Lots of People Have Never Finished “Ulysses”

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Via Tyler Cowen, here are the top five most abandoned classic books, as chosen by Goodreads:

Oddly enough, I’ve read all five, and the only one I abandoned was Ulysses.1 200 pages was all I could take. Maybe someday I’ll try again with one of those annotated versions that explains the half dozen obscure allusions on every page. If I do, maybe next I’ll take up Bleak House and Foucault’s Pendulum, the only other remaining titles on my list of books that defeated me.2 Probably not, though.

1OK, I never plowed through the whole John Galt radio address in Atlas Shrugged. But come on. That doesn’t count, does it?

2Moby-Dick fell off the list in 2009. The Brothers Karamazov was conquered last year. Three remain!


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