Thursday, October 25, 2007

Booking through Thursday

This week's question:

  • I would enjoy reading a meme about people’s abandoned books. The books that you start but don’t finish say as much about you as the ones you actually read, sometimes because of the books themselves or because of the circumstances that prevent you from finishing. So . . . what books have you abandoned and why?

The book that comes to mind: Jonathan Franzen's The Corrections. I became interested in it when Oprah announced it.
  • No, I do not read all of Oprah's books. I don't even like Oprah. In fact, sometimes I really dislike Oprah. But that's another story. Oprah has chosen some fine books. The Reader, for example, and We Were the Mulvaneys. I read the translation of Anna Karenina she chose because it had been years since I'd read AK and I wanted to experience her through a newer sensibility than Constance Garnett's.
Another admission: sometimes I allow my feelings about an author to color my response to the book. If Joyce Carol Oates or Cynthia Ozick has written it, I'm predisposed to love it. In this case, the whole Franzen/Oprah flap predisposed me to disliking the book because, much as I don't like Oprah, I think that any author who chucks an opportunity to meet a huge and hungry audience is foolish.

And dislike it I did - on its lack of merit. I got through, maybe, 70 pages before I chucked it. I hated every character, I didn't care about what they were doing or where, and I found myself thinking that Franzen should have been very grateful indeed to have had such mass exposure.



Crafty Green Poet said...

My sister raved about The Corrections andhas saved her copy for me, but i know that I'll agree with your thoughts about it....

Bridget said...

I would not be likely to abandon it, since I have no desire to read it in the first place!

On top of which, I actually work with a woman who regularly says (meaning it seriously too), "I'm so glad Oprah has shown us that reading is a good thing." Don't even get me started on that!

Orange Blossom Goddess (aka Heather) said...

excellent post. this is a hard question for me to answer. I abandon too many books, I think, for reasons such as quick dislike, distraction of other books, pure laziness. Sad.

Chris said...

I think Franzen is full of himself.

I actually met my Classic Book Club members through the Oprah site because of Anna Karenina. We've never picked her selections though. Recently, we've left her site after a change in format. I haven't been happy with her 'Book Club' for a long while though.