600 pages. I finished a 600 page book. Now, 600 pages isn't normally something I would be terribly proud of (being a bit of a book worm I read a lot), but these 600 pages I was very proud of.
The pages to which I refer are contained within Alexandre Dumas' The Count of Monte Cristo (abridged edition). This was a book that was hard for me to get into, because the first three hundred or so pages of it are very SLOW moving. And you spend a lot of time wondering when you will get past the background information and character development to the good bits.
The two hundred pages that follow the slow pages are primarily concerned with laying down all the plot lines, twists, and turns. These pages are better, but still not terribly engaging. And it is easy to get confused by the sheer number of characters involved, and how their family histories relate them to the story.
It is the last hundred pages of this book that really shine. All the strategies converge, a brilliant flash of light occurs as you understand the full extent of what has happened, and then.... nothing. The book is over in no time flat. 2 months of off and on reading to get there, and then 45 minutes of truly great reading, and you are left hanging. Even though you know what has happened to the characters, you feel like there has to be more.
Overall it was a good book, and as always it was better than the movie. Would I read it again though? Probably not.
So now I move onto the next book: Unweaving the Rainbow which was borrowed to me by a co-worker. Thanks Greg!