There's not many books (in fact, I think this is literally the first one that I can think of off the top of my head) that I've hated so much that I absolutely couldn't continue reading them, and there was no way they were going back on my shelf - but Quicksand by Steve Toltz is definitely one of those. It frustrates me to not like a book - I love words, and I want to like whatever set of words anyone puts together, but some books just aren't for me. Words, it seems, are subjective and this set of words just aren't really for me.
I can't quite put my finger on why I don't like this book - and I tried, I really did; I got to within 45 pages of the end before I gave up for good. It's not the writing, I actually really enjoy it, it's flowery and descriptive and beautiful - a little over the top, but still enjoyable to read, the kind of quotes that you want tattooed on you. The story itself isn't even offensive, it could be captivating and well written - there's just something about the two of these things that don't seem to click together in the way that I'd expect them to. I started the books with high hopes and sort of almost ended it feeling as though, at best, I'd kept reading through good intention.
The book follows Aldo Benjamin - a chronically unlucky man - through his life. Although the book mostly focuses on his murder trial, and the situations that led him to be standing in the dock, it's actually rooted in the idea that Aldo is so tragic that he has become a muse for his best friend, writer Liam, who is keen to set a book around Aldo's life. Through disaster after disaster, we see the life that made Aldo the man that he is; and it's not a pleasant one.
Mostly I want to say this should come with trigger warnings for just about most things, but most notably rape, self harm and suicide. It's a tough read, and for me it just wasn't worth it. I gave it a good go, but I'm calling time on this one. If you've read quicksand, I'd love to hear what you thought, surely it can't only be me?!
What books are you reading at the minute?