18 March 2014

BleakAlong - Post the Finalmente

Every time we finish a readalong, The Doors "This is the End" plays in my head the whole time I'm writing my final post. It's very distracting, especially because for most of my young life I was pretty sure that Val Kilmer was Jim Morrison and that is a very handsome movie poster, I tell you what. Have I mentioned this before? Possibly.

Anyway. Part of the reason I was behind most of the readalong is that I was listening to the audiobook, which is approximately 548 hours long. I enjoy audiobooks immensely because they allow me to pursue two hobbies at once (reading and knitting, or reading and spinning, or reading and eating...), but they do slow down my Goodreads challenge. Last night I went to bed with 3 chapters (two hours!) left, so I gave in and read the last ~50 pages in the paperback that Amanda sent me for our Secret Santa, and I am SO glad I did because the afterword to this edition is delightful. Elizabeth McCracken is a Dickens fangirl whose first sentence to her afterword apologizes to the reader for encountering an afterword at all following roughly 1000 pages of novel.

Not to mention that the splash page on her website is delightful.

Salute the McCracken.
How are we feeling now that mostly everyone we didn't like ::cough Skimpole cough:: and a few people we did - POOR JO - are dead?

They had nothing to do with it.
I had a shouty moment when Esther turned Woodcourt down and I was prepared to be Very Upset Indeed, but Jarndyce made the right decision - some might say unlike Dickens himself later in life - and while I dislike the idea that Esther was his to reward Woodcourt with, I support the final outcome of Esther being happy and loved for who she is.

You know who never calls Esther "Dame Durden"? Woodcourt.
We're gonna circle back to the birdcage theme for a second - remember that one from way back when? - to just mention that Miss Flyte names all her birds and probably has to recite them in order every night like Arya Stark, and with all the Ashes and Penitences and Wards in Jarndyces, she has a bird named Spinach. Bless you, Miss Flyte.

And bless YOU, Charles Dickens, on behalf of all the Volumnias of the world, with our spare little drops and feeble prismatic twinkling. You rapscallion, you brimstone bogtrotter, you brilliant and ginormous tool.

It's not your fault that sometimes in my head I get you mixed up with Charles Darwin.