Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Abandoned

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme, now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week the topic is to list 10 books that one couldn’t finish or lost interest in.

I have a mental block against abandoning a book even if I am not enjoying it. Though it might seem strange, I might go back to a book, even years later, and try to finish it. So here are a few books that I have tried to read but so far haven’t finished them:

THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO by Stieg Larsson

The book that put Nordic Noir on the map. There was a time when everybody but everybody was talking about it. I too loved it in the beginning but then the sexual savagery became too much and finally so vomit-inducing that I left the book.

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

I don’t know how many times I have picked up this book, read through a few pages, and then abandoned it. I have loved Dostoyevsky’s other books, especially THE IDIOT, but don’t know why find this such tough going.

AGNES GREY by Anne Bronte

I absolutely love Wuthering Heights and have read Jane Eyre, so I thought I’ll give the third Bronte sister a go too but the story did not interest. But hey, I did finish Jane Eyre, I can do this too…

NORTH AND SOUTH by John Jakes

A generational saga that I left mid-way but have it on my shelves so will restart it one day.

CATCH-22 by Joseph Heller

A cousin, who found this extremely interesting, passed it on to me but I just couldn’t get into it at all. But again as I have it on my shelves, will give it another go.

SCARLETT by Alexandra Ripley

I was not floored by Gone With the Wind but still decided to see what the sequel was all about, only to abandon it soon after.

SHAME by Salman Rushdie

I think it was the phrase ‘phantom pregnancies’ that made me drop this novel, post-haste, though I had enjoyed the magic realism of Midnight’s Children.

KARNA’S WIFE by Kavita Kane

Karn is one of my favourite mythological heroes and I picked up this book with a great deal of anticipation but an ill-researched story soon put my teeth on edge.

THE COMPLETE FATHER BROWN by G.K. Chesterton

By the third volume or so, Father Brown became such an irritant that I don’t want to read any other case of his.

Best Loved? Not by me….

ZEMINDAR by Valerie Fitzgerald

1857. India is seething. Those brutal, blood-thirsty people are killing their benevolent British Masters. How ingrate can those savages be? Oh! Please give me a break…

*

Am I missing something by not having read these through? Which are the ones in this list that you have read and loved? Which are the ones that I have done well to abandon?

27 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Abandoned

  1. I took six months to read Father Brown series. I used to read a page or two and fall asleep. I don’t think I have ever read anything this boring. Definitely not reading it again 😂

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  2. I rarely abandon a book, so I would not be able to come up with ten books. The only book on this list I have read is The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, and I read all three of those. I did not love them and they were way too long, but I was interested enough to finish all of them. Of the others on the list I have planned to read someday: Agnes Grey, and Crime and Punishment.

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    1. Me too, Tracy but there are some in this list that I’d never ever try again. However, I too do plan to read the two books you have mentioned and I give you credit for finishing that Millennium trilogy.

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    1. I don’t know what it is with that book. Remember that I could hardly put THE IDIOT down as I was so engrossed in it. I am thinking of trying a different translation.

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    1. You are right, ‘Classics’ can be quite tricky. I don’t know how many I have on my shelves which I definitely plan to read ….. and then never do 😀 Thinking of joining the Classics Club in order to clear my shelves a little.

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    1. Welcome to the blog. You are indeed lucky to have left it before it turned brutal. I reached a point where it was nothing but smut and left me feeling as though I was covered with slime.😣

      Thanks for stopping by.

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  3. Oh, no! I just bought the complete Father Brown before the pandemic. I loved the show and thought I would give the book a try. I know there’s quite a bit of difference, but I can’t do boring.

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    1. You will be sorely disappointed. Chesterton’s original stories are NOTHING like that updated and anachronistic show set in the 1950s where people behave like they are in the 21st century. You will find none of the recurring characters who were created by the TV show writer and instead be subject to loads of Catholic lecturing and moralizing.

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      1. Sorry Bookish Hooker. Didn’t even know there was a show on Father Brown and wouldn’t have watched it, had I even known. But hey, for all we know, you might like the stories…

        Thanks for visiting.

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  4. Never read the Stieg Larsson books. Watched ll the movies. Hated the first one. It’s vile. Don’t really know why I watched the other two. I think it was the actress as the title character I recall there was a revenge element that I lapped up. My guilty pleasure is revenge stories. Goes back to my harrowing adolescence (no more about that, sorry) The first book was really nothing special Couldn’t figure out all the hype. It’s just a rehash of Ross Macdonald with Nazis instead of messed up California rich people and much lousier weather.

    I’ve read only a handful of these and managed to make it to the end of all of them. Father Brown I did abandon like you. I only enjoyed the impossible crime stories. I was assigned The Scandal of Father Brown in a college seminar and HAD to read the whole thing. I did not enjoy it. We were then tasked with giving a lecture on our assigned book to the other members of the seminar. Basically, we were the prof for a day. I got a lot of flak from some of my friends because I had created charts and diagrams drawing parallels to Chesterton’s stories and Biblical parables. I was envious of the person who got the Agatha Christie novel (Why Didn’t They Ask Evans?). She hated it and ridiculed the story and characters during her lecture. Had I been assigned that book it would have been a fun lecture! Instead they got dreary theological analogy because that’s what Chesterton writes.

    Did you have trouble with Jane Eyre? Not me. Loved it! But I was a teenage boy and in love with Gothic novel when I read it as a junior in high school (the second to last year prior to graduation). I guess contemporary women have huge issues with the Victorian mindset of female characters in that novel. I never had a problem with those ideas until I became a book blogger. Still, I’m a staunch anti-Post Modernist and can manage to read a book in terms of the time in which it was written rather than looking on every book as something that should speak to present generations whom the writer could never have imagined would exist.

    Catch-22 I read in college as part of a Humanities course before I delved deep into my intensive Brit Lit classes as an English and Drama major. I thought it was hysterical. I think maybe Heller’s books has more appeal to men, especially men who served in branches of the US military. As a young man who dreaded having to register for the draft in when I turned 18 and feared being called up I saw a lot of humor in the book, ultimately it’s about the purposeless of war and the absurd hierarchical structure and bureaucracy of the military.

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    1. No, John, no….please don’t compare that awful book to Ross Macdonald’s books. Have read only a couple by Macdonald but THE GALTON CASE really packed a punch.

      Your day as a professor reminded me of Teacher’s day in India in which senior students dress up (in suits and sarees) and teach junior classes. The teachers can take a rest on that day. It was something we all looked forward to in school. I am sorry however that you had boring Chesterton to teach but am kind of intrigued by the Biblical parallels. Despite your not liking the topic, you seem to have taken it seriously to have drawn diagrams and charts.

      Think you are doing contemporary women readers a disservice. The ones that I know all love Jane Eyre. My problem with the book is not with the Victorian mindset. I don’t mind prejudices, snobbery, and sexist and racist attitudes in a text unless they are too offensive. And I too liked the Gothic elements in the book, it is the self-righteousness of Jane that I dislike immensely. Self-righteousness and hypocrisy is something that makes me detest characters.

      I do intend to give Catch-22 another go. Incidentally, the cousin who gave it to me was a college student at that time and she loved it. Your description of it reminds me of Robert Graves’ Goodbye to all That, which I quite liked. Have you read it?

      I am really sorry John that you had some harrowing experiences in your adolescence. Hopefully the passage of time has removed the bitterness if not the ache of it.

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  5. THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO was SO boring for the first 2/3. It didn’t get good until after that. I would say watch the movie and then read the next two books because they were amazing! 😉

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  6. I thoroughly enjoyed CRIME AND PUNISHMENT by Fyodor Dostoyevsky the first time I read it. Catch 22, on the other hand, took several tries over at least 15 years before I was in the right mood for it.

    THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO by Stieg Larsson has been on my TBR list for many years. I liked the movies even though there were parts I could not watch (i looked away). I think it is the revenge aspect that makes me like the movies. I’m not sure I could handle the book’s descriptions.

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    1. It is good to know about Crime and punishment and Catch-22. I’ll be trying them again though perhaps not very soon.

      Also good to know that you enjoyed the movies though you looked away at times. That reminded me of a time when we used to watch movies on VCRs and had our hand on the remote’s fast-forward button lest an elder or a child came at an inopportune moment 😃

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