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I’ve always been proud of the fact I read anything and everything. There are however certain books which have stumped me. 3 in particular. These are books which have worldwide acclaim yet have failed to make my top ten. Is it me or are these books simply unreadable?

“So which books are these exactly?” I hear you ask.

Well, book the 1st: In the Name of the Rose by Umberto Ecco

I’d heard from several people, whose reading instincts I trust, how absolutely fabulous this book is. So naturally with such recommendations it had to be done. I mean, who can argue with a book which has sold over 50 million copies since its publication in 1980. Besides, the author’s name sounded so absolutely cool. Yes, things like that occupy my weird brain. But I struggled my way through it. I ended up wishing I had the Cliff Notes . So I abandoned it and watched the Sean Connery film instead.

Book the 2nd: The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie

What a furore this one caused when it was released. I figured that alone meant I had to read it. Besides, it was a Whitbread winner and a Booker finalist. But no, my brain was having none of it and I was yet again forced to abandon a praiseworthy book before I was even a third of the way through it.

Book the 3rd: Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

So I was very much looking forward to this particular book as it’s written in my favourite genre and the author has been lauded time and time again. Let’s not forget he won the Nobel Prize. I however didn’t get beyond the first chapter. This is incredibly rare for me as I usually persist in the hope the fog impeding my understanding will lift. Sadly not so with this award winning book. So sorry Senor Marquez.


I once read that it’s worth rereading a book you’ve struggled with in your youth as you may not have been ready to hear the message hidden between the pages. So in a bid to read these ‘unreadable’ books I periodically attempt a reread or try to read something else written by the author. I’m currently going through one of those reread phases. My chosen author at the moment is Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I was prompted by the fact I’ve been meeting a lot of South Americans lately and decided it was a hint.

Unfortunately things have not been going according to plan. My latest failure is The General In his Labyrinth. I managed to get to page 48 before I finally ditched the book in favour of one by Joanne Harris. You will however be pleased to know that I’m not quitting that easily. Just last week I collected another Marquez from the library and will valiantly give that a go.

Don’t judge me too harshly. My ability to read lauded literature is obviously impaired. How I’m ever to overcome this shortcoming I really don’t know. I will however persevere in my quest to read and reread those authors which challenge my brain. After all, maybe one day when I least expect it, the hazy words between the lines will become crystal clear and there’ll even be a double rainbow.


  1. Awww, Rae. I actually really liked all 3 of those books. I think they must have something in common that I like and you don't. I might well have another look at them to try and see what it is. I'm in the course of re-reading Cider with Rosie after about a 35 year gap and a visit to Slad on Saturday. It's delicious!


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