It's Thursday and here's our question:
I would enjoy reading a meme about people’s abandoned books. The books that you start but don’t finish say as much about you as the ones you actually read, sometimes because of the books themselves or because of the circumstances that prevent you from finishing. So . . . what books have you abandoned and why?
I routinely stop reading books that I don't enjoy. There are too many good ones to waste my time. But this question reminded me of a few notable rejections. Was there a pattern or consistent rationale? One trend is definitely my dislike of certain writing styles. I am annoyed by paragraph long sentences, lengthy descriptive passages which fail to move the narrative forward, and those books in which everyone is completely, hopelessly miserable throughout the entire work. Here are a few examples.
In an entirely different category are those few works that offend me in some way. I've had a few that surpassed my gross-out level, some that I've found morally or spiritually offensive, and a few more that were rejected for ethical reasons. I particularly hate being lied to and find myself easily irked by materials of a political nature or ill disguised propaganda tarted up to look like history, science, biography, etc. I read few autobiographical works by polititions. Books written by members of the press are often rejected as well. We've lived with our work prominently in the news long enough to know that much of what is reported is simply untrue.
On the basis of moral and/or spiritual rejections I can think of only one book, Anne Rice's Memnoch the Devil. I'm a huge fan of the Vampire Chronicles and have read all the other novels to the end. I'm not afraid of printed words and have a very open mind in terms of subject content for both fiction and non-fiction. For some reason this book just seemed wrong for me, and I decided to stop reading it about a third of the way through. I did cheat though and skipped to the end making sure Lestat survived. While my religious sensibilities were a bit shaken by the novel, my loyalty to the evil undead of Rice's universe remains. (I wasn't the only one to dislike the book and it is commonly called Memnoch the Doorstop among her fans.)