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The Bookworm's Den

Worming my way through books since 1998 


Reading progress update: I've read 261 out of 360 pages.

Arthur & George - Julian Barnes

Finally reached the last hundred pages! So, what are my thoughts up until now? (I'm literally asking myself this question)


Well, the first thing that comes to mind: the pages are too damn looooooong. I know, that's a really shallow complaint to have ... but I hate it when I feel like I'm not progressing through the book at all. It takes me like an hour to read even 20 pages O_O - and that's because my edition has only 360 pages in total, whereas other editions have over 500 ... *grumbles*

Other than that though, I still think the book is brilliant. I've read comments by other people, arguing that it's a bit wordy and that it takes too long for Arthur and George to meet up, but I disagree - I think the pacing is just right and it's a joy to slowly discover how these two people's lives are going to cross. Plus, everything that happens in the meantime is really exciting - including the institutional racism and the trial against George. And now that Sir Arthur has taken up the investigation for George's sake, my eyes are basically glued to every page.


One thing I will say though is that you need your full concentration while reading in order to enjoy this book. This is a novel that's obviously meant to make you think - about racism, justice, religion, belief, public image, love and one's (chosen and dictated) purpose in life. To sum up: heavy, thought-provoking stuff wrapped in a fascinating crime story in post-Victorian England.