With the Readathon tomorrow, I thought I should stop neglecting you, Dear Reader, and let you know where I am in all these projects. I’m sure you’ve been lying awake nights wondering if I got anywhere in Seven Gables or did my foolish joining in with the Morte d’Arthur readalong ruin any chances of that? I will try to catch up and fully inform you of all my readerly doings starting with The House of the Seven Gables. This was supposed to be read in September with Castle Macabre and co. Seemed like a great idea. Not too long a book. Fits in with R.I.P. Plus it’s old enough it’s a free download.
Well, I downloaded it and I started it, but progress was slow. There is progress and I am now over half-way, but I find parts of it rather long-winded. Descriptions of Clifford sitting by the window go on for pages. I am not nearly so entranced by Clifford as Hepzibah and Hawthorne. The book has plenty of charming moments and a few creepy ones. Old Pyncheon’s death is quite good. And having just finished chapter 13 – the story of Alice Pyncheon, that was gripping enough to make me read on when I’d finished my MPR (minimum page requirement.) I’m hoping to finish it by the end of the month and I think that will happen even if the revealing of information continues at the previous glacial pace, though I think the pace has to pick up a bit. All the characters have, I think, been introduced. Now we need some villainous action and some seekrits revealed.
One thing I noticed was the description of the house was not at all like the pictures of the one you can take tours of. Aside from the similarity of having seven gables, the real life house has no glittering plasterwork and other ornamentation mentioned in the text. The book house is several degrees fancier than the inspiration. I also am rather puzzled why the original Pyncheon wanted this particular bit of land so badly. It doesn’t seem to be especially good. But then people will fight over something just for the sake of the fight rather than the prize.
Hopily I’ll finish soon and be able to give a view on what I think of the book over all. I think I enjoyed Marble Faun more, but then it’s been years and maybe I’m just forgetting that had dull bits, too.