Thursday, January 31, 2008

I have conquered!

It's official: I FINISHED The Mysteries of Udolpho. Yay yay yay yay yay. I am so very happy!

Here's the plot summary from Wikipedia: The Mysteries of Udolpho by Ann Radcliffe follows the fortunes of Emily St. Aubert who suffers, among other misadventures, the death of her father, supernatural terrors in a gloomy castle, and the machinations of an Italian brigand. It is often cited as the archetypal Gothic novel.

Here's the main things that happen:
-People die
-Emily cries
-Emily looks at the scenery
-Emily almost faints
-Emily cries some more
-Emily writes poetry
-Emily gets scared

Okay, so I'm making fun of this book, but it really wasn't that bad, once I got beyond the first 200 pages (the book had 632 pages in teeny tiny print). It was dramatic and I may have muttered "you have GOT to be kidding me" and "oh my word" and "pirates? oh yes, of course, pirates" a few times to myself.

I felt as if I had to finish it because This Rough Magic mentioned it, the fun "Northanger Abbey" Masterpiece Theater made fun of it, and two other random books that I picked up and skimmed a few pages all happened to mention this book. I felt as if it was DESTINY for me to finish it.

I was only confused about one thing: I had heard before I read the book that Count Ugo was such a bad guy, etc., etc. But he was barely in the book. I didn't understand it all, but oh well, her step-uncle makes up for it!

Anyway, earlier I declared it to be the most dramatic book ever, and just as proof, here's a few of the key plot elements that happened in the last 200 pages or so:
-Murder
-Pirates
-Nunnery
-Kidnapping
-Shipwreck
-Girl is FINALLY reunited with her lover, but oh wait, he's now a depraved rake with a gambling problem and a mistress
-Oh wait, he's not---now they can get married!
-Poison

The book is a 18th century soap opera and the main character cries/faints waaaaaay too much but I'm glad I forced myself to read it.

Rating: 6/10


Psssst....you want to read it, too? Download it for free here--but you're crazy if you want to read this entire book on the computer.

3 comments:

Jennie said...

You're a better woman than I. ;) I always give up on books that drag for more than 50 pages. It's a problem with classics, because the writing style does usually take some work to get into.

It's mentioned in This Rough Magic?? I thought I knew everything about that book. :)

*kim said...

I may have read your synopsis outloud to my roommate, as I was dying laughing with all your sarcasm. Pirates, fainting, and death. Awesomeness. I love your new webpage!

rachel said...

Jennie--Yeah, I was very surprised when I saw this book mentioned in This Rough Magic. :)

Kim--I'm glad you're enjoying it! I noticed you haven't updated your blog in awhile...but your pic is really cute!