At what point in a book do you decide to close it and put it down for good?
I am having issues with this question right now. I don’t know at what point I should stop trudging through a book.
Here’s the scenario. I’m reading By Gaslight, which I was so excited to read when it first came out. I will admit, mostly because of the cover. But the premise sounded fantastic as well. It’s set in Victorian London and I’m a sucker for some good historical fiction.
There are a couple of things that bother me.
- The pacing is slow AF. By Gaslight taps out at 600 pages and it could easily be half that while still retaining 90% of the story, in my opinion. I think it’s so long because there’s two narrators (so far) and there’s a lot of flashbacks.
- THERE ARE NO QUOTATION MARKS. Why is this a style?? I find it hard to figure out who is talking sometimes. I especially find it hard to figure out which portions are talking portions and which are internal monologue portions since both can be in one sentence. It may not seem like a huge problem, but it irks me. And it means I have to reread some passages.
- There are a ton of run on sentences. While this is probably lends itself to the style of Victorian London, the content editor in me is silently screaming.
- I’m no longer super invested in what is happening.
Despite all of the above, a part of me is still curious as to where it goes. I may not be invested in the characters, but I still find myself wondering what happens next. I’m standing alongside Pinkerton or Foole and experiencing things as they are; finding out pieces of the puzzle as they do. It’s a slow burn, but I don’t know if it’ll be a good pay off at the end.
Is this just me being very impatient? Should I wait it out? I have no idea.
Let me know how you decide to DNF things!