November Novel

Dear J-

Well, that was pretty painless:  the secret to getting Plucker books onto the Palm is apparently not, as you might think, downloading and converting it yourself, but letting Project Gutenberg itself do it.  The die is cast; Junior and I will break from defectiveyeti’s denizens this year and attempt to read Bleak House.  Me, I approach it with a little trepidation, as I’ve only attempted to read one of Dickens’ novels before — A Tale of Two Cities — and I know how your heart melted over Sydney Carton, J-, I just don’t quite feel the same way.

bleak-treo-7977-sm

To be truthful, I think that my brother’s experience didn’t help; of all the assigned reading in high school, that was the one novel he never really finished, and when it came my time to try it, three years later, I couldn’t outrun that spectre of intimidation — if he couldn’t finish it, what chance have I?  Reading about Mr. Dickens now — how he was considered a bit low and vulgar, almost the Stephen King of his time — massively popular yet somehow eluding critical (“serious”) literary acclaim.

Other distractions will be competing for attention too; the fifty-hour weeks at work, playing with new gadgets (ever so slowly, I’m beginning to be able to fill the frame with a wide view; also, assuming I have the technical wherewithal, I’d like to set up the thrift-store wireless router and DSL gateway I picked up a month ago), and, thanks again to my brother’s influence, that shiny little white Nintendo box that cries out for another game of tennis or bowling, despite our tiny, antiquated television set (though as a thrift-store connoisseur, I’ll tell you that they don’t make ’em like they did in 1988).

Mike

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3 Responses to “November Novel”

  1. warwalker Says:

    Yoicks, it’s a long ‘un! I just checked the HTML version I downloaded from Gutenberg and “print preview” was still ticking upwards when I cancelled out north of 500 pages. I might have to break down and buy a paper copy; I don’t know if I can read a 500 page novel entirely from my computer screen without going batshit insane.

    Mostly, though, I find Dickens an easy read if you remember that he’s essentially writing a soap opera for his audience. There may be deeper meanings and social commentary o’ plenty, but I prefer to just sit back and enjoy the entertainment the characters provide.

  2. dearJ Says:

    I’m not sure that I’ll make it through on the Treo, but I’ll give it a shot — for reference, the screen size is just about two D-batteries, side-by-side. Is that masochism or opportunity (for my optometrist)?

  3. warwalker Says:

    Wow. You’re basically setting out to become the first person ever to read a Dickens novel on a cellphone. Hopin’ you got mad benefitz at work, or else President Obama gets to work quickly on a national health-care-and-that-includes-yer-eyes plan for you.

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