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The Well of Loneliness
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2016 Group Reads > The Well of Loneliness - Finishers, what did you think? (SPOILERS)

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message 1: by Martha (new) - added it

Martha (marthais) For everyone who's finished the book - what did you think?

Marina (sonnenbarke) I didn't like it. The idea was a very good one, but I utterly disliked the writing. Here is my review:

I'll copy-paste it here for the lazy ones among us :P

Reading this book proved incredibly difficult. I was unsure how to rate it, but decided for 2 stars in the end: the story is a very good one, extremely interesting, but the writing is so dull you can't begin to understand if you haven't read it. I'm sorry to have to say this, but it's what I felt about this book.

I understand why it is such an important book in literary history, but I really, really disliked it.

First of all, I don't really know why this should be considered as a story of lesbian love, since it is quite clearly the story of a transgender person. Stephen Gordon is a woman who has always perceived herself as a man, and consequently dresses like a man and acts like a man. She consequently likes women, but that's just a consequence of her perceiving herself as a man. I wouldn't say she is lesbian, on the contrary she is quite simply a transgender man. That makes the story very interesting, since it's not often that we find stories about the lives of transgender people in the beginning of the 20th century. They must have had an extremely difficult life, and this book is a great document on this issue.

The writing, however... It is so incredibly boring and repetitive, the unfolding of the story is so slow, that I thought all the time that the novel might have easily been half the length or even shorter. The writing style is important in a novel, and also in a non-fiction book. So that's what made me dislike this book so much. I simply can't judge a book on just the storyline, it also has to be well-written. And this novel was a real pain to read.

message 3: by Martha (new) - added it

Martha (marthais) I don't know how you made it through to be honest! It was TOUGH. I gave up after 100 pages, I couldn't face another 300+. As you say, the story was so slow, in the 100 pages that I read, hardly anything seemed to have happened.

Marina (sonnenbarke) Haha, I guess it was just plain stubbornness, I really wanted to know what would come at the end :-)

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