Novelist. Author of APSARAS and tales from the beautiful Saigh Valley. First person to quantify spiritual values.

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Saturday 6 June 2015

Books that I couldn't finish

What do Robert Tressel, Friedrich Nietzsche and Martina Cole have in common? Answer. They have all written books I have recently abandoned midway through.
Tressel's book, 'The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists' was too depressing for words. It's unremitting picture of early twentieth century poverty and hardship proved too much for a reader who simply requires to be entertained or educated, not given a prescription for despair.
Martina Cole's book, 'Faces' was daunting before the start being over 180,000 words long. The story about a crime family in the east end of London was, from the start, concerned with evil; evil, unlovable people committing unspeakable violence with page after page of appalling language. I wondered if the author ever shied away from showing her mother her work for fear of offending. One appreciates that realism must play a part in an honest account but maybe the story is better left untold when all the characters are so despicable. I'm not a prude but this novel failed to amuse, otherwise entertain or educate.
Nietzsche's book, 'Beyond Good and Evil' was simply incomprehensible, being composed of sets of words assembled according to the rules of syntax but without any thought to rationality. He certainly couldn't get his message across to me but perhaps in my requirement to be amused or educated, I fall outside his targetted readership.

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