2) Barchester Towers, by Anthony Trollope
Having read and enjoyed The Warden last summer, I asked for and got this as a birthday present. Hmm, not really sure what I think. I found the politics rather more objectionable than in the previous book – most of the central characters just want to do nothing in particular and get rewarded for it by the state, and there seemed a lot of casual anti-semitism which put me off. But this is slightly off-set by the glamorous Signora Neroni, a woman with a Past who nonetheless seems to me to be portrayed positively and sympathetically. And the unexpected beneficiary of her schemes turns out to be the quiet character who has just turned 40, obviously a theme that appeals to me right now (and indeed Trollope himself turned 40 while writing this book). But Obadiah Slope is such a cardboard cut-out of a villain that I suspect Alan Rickman’s brilliant portrayal of him in 1982 was better-rounded. And I didn’t like the author’s occasional interventions to remind you that he is writing a novel and has to fill up the pages somehow. I’ll look out for the other volumes in the series as I see them, but won’t bother putting them on my wishlist in future.
Top UnSuggestions for this book:
- Stranger than fiction: true stories by Chuck Palahniuk
- Dead as a doornail by Charlaine Harris
- Girls in pants: the third summer of the Sisterhood by Ann Brashares