Sunday, January 02, 2005

Book Slog

I hate giving up on a book. Stopping midway through seems so much like writing it off completely, and I can't bear to do that, especially with a book I've paid good money for/expended time in procuring. I know that in many cases in which I felt I hated a book, I had simply read the book in the wrong way, at the wrong time; upon revisiting a few such rejects, I found depths of pleasure that my initial reading did not even hint at. But I am not so sure about Celestial Harmonies.

I disregarded the comparisons to Ulysses (never read it, probably never will) and the "postmodern" tag. I slogged through 400+ pages of agglomerated anecdotes. But now that I've finally made my way to the story, I feel sufficiently drained of energy and enthusiasm that I can barely bring myself to continue. I procrastinate to avoid reading a novel I bought for pleasure. Clearly this is not the time in my life for an 864 page postmodern exploration of family history, fathers, and sons. I suppose the midpoint is the ideal time to set a book like this aside; I can take up the narrative at some point when I am in need of a story, instead of after I've been flooded with hundreds of retellings of the family life of dead Hungarians.
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