Thursday, January 07, 2010

If Charles Dickens Couldn't Finish It, Do I Have To?

I read a review of Drood* recently. It sounded interesting, but since it's based on The Mystery of Edwin Drood, left unfinished by Charles Dickens, I thought I should read that first. I'm about a third of the way through it, and so far, the mystery is, will I ever start to care about any of the characters? I was encouraged to believe that Dickens had somehow stopped being a verbose bore** by rereading A Christmas Carol, but so far I just want to knock their heads together. Marry her, don't marry her, whatever, just stop talking about it. Or, if that's too hard, open the closet, get the jam, and then close the door. Just close the freaking door, no one cares if "...the jams, as being of a less masculine temperment, and as wearing curlpapers, announced themselves in soft whisper, to be Raspberry, Gooseberry, Apricot, Plum, Damson, Apple and Peach. Okay, I am a little interested in what a Damson*** is, but there are paragraphs of this stuff arranging themselves into pages, and then these self-same pages marshalling themselves into chapters and marching in their blurry ranks until the mind reels, hands are thrown up and endless blog posts are composed.

*What does it tell you that the review said that Drood was "overlong"?
**I went to look for synonyms for boring, and reading the list was more interesting than Edwin Drood
***It's a plum, a plum which was already in the list. It's so obvious now, that he was being paid by the word.

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