Ever have a book that was too much?
I know I have.
It took me three tries over a decade to get through The Seven Pillars of Wisdom, By: T.E. Lawrence.
For seven weeks my nightly reading life felt like fighting someone with a weighted blanket over my head.
I would like to say I have learned better, but I still struggle with putting half finished books down.
I think it’s some kind of misguided cross between “respect for the author” and “I will do what I said I would do.”
When I am rational – my advice is to read widely – and don’t waste sixty days of your life on a long and boring book.
Soon enough, though, I did give up. Melmoth the Wanderer may embody all the Gothic elements Mario Praz mentioned but it was still too much for me. (Much later I owned H. P. Lovecraft’s copy of Melmoth the Wanderer, in the attractive three-volume Bentley reprint, a book that proved much easier to sell than to read.)
-Larry McMurtry, Literary Life