my review of the first half of Middlemarch. I was reasonably excited and looking forward to seeing how relationships and plots developed. So why has it taken nearly two months to get round to the end?
Something weird started happening. I'm all for the whole world on a grain of rice and all that chat, but Eliot took that a little too far for me. Sure, it's grand and all to cover all aspects of life - love, politics, etc etc. When it's done well, when it's small and subtle, when it's Tolstoy, it's all good. But Eliot got a bit crazy with it. I ended up skipping pages of just boring boring chat. Like watching the parliament channel. And then there were finance chapters, and doctor chapters. Really, I lost the plot.
I think I'd had enough. If, by four hundred pages, the book had ended, I'd be reasonably pleased (minus some ends needing tied). Middlemarch should be several separate books because, all though all the families do interlink, I think they're sufficiently different and far enough to be complete on their own. It was decent, it was fine, but by the time I got to page 536, my interest was lost. Not the size of the book, because I've got through several large brick books before. Trying to pinpoint what it was.
Hrm. Maybe it was the change of story, change of pace, change of interest. I just wasn't keen for it. I don't understand the fanaticism behind this book. Middlemarch isn't rubbish, far from it. But I got bored in the end (halfway through, really). Le sigh. So... I'm assuming (because this is the first time I've come across Eliot) that her fans think Middlemarch is brilliant. Personally, I don't think I'll be visiting Eliot any time soon. I'll stick with my Hardy. It's just a taste thing.