Shock horror: I didn’t finish reading a book

February 7, 2011 in Book Reviews, Fantasy, Reviews by pacejmiller

As my friend Xander told me yesterday during our brief catch-up, there is a first time for everything.

I’ve always had this frustrating habit of finishing every novel that I start reading, but for the first time, I have decided to abandon this current novel I am reading and put me out of my misery.

According to this blog, the last book I finished was Homeland by RA Salvatore, and I had completed it by the 20th of December 2010.  Fast forward a month and a half and I’m still stuck on the next book, a Star Wars novel called Heir to the Empire, written by award-winning author Timothy Zahn.  I’m not even halfway through.

A friend was kind enough to lend it to me and I am ashamed to admit that I’ve had it in my possession for 6+ months, or some other ridiculously long period of time.  I wanted to finish it and finish it quickly so I could finally return it and get started on that stack of books still waiting for me in the corner.

It’s not that the book is bad — in fact, it is a bestseller and widely regarded as one of the best Star Wars novels ever written.  I don’t know why, but I’ve simply struggled with it, and struggled badly.  Every time I stop reading it, I don’t get the urge to read it again, and when I do start to read it again, I have trouble remembering what the heck is going on (probably because I take such long breaks in between).

I believe the problem lies with me being only a fringe Star Wars fan.  I was born a little too late to be caught up in the frenzy, and while I have watched all the films, I don’t care for Luke, Leia and Han Solo the way the ‘true’ fanatics do.  I just like the lightsabers.

So all that Empire/Rebel Alliance stuff, the politics, the names I can’t pronounce, the history of everything — the stuff that true fans appreciate — never got me going.  And there was too much of that in the first hundred or so pages.  I have no doubt that the book will get more interesting and action packed, but I just can’t bring myself to get to that point.  I quit.

My wife says I should have done it ages ago.  She compares it to my refusal to stop watching or going to watch potentially bad movies.  She still complains that I wasted 2 hours of her life in taking her to see Buried with Ryan Reynolds.  I actually thought it was okay, but maybe that’s my problem.

Next up, The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank.  I’m loving it already.