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Interesting, but not simple.
on 13 October 2015
De Quincey was clearly a very intelligent man. Unfortunately, his wit was matched by his over-verbosity. One expects a challenge when reading Georgian and Victorian literature - the language is more sophisticated, and the people of that era had far more time for reading than we do, since it was a main source of entertainment. Now we have far more media with which to divert and educate ourselves.
But even so - Quincey just uses too many words. Far too many. Intricate and excruciating detail with sentences that never end. I wanted to love this book - and I did at times - but at others, it was a bit of a slog. I still haven't completed it - I will eventually, because it is a set text for 2nd year Literature studies at the Open University.
Interesting if drugs and travel float your boat, but a bit hard work. Apparently the original version was much shorter and snappier - I would like to read that version! Unfortunately he later re-wrote (and over-thought, in my opinion) his magnum opus into the tangled web of sub-clauses and obscure references that it is now.