Premise, or Plot?

From The Emperor’s Children:

“He was about a hundred pages in, and he couldn’t tell what he thought about it. Bits of it made him laugh, but he couldn’t seem to keep track of the broader premise, or plot (was there a premise, or plot?).” (pg. 56)

I found myself flipping back to this quote when I reached one hundred pages as I think it summarizes my thoughts as they are now exactly. I’m a hundred pages in, and I cannot tell what I think about this novel. Bits of it intrigue me (this is not a funny book), but I cannot seem to keep track of the broader premise, or plot (is there a premise, or plot?).

Sometimes character-driven novels pull me through and keep me engaged because the person is just so damn interesting or their life intrigues me. Sometimes I don’t need a premise or a plot. Other times, I need a plot to keep me engaged and I wind up abandoning those that do not have a premise or a plot. And I just cannot tell if this is one of those times so I’m going to keep reading.

Book Mentioned:

  • Messud, Claire. The Emperor’s Children. New York, NY: Vintage Books, 2007. Print. 480 pgs. ISBN: 9780307276667. Source: Purchased.

2 comments

  1. Pingback: Spotlight on the Wordpress.Com Book Bloggers! « Randomize ME

  2. I enjoy that there was a quote in the book that describes your feelings toward that very book! That happened to me in The Black Book by Orhan Pamuk. I have The Emperor’s Children on my shelves, so I will be interested to see which course of action you decide to take!

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