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Mbfg (Mbfg)
Username: Mbfg

Registered: 09-2010
Posted From: 81.155.51.48
Posted on Sunday, August 28, 2011 - 05:06 pm:   

...after a cracking jam session at The White Lion in Heptonstall where I had a chance to accompany some great blues, folk and the rest on the old harmonica, I retired to the room my wife Jessica and I are staying in up here and opened a book for a little reading before sleep.

I was a third of the way in. I was growing increasingly exasperated, bored and tired of the tell-not-show prose style. Then an ancient Roman nobleman said "cutting it fine" once too often and I actualy closed the novel, placed it on the bedside table and reached for the next book in my pile ("Huckleberry Finn" as it happens).

Last night I abandoned a book without finishing it. I cannot remember the last time I did this because my policy has always been to plough on the end regardless, just in case it gets better. The act left me oddly bereft and defeated, me who read "Moby Dick" and "Ulysses" from cover to cover without flinching, beaten by a piece of badly-written pulp!

Am I a failure or a wise man?

Cheers
Terry
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.25.3.116
Posted on Sunday, August 28, 2011 - 05:59 pm:   

So, what was the book?

I've abandoned tons of books, mate. Just to provide calibration, if required.
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Mark_lynch (Mark_lynch)
Username: Mark_lynch

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 94.197.127.31
Posted on Sunday, August 28, 2011 - 06:49 pm:   

I used to be like that. Would determindedly finish everything I started. But then I realised life was too short. I still find it hard to abandon a book, but I will do it.

In fact, of the books I've got on at the moment, one of them's dangerously close to being abandoned. A first novel (a crime book) by someone who had a bestseller with a non-fiction book related to a BBC TV series. The guy doesn't have a talent for fiction.
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.25.3.116
Posted on Sunday, August 28, 2011 - 06:56 pm:   

Confession: I was so OCD in my teens that, even having grown bored of Bleak House after about 200 pages, I continued reading the text - that is, rolling my eyes across the prose - until the book was done. I didn't understand half of the last 600 pages, but without completing it, I'd have felt odd.
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Mbfg (Mbfg)
Username: Mbfg

Registered: 09-2010
Posted From: 81.155.51.48
Posted on Sunday, August 28, 2011 - 07:06 pm:   

The book, Gary, was "Anno Mortis" by Rebecca Levene (sorry Rebecca, it just wasn't for me) and published by Abaddon (a convention goody bag freebie). I've only read one other Abaddon, "El Sombrero" and it was a great, wild, fun read which I loved. I have, of course, got Gary McMahon's Abbadon as well, but unread so far.

You're right about the brevity of life and the amount of stuff left to read Mark.

Regards
Terry
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.25.3.116
Posted on Sunday, August 28, 2011 - 07:16 pm:   

Life's so short that I rarely start reading a book these days.

I have some issues about time.
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Craig (Craig)
Username: Craig

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 99.126.164.88
Posted on Sunday, August 28, 2011 - 07:24 pm:   

This is why I really make sure the book is something I want to read; either the author is a known quantity, or I've researched it around the edges - meaning, I like to know as little as possible about the book before reading, to get a maximum "blind" reading experience. Being OCD too, I simply can't afford to start something that will be no damn good.

But I get fooled. The last time was this year, when I read THE LAST GOOD KISS, by James Crumley. A super-shite book, if ever there was one... but having gone halfway in to discover how bad it had gotten, a feeling much like getting lost in the woods, there was nothing to do but keep going until I was out of it. (The novel got sloppier and palpably worse as it went along - salt in the wounds! - but it was so clearly degrading, it told me this author must have lost interest in it too, as it "progressed"....)
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Carolinec (Carolinec)
Username: Carolinec

Registered: 06-2009
Posted From: 92.232.199.129
Posted on Sunday, August 28, 2011 - 07:34 pm:   

Heptonstall? Near Hebden Bridge? Terry, if I'd have known that you and your good lady were in this neck of the woods this week I'd have suggested a meet up with me and my hubby. We've just had a week off - mostly local day trips out. One was to Hardcastle Crags near Hebden Bridge. If you're still in the area and like walking, get yourselves out to Hardcastle Crags before you leave.

Anyway, abandoning books? Yes, frequently. If I can't get into a book I give up and go onto something I enjoy. As Mark says, life's too short. I'm not going to spend time reading something I don't enjoy reading.
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.25.3.116
Posted on Sunday, August 28, 2011 - 07:55 pm:   

Then again, it's because life's short that we simply have to read certain books. We just don't have the time to learn all the key lessons through experience.

Yours,

Ever-the-contrarian (a useful habit)
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Mark_lynch (Mark_lynch)
Username: Mark_lynch

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 94.197.127.20
Posted on Sunday, August 28, 2011 - 08:27 pm:   

Ah, well, I don't think it was OCD with me. Just stubborness and stupidity. I used to read all the stories in any collection I took out from the library, even if I'd read the stories before. And I read them in order, as I still think collections should be done. Plonker.
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Mark_lynch (Mark_lynch)
Username: Mark_lynch

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 94.197.127.246
Posted on Sunday, August 28, 2011 - 08:35 pm:   

Gawd, the number of times I've read Asimov's 'Nightfall', and Clarke's 'The Sentinal'...
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Hubert (Hubert)
Username: Hubert

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 178.116.59.77
Posted on Sunday, August 28, 2011 - 10:26 pm:   

"In omnibus requiem quaesivi, et nusquam inveni nisi in angulo cum libro."

(Thomas Kempis)
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Mbfg (Mbfg)
Username: Mbfg

Registered: 09-2010
Posted From: 81.155.51.48
Posted on Monday, August 29, 2011 - 12:42 am:   

Caroline...

I walked from Heptonstall to the Hardcastle Crags this very evening! I walked passed the Lumb Bank turning then took a side road just before the next bunch of houses. From there it was off the lane down, down down into a wooded valley, across the river then up, up up to the Crags.

It was almost dark as I clambered back up onto the lane, heart pumping, lips blue, legs aching and sissy southerner's delicate complexion raw from the Yorkshire wind and rain.

Do you live round here? I wish I'd known. Jessica, sometimes with me in tow, has been coming to Heptonstall and back for most of the Summer because she is writing a thesis about Sylvia Plath (well, it's more complicated than simply "about Sylvia Plath") who is ,of course, buried in a modest, barely marked grave here in Heptonstall village.

I may be going home tomorrow, ahead of Jessica,bu then again, I may not, but I will be going to Wakefield to visit my mate that wonderful writer of eccentric stories, John Travis.

...ah, forgot this is a public message board for a moment there...

Enjoying "Huckleberry Finn" (the unexpurgated version)so I will see that one through to the end.

Cheers
Terry
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Mbfg (Mbfg)
Username: Mbfg

Registered: 09-2010
Posted From: 81.155.51.48
Posted on Monday, August 29, 2011 - 12:52 am:   

Jessica is a fearsome poet herself by the way. a major poetic talent and a great poetry reader and performer. Her book "Dreams of Flight" is a brutal and intense but very rewarding read. And she went down a storm during the jam night yesterday, despite having to overcome a heckler.

Though my favoruite heckler story is the way she despatched a Nazi, skinhead thug who did a Heil Hitler salute in front of her one night in London. Not a good idea when the poet in question is a child of the Tribe of Levi.

Ever will that piece of scum rue the day he walked into that particular pub on that particular evening...

Regards
Terry
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Carolinec (Carolinec)
Username: Carolinec

Registered: 06-2009
Posted From: 92.232.199.129
Posted on Monday, August 29, 2011 - 12:40 pm:   

Terry - I live quite a way from Hebden Bridge (I'm t'other side of Bradford), but it's a place we go to every now and again for a day trip out. Can't really fix anything with you now as I'm pretty tied up catching up with things after our week off, but if you're going to be up this way again let me know (you know my email address) and we'll try to fix something.

I'm afraid I haven't been able to get as far as the crags for some time now - we just do the easy path from the car park just outside Hebden along to Gibson Mill. That's my limit nowadays for walking. I used to walk up to Heptonstall from Hebden Bridge too - that's a hell of a hill!

Anyway, sorry, we should be conducting this conversation by email, and I've gone and spoilt your thread.

So, who else ditches a book if they can't get into it ...?

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