Tuesday, May 25, 2010

This Book is Killing Me.

It's fun. I'm enjoying it; it is massive. At the beginning of the month I said I'd finish The Count of Monte Cristo... well that ain't happening. The Oxford press trade paper back edition comes in at 1082 pages and while I have nothing against substantial length, I don't feel like I'm making any progress reading this behemoth. Added to which, I'm not certain that this book is a novel.

It moves at a fast pace, has perhaps the most sympathetic hero ever, and plot with infinite layers; it only doesn't seem to end. I feel this book, as much as I'm enjoying it, has the power to kill my interest in reading if I were told to finish it before reading anything else.

Given its history as a serialized publication I think the abridgment given to most high-schoolers makes great sense. If I were reading a fifty page chunk in a magazine once every month, it would be a breeze and my anticipation would probably be really high. Given the full the work at once changes things a bit.

In short, I don't feel bad reading this in three-hundred page chunks. There is a certain something that stymies my interest that I haven't encountered in similarly huge books from this time period. However, I'm not gonna get into the writing as to not break my, 'don't talk about dead authors of the classics' rule.

I've recently finished The Briar King by Greg Keyes and started The King's Gold by Arturo Pérez-Reverte. They have proven a nice escape from the protracted monotony of The Count. I'm amending my reading regimen to 'August,' concerning completion of The Count. The break in reading The Count will mark a return to the enjoyment of picking up a book and finishing it in a reasonable amount of time.


Marion said...

Man, you are fearless! The unabridged? I am impressed.


Chad Hull said...

It was a gift from a friend who absolutely loved it. Had I picked up this book on my own, I probably would've (happily) ended up with an abridged version.