You might wonder what the picture could possibly have to do with the title well it was the catalyst for this post and I will explain why.
Two days ago I finished Raising Steam and thoroughly enjoyed it, I contemplated what to choose to read next and was tempted by my new Anne Rice book but knowing I had work and would be grumpy about having to put it down again so quickly I looked again and spotted the thin volume. A novella, only 75 pages perfect to read in a day, right? Oh how very wrong I was!
After several hours yesterday I have reached page 23. The reason you ask? I seriously misjudged the story!!!
I have read Henry James before ‘The Turn of the Screw’ etc and had never had too much difficulty but this one has me reading each sentence a dozen times to be sure I have it right.
They say never judge a book by its cover but to that they should add or by its size or author. Every book must be judged solely on its own merits.
I was guilty of assuming that a short novella would contain a straightforward story after all one would assume when words are at a premium the writer would get straight to the point but I was wrong. A third of the way through and while I have a grasp of the basic plot I find myself frequently looking back for things I have missed.
There will be those who will suggest that it is simply a bad story and possibly had it been written by an unknown author I possible would have thrown it aside after a few pages. But I know the author who wrote this is a great writer I have loved his other works. So then I must question if the fault lies with me as the reader? But again I have reasd his other work without issue.
So that leaves one possiblity – that the preconceptions I brought to the book from my expectations of its contents have marred the experience of reading it. So for now it shall slide back into the TBR pile until I am ready to take it down once more with a fully open mind.
Do you think your preconceptions have ever spoilt a book for you or stopped you reading one you later discovered you may have been wrong about?
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