It’s early March here in Houston-land, which means the junebugs and the livestock show and rodeo have arrived. Despite being a native Texan, and having lived thirty of my forty-five years in the Houston area, I do not like livestock shows. There have no doubt been some fine, beautiful animals on display at the stock shows I have visited, but I haven’t really seen them. I’ve been too distracted by the need to watch where I’m stepping, and too queasy from the assault on my sense of smell.
Trying to read Love in the Time of Cholera has been a similar experience for me. There may, indeed, be a “love story of astonishing power” somewhere in the book, as touted by Newsweek, but I haven’t found it in the process of picking my way through the first 103 pages, trying to work around the frequent detailed descriptions of bodily functions and malfunctions (none of which, so far, has had anything to do with cholera). This one is going on the list of “books I give myself permission not to finish, because life is too short to read books I don’t like.”