friday-the-infautations-mainSomething has happened that hasn’t happened to me in a long time. I didn’t finish a book. I’m normally persistent to a fault. I just lost momentum with The Infatuations. And then there was nothing compelling me to pick it up again. Perhaps I’ll try again later, when I’m in a more existential mood.

Here’s what happened:

When I read a novel I like things to happen. When I first heard about The Infatuations I wasn’t sure it would be right for me. Yes, it’s about a murder and the mystery surrounding that murder, which seemed promising. But it’s philosophical, a cerebral meditation on death and love. All which means, to my mind, The Infatuations would be absolutely brilliant or very dull.

At almost a hundred pages in not much has happened – Miguel has been murdered, Maria has met his widow, Luisa, and that’s about it. However, that summary doesn’t really do justice to Marías’ wonderful command of language, tone and mood. I feel the electric crackle of potential in the air but I’m getting a little bored.

His characters have unusual, extremely erudite conversations. They give too much of themselves without actually knowing someone.

(Goes off, reads some more.)

A character has just quoted from and recounted the plot of a Balzac novel (a novelist who also has the ability to be wonderfully boring). I’m officially done.