'How pleasant it is to spend an evening in this way! I declare that after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book! — When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.' No one made any reply. She then yawned again, threw aside her book, and cast her eyes round the room in quest of some amusement. — from Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen (1775-1817)
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January 26, 2014

I tried, truly I did, but I find I cannot bear it


       His gloved fingers grasped the knocker, raised it, and brought it sharply down upon its anvil with the percussive report of a pistol shot.
As I sit here, in the sunlight warmth of my aging but resilient mother's trim and comfortable home, my eyes stray to the snow-kissed slope outside her shuttered windows.  This must be because I crave distraction from the new mystery novel I have been offered for review.  Its engaging premise drew me in, as did its intriguing historical basis, but the earnest, most likely well-meaning, author has instilled so many unnecessary flourishes and overwrought adjectives into his cluttered prose that I feel the need to emit a silent but anguished scream, and I'm only on page 3.

...The only illumination came from the stuttering light of a single gas jet turned low.
      'Just one moment!' [our hero] began to protest. 'Am I to be cast into the darkness?'

Yes, dear book, I am afraid so.



6 comments:

Lisa said...

That made me laugh out loud! I had much the same problem with Victor Hugo last week, and he too has been cast out into the darkness. Every noun had its adjective, every verb its adverb, and the amount of extraneous detail was mind-numbing.

Karen K. said...

Wow, those are some terrible quotes. But your posting is hilarious, so thanks for that.

Cosy Books said...

Oh dear, you must have been wrinkling your brow from the first page then. Sorry for the disappointment of what sounded like a promising read but oh you did make me laugh.

JoAnn said...

Ugh! I applaud your decision.

FleurFisher said...

A wise decision - there are too many wonderful books out there to waste precious reading time on such things.

Bellezza said...

i can't see that I'd blame you. Less is more, and Hemingway had it right when he said he wanted to write just one true, good sentence. In my opinion.

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