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Daisy Miller

Daisy Miller - Henry James Daisy Miller is a nitwit with no brain-to-mouth filter, and Frederick Winterbourne is a waffling creep, and together they form a brick of idiocy that I longed to crash through my computer screen while I read Daisy Miller.

This was my (free via Kindle!) introduction to Henry James. I will try not to let it prejudice me to the point of never touching him again, since I've heard he's a big deal in the world of literature, and I should probably read more of his stuff. I mean, it was well written, but I couldn't stand the characters.

I think a big part of it is that, for some reason, I couldn't separate myself enough to just view the misogynistic stuff that was "normal" back then without having it grate. And I had the same problem I did with a few of Scott Fitzgerald's stories, where I was just SO IRRITATED with these wealthy jackasses who had nothing better to do than create crappy interpersonal drama -- WHILE LOUNGING ABOUT IN AWESOME PLACES -- that I couldn't get past my irritation and enjoy the reading.

Then there's that awesome double standard Winterbourne clings to for the last third of the novella, which made me read faster just so I could finish. It's too short of a story to just leave unfinished, or else I would have added it to the Not Gonna Happen pile. What a jerk!

Anyway, apparently there are two versions of Daisy Miller: the first one and then one that James revised for publication in a collection of his works. I think the one I read was the former, but I don't really care enough to find out.

I'm glad I read it -- for the sake of the notch on my headboard -- and at least the writing was okay, but I am more than happy to leave these characters behind and never look back.


(two-and-a-half stars)

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