Literary blog hop -most difficult book read

Well this weeks question for the blog hop is what is the most difficult book you’ve read ?

Now that is a hard one ,I ve read a lot of the books that may be classed as very difficult by people now two come to mind that I ve struggled with –

Savage detectives by Roberto Bolano ,two poets on the hunt another poet ,the book has numerous narrators and also interviews ,I struggled to keep track of who was narrating at times ,Bolano  was a genius but his prose need time to be read slowly and savoured like a fine wine and I sometimes don’t saviour books like this enough as I tend to read a little to quick at times .

the second book I ve chosen is B.S Johnsons the unfortunates ,the so called book in a box ,this is a collection of  25 sections that only have the first and last chapter marked the book can be read in any order so each reading of the book can have a different feel depending on how you order the chapters ,thus making it truely non linear narration ,It follows a sportswriter in the East midlands ,his dying friend that has cancer ,Johnson was a master of experimental fiction his other books feature cut out holes in pages so a word from next page appears ,Christie malary is all based round double entry bookeeping  .

What book has been your most difficult ?

45 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Mar Dixon
    Nov 11, 2010 @ 16:55:39

    There were a few I can add to this but think some books I couldn’t read were more to do with me lacking the concentration due to work/life schedule. One book that I did read but was very difficult for me was Descartes Bones by Russell Shorto. Whilst a very interesting book, the author seemed to jump from past to present and back again and it was very difficult to follow his train of thought.


  2. Lynne
    Nov 11, 2010 @ 17:38:39

    My most difficult made top of the heap because it was written and/or translated so poorly — a Vatican thriller written in Portuguese and horribly rendered into English. It was filled with cliches, non sequiters, big buildups for naught, allegedly sexy assassin priests, international crime reporters who don’t file stories — you name it and this book had it.

    Cannot believe at least two connected novels have been translated and published when there must be thousands of more interesting books out there that deserve a wider audience.


    • winstonsdad
      Nov 11, 2010 @ 20:44:04

      always hard to tell if it was the orginal or translator I ve had a couple of duff translations this year one dutch and another from Japanese ,sometimes I think buyers for publishers get it wrong when aquiring rights for books because they maybe like the book ,all the best stu


  3. The Bookeater
    Nov 11, 2010 @ 17:58:58

    I have yet to read a Roberto Bolano book however have the big fat 2666 sitting on my shelf. Thanks for the insight on The Savage Detectives.


  4. Sarah Reads Too Much
    Nov 11, 2010 @ 18:38:30

    The Unfortunates sounds incredibly interesting, if only for the novelty of it. I can see how both would be very difficult to read!


  5. Ingrid
    Nov 11, 2010 @ 18:50:38

    COOL! That book in a box sounds intriguing. Thanks for participating in the Hop!


  6. mywordlyobsessions
    Nov 11, 2010 @ 20:26:22

    Wow. I’m seriously excited about ‘The Unfortunates’ I love a book that plays with the boundaries of literature. Reminds me of those children’s novels where you get to chose what happens to your character. They should make more of them. Excellent post, thanks for sharing.

    sidenote: it seems like we both chose novels that were hard to read because of a certain stream of consciousness.


    • winstonsdad
      Nov 11, 2010 @ 20:47:53

      we do 🙂 , it is a bit like that I love the way he wrote it so the order didn’t matter and could even change the way the story went ,all the best stu


  7. debnance at readerbuzz
    Nov 11, 2010 @ 21:58:43

    I have noticed that I’ve not read a single book cited by others because of its literary difficulty. In fact, I’ve not even attempt one of these.

    Thinking about what this means….


  8. JoAnn
    Nov 12, 2010 @ 00:59:52

    I’ve yet to read Bolano, but 2666 is here in my tbr pile. Virginia Woolf was my choice, and am planning to go back for more!


  9. Becky (Page Turners)
    Nov 12, 2010 @ 01:12:19

    I read my first Bolano book earlier this year and I love love loved it!!!!! I know the Savage Detectives will be a challenge but I can’t wait to try it out


  10. Kelly
    Nov 12, 2010 @ 03:17:48

    Never read either of these. That book in a box concept is very interesting, but I’m sure it’s confusing at times too!


  11. Iris
    Nov 12, 2010 @ 10:00:59

    I admit I am intrigued by the book in a box idea. But I’m also very intimidated by it!


  12. Willa
    Nov 12, 2010 @ 10:13:52

    Good choices Stu


  13. gautami tripathy
    Nov 12, 2010 @ 13:38:50

    I have read a lot of classics in my school and college years. And some still remain my favorites. However, there are a few I could never get into..

    Here is my Literary Blog Hop post!


  14. Weekend Reader
    Nov 12, 2010 @ 16:27:14

    I’m intrigued by the book-in-a-box – sort of a “choose your own adventure” for grown-ups?


  15. Amanda
    Nov 12, 2010 @ 19:42:38

    You know, I’ve never even HEARD of this one!


  16. Emily Jane
    Nov 12, 2010 @ 20:10:34

    The Savage Detectives is complex for sure, but I found it so engaging. A bit intimidated by 2666 though, and wary about the violence of the story.


  17. Carin B.
    Nov 12, 2010 @ 20:44:26

    Oh…The Unfortunates sounds really crazy and weird, but intrigues me just like Iris is intrigued! I’ve never heard of a book like this before. You really do find some of the most interesting reading I’ve ever seen, Stu! 🙂


  18. parrishlantern
    Nov 13, 2010 @ 00:19:56

    with you on Bolano, just in my case it’s 2666.
    Hope alls well


  19. Heather
    Nov 13, 2010 @ 04:11:06

    Books that I find most difficult to read all have children being injured or murdered or with mental illness. They make me cry so much that I have trouble reading the words on the page.


  20. Kinna
    Nov 13, 2010 @ 08:01:35

    Great choice Stu. I’m adding both to my list. I’m most intrigued by the Johnson book. I’m planning to read more experimental fiction in the coming year. And the idea of non-linear narration is enticing. So did it feel more like a collection of interconnected short stories?


  21. parrish
    Nov 13, 2010 @ 09:36:55

    Johnson has been added to my list, thanks for the heads up.


  22. Lisa Almeda Sumner
    Nov 13, 2010 @ 23:10:01

    A novel in a box! Sounds like something I would initially find intriguing and then get lost in!


  23. Mel u
    Nov 17, 2010 @ 03:45:28

    Savage Detective was my 1st Bolano-I really love it especially all the comments about books and the reading life


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November 2010


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