Books you just can't get into

JunkMonkey

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I love sci-fi / fantasy, I've been reading a book a week since I was 13 yrs old. And for the life of me, I can NOT get into Lord of the Rings.

I love the movies, but the books??? Dear god, the writing style is almost like reading the bible. So and so begot so and so who begot so and so... the exposition with details about things that just don't matter... I can't get passed page 75. I've tried 4 times in my life to read the book, telling myself if I can just push through the tedious parts it will get good... but no, I can't do it.


I have two words of advice: Give up.

If someone hasn't read LOTR by the time they're 20 it's too late for them to try. (This is assuming that the person in question has read other stuff and developed an appreciation, or at least an understanding, of style and characterisation beyond the Janet and John books.)
 

Toby Frost

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I can NOT get into Lord of the Rings.

Fair enough. Some people will consider you to be committing terrible blasphemy not to consider it the greatest work in the English language, but I see your point. Each to their own. I've read it, quite enjoyed it and don't have much desire to read it again. Worldbuilding: 11 out of 10. As an actual novel: 6 or 7 out of 10.
 

KGeo777

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The Bible is so boring. I had to read it in a course.
It's poorly constructed as a literary work. It feels assembled by a committee of bureaucrats. A hodge podge of authors and styles and repetition and rather incoherent.


I'll stick with Homer.
 

AE35Unit

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I love sci-fi / fantasy, I've been reading a book a week since I was 13 yrs old. And for the life of me, I can NOT get into Lord of the Rings.

I love the movies, but the books??? Dear god, the writing style is almost like reading the bible. So and so begot so and so who begot so and so... the exposition with details about things that just don't matter... I can't get passed page 75. I've tried 4 times in my life to read the book, telling myself if I can just push through the tedious parts it will get good... but no, I can't do it.
Wow if I can read the whole of LOTR anyone can ;)
 

Bick

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I can't get passed page 75. I've tried 4 times in my life to read the book, telling myself if I can just push through the tedious parts it will get good... but no, I can't do it.
What tedious parts are those? I've never found a single page of LoTR tedious - quite the opposite - so I'm interested to know which passages you struggled with.

But aren't opinions funny things.
 

Droflet

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I struggled through LoTR when I was 30. And a struggle it was. Tolkien would spend a ridiculous amount of words describing, for instance, a valley, that had no bearing on the story. But even back then I wanted to write so I forced myself to read all three books. Lesson learned. :rolleyes:
 

Rodders

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I didn't finish LoTR. I read to about halfway through The Two Towers, put it down and had no inclination to pick it up again.

I get why it's so well regarded but it just isn't for me.
 

paranoid marvin

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I don't think it helps reading the book after watching the movies, and what is quite a hectic, actioned packed movie can suddenly seem much different when the written word is much slower-paced and very much in the 'story telling mode'.

I suspect what many find tedious about LOTR ; the slow pace, the description of things that don't necessarily pertain to the overall story and the lack in many parts of action are perhaps what those of us who DO like it find most attractive.

It also helps that when I read it originally (when I was about 12 or 13) I had read no other story like it. Perhaps part of the appeal is recreating the wonder that I felt back then. If I had watched the movies , seen and read GoT , read Steven Donaldson or Terry Pratchett and THEN approached Tolkein's work for the same time, I may have been discomforted by the far different style and techniques that he used.

But to each their own, and if LOTR is not for some, there is plenty of other fantasy/sci fi out there which will be.
 

paranoid marvin

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I think quite some time ago I stopped trying to 'drag' myself through reading things that I didn't enjoy, just because I felt I ought to.

I don't think there's any novel I've read, where if I don't find enjoyment after reading the first 100 pages it would change my mind by reading further.

The one exception to this would be the Thomas Covenant books. The writing is so dificult to read, many of the characters hard to like or to relate to; but the world that Donaldson creates is so compelling and wonderful that I persevered.
 

Eternity_TARO

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What tedious parts are those? I've never found a single page of LoTR tedious - quite the opposite - so I'm interested to know which passages you struggled with.

But aren't opinions funny things.
The entire beginning. Too much detail about stuff that just doesn't matter, it's like start the story already!!!
 

AE35Unit

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I don't think it helps reading the book after watching the movies, and what is quite a hectic, actioned packed movie can suddenly seem much different when the written word is much slower-paced and very much in the 'story telling mode'.
Oh that didn't bother me at all. In fact I'm inclined to think I could read it again sometime. It was an interesting journey!
Yet to read the Silmarillion though-I've been warned about that one!
 

BAYLOR

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Oh! I LOVE The Great Gatsby! I know they were horrible self indulgent nasty people. There's not a likeable character in the book but they are fascinatingly horrible all of them and brilliant writing!

"They were careless people, Tom and Daisy – they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness, or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made."

That!

These fiction; people of 100 years ago sound just like 21 century people. :D
 

zmunkz

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I’ve tried twice to get into Gardens of the Moon. The first time I didn’t make it through the first chapter. A few years later (this last September) I tried again and made it to chapter 8… But even that far in I had no idea what was going on, almost no idea who the characters were, almost no sense of the stakes, and almost no curiosity/ interest in what would happen next.

I don’t know why it doesn’t work for me. The writing is elegant and enjoyable, and everybody tells me the story pays off for your upfront investment. Not sure I’ll ever find out.
 

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