Hosted by Booking Through Thursday
What’s the hardest/most challenging book you’ve ever read? Was it worth the effort? Did you read it by choice or was it an assignment/obligation?
I think I’ll give two examples which were polar opposites to answer this question.
The first is The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco. It was an incredibly hard book to get through as the writing, though wonderful, if extremely hard-going. However, it was worth sticking it out to the end as it’s a fantastic story. However, if I hadn’t already known the story from seeing the film several times, I don’t think I would have made it to the end. It was my choice to read this book and I’m glad I did, but it didn’t entice me to read any more of Eco’s novels based on how hard it was to read this one.
The second is Sunset Song by Lewis Grassic Gibbon. We were forced to read this chunk of dullness for Higher English and I’ll freely admit I never finished it, despite it being required reading. I just couldn’t stand the style of writing – entire, long paragraphs that are a single sentence that are filled with “and” and “but” so that it reads something like this, “This and this and that and this happened, but that and this and that and that happened because of it, and then this and that occurred but this felt like that and this and the other…” When that constitutes and entire paragraph that is about twenty lines long you get pretty sick of it pretty quickly.
I also hated that sentences were continually started with the aforementioned “and” and “but”. Add all that to the fact that the characters and story are dull as ditch water and you have a very bad time of it. I will never read anything by this author again simply because the guy couldn’t write anything interesting and couldn’t write it in an engaging and accessible way. It was a real slog to get even part way through this turgid heap of steaming crap. Yes, I hated it that much.
So, sometimes a “hard” book is worth it, but other times, well, not so much!