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?
Sometimes the foreword are spoilers so I don’t read t
That’s what I found out!
Yup, so I stay away from them unless it’s a non-fiction work.
I read them. I think for the most part they work and I’m glad they’re included…
In this case, the forward gave away too much of the story. It was helpful to read afterward.
I want Nader why the author did that
The book was written in the 1940s and the forward was written by a book critic decades later for the edition I bought on Amazon.
Oh. I thought yo meant an author written forward. No, forwards by others I never read for the exact reason you stated
First to hear it was a “lesser work” was bad. Then it gave away too much of the story.
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.
Good point. It turned me off to hear this wasn’t going to be as good of a read as the two books I read on vacation.
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.
I think I’ll save forwards for afterwards from now on.
Forwards and Prologues. Back in my day we called those free cliff notes.
My attention deficit disorder cannot tolerate lengthy forewords, introductions, or prologues. I say, “Get on with it!” 😂
With or without ADD I agree!
I’ll read prologues, as that’s written by the author. But forwards by some ‘critic’ is almost always a pass. They usually spoil the whole thing…
I’m with you. I learned my lesson with this one.