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Books You Finally Got Around to Reading - And Wish You Hadn't
#11  JSWolf 10-22-2019, 06:00 AM
Quote darryl
I'm afraid I disagree on Moby Dick. It's a while since I read it but skip the tedious facts at the beginning and start at the Inn. Wonderful book.
Moby Dick cannot be that wonderful if you are tell us to skip part of it.
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#12  pwalker8 10-22-2019, 07:55 AM
Quote darryl
I'm afraid I disagree on Moby Dick. It's a while since I read it but skip the tedious facts at the beginning and start at the Inn. Wonderful book.
Yep. I read Moby Dick first in my 8th Grade English class and thought it was great. I will admit that most of the class disagreed with me.
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#13  darryl 10-22-2019, 08:25 AM
Quote JSWolf
Moby Dick cannot be that wonderful if you are tell us to skip part of it.
I understand your sentiment, but if you look at the first part of the book you will understand.
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#14  Pajamaman 10-22-2019, 08:39 AM
For better or worse, I very rarely persevere reading anything that I'm not enjoying. For that reason, the only 19C British novel I've ever finished was Wuthering Heights, which though very long I must have enjoyed.

I was forced to read Tess of the d'Urbervilles at college, which I found to be over-long, over-descriptive (going on endlessly about fields, etc), and led by a character who did nothing to fight back. Yay! It didn't help that I was the only male in a class of females taught by a strident feminist. I took the wise choice of not actually reading Tess, but skimming it and finding some notes.

When the class did Hamlet, the class complained bitterly throughout and I think none of them actually read it (they whined a lot about the language), but referred to notes. I lapped it up. Ah, sweet revenge.
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#15  Pulpmeister 10-22-2019, 09:36 AM
A few years ago, at the age of sixty-plus, I got around to reading Jack Kerouac's "On the Road". Penguin edition, described as a novel. I'd heard about it most of my life.

To my disappointment, the legendary novel of the beat generation turned out to be a rather dull travel book, and so far as I could deduce after researching the book, non-fiction. I gathered that Kerouac didn't even change the names of the real people involved until the publishers leaned heavily on him to do so.

I haven't read anything else by Kerouac since.
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#16  ratinox 10-22-2019, 09:46 AM
Quote darryl
I'm afraid I disagree on Moby Dick. It's a while since I read it but skip the tedious facts at the beginning and start at the Inn. Wonderful book.
This is exactly what I mean. The first part, the part you suggest skipping, is part of the book. The book as a whole cannot be wonderful as you describe because that not-wonderful part exists.
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#17  rkomar 10-22-2019, 11:50 AM
Quote ratinox
This is exactly what I mean. The first part, the part you suggest skipping, is part of the book. The book as a whole cannot be wonderful as you describe because that not-wonderful part exists.
I guess it depends on how you define a wonderful book. Is it one with wonderful parts, or one where no parts are not wonderful? I'm a "glass half full" guy and like the first definition, but I can see that the "glass half empty" people may disagree.
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#18  ZodWallop 10-22-2019, 12:19 PM
Quote JSWolf
Battlefield Earth was bad enough. There was no way I was going to ever read anything bu Hubbard again.
Oh man, I read Fear by Hubbard. Twice. I didn't like it the first time, but it receives praise from people I admire, so I tried again. I can only assume those authors are being kind.

I read the first hundred or so pages of The Invaders Plan (the first Mission Earth book) before deciding that it was garbage.

I don't care how much damn praise Battlefield Earth gets. I've learned my lesson, thank you.
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#19  ratinox 10-22-2019, 01:23 PM
Quote rkomar
I guess it depends on how you define a wonderful book. Is it one with wonderful parts, or one where no parts are not wonderful? I'm a "glass half full" guy and like the first definition, but I can see that the "glass half empty" people may disagree.
By my reckoning, a good book (film, TV show, whatever) delivers on what it promises. A bad one fails to deliver. And an exceptional one delivers and goes beond in some unique or interesting way.

Or, half full vs. half empty doesn't matter when the milk is sour.
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#20  gmw 10-22-2019, 07:46 PM
I didn't mean to start arguments over Moby Dick. I know that some people like it, it just didn't work for me ... at all.

And I can understand the distinction darryl was making about skipping the introductory materials - but this, to me, should also include the many chapters interspersed through this book that follow the same non-fiction - well, not-intentionally-fiction - mode of the "Extracts" at the start. They certainly didn't help; by the time you've waded through them you've lost contact with the story.
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