Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Barchester Towers: 100% Complete

I powered through the last little bit of Barchester Towers over the long weekend, so it's finally complete.  I want to be clear here that this lull in my reading motivation had very little to do with the book I was reading at the time.  All in all, I rather enjoyed this book: it was witty, humorous and rather different from other period novels.  I would give it three stars out of five.  As an aspiring novelist myself, I especially enjoyed Trollope's observations on the art of writing novels.  One of the aspects of it that I didn't enjoy so much was that it seemed like it was a bit too long; like it could have been better if he had shortened it somewhat.  It was one of those stories that just portrays a section of life for a town, rather than one with a definite story arc: beginning, middle and end.  I'm probably revealing my modern sensibilities here, but I prefer the latter type of story.  But those are my only complaints.  It's not my favorite of the books I've read so far, but it was pretty decent.
I have one last funny quote to share with you all.  This one is another little aside which Trollope inserts into his story. He writes:
"Morning parties, as a rule, are failures.  People never know how to get away from them gracefully.  A picnic on an island or a mountain or in a wood may perhaps be permitted.  There is no master of the mountain bound by courtesy to bid you stay while in his heart he is longing for your departure.  But in a private house or in private grounds a morning party is a bore.  One is called on to eat and drink at unnatural hours.  One is obliged to give up the day, which is useful, and then left without resource for the evening, which is useless."
So that's it for Barchester Towers.  Next up: A Room with a View by E. M. Forster.


  1. Nice job! It's always hard to complete a book when you feel like you're in a rut. (I'm in one of those myself right now, reading Cranford, by Elizabeth Gaskell.) I bet it feels good to be finished! I hope you like A Room with a View. I loved it in high school, but I haven't read it since.

    1. Thanks! It was hard to finish but I just pushed through and I'm glad it's done. So far I am liking A Room with a View. I'm a big fan of the TV show The Office and there is an episode where some of the characters are discussing this book. Having never read it, I didn't ever really get what they were talking about, but now I'm starting to get it, which is fun!

    2. Ah, that's funny. :) This must be in a newer Office episode. I used to love that show, but I stopped watching it after season 4 or 5! And I don't seem to remember them talking about that book. All I can think of is the "finer things club" where Pam, Oscar, and Toby are trying to talk about Angela's Ashes.

    3. It's earlier in that same episode, when Andy wants to join the club, they're discussing A Room with a View. I think it's Oscar who says, "Can you imagine a life where all you have to do is summer in the Italian countryside?" and Pam says something about George Emerson and then Andy comes in and sits down and Pam says, "What are you doing?" and Andy says, "I've just come to discuss my favorite E. M. Forster novel."

    4. Ahhh haha. Okay, it's been awhile since I've seen it, so I didn't remember, but now I do after reading your description. Andy is hilarious!