Oh no! The dreaded DNF. I feel like I’ve failed, especially considering the book and its authors. It’s been a while since this has happened. And it’s the first time this has occurred since I began reviewing books on this blog. I am ashamed to name the title, so I will give you a clue and leave it up to you to guess it.
This is a co-authored book written by two authors well known for their cyberpunk stories. Easy, right?.. What? You want another clue? Okay, it’s alleged that this book helped spread awareness of the term “steampunk.” That’s as far as I will go without naming and shaming. I was looking forward to reading this book as it has a reputation for being an important work in the genre of speculative fiction. It also has an enticing blurb which made me want to read it.
So, what went wrong?
I gave it 80 pages before I gave up. It just didn’t draw me in. I couldn’t get interested in the characters who felt rather flat. But worse than that, I was bored. At one point, I was skim-reading a long speech by one of the characters just to get to the end of it. And then I felt guilty for doing so. Other books became too tempting to ignore. I told myself I would come back to this book in a week or so. But I tried it and it left me cold. Thus, the dreaded DNF.
I would love to hear from anyone who has finished this book. Please tell me if it’s worth returning to. I would also love to hear about your own DNF stories. How far will you read before giving up? Is my 80 pages too few? Too soon? I guess it can depend on the length of the book in question, and this is a lengthy one.
Do you feel guilty when you make the decision to read no more? Do you carry on regardless, determined to complete it no matter what? That’s something I thought I did. I keep telling myself that I WILL return to this book in the future. I want to give it another try. Maybe the timing was off. It wasn’t you, it was me! I just wasn’t ready for you. I’m so sorry…
As a side note, when I was doing a bit of research into DNF, a list of common DNF books came up via Goodreads. I gather this list was compiled from readers’ DNF shelves. Here are the Top 5 “Most Abandoned Books” (DNF) from Goodreads in no particular order:
E.L. James’s Fifty Shades of Grey;
J.K. Rowling’s A Casual Vacancy;
Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love;
Stieg Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo;
Gregory Maguire’s Wicked.
And here is their list of the Top 5 “Abandoned Classics:”
Catch 22 by Joseph Heller;
The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R Tolkien;
Uylsses by James Joyce;
Moby Dick by Herman Melville;
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
Do you have a Top 3 DNF list?