Not much going on in Against the Grain by Joris-Karl Huysmans. This guy doesn’t like anyone. Not anyone at all. So he sells the family chateau, buys a house and shuts himself up in it reading, looking at paintings, and generally being a grouch. The guy also does some really random things searching for new experiences.
The novel is a tool for the author to explain his views on various pieces of art and literature and religion. So obviously there isn’t a lot of action, each chapter provides the opportunity for the author to explain what he thinks of say, Baudelaire, or whatever.
Since I haven’t read any of the underlying literature and I don’t know much about the paintings, I didn’t get a whole lot out of this one. I think I understand why it’s on the list (and it’s interesting to read a novel that is more than a story and is used as a tool for commentary), but it just dragged for me.