I love a good book in the Summer, and I have a small pile waiting for me whenever I get the time to sit down and read a book (which may be never). It seemed easier when I was working because I had all that time to fill on the long commute. I always had a thick tome under one arm.
Hubby has been reading Moby Dick by Herman Melville. The other night, he commented that he’s “450 pages into it and nothing has happened yet. The whale probably dies at the end from boredom, waiting for something to happen”. We both wracked our brain trying to figure out when he bought Moby Dick – I’m pretty sure it was over a year ago, but I could be wrong. Hubby felt that it was still better than the Old Curiosity Shop (by Charles Dickens) – he thinks that took him 17 years to read. In all fairness, he said he started reading it when he was 17 because he had read every fiction-related book in the house (except for some very old “religious” books), but it’s not exactly a page-turner! Hubby & I have been voracious readers all our lives, and we can both breeze through a really good book in a short period of time. Apparently The Old Curiosity Shop was not a good book. To quote Hubby, the author spent “700 pages describing one room…with no people in it. I’m pretty sure there were no people in it, and if there was, they would have died of boredom too”. To top it off, it has a “freaking depressing ending” too. I won’t tell you what it is, just in case you want to read it after that stellar review.
I’d have to say I’m objective toward Dickens – I loved A Tale of Two Cities, but waded through The Pickwick Papers and quickly passed it on. Hubby likes “science fiction and action books, not books with pages of “character development”. He read Crime and Punishment (by Fyodor Dostoevsky) and called it “punishment”, while I enjoyed it, suffering alongside Raskolnikov! I wonder, if I suggested War & Peace (by Leo Tolstoy), would he: 1) give me a disgusted look and walk away; or, 2) break into song – “War – uhn – what is it good for? Absolutely nothing – say it again! War…!”? I could recommend Victor Hugo, Charlotte Bronte, Jane Austen…or maybe someone more current like James or Findley…he wouldn’t be impressed. At least not all of those authors had “freaking depressing endings”! I’m suddenly feeling the need to curl up somewhere quiet and let the words take me on a whale-sized adventure…just not Moby Dick (I already read it)!