Jane I found History of the Rain slow going at first as well. I read the whole book rather slowly. I think it kind of demands that kind of pace. It's not so much driven by plot although the plot matters...it's more driven by setting, by language and by the utterly gorgeous sentences. I found myself reading it aloud in what was some hybrid of an Irish brogue because that's how I wanted to hear it in my head. That takes time. It's hyperbolic, and ordinarily I wouldn't like that, but I felt that language was earned every time. I am so glad I read this book. I copied many passages, but I think this is a book I'm going to have to own. I already plan to buy it for two of my brothers. Stay with it, Dolly. If you aren't hooked by page 100, I'll be surprised.
Héctor It should be read slowly. It's no thriller. It's literary dark chocolate: pure and intense, not meant for gorging on it.
Boy Blue If you don't like Ruth, stop. Otherwise keep going. Focus on Virgil, he is the best character written in a long time.
Maria Ryan I agree, It can be a very tedious read. I struggled along but in the end was very glad I stayed with it. The writing is exquisite. I was actually somewhat bummed at this because I will never have this talent for words. Speaking of the words, try to read above them and catch the true meaning. If you are anything like me, you will get to the point where you have to know what happened in the end.
Deepak Pitaliya Just finished the book and reread the first part again. The book is certainly worth reading. Don't give up.
Maeve I don't know how much you have read but I am loving it. There is so much humour in it and I am really enjoying all the references to writers and novels and trying to remember the characters he mentions. Keep going as I am sure you will find it worth the effort.
Deborah I adored this book, and I read it slowly, savoring the language. You might try the audiobook -- read with a lovely Irish accent, it brings out the humor (and there is quite a lot of it). I'm a fan of character driven stories, which this is. In fact it's all about characters. It's a Dickensian read. If you liked Charles Dickens, stick with this one!
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all) It's not a book to sit down and read cover to cover in a sitting or two. It's a book to be sipped and savoured. Ration it to a few pages at a time. Let it sink in.