Un­fin­ished busi­ness

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - READS MONTHLY - By ROUWEN LIN

WHY are some books aban­doned half­way? We ran a sur­vey to find the an­swers, and we also wanted to know if you would give the book another chance, and why.

With the help of Times book­stores, we of­fered a lit­tle to­ken to the read­ers who sent in the five best an­swers to our Read Me Not! sur­vey. The fol­low­ing five read­ers will each re­ceive RM20 worth of book vouch­ers from Times. Here are their replies as well as some of the best of the rest of the al­most 200 replies we re­ceived from peo­ple – peo­ple of all ages, too, rang­ing from stu­dents to re­tirees!

The win­ners

Chan Jia Hui

(Stu­dent, 19, Jo­hor) couldn’t be­lieve that The Is­land At The End Of The World by Sam Tay­lor re­ceived pos­i­tive re­views, let alone be pub­lished, due to its use of “ter­ri­ble English” in al­ter­nat­ing chap­ters.

“The writer pur­posely writes with lots of gram­mar mis­takes and spelling er­rors in the chap­ters writ­ten from a young boy’s point of view. I can’t tol­er­ate this type of writ­ing style.”

Izarin Izmir Izhar

(Stu­dent, 23, Se­lan­gor) was in awe when he learned about the avant-garde writ­ers and artists in col­lege. But when he read Room by Emma Donoghue, he found out that “ad­mi­ra­tion does not nec­es­sar­ily en­tail en­joy­ment”.

(Copy­writer, 38, Pe­nang) could not get through literary clas­sic Anna Karan­ina by Leo Tol­stoy. Af­ter read­ing 100 pages (out of more than 800), he gave up the chase.

“The gen­teel, man­nered world of the Rus­sian aris­toc­racy which the novel de­picts, with its sti­fling cus­toms and stiff ways, was not one that held much fas­ci­na­tion for me.

“Some may call it a pa­tient buildup, but I found the pro­ceed­ings draggy, as the nar­ra­tive shifted fo­cus from one nat­tily-turned­out char­ac­ter to another, most of whom seemed to be han­ker­ing af­ter another fel-

Lean Ka-Min

Ng Chia Shyn

low mem­ber of po­lite so­ci­ety.”

(Stu­dent, 19, Malacca) aban­doned Mercy by Jodi Pi­coult be­cause it was “too good”.

“The writer man­aged to ar­tic­u­late the be­trayal and in­fi­delity by the hus­band so well that I was grip­ping the book hard in anger. It was too hard to read on for a hope­less ro­man­tic like me.

“I plan to have another go at this book be­cause I feel it is un­fair to the au­thor if I do not fin­ish such a well-writ­ten novel. I will pre­pare to have my water­works turned on at the end of this book be­cause of the in­evitable sad end­ing.”

(Stu­dent, 19, Se­lan­gor) stopped read­ing Wuther­ing Heights by Emily Brontë six years ago be­cause the Vic­to­rian prose made for dif­fi­cult read­ing.

“‘Dear Sofea, I am giv­ing you this book be­cause no young lady should go through life with­out hav­ing read it.’”

“At 13, I found the book con­fus­ing, long, de­tailed and very deep. To­day, at 19, it is time that I do jus­tice to this book, a gift from an aunty six years ago, and ap­pre­ci­ate the beauty which will show in due time.”

Sofea A. Ghani

Notes to au­thors

Th­ese are the en­ter­tain­ing lit­tle mis­sives some read­ers wanted to share with the au­thors of the books they aban­doned. Dear David Bal­dacci, The Col­lec­tors is def­i­nitely not col­lec­tor’s ma­te­rial for me. There are two plots run­ning si­mul­ta­ne­ously and I know that sooner or later the sto­ries should merge. But I don’t see the light at the end of my tun­nel.

Pub­lic re­la­tions con­sul­tant, 43

Dear Steve Barry, Your pri­ests think noth­ing of hav­ing in­ti­mate re­la­tion­ships with women. I aban­doned The Third Se­cret be­cause I felt it wasn’t right – even if it’s fic­tion.

Re­tiree, 53

Dear Michelle Brooks, Syd in Bone Dress­ing is so an­noy­ing. Is it re­ally nec­es­sary for her to have a point­less ar­gu­ment that goes on for sev­eral chap­ters?

But I will give the book another go be­cause it is rude to judge a book with­out read­ing till the end.

Free­lancer, 25

Dear E.L. James, The first book in the Fifty Shades tril­ogy is ok. Chris­tian Grey is per­fect (mi­nus the erotic part).

But your sec­ond book is a dis­as­ter. You just re­peat the same thing over and over again.

You think you can get away with it by stuff­ing it with end­less ro­man­tic ges­tures and Chris­tian-Grey-ex­er­cise-rou­tines, if you know what I mean. Can he re­ally be THAT sex-driven? I’m sick of Chris­tian and Anas­ta­sia go­ing around in cir­cles.

Stu­dent, 19

I was cu­ri­ous about how you would build up to the cli­max (no pun in­tended) but I was dis­ap­pointed. Bland writ­ing style, not worth my time. I didn’t get past Chap­ter Five.

Stu­dent, 17

Writ­ing style too fan-fic­tion-ish. In­ap­pro­pri­ate use of the F-word. (Ev­ery sin­gle line? Come on!) I have read erot­ica be­fore, be it good, bad, or plain dirty. I sim­ply can’t stom­ach this one.

Clerk, 29

Dear Stephen King, Pen­ny­wise the clown in It scared me when I was 14. I kept dream­ing about Pen­ny­wise and his ter­ror­is­ing smile. I stopped at page 770 and have not touched the book since. But now that I am older and have sur­vived (horror movie) The Con­jur­ing, I will give it another go.

Army of­fi­cer, 34

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.