Hopping with Hard Books

Literary Blog Hop
This weeks question is "What's the most difficult literary work you've ever read? What made it so difficult?"

I am trying to remember something recent. On the Road, by Jack Kerouac, was a terribly difficult one for me. I just couldn't get into the language and the way it was written. After trying twice to read it i decided to listen to it on audiobook on a trip home to Louisiana. I finally got through it but didn't like it at all. The characters are just awful people. I can't even remember the names but the narrator's friend just made me so angry over and over again. women are treated so poorly and the book just seems like a great testimony against drinking.

The books i find difficult do seem to be about people i can't stand. i never finished Trainspotting because of that; I was fine with the dialect but stopped reading because i just didn't care what happened to anyone. I found American Psycho hard to get through for that reason when i read it years ago. I also was reading it when i lived with my parents after i graduated college and didn't want my younger brother (who was only 10) to accidentally pick it up. just way too much for a kid's mind i think.

I don't mind thick, dense books, just ones with awful people doing awful things to each other.


  1. I'm completely with you here. You can throw huge book at me, just make sure there is at least one redeemable character around. It's the exact reason why I still haven't finished Lolita. I've been trying forever but I can't make it through more than a page without hating every single character.
    I've always wanted to read On the Road though, but if the characters really are detestable I don't know if I'd make it through
    Sarah @ Loving Books

  2. I can handle a book about terrible people (or a terrible person, like Humbert Humbert) if the writing is fantastic. That's why I still love and respect Lolita. But On the Road? Pffffft. I just didn't think it had anything going for it. Huge disappointment.
    I read Trainspotting because I loved the movie, but really it was the fascinating dialect that got me through the book. You're absolutely right: almost all of the characters are pathetic, mean people who do awful things to each other.
    Thanks for participating in the hop!

  3. I loved the film of Trainspotting, but couldn't finish the book. For me there has to be at least one character I can root for in order to enjoy a book.

  4. Yeah, I can totally understand your feelings about On The Road. I feel like alot of people have given it similar criticism.

  5. Christina and Sam- i also liked the movie Trainspotting which was why i picked up the book to read. I guess there is just a difference between watching the good bits in 2 hours and having to live inside the main character's head for days while you read about it.

    Christina and Sarah and Ingrid- Audio was what finally got me through it. I can see a certain romanticism in listening to On The Road while traveling. Kerouac does have some really beautiful passages of descriptions and when the main character is by himself the book is better.

  6. Oh my gosh! I really liked Trainspotting. Admittedly the dialect got me, but after I decided I would finish the book (before seeing the film) I sort of got used to it. But I will admit that it did kill me at first!

  7. Thanks for joining us in the hop!

    I have yet to tackle On the Road, because I've heard from so many of my trusted bookish friends that it was disappointing...


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