I'm having to force myself to read Crime and Punishment, setting myself 20 pages a day, which conveniently is about two chapters. Even this is a struggle. I think it must be the pace of the story. I've read 135 pages and really all that has happened is that Raskolnikov has committed the double murder, fallen ill and recovered. It plods and I plod with it, and what ought to be gripping is tedious. I can't imagine my sympathies are supposed to lie with Raskolnikov; he's really very irritating and unlikeable, quite apart from having committed murder on a whim. I know I've read books before with protagonists I didn't like much and enjoyed them, but really with Raskonikov I couldn't care less. Also, having watched the TV serialisation, as I read, I have the feeling that I've read it all before. This can be a good thing with a book you love (see last blog!), but here it's rather as if all the possibly novelty has been leached out of the book. So I plod, contantly flicking over to see how near I am to my daily target. Only 360 pages to go!
Why am I bothering? It's for my book group at the end of the month, so I feel I must read it. There have been a few duds chosen over the couple of years I've been going, but, you know, I think I prefer the meetings when we discuss something I really disliked. You know there's going to be lots of debate about the book, at the very least me versus the person who chose the book, who presumably likes it. And so far, every time I've come away feeling more positive about the book, or willing to give the author another chance. Much duller when everyone agrees that a book is wonderful and you run out of things to say after 45 minutes.