Daily Archives: March 30, 2011

Classic Novels I’ve Never Finished Reading

Today I returned Herman Melville’s ‘Moby Dick’ to the library.  Another classic novel returned unfinished.  I’ll watch the movie instead 🙂

I just couldn’t do it.  I thought it waffled, waverd, and diverted too much, and somewhere around the halfway mark, I thought, “Nope, I’m outta here.”

I’ve added Moby Dick to an ever expanding list of novels I will never pick up again:  Catcher in the Rye (Jesus, this guy had some problems!), Cloudstreet (I ended speed reading through it, and actually cheered when the hero suicided at the end), James Joyce’ Ulysses (nightmare), anything by Peter Carey (I’ve yet to read his Kelly Gang novel, but my previous experiences in ‘Carey Land’ have put me off wanting to read it), and War and Peace (the sheer size of this volume makes it a nightmare to cart to work and back each day).  There are many others, but my memory appears loathe to recall the titles.  

 Obviously I’m missing something in each of the above mentioned, but for the life of me I can’t think what it is?!

Not that I’m too concerned.  I like what I like, and others like what they like, ‘And so it goes’ as Kurt Vonnegutt used to say…

But once I did return to a book that I had bought, started then threw away somewhere near Chapter 3; Wilbur Smiths’ ‘When the Lion Feeds’.  I mentioned to several people that I couldn’t see what all the fuss was about, and was roundly abused by Wilbur’s fans.  So much so, that I hada re-think.  The bloke had a swag of novels, most of them bestsellers, so I concluded that there must be something in his scribbling worth looking at. 

I found the book, re-read it, and fell under Wil’s spell.  I read them all.  Then re-read some favourites.  Some of them, I ended up tossing after starting (River God) but for the most part, I remain impressed. 

Never say Never!  Who knows, I might even have another crack at Moby Dick sometime down the track… you never know.


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