This is yet another book read by the protagonist of Of Human Bondage
, Philip. Fortunately, it's much better than that previous piece of crap I read as a result of reading about Philip's life. But, it's not great. If I could give +s and -s, I'd give it a 3*-. With luck, I'll manage to avoid Peregrine Pickle
, another book Philip read, but then since that book also figured prominently in David Copperfield
's early life as well, perhaps not. We'll see.
This book is essentially a set of short stories, or vignettes about the lives of four (mostly), young artists living in Paris in the 1840s. As nearly as I can tell, none of them has much talent, and none of them have any sense of responsibility. So, it's sort of a parody of art-wanna-be poseurs. I don't find that particularly fun or interesting. Perhaps I'm just too much of a jaded, non-romantic old fart, but I find that reading about obsessively irresponsible and self-indulgent youth wears thin after a while. I think it was telling that half way through this book, I found myself reading WonkBlog
rather than continuing to plow through this book. I did manage, eventually, to finish it.
Interestingly, there was a weird chapter thrown in about three-quarters of the way through the book that introduced two completely new characters, who then didn't show up again. However, my vague recollection is that the part of this particular book that served as the basis of the opera, La Boheme
was mostly taken from this chapter, although the character names in the opera were those of two of the more prominent characters in the rest of this book. Kinda weird I thought.