I hate reading slumps. It started because I suggested The Blazing World by Siri Hustvedt to my book group. It seemed like a good suggestion because we’d all been mad about What I Loved

I started reading. Just couldn’t get into it.

Hustvedt, I know you love your philosophers and poets but a novel crammed with them makes for tough reading when you’re racing to meet a book group deadline.

I counted on my book group to be true to form and have not read/finished the book.

Phew! They were true to form. No one had finished it.

BUT they seemed to be enjoying it and while I was busy discussing Sonya Hartnett’s latest with someone and eating a large slice of extremely delicious ginger fluff the group decided to keep reading it over the next month.

Keep reading?! What? This is unprecedented.


I always have a few books on the go at any one time. So it stands to reason that I would have some suitable distractions while ploughing through the Hustvedt.

No. Re-reading Revolutionary Road which is, of course, brilliant but depressing in the way that only Yates can be.

And the other alternative, study for university – the genetics of Drosophila, birth disorders and so on.


Think I’m about to put the DNF pants on and ditch Hustvedt. Will have to dig the DNF pants out first because it’s a rare thing for me.

I’ll finish the Yates.

Then I’ll pick something light. And happy. That makes me feel like a spring lamb.

12 responses

  1. You have my sympathies! My slumps are now forever characterised as ‘Ghandhi’s!’ – for our book group, we had chosen to read a collection of his thoughts and writing called ‘Ghandhi – All Men Are Brothers’ – it was so unbelievably awful that it not only induced said slump in all of us, but almost induced mass-catatonia!!! Ever since my slumps have been ‘Ghandhi’s’ and within our book group we talk about being ‘in a bit of a Ghandhi’!!!!- it’s probably sacrilege to say that- but in our defence it was a stunningly dreadful book!

  2. Siri Hustvedt’s “Summer without Men” was great – really fun and insightful, not a feminist diatribe as the title may suggest.
    “This Blazing World” though was one of the toughest most self indulgent books I’ve ever tried to read. Not sure how many footnotes worth of pages I struggled through before I just gave up. Boring, over-written, trying to prove how clever the writer is.
    I guess authors have good and bad days, like all of us.

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