Monday, October 12, 2015

Kelly's Book 8.15: The Turn of the Screw and Daisy Miller

Dear Jenny,

This is a joint preview/in-progress post.

First, the preview part...

I cannot remember when or where I got this book, but the cover is great. The copyright is 1954 and that's pretty clear from this design. Also...  35¢!

Of course, the content was actually written in the late 19th century, so this was a "super modern" treatment when it was published.

I think this was probably passed on to me by someone who said, "You've never read Henry James?! How can that be?! You were a lit major!" Which, as a general sentiment, bugs me. Because we were lit majors, we're supposed to have ready every single major author in the world? Whatever.

But these stories seemed genuinely interesting to me -- at  least a the time I was given the book. The Turn of the Screw is supposed to be spooky. I really don't know anything about Daisy Miller except for the back-of-the-book description. (But I do have some concerns about how things are going to end for Daisy, given the time period.)

Now, the in-progress part...

Oh my GOD I am struggling to get through The Turn of the Screw! I want to bail except that I need to keep to my schedule and the book is short. But the writing is... impenetrable. Seriously difficult to get through. I am 50 pages in and things just got a bit easier (dialog -- yay!) but OOF this thing is a rough one. I keep wondering, "Is it faster to read this 200 page book slowly or just switch to the 525 page book that I cut in my last post?" Time will tell.

It was written at the same time as Tess and my struggles now remind me of my struggles then... but... in the end, I was genuinely glad that I struggled through that one -- the story of Tess has really stuck with me. So I kind of have hope that this one will also be worth it...? (fingers crossed)

It was also written at the same time as The Sea-Wolf and I have often thought that I could not have gotten through that book except that I listened to the aBook and the narrator was fantastic... wait a minute... a-ha!... while I was writing this post, I went over to Audible, listened to a few samples and boom! Found a narrator that is making this book manageable. (That was some legit live-blogging action right there.)

Also, while writing this post, I have Gilmore Girls on and the current episode is... "Say Goodbye to Daisy Miller" -- Weird, right? (Is that a message?!) (It's the episode where Rory impulsively leaves for Europe with her grandma after doing the deed with Dean, so that's the Daisy Miller reference -- that she gets "shipped off to Europe when she's been 'bad.'")

All right. Tomorrow, I will begin listening to The Turn of the Screw on my morning walk. I'll let you know how it goes.


PS -- I did finish my 6.15 -- the Roald Dahl book -- but I didn't have it in me tonight to write it up. Stay tuned!


  1. YES! aBooks FTW!

    The Turn of the Screw is 1000x better with someone else reading it to me! I'm so glad we keep this blog -- I would have forgotten about my previous Sea Wolf aBook success without it. :)

    But it does kind of have me in a Reader Crisis right now... this babe and I are reading the *same* text. But she understands where the pauses need to happen and where emphasis needs to be made (it's a wall of words) (not for speed readers -- you would HATE it). I keep thinking, "Why can't I do that myself?" But then I realize -- she's a professional actor, reading this text. I am not a professional reader. So she's studied it and figured it all out in a way that I am not ever going to do. And now... I reap the benefit of her hard work! Yeah!

    I've only started TTotS at this point... I'll try reading Daisy Miller with my eyes first and then determine if I need a pro to read it for me. (The "pro" requirement for reading -- is it because the time period in which the book was written is not my own and therefore, the writing is mysterious to me... OR were people of that day more "committed" [almost professional] readers? I do not know. Something to discuss.)

    Although I will say this... I can only listen to it when I am doing something else that is basically mindless (like walking) (vs. chores, where I have to think). So even though she's made it far more accessible, it does require more focus than many other books I listen to.

  2. Okay, look at you solving this whole problem for yourself! I think on a related note, I might aBook Their Eyes Were Watching God...all that dialact. I've heard the aBook is great for that.

    THAT COVER IS FABULOUS. I can see being disappointed in the difficult text after that super-awesome vintage cover treatment.

    That's a super interesting observation about the "doing something mindless" so it just must be a difficult text. I think all of our reading skills are being sucked away by the internet. The stamina I once has is just gone. Also, this quarter with 2 classes just sucks. No reading time whatsoever. Only six more weeks!