What book did you want to give up on, but perservered and were extremely glad you did?

  1. Neil Stephenson, Anathem. Such a hard read but then the end was.....just.....damn. A small forest's worth of setup for those last few pages.

  2. I’ve pretty much just accepted that with N.S. it’s more about the journey rather than the destination. I also was disappointed with the ending of Seveneves but still like the book overall.

  3. funny, having read it several times, i kinda always sad when they leave the monastery. i wish the whole book was about the inner politics and weird rituals of them, like a thinking man's Hogwarts.

  4. Reamde is the one book of his that I’ve struggled to get through so many times like I want to love it because I’ve heard very good things about it but it’s just so slow and wordy in the beginning 😔

  5. Funny, that this is the first comment. Same here, and I usually read books until the end, unless it is an utter trash.

  6. I also gave up on Anathem many times but decided to finish it. The ending, at first, felt like too much effort for too little but then later I was glad I persevered. But I wouldn’t re-read it.

  7. I hate the idea that a book has to be read twice but… the second read through of Anathem was so incredibly rewarding.

  8. Came here to write Anathem. Now: one of my few 5/5 sci-fi books. A favorite for life, but damn it was though to get going. I don’t agree that it was about the last pages though, as I had good fun a lot of the way once I got the setup and point of it. But Anathem is a I book I don’t recommend anybody but those few friends I know got the right taste for it, I’m actually surprised it got such a high rating on Goodreads.

  9. I had to put this one down because I kept falling asleep reading it. I think I got like 40% of the way through. Maybe I should pick it back up

  10. I struggled with A Deepness in the Sky. I was reading it during the administration of the previous president in the US. Too many parallels that were very frustrating to me.

  11. Dhalgren. Not for everyone, and probably not even for me anymore, but I'm glad I read it when I was young enough to never quit a book halfway through (I was 21). For better and for worse, it's truly one of a kind.

  12. One of the most memorable stories I ever read. Read it 40 years ago and then again about 10 years ago. Not for everyone but there is such a richly textured unexplained World just laid bare in a way few other stories can match.

  13. That's one of those books I file in the "interesting, but not enjoyable" category. Glad I read it, but no desire to do so again.

  14. I got 400 pages in and it has been nothing but painful . I might finish it one day as I love Delaney, he wrote my favorite book of all time, but it is so, so, so boring and the characters and setting are just totally uninteresting to me.

  15. This was the first novel that I I intentionally put down (I may have thrown it across the room) and never finished. There have only been a handful of those over my many years of reading sci-fi and fantasy. That said, I’m pretty sure I remember the opening sentence fragment from it, as Delaney’s prose was always wonderful: “To wound the autumnal forest…” or something along those lines.

  16. God Emperor of Dune. It's a great deep dive into an ancient mind, but man. It can go a little too deep. Well worth it for Heretics and Chapterhouse, though.

  17. I've started it twice and haven't been able to get into it. People rave about it constantly and the concept is interesting but something about the writing style just doesn't work for me.

  18. I'm 2 or 3 chapters in and enjoying it! Not super gripping but it's got a few interesting things here and there, and I like the writing style despite it being unpopular for some reason.

  19. I had a similar experience with TLL, almost dropping it then liking it at the end. But then I picked up the second book, kept half-hating it, finished it and decided to stop reading the series altogether.

  20. I can only barely read those chapters. When I showed it to my 12-year-old daughter, she could read it without hardly noticing it was all terribly mis-spelled. so weird.

  21. Stand on Zanzibar by John Brunner. It has an unusual story structure that makes it very choppy and it took me a while to get used it.

  22. Dhalgren was one of those rare books where I had to really push to get through because it was frustrating, slow, confusing, and vaguely unpleasant but then afterwards really left a positive impression afterwards. I am really glad I read it through and my memories of reading it are so much richer than the experience was in the moment.

  23. The descriptions of the castle were beautiful - for quite a few years after reading it my ambition was to buy a castle to live in (I never did, those things are pricey).

  24. For me it was A Canticle For Lebowitz. The pacing was very slow and it took me at least a hundred pages to finally get at the questions and issues the author was discussing. The overall ending is quite bleak (not a spoiler) but the final takeaway is tremendously powerful and worth the journey. It's not a story of huge, dramatic moments or pivotal heroic action, but I think it paints humanity in a very unique and undeniable shade.

  25. Man this was a grind for me as well. But glad I finished it - I still think about it sometimes so I guess it made an impression.

  26. I nearly stopped reading Majipoor Chronicles by Robert Silverberg due to some steamy bits, but I'm glad I stuck with it; the aforementioned bits aren't gratuitous but relatively tastefully conveyed, and said content mirrors a dimension of real life, honestly. The book (and adjoining series) have fantastic world-building, well-rounded characters, and are pretty uplifting overall; now some of my fav lesser-known sci-fi to recommend.

  27. The Dark Forest basically nothing interesting happens in the first like 200 pages which is where I left off. Hearing praise for the series I decided to pick off there with the audiobook and the second half and the last book Deaths End were both good.

  28. That's a good example - all of those books have huge setups and very long plot payoffs. I think it's fascinating story-telling in that sense.

  29. First 200 pages? More like all the 400 pages. I think I gave up after the second book. Nothing happens at all. I was waiting for something to finally drop, but I really couldn't read the trilogy to the end... It's boring, the english translation is apparently not very good, the cultural background is missing, and so on.

  30. In addition to Anathem for its obtuseness, the other book I wanted to put down several times was Octavia Butler's Parable of the Sower and its sequel. It just got so, so dark at some points that I just wanted to put it away and grab some eye bleach. But it was well worth it, they're great novels and I keep coming back and thinking about them years after.

  31. I just got through the first one, and found that it improved significantly after the first 100 pages or so. Glad to hear the next ones are even better.

  32. The first time I read dune it took me three weeks to read the first half and three days to read the second half. So much set-up in the first half of the book, but it's so worth it once you make it through.

  33. I almost bailed after the second New Sun book, but glad I persisted through the series. One of the strangest works I've read but rewarding too.

  34. Diaspora by Greg Egan!! I really am just not into computers or virtual reality and that kind of stuff. The first section of Diaspora was a huge chore for me to get through. So glad I did though- wonderful book and it introduced me to the wonderful world of Greg Egan and his crazy weird nerd brain.

  35. I have enjoyed a lot of Egan's books. Somehow I started Diaspora at least 3 times and couldn't get past the first 30 pages. I will persevere though, thanks for reminding me of this book.

  36. 11\22\63 by steven king - i am not a steven king fan at all either this is the only book of his i've been able to get through and fully enjoy. Loved the idea of The Stand, im just not a huge fan of his writing.

  37. Daemon by Daniel Suarez. It came so so so highly recommended that I tried to start it at least 3 separate times but just could not get through the detective crime part. Then on the 4th try I pushed through, and once we got to the house, it was game over for my attention. That's the first book I read without any ability to put it down, like I literally feel asleep while reading it, and woke up thinking about reading some more. Ugh, then freedom was an easy win for Suarez, I like most of his books.

  38. Is this because of the series as a whole or because of the end of that book in particular? I really found the end of Gardens to be pretty bad.

  39. I didn't read any Malazan after that book. Was such a struggle to get through that I didn't feel compelled to move to the next immediately and next thing you know, it's 15 years later.

  40. I find this take really alien to me. Gardens of the Moon was the first book in years that sucked me in so much I spent an entire weekend doing nothing but reading.

  41. The Crystal World and The Dervish House. I tried to read each of these about three times and only got a few chapters in and put them down because some other book was released or I was distracted somehow.

  42. Two main contenders for me are Dune & Lord of the Rings. With each, eventually opted to start reading around page 100 and enjoyed the books immensely. And then read the first 100 pages...

  43. I also would say Passage by Connie Willis es somewhat a long road at first. But from half of the book to the end it touched my heart

  44. I was a regular kid, playing outside and empty hours with nothing to do in my third world country, So on a particular boring day my Mom give me The Metamorphosis, I read like 2 pages and hate it, It was only a sick guy waking up, tried again and told my Mom It was boring and I dont want to do It, anyways days later She made try again, I read It all, probable on a single sitting, I was so into It that feel like like waking up from a weird dream when finish, It was awesome, thanks Mom.

  45. The Sparrow Mary Doria Russell … imho it’s a well written book however I think the content is disturbing at points and the rabbit hole of awful behaviour gets worse the further into the book you go.

  46. Agree. Adrian Tchaikovsky is a great writer but that series is hard to get into during the first read.

  47. I listened to books 1 and 2 when doing a lot of car trips, and I found them to be more or less cheesy SciFi pulp that was sort of enjoyable to zone out on but not take too seriously. I don't think I would have enjoyed them as much if I were reading them in a serious way -- I would have felt like I was wasting my time.

  48. I think I have nearly always had the experience of wanting to give up on Iain Banks books - because they tend to just drop you into the middle of the world and provide no context. By persevering, I learned I would eventually become clued in, and most of the books were worth it. Matter, however, was not.

  49. I thought the ending of Matter was pretty cool myself. I read it once a long time ago, but have listened to the audiobook several times after that. I highly recommended the audio book as the narration is great and engaging.

  50. Light by M John Harrison, it took me a couple of restarts to get into it and find the rhythm and to realise I would need to concentrate on what was happening, I'm glad I did as it and the two sequels have become some of my favourite books

  51. I’m still not sure on Ninefox Gambit. I struggled through it, and was basically on the last pages before I got to the moment of “oh, I get why this is good” and before that point had no inclination that I would continue with the series at all. I needed a break before starting the next book though.

  52. I just started this book, am about 20% through and I feel like I know where it’s all going, hope I am wrong, I want to finish one of his books, if it doesn’t surprise me, I’ll probably pass on the rest. I’m not saying it’s not well written but there are some tropey things I don’t like already.

  53. Eh, I made it through Mistborn, but I’m not really sure if I’m glad I did. Brandon Sanderson is just about the most “meh” author I’ve ever read.

  54. I understand them not being for you but they absolutely do not "suck ass". Books that spawn a community that large and passionate clearly have something that resonates in people even if you don't personally like it.

  55. robin hobb's "the dragon keeper" (book 1 in the rain wilds subseries) started off really slowly, and i actually gave up on it the first time through because i just wasn't in the mood for it. the second time around i got past the slow bit and it was really good all the way till the end of the four book series. would definitely recommend it.

  56. The stars are my destination....i gave up once while still in space, i was: eh i can't read this if all of this will be im gutter talk. came back to it years latter and realized there was only a few page more to go then it got fucking awesome like nothing else.

  57. Pulsarnacht by Dietmar Dath. His writing style is a brick wall you have to scale. I didn't make it past the first chapter first time I read this, it felt like somewhat generic mil-SF with a crazy setting but impenetrable writing.

  58. Hyperion was tough for me to get through the prologue. I know it's fairly short but I was listening to the audio book and kept hearing "council" when they said "consul" and there was just a lot of stuff thrown at you without much context or explanation. Thank god I finally pushed through to Chapter 1!

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