Okay, fellow bibliophiles... at what point do you let go of a book you are not enjoying (read: LOATHING). Are you the type that HAS to finish every single book you read no matter HOW torturous? Or are you able to, say, half or a quarter of the way through slam the book shut in disgust and tear it to shreds? Or maybe that's just me. (cough) ANYway, recently I went into a Chapters (shock and awe all around) and a book literally flew into my hands and dragged me to the counter and under duress I bought the thing. I had no particular hope for it being good or bad, maybe due to it's inherant bossiness, but I was kind of hoping that it would, at the very least, be NOT JAW SPLITTINGLY DULL.
The offender in my tirade is a book called, "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" by Stieg Larsson. I am almost half way through, and to be frank, pretty much nothing has really happened thus far. Mikael (our hero) is under indictment and set to go to jail for slandering a big time Swedish industrialist, but while waiting to carry out his sentence he is hired by Henrik Vanger to investigate a decades old mystery in the dissappearance of his beloved neice Harriet. The opening of the book is what had me intrigued. Henrik (an 80 something year old man) recieves another single bloom on his birthday. It is framed as are all of the others. Each flower showing up anonymously on his birthday every single year for the last 40 plus years. Sounds interesting, right? WRONG. This is basically where the story loses all intrigue and nuance for me. After this tantilizing tidbit NOTHING seems to HAPPEN. Now, it should be said here that I didn't HATE the book, far from it, as I was reading it I was actually silently rooting for it. "Come on, Dragon! Get better!" Around each preverbial corner I was waiting to get grabbed with interest. I wanted to really LIKE Blomkvist, and I didn't DISLIKE him, I just had no feelings for him whatsoever. Kinda tough when the book is essentially ABOUT HIM. Sigh.
So, yesterday I sat down to try to plow through the thing and I sat there and looked at it for a few minutes. You know what I mean. You sit and stare at a book and have a kind of inner dialogue with yourself: will it get any better? I hate to give up on it, the author put so much work into it... I have already put "x" amount of hours reading the thing... what if it really DOES get better and I miss out on a really really great read? And then it starts to slide into: but it is so painfully BORING... and why do I CARE about the pages and pages of geneology like it is a book from the bible with the pages and pages of "this Vanger" beget "that Vanger" and so on and so on. And then eventually I say to myself, "Self? My life is too short to read super boring books!" And that's that. So I put it on my to-give-away shelf and I will never ever look at it again.
Thankfully this has only happened a few times. And I am actually grateful that I CAN put a book away if I am really not enjoying it after I have given it a serious effort.
Soooo, what about you guys? CAN you put a book down? And DOES this particular book get any more exciting? In my curiousness I googled reviews of Larsson's book and found pretty much a consistant conclusion that other than an exciting bit in the middle the book pretty much is as it is.... unfortunately fairly dull. I have heard, though, that the second book "The Girl Who Played with Fire" is significantly better, but I may just put my name on the list at the library.
Now I am reading "Hugh and Bess" by Susan Higginbotham and halfway through I am LOVING it!!!! I mean serious LOVE. Like I-can't-put-it-down kind of love.
Did I mention that I loved it?
Likely I'll finish it by the end of the weekend and I'll have a review for it next week.
Have a GREAT Saturday!