Lots of People Have Never Finished “Ulysses”

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Via Tyler Cowen, here are the top five most abandoned classic books, as chosen by Goodreads:

Oddly enough, I’ve read all five, and the only one I abandoned was Ulysses.1 200 pages was all I could take. Maybe someday I’ll try again with one of those annotated versions that explains the half dozen obscure allusions on every page. If I do, maybe next I’ll take up Bleak House and Foucault’s Pendulum, the only other remaining titles on my list of books that defeated me.2 Probably not, though.

1OK, I never plowed through the whole John Galt radio address in Atlas Shrugged. But come on. That doesn’t count, does it?

2Moby-Dick fell off the list in 2009. The Brothers Karamazov was conquered last year. Three remain!

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Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2020 demands.

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