Marialyce's Reviews > Possession

Possession by A.S. Byatt
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Jul 07, 12

bookshelves: june-2012, july-2012
Read from June 22 to July 07, 2012

I almost feel like some kind of traitor to the culture of extremely well written books to only rate this novel a three. However, any book that takes me almost two months to get through and makes me read it in only short spurts is not one I would rate a five book.

Yes, the writing, the theme, the characters are all superb, but the very writing and characters are what bogged down this novel for me. I have never been nor will ever be a fan of poetry in any shape or form. I will even readily admit, I do not like Shakespeare possibly because of the same aversion I have harboured since forever against prose. I will be the first to admit that I just don't get it the way I am suppose to get it. Since this book is about poets researched by literature experts who love poetry you can see the dilemma I was in.

Yet, I did finish it and did like the storyline which was romantic, sad, and so very Victorian, which by the way is a time period I love. How could one not fall for the doomed loved affair between Randolph Ash and Christabel LaMotte and the eventual love found by their researchers? It has the stuff for making one a tear stained reader as hearts are broken and secrets are hidden. Truly this is a story of star crossed lovers so beloved by the reading public especially those who love the society and propriety of Victorian tales.

Perhaps someday, I will return to this novel with a better view on the merits of poetry and even more so a better understanding. I do so admire those who revel in this medium and find so much that speaks to their souls, minds, and hearts. For me, I do envy them, but know I get so very little from the reading. It is just words, but unfortunately these words mean little to me and for that I feel I have missed the greatness of this novel.
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Reading Progress

06/22/2012 page 74
13.0% 1 comment
06/24/2012 page 225
41.0% "The soon to be lovers are in love with each other's minds and hearts."
07/02/2012 page 438
79.0% "Love the love story, but am bogged down by the poetry."

Comments (showing 1-14 of 14) (14 new)

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message 1: by Kim (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kim I love this book. It's overdue for a re-read.


Marialyce Just into the first 50 pages and am a bit excited about what I have read.


SarahC Enjoy this beautiful book, Marialyce.


message 4: by Kim (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kim I look forward to your review.


message 5: by Meg (new)

Meg that is because you couldn't put Ulysses down!


message 6: by Sheila (new)

Sheila LOL Meg. I think that Ulysses is going to influence our thinking on all other books from here on out.


Marialyce Yes, Sheila and Meg..it is in the vein of "never will I read a book like that ever again!"


message 8: by Kim (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kim What you say about this book and poetry is fair enough, Marialyce. I don't spend much time reading poetry anymore. But I loved the Romantic and Victorian poets when I was at school and Uni and I still love hearing poetry being read. The fact that the novel is about poets is definitely one of the things I love about it.


message 9: by Sheila (new)

Sheila I don't know, Marialyce...you voted for Infinite Jest for a future chunky read. Have you checked out the description of it? (see below)

The lengthy and complex work takes place in a semi-parodic future version of North America, and touches on tennis, substance addiction and recovery programs, depression, child abuse, family relationships, advertising and popular entertainment, film theory, and Quebec separatism, among other topics.

The novel includes 388 numbered endnotes (some of which have footnotes of their own) that explain or expound on points in the story.


:o)


Marialyce I know, Sheila. It does sound quite quirky doesn't it? I have had the book for sometime and it always seems to be right there in front of me whenever I look at my book shelves. I would swear I moved it on numerous occasions, but it always seems to be back in its same place. (just might be my husband playing tricks on me though)


Marialyce Kim wrote: "What you say about this book and poetry is fair enough, Marialyce. I don't spend much time reading poetry anymore. But I loved the Romantic and Victorian poets when I was at school and Uni and I st..."

Kim, You are one of the people I do envy. I must have not gotten the poetry gene although I do know my father loved poetry and read it often.


message 12: by Sheila (new)

Sheila Too funny, Marialyce. I ordered a used copy of it (to have on hand for the future) so now I will have to keep an eye on my copy! I had a fun time sorting the reviews for it here on Goodreads, and reading only the 1-star ones. Great stuff!


Marialyce Might be that the reviews are better than the book, Sheila. I oftentimes read the comments after news articles. They can be so funny and often better than the news story.


message 14: by Sheila (new)

Sheila Marialyce wrote: "I oftentimes read the comments after news articles. They can be so funny and often better than the news story."

I do the same thing. :o)


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