Tuesday, September 22, 2009

"I Think We're Going to Need a Bigger Bookshelf"

Watching House play McMurphy tonight made me remember that, despite having started it twice and that it's one of my favorite movies, I have never finished One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Which got me wondering what other books I've never gotten around to finishing.

Note: Since my library is spread out over two locations, it is quite likely that I will have left out a few titles. (Not to mention books I checked out of the library!) I am intentionally making these lists long-form fiction (novels and novellas) and drama only; excluded are: non-fiction, anthologies and collected works, volumes of short stories and poetry, graphic novels or comics, and Doctor Who spin-off books.

Books I Started But Never Finished

Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency by Douglas Adams
Persuasion by Jane Austen
Sense and Sensibility also by Austen
Century's Son by Robert Boswell
The Plague by Albert Camus
The Amazing Adventures of Cavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon
Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
The Good Soldier by Ford Madox Ford
The Mind-Boy Problem by Rebecca Goldstein
The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemmingway
Ulysses by James Joyce
I suspect I am not the only person to have never finished it.
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey
Sons and Lovers by D. H. Lawrence
Peyton Place by Grace Metalious
The Godfather by Mario Puzo
Trust me, if you've seen the movie, there's no need to finish the book.
Taltos, by Anne Rice
Nausea by Jean-Paul Sartre
The Last of the Just by Andre Schwartz-Bart
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King by J. R. R. Tolkien
I know, I'm a bad nerd.
Porno by Irvine Welsh
The Lover by A. B. Yehoshua

Books I've Bought Fully Intending to Read But Just Haven't Gotten Around to It Yet

The Long Dark Teatime of the Soul by Douglas Adams
The Grace That Keeps This World by Tom Bailey
I have a perfectly good excuse for not reading this.
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
Evelina by Frances Burney
The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
King of the Jews by Leslie Epstein
Joseph Andrews/Shamela by Henry Fielding
A Passage to India by E. M. Forster
The Quiet American by Graham Greene
The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
Too Late the Phalarope by Alan Patton
Gravity's Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon
Again, probably not the only person to have bought but never read it.
Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys
Huis clos/Les mouches by Jean-Paul Sartre
The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare
Sophie's Choice by William Styron
A Handful of Dust by Evelyn Waugh
Maria, or The Wrongs of Woman by Mary Wollstonecraft
The Waves by Virginia Woolf

Finally, there is Pete Dexter's Paris Trout, which I have no idea if I started or not.


  1. So, I take it that you didn't read most of the books from advanced fiction?? LOL! Sophie's Choice actually wasn't too bad... I liked the short story "Snow Dreams" much better than Bailey's novel. The "extra" stuff in the novel took away from the main action...

  2. Uh, yeah, I think the only book I actually finished in there was Charlotte's Web. I kind of sampled the rest.

    I did read Cotton Song, though, and it was pretty good. It probably helped that he wasn't reading from it all the time.