Hopscotch - Julio Cortázar, Gregory Rabassa I planned to read this twice: First time in the 'normal' chapter order (chapters 1-56); second time using the 'hopscotch' order (starts with chapter 73, then 'hopscotches' through the 56 chapters read previously along with many additional chapters that are not included in the 'normal' linear reading). In reality, I finished the normal order reading, plus a chunk of the hopscotch order.

At this point, I think I just have to set Hopscotch aside for the foreseeable future. I feel like I've been wading through it forever & still have a long way to go. I'm just not into it anymore (at least at this point)....

A few thoughts...

Reading it in the 'normal' order: It's a dense read w/ many references that probably whizzed right past me. Parts were good, the prose is gorgeous (sometimes), & I loved the few ending chapters. But, overall, I didn't like any of the characters & didn't really care for the story (not really much of a plot). It has a rather pessimistic view on life, imo. I'm so-so on the novel in that version.

Reading it in the 'hopscotch' order: It's still a dense read, but more interesting w/ the extra chapters interspersed. I can really appreciate the talent needed to create a book that can be read in various orders & still have some semblance of sense. It reminds me of all the little details in a surrealist painting by Dali -- so many little pieces & touches to make it one picture or a different one depending on how you view it. Really it takes a massive amount of skill, dare I say genius, to pull it off correctly. So, I see the beauty of the structure. I love the beauty of the structure. I also like that flipping to the various chapters in the hopscotch order actually interrupts your reading flow enough that you have a few extra seconds to mull over what you just read while you're searching for the next section. The slight mental breaks work wonderfully within this framework. However, I still don't like the characters & I still don't like the story. And, really, why does it bug me that these folks are in their 40s & behaving these ways? I don't know, but it does; it seems like they're acting like 'intellectual' & pretentious 20-somethings, but it gives me a different view to find that at least some of them are in their 40s during this story. So, though I love the structure, the framework, it's just not enough to keep me compelled to read. Total between both readings (the completed 'normal' order & partially completed 'hopscotch' order), I've probably read over 500 pages. I feel like I have a lot invested in the book but that I'm not getting much in return at this point. Shrug.

So, I'll have to call it a partial success with very cool execution, but not a story that I like.