K is for “Karamazov, The Brothers”
In other words: those books you just. can’t. get. through. Everyone’s got ’em. Definitely “The Brothers Karamazov” and “War and Peace” for me, and let’s just be honest and add DeToquville’s “Democracy in America”. Yeah, I won’t get rid of my copy, because I keep thinking I’ll get into it, but I won’t. And I know, deep, deep down, that the only reason I keep it is to look smart. Is it working?
When people connect with a book they really connect. Ever notice how offended someone will get if you mention that you didn’t like their FAVORITE BOOK IN THE WHOLE WORLD? I’m always puzzled at people who are meh about “Pride and Prejudice”. I don’t go full out, ‘What the hell is wrong with you?”, more of a, “Hmm…are you perhaps not from this Earth and have no basic understanding of humanity?” It’s not that I think you’re, well, a soul-less monster for not liking Austen…oh wait, yes, that’s it exactly.
My neighbor K, who admitted that when she saw us moving in saw the boxes and boxes….and boxes and boxes and boxes of books and decided then and there that she did not like me, says she doesn’t read. But then she pins the cover of “The Great Gatsby” with a comment about how it’s her favorite. Hell, you made it through Fitzgerald and you think you don’t read? I only made it through Gatsby because I had to for school. I’m sure I skipped over whole sections (much like I did a few years later with “Middlemarch” – now there’s an exercise in “please kill me now”).
My husband J loves John Updike’s novels, and while I’m a fan of his short stories his I can get maybe one sentence into a novel and suddenly doing the laundry is looking like a good idea. I simply can’t do it. Perhaps it’s that I know I’m not Updike’s target audience (male, with too much money, too much white and too many issues).
In college the girl across the hall, C mentioned that she’d read Anthony Trollope in junior high school. This made me want to a. move as far away from her as possible, and b. punch her in the face for being smarter than I. Instead, we became friends. But I still haven’t read Trollope, and I’m not fucking going to.