Did not Finish


I am finally giving up on these two books:

  • Brave New World Revisited by Aldous Huxley
  • Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

I had planned to read both these books for The Classics Club reading challenge, but I am finding that both are beyond me, and there’s no point trying to finish completely uninteresting books just to be obstinate.

Brave New World Revisited was a mistake from start to finish. I had read Brave New World, loved the book and picked this up without even thinking twice. Only after I started reading did I realize that this is not a sequel to Brave New World as I had assumed.

Instead, it is a series of essays by Huxley where he attempts to analyze the events in his Brave New World with the actual events of today (or rather when he wrote BNW Revisited). It’s not very interesting, truth be told, and when my eyes started glazing over, I knew it was time to give it up.

I don’t even think it should be listed as a classic at all (my mistake), and I will be removing this off my Classic list and replacing it with something else. Any recommendations?

Atlas Shrugged was me having high ambitions and not enough time to actually devote to reading such a chunkster.

To add to it, the story seems dull, it’s not that well-written, and the small font in my copy of the book was a strain on my eyes. I went about 200 pages in and just don’t have enough interest to pick it up again.

Thank goodness, these are library books so I can happily return them back to the library without any shopper’s guilt.

I usually try to finish most books I start on, so it kind of sucks that these books were so not for me that I couldn’t even bother to try. Maybe, I will pick up an Audible copy and see if audio works better, but I don’t count on it.

So, have you read and loved these books? If you do, leave me a convincing comment telling me why I should persevere. For now, I am happily bidding farewell to them :), and will probably pick up classics that are a bit more to my taste.

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  • poupee97

    I won’t try to convince you to resume Atlas Shrugged, but I have to say this. I neither loved it nor hated it, but it was a profound book (you have to get further in than 200 pages, though) and it did make me think. I value it for that. It’s about 15 years since I read it, there are parts of it that are still with me, and that’s a rare thing. Hmm, the small print and big fat size are a problem. ebook?

    • @Anamika: Hey, thanks for visiting and commenting 🙂

      More than ebook, I am thinking audio book. Or maybe, I should read one of her shorter books…Anthem or something like that just to get a taste of her writing style and concepts.

  • I read Brave New World in high school – and can’t imagine the “Revisited” to be that interesting as its predecessor didn’t hold my interest…I have Atlas Shrugged in my bookshelf ready to be read. I will give it 100 pages – if it doesn’t do it for me by then, I’ll let it go.

    • @Sarca: It really was terribly dull going. Waste of a book. It could easily have been a foreword or afterword to the actual book.

  • I haven’t read Atlas Shrugged but I do not judge you for giving up on it. And I have read Brave New World but I do not judge you for giving up on it. It’s not that good. Atlas Shrugged probably isn’t either. I have heard bad things about Atlas Shrugged.

    • @Jenny: I liked Brave New World all right. It’s the commentary to it, Brave New World Revisited that I couldn’t stand.

      Both books had one thing in common – obscene levels of pompousness (is that correct usage?) in the writing and I couldn’t bear to read something that was so full of it.

    • Atlas Shrugged is a very polarizing novel. A lot of people love it, and some despise it. This is in part because it is a very profound and uncompromising book.

      Because Atlas deals with deep philosophical questions and issues, I really recommend that everyone read it at least once. It has the ability to teach people more about who they are as people and what they believe, if they let it. This is often true even if they are among those who dislike it, because it has prompted them to think about their basic beliefs more carefully and to ask questions of themselves they had not asked before.

      In short, I think it’s difficult to know how you will respond to Atlas beforehand, and the potential benefits of reading it far outweigh the potential drawbacks.

  • Ayn Rand….shudders…never again.

  • Never read Atlas Shrugged but I have read the Fountainhead; struggled through the whole thing because I was curious about Ayn Rand and Objectivism. All I got from that book was how unpleasant a person Ayn Rand was and how flawed a theory is Objectivism. Completely put me off the idea of reading the monolithic Atlas Shrugged.

    • @polarbeargamer and Ste J: Agree with you, I don’t think any Ayn Rand is in my future.

  • I could never finish Atlas Shrugged and I am always amused when people tell me that it’s an amazing life altering book! More power to them if they managed to finish reading it. 🙂

    • Haha.. When someone says its a life altering book i dont even bother to read it. I know i wouldnt get it, so i never try. Tried reading Fountainhead, but gave up after few pages.

  • I have to say, I’m probably in the minority but I hated Atlas Shrugged. i read it because it was one of those books I “should” read but didn’t enjoy it.

    • @angrygreycats and Shweta: I can’t say I hated it because I didn’t even give it a chance. 200 pages is nothing when you take the whole book in context, but I didn’t like her writing style and the theme.

      I just don’t get it when people say their lives were turned around by reading Ayn Rand.

    • @angrygreycats: Seeing all the comments on this post, I don’t think you are in the minority at all!

  • I have been trying Fountainhead. I should like it, being an Intern Architect, but it’s hard to want to read about a jerk architect. Thankfully, my copy was given to me. But it has the same issues. Small font, thick book, I just don’t care about the characters.

    • @Heather: haha, I get it. I’ve been sitting on this one for months now. Time to just throw in the towel.

  • I haven’t read (or heard) of Brave New World Revisited.
    But. I loved Atlas Shrugged! I don’t quite remember if I started off reading it slow; but I think it’s one of those books that influenced me when I was 17/18. And I would definitely read it again.
    Have you read Ayn Rand’s Fountainhead?

    • Glad to hear you loved Atlas Shrugged. It’s my favorite novel. 🙂

      I think if you read it a second time, you’ll get a lot more out of it. I know I did.

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