The Adventures of Caleb Williams is a tough read. The author (William Godwin) is a big Enlightenment guy and truly believed that if everyone followed the principles of reason, we would have a perfect society with no crime, no laws, no government, etc. This thinking comes through in the book – which must have been very trendy at the time. Now it just seems kind of goofy. Anyway, there is a lot of reasoning and “expostulation” that goes on (and on, and on).
The plot is pretty interesting but not that plausible. I found it difficult to believe that the characters would behave the way they do. The characters also are not that complex. It’s kind of a good vs. bad story. I was really glad I read the introduction for this one though because it helped put the book in historical context and helped me figure out some stuff I found confusing.
Finally, the edition of the book that I have has 2 endings! Apparently the author wrote one ending, then changed his mind and wrote a second ending. The second ending was published originally. The book puts the first ending in an appendix – so you can see what the other alternative was. I thought that was pretty cool – though I wonder how the author would have felt about that. If I wrote something, changed my mind, and wrote something else, I’m not sure I’d be all that thrilled if the first thing came to light and were published. (Though, now with everything on the computer, I guess the chances of that are slimmer.)
Next up: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. On the Kindle. It was 25 cents to buy! Now I just have to see if the baby will be too interested in the Kindle to allow me to read it when I’m around her. She does OK with books, but LOOOOVES electronics.