NORTHANGER ABBEY (Chapter 1 of 4)

Original cover

Finally!  I have finished Jane Austen’s “Northanger Abbey”.  I started it over 50 years ago, so it was a chore.

I read her novel when I was in high school.  I say “read” it, but I did not read it willingly.  I was compelled to read it in English class.  I took a stab at it, and it knifed me right back.  A right pain!

How shall I describe the experience?  How do I describe the long, boring hours I devoted to stabbing this perfectly boring book by an author whom I had no doubt had led a really boring life and had nothing to write about but exceptionally boring characters doing incredibly boring things?  What’s the word I’m searching for?  Oh yeah . . .  bor-ing.

When I was in high school, I read many an exciting novel, but none of them, unfortunately, was on the curriculum.  I was particularly fond of detective mysteries – Erle Stanley Gardner, Rex Stout, Mickey Spillane . . . Consequently, I knew a lot about how the real world worked, and how a man of the world thought and acted.  If a hoodlum came at me with a gun, or a moll sidled up flashing her charms at me, I grasped how I would handle the situation.

But Jane Austen’s world had me baffled.  It was like she was living in the 18th century or something.

Ms Austen as the artist saw her


(To be continued in Chapter 2)

Ms Austen as a schoolboy saw her 50 years ago

About EJ Lavoie

Writer and independent publisher with website
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2 Responses to NORTHANGER ABBEY (Chapter 1 of 4)

  1. introspeak says:

    Finishing a novel a good half a century after starting it 🙂
    You give me hope, Sir, that one day I would be able to finish all the books in my reading list even if that day were to come 50 years later.
    I would have to pass over your treatise on NORTHANGER ABBEY itself for the moment since I haven’t yet read the book and would like to read it without any preformed opinions of any sort. But I would surely come back to these pages once I finish reading the book.

    • EJ Lavoie says:

      One of life’s little pleasures – always having something to look forward to . . . I started James Joyce’s “Ulysses” almost fifty years ago, so I’m due to start finishing it any time now.

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