Booking Thursday – Hard

Hosted by Booking Through Thursday

Hard
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!

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8 responses to “Booking Thursday – Hard

  1. I don’t know the second book but Eco is definitely worth the effort.

  2. I haven’t read either, but then I’m really not a fan of heavy, literary novels.

    My post is there: http://its-raining-books.blogspot.com/2011/10/booking-through-thursday-challenging.html

  3. I think it’s the books we are forced to read that are the most difficult and the ones we end up hating!

  4. I’ve read ‘Baudolino’ by Eco rather than ‘The Name of the Rose’ but I know what you mean. He writes without making any concessions towards the reader. If they don’t know as much about something as he does then tough, he’s certainly not going to explain it for them!

  5. I haven’t read the second one but I know The Name of the Rose. I agree, it’s quite hard to read but it is definitely worth the effort, I love that book!

    Here’s my BTT post 🙂
    Vicky @ Books, Biscuits & Tea

  6. The books in Honors Eng were the worst! Some were good but so often they assigned ones that… ugh, just didn’t engage the reader (and I’ve tried rereading now that I’m grown and almost always agree with my original dislike, lol)

    Here’s my BTT – House Millar series

    Aine

  7. I don’t know the second book at all, but I really liked The Name of the Rose. I’m glad it was worth it 🙂