I Give Up

I just cannot stand to read one more word of the book for my next book club meeting. It’s beyond torture and life is too short. The book? The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis by Jose Saramago. I’d never read anything by the Nobel Prize-winning author before and based on the sixty-some pages I slogged through, I never will again.

As I mentioned in the first post of my “Why I’m in a Book Club” series, I’ve set 50 as the arbitrary number of pages I require myself to read before giving up on a book, and when it comes to book club books I give it more of an effort by sticking through until page 100. In the case of Ricardo Reis, I’m breaking my rule and happily.

It’s been quite a while since I’ve read a book I so thoroughly disliked. It felt like reading a required text for school. In Latin. Translated from the original Sanskrit. It’s no fun when you absolutely dread picking up the book. I like reading too much to put myself through that.

Ricardo Reis is all stream of consciousness, tangents and meandering plot, though I use the word plot extremely loosely. My negative opinion of the book is definitely in the minority when you see the raves it gets on Amazon, but rumor has it I have company in my opinion among other book club members. Should be an interesting meeting next weekend.


2 thoughts on “I Give Up

  1. Yep I give every book the 50 page test as well and if I am not engaged by then, well I never will be. Life is too short and too many other books out there awaiting my attention!

  2. Here here. So far, no one I’ve talked to in my book club has made it to even the 50-page mark in this book. One member wanted to stop after just one page! I’m happily back in the depths of The Count of Monte Cristo, relieved to have dumped this clunker.

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