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Ulysses made me do a bad thing…


I did something very usual. I read half of Ulysses, eventually succumbing to my hatred for the book.

Ulysses is awful. I read half of it, hated every word, and was eventually persuaded to stop reading it. Why read a book that you don’t like?

I know that Ulysses is full of jokes and clever references and devices, but I don’t care. I couldn’t read it and get anything from it. I’ve yet to meet anyone that has finished Ulysses, let alone enjoyed it. It seems that Ulysses is most suited to academics, who can spend their lives picking apart Joyce’s trivial game. For those who just want to read, rather than study, books, I recommend something other than Ulysses.

Only reading half of Ulysses was a first for me. Before Ulysses I finished every book that I started (as an adult). Now, having accepted the notion that life is short and my time better spent reading books I understand and enjoy, I can’t stop stopping!

Here are the books that I’ve recently abandoned:

  • This Book Will Save Your Life – A.M. Homes
  • The Bone People – Keri Hulme
  • Rabbit, Run – John Updike
  • A Thousand Splendid Suns – Khaled Hosseini

So, what do you think? Is it better to abandon books you don’t enjoy, or should you persevere and see how they end?

(Picture courtesy of Benny Lin)

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