No, We Can’t Go Out Again

By Rebecca T. Dickinson

You want to give it a chance. There is no reason why you should not. You’ve been interested for a long time.

When dating, you meet the person you think—for whatever reason—the two of you should go out. You go on the date with the girl or guy, and you discover your gut feeling was right. What happens when that same premise takes place with a book?

Have you ever had a book you’ve wanted to read for a long time? Perhaps you are intrigued by the subject matter, and you’ve craved that bad boy like a big steak.

I felt the same way about The Autobiography of Henry VIII
by Margaret George. I’ve wanted to read this book for years. I cannot express the sincerity of that desire. But, as with Henry’s multiple marriages, I doubt I can complete it. I’ve set it aside for two weeks, since it takes me a while to read books anyways. It is not in my nature to just give up on a book, especially one I have wanted to read for a long time.

From the time I was ten, I was interested in Tudor England. I read everything historically I could find, including a book about the Tudors’ Welsh origins. What was wrong with Margaret George’s book?

George is a great writer. When it came to Thomas Moore and Anne Boleyn, I faced a few problems. George portrays Boleyn as ignorant and into witchcraft when history shows she possessed intelligence and an interest in changing religious policies. George’s Henry is obsessed with Moore as much as you’d expect him to be with a new wife. Moore doesn’t do things Henry’s way and the back and forth between the two takes up most of the first half of the book.

Stuck at page 472, I think I could finish it so long as I step away from it. I often read other books at the same time. I’ve continued reading Charles Lindbergh’s biography with shorter novels. Now I’m reading Henry VIII The King and His Court because it’s been a few years since I have read Tudor literature, historical fiction or analytical.

Have you ever had a book you just thought: This won’t work? If so, what book?

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11 thoughts on “No, We Can’t Go Out Again

    1. I’ve read mixed reviews about it. I read a novella by Gabriel Marquez, and enjoyed it. Maybe he was better with shorter books. I don’t know, but I do know how you feel. There are some books I thought I’d love, and then it failed to work out. “Sorry, book, I’m just not into you.”

  1. Have you seen “Wolf Hall” and the new follow up “Bring up the bodies” by Hilary Mantel? I believe they are both about Henry VIII.

    I think there are a few books that I started and stopped for various reasons over the years, but the only one I can think of where I deliberately stopped was “The hero with a thousand faces” by Joseph Campbell. I forget what was in the first few chapters exactly, maybe some awful psychology, but whatever it was, I was much more familiar with it already, and it was terrible. After a chapter or two I was yawning so hard, I thought the top of my head was going to flip over and get stuck there.

    1. I have not read Wolf Hall or Bringing Up the Bodies, but I will check them out.

      You know a book is bad when you are yawning because you’re bored. There were parts of The Autobiography that I just thought “get through it already” or “chop his head off already.” It was that bad.

      1. That is disappointing, especially when it is a book you’ve been looking forward to.

        I’ve not read the Hilary Mantel books, but the first one won the booker prize in the uk which is a respected prize.

    1. I find Peter Ackroyd’s text a bit of a work. I had forgotten, but I have his “London, the biography” half read as well, although I stopped at the time because of other things going on. I haven’t rushed back to it.

    2. I am glad I’m not the only one who has made it halfway through a book, and then I don’t finish for whatever reason. Sometimes I forget.

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