Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

I've been reading Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway these past few days, but am not moving very fast.  Of course that isn't really an accurate statement; I've been meaning to read Mrs. Dalloway for the past several days, weeks even.  But alas, I am so uninterested in actually reading it, it has served only as a monument to my laziness, rather than a shining beacon of my 52nd triumph from this List.

It may seem that I'm being a little judgemental, especially of a book I haven't read, but I have good reason to be this way.  Ms. Woolf's other entry on the list, To the Lighthouse was a 252 page book that took me two months to read and was a disappointment to say the least.  You can read my take here.  I can't imagine this book is really any different, so I have not been looking forward to it for almost two years.

I have started it however, and vow to make good progress this week.  My new strategy to finishing this one, opposed to my old strategy of carrying it around and not reading it, is to treat the book like a band-aid.  If I just sit down and rip it off, the pain will be instantaneous and I'll no longer have to worry about it.  It's only about 200 pages, I just need to get it over with.

In the two weeks since I finished All the King's Men, I have been keeping busy, having preoccupied myself with a couple of books.  Most recently, I finished Pity the Billionaire by Thomas Frank, another book on the US political scene; colossal bore for some, fascinating for others.  But before that, I found myself entangled with an interesting and unusual read; a book entitled Flashman.

Flashman is the first in a series of books following Harry Flashman through his adventures, or rather his mis-adventures in the British Army during the middle 19th century.  It was a fun book for the most part, and Harry Flashman is likely one of literature's great cads; sort of a less noble, yet bigger scoundrel version of James Bond.  I can't fault a book that begins with the protagonist seducing his father's mistress after being kicked out of school for drinking and gambling.  It was a pleasant diversion from the list and a series I would think of revisiting in the future (after all, there are 15 more books in the series).

But for now, it's back to Mrs. Whats-her-face-away...which I will try to approach with a more open mind.


  1. maybe you need a challenge....should I try to track it down to read??... I was waiting to join you for the "margaret" book :)

  2. If you dare...! Althought I read quite a bit last night, and am halfway through. I have to admit, it isn't nearly as bad as To the Lighthouse.

    I'll be sure to give you advanced warning for Are You There God...