Here is my list of Books I Will Probably Never Read But Might Try One Day If I Break My Leg Or Something. Mostly these are books which look either too long or too scary or too difficult to tackle (or in some cases all three). I can’t say I feel particularly guilty about not having read any of these books – I’m just painfully aware of their presence…
I very rarely give up on a book. Even when I dislike a book, I will usually finish it out of obligation (like ‘The Immoralist’ by André Gide, for a French literature course) or sheer bloody-mindedness just to say I read it (like ‘Pride and Prejudice’ by Jane Austen) or simply to get people to stop hassling me about it (like ‘The Hobbit’ by J. R. R. Tolkien). But occasionally, life is just too short. Here is a list of the books I have given up on in the last couple of years.
Everything is Illuminated: Jonathan Safran Foer
This was the last book I couldn’t finish a few months ago. To compare the linguistic experimentalism of this book with ‘A Clockwork Orange’ by Anthony Burgess is a sin of the highest order. To try and stretch out an unfunny joke about Ukrainian attempts at the English language over an entire book is completely unforgivable. Sorry, I just didn’t get it.