01 November 2007


For the first time since I started this whole crazy Modern Library list, I have hit a book I'm really not sure I can finish. Last week I returned THE GINGER MAN (#99) back to the library without finishing it, the second time I have done so this year so far. I got a little further into it this time. I guess that's a success?

So far, the book is about an American expat and student who lives in Dublin with his wife and kid. Ostensibly he's making progress towards his degree at Trinity, but really he just likes to drink and carouse and stare at other women. I don't object to all of this, nor is the stream-of-consciousness narration entirely unfamiliar to me from reading modernists like James Joyce and Virginia Woolf. But I could only read a few pages of this book until my mind started crashing like my perpetually overloaded browser.

This is even more painful because the blurb on the front of the book? Is from DOROTHY PARKER. Yes, the Dorothy Parker who wrote "In April" and sat at the Algonquin Round Table and was best friends with Robert Benchley. If nothing else, I should do it for Dorothy.

Maybe it's time to hunt down a used version and give myself reading assignments, take a more regimented approach. Or maybe I should just track down the pub in that picture, order myself 12 hours' worth of Guinness and get cracking.

1 comment:

danielle said...

The only reason I read this book was becuase it was on the ML list. I did manage it a couple of years ago, but it was hard going for me, too. Maybe I could see what the author was trying to do, but he was such a deplorable sort of character that I just couldn't appreciate his antics. This is one of the few books I have literally slogged through, and rarely have I been so completely happy to finish a book (for the wrong reasons I'm sure). I keep hoping to find someone who loves the book and will write how wonderful the story is, so I can understand what I obviously missed when I read the book.