A coworker and a former coworker, both of whom are my friends on Facebook, have a monthly book club that meets at a pizza parlor. I happened to mention I was really impressed by their choice for last month (they read The Bell Jar! for fun!) and got invited to the next meeting. This month's book is The Wings of the Dove, by Henry James, which had the advantage of being available for free through Project Gutenberg. So I put it on my Nook and gave it a shot.
Now, I like old novels. Jane Eyre is one of my all time favorites, and The Age of Innocence was a beautiful book. I like Jane Austen and Walter Scott, and lesser known writers like Anna Katharine Green. I even managed a good bit of James Fenimore Cooper and Nathaniel Hawthorne for fun. And I could not get through The Wings of the Dove. Henry James apparently couldn't use one word when fifteen would do.
I plugged through Volume One (174 pages in ePUB format), but quickly bogged down in Volume Two (236 pages, a very discouraging number). The book club meets tonight, and I am so not going to finish that book in time. Or, possibly, at all. I'm still going all the same, to eat pizza and say rude things about Mr. James' prose style.