Mighty Red Pen

April 19, 2009

A race to the finish line

Filed under: Lit review — mighty red pen @ 7:41 pm
Tags: , , ,

Monday, April 20 is the day we have a little race around these parts called the Boston Marathon. In honor of those who will make it to the finish line, I’m sharing a couple on instances where MRP did not.

You may have heard that MRP is about 35 pages into Updike’s Rabbit, Run and I’m already considering abandoning it for something else a little less, er, smugly self-satisfied with its own literary prowess. Having said that, I have to say that I hate to put a book down once I’ve started it, it’s my own little thing. However, here are three that defeated me:

1. Skinny Legs and All by Tom Robbins. After 50 pages, I just couldn’t go on. The characters were so vapid. I did, however, usefully learn the difference between naked (you have no clothes on) and nekkid (you have no clothes on and are up to no good), which I have carried with me since then.

2. Vanity Fair, by Thackeray. I wanted to read this because I grew up near Thackeray Road and also it may have been on some list of “Great Books” or something. But eventually the, er, vanity just got to me.

3. A Prayer for Owen Meany, by John Irving. I DID ACTUALLY READ THIS ENTIRE BOOK BUT I FOUND THE ALL CAPS THING SO ANNOYING THAT I WISHED I HAD JUST PUT IT DOWN.

So I put this to you, readers: what’s a book you’ve put down before finishing because you just couldn’t stand to get to the end? And why?

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