Saturday, November 23, 2019

207. Quo Vadis

Quo Vadis
Henryk Sienkiewicz
1896
Around 600 pages









I recently had to get bone surgery again (what can I say? I crave the attention). This didn't give me quite as much reading time as I hoped, namely because reading contributes to my post-surgical nausea. So yes, Quo Vadis literally made me want to puke. I was able to finish the novel this morning though, and even without my vomitives (or as my doctor calls them, "painkillers") I hated this book.

Vinicius, a brutal Roman soldier, falls in love with Lygia, a beautiful slave who is secretly a Christian. Vinicius becomes obsessed with possessing her and...some historical stuff happens. God, this was a yawn. Um, Christianity is good, heathens are bad.

I actually expected to like this, despite knowing from the onset that it would be heavy-handed in its pro Christian message. I really liked Ben-Hur and expected this to be similar but...Lew Wallace is a much better storyteller than Sienkiewicz. Perhaps this was a fault of the translation, but I found the prose to be almost unbearably dull. Did people ever actually beat their breast in anguish, or is that something that writers invented? Given the setting of the story, women in this novel are reduced to useless objects worshipped for their purity and beauty, and men are just the crazed rapists chasing them around the vomitorium.

Definitely skippable, and I could do without Polish authors for awhile. It's okay for me to say that because I'm Polish, right?

RATING: **---

Interesting Facts:

Raphael Lemkin, who coined the term "genocide," wrote that he first conceived of the idea when reading Quo Vadis as a young boy.

UP NEXT: Dracula by Bram Stoker. Too bad I couldn't get my act together to post this one for October. An old favorite, so should be posted shortly!

1 comment:

  1. I don't think I could take this book on at all, so Kudos to you for hanging in there and reading it. Love the Interesting facts, as usual.

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