Slow reading & reading aloud

Our Mutual Friend

In the crazy rush to do everything I said to myself: Let’s slow down and enjoy this experience of reading. Really enjoy it like I used to when I was a child. For the third year in a row I’ve done a Dickens December and read one of his novels. This Christmas (2018) on a Twitter-friend’s recommendation I went for Our Mutual Friend. I had a vague recollection from 1970s TV of a very ‘rivery’ novel but that was about it. At first I thought I was drowning – it was totally confusing with each chapter introducing new characters, and I was also struggling with an old hardback copy with minute print. Enter the Kindle – Dickens is free to read as are many other classics and with that we were off. Suddenly I loved it. But what really made it amazing was reading aloud – I’m no actor but only had myself to please, and not the whole book, only when it felt right…so what if my Cockney accent is diabolical I had fun.

I’ve never seen Les Mis the musical and hardly knew the story, but after watching the BBC’s adaptation of Les Miserables I decided to read it.  In French. I have a very rusty degree in French (and Psychology) and thought at first I was attempting the impossible. But on a Kindle with a French dictionary downloaded it’s as easy as falling off a log, albeit a very, very long one (1,232 pages). And when the fancy takes me I’m reading it aloud in my very average French accent.

Will I finish in time for next December’s Dickens? And will I succumb to pressure and go to watch the musical … or is that a step too far?

les miserables

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