Defeated by Media

I’ve owned House of Leaves for several years now. I’ve started reading it twice, made it about halfway through both times, and just been unable to continue. I like it a lot! It’s simply very challenging to read, and very unsettling, and the combination of the two means that once I put it down, it’s hard to pick it back up.

Do you have any books/shows/movies/games/whatever like that? Things you like, you just can’t seem to finish them?

0 thoughts on “Defeated by Media

  1. Tried to read Atlas Shrugged three times. Between the indescribably gawdawful English prose – the worst I have ever tried to read – and the truly loathsome, morally bankrupt master-race politics I gave up within 200-300 pages each time. That is not writing, it is barely typing. But I am on my third traversal of Patrick O'Brian's 21-volume set of sea stories, the Aubrey/Maturin chronicles.

    As Dorothy Parker once observed it is not a book that should be tossed aside lightly, it should be thrown with great force.

    BTW and apropos of nothing I offered a very extended two-part comment on your review of Sisterhooves Social and would appreciate it very much if you could comment on it. You touched on one of my current intellectual hot buttons. Love this blog and just subscribed, which I should have done long ago.

  2. I burned through House of Leaves more or less in one sitting – well, two sittings, after I realized that I wasn't going to be able to sleep until I finished the book. It took me three tries to get through Lord of the Rings when I was younger, though. And I have never managed to see the last three episodes of Serial Experiments Lain.

    Oh, and Sandman! I've never been able to get through Neil Gaiman's Sandman. I read World's End when I was in high school, and I didn't realize it was the second-to-last book in a completed series. Later, when I sat down to read the series start-to-finish, the realization that all of the weird stuff in World's End that had so enchanted me actually made sense in context was such a disappointment that I've never been able to bring myself to read the entire series.

    James Robinson's Starman, Final Fantasy IX, every Elder Scrolls game I've played. 90% of the games on my Steam account, really. I don't know if House or Dexter count, since I stopped watching them when I stopped liking them. Mythbusters – I love the show, but on its own it wasn't worth what I was paying for cable.

  3. Saw the comment, liked it, responded. 🙂

    And thank you.

    And yeah, I hear you about Ayn Rand. My dad was an objectivist and frequently tried to get me to read her books, and they are AWFUL. Even just from a literary standpoint, putting aside her vile philosophy, her books are terrible.

    I have used that exact same Dorothy Parker quote in regards to Nietzsche. Who is basically Ayn Rand for people who prefer working with words to numbers (or, seeing as Nietzsche came first, Rand is Nietzsche for numbers people). They both basically boil down to “it's okay to be an asshole, it just proves you're better than everybody else.”

  4. House of Leaves was baller as fuck. Read it over the course of about 5 days cause I read very slow, but I was enraptured all along. Then I bought his next book Only Revolutions, a poem-novel written in the kind of stream-of-conciousness familiar to Joyce and my brain melted within like 2 or 3 pages.

  5. I rather liked Nietzsche when I read him in my college humanities classes back in the early 1980s. As we share the same basic outlook on christianity I suppose that was inevitable. He did manage to make the occasional joke and the translation of philosophy written in German is never going to result in scintillating English prose. So I will cut him some slack. Nietzsche made me think. Rand is Nietzsche For Dummies with apologia for economic mass rape larded on top of it.

  6. I finally finished it, but it took eons for me to get through Gravity's Rainbow. The combination of unreliable narrator and bizarro stream-of-consciousness references that it's impossible to tell if they are made up or not made it incredibly difficult to get through.

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