Thursday, May 26, 2005
Too drained by the knee to come up with a blog idea
so will borrow from Kevin Drum who borrows from...not sure who these folks are. Can't say that I'm embarrassed not to have read any given book, but view it as a personal failure that I never finished them. Here are the books & why I failed to finish:
- Don Quixote - read about 100 pages & felt that it was a 1-joke book. That's o.k. for a short novel like Forest Gump, but not a 900 page weighty tome. Cousin-in-law recommended Grossman's recent translation because she translates into 'common language'. May pickup the BookOnTape from LAPL.
- War and Peace - read about 500 pages & just got bored. That was roughly 1/3 of the book, maybe a little more, but Napoleon was still a distant figure on the horizon. The dynamic of the whole novel was Napoleon's march on Moscow, so felt that Tolstoy took way way way too long to get to the heart of the novel.
- Aeneid - started, but don't remember getting very far. Perhaps my feelings were coloured by brother's comment that it's plot turned bizarre with the founding of Rome & that it was a weaker book than the Iliad. Also stepfather said he read portions of the aeneid in excrutiating Latin & hated the whole experience though he did receive an A.
- Proust - Made it maybe 30 pages through Swann's way before Proust's pathetic character turned me off. I would have written him off as a youth for being so needed. Thought that if I enjoyed the movie Swann's Way & Le Temps retrouve I might be able to read the novels. Disliked both films. Swann was a pathetic character & Le Temps retrouve had silly surrealistic touches to it. Have only personally known 1 person to slug through the entire novel(s) and he didn't know if it was worth the effort.
- Bible - have read everything except the epistles. Given how close I am to finishing & how short the epistles of Paul are, no excuse for not finishing.
- Koran - started reading after September 11th. Not quite what I expecting. The suras are progressively shorter, and there's no narrative sense that there is the both the old & new testaments.
In the never attempted:
- fatal conceit
Books I never finished & have no desire to finish:
- Road to surfdom - Hayek made his point in the first 20 pages & just beat it into the ground. This is not an economics book per se (i thought that I was going to be reading Hazlitt's Economics in one lesson) but a philosophy of economics.
- Arabian Nights - read maybe 500 pages and by that point the stories were already starting to be repetitious, so no way was I going to slog through 3,000 pages of tales that were really only ~10 tales told with several variations.