I don't have the patience with books that I had when I was younger and had a lifetime of reading stretching so far ahead of me that I didn't feel that I was wasting my time by finishing a book that I really wasn't enjoying. These days I'm willing to test drive a book for something around 50 pages. If it doesn't grab me in 50 pages, I'm willing to bet that it never will. And sometimes it's a book that I had really high hopes for that turns out to be one of the ones that I toss aside unfinished.
Marge Piercy's Woman on the Edge of Time falls into that category. I've read Marge Piercy before; I love time travel novels. So what could go wrong? The only reason that I stayed with the book for just over 80 pages is that I respect Percy's writing skills but, even with that respect in the equation, I finally decided that this book was a waste of time for me. The combination of depressing characters on both ends of the time spectrum and the boring future described by Piercy was just too much too wade through any longer. Woman on the Edge of Time is a 1976 novel and the writing style felt dated to me. That feeling was probably enhanced by the fact that I was reading a 1988 paperback copy of the book (the exact book cover shown here, in fact) and, for a while, that's what I kept telling myself.
If you follow my link over to Amazon.com, you will find some glowing reviews for this book, so maybe it's just me. But life is short and it's getting shorter every day. So this morning I started a replacement book, Crow Lake by Mary Lawson, and I can't wait to talk about what a great first novel that one is.