The Ocean At The End Of The Lane by
Gaiman – In this powerful ode to childhood, memories, nostalgia, magic and horror are delicately woven together with beautiful language in surprising and sometimes terrifying ways.
Lexicon by Max Barry – A fascinating thriller about the power of words, where shadowy “poets” wield language as weapons, that slyly comments on contemporary society.
Wonder by R.J. Palacio – This funny yet heartwarming children’s book tells the story of a young boy with a facial disfigurement with such sincerity that all your adult cynicism will be washed away ... most likely by your tears.
Sycamore Row by John Grisham – The master of the courtroom drama whips up a gripping tale of a rich man’s last gift to his impoverished maid.
The Ocean At The End Of The Lane by Neil Gaiman – A haunting, lyrical tale of darkness, remembrances, and the mysteries of childhood. 11/22/63 by Stephen King – A man goes back time to prevent President John F. Kennedy’s assassination, and changes the world (and himself!) in unimaginable ways. The constant time travelling doesn’t allow his character to develop nor form a satisfying relationship with the love of his life. It feels like reading a journal of a backpacker who attempts to cover as many countries on a budget holiday! I can get a far better read from a travel blog, so won’t be picking up this book again.
Dear J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire makes no sense, I could not make head or tail out of it. The sheer number of pages and the thickness of the book just frightened me off. Reading it was an exhaustive effort which drained me mentally and physically. I was quite relieved that I decided to put down the book.
Abandoned Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows because the plot is confusing and there are far too many characters walking in and out. Everything in my head was screaming at me to put down the book. Eventually I put an end to my misery and am quite relieved that I have come out of it in one piece.
Head teacher, 51
Why do you make Harry and his friends do such peculiar things? I feel like I have to learn another language to understand what you write. I tried reading Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone in 2001. Twelve years, seven books, eight movies and three kids later, I still haven’t finished reading it.
A Casual Vacancy is a superb way to lull me to sleep when I feel insomniac. The plot is mundane and unimaginative; characters are uninspiring, almost dull. A downright BIG YAWN!
Characters (in A Casual Vacancy) were boring with no distinctive traits to tell one apart from another. Had way too many expletives, had to watch out for my kids in case they take a peek. But still feel the need to trudge on because of the author’s popularity and the sheer price of the book.
Full-time mum, 45
Dear J.D. Salinger, Catcher In The Rye made me depressed. My copy of the book was confiscated at the airport in Jakarta, Indonesia, and I’m not going to read it again. I’ve stopped reading fiction.
Dear Indra Sinha, You might have translated the Kama Sutra beautifully and written engaging award-winning ads, but Animal’s People rambles on like an uncle that no one really wants to listen to.
No occupation given, 39
Dear Tan Twan Eng, Cameron Highlands? All too familiar to a Malaysian. Japanese garden? A bygone fascination. Comfort women? Banal. The elusive orang asli and their versatile blowpipes? They are no mysterious, mystical creatures to us. The Garden Of Evening Mists has a slo...slo...slo...sloth-y pace. But I will persevere because I paid RM59.90 for it. Such a highly-acclaimed book must have a jewel hidden in it – I just need to patiently crawl-read to reach the climax. A fellow Malaysian deserves a second chance.
Dear David Foster Wallace, Flipping back and forth through my massive 1,104-page copy of Infinite Jest to keep track of the 300+ footnotes – most frustratingly located at the very end of the book – gave me horrific arm cramps. Also, it was much too heavy to read while in my favourite reading position (ie lying on my back in bed). I do plan to eventually finish the book because, despite being unwieldy, is actually an interesting read.
Thanks for taking part, everyone! Keep an eye out for more surveys next year. And if you have any suggestions on what you would like to see in our Reads pages, do write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.