Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Immoralist - Andre Gide

I have a confession to make: this book is under 100 pages and I started it two years ago. And I still have not finished it. I borrowed it from a friend who did her Masters Thesis on this book and claimed it was the best book of the 20th century. Another friend claimed it was the worst book she had ever read. I thought I would take my chances and, judging their taste in books, figured I'd come up somewhere around the middle. While I might not love it, I didn't think I would hate it.

I may not declare it the worst book I've ever read, it most certainly wasn't the best. I found the protagonist (I can't even remember his name; part of me vaguely remembers knowing that this was supposed to be somewhat autobiographical, but I don't think he used his real name) to be pretentious and whiny. It was nearly impossible to feel any sympathy for him as a character which made coming back to the book really difficult. I wanted to finish it, and when my friend called and said she wanted the book back I could very easily have read through the last twenty or so pages. But I had absolutely no desire to find out what happened to this man.

I suppose part of me could relate to his youth and the desire for something more. He didn't feel content with the simple life he had been given. But the way in which he was willing to throw it all away just seemed to be over the top and, frankly, annoying.

So, that's two crossed off of my list. One finished, one not. I feel like my reading has slowed significantly since I began this project. But vacation is coming up in two weeks so I'm hoping to get through a lot!


Nancy said...

Hi Megan,

Thanks for your comments and review! I have Vatican Cellers by Andre Gide on my list, and I started it once about four years ago, but got sidetracked by something else. That happens often to me so I'm still hopeful that my experience with Gide won't be too painful.