Wisdom

… is knowing when to quit.

A while back, I posted a list of novels I wish I’d never read. It was supposed to be a list of 10, but I stopped at nine. I can now add part of a 10th novel to that list, thanks to the 2015 Reading Challenge.

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Rowan Atkinson

It’s a book I had started at least once before but put down after just 20 or so pages. For the *book with bad reviews* category on the 2015 Challenge list, I decided to give it another try (someone had previously told me she’d thought it was “pretty good, considering”). I got about 150 pages into it before deciding, “Nope, not for me, not worth my time, not for any challenge.”

If, after 150 pages (of 500), there was still no character who had sparked empathy from me, and if the MacGuffin couldn’t at least make me curious about how it would all turn out, then it was clearly time to bail. Each page only made me angrier and less willing to connect.

I even cheated. I turned to the last page to read the end. A group of formerly unfriendly characters were laughing in new-found amity. But I’m not in the least bit curious about how that happened.

Ah, the freedom to abandon a book. One of the perks of adulthood.

PS: If you can’t stand not knowing, you can find the book’s title on the Reading Challenge page above. It completes the Challenge for me. Most of the books were worth the effort. I may post something about highlights. Then again, I may not.

About Lizzie Ross

in no particular order: author, teacher, cyclist, world traveler, single parent. oh, and i read. a lot.
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4 Responses to Wisdom

  1. calmgrove says:

    I shan’t be reading this either. Curious, we watched the first episode of the TV adaptation (stellar thespian cast) but apart from one likable character (who promptly died) we couldn’t care about any of the individuals and with nary a regret ceased watching. (Apparently the TV version even tried to mitigate the bleakness of the ending!)

    If you get a chance to watch Doctor Foster iif it’s ever aired Stateside then do. Similarly bleak it has the virtue of sucking you in, scarcely breathing as you watch the car-crash events in slowmo as it were but relishing the twists and turns. (The theme, loosely, is ‘Hell hath no fury …’) It stars a chillingly Machiavellian Suranne Jones as the eponymous Dr Foster and the actor who played Jonathan Strange (name brefly escapes me) as the cheating husband. Great drama, almost like a Jacobean revenge tragedy!

    • Lizzie Ross says:

      It was made into a TV series?!? Clearly, TV is an even vaster wasteland than ever. Thanks for the recommendation, Calmgrove. I’ll keep an eye out for Dr Foster (is she from Gloucester?).

  2. calmgrove says:

    She’s not from Gloucester but she did step into a metaphorical puddle “and never went there again”. Might it show on PBS? As it’s BBC might it appear on BBC America?

    • Lizzie Ross says:

      BBC America requires a fee for access. PBS hasn’t picked it up yet — they’re usually a few months behind BBC. But my daughter knows how to find Downton Abbey’s latest, so she can probably show me how to get Dr. Foster.

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