The Best Novel You Never Finished Reading

I’ll admit that I am too embarrassed to reveal the title of the new, much-buzzed-about-novel that I’ve simply failed to keep reading after getting through the first 50 pages. Fortunately, The New Yorker’s Book Bench blog isn’t exactly depending on me for its new series, “Books, Interrupted,” which focuses on “failed” reading projects undertaken by the magazine’s contributors and editors. The debut post comes from author Yiyun Li, who confesses that she’s never made it through Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse (but when you read the post, you’ll have to admit she’s had some decent excuses).

(Anyone who wants to share his or her own biggest “book, interrupted” is welcome to do so here in comments.)

4 thoughts on “The Best Novel You Never Finished Reading

  1. Lori says:

    Mrs. Dalloway. Twice attempted. Twice unfinished.

  2. deonne kahler says:

    Burgher's Daughter by Nadine Gordimer. Could not get more than 75 pages in. (And it's on my MFA reading list!)

  3. Erika D. says:

    Lori, I have to admit that Woolf has posed some problems for me, too. Not with Mrs. Dalloway, but with To the Lighthouse (so I have something in common with Yiyun Li!). Also, given the time of the year, I feel compelled to confess that I was unable to make it through Ulysses. Fortunately, the instructor who assigned it to me in college assigned only an excerpt. Not sure what to advise you, Deonne!

  4. Anonymous says:

    The Brief Wondorous Life of Oscar Woa, by Junot Diaz. I just couldn't take it anymore. Some parts were very interesting and other's just bored me to pieces. I finally just got frustrated and gave up.

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