Gavin F (gavluvsga) wrote in 50bookchallenge,
Gavin F

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Book #60: Barchester Towers by Anthony Trollope

This book forms part of Anthony Trollope's Barsetshire Series, and is a satire regarding the state of the Church of England in the 19th Century, opening with characters competing to become Bishop of Barchester, and then becoming obsessed with getting a high position in the church, mostly for the purpose of improving their social status, which seems like it could just as easily be relevant today.

There is a large cast of characters, most notably the obnoxious Mr. Slope, who spends the whole book attempting to improve his standing in society, as well as trying to manipulate the Bishop, despite the fact that most of the other characters hate him, and towards the end of the book the satire is less obvious, and the book focusses more on Mr. Slope's efforts to be appointed as Dean and win the heart of Eleanor Bold, the main female character.

I found it difficult at first to get into the book since it describes long-winded descriptions of events, with some entire chapters devoted to telling the backstory of a new character who has just shown off, and at some points Trollope even goes off on a tangent and addresses the reader directly; there were no conversations for the first five chapters. However, despite this, I started to grow to enjoy the book more nearer the end, despite the fact that this is quite a long book.

Nothing much actually happens in the book, except that characters constantly debate about politics and Mr. Slope constantly tries to get his own way, and Eleanor torn between all of her potential suitors, but it is strangely compelling all the same.

Next book: Pyramids by Terry Pratchett
Tags: 19th century literature, book review, british, classic, comedy, drama, historical fiction, historical romance, literary, literature, love, politics, satire

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