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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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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