Marian's Reviews > The Maias

The Maias by Eça de Queirós
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's review
Jun 11, 09

it was ok

I wrote this when I had given up:

"I have to admit that I can't get into this book. I love Costas's translation--I've never read one of hers I didn't--but life is too short to be bored for so long. If you've read a few hundred novels in your life, you know more or less where this one is going, and the stereotypes suck all the air out of the room. I'm putting this back in my to-read queue. One day I may have the courage to delete it altogether."

But recently I went back to it (I don't know why) and finished it, sort of, if skimming many pages doesn't disqualify me for that category.

I can't say I was right about exactly where this was heading(it has one helluva plot twist), but I was surprisingly right about the general contours and the characters. Once you've read Anna Karenina well, the options for an adulterous situation are pretty clearly laid out.

In the end, I didn't think Queiros handled the plot twist well, or even much at all, and the book didn't hang together well structurally, which meant, inevitably, that it was too long for what it had to say.

If you're a glutton for fiction, as I am, and don't mind wading through long books, this might be worthwhile for the sake of the glimpse of Lisbon society. And for Costas's translation.

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