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Friday, February 13, 2009

Another classic bites the dust


Sigh. I started Pillars of the Earth, by Ken Follett, and it seemed to be going well. I wasn't overly enthused, but didn't actively hate it so I kept going.

Until. The wife of the character of Tom Builder dies in childbirth - in the middle of winter in a forest. Tom and his family are travelling around, scratching out a living while Tom looks for work.

So. His wife, who we have already heard Tom loves very much, dies. Tom digs a grave and buries her, and then exposes the baby to the winter elements. Cruel yes, but I can understand his 12th-century reasoning _ he still has two children to feed and no convenient wetnurse for the baby in the middle of winter. What stopped me was this:
Tom suffers an attack of the guilts, and he and his children return for the baby, who is gone. They lie down for a bit of a sleep and Tom wakes up to find a woman he had met before lying down with him. They do the horizontal tango, and she tells him she's been waiting for a man like him. Then Tom asks her to marry him, after they find out the baby had been discovered by a monk.

That bugged me. Really?? So grief-stricken the DAY after your wife has died and you expose your newborn to a harsh winter, you shag some woman in the forest who you then ask to marry you.

I'm sorry, but I can't buy into that. Not even in the 12th century.

So. A new classic for February. I had a probables v possibles list here:


I'm thinking either Dracula, or Howard's End, to replace it. Otherwise, my list will just completely derail.

Sigh.


5 comments:

Nymeth said...

Ah well...better luck with your next one!

Maree said...

Yep. Onwards, right ... ;)

Colleen said...

good lord that does sound excessive. I picked up The Bourne Identity because I love the move and know the book is a classic in that genre. I actually threw the book across the room less than 100 pages in because women just don't talk and act like that! I popped that damn book right into the to be donated pile- sounds like Pillars of the Earth should head that way too!

Joanne said...

Acckk ... that sounds really umm strange. I agree that it doesn't reflect well on his character to so suddenly fall in with another woman. But is it normal for a man to fall asleep in the forest, wake up next to a woman, do the deed and think nothing weird is going on?

I'd go with Dracula next, good old-fashioned horror :)

Maree said...

Joanne: I thought he was dreaming at first, which would have made more sense. But ... no