Not So Merry: The Next Book On My Reading List Robbed Me Of My Time

Finally! I book on my reading list that has been sitting on my shelf for far too long. Years ago, whenever Indigo had 3 for $10 sales on classic literature, I STOCKED UP. As a result, quite a number of the books sitting on my self right now are those cheap classics from those shopping trips, and I’ve probably only read through about half of them at this point. With a lot of anger directed towards billionaires and other people who have seen increased profits as a result of the pandemic, I felt that it would be more than appropriate to incorporate a little steal from the rich, give to the poor in my reading list. That’s right, Henry Gilbert’s Robin Hood made the list as a book to be considered a great classic.

Now, I’ve seen about six different film adaptations and spin offs about this prince of thieves, and that doesn’t even include all of the references to Robin Hood in tv shows. Needless to say, I knew enough about the recurring characters and plot points that I thought knew exactly what to expect from Gilbert’s novel. I was wrong.

The novel was very episodic and adventure-of-the-week in style, as I was expecting, but that meant that things didn’t play out as I thought they would. For starters, different members of Robin Hood’s band of merry men are featured in different chapters, so well known characters like Little John and Will Scarlet aren’t always around. And it felt like Friar Tuck was hardly in the story at all! And due to the episodic nature of the story, there is a wider cast of foes than just the Sherriff of Nottingham. In fact, I’d argue that he wasn’t even the main villain of the novel. He certainly doesn’t get as much action as he does in the movies. Although there were plenty of moments, adventures, and characters that I was completely unfamiliar with, there were still some elements that I had been expecting that did show up while I was reading.

Unfortunately, I did not enjoy reading this book. Part of it was because of the expectations I had going into it. I know film adaptations are rarely 100% accurate to the source material, but I was still expecting to read about certain moments that never actually appeared in the book. And I was not expecting there to be so many evil knights and so little of the Sherriff of Nottingham. I also found the style of writing to be dry. Now, I know with some of these classic stories, the style and language aren’t going to be like what one would expect from a more recent author. I knew exactly what to expect from this read. But there was still something about the overall tone and style that just bored me. Exciting stuff happens in this novel, and I had hoped that the writing would reflect that. I ended up procrastinating when it came time to read, and then I powered through the last five chapters so that I would be done with it.

Luckily, the next book on my reading list should be much more interesting. Stay tuned!

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