Pale Fireby Vladimir Nabokov
I was dreading reading this book (our Book Club choice for May, 2012) – it looked so complicated, so intimating. Is it possible that I’m not smart enough to “get” this book? The entry in Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pale_Fire) certainly added to my anxiety. I kept picking it up, reading a bit, thinking about my grocery list, and putting it down within a page or two.
Skipping Book Club was not an option. I had to conquer my anxiety and begin to read this 999-line poem in four cantos. A week from the Book Club meeting I buckled down and grabbed all the tools at hand. First, I downloaded an audible file. Next, I gathered some articles from the internet. I took no chances and fully charged my Kindle Fire. Finally, I poured a strong cup of coffee.
What a surprise! I listened to the Audible book while reading the eBook – that did the trick. I was enjoying the book! It was a combination of wit, sarcasm, & outright tomfoolery – portions of the poem weren’t too bad either. Once I got into the rhythm the convoluted stories started to make sense. I laughed out loud. I’m glad I HAD to read it. If I hadn’t, I might have missed out on a clever, funny book. For that I give it 4-stars.
Still, I am thinking that reading a book (even a classic) shouldn’t be this hard. I get the feeling that there is so much more I missed; that there must be some hidden messages or meanings that I’m too dumb to understand. It would take more research & probably a re-reading to get more from Pale Fire. Sorry, I’m too exhausted. I have too many books on my to-read shelf.