I used to finish every book I started, whether I was enjoying it or not. But life is short. I’ve realised that I don’t have time for books I’m not full involved in any longer so if I don’t like something or don’t connect with it as much as I want to, I’ll put it aside. It still makes me feel guilty though, especially if I received them for review so I still want to talk about them, explain why I didn’t like them. Here are the most recent books I DNF-ed.
The Age of Innocence, Edith Wharton
I’ve branched out a lot in my reading this year and picking up The Age of Innocence was both for that reason and to fulfil the Pulitzer Prize-winner category of my Pop Sugar Reading Challenge. Even though I was really looking forward to it, I seriously struggled. I listened to the first 32% of the novel on audiobook and I didn’t care about it at all. I would drift off, tune out and when I realised I’d missed a chunk I'd make no effort to go back and listen to what I'd missed. Listen most fiction from this period, it’s a quiet, character-driven novel with lots of characters and not much action. Maybe it was just the format, but I really didn’t care and I felt no desire to carry on listening. I do really want to read Wharton, however, so I’m hoping to give this a go in another format at some point in the future.
I was so looking forward to this! I’ve heard wonderful things about Alexia Casale’s books but I was so disappointed. The novel is about Nick who goes to Cambridge aged 15 – but he’s not a genius. He is, however, rude, sarcastic, quite an arse actually. I just couldn’t bring myself to tolerate him, let alone connect to him. I just had no desire to stay in his narration. And aside from Nick, I found that there was far too much about the inner workings of Cambridge. It was rather indulgent and I just wasn’t interested. It’s such as shame as I love Lexi and I’ve heard wonderful things from other bloggers about this. Maybe I’ll give it another go in a few months.
Far From the Madding Crowd, Thomas Hardy
I read what is probably Hardy’s most famous novel, Tess of the d’Urbervilles, for my A-levels, and aside from a few beautiful passages, I didn’t like it at all. But with the new film adaptation of this story and a desire to give Hardy another shot after five years distance, I picked this up. And remembered why I didn’t like Tess. Pastoral is really not for me; sheep, shepherds, farming – ugh, bored. And there’s just something about his prose that doesn’t sit with me properly. I read 10% and I couldn’t bring myself to pick it back up. Sorry Hardy, I gave you a second chance, but we’re done.