Saturday, February 20, 2010

to read or not to read...

that is the question.

I have recently just joined a newly formed bookclub with a few girls I know and a few girls they know. We are all very excited to meet and discuss our first book next week. The dilemma? I am halfway through the most excruciatingly horrible book I have ever read. Okay, I might be being a bit dramatic, but man, this book really rubs me the wrong way. It's called The Slap, by Christos Tsiolkas. I won't go into huge detail, but every time I read it my stomach churns in horror. I find it vulgar, offensive, stereotypically insulting and dully predictable. None of the characters are likeable, and I find it very difficult to be empathetic towards any of them.

So, here I am with one week left and 200 pages left to slog through, and all I really want to do is read something I would enjoy instead of wasting hours of my time reading something that gives me no pleasure.

But it's a reading club, right? And it only works if everyone reads the book...

Part of me has this teenage rebellious carpe diem sort of heart about it- why waste the time in my precious life doing something I don't love? The other part of me- the responsible, follow-the-rules adult thinks- just read it and get it over with, it's only fair to the others.

What would you do?

xo

12 comments:

ladybug-zen said...

i'd definitely NOT finish reading it. there's nothing worse than a really bad book, no?

Amanda said...

I don't think I would finish it either. Let your explanation of "why not" be your contribution to the group. Maybe you are not alone in your thoughts?

Mrs B said...

You know how some people say life's too short to drink bad wine? I say life's too short to read crappy books.

Dont fret about not finishing it - that's something to discuss at book group. You'll all have different opinions :-)

dixiebelle said...

I used to finish reading books I didn't really enjoy or wasn't getting anything out of, but now I don't bother. I have too many books I want to read to waste time on those I don't...

Someone chose this book for the bookclub, because they thought it would be a good discussion piece. You may miss out on some of the discussion, if you haven't finished it, or there might be plenty like you, who also didn't find it thought-provoking as perhaps it was trying to be?

Anyways, when I was part of a bookclub, we didn't even discuss the books that much!!

My Love is..... said...

I agree thow the book away. You will have plenty to talk about having read 1/2 way!

MoederKip said...

Personally, I would probably not read it, but not continue on at the bookclub either. Only because I'm stubborn and don't like being told what to do / read / watch LOL ;-)

That said, if you did want to continue with the bookclub, I'd probably finish it. I think that's the interesting things with book clubs - you read things you probably wouldn't otherwise. And I think that the things in art that disturb us most, often have the most life lessons to teach us. So all will not be lost.

Sonia said...

I wouldn't finish it either. Time is precious and you need to spent it doing something you enjoy - like reading a GOOD book! I agree with Amanda. Your contribution could be why you didn't finish the book - what you wrote in the post is exactly how you feel. I've read The Slap and I've heard many people say that the biggest problem is there aren't any characters that are likeable. The stereotypes I think are intentional but it's certainly vulgar.

p.s. This is the first of your posts I've read and I'll be back!

Jgee said...

The Slap is a little precocious and frustrating, but as someone who read it for their book club I can guarantee it provokes some pretty interesting discussion, particularly around issues like physical abuse, relationships, fidelity etc. Thing with book clubs is you won't always like every book. The Slap is a nice one to dissect stylistically as well as through characterisations and themes. I'd try and plough through.

One pair of Hands said...

Welcome back Meagan. Hope you're feeling refreshed.
Some things that you read can stay in your head for the rest of your life no matter how you try to get them out. If this book isn't something you want taking up that space why plough through it? Discussing the shortcomings that have led you to that conclusion will be a good topic for you book group discussion.

Jelly Wares said...

oh, you poor thing.... I say read the book to the end... Your opinion on the issues faced in the book are important and without reading to the end they will not properly be portrayed..... Like you said, the club is about reading all of the book so that you can share your opinion with everyone regardless if it's a good opionion or not.... I'd so love to be in your book club it sounds exciting and you're only up to book 1... What is your choice of book for the club???


Hugs
Jodie :)

Kate said...

I hated that book! I would not read it and I think part of the book club discussion could justifiably be about why you couldn't face finishing it. I am sure that it will provoke an interesting deiscussion tho.
Onto a much more exciting topic, how did I miss thr post where you announced your pregnancy? That is truly wonderful Megan and I am absolutely thrilled for you and your family. HUGE congratulations and much love. XX

m.e (Cathie) said...

wow, is that a addition to the ecomilf family, congrats!!

I started reading this book, didn't finish either, it was difficult to read & empathise with the characters.
As Kate said, maybe you can explain why you just couldn't finish it & talk about that aspect of the book.
all the best Meagan

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