However, out of all the books that have passed through my fingers, there have only been four that I started and never finished.
The first dates all the way back to high school where Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness was assigned to me. I found this travelogue down the Congo to be so tedious, that I actually skipped all the way to end just so that I could read the infamous “The horror, the horror” line. Luckily, my teacher’s quizzes only dealt with the first half of the book and the ending which always made me suspect that he never finished it either.
Second on my not-finished list is J.D. Salinder’s classic The Catcher In the Rye. I was never subjected to this piece of literature in school (high school or college) and I started reading it once I was married as it was my wife’s copy of the book. After about forty pages of reading the protagonist whine and kvetch and complain and gripe…I decided I had better things to do with my life and I haven’t picked it up since.
An Intimate History of Humanity is a book that I have suppressed that I can’t even remember the author. (Yes, I know the Google can help me out…but I really, really don’t want to recall who wrote that book.) This book came because I forgot to send in my reply card from the Quality Paperback Book Club (QPC) and so I received the Featured Selection. So, not only was this a book I didn’t ask for, but I had to pay for it also (yes, I’m lazy…see the previous aside above for confirmation). I only read about thirty-five pages of this tome before setting it aside. It is actually the only book I have ever thrown away on purpose.
I ordered Philip Zimbardo’s The Lucifer Effect from QPC and found it a fascinated read…for as far as I delved into it. It’s a great study about what turns good people bad, but I am waiting to finish it. While I was halfway through, I loaned it to my wife. She is a psychologist and knew about Zimbardo’s Stanford Prison Experiment so she invoked her wifely priviledge and borrowed the book. I am waiting for her to finish it so I can read further about Zimbardo’s thoughts on good and evil.