Close the book?

Currently I’m about half way through the book, “Last Night in Twisted River” by John Irving. I chose it simply from browsing through Chapters, noticing it and reading the jacket. From that, the book sounded interesting enough and I bought it. And the first chapter or two had me quite interested and excited to read on. But now at just past halfway through, I find I’m almost having to force myself read it. And unless I’m reading some sort of self-help book (or child-help book which in turn is a self help book), that’s not why I read.

I really prefer a book to suck me in and take me away, making me lose track of time. I want to look forward to any spare minute I can get so I can get back in between the pages.

This particular book has potential. And that’s why I’ve kept going. Well, that and because I’m a sucker for punishment and once I’ve started something I need to make myself finish it.

But I’m finding there are too many different characters, far too much description, too many different locations and the story jumps all over the place - quite often to different moments and eras in time. There are too many minor characters that appear and then disappear – sometimes to reappear, sometimes not. I guess that’s part of the story the author is trying to tell but in all honesty it’s making me lose interest. Too often I pick the book up and have to turn back a few pages just to remember what the hell is going on now and where I left off.

Bah, it’s just not all it’s cracked up to be.

I don’t have much in the way of “escape” these days. For obvious reasons cocktails are out. As previously mentioned, gym workouts are now being heavily policed. By the same token, jogging is a no-go. So I’m really wishing I was in the middle of a gripping page turner to get me through until some or all of my other crutches become available to me. I’m thinking back to the days when Edward, Jake and Bella got me through the terrible months (yes, months) of pumping breast milk every 3 hours. (One year later and I’m only now able to admit that I got addicted to the Twilight series). Not that I’m looking for anything similar to the smutty teen vampire books, but at the time they did the trick for me.

So at what point do you throw in the towel on a book? Like I said, I’ve just passed the halfway mark so there is still quite a few pages to go. There could be some really good stuff in those pages that I would miss if I shut it down now, or it could likely be more jumpy rambling. I know that this author has serious potential as I’ve heard a lot of good things about some of his past novels.

What to do.