There have been times in my life where I reread a book (or author) I hated - or thought I hated - but the second time around ended up loving. Has this ever happened to you? Have you ever changed your mind about a book or author the second time around? Have you ever given a book or author a second chance?The only example that spring to mind is Charles Dickens. Once upon a time, I tried to read Oliver Twist, and barely made it past the first page. (Which hardly counts as a reading attempt, really.) Later I dragged myself through a few chapters of A Tale of Two Cities, and most of Great Expectations. After years of thinking I’d never be able to finish anything he’d written I did manage to get to the end of A Christmas Carol, which changed my opinion somewhat - I then thought I’d never be able to finish anything long he’d written.
But I felt absurdly guilty. This was Charles Dickens - one of the absolute greats of English literature. I read the classics, so shouldn’t I be reading him? Not the most logical of statements, I know; there’s no code of literary law forbidding you to dislike an author venerated by the critics. But I still thought I should give him one last chance.
So I bought a copy of Bleak House on the grounds that if I really couldn’t finish it, I’d know how it ended because I’d seen the miniseries. And I loved it. All 800+ pages of it. I want to reacquaint myself with A Tale of Two Cities (though perhaps not Great Expectations, at least until my memories of much-disliked high school English classes have faded). I want to go hunting for his other works. I can foresee a lifelong literary love ... proving that stubbornness pays off.