Book beginnings on Friday

I started reading “The mysteries of Udolpho” by Ann Radcliffe a few weeks ago as part of the Gothic Reading Challenge. I know it will take me a while before I finish this one, 875 page is quite a chunkster, and I never only read one book at a time.

Here are the first two sentences:

On the pleasant banks of the Garonne, in the province of Gascony, stood, in the year 1584, the chateau of Monsieur St Aubert. From its windows were seen the pastoral landscapes of Guienne and Gascony, stretching along the river, gay with luxuriant woods and vines, and plantations of olives.

Doesn’t that sound very pleasant indeed? The book is full of picturesque descriptions and I think I will take a few weeks before the suspense begins – if ever.

3 Comments Write a comment

  1. That is indeed a lovely beginning, but rather static. But as you say, in a “chunkster” like this, the writer seems to be taking her time setting up the conflict and characterizations…
    I’ll be interested to hear if you find it to be a worthy July companion because I too am neck deep in “chunksters” this summer: Roots and War & Peace, to name just two. My hope is that they won’t drag me down, but rather provide a depth best savored at relative leisure. Hope the same’s true for you too!


  2. Laurie, I will blog about it once I have finished it, but I am sure it will take a while. I am a very slow reader…

    Eva, yes, it is rather nice to read. I can’t wait until the Gothic horror sets in, :).


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