Monday, September 25, 2006

A Long Fatal Love Chase by Louisa May Alcott

DNF Book: A Long Fatal Love Chase by Louisa May Alcott

There've been plenty of books that I probably should have abandoned, this year, but didn't because I kept hoping they would improve. But, finally, I've found one that I disliked enough that I simply could not continue.

A Long Fatal Love Chase tells the story of Rosamund Vivian, a young woman who lives with her callous grandfather and acts as his caretaker. Her life is dull, lonely, and frustrating. Then, one stormy night a stranger appears in her remote island home. His name is Philip Tempest.

The storm provided a nice, haunting atmosphere as per the RIP Challenge requirements. But, I immediately found myself annoyed by Rosamund's whining, Tempest's bizarre behavior (he struck me as sociopathic, at the outset) and even Tempest's ridiculous name. A guy named Tempest shows up during a storm? A little forced, I thought. In fact, I really was not fond of the dialogue at all. Rosamund, apart from being a whiner, was impetuous and stupid. When Tempest took her for a ride on his ship, hints of his dangerous past were dropped like water balloons on a concrete pavement. Subtle? I'm afraid not. And, yet, I kept attempting to read the book. I read a chapter, set it down, read a chapter the next night, set it down, read a chapter, and then became so frustrated at the obvious plot that I flipped ahead to the end.

I believe I've mentioned that I only check the ending if I'm pretty certain that I'm going to hate it. So, there you have it. I was convinced this book was not for me, flipped ahead, read the end and discovered . . . what ho! . . . I was right. So, I've ditched it. However, I must add that I've read some glowing reviews of this book, so don't let me put you off. A Long Fatal Love Chase simply was not my cup of tea.

3 Books That Walked Into My House, Recently:

Things I'm Currently Reading:

Lying With Strangers by James Grippando
- Couldn't find an image, but it's another one of those books that just waltzed right in, thanks to friend Barbara.
An Obsession With Butterflies by Sharman Apt Russell - Almost finished with this one!
The Messies Manual by Sandra Felton - Haven't opened this one, lately, although I desperately need to.
Wegener's Jigsaw by Clare Dudman - Still enjoying it, but reading slowly.

Have any books walked into your house, lately? Tell me about them!!

Curious Bookfool


  1. Anasi Boys by Neil Gaiman walked into my house today. (It came out in mass-market)

    I can't wait to see what you think of The Thirteenth Tale!

  2. OK, for starters, I really wanted to tell you I didn't like this book, but decided to wait and see what you thought. I just found my journal entry from 6/96. I noted that after a decent beginning it began to sound like a Sidney Sheldon novel (Rage of Angels, I think). I wasn't rating my reads back then, but suffice it to say, the book is no longer in our house, so I must've sold it to a UBS. I only hang on to the winners.

    As far as books walking into our house... I have a gorgeous copy of The Thirteenth Tale and The Book Thief that are driving me crazy! I want to read both, but I'm determined to stick to my plan and read the classics that are on my nightstand. Now if I could only pull myself away from the computer (blogs!) and go read, I might be able to get to these two new books before they come out in paperback. ;) And, we won't even talk about the stack of library books I brought home. What was I thinking??

  3. Kailana,

    Isn't it fun when books ram down the door and jump onto your piles? LOL

    I'm hoping to get to The Thirteenth Tale, soon - we'll see. You may have noticed I've mentioned that I'm fickle. If a book doesn't grab me immediately, I often set it down and try again in a week or two. I'm hoping it will take. :)


    I'm glad to hear you felt the same about Long Fatal Love Chase. I so wanted to like it but just couldn't make myself and instead often drifted off, wondering if perhaps there was good reason the book wasn't published in Alcott's time.

    I've offered mine to Andi, so I'm going to jog over to Tripping and see if she still wants it.

    As to The Thirteenth Tale and The Book Thief . . . umm, you could come back to the classics, right? No, no, I'm not trying to corrupt you. Not me, never. I keep thinking I want to do a pile of classics, though, and then I realize that maybe I'd be better off sliding them in, one per month. That's just me, though. The Book Thief is worth stopping for, but no, no, I'm really not going to mess you up. Nuh-uh. ;)

  4. Hmm, yeah I probably wouldn't enjoy it either. Thanks for the great review, Nancy.

    I had quite a few books walk into my house lately:

    Foucault's Pendulum (Umberto Eco)
    Golems of Gotham (Thane Rosenbaum) needed my own copy
    Second Hand Smoke (Rosenbaum)

    And a ton of graphic novels. I'll list those at my blog. :)

  5. And you need to bump What I Loved wayyyy up on the TBR. It's actually quite creepy!

  6. Hey Andi!

    Thanks for responding like lightning! I'll just pass the book on elsewhere, yes?

    Your titles all sound wonderful; I'll have to look those up and find out whether or not they're in the mood to check out my house. Hmmm, maybe I shouldn't have asked what's been walking into other homes. Dangerous. LOL

    What I Loved is creepy? Oooh, perfect! I'll try to get to that one, soon. You know I acquired it thanks to your recommendation, right?

  7. What I Loved is a great book, meaty though so don't read it if you're in the mood for light and fluffy.
    I'm very tempted by The Thirteenth Tale but haven't succumbed yet. I've been pretty good at resisting books lately, partly because I'm going to Canada next month and will no doubt buy quite a few while I'm there. If only they weren't so darned heavy to bring back in my suitcase!

  8. Nat,

    Where in Canada are you going? I don't remember where "home" is, for you. :)

    I know what you mean; I always, always end up buying books when I travel and there was one time I had to carry my bag up a flight of stairs in London. I couldn't lift it. So, I was standing there struggling to lever my bag (this was when I was 17) upward and along came a tall Texan who took the suitcase right out of my hand, carried it up the stairs and deposited it at the top. My profuse thanks got a curt nod. That was a great moment.

    I've tried hard not to ever weigh my suitcase down so much, since then, but it isn't easy!

    As to the The Thirteenth Tale, I was all set to patiently await a copy from PBS and then a friend emailed me to say she'd seen it on my wishlist and was sending me her ARC. How cool is that?

  9. Well.... maybe my Classic Challenge could officially end on September 30th and I can save the big ones I didn't get to for my Big Book Reading Challenge after the New Year. How's that for working through the problem? ;)

    So was he a long, tall, Texan, who rides a big white horse? Sorry, I couldn't resist. ;)

  10. Sounds like a plan, Les.

    No, I think he was a long, tall Texan who rode an orange plane. LOL It was 1980 and Braniff was still in business, so our plane was orange.

  11. Last year I read some lost short stories of Louisa May Alcott and thoroughly enjoyed them. When I saw that you were reading this book I was hoping it would be good, too. But, alas... Guess it's a good thing that I don't need to add it to the mountain of TBR.

    Books that recently followed me home are Robinson Crusoe, The Second Chair, The Historian and Theft: A Love Story. Start reading Theft and quickly decided it wasn't for me. Yay! scratch another from 'the list'. Almost finished with Second Chair and I've started reading Historian (I'm going to like it, especially after reading Dracula)

  12. From what others have said about What I Loved, I think I'll put something out on the porch to lure it to my house. What do you think would work to get a creepy novel to knock on my door?

  13. "Home" is Victoria. I'm not looking forward to the flight and the hassle of getting there, but I am looking forward to the bookstores! :P

  14. Booklogged,

    Of the titles that have walked into your house, I've only read Robinson Crusoe and *heard of* The Historian (it hasn't called out to me). The others are unfamiliar. I'll have to look them up. Funny how it can be a relief to realize a book is not for you, isn't it?

    To get a creepy novel to knock on your door, set candles in the window, eat something really garlicky and paint your toenails blood red. Then, send out an invitation. Or, you could just do what I did: I put What I Loved on my wishlist at Paperback Swap and waited two months. Hey, whatever works. :)


    I've never been to Victoria but it's been on my wish list of places to go for at least a decade. If I'm ever headed that way, I'll have to find out your favorite bookstores. Sorry you have to deal with flying so far in order to get home. I've begun to hate flying, in recent years; I used to love it, but it really has become a horrible hassle. Hope your flights are smooth and easy and nobody bats an eyelash at you in customs.

  15. Thanks Nancy. They've slightly eased the liquid ban so that's nice. I wasn't sure how I'd survive without my eye drops and contact lens solution. I'd probably love flying if I could afford business class! :P

  16. Nat,

    I don't think I'll ever love flying, but upgrading probably would help make it more comfy. Hope the changes in restrictions make your flight(s) pleasant - or at least not so annoying.

  17. Anonymous12:01 PM

    Oh wow, I did a paper on A Long Fatal Love Chase in college for my Gothic literature class. I have no idea what possessed me to choose that one. I agree with your opinion of the book, and as I remember (this was 10 years ago) my harsh criticism helped me get a good grade on my paper. :)


Thank you for visiting my blog! I use comment moderation because apparently my blog is a spam magnet. Don't worry. If you're not a robot, your comment will eventually show up and I will respond, with a few exceptions. If a comment smacks of advertising, contains a dubious link or is offensive, it will be deleted. I love to hear from real people! I'm a really chatty gal and I love your comments!