It’s been a while since I mentioned books that I’ve abandoned and as a consequence there are quite a few! Here are the books that failed to hold my attention in the last few months:
A Man in Love by Karl Ove Knausgaard
Five words from the blurb: relationships, parenthood, life, honesty, write
I loved the first book in this series, but the writing quality seems to have taken a nose-dive with this one. It is much lighter, less profound and I quickly became bored with it. Such a shame.
And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini
Five words from the blurb: Afghanistan, brother, journey, fate, apart
I’ve loved all of Hosseini’s previous books, but this one had too many characters. The plot meandered excessively and I failed to connect with anyone. I didn’t mean to abandon it, but after a month of not caring enough to want to continue I decided to end my attempts with this one.
The Best Book in the World by Peter Stjernstrom
Five words from the blurb: idea, writer, bestseller, worldwide, quirky
This book sounded similar to How I Became A Famous Novelist by Steve Hely, but unfortunately the satire didn’t work for me. I found it silly, rather than amusing. Perhaps the humor is lost in translation?
The Maid’s Version by Daniel Woodrell
Five words from the blurb: Missouri, explosion, killed, mystery, justice
This book had some great scenes, but I found the narrative disjointed and so failed to become emotionally invested in the story. It’s a shame because I’m sure there is a great story buried in here.
A Marker to Measure Drift by Alexander Maksik
Five words from the blurb: Aegean, starvation, brutality, cave, tourists
I loved Maksik’s controversial debut novel, You Deserve Nothing. Unfortunately his new one lacked that vivid passion. I hate to say it, but Maksik should stick to writing about what he knows.
Winner of the 1982 Booker Prize
Schindler’s Ark by Thomas Keneally
Five words from the blurb: Jews, Poland, defied, compassionate, saviour
I’ve always wanted to watch Schindler’s List, but avoided doing so as I hadn’t read the book. I finally attempted to remove this gap from my knowledge by starting Keneally’s book last week. Unfortunately Schindler’s Ark read like a research paper. It was packed with facts, but they were so dry they made reading a real struggle. I admire the work that went into producing it, but I think this might be one of those rare situations where the film is better than the book?
Winner of 2009 Prix Goncourt
Three Strong Women by Marie NDiaye
Five words from the blurb: lawyer, family, future, psychological, journey
I’m afraid the writing style of this book put me off from the very beginning. The sentences lasted for the entire paragraph and it was so wordy that I spent my entire time internally shouting “get on with it!’. If you like books that describe everything in minute detail you’ll probably love this one.
The FlameThrowers by Rachel Kushner
Five words from the blurb: fascination, motorcycles, art, dreamers, education, Italy
If you have a special passion for art or motorcycles you’ll probably love this book. Unfortunately I don’t and the occasional bits of fantastic writing weren’t enough to pull me through this almost plotless book.
Did you enjoy any of these books more than I did?
I’ll be back to tell you about some books I loved soon!