Monday 1 November 2010

page counting

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.


  1. I completely concur!

    This was the most tedious read ever, but I hate to quit on a book so I ploughed on to the bitter end.

    Good luck and enjoy the debate.

  2. I've recently delved into some Russian novels too, and although I didn't become a fan, I've never really been a fan of novel writing, it was bearable, mostly because I was investigating Russian culture, to try to get an inside on the way they live. Conclusion was as is nearly always when making cultural comparisons, more similarities than differences. For some reason, Dostoyevsky had me thinking about English cousins!

  3. But Claire, you have to admit, the pages that describe the murder are absoltely thrilling.... Or not?


  4. god no, even that was dulled by the fact that there was no POINT. Maybe just after the murder, the getting away. But the bit that's really getting me down is how everybody speaks in great enormous chunks. Who speaks like this? Also I now have the dilema that I've realised that I won't actually be there for the meeting so sorely tempted to just give up, but fewer than 100 pages to read, so feel I'd better finish it.


What do you think?