Okay, so has anyone out there read this book and can tell me more about it? Because I'm really wondering if it has any merit to continue on, or should I just throw it down as I feel wont to do. I looked at some reviews online to get a better feel of this book- seems people either love it as being a great work, or find it awful and tedious (as I did). This is as far as I got: it's a turn-of-the-century novel about two elderly siblings in a farmhouse and the man hates his sister and locks her in a bedroom where she reads a crappy novel that's also interspersed in this novel. And they plot against each other. And the old man is bitter and scornful of everything around him. I was intrigued by one aspect: how the elderly people felt proud of their skills and knowledge and looked down on newfangled inventions that made life easier. One scene in particular was vivid: the old man smirking at another on the roadside whose car (new invention) had stalled from the cold, while he sat up high on a sleigh pulled by two strong horses- warm living flesh that would always function, not rendered inert by cold like the machine. The description of him baffled me, though. I picked this book up because I remember liking Grendel (same author) in high school, but this one I don't seem to be able to read. The long-winded descriptions loose my attention and the characters confound me- I don't understand them, and I don't like them so I don't care to try more.