Do you ever read a book that you don’t really love but you don’t really hate either, and your just reading it and for the most part it’s enjoyable enough but nothing to shout about till a certain line appears? Yeah, that’s happening to me right now.
I’m currently reading Winter’s Tale by Mark Helprin and it’s one of those books that’s incredibly long but just when I feel like it’s not for me or I feel a little bored something pulls me right back in.
I’m currently on page 227 of 745 and I’ve been reading it since the beginning of the month. It’s taken me this long for a few reasons, namely that I’ve been juggling reading for fun with reading textbooks and writing essays – you know, typical University life stuff. Another reason it’s taking me so long is that it’s quite a dense (but beautiful) book with all the descriptions. Sometimes I just want to shake Mr. Helprin for writing such a fat book when all I want to do is continue with the plot.
I sometimes feel that I don’t need to have this lavish description of the city or the countryside of the weather to know what’s going on but at the same time those lavish descriptions really add to the beauty of the story. It’s a double edged sword really – I’d like the plot to hurry up a bit but at the same time, the descriptions are what’s making the plot better (I think).
There’s been a couple of lines throughout the book that have made me stop and think “wow!” Here are two of my favourite so far:
“There were as many ways to survive and as many ways to die as the city had in it streets, lines, and views.” p40.
“Those who decided such things decided that whoever had seen the map had only imagined it, and the entire matter was forgotten, treated as if it were a dream, and ignored. This, if course, freed it to live forever.” p220.
There have been other lines but that’s one thing I miss about reading on my kindle – you can’t highlight something and then easily search for it again. (I hate writing in books).
I’ve decided that I’m going to continue with Winter’s Tale, no matter how long it may take me – I’ve got some train journey’s this week so that’ll help me make some headway – as even when I’m feeling a little bogged down with all the descriptions and lack of progress with the plot, something amazing happens and I’m pulled straight back into it again.