Once again a classic that utterly failed me. Or I failed it? I thought that after making my way through the archaic doorstopper that was Tom Jones, I’d have an easier time reading this one. Not so. It’s high adventure, with romance and battles in a trek through the wilderness- the party includes two young English women, several Native American guides and a frontiersman. The area is rife with conflict between the British and the French, which have varied allies among the native tribes. There’s lots of danger to navigate. I just could not navigate the writing style. It is so flowery and obtuse I would make my way through dense descriptions only to reach the end of a page and have no idea what was going on. The conversations were no better. Did people actually talk like this, or was it written so expressively to be impressive? It’s really a case of getting lost in the forest for the trees. I tried several times to stick with it, reading a chapter now and then between other books for the past week and a half, but I just could not follow. Made such an effort because the 1992 film version is my husband’s absolute favorite move. Gave up after eighty pages. Well, another one to clear off my shelf!
372 pages, 1826
I think this is one of the few exceptions to the rule, ‘The book is better than the film’. Because in this case the film is one of my all time favourites too, it’s gorgeous quite frankly, but the book unreadable. I remember trying to read it about 30 years ago and being ‘bitterly’ disappointed that it was so dense. I thought I had a fantastic read in front of me, remembering back to how much I had loved the BBC adaptation when I was a teen. Er… no.
So I’m not alone! It was really a disappointment, yeah.
I couldn’t get through this one at all. I liked the movie quite a bit. Not so much the book. You are definitely not alone!
Don’t feel too bad about this one. I am among the MANY who abandoned this one long before reaching the mid-point even. After a while, every page felt like a challenge, and I couldn’t stop wondering what enjoyable book I would never get around to because of the hours I wasted on this one. Sometimes classics are just too classic for me. 🙂
That was exactly my thought, Sam: how many hours am I putting into this struggle when I could be reading something else? and that’s when I just ditched it.