Thursday, October 1, 2009

Pants on Fire!

. This week's Booking Through Thursday question asks if we would lie about reading a book: "Two-thirds of Brits have lied about reading books they haven’t. Have you? Why? What book?" My answer? Not intentionally, only out of self-delusion. There are books that I am convinced I have read, either because they have been on my book shelf for as long as I can remember, so I think I must have read them at some point, or because the story is so famous and so familiar that I assume I read the book. Here are two examples of books that I had crossed off my various lists years ago. But something (yeah, a guilty conscious) tickled in the back of my brain until I actually opened them up and started reading -- just to make sure. Lo and behold! I hadn't read either one of these, even though I was convinced I had. Clarification: After reading J.G.'s comment, I see that this post wasn't terribly clear. When I realized that I had not read these books, I then read them. The reviews came AFTER I read them, I swear. The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner. On my shelf since high school. I was sure I had read it. Here is my review. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. I knew all about Miss Havisham in her wedding dress and the spiders in the cake, so I must have read it, right? No. My loss. It is wonderful. Here is my review.

13 comments :

Bluestocking said...

I remember Great Expectations. Here is mine

bermudaonion said...

Well, I did in high school once, but I'm not proud of it.

Lezlie said...

The Sound and The Fury I have read, Great Expectations I have not. But I have great expectations about reading Great Expectations! :-) (I crack me up. Ha!)

Lezlie

Nicole said...

I started reading Great Expectations out loud with my mom and we never finished it. I read The Sound and the Fury in college and really got into, but I think I was helped by the fact that I took a class that was purely Faulkner.

I say that I have finished Catch 22 but haven't. Not one of my favorites.

SFP said...

I was just thinking a few minutes ago how much I want to reread The Sound and the Fury. I remember finding the Quentin section most confusing of all.

What I remember most about Great Expectations is wanting to slap Pip for being so mean to Joe!

Rose City Reader said...

I think this is a particularly interesting question. I like seeing what people 'fess up to.

There are several books that, in retrospect, I wish I just lied about. My compulsive need to finish lists wouldn't allow me to do that, but, I mean, I really didn't need to torture myself with The Magus, for example, and I could have done without the eternal From Here to Eternity.

Sun Singer said...

Lying about book reading is wrong, so I try to do it as seldom as possible.

Malcolm

Kristen M. said...

I had the same thing with Pride and Prejudice. I had seen so many movie and miniseries and re-worked versions that I knew the story by heart and honestly thought I had read the book ... until I couldn't find it on my shelves and realized that maybe I hadn't read it after all! I remedied that this year though so now I feel better about it.

jlshall said...

Yes, today's topic has made me realize there are probably several books I think I've read when maybe I'm only remembering the movie or the mini-series! Like A Tale of Two Cities and A Christmas Carol. I know I've suffered through - I mean read Great Expectations, though. I remember it vividly!

J.G. said...

Okay, you are making me laugh! You reviewed books you didn't read??? You are too funny!

I sometimes fudge about books related to work. Everyone assumes I have read everything ever written about the environment, which is neither true nor possible. So I occasionally just mumble (then furtively add it to the TBR list). I haven't actually lied about any books. Yet.

But it's nice to know I can take The Magus off the list. Thanks!

Bob said...

Actually, I liked The Magus. But Daniel Martin and The French Lieutenant's Woman and The Ebony Tower, all of which Fowles wrote later, are beautifully written and a lot easier to wade through. (Can you tell I'm a Fowles fan?)

Tina Kubala said...

I read half of Great Expectations. I wish it had been half the length. Good story, so much word padding.

Faulkner has been my most disliked writer since high school when we read some short stories and As I Lay Dying. Yuck. All the characters were the kind of people that make me disagree with the old saying "takes all kinds." We can do without ignorant, dirty, immoral scum.

Rose City Reader said...

I edited the post to clear up confusion -- thanks to J.G.'s reaction! I eventually read these books, although there are plenty of others out there that I am iffy about.

Bob -- I love French Lieutenant's Woman. It is one of only a handful of books that I have read twice. I think that was why I was so disappointed with The Magus, because I was hoping to be blown away.

Tina -- How do you really feel about Faulkner? :) Myself, I reserve that kind of intensity for Henry James, although not on moral grounds. And The Magus, which goes down as my least favorite book.

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