Sunday, June 21, 2009

just finished: the house of the spirits

The House of the Spirits - Isabelle Allende (1982)

Jittery is not an unusual feeling on a Friday. It was an apt description at 4:00, 3:00, 2:00, lunchtime, snack time, (self-imposed) break time, and just-got-to-work time. On the bus, though, heading towards the weekend both literally and metaphorically, I can't attribute the impatience to the day of the week alone. I'm anxious to reach the end of this novel, but anxious because the middle is beginning to bore me. Only so many examples of poor choices and bad judgment can a reader take before she just wants to reach the end. The fact that the novel lost its titular touch of magic and whimsy when the (spoiler!) only magical character died certainly didn't help.

Was Allende always this barely-above-middle-of-the-road, or was I just less picky? I'd prefer to believe the former because I (thought I'd) enjoyed Eva Luna, but I fear it's simply the latter at work. The more I read, the more ADHD I feel. I need more exciting language, more complex syntax, more unusual and compelling metaphor to keep my interest for prose that spans hundreds of pages. Or, barring that, the other end--pointed simplicity. Muddling about in the middle doesn't cut it any more.

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