Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Literary disappointment

I finished a book last night that I used to love. I first read it in a Modern Lit course when I was in college, and read it again a few years later (just before the sequel came out, which went on to win the Pulitzer). It was filled with the things I love in literature: brilliantly flawed but wonderful characters, unexpected twists, language that I can collapse into as it falls around me. Sigh.

I skimmed the last 40 pages this time around. Then tossed it onto the floor and grumbled.

I'm disappointed in myself. Maybe I'd built up my memories of this book. Perhaps it's 15 years of the books between that college student and my adult self. Or possibly my tastes have changed, my view of the world has changed, and my tolerance for books has changed.

Some books I read every year and this never happens: Catcher in the Rye, Gatsby, A Moveable Feast, The Sun Also Rises. I find more insight into these with every read. Yet this book, which I've considered a top-25 for years, wasn't.

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