Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Effi Briest

by Theodor Fontane

A nineteenth century novel of marital infidelity, relationship intrigue, social hypocrisy and national community formation, and sweet lord this book was hideously dull. Earnest, determined, by the numbers and highly predictible, it plodded through with indifferent prose and dislikeable characters. Even judged from the context of historical interest and insight into past representation of gender and society, it was very difficult to finish.

Worse than: Nostromo by Joseph Conrad
Better than: Hylozoic by Rudy Rucker. The two books are remotely similar, but they’re both bad, Fontane’s is significantly better, and I don’t feel a huge interest in digging out a closer comparison. Plus, it’s been too long since I reminded the internet denizens how bad Rucker’s novel was.

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