This is a hard one, because generally, if I don’t think I would like it, I don’t bother reading it in the first place. I don’t have time to waste on stuff that I’m not interested in.
This one was a while back, though — a book that I tried twice before to read, purely on the raves of friends. Each time, I read a bit, didn’t find it particularly compelling, and stopped. In particular, the first book’s obvious beginnings as “fantasy War of the Roses”, Starks and Lannisters standing in for York and Lancaster, pulled me right out of the narrative. It was too heavy-handed and obvious.
Then my friend Theron said — “you’ll love it.” I told him that I’d tried to get into it and couldn’t. He said “Do me a favor — just keep reading until at least page 85.”
So I did. Page 85 was the page where Bran gets thrown from the tower of Winterfell.
I ended up reading the whole thing.
Really loved it too — at least the first three books. I gave up after the fourth. By the fourth, it seemed obvious to me that Martin wasn’t being constrained by his editor any longer, and he really needed to be. What was touted as a trilogy was now exponentially growing, and I grew bored with it. I’m not sure I’m going to ever bother reading the rest (if Martin even finishes them). I’m getting a resolution via the TV series, and that’s enough closure for me.