Books That Defeated Me
What famous books haven't you read? That's too easy a question. Tons of 'em. But what famous (or, in a pinch, reasonably well known) books have you given the old college try but just couldn't get past the first hundred pages or so? I can think of five big ones off the top of my head:
The Brothers Karamazov (twice!)
I'm not sure what sets these books apart. It's not that I'm allergic to long books. I plowed through War and Peace, Les Miserables, and Infinite Jest just fine. I've read plenty of other Dickens (though I'm not really much of a fan) and nearly everything by Dostoyevsky except the Brothers K. Ulysses is famously difficult, so no surprise there, but I'm not sure why I gave up on Moby-Dick. Probably the middle third did me in. Just wasn't interested enough in whales. And frankly, I don't even remember Foucault's Pendulum, let alone why I gave up on it. And I suppose I ought to throw the Bible onto this list too, since I've often thought I should read the whole thing but then given up pretty quickly for fairly obvious reasons. How about you?