Monday, December 8, 2008

BOOK: Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston, 189 pages

1% Well Read; Decades Challenge: 1930s; unread author

I am putting this one down half read. It's not that I hate it, it's just that I don't care. It has put me in a reading funk in that I was trying to finish it, but could hardly read it and I wouldn't start another book since I wanted to get through this one. I read Montmorency in one evening when I picked it up for a change, which told me that I just was not going to finish Their Eyes Were Watching God. I slogged as far as I could (90 pages) hoping I would get into it, but alas, no.

Like many of you, I find it hard to stop reading a book. This one is a classics for pete's sake. But, I stopped after Janie's second husband died. The book starts with the end, so I know how it ends. I found it too hard to read the accent phonetically- it slowed me down too much and when I slowed down, I didn't care for the story. Some books expose you to a life different from your own experience and it is a good thing, but I really couldn't relate. I wasn't feeling Janie's emotions enough to want to find out what happened to her. I think the book is somewhat detached in that way so it can demonstrate and record the experience of African Americans after slavery. I've been reading some analysis of it and other book reviews, so I understand the significance of parts and the jist of the plot, ie, I think I could pass a test on it in school if I needed to .

I'm still counting it in my challenges as it took up a week of my reading life and I was exposed to a new author and it was from the decade of the 1930s. Whew, that feels good to make that decision. Next book please.


  1. I've had this book on my shelf for ages. I tried it once and didn't get further than two chapters. Kept it around, because like you said, it's a classic! I don't know if I'll ever go back to it now.

  2. I think I have this book, but when I was cleaning my shelves I don't remember seeing it... It is one of those books I plan to read someday, but never know if I actually will!

  3. jeane - it's good to know I'm not the only one.

    kailana - it's not a long book, I thought I'd whip right through it. Apparently not.

  4. I read this one earlier in the year. I thought I'd love it, but I didn't. It was just OK. I found the accents difficult as well.


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