Group Read, October 2023: Melmoth the Wanderer

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Group Read, October 2023: Melmoth the Wanderer

okt 1, 2023, 1:28 pm

Our October group read is Melmoth the Wanderer by Charles Maturin. Please join in the read and add any comments to this thread.

okt 4, 2023, 9:02 am

I started this early on audio and am now nearly half way through. If you really, REALLY hate Spanish Catholics, especially Jesuits, this is the book for you. The author, a Protestant clergyman, has a very vivid imagination of all the truly awful things Spanish Catholics are capable of. A bit like Lewis's The Monk but an even less credible plot and even more stories-within-stories.

okt 15, 2023, 7:37 pm

Melmoth continues to wander. The stories-within-stories-within-stories become tedious, and the Spanish Inquisition keeps reemerging in all its horror. Even the non-Inquisitorial priests are motivated by greed and power and nothing else.
There is a certain general narrative in here that's kind of good but it gets lost within the digressions.

okt 15, 2023, 7:56 pm

I'm following because I loved Melmoth but it does get a bit lost towards the end of the middle part as we keep following another character after another. Basically it's a book constructed like a Russian doll and once you're at the center you start getting paranoid about another smaller doll coming out. But once you reach there and started going back towards the outer layer again it all falls together again and is a wonderful end.

okt 22, 2023, 8:55 pm

My review from 4 years ago which seems to align with some of the comments above: Classic gothic fiction which lays it on in spades to the extent that large chunks of the book are rather tedious. Like much classic gothic fiction the internal logic is regularly tested and credibility is not to be looked for. It uses the device of stories within stories which tend to wander off track, but it does wrap up quite neatly in the last few pages. 2.5/5

okt 30, 2023, 2:03 pm

I was hoping to get to this one but wasn't able to find an audio edition I could finish. Tried two different narrators, but didn't care for either of them. I was enjoying the little bit of the story I did get through. I will have to find another way of getting this one finished at some point in the future.