Is there a book that you wish you could “unread”? One that you disliked so thoroughly you wish you could just forget that you ever read it?
In my wild and crazy youth, I would finish every book I started no matter how badly written or how hackneyed or annoying the storyline. Now that I am more mature (and have far less spare time on my hands), I find myself being far more discriminating in my book selections. As a result, I really haven’t read much in recent years that I would like to erase, simply because I never let it get that far.
If I had to choose one book, it would probably be Patrick White’s The Twyborn Affair. I read this for a university subject when I was pregnant with my second child. I was already on an emotional rollercoaster (got to love those pregnancy hormones) and the raw emotions and sexual identity and gender confusion/conflict of so many characters in the novel just pushed me over the emotional cliff.
I found myself only able to read a few pages before having to put the book aside to focus on something less heartbreakingly intense. I realise that this probably indicates that the book was well written, but at the time I was traumatised rather than impressed.
I probably wouldn’t still harbour lingering scars if the book had ended differently, but having tenaciously continued through the various traumatic emotional experiences of the central character, I was left feeling less than impressed by the abrupt ending that didn’t even give me the opportunity for even a small degree of emotional closure.
If it were possible to “unread” a book, The Twyborn Affair would be at the top of my list.
Do you have a book you wish you could erase from your memory? Something that still makes you mentally shudder in pain and/or loathing? List your unreading book selections in the comments below and include a link to your Booking Through Thursday post if you have one.by