When to Call It Quits

I started a book earlier in the week and and I’m having trouble finishing it. The writing is all right but the characters are not. They’re not even likable. I’m about 270 pages in. It’s a 370 page book and I’ve been skimming since page 100. I want to finish it because I promised a review and I don’t feel I can really give it a proper review if I haven’t finished it. But, to be honest, I don’t think my review will be all that positive either way. I was very excited to get this book but I’m not liking it and that sort of makes me sad.

I gave in and started another book last night with the intention of going back to finish it another time — my theory being that I just need a break from it. I only read about 20 pages of the new book but so far it has more potential which means I’m probably done with the other one. (Side note: I’m usually a one book reader. I sometimes read more than one book at a time, but I also notice that I do that when I’m not particularly interested in the current book I’m reading.)

I have a relatively high tolerance point. I usually go about 250 pages before quitting. I guess I’m hopeful that I might find its redeeming quality if I keep going but I don’t enjoy feeling annoyed while I’m reading and that’s where I am right now.

So, when do you call it quits?







By Dan Simmons

Little, Brown and Company

ISBN: 978-0-316-00702-3

Did Not Finish

I was looking forward to reading Drood. I thought The Terror was fabulous and when I got my hands on this one I was so excited.

Unfortunately, I did not finish this book. I wanted to. I tried to. It just didn’t happen. It went back to the library without completion of the final page.

Normally, I love a long book and this one, at 771 pages, checked that box for me. I have to admit that I really like Simmons’ writing style. It flows easily and he creates some magnificent characters. In this book, I couldn’t get into it. There is one small thing that annoyed me and I think this is what stopped me on this one — the characters go off on tangents. They will be talking about one thing and then remember something else, talk about it for a few pages, pull an anyway, and move you back to the story. I think there is a place for this. We all need important background information, but something here threw me off. Maybe I’ll try it again next year and see how I feel then.

For anyone interested, here is the information from the cover:

Drood is the name and nightmare that obsesses Charles Dickens for the last five years of his life.

One June 9, 1865, Dickens and his mistress are secretly returning to London, when their express train hurtles over a gap in a trestle. All of the first-class carriages except the one carrying Dickens are smashed to bits in the valley below. When Dickens descends into that valley to comfort the dead and dying, his life will be changed forever. And at the core of that ensuing five-year nightmare is…Drood.

Drood…the name that Dickens whispers to his friend Wilkie Collins. A laudanum addict and lesser novelist, Collins flouts Victorian sensibilities by living with one mistress while having a child with another, but he may be the only man on Earth with whom Dickens can share the secret of …Drood.

Increasingly obsessed with crypts, cemeteries, and the precise length of time it would take for a corpse to dissolve in a lime pit, Dickens ceases writing for four years and wanders the worst slums and catacombs of London at night while staging public reading during the day, gruesome readings that leave this audience horrified. Finally he begins writing what would have been the world’s first great mystery masterpiece, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, only to be interrupted forever by…Drood.