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Sad, cross and guilty – the story of an unfinished read

My reading tastes are pretty wide-ranging. I like a challenge. I like a good story. I’m nosy as well as persistent, so however poor a start, I’ll plough on with most books because I want to know what happens.

I’ll read almost anything: from Pascal Mercier’s Night Train to Lisbon and Kafka’s The Trial to These Old Shades by Georgette Heyer and Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code. One genre I particularly enjoy is crime and thrillers, especially historical ones like the Lindsey Davis’s Falco series and anything by CJ Sansom. I’m quite fond of John Grisham, Tom Clancy and David Baldacci and, of course, J D Robb’s Eve Dallas stories in a futuristic America.

So when I found a new (to me) thriller author with great ratings, I experienced that little tingle of joy at the discovery of a new source of reading delight. A stylish spy thriller. Yum, yum!

I had to put it down at page 152; bored, irritated, puzzled and sad. And deeply disappointed. Its stylishness was so self-referencing, it precluded enjoyment. The pacing was poor, the descriptions so convoluted and sometimes only decipherable by those living in a prescribed part of one US city.

I kept falling asleep over it. I pinched myself awake only to struggle with the inconsistent characterisation.
Putting it down, I felt a sense of relief. And release. I’d made my decision. I didn’t have to pick the wretched thing up again.

4 comments to Sad, cross and guilty – the story of an unfinished read

  • I hate it when that happens, but well done for having the conviction to give up on it.

  • I put down books I don’t like. I’ve got too much to read and it doesn’t make me feel guilty.

  • Sally Zigmond

    These days I give myself 100 pages and no more. Life’s too short! (I’d love to know which book it was but I understand your reluctance to name it.)

  • alison

    Thanks, Claire, Sarah and Sally for your comments and fellow-feeling.

    I think it’s the sense of failure that irks most. A potentially rich vein of new reading has turned to dross. Very annoying.

    But I have a huge TBR pile waiting for me as a consolation…