Daniel Martin
book — UK — 1977

I bought "Daniel Martin" when I was in London something like one and a half years ago. My logic was the following - a huge book that`s written by the author of the masterful "The Collector" - how can I deny myself the pleasure of reading it? Yet upon my return I somehow just couldn`t force myself to start reading it - it is very thick after all and I usually prefer smaller books. Yeah, I know that it sucks judging a book by its size but I have been observing a tendency that big books tend to be interesting in less cases than smaller books - because it`s hard to maintain a high level of a tight story for something like 700 pages.
But now I`ve finally done it - I`ve read "Daniel Martin". Although I`m not so sure whether it was worth it or not. Basically this is a love rectangle - between Daniel Martin, his best friend Anthony, Daniel`s wife Nell and her sister and Anthony`s wife at the same time - Jennny. This isn`t a novel about sex, for sure (here Fowles doesn`t try any of the gross stuff from "Mantissa") but it`s just somewhat too soap opera-like for a reader like me. I know that this is high art and not some crap about Don Hernando and his beautiful maid but it`s still mostly just a love story. And it`s a love story that goes on for 700 pages - now that is depressing. I don`t know why but it seems to be the case that few writers manage to retain a very high quality of their work for a long time - and Fowles is a prime example for a brilliant writer to go wrong. After all "Mantissa" was the next novel he wrote after "Daniel Martin". Maybe this book isn`t as bad as I say but it`s still a less inspiring version of the same stuff that Iris Murdoch wrote in her "A Severed Head". I guess, next time when I go to London I`ll get me fish and chips and not a book.
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