50 Books to Read Before You Die- The Way We Live Now by Anthony Trollope
Where did I get the book and how many pages?
This is another book I found on Oyster where it is listed as having 876 printed pages.
Have I read this book before?
No. I don’t think it has come up before in previous classes or conversations.
What do I already know?
Nothing except the book length. I didn’t even read the description in Oyster before I started.
What do I think now?
In the very beginning of the book one of the characters, Lady Carbury, is working on having reviews written about a book she has recently written. She is very concerned with how her book will be received by the general public. She does not care about writing a great book, only writing a book that people think is great. It may seem like the same thing, but in fact it is not. A book that is thought of as great, will sell well and make money, whereas a book that is actually great may or may not catch on. It is all about perception.
This is definitely a theme throughout the entire book. There are many characters who are thought of as great, but in truth they are no better than anyone else, and may in fact be horrible people. It was a fascinating, and gripping study of human nature, assumedly in a specific time period.
There were many things I saw as relatable, particularly the desire to have a book I write perceived as a great work. I mean, sure I want to write something that actually is amazing, but having people think it is amazing is just as important. Great reviews can translate into sales, and high enough sales can translate into a paycheck, hopefully a paycheck high enough to allow the author to have the freedom to keep writing. If you make enough money with one book, you don’t have to have a day job, you can just follow your dreams. I mean honestly, who wouldn’t want that?
Should you read this book before you die?
This book was much better than I expected. It was long, and for some reason I couldn’t read more than a few chapters at a time, but it was well worth the read. Writing like this doesn’t come along everyday. You try to write characters that feel real, and situations that allow them to act as a normal human would, but there are always flaws. This came about as close as possible to a real picture of human behavior. I loved it.
After this long read I need a slightly shorter book, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey, followed by Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy.
Happy Reading Everyone!