Ellen asked:

I gave up after about 50 pages. Do you think I should give it another try?

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Bekki Pate I'm struggling through it now - on page 130 and I'm finding that I'm reading other books just to break up the boredom of it all. I really can't see how this became so popular.
Millstone I wish I'd given it up after 50 pages. I have no idea why such a book should win so notable a prize. I couldn't recommend it to anyone.
Victoria I loved it and got completely absorbed by the story. I think it's worth giving it another try.
Lynn Diane No!!!!!! Life's too short.
Linda I stuck with it, lumbering through the boring, dragging beginning [actually a least half of the book.] I found the entire read heavy. I never developed any attachment to any of the characters. I plowed my way through for 2 reasons: the book had been given to me by my daughter as she left for New Zealand for an extended stay, and I wanted to find out who the gold really belonged to and how it ended up where it did. I found the structure of the novel tedious - flipping back & forth - the odd pattern - astrological or mathematical - who cares?----the LONG beginning chapters dragged it down, the short last chapters sped the read, like skiing downhill into an anticlimactic snowbank versus an air-jump off of a mogul . I found the overly flowery language distracting. Had my daughter not given it to me, I would have quit- after those first 50 pages.
Elenute I'm almost half done. It's a chore.
Violet No. It is long and tedious. The description of it being fiendishly constructed is correct but not a page-turner for me. I slogged through to the end and feel I must have missed its genius.
Jo No, don't bother,the style of flowery writing is boring. I don't know if there are too many characters or not but there is too much of setting the scene and introducing each person to the reader with no real substance to any of them to get you interested. I have the audio book which was over 31 hours and now I have 6 hours to go and only now is the story coming together but it is still very boring. I'm using it for background noise more than anything, something to listen to for the sake of it.
Leanne It is well crafted novel that requires your full attention. I struggled until I got half way and then I was hooked!
Sarah Lodge Try listening to it. THere is a fabulous audio version. THe guy does wonderful accents :)
Jennifer Eddington Definitely its well worth the effort the characters take their time to expand. It can be a bit ponderous at times but it is an historical novel polite conversation was definitely not as free and easy as it is today.
Its strong interesting and very true to its time and place.
Chinook Hilarious reading the range of comments. So many different responses than I expected. Far from a 'difficult read' I found this the first book for a long time I was racing through and couldn't wait to get back to.
I didn't find the language 'flowery' but rather an engaging way to write in the style of a contemporaneous author. After a couple of chapters, it was completely normal. (I find the same thing when reading Hardy; too archaic to begin then I acclimatise quickly.)
The cutting back and forth through time was irritating but that's a common complaint about so many books these days. Authors seem terrified or telling a story in chronological order in fear of looking 'old fashioned'.
Far from ponderous, I would like to have had MORE evocation of the environment and inner dialogues, rather than the fast pace of events unfolding. The limp mysticism and structure tricks are an irrelevance I feel.
Several of my 'all time' favourite reads left me cold for the first half (or more) of the book until suddenly the 'light went on' so I always push on now. But you've got to do what feels right for you. If it 'aint your kind'a thing then it just won't work.
I've now just embarked on watching the tv dramatisation. It going to be interesting seeing the matches and mismatches to the world in my head.
In short; I loved it and I'm recommending it to many friends. :)
Greg Ellen, oh, it gets so bad. NO! This is one of those books good for one thing: cutting out the middle to hide the family jewels.
Daisy Ellen, I am curious as this question was posted four years ago: did you try reading the book again?

I'm 75 percent of the way through the book now, and I had to pick it up and put it down three different times before I was ready to get into it. I believe that there is a time and a place to read any book, and most books are worth putting on the shelf and trying again later if you can't read it at a certain time.
Chetan You gave up early. If you'd have read more, you would get caught up in that world!
Leserling Belana Well, I liked the story as such, but not the characters. I didn't like the style at all, and before I came here, I thought it was because I listened to the German translation (I won't do that again in a hurry). Looking through the reviews here, and the replies to your question, I guess it's not the translation that's at fault. The whole thing is a chaotic sequence of fragments, and not even the whole story gives a rounded impression.
Jaydeep Banerjee I completely agree with Bea. The audiobook version does really justice to the book. It takes away the massive structure and an inconsiderable amount of verbosity.
Bea Have you tried the audiobook version? I got it on Audible and it is very good! Gripping story, well written, complex and satisfying yet not pompous.
Elaine I'm glad you asked this question as I am 250 pages in and only becoming a little more interested. I will persevere , as I always do. The audio option sounds good though.
William Gaule Nah ... The fact that you gave up after only 50 pages means you've already answered your own question
Midime NO. I endured this book but there were so many others that I wish I had been reading instead.
Arpit You should read it ..
Nicholas I would say no. Give up. If you like logic-mysteries you will not enjoy this book.
Chris Reich Yes, give it another try. It's a very good book. It is very well written with wonderful characters and lots of plot twists. Nothing is obvious and the book takes work but I believe it worth the effort.
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