2012: DNF #2 (The Red House)

The Red House

I waited a long time to get this one from the library but at about seventy-five pages in, I found myself really hating these characters and scrabbling to keep track of what the heck was going on and who was saying what.

Richard is a doctor and rich. He invites his wacky sister and her family to spend a week in the English countryside with his family (also whacked). Sounds like the makings of a perfect novel but the stream of consciousness narrative really turned me off. Much of it is rambling but there are moments when the story started to get good, only to get lost in the rambling again. THAT infuriated me.

I was going to tough it out, but after a day of brooding, I decided to just put it down for good. Why bother with a book that’s just not doing it for me? Add another DNF (did not finish) to the pile.

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31 Responses

  1. Well, I loved it. ::shrug:: Each to their own, I suppose.

  2. Really? that bad? I was looking forward to reading this book. Now I am not sure….

  3. I tried to read his other book and couldn’t get into it. So glad to hear I don’t need to try again! LOL

  4. The book initially sounded good! It is funny because some rambling I like (Lionel Shriver for example) but other times they lose me. I will be cautious if this book ever throws itself in my path.

  5. I’ve loved his other books but this sounds so strange to me!! I’m all about moving on from something that just isn’t working! Good for you!

  6. Remember that I told you I had to do the same thing to ths book?
    It looked so good but just lacked something…I was especially unfond of the teenage son…Ick.

  7. I read another book of his that sort of felt the same way – too much rambling.

  8. I sooo appreciate your honesty, Ti. If we could all handle negative reviews/DNFs with as much class and genuineness as you, we could have even richer conversations about the millions of books swirling around out there. I think the individual differences make book blogging/reviewing an even better experience than it already is :)

    • I feel especially critical of books this year. Perhaps I’ve been off with my book picking or maybe I just don’t have the patience for authors who can’t figure out which direction to take the story in. Not sure but I’ve no patience for it this year and too many others that I want to read to take too much time figuring out if I want to stay with a book or ditch it.

  9. Nothing you can do, if it’s just not working, it’s just not working. On to the next one!

  10. Defininitely disappointing to hear, though I will give it a try anyway and hope for the best! Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

    • Yes, do give it a try. I’d never discourage someone from reading a book just because it didn’t work for me. The only time I’d do that is if the book was complete and utter trash (in my opinion) and I RARELY come across those.

  11. I wonder if this is a case of a misleading publicity campaign, or maybe just that the author keeps writing completely different books, so readers hoping for another book like The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time are inevitably disappointed. I don’t mind a book with dislikeable characters, myself, but I agree that readers looking to be charmed by a book will definitely be unhappy with The Red House!

    • I typically enjoydislikablecharacters and dysfunction so I really expected to like this one. It was the narrative format that did me in. Just couldn’t follow it.

  12. I’m fine with DNFs. It takes gumption to say “Im not enjoying this — and so why put myself through this.” Shouldnt be bad feelings about walking away from it

  13. Don’t tell anyone but I think I’m the only person that felt that The Incident of the Dog In The Night got a little lost along the way, too. I’m always impressed that you can put a book down when it’s not working for you – can you teach me how?

    • Oh honey… I will teach you how!! Far too many books out there to waste your time on one that isn’t working for you!

  14. Too bad you have to put this one down. I’ve read The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and it was quite good, albeit I wouldn’t be too excited to pick up another one by him. Just too too many books waiting. ;)

  15. I haven’t even read this guy’s other book yet, LOL. But I agree… there are just tooo many books out there for us to spend time reading the ones that aren’t interesting us.

  16. I love that you described the family as whacked. That’s awesome. Sometimes we just don’t jive with characters… and that’s okay.

  17. My friend Sue read some of it and tossed it. Too bad. She loved the first one. I didn’t even read the first one. It’s definitely not selling here in our area. He may be a one hit wonder.

  18. I’m not big on stream -of-consciousness narratives, so I’ll steer clear of this one.

  19. I don’t like stream of consciousnesses writing, and have given up books for this exact reason. Some people say it’s akin to poetry, and that it’s beautiful, but I am not one of those people. It annoys me to no end. I can see why you abandoned this one.

  20. It wasn’t an easy read … that is for sure. It takes a while to get a handle on who is who and who is “thinking.” I definitely don’t think this is a book for everyone. Good for you for recognizing it early on rather than torturing yourself.

  21. I’ve been curious about this one because I didn’t finish the Dog book, and I feel like I was the only person who just couldn’t get into it.

  22. It happens. Plenty of books out there and/or maybe someday, it will fit your mood or something. How’s your hand?

    • I went to the doc on Monday for xrays and they put me on prednisone to reduce swelling (which I seriously do not have). He said that if by Monday of next week, the feeling does not come back, off to a hand specialist I will go. The tendon is now degrading so the hand is now a claw. Not good. I do all my work online and then of course the blogging has been difficult. I had scheduled posts to carry me through but those posts are running dry.

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