Friday, August 1, 2008

Rainbows End...But Not Here.

I've read three or four of Vernor Vinge's novels and I've really enjoyed them all. Recently, I've been trying to read Rainbows End. (Not a typo...Rainbow is plural...End is a verb.)

At any rate, I made it about half way through and I just can't take it any more. I know what's going on (at least as much as has been revealed so far), I just don't care anymore. This is a book that won the 2007 Hugo Award for Best Novel, so I guess I must be missing something. I just see it plodding along and going off on tangents without making any headway.

I quit. I think I can count on one hand, the amount of times I've put a book down half-read. I don't read for the sake of accomplishing something, but I feel like I've failed when I can't make my way through something that has popular acclaim. Full Disclosure: Two of the other books I've put down without finishing are Norman Mailer's The Naked and the Dead and John Kennedy Toole's A Confederacy of Dunces. Both of these are highly acclaimed novels and I guess I'm just too dense to get them. Update: GF points out that I couldn't get through Cold Mountain either. WTF is wrong with me?

On the other hand, I read for pleasure, and I'm willing to put a little bit of work into it (Neil Stephenson makes you work hard at times, but rewards you like mad), but if I can't see the light at the end of the tunnel, I'm just going to turn off into a side tunnel. I'm going to be picking up something fairly lightweight next. I'll let you know.

BTW, Do I get credit for half of a book, Todd?

5 comments:

Jim Wright said...

Don't feel bad.

Love Vinge. Love his last two books, Fire upon the Deep, and A Deepness in the Sky. Was hoping for more books set in that universe.

Got Rainbows End instead.

Me? I lasted about four chapters. Meh.

Nathan said...

It's not so much that one highly acclaimed book failed to grab me. It's that apparently, I don't get it quite often when the rest of the world thinks some book is fantastic.

I must just have more discerning taste.

Shawn Powers said...

I bought Fire Upon the Deep for travel reading -- it's thick, and y'all have given it good reviews.

I do hope it's good enough that I want to buy the other one too.

Todd Wheeler said...

Full credit for the book.

Nathan said...

WooHoo! (It was a hell of a lot more work than anything else I've read during this contest season.)

Thanks Todd.