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19 August 2009

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800 pages?? I hope you drove to the library when you picked up this book. I have to admit that unless the book is written by Ann Coulter, I will do my best to finish it. Plus, I'm madly curious what you'll think of it if you finish it.

That's why I've stayed away from that book! I don't know anything about Dickens, never read Dickens. Though I probably should. At some point.

Hmmm, can't speak it to this particular book, but I do like Simmons. I thought his Terror (previous book) was a slow starter. if this one isn't working, what about the follow up to the Meaning of Night?

Well, Tripp,
"The Terror" is a big brick of a book too, and let's face it, who can sustain nonstop excitement over 700, 800 pages? The slow start was one thing, but even now that it's picking up I just don't know if I have the energy for the whole thing.

I'm saving Michael Cox's follow-up to "The Meaning of Night" (forget the title right now; the "glass of time" or something?) for a long winter week when I need a treat. Particularly since Michael Cox has passed on and will not be writing any more novels for me to devour.

Lu,
Yeah, I have a feeling an appreciation for Dickens would help. Although I thought "Hard Times" was okay, most of Dickens's books leave me bored, bored, bored. (If you're going to force down something of his, do try "Hard Times," at least it's one of his shorter books. Or watch "Oliver Twist" or "Bleak House" on Masterpiece Theatre.)

I haven't read it, though I did read "Sing Them Home" and "The Crimson Petal and the White" this year and they served to change my mind about long novels. My opinion now is that any book over 400 pages really has to justify WHY it is so long. We're talking about the lives of innocent trees, here!

I read Drood earlier this year and yeah, it does start off pretty slow, but I loved how Simmons got into the opium-addicted, hallucination-prone mind of Wilkie Collins. I polished off the last 600 pages in one go.

Try and stick with it for a bit longer because it does read pretty fast - if you need some biographical info on Dickens or Collins the Wikipedia pages are actually pretty accurate for general info on the authors.

CR,

Regarding the size of the Simmons book(s) I agree that 800 pages is too much unless you LOVE it. I am fine with plowing through a 200 page crime novel if it is at least decent, but at 800 pages I expect greatness.

Tripp

Jessica,
LOVED The Crimson Petal and the White. If you really want to freak your mind out go and read Faber's earlier novel Under the Skin. It's short so it should help your yearly total, and it's COMPLETELY different from the Crimson Petal.

Melissa,
No worries. I think I'm going to stick with it. I'm loving Wilkie, who doesn't seem to be a huge fan of Dickens's either, when you get right down to it.

Tripp,
I totally agree. I didn't even feel how long "The Meaning of Night" was because it was SO awesome. I'm going to stick with this one, though--I have a sneaking suspicion it might actually be great, and I'd like to find out for sure.

This here librarian gives you full permission to cut and run. Even Nancy Pearl has that rule -- something about subtracting your age from 100 (or something like that) and reading to that page number. If you're not sold on a book by then, there's no shame in moving right along... Due diligence: satisfied!

What Unruly Reader said.

Unruly, Bybee,
Oh, I'm totally with you (Pearl's rule is, I think, 50 pages until you're fifty, after that subtract your age from 100 and read that many pages). Normally I have no problem ditching a book. But this one is just interesting enough to keep me with it...but it's so hard not to think about how many pages I have left while I'm holding the big brick!!

Have you tried GIRL IN A BLUE DRESS by Gaynor Arnold? Written by a British social worker who spent five years (nights and weekends) on it. I'd be curious to hear what you think.

Hi all,
Well, I tried. And I salute you if you made it through and loved this novel. But 400 pages in, I'm giving up. I do have a strange desire to go and read Wilkie Collins's "The Moonstone," though.

Sarah,
I have requested "Girl in a Blue Dress" from the library. Thank you!

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