It used to be that I never abandoned books I had started. I always pushed through stubbornly, no matter how much I disliked the book. However, I have more particular taste now, and I am more acutely aware that the time I have left for reading is limited. Hence, I am now willing to make the conscious decision to cut loose a book that isn’t working for me. In recent weeks, I have abandoned four books.
The Divine Comedy: Just enough story to serve as an excuse around which to write a series of imaginings about what hell must be like. It was probably impressive in its time. Despite being a translation, I could sense some of its poetic quality. Ultimately however, I decided it just wasn’t bringing me anything I felt was worthwhile.
The Icarus Agenda: I had read the first three novels in Robert Ludlum’s Jason Bourne series, and I had generally liked them. I had decided to try something else of his, and The Icarus Agenda was in my mom’s library. I was a quarter of the way in, and it wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t really resonating with me. Taking a step back, all the characters felt two-dimensional, and everything was an over-used trope: only the smart American white savior can handle the middle-eastern terrorist mob. There was literal black-face. There is probably a market that eats this stuff up, but I’m not it.
One Good Deed: David Baldacci is a prolific author I have wanted to try, and this seemed like the best option at the book stand where I was stranded. Again, it wasn’t bad so far, but this Archer character and his situation just seemed a bit cliché. Once I was no longer stranded, I had better things to read.
Naked Lunch: This pile of garbage is somehow listed as classic literature, and I fell for the trap. Others have reviewed it better, but it is essentially nothing more than vulgar ramblings without a plot. Ten percent of the way in, I decided to stop wasting my time.