Thursday, June 08, 2006

It's been 7 days, and I'm already behind

So the Summer Reading Challenge started last week, and I'm already behind. It's a combination of things...plans that couldn't be changed, catching another cold, meeting a new guy. But I honestly think it's the book. Sense and Sensibility is just not as good as I'd hoped.

I mean, I know it's not really fair of me to compare, but I'm afraid that

The family of Dashwood had long been settled in Sussex. Their estate was large, and their residence was at Norland Park, in the centre of their property, where, for many generations, they had lived in so respectable a manner as to engage the general good opinion of their surrounding acquaintance. The late owner of this estate was a single man, who lived to a very advanced age, and who for many years of his life, had a constant companion and housekeeper in his sister. But her death, which happened ten years before his own, produced a great alteration in his home; for to supply her loss, he invited and received into his house the family of his nephew Mr. Henry Dashwood, the legal inheritor of the Norland estate, and the person to whom he intended to bequeath it. In the society of his nephew and niece, and their children, the old Gentleman's days were comfortably spent. His attachment to them all increased. The constant attention of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Dashwood to his wishes, which proceeded not merely from interest, but from goodness of heart, gave him every degree of solid comfort which his age could receive; and the cheerfulness of the children added a relish to his existence.
is just not gripping me like

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.

However little known the feelings or views of such a man may be on his first entering a neighbourhood, this truth is so well fixed in the minds of the surrounding families, that he is considered the rightful property of some one or other of their daughters.

"Pride and Prejudice" is funny, sarcastic, witty, and fun. "Sense and Sensibility"...isn't. It doesn't help that the first 412 (not really) pages are all about setting up the story. I know that's important to the plot, but I don't really need 14 pages of Mr. John Dashwood (Elinor and Marianne's elder half brother) dithering on in his head about whether or not to help his siblings and step-mother after his father dies. (He ultimately doesn't.) I'm up to chapter 18 (which you think would be an accomplishment), but each chapter is maybe, maybe 4 pages long. (And 4 X 18 = 72. 72 pages in 7 days. 72 / 7 = 10.3 pages a day. I'm so ashamed!)

"Sense and Sensibility" has finally started to get "good" though...Willoughby's just left and Marianne is in tears over it (and the engagement 'thing', which clearly, they were not engaged. Nope. You can tell that even though everyone thinks they are, but it was never said, which means, they were not engaged. I'll be proven right, you just wait.). In my head, I keep seeing scenes from the it dreadful that I can't wait to get to the part where Marianne nearly catches her death from the rain? (Hmm, probably, but whatever. She's been a rather annoying character so far.)

I'm going to finish this book by Sunday, I have to. Seriously. (Did you all not see my motto up top? I thrive on stress and challenges and planning.) Besides, I have "Wives and Daughter" to read this week, and if I let "S&S" linger, I know it'll turn into "Anna Karenina"...or that bloody "Oliver Twist". (You can see where this is going right? By week 5, you know I'm going to be juggling the first 2 books, finising the third and putting book number 4 in my bag, with book number 5--Animal Farm--languishing by my bed.) I don't dare go and look at the SRC'll only depress me. All you people, reading right on schedule...I wonder if there's a place for us not-on-schedule people to post?

(And no, I'm not cranky because I was up all night coughing and only got 5 hours of sleep. Why, did it seem like I was? Because I'm not. I'm not!)


Stefanie said...

S&S is difficult in comparision to P&P. The two are very different. Have you seen Emma Thompson's film adaptation of S&S? It is very good and has made me like the book more.

danielle said...

I haven't read S&S, so I can't really help. But I also saw the movie. At first I really didn't like it, but not long ago I watched it again and loved it. So maybe now is the time to read it! Of course if you are really not enjoying it can you move on to the next book and tack this one onto the end?