Tuesday, October 07, 2008

September Reading List

Not much reading this month I am afraid.

John Adams - By David McCullough see July's reading list

Middlemarch - George Eliot

I wish Eliot had had a good editor, a really ruthless one. Was Middlemarch originally published in magazines a la Dickens? It certainly is long enough. My friend excuses it by the comment "She is very Victorian."
Poppykosh! Victorian literature is my favorite genre and I have never before been so annoyed with a book. Eliot just keeps cramming little bits of philosophy into the book and makes the book conform to the philosophy regardless of the story. Could she just tell the story? I like Eliot, I loved Adam Bede, liked Felix Holt the Radical and want to tuck each word of Silas Marner into my heart and keep it forever. I really loved the story of Middlemarch, I just wish Eliot had learned the art of self editing. Contrary to many, I was not overwhelmed by the number of characters.
Also my 790 page Bantam Edition was impossible to read comfortably, my hands ached after reading so I got a Norton Critical Edition which had only 678 very thin pages, it was easier to handle.
On the bright side, I am seriously in love with Ladislaw, adore Fred Vincy and could Mary Garth be any funnier than she is in chapter 86? I particularly enjoyed " I should never like scolding any one else so well; and that is a point to be thought of in a husband." My husband does not appreciate that quotation but he hasn't read the book. Also, to my secret shame sometimes I feel like my marriage resembles the Lydgates', I take it as a warning. I wish I was a good as Dorthea and want to shake some sense into Rosamund.
Middlemarch is a wonderful story about marriage and character, I recommend it grudgingly.
5.5 out of 7 thimbles. Docked for length andexcessive wordiness.

1 comment:

Keira said...

I always wish Tolkien had a ruthless editor. By page gazillion and one you're furiously flipping past the lame elvish poetry.