Top Ten Tuesday – Books I’ve Struggled With

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This weeks theme is Ten Books I Struggled to Get Into But Ended Up Loving or Ten Books That Were A Chore To Get Through or Ten Books I’ve Most Recently Put Down.

I don’t often finish a book because I really hate abandoning something that has already taken up some of my time but I do struggle sometimes especially when it comes to classics. This list is a mix of books that I have struggled with – some I thought I would love but didn’t, some I didn’t finish and some that I’m glad I persevered with.

  1. Lorna Doone – R. D. Blackmore. I thought this was going to be an exciting adventure. I’d seen an adaptation and that was very good. They must have just taken the best bits and avoided all the filler. Far too slow. I’d recommend the 2000 BBC adaptation with Richard Coyle and Aiden Gillen. Much more fun.
  2. Gateway to Fourline – Pam Brondos. The pace was too slow with this one. It is the start of a series so I think the author wanted to include a lot of background and information. The characters were a bit flat too. I won’t be reading on.
  3. The Mysterious Affair at Styles – Agatha Christie. I love a good detective story so I thought I’d give Christie a go. This wasn’t much fun though. The characters were unlikeable, the plot was cheesy and Poirot was so annoying I wanted to reach into the text and throttle him.
  4. The Short Drop – Matthew Fitzsimmons. This is a more modern text. It has a lot of five-star reviews on Goodreads but I have no idea why. It was obvious what was going to happen next and the plot was cliched. I finished it but it was not very satisfying.
  5. The Last Girl – Joe Hart. This was a struggle to finish. It was full of tortured metaphors and overblown language which distracted from the plot. Another series I won’t be continuing.
  6. The Scarlet Letter – Nathaniel Hawthorne. I didn’t even get halfway through this one. I found the style impossible to get on with. A shame because it is an interesting idea.
  7. The Old Man and the Sea – Ernest Hemmingway. It was a good job this was so short otherwise I’d never have finished it. I just didn’t see the point.
  8. The Thorn Birds – Colleen McCullough. There were a number of reasons that this was hard work. The plot was cliched and unrealistic. The conversations read as if written by someone who had never spoken to anyone before. It was melodramatic and Meggie was too much a martyr to inspire much empathy.
  9. Rob Roy – Sir Walter Scott. I did finish it and some of it was exciting and interesting but Scott’s habit of describing every single meal and conversation really made the pace drag.
  10. War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy. This was quite a recent read. It took me five months and some days I could barely even look at it, never mind read it. However, I am glad that I finished it. Not just for the prestige of saying I’ve read it either. There are a lot of interesting characters and the relationships were well drawn. I was less keen on the war elements and the epic battles.
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