jill's Reviews > Middlemarch

Middlemarch by George Eliot
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's review
Dec 27, 2011

it was ok

I suppose this is how people who don't like Jane Austen feel after reading one of her books. There were some likable characters and some clever writing. Some of the humor was timeless, but I think I missed a lot of the jokes by not being familiar enough with the political and religious issues of the times. I laughed out loud at parts of this book, but there were long dry spells between the bits that I enjoyed. The net Eliot casts is broader than any of Austen's novels; there are three main young couples involved as well as all their attendant relations and a sampling of the rest of the Middlemarch populace. It gives Eliot a wide range of possibility for satire and characterization, but it also makes for a long and, at least for me, tedious narration. There were simply too many parts I had to slog through to get to the bits I found interesting. It probably didn't help that I didn't care much for anything involving Dorothea, though the other main plots were more enjoyable.
It's an impressive book, with some great bits, but overall I found it a chore to get through. So, even though I get how well plotted it is, and how well developed the characters are, and how realistic the depiction of how best laid plans go awry is, I still didn't enjoy it and was mostly excited about the pay offs because they meant the book was almost done.

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