2012: DNF #1 (The Stranger’s Child)

The Stranger's Child

As much as I wanted to keep going with this one, I couldn’t force myself to finish it. It was long listed for the 2011 Man Booker Prize and it started off great and included everything that a girl could ask for in a book, but around page 100 it began to lose me, and by page 200, I fell out of love with it.

Reading it was like a great first date, with the second date being only ho-hum.  I took a brief survey of readers on Facebook and then checked out Goodreads and the consensus was to put it aside. I may pick it up again if I hear one of you raving about it, but for now, it has been placed in DNF (did not finish) status.

My apologies to Hollinghurst. You had me at “Hello” but lost me when my fave character no longer appeared in flesh and blood.

23 thoughts on “2012: DNF #1 (The Stranger’s Child)”

  1. Sounds like the right decision to me. I think that its best to set aside some books if they are getting bogged down. Life is too short to waste time on DNF books.

  2. I have had this experience before, but I always finish the book because I feel too guilty about setting it down, or I worry that it will get better, and I will miss it. I admire you for letting this one go when it stopped working for you. I need to learn to do the same.

  3. That’s really disappointing for a Booker Longlist includee (a word that I just made up) but I fully agree that life is far too short and there are way too many awesome books to slog through one that isn’t making your life a little more sparkly. Good choice 🙂

  4. I doubt this one will work for me either, but I’ll try to give it a try sometime. Maybe when I’m not having too many reads looking reproachfully at me (which is like never).

  5. Oh dear. I managed to avoid this one when it didn’t make the Booker shortlist, but with its inclusion in both the Tournament of Books and the National Book Critics Circle, I’m determined to give it a go. Unfortunately, neither library has a copy, so I’ll have to buy it. I hope I fare better than you did!

    1. That’s why I picked it up… The Tournament of Books. Oh well, it wasn’t horrible but it was like, “Please!! Do something! Anything!” Then I flipped forward another 100 pages and NOTHING was going on then, either!

  6. The Line of Beauty was a pretty amazing book…kind of an eye-opener. I had such high hopes for this one. But I understand, and applaud you. I waste WAY too much time bumbling around with books that I should have dropped 50 pages ago.

  7. A couple of years ago I decided I would put down books that weren’t working for me and I still have a hard time with it. I don’t know why I think it’s a failure of mine and not a failure of the authors? Maybe because unless the book is really a horrible thing that never had the right to see the light of day I always appreciate the work that went into creating a story and just because it didn’t work for me doesn’t mean it won’t work for someone else.

  8. This is on my list and now it frightens me because I have a horrible tendency to continue reading even the most heinous of books. Thanks for your honestly though and you should totally go read something yummy and delicious now!

  9. Wow … you got to 200 pages and didn’t finish. At that point, I would have felt committed. Good for you for stopping. I need to learn how to do this.

  10. I’ve been avoiding this one because that is how I was with his previous book (and Booker winner, I think) The Line of Beauty. I should have liked it but I got so bored by the middle of it, that I just quit. I was similarly bored by the film adaptation of that book. I have enjoyed his older stuff in the past.

    1. I don’t need a plot to keep me interested, but something has to be happening to the characters… physically, emotionally, something. These characters flat lined and went NOWHERE!! They did nothing, but chat about poems, eat, and take walks in the garden.

  11. And it was long-listed for the Booker? With books like this I always wonder if I missed something or I just wasn’t smart enough to “get it.” Good for you to be willing to put it down even after you had spent that much time with it. I really need to learn to be able to do that!

    1. Some of the Man Booker books are dense and hard to comprehend, but this one was easy to read. It was just incredibly slow and when the one character I liked, vanished… I was not willing to deal with the pace.

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