I'm familiar with ようとする to mean "try to" or "about to", but how about this:
Obviously that's a negation of ようとする with an added も. I'm guessing も adds a hint of "even" to the phrase. Does the phrase still retain the 'try' meaning?
He doesn't/didn't even try to look up from his newspaper.
Adding 'try' seems a bit strange since looking up from a newspaper is not a difficult or demanding activity.
Or is it maybe a volitional thing e.g.
He wasn't even prepared to look up from his newspaper.
Or can it be both, depending on context, or something else altogether?