Introducing Clarissa

August 10, 2012 at 9:42 pm Leave a comment

Oh, I almost forgot, there is one other book that I’m reading right now. It’s a little thing called Clarissa. It’s a novel about a beautiful and virtuous young woman living in England in the 1700’s, who, through a complex series of events, finds herself in under the protection of a notorious rake. It’s also nine volumes long, 1534 pages, and I’ve been reading it since January.

So, yeah, there’s that. Seriously, though, the reason I’m still on volume 7 after reading it for 7 months is that it’s an epistolary novel, written as a series of letters by Clarissa, Lovelace (the aforementioned rake), and various other people. Since each letter is dated, a group of us on Library Thing decided that a great way to tackle a novel so long would be to read the letters on the day they are dated. So we started in January with the letter dated the 10th, and we’ve been continuing ever since.

Also, don’t worry, I’m not lugging around 1500 pages of book everywhere I go. I got the free Kindle version, and I’m reading it on my laptop. Although an intimidating stack of volumes would make a nice illustration to go with this post… Oh, well.

I think I’m a few days behind right now (I probably should have started volume eight), but I alway catch up quickly whenever I fall a bit behind. The problem is that some days seem to stretch on into infinity, and other days are over with a single short letter.


Right now, the whole book has gotten pretty sad. A ways back it took a turn I definitely didn’t expect, and now I just don’t see where the book is going. It seems like Clarissa is simply going to be absolutely miserable for the remaining two volumes, which doesn’t exactly make for fun reading. Instead of the victorious story of Lovelace’s reformation, it looks as though it was intended to serve as a tragic warning to other girls of the period.

I’m long used to the book by now, though, so it’s not terrible. I have no doubt that I’ll stay on course through the end, and then I’ll be able to say I’ve read the second longest novel ever written!

Entry filed under: 1001, Books. Tags: .

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August 2012

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