For November, the monthly meme at The Classics Club asks the question: What classic book most intimidates you? Tolstoy’s War and Peace immediately comes to mind. I have a feeling many readers find this novel intimidating simply because of its length. I might actually use this novel to answer the question if it wasn’t for the fact that I’m currently half way through reading it – and I’m completely confident that I will finish it. I’m guessing I won’t finish it until December, but I will finish it.
So what other classic work of literature intimidates me? I’ll pick William Faulkner’s The Sound and The Fury. During my senior year in high school, my English class read Faulkner’s Light in August. I enjoyed the novel enough to try reading more Faulkner and The Sound and the Fury popped up on my radar. I don’t remember how far I got into it, but I could not make heads or tails out of it. I’ve never been afraid of working at reading a book and usually a little extra effort pays off in an enjoyable reading experience; however, this Faulkner novel never got finished. The disjointed, stream of consciousness, lack of chronological order narrative just proved too much for me.
It’s been a little while since high school and I’ve developed some as a reader, but giving The Sound and The Fury another go just isn’t on my agenda – but never say never. I never thought I’d be reading War and Peace and enjoying it as much as I am.