Monday, March 17, 2008
Modern Library's Top 100 Novels of the 20th Century Quest: #89
Author: Henry Green
Judgin' the Book by its Cover: Ugly! I hate peacocks!
Thoughts: This is, by far, the most dialogue-driven novel I've read thus far in the Quest. Description is minimal, action is fairly non-existent, and the plot moves forward through conversations, mainly. The basic plot is this: as WWII is raging in Britain, the domestic staff at an English family's Irish country estate... talk a lot. There's a rudimentary love story, infidelity, and a subplot about missing/stolen valuables, but the story was fairly meandering and never really grabbed me. I did find myself liking Kate and Edie, the two maids, who, according to Rule #487 of Stock Characters, pass the time giggling and gossiping (do real maids ever giggle?).
I really didn't grasp a deeper meaning to the book, and I couldn't get invested in the love story due to my dislike of the Romeo, so overall I'm left feeling unimpressed. Moreover, the characters' constant disparaging remarks (referring to them as unintelligible, violent animals) aimed at the good people of Ireland are hardly seasonal considering that I'm writing this on St. Patrick's Day!
While I didn't hate this book, I wasn't the least bit interested in it, so I can't say I'd recommend it. On the plus side, at just under 200 pages, it was short and quick to read, so at least my boredom wasn't TOO prolonged.
Next up is The Old Wives' Tale (I get to skip The Call of the Wild-- been there, done that!).