As always happens at the end of any Summer School last Friday we were reluctant to part and go our separate ways. Consequently, we sat chatting about all things bookish over the inevitable pot of tea for far too long, given that we were meeting in someone’s home and she must really have wanted her front room back. One of the subjects to which the conversion turned was the old chestnut of books that we have never been able to finish. Of course, the usual suspects raised their heads, War and Peace, The Remembrance of Things Past, Ulysses and the like. I have never been tempted to even start to read either Ulysses or Proust so I’m not certain whether that counts towards not having finished them or not. However, I have read War and Peace – one winter many years ago when I had a long wait between buses on my way to work and needed something to read while I was standing at the bus stop. It kept me going through the worst of the weather, which sometimes seemed to be trying its level best to mimic the terrifying snow storms round Moscow.
My contribution to the catalogue of DNFs raised many an eyebrow. I have to admit that I haven’t ever managed to get to the end of Wuthering Heights. The Brontes are far too melodramatic for me and I certainly have never been able to understand their taste in men. I can’t see the attraction in Rochester so there is no way that Heathcliff is ever going to appeal to me. Give me Darcy or Knightley any day of the week. (Actually, my current literary passion is Leon Farrell from Jodi Taylor’s Chronicles of St Mary’s but that is, quite literally, another story.)
So, I have bared my soul and opened myself to the ridicule of the reading public; now it is your turn. What are you going to admit to never having finished? Are you going to add to those who have failed over the usual suspects or are you, like me, going to horrify large sections of your audience with your unexpected (unacceptable) admissions. I’m not certain some of us in the Summer School Group will ever speak to the person who admitted to giving up on The Lord of the Rings again.