Having finished my previous book at the beginning of a long train journey, and being mindful of not spending any more money (and thanking the inventor of the e-reader for letting me carry a virtual library with me everywhere I go), I went for the free and fairly short Castle Rackrent thinking that a quick classic might help the journey to speed by. But, while short, this bored the ass off me, helping make the journey feel like it was three times longer than it was and driving me to play on my phone as often as possible instead.
Told by ‘Honest’ Thady, the house servant, Castle Rackrent tells the story of four generations of its owners, charting the rise and fall of their fortunes as the house falls into the hands of the family before passing back out and into those of Thady’s son. Fawning over each of its lords in the telling of their tales while making clear the various character defects that have caused their downfall – pennypinching, litigious, degenerate, cruel, or just plain dense, each of the lords are utter knobs – Thady’s tale is apparently a satire that shouldn’t be missed, according to those lists of books you should apparently read before you die. I beg to differ.
It probably didn’t help that I’ve had a staggeringly good run of books this year, having enjoyed everything I’ve read so far, as well as having also only just put down a much more entertaining book, but the only list that Castle Rackrent is gracing in my head is that of the most dull and underwhelming books I’ve ever read.