The Wings of the Dove ★☆☆☆☆ DNF@Page347

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Title: The Wings of the Dove
Authors: Henry James
Rating: 1 of 5 Stars DNF
Genre: Literature
Pages: 544 / 347
Words: 195K / 124K


There I was, reading a lengthy, wordy, utterly pointless and despicably worthless book. I’d been trapped in this book since January of 2021. I would take lunch and when I felt up to it, I’d read 1-5 pages. The author’s determination to make everything as complicated, opaque and difficult as possible made me want to beat him over the head with this tome. But I didn’t stop.

I was obviously a sick and addicted man. But it wasn’t MY fault. I HAD to read this book to prove to all those Literature People that I was just as intelligent as them! Without this book, how could I show my face in public and discuss the principles of Historical Victorianism Viewed Through a Lens of Ironic Byronism? I NEEDED this book. I really needed a DNF but I hid my problem so well that nobody suspected, not even my closest friends. Without knowing I even had a problem, there was no way they could stage an intervention and get me the help I so desperately needed. So I was stuck in a self-destructive loop of Modern Literature and Pride.

I needed a Hero. Someone to rescue me. Someone to bash Henry James in the face while simultaneously shoving all 544 pages of this book down his scrawny throat. But in this Age of Grimdark Villains and Anti-Heroes, where would I even begin looking for such a Hero as I needed? Even when I asked Shrek to use this book as toilet paper, he read one sentence and simply ran away. Where Oh Where was my Hero!?

♪I need a hero♪

♪I’m holding out for a hero ’til the end of the night♪

♪He’s gotta be strong♪

♪And he’s gotta be fast♪

♪And he’s gotta be fresh from the fight♪

♪I need a hero♪

♪I’m holding out for a hero ’til the morning light♪

♪He’s gotta be sure♪

♪And it’s gotta be soon♪

♪And he’s gotta be larger than life♪

♪Larger than life♪

It turns out, My Hero was right next to me this whole time and I never even realized it until it was too late. My good friend, mild mannered energy drink, Mr Silver Ice came to work with me one day. Little did I know that HE was the Super Hero known as The Rockstar. When The Rockstar saw what was going on he realized only one thing could save me. That day, The Rockstar poured his life out for me and destroyed that book because I was unable to do it myself. I stand here before you all today ONLY because The Rockstar was a true, selfless and self-sacrificing hero. It still brings tears to my eyes when I think about. When I opened my bag at lunch and saw the sacrifice The Rockstar had made for me, the chains of bondage to that terrible book were broken and I DNF’d it right on the spot.

Friends, I hope my experience can help some of you. I know the addiction of being a completist, the siren call to just finish the book, no matter how terrible it is. The agony, the pain, the deception as you avoid your friends’ eyes and tell them everything is fine. I KNOW. And I sympathize. But you have to accept that you can’t do this alone. DNF’ing is a matter that can cut to the soul and most times we simply can’t do it. While not everyone has a friend like The Rockstar to help them like I had, I vow, here and now, to help everyone I come across who is struggling with this issue. Do you need help DNF’ing a book? Then I will help you.

I will carry on the Legacy that The Rockstar started in my life. Bad Books and Jackass Authors will tremble at the mere sight of my shadow. The sound of my fingers typing will send them into paroxysms of terror. The Righteous Flames of Wrath will be so expressive from my eyes that their souls will writhe and shrivel to bother us no more.

So fear not, mortals, for this day, in your very sight, a New Defender has arisen. The Bookstooge will be the scourge of the Space Ways, protecting all who may need it (and even those who don’t, sometimes anyway).

Mild Mannered Bookstooge
And his alter-ego, The Bookstooge!

29 thoughts on “The Wings of the Dove ★☆☆☆☆ DNF@Page347

  1. So you finshed Wings of Dove while high on Taurine??

    Scrawny throat??? – Scrawny? James? ROFL.

    I read a load of his stories a while back. OK, so it was years ago. They didn’t leave any aftertaste, but they weren’t actively bad, either. Then I tried to read The Turning of the Screw during the lockdown (I really liked the film inspired by it) and it was unreadable. Maybe you just need to be in the mood? That said, any time James comes up I always quote that Max Beerbohm cartoon (Beerbohm was actually a contemporary of James) which has James, standing in a london pea-souper, mesmerised by the sight of his own hand – which he can barely see, thanks to the poor visibility:

    …it was, therefore, not with something of a shock that he, in this to him so very congenial atmosphere, now perceived that a vision of the hand which he had, at a venture, held up within an inch or so of his eyes, was, with an almost awful clarity being adumbrated…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Actually, my can of rockstar got punctured by my survival knife and it completely soaked Wings of the Dove. So I didn’t get to drink the energy drink but I also didn’t have to read any more drivel.

      Was James a portly fellow?

      I have zero problems if other people want to enjoy James. But it doesn’t confer upon them that halo that most people take onto themselves when they do.

      Clear, concise and straight forward communication is what is important to me, so James is definitely not the author for me.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Re ‘portly’. Not’scrawny’ anyhow…

        Not sure how much real substance there is beneath James’ overly elaborate prose style. I only ever read one novel, though – What Maisie Knew.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I almost wish I cared enough to go look up his picture before he died so I could imagine just what kind of throat I was shoving this tome down. But I don’t care nearly enough so no research for me 😀

          There is ZERO substance to what he wrote. He was just like a snobby actor/activist of today that is well connected. I think he’ll survive among historians and a very small set of readers, but he’ll never get to a Dickens or Austen level. But if he does, I’ll rise from my grave and slay every single person who still likes his stuff 😉


  2. You had me cracking up with Shrek. 😂🤣😂 Kudos for sticking with it for so long and trying!

    When I was in college, one of my literature classes required Shakespeare, and the only one I truly enjoyed was Romeo and Juliet. There were other students who had so much more passion than me. “To each his own” is what I always say; although, you have inspired me to give more Shakespeare a try. 👍

    Enjoy your weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am very passionate about Dickens’ writing. But not anybody else really 😀

      And glad you got the Shrek reference 😀 That movies old enough now that I’m not sure if it counts as history 🙂

      I am going to give it my best shot, so you enjoy yours too.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Dickens is good, although most of my experience with his writing comes from the Christmas stories. I think you read a good handful of his books if I remember correctly. My kids just did a character sketch on Scrooge. That was so much fun to do with them. 👍 Enjoy your weekend!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. This is hilarious but also sad because I have been looking for someone to discuss the principles of Historical Victorianism Viewed Through a Lens of Ironic Byronism with me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am sorry to disappoint you. But really, I just don’t feel that HVVTLIB has enough substance to be worthy of discussion. Not now that I’m liberated and free 😀

      Glad you enjoyed. It’s been a while since I wrote a funny book review and not just a completely silly post.

      Liked by 1 person

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