The book you bought but never read?
It’s a pretty easy one this really – a book I must’ve started about three times but never got anywhere near finishing. I think it’s actually okay to just dip into this book and get a taste for it without ever reading it all. Ulysses by James Joyce is more like a long poem in some ways. Another novel like that, and one I did actually finish is La Rayuela (Hopscotch) by Julio Cortázar. He’s one of my favourite writers in the Spanish language, although I read him in English translation sometimes too. Hopscotch is more readable than Ulysses in my opinion although it’s not big on plot either. There is no strict beginning, middle and end (you can actually choose your own order!). When people say that is what they want from a book I am left mystified. Can they not be a bit more specific?
Don’t get me wrong, I think Joyce is worth reading. But I seem to be more into others that cite him as a big influence rather than the man himself: Anthony Burgess and BS Johnson for instance. I did really like The Portrait of the Artist as A Young Man when I read it many years ago. I think I might even have read it twice. I also like the short story collection Dubliners. Will I ever finish Ulysses? You never know but I doubt it. Do I care? I won’t lose any sleep over it. Life is too short and there are so many books out there which deserve a fair crack of the whip.