Monday, March 8, 2021

The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists by Robert Tressell (DNF)

Enough! I’m throwing this on the “did not finish” (DNF) pile and moving on.

 

In the preface, Tressell – pen name for Robert Noonan, writes:

 

I designed to show the conditions relating from poverty and unemployment: to expose the futility of the measures taken to deal with them and to indicate what I believe to be the only real remedy, namely – Socialism.

 

I was less than enthused, but I am not afraid of reading opposing world views; I’ve done it before, and even liked a few, so I continued on. I was encouraged, when later in the preface Tressell says:

 

The Philanthropists’ is not a treatise or essay, but a novel. My main object was to write a readable story full of human interest and based on the happenings of everyday life, the subject of Socialism being treated incidentally. 

 

Perfect! I can live with that, and I’ll even read with an open mind. Make your case Mr. Tressell. He also promised a “humorous side” to the story. Even better!

 

250 pages later, very little story, no humor, and nearly endless propaganda based on clichés, anecdotes, and Straw-Man arguments. 

 

I’ve read socialists before – most notably Orwell. But whereas Orwell writes a fascinating story, to subtly profess his ideology, Tressell overtly asserts his ideology, thinly veiled as a story – not at all convincingly or interestingly.

 

So, enough!

 

Out of 177 novels, this in only the fourth DNF.

5 comments:

  1. That's too bad--but interesting, though, because I've occasionally thought about reading this.

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    1. I wouldn't tell anyone NOT to read it...but for me, I just wasn't interested in continuing.

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  2. I just DNFed a book this weekend too. Sometimes, you're just not the right audience for a book, and that's totally fine.

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    1. Absolutely. It's rare that I give up. I have had a few surprises where I was unimpressed for 90% and then wowed at the end, but I could tell that wasn't going to be the case here. Too many books, too little time to waste on what is not for me.

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    2. It's fairly rare for me too. I maybe DNF a book once every year or two... but I think that's because I'm pretty good at figuring out what books I'm going to like, anymore. And exactly, there are too many good books I WILL enjoy to waste time on one I'm not.

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