I had to write my review for this as soon as I was finished with it, because I know that I won’t be able to capture what I think about it if I leave it until I’m caught up on my reviews. I feel really weird about it: I know it’s a classic and I know how other people love it, and I even love some of the turns of phrase and the images and the ideas —
But the prose drives me batty. Taken as a whole, it just… it looks gorgeous, feels gorgeous on the tongue, but then falls all to bits and doesn’t seem to mean anything. Or it doesn’t suit the character, or it just obscures what the action of the scene is meant to be. The prose is beguiling and bewitching, but in the end didn’t seem to lead me anywhere. I read a part of it aloud to my partner — not even a bit I found the weirdest, just a passage that stood out to me — and reading it aloud sort of helped make it less opaque, but… But.
I really don’t know where I am with this book. It does have all the great things people have said about it, and it has all the over-exuberant piles of adjectives too. At times it feels more like poetry than prose — and like some poetry, best just absorbed and thought about later, analysed later or not at all, just savoured for the heaps of images and snippets of sense that do come through.