different books; I just keep juggling them.

edit: I know I mentioned it before, but I'm one of those who doesn't see the point of forcing myself to finish something just because I started it. Life is short and I'm not getting any younger (though I like to think otherwise), and there's too many books out there to slog through something I'm not enjoying. :-)

bookworm 1
10-07-2012, 06:15 PM
Still can not get through Weaveworld.

10-30-2012, 07:29 PM
I was finally defeated by "At the Molehills of Madness" by Rhys Hughes. A collection of short stories that at times I thought would show some promise and I kept thinking "well the next one might be better" I finally decided not to waste any more of my life forcing myself to finish it.