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.
(To be continued in Chapter 2)