0331 | Melmoth the Wanderer | Charles Robert Maturin

0331 | Melmoth the Wanderer | Maturin

Context: Our gardener planted a ton of corn for us while I was reading this. It came up in hours, not days… not really but it seemed like it.

REVIEW

Another bonkers Gothic novel. Wow, there are a lot of these on the 1001 list, aren’t there? And they all seem to be influential and worthy of their place… according to the experts.

I tried really hard to follow this one. I’d like stare at the page, word by word, willing myself to stay in touch with the writing. But, more often than not, I’d get to the end of a page and think, “Wow, what the heck is going on. How did we get here?”

In a way, I suppose, it’s a bit like what happens to Melmoth on his surreal exploits, but it’s incredibly disorientating. It’s like a kind of literary Strawberry Fields in a way.

Marturin bends time, reality, purpose, humanity and, ultimately therefore, sanity to fashion a narrative that stretches across centuries with various incarnations of characters… and all this in less than 200 pages. Phew!

I didn’t like it but I recognise it’s importance and so it gets an “okay” from me.

OPENING LINE

John Melmoth, student at Trinity College, Dublin, having journeyed to County Wicklow for attendance at the deathbed of his miserly uncle, finds the old man, even in his last moments, tortured by avarice, and by suspicion of all around him.

CLOSING LINE

He looked at it, it was black and blue, as from the recent gripe of a strong hand.

RATING

0331 | Melmoth the Wanderer | Maturin | 58% | Okay

Key: Legacy | Plot / toPic | Characterisation / faCts | Readability | Achievement Read more about how I come up with my ratings

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