Every time through the book, the bishop’s chapters are more interesting. But “In the Year 1817” gets more tedious each time through.

Every time through the book, the bishop’s chapters are more interesting. But “In the Year 1817” gets more tedious each time through.

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Argot, the sewers, the convent – there’s at least some substance there and you can see how things connect. “1817” is just a list of contemporary pop culture references that would already have been barely relevant 50 years on, never mind 200 years on and across the world.

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Modern editions of it have more footnotes than text. Last time I read it, it took forever because I was looking up every footnote as I got to it.

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And it’s all ONE LONG PARAGRAPH.

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