“If you're reading this book, you're mostly likely enrolled in some sort of British literature class. If you're not in a class...why exactly ARE you reading this?
Jokes aside, I'm sure this is a great piece of literature, but I simply can't decipher the clunky narrative in order to understand what's going on. I don't know if I should blame myself or the author for not enjoying this book. On one hand, I suffer from what is known as the 21st-century attention span, meaning that if I encounter a paragraph longer than half a page, you've lost me. So, I might just be a lazier reader than the c. WWII reader. On the other hand, I don't get bored reading Tolkien or C.S. Lewis, so, what gives, Charles Williams?
I think the main reason Williams' narrative is so difficult to follow is his abuse of Point of View. The POV character changes in the middle of chapters, often without any warning, and so what happens is I'll be reading along, following the thoughts of whatever character I think is talking, when I'll suddenly stop and go back. Wait. This is not the character I thought it was. He changed POV on me without any sort of transitory phrase, or just some sort of signal that, hey, we're going to be jumping heads in the next paragraph. So, that was confusing.
Another reason I couldn't fully enjoy this story was because...what exactly was it about? There's all this symbolism upon symbolism and MORE SYMBOLISM until I'm drowning in symbols, and I don't know what any of them mean. Like, what was the deal with that doppelganger and ARGH.
The part I enjoyed the most (which is what upped my rating from two starts to three) is Lawrence Wentworth's "not-Adela." I honestly think that his plot-line should have been the focus of the book. That was intriguing. The doppelganger was disappointing, but not-Adela was creepy and awesome.
I always feel awful criticizing "classics" because I feel like they are untouchable, like some sort of Literature Club of Classics Snobs is going to come after be and be all, "How dare you not like this masterpiece of a book, you uncultured swine!" and thump me over the head with a copy of Tolstoy's "War and Peace" (that thing would probably be heavy enough to knock me out).
Bekah wrote this review Sunday, April 14, 2013.