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Friday, September 10, 2010

Recent DNFs - 7 in all

In an effort to get myself up to date I'm combining all my recent DNF (Did Not Finish) books into one post.  Here goes ...

I picked up several audiobooks for the long car rides over the summer.  The key is that they had to be interesting for the entire family.  That didn't work in all cases.
    Mr. Revere and I: Being an Account of certain Episodes in the Career of Paul Revere,Esq. as Revealed by his HorseThunder Rolling in the Mountains
  • Mr. Revere and I, by Robert Lawson - This story, told by Paul Revere's horse, could have been a good one since Kiddo loves this time period, however it was narrated by Davina Porter.  Although I LOVE her narration in general, she made this book sound like an adult book and Kiddo simply wasn't interested.  In reality, neither was I.

  • Thunder Rolling in the Mountains, by Scott O'Dell - According to Kiddo, "I don't like Indians." Meaning, of course, that he's not interested in stories about Native Americans.  I did give this one a try though, since it follows the story of Chief Joseph and the Nez Perce, but the story didn't catch my attention quickly enough.

Mutiny on the Bounty (Dover Books on Literature & Drama)Another long car ride found my husband and I (minus Kiddo) trying to listen to The Mutiny On Board HMS Bounty, by William Bligh and Norman Dietz.  What I failed to realize when I checked this out of the library is that this was the original account of the mutiny as detailed by the ill-fated Captain Bligh.  Man, was he ever long-winded! After the first 30 minutes or so, Hubby and I both agreed that we couldn't take any more of it. 

The Red Badge of CourageOn that same car ride we tried to listen to an old favorite of Hubby's The Red Badge of Courage, by Stephen Crane.  How come I didn't know this was about the Civil War?  Honestly, I had no idea.  And unfortunately I just wasn't in the mood for a war story, so we gave up on it.

Howards End (Barnes & Noble Classics)Then there was a case of mistaken identity.  In my mind I somehow (?!) confused The Remains of the Day, by Kazuo Ishiguro with Howards End, by E.M. Forster. (I'm still not exactly sure how I did that.) I listened to the first hour or so of Howards End and kept wondering when the butler would make an appearance.  When I finally figured out my mistake I was highly disappointed and simply couldn't get into the story at all.

FollyI also decided to try another of Laurie R. King's standalone novels, Folly. I listened to the first hour or so before calling it quits.  Let's just say that although I truly love her Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes books, I am not really a fan of her standalones.

DualityAnd finally we come to Duality, by Aaron Chumbris, which is a mix of epic and urban fantasy.  I liked the premise of the book and generally enjoyed what I read, but after getting halfway through the book I really wasn't invested in the characters or the story at all.  In addition, I was reminded that fantasy in an urban setting doesn't really work for me.  I was able to visualize the standard fantasy portions of the book but I couldn't wrap my head around the urban sections. 

That's a bit about the books I've put aside during the course of the summer.  How many DNFs have you had lately?


Trisha said...

I was laughing as I looked at the top DNF books; I can totally see why you guys didn't take to any of them. And I have to admit that Red Badge of Courage is one of the handful of books that I truly despised in high school. Everyone keeps telling me to re-read it, that I would appreciate it so much more now, but I still have such a negative feeling towards it that will probably never happen.

Amanda said...

Talk about crazy coincidence! I don't get Remains of the Day mixed up with Howard's End, but I DO get it mixed up with A Room With a View! How is it we both get Ishiguro and Forster mixed up??

Heather J. said...

Trisha - For most of those I had to find cassettes b/c that's what our car could handle - needless to say, the selection was limited! :) As for RBoC, Hubby SWEARS it is a great book but I don't know that I believe him ...

Amanda - I thought maybe that the movie versions both might have had Anthony Hopkins in them (possibly?) and that's why I confused them, but maybe it's actually something about Forster and Ishiguro?!

Kristen said...

I'm laughing because you just reminded me that the Red Badge of Courage is the one book I gave up on in high school. I just absolutely hated that book. I think I failed the weekly quizzes because I just couldn't make myself read it.

Bybee said...

I might go back and try The Red Badge of Courage again. I read it for a school assignment, but it didn't really stick with me. I believe there's a copy in the Bybee-ary. Also, my son gave me a DVD of the Audie Murphy movie last mothers day and I've never gotten around to watching that. So even if your experience wasn't that good, you gave me a new reading/watching idea, thanks!

LOL about Howards End and The Remains of the Day...I think, but I'm not sure... you mixed them up because they were both made into Merchant-Ivory movies at about the same time and Emma Thompson is in both of them, right???

Heather J. said...

Kristen - Now you'd got me wondering why my husband liked it so much! LOL

Bybee - Emma Thompson might be the connection ... not that I've seen either movie, but I definitely saw previews. And I'm glad I inspired you to a book/movie event!

Alyce said...

I understand mixing things up like that. Someone once recommended both A Streetcar Named Desire and Fiddler on the Roof to me at the same time. Ever since then I have linked them in my mind. I tried watching Streetcar and didn't like it, and for the longest time I thought that Fiddler must be similar. So far from reality. :)

Listener said...

Yes, I didn't really care for Red Badge of Courage, although listening to it again as an adult I realized it does have a few points going for it.

I did really like Howards End (links go to my reviews on Free Listens), but I think part of it was Elizabeth's Klett's excellent narration.

Heather J. said...

Alyce - I'm so glad you did finally give Fiddler a try - it's possibly my favorite musical!

Listener - The narrator can definitely make or break a book, that's for sure. And thanks for coming to my blog - I'm off to visit you now. :)

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