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A Place of Greater Safety - I am defeated

(9 Posts)
highlandcoo Wed 21-Oct-15 21:26:31

Well, I got through - and enjoyed - Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies, but APOGS was a bridge too far. 150 pages in and I was still struggling to truly differentiate between the characters of Camille, Danton and Robespierre.

There were passages of beautiful writing in the book - sometimes HM's use of English is superb - but for me it lacked narrative flow and I found myself rereading pages too often, trying to get absorbed by the plot.

I like French literature and am interested in the historical period and was all set to enjoy this book so feel disappointed sad

Am I losing my ability to concentrate on challenging novels or is A Place of Greater Safety just unnecessarily difficult to read?

florentina1 Wed 21-Oct-15 22:12:28

I am listening on audible. Struggling so have started again. I love the words but it just seems a bit shallow.

MotherOfFlagons Wed 21-Oct-15 22:23:11

I've read it. Tried to re-read it again recently but got tempted away by something else.

It IS a really good book, but like a lot of her work, it's very dense and challenging. In some ways it's good because she clearly writes assuming that people who read will have some knowledge and/or persevere rather than just want light reading, but at the same time I can see that it's a bit of a slog.

Have you tried Beyond Black? It's about a woman who's a famous medium.

sassytheFIRST Wed 21-Oct-15 22:27:05

I gave up on that one too. I just didn't care enough about anybody the characters to keep plugging at it, tbh. Huge scope, beautifully crafted, yada yada - but bloody dull.

Awaits flaming

PleaseGetOffTheTableDarling Wed 21-Oct-15 22:30:34

I'm with you, I struggled to the end but never really 'got into' APOGS. I just didn't really care what happened to any of them. Beyond Black is on my list though so hopefully that will go better!

CamilleDesmoulins Wed 21-Oct-15 22:32:48

Loved it grin

CamilleDesmoulins Wed 21-Oct-15 22:35:13

I did find it hard to get into at first. Ended up with a huge crush on Camille. And Lucille. And possibly even Danton. I think that is what she does so well

IndridCold Thu 22-Oct-15 10:04:10

The first time I tried I got stuck fairly early on and gave up. Picked it up again about a year later and just whizzed through it and really loved it.

highlandcoo Thu 22-Oct-15 20:00:13

Cheers everyone - interesting to hear the different views don't feel quite so thick now

I've defended Wolf Hall to many people and encouraged them to persevere with Hilary Mantel's pretty challenging style of writing. Maybe like Ingrid I'll have another go at APOGS in the future and get on better with it.

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