About forwards and prologues

I was excited to read my third Shirley Jackson book “The Road Through the Wall.” I read two Jackson books on my beach vacation and loved them.

I took the time to read the forward — something that I don’t always do.

Compared to the “Haunting of Hill House” or “We Have Always Lived in the Castle,” Jackson’s masterful late novels, “The Road Through the Wall” is a slighter work.

Ruth Franklin, book critic and contributinG editor at The New Republic

The two books I read on vacation were the ones mentioned. This latest book was Jackson’s first novel, so yes, it is a lesser work. But reading those words dampened my enthusiasm to read the book. I wondered if I should even bother.

I now wish I’d read the forward AFTERWORD. I’m almost finished with the book and I’m enjoying it, but I felt this feeling of doubt when I started. Ruth Franklin’s forward is detailed and explains a lot about the story. I will finally read the Forward again — after I finish reading the book.

What are your thoughts about Forwards and Prologues. Do you read them? Do you think they add or detract to the story?

20 thoughts on “About forwards and prologues

  1. I don’t read them. I have in the past and I always seemed to find that I never agreed with them. I think that I am a capable enough reader and critical thinker to form my own opinion.

  2. I just had that problem with Jack Kerouac’s On The Road. The forward was so long and boring that I didn’t want to read the book. I finally decided not to finish the forward and just read the book. Glad I did.

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