Gravity's Rainbow. What can I say? It's living up to all of my expectations; it's difficult to follow and quite a tedious read. But I have been slowly making my way through it.
I'm leaving on a trip to South East Asia today, and was hoping to have it finished before I left. Things were seemingly going well, as in I thought I'd be able to finish before today. Or at least by today. But last week, I had an accident of sorts, and found myself in the hospital for a spell, which sort of put my reading pace off track. I learned quite quickly that Gravity's Rainbow is not the book to read when you've been given several large doses of morphine.
My first attempt to read while lying in a hospital bed, stoned to the bejezus, lasted less than one sentence before dropping the book and falling asleep. My second attempt a few hours later ended after one paragraph. Although to be fair, there probably aren't any books that would be ideal for reading after the amount of morphine I'd been given!
To make a long story short, I have been unable to finish this behemoth before I leave for my trip in a few hours. So I find myself at a crossroads of sorts; at the halfway mark, I can take this large, heavy book with me, and try to finish it while I'm away, or I can take a hiatus and resume reading it when I return.
It wouldn't be the first time I've taken a break from a book; Lord of the Rings was interrupted with a quick reading of The Assistant by Bernard Malamud. And I think that break served me well as I diversion from a book I wasn't really enjoying. So I've decided to take the same course of action here.
Currently I'm on page 385 of Gravity's Rainbow, which puts me more or less at the halfway mark. So instead of lugging it with me halfway around the world, I've decided to leave it here in Calgary and treat these next two weeks as a sort of intermission; a chance to go to the lobby, buy some popcorn and a soda, and make a quick trip to the bathroom. But in this instance, the popcorn and soda will be A Handful of Dust and Pale Fire, and if there's time, a quick trip to Lord of the Flies.
These three books combined take up less space than Gravity's Rainbow, and they're three books I'm looking forward to reading, which I think will make for a more enjoyable experience while on holidays.
And when I return to Canada in mid-April, I'll be able to resume our regularly scheduled reading with vigor!