March 7, 2004

Doctor Thorne

Category: Literature :: Permalink

My first encounter with Anthony Trollope took place when I was 10 years old. I read The Warden and Barchester Towers and then plunged into most of the rest of Trollope’s Barchester books. I didn’t finish the series, however. In fact, at the end of that year, I reread Barchester Towers. Eleven years later, I reread both The Warden and Barchester Towers. And last year, I reread them again.

This time, however, I’m once more moving on to the rest of the Barchester books. The other night, I finished Doctor Thorne, the third in the loosely-connected series. While the book was enjoyable, marked by Trollope’s usual good humour, I didn’t enjoy it quite as much as I did the previous two books in the series. Part of the reason for that may be that those books dealt with the ecclesiastical situation of the town of Barchester and this one didn’t. But it also strikes me that some elements of this book are a bit too contrived. I’m not going to give anything of the plot away, but it did strike me that the book might have been more interesting if Trollope hadn’t introduced a deus ex machina which allowed a resolution within the expectations of the people of the day. It seemed to me that he took the easy way out.

Nevertheless, I did enjoy the book and someday I’ll move on to Framley Parsonage and the rest of the series. Right now, however, I’m about halfway through Colin Dexter’s Death Is Now My Neighbour and I’m having a hard time putting it down. (I love Chief Inspector Morse and Sergeant Lewis!)

Posted by John Barach @ 10:36 pm | Discuss (0)

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