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Difficult to read books

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by del62, Aug 17, 2012.

  1. del62

    del62 Deity

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    Apparently some literary web site has come up with a list of the ten most difficult books to read

    The titles?

    While I have heard of a number of the authors, I have never read any of these books,

    Has anybody read any of them and did they find them difficult to read, and what books have you found difficult to read?

    Personally I never could finish the Lord of the Rings.

    Link - I an not a fan of the Guardian but that is the link.

    EDIT : Could a mod move this to the tavern
     
  2. Lillefix

    Lillefix I'm serious. You can.

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    If I'd ever planned to read Finnegan's Wake, I'd given up at the sentence above.
     
  3. del62

    del62 Deity

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    Actually I was wrong when I said I had not heard of any of the books, I have heard of Finnegan's Wake
     
  4. Farm Boy

    Farm Boy The long wait

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    Jonathan Swift's writing is genius, though I haven't read that particular one.
     
  5. JollyRoger

    JollyRoger Slippin' Jimmy Supporter

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    On that list, I have read To the Lighthouse which had the distinction of being difficult to read without any sort of entertaining payoff.
     
  6. Integral

    Integral Can't you hear it?

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  7. Save_Ferris

    Save_Ferris Admiring Myself

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    Read all of the Youtube comments on a popular video.
     
  8. bombshoo

    bombshoo Never mind...

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    Finnegan's Wake is generally considered the most difficult book to read. Some people have put years into analyzing the book and still came out confused as to what it's about, or who the central characters even are.
     
  9. Cutlass

    Cutlass The Man Who Wasn't There.

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    Most of the Conan the Barbarian books have more highfalutin 3-5 syllable words that you'll encounter anywhere else in literature. :p
     
  10. innonimatu

    innonimatu Deity

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    I really, really hate James Joyce's works,. All of them.

    Speaking of fiction, have you ever tried making any sense of a Gene Wolfe book?
     
  11. Camikaze

    Camikaze Administrator Administrator

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    Moderator Action: Moved to the Tavern at OP request.
     
  12. Cutlass

    Cutlass The Man Who Wasn't There.

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    I'm not familiar with the name, no.
     
  13. aelf

    aelf Ashen One

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  14. JollyRoger

    JollyRoger Slippin' Jimmy Supporter

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    Joyce can be tough to read, but I find it worth the effort. Haven't tried Finnegan's Wake yet but its reputation leads me to believe that perhaps Joyce tried a bit too hard and it didn't come off as well as his previous work.
     
  15. Borachio

    Borachio Way past lunacy

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    You aren't kidding. Portrait of an Artist isn't so bad. Nor is Dubliners. Ulysses is a nightmare, and Finnegans Wake impenetrable but in places fun. There is film of it. With subtitles which didn't seem to help much.

    Joyce is so up himself, though. I can't seriously be bothered.

    Novels that I can't engage with - as in I just don't care what happens to the characters - I find unreadable and will cheerfully hurl across the room.
    Crime fiction mostly does this to me.

    I think any author - fiction or non-fiction - who can't be bothered to express himself clearly and concisely doesn't deserve my attention.

    But in any case, I'm not the brightest individual by a very long way, so a lot of stuff is just too hard for me. (And I get bored easily.)
     
  16. JollyRoger

    JollyRoger Slippin' Jimmy Supporter

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    The thing abourt Ulysses is that there are parts that are easily understandable on one level that are pretty entertaining at that level. I will admit there are a couple of chapters that are too To-the-Lighthousey for me.
     
  17. Borachio

    Borachio Way past lunacy

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    He just makes up so many words, though. And, I-have-heard-but-it's-probably-not-true, that some PhD's about it have been based on nothing more than misprints.
     
  18. Quintillus

    Quintillus Archiving Civ3 Content Supporter

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    I haven't heard of any of these books - though indeed some of the authors I have. I see you mean difficult to read as in "difficult to comprehend", not as in "easy enough to understand, but difficult subject matter psychologically".

    One of the more difficult books that I've read a good chunk of was Nietzsche's On the Genealogy of Morals (translated into English). Nietzsche certainly doesn't simplify his philosophy to make it easier to understand.

    Me neither. I read one and a half books of it in 10th grade, but then gave up. It wasn't that the language itself was too difficult, but more a case of way too many descriptive adjectives and not enough actually happening. Or in fewer words, it was too boring.

    I still haven't seen the movies, as even though I'd heard the movies were better than the books, I was in no hurry to find out.
     
  19. emzie

    emzie wicked witch of the North

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    Finnegans Wake is harder to read than a book in a foreign language. At least with the foreign text, you can look up each word one by one and piece together a picture of what's going on. Finnegans Wake requires you do that and then ponder over each sentence and figure out just what the hell Joyce was conveying. It's either the most brilliant book ever written or the most pretentious prank ever pulled.

    Oh, and I've never actually attempted to read it. I don't hate myself that much.
     
  20. Verarde

    Verarde Pondering Wearing A Hat

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    I've heard of some of these authors, but none of these books.
     

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