Have you ever read any books that were not finished by the author?
Posted on 24th of October, 2019


I would hate to read a book only to discover it's not finished, but luckily that has never happened to me. I have however read a few unfinished books by authors who I really enjoy. The first was one by Dalton Trumbo, called Night of the Aurochs. Everyone knows Trumbo for Johnny Got His Gun, but I think Night of the Aurochs would have surpassed it if he had the chance to finish the story. It was published three years after he passed away and while it is a World War II novel it is told from the viewpoint of a Nazi. Even more harrowing, this Nazi who is called Grieban is also commandant of a concentration camp. Here he meets a Jewish woman who causes him to question his own ideals. The only other one is The Pale King by David Foster Wallace, but I don't recommend it to people who are not already familiar with his style. Even in its incomplete form it has more than 50 chapters. What I like about The Pale King is that Wallace wrote in such a way that each chapter is almost self-contained. Don't expect an easy summary of the story either as it's extremely difficult.
Yes, I read The Salmon of Doubt: Hitchhiking the Galaxy One Last Time because it features the work of Douglas Adams. Most of this book is just a collection of essays and other unpublished material by the author, but it also has the incomplete novel, "The Salmon of Doubt" in it. It's an interesting albeit sad read if you are a fan of Douglas Adams and it is clear that the author still had a lot of work left to do on it. It is said that Adams wasn't happy with the story and wanted to shift it so that instead of it being a Dirk Gently book, it would be the conclusion to the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series. If you are not a fan of Douglas Adams then there's nothing for you in this book, but for everyone who eagerly waited for everything he ever released, it's a fitting farewell to an incredibly talented writer.

New to Manybooks Discuss?

This is where readers and authors alike can submit any questions they have about books. Browse through all the questions previously asked by our community here, or post a new question using the button below.