All those hours spent reading this and checking off the Cliff Notes along the way to be sure I had not lost the plot.
Have no-one to blame but myself, for ’twas I who stuck my neck out and said it would be good for us to read a classic before the Christmas holidays last year. This lengthy exercise ending up feeling like Punishment for a Crime I had clearly committed, and the style was such that I felt a bit of an Idiot reading it. I was full of the best intentions, and even riveted at the beginning and for perhaps the first 400 pages. But from there on in it became less an act of grace and more a period of time in purgatory, and the words danced hellishly over the page as though to taunt me.
Not helped by everyone having several different nomenclatures, I just found this too much hard work, to my deep dismay – and I question how this melodramatic novel has managed to stand the test of time. How can this book be held high as anyone’s favourite read of all time? Which I see it is, not infrequently.
One of the quotes on the fantastic Good Reads website from this book is: “What is hell? I maintain that it is the suffering of being unable to love.” Would I be tied to the stake for offering a different ending to this citation?
Read in December 2014.
Rating : a much misunderstood 5/10