Monday, December 13, 2010
Old Book, New Book #29: Heart of Darkness & The Secret Sharer -> Consider the Lobster
Despite the combined length of Heart of Darkness & The Secret Sharer being a mere 165 pages, it definitely took me a considerable amount of time to finish this one off. In part because the reading was pretty dense, and in part because neither of the stories kept me coming back to read. I feel like I finished this one more out of a commitment to finishing than to anything else. I guess I might need to read the Introduction now that I'm done (I hate reading introductions to classics that give away too much of what the stories are about, so I usually skip them), to see if I can get some more insight into why they (Heart of Darkness especially) are noteworthy. I found The Secret Sharer to be rather odd and incomprehensible, and Heart of Darkness to be unnecessarily confusing. At times the plot jumped forward with no explanation of what had happened or how to move us on to the next point. Maybe the film version is less confusing and more interesting. Anyway, I don't claim to be a literature expert, so there are probably other people who will find my reviews uneducated or uncultured. Sometimes I just enjoy a good story, and these did not fit the bill for me.
Next up: A collection of essays titled "Consider the Lobster" by the recently deceased David Foster Wallace, who I'd never heard of until his death, which spawned a variety of comments in the web arenas I frequent (notably kottke.org). I've been wondering what all the fuss was about, but I figured rather than jump in with both feet and tackle "Infinite Jest", the 1000+ page novel that I see mentioned frequently, I'd start with some of his essays.