Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Teaser Tuesday: The Portrait of a Lady

"I've always been intensely determined to be happy, and I've often believed I should be. . . . But it comes over me every now and then that I can never be happy in any extraordinary way; not by turning away, by separating myself."

-- The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James

I have a limited tolerance for Henry James, as I've discussed here and here.

Listening to the audio version has helped immeasurably. I can actually comprehend the narrative the first time through. But nothing will ever make James truly pleasurable for me because the main characters are always fussing about nothing.  This is how she explains why she is turning down the man's marriage proposal.  What is she dithering about?

This book is on the Radcliffe Top 100 Novels of the 20th Century list.  After I finish this, I'll only have six to go before I finish all the books on this list. That might be a great goal for 2011.

Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by Should Be Reading, where you can find the official rules for this weekly event.


  1. Here is my teaser from Lipstick in Afghanistan by Roberta Gately (Page 1):

    "Do you hear it?" The voice was almost a whisper.

    Elsa held her breath, and then she heard it too, a faint rustling of footsteps over twigs and leaves. Out of the corner of her eye, she glimpsed several shadowy figures darting through the trees, and when she turned, she saw a glint of sunlight reflecting off the barrel of an assault rifle.

    There was no denying it—the Taliban had found them.

    Oh, Jesus! she thought. We'll never escape.

    Elsa knew the Taliban's ruthless hatred; the death and destruction they wrought was undeniable.

    Seized by a sickening wave of fear, she wanted to cry or throw up, but there was no time. She tried to catch Parween's eye, but her friend was looking back, intent on finding the source of the sound.

    "Run!" someone shouted, and suddenly, the chase was on.

  2. I also have a limited tolerance for Henry James...serious props to you for continuing to take him on. Interesting teaser though...wonder if s/he will be happy?

    Here's my TT: http://myreadersblock.blogspot.com/2010/12/teaser-tuesdays_21.html

  3. I've always felt that way about James as well! I've found that listening to classics help me get through them, though, so I hope it works for you.

  4. Thats a great idea never thought about listening to classics instead of trying to read them.

    My Teaser Tuesday

  5. This is not my kind of read, but I did enjoy the teaser.

    My TT


  6. Audio book is a great way to go with this. Genius!

  7. I MUST read this one some day. Will check back for your review --enjoy.


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