Sunday, September 21, 2008

Sunday Salon: The Can't Finishes

I'm currently in the middle of a book that I think I just can't finish. This is a rarity for me. I'll read just about anything, and I generally just can't leave books unfinished, even if I don't like them. The book in question is my new Early Reviewer book, Any Given Doomsday by Lori Handeland. I was looking forward to it because I enjoy a good thriller every now and then, especially at this time of year. I'm about 2/3 through, and it's reading much more like a bodice-ripping romance novel than a thriller. There's only so much pulsing and throbbing that I can take. There's also a lot of sexual violence, which I'm finding disturbing. This is the first really bad review I'm going to have to give in the ER program. I've done mediocre reviews for sure, but I'm just not able to grasp on to anything here. I'm going to finish the book, because I need to review it, but I find myself taking more and more frequent breaks from reading it.

So, for discussion, what about you? When you get a really bad book do you force yourself to finish, or do you drop it in favor of the next one? How often do you find yourself in possession of a book you just don't like?


xicanti said...

Wow, that's a pretty bad anti-recommendation! I was really looking forward to my copy, but now I'm not so sure about it.

I don't abandon books too often, myself. In the past, I used to give them a hundred pages to draw me in; if I didn't care about the characters or their situation by then, I'd move along to something else. At the beginning of this year, though I decided I was going to finish everything I started. It... hasn't worked out. I slogged my way through a few that weren't really doing it for me, but I've had four books that I just couldn't finish. I still made it considerably further than my old hundred-page standard, though; in most cases, I was 1/3 to 1/2 of the way through each book before I dumped it.

Anne said...

I think there is a lot of sexual violence in American police/thriller/suspense fiction. Have you ever read Karen Slaughter? Her appropriate last name tells it all! The British, on the other hand, are so "proper" in their thrillers. They spend much more time describing their tea services than their dead bodies.

As for not finishing books you hate, I made myself finish Gilead, and then hated myself for making myself finish it. So when I tried Atonement and hated it, I stopped (somewhat hating myself for stopping, of course).

The one Library Thing ER book that I hated, I made myself skim through (really quickly), and that seemed to be a good compromise.

And finally, LOVE those purple things on your blog!

Linda Jacobs said...

Your blog is beautiful! Love the colors.

If I don't like a book, I'll abandon it, no problem. It happens once in a while. It kind of makes me mad if I've paid for it, though.

SmallWorld at Home said...

You know, it doesn't happen to me too often, but it is so confusing when it does. Once this year I gave up on a book: The 10-Year Nap (here's my non-review and one I kept reading, and I don't know why--Songs in Ordinary Time (review here: I feel quite sure I should have given up on the latter!

Visiting from The Salon,
SmallWorld Reads

Laurie said...

Thanks all for stopping by. Anne- in fact, I'm not really familiar with the genre at all, so that may explain some of it.

Smallworld- your post made me feel better- I loved Songs in Ordinary Time, so that makes me think maybe it's just me who doesn't like the book.

And thanks, guys, for the comments on the blog design. I bought this design from a blog designer, as I'm nowhere near competent enough to make one of my own.

Michelle said...

If I don't like it, I'll stop immediately. I might come back to it later, I might not. Depends on how important it is for me to have finished it. I figure with most books it's all about timing.

Table Talk said...

I am finding it easier and easier to put down a book I'm not enjoying, although I do try to stick to my friend Peter's rule of giving it at least 50 pages. The irony is that when I was teaching I was always adamant that you shouldn't force children to finish a book that they clearly disliked and certainly not if they could articulate why they disliked it and yet for years I was not as kind to myself.

purplemoonmyst said...

I didn't much like my early reviewr book either which was The Art of Darkness. I am still pondering how to write the review.

loopyloo100 said...

The last book that I couldn't finish was a Nora Roberts novel - I can't even remember what it was called. It was the first book of hers that I'd ever tried and it's really put me off trying another. I do remember it had a pink cover and I was so happy to swap it for something more palatable.