Thursday, October 27, 2011

BTT: Hard

What’s the hardest/most challenging book you’ve ever read?
Was it worth the effort?
Did you read it by choice or was it an assignment/obligation?

The BTT questions come from Deb at Booking Through Thursday.

I’m not sure. I suppose the most challenging were probably some that I never got through. Which makes it even harder to say if it was really worth the effort to read as far as I did in any of them.

One such that comes to mind is The Forest of Hours (Rövarna i Skuleskogen) by Kerstin Ekman, renowned Swedish novelist and also member of the Swedish Academy between 1978-1989. This is a very strange novel, sort of ‘historical fantasy’, but very dark, heavy and cruel. I think when I tried to read it, it was recently published (1988). I can’t remember how far I got – maybe halfway, something like that. It was not an assignment, and I found I just liked it less the further I read. So I didn’t finish it. The main character is a troll, a human-like but not yet quite human creature who lives on for 500 years (1300’s-1800’s). Looking around the internet for reviews now, I find suggestions of themes in the book that I probably was not able to quite see 20 years ago. Even though I might be better at doing so now, I still don’t really feel tempted to give it another try.

8 comments:

  1. Haven't heard of that book, but it does seem challenging.

    Here's mine:
    http://carabosseslibrary.blogspot.com/2011/10/booking-through-thursday_27.html

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  2. Wow. It's set over 500 years? No wonder you had a hard time. That sounds really challenging! Great answer.

    My BTT is here if you'd like a look :)

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  3. never read one that was a challenge, but you already knew that from other times i said it. I read entirely for pleasure. of course i could say the school history books, i hated them and had to read the chapters each week. it was a challenge to read it so i could pass and get out of the hated school.

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  4. I think it would be either The Illiad or Beowolf, required reading for English lit. Books that I buy for myself are never too hard, the few that are, I don't continue reading.

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  5. Hey, you have to read "Heaven Is For Real", it is fantastic!!!

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  6. Very strange sounding story. Cruel just isn't my thing.

    Here's my BTT - House Millar series

    Aine

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  7. Ginny, I read Beowulf some years ago in connection with Harry Potter. See a post I wrote on it in my HP-blog: Harry Potter and Beowulf. The 'full' story of the Iliad I think I only read in a children's version. Still have the book but loooong time since I read it.

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  8. Depends on when I read it. As a teenager in school I had to read Les Miserable and Kim and I found both of them challenging, I think you need to be an adult to understand them. As an adult I find all of A.S. Byatt''s books challenging, but she is one of my favorite authors.

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