Heavier.jpg

Which is the "heavier" Reading?

I am presently reading Wideacre the opening tome of a trilogy by the prolific Philippa Gregory. At the same time as this I borrowed impulsively from the library a far slimmer volume The Infinities by John Banville.

So, we have the Banville v. Gregory challenge, per the title, which is the "easier" or "lighter" read?

one way to judge this is that I managed to finish reading "Wideacre" with just a few days of the renewal, a little over three weeks then. On the other hand "The Infinities" was renewed twice and yet I have had to return it with almost a hundred pages unread, so despite it's being half the length of the Gregory novel it was taking me almost twice as long to read!

But how did it "feel" which was the lighter?

Interestingly I think I would have to say the Banville work, it so happens this takes a very playful and light approach, reminding me at times of Stella Gibbons work, which was most unexpected. The subject matter is the paternal head of a family being in a coma and a side plot involving narrative from the Greek Gods perspective, since they participate in the story.

On the other hand the Gregory plot-line involves in no short order mutilated lover, a patricide, incest, and numerous other awful deeds on the part of our "anti-heroine" protagonist. Somehow this is made believable, well, almost. In many ways this is more worthy of commentary by Greek Gods and it would have been wonderful to see the two authors "swap plots" half way through!

The comparative reading and reviewing feels very worthwhile even if only for that entertaining idea, but in fact the outcome has surprised me - Gregory's "Wideacre" is the heavier read, both in the hand and in the mind's eye!