Saturday, September 19, 2015

The 306 Greatest Books #131 - Moll Flanders

The next up on my reading of the 305 greatest books is Moll Flanders  by Daniel Defoe. This book can be found on the Sybervision Book List.

I was hesitant to start reading Moll Flanders because Defoe's other work on the list, Robinson Crusoe, didn't really strike my fancy. I found Robinson Crusoe to be overly dragging and not that upbeat. Well, now we come to Moll Flanders and I have several of the same criticisms. Although the book is only 340ish pages long, it seemed to drag on forever. I could be reading twenty minutes and it felt like an hour. Defoe is often very repetitive, not only with small portions of text, saying almost the same bunch of sentences verbatim a few paragraphs later, but the plot itself was on a never-ending cycle of repeat. The story follows a woman who was raised as a cast off from a prisoner. The first third of the novel deals with her repeated marriages, which needless to say, got old really quickly. The second third of the novel actually got me back into the book. Although, this was also a bunch of the same, over and over again, I actually became interested in the character for once in the story. The character herself claims in the book this was because of people enjoy reading about her wickedness. I'm not sure if that was the case or if the author actually made the character interesting for once. The problems resurface again in the last portion, where the character is "redeemed". Even though she is redeemed, I never, ever, get the impression she is ever sorry for what she did and even remotely changed her ways. She was lying and manipulating people right up through the last page of the text. Overall, I am often harsh on books where it is difficult to get into a book because of the writing style. Defoe's writing style is fine, it's just his plots are overly redundant and slow paced. I can't recommend this story to anyone, sorry.

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