During the fall semester of my junior year at the University of Alabama, I took a course entitled something like "The Novel Since 1950." We called it "The Dirty Books Class." Trust me. With Portnoy's Complaint and others of its ilk on the reading list, all manner of student was trying to get into this class. But it was limited to 30 students, and I was one of the lucky ones. (It was on the elective list for my major in American Studies - hey, what could I do?)
The first book assigned was J.P. Donleavy's The Ginger Man. Hm. I did read it. I know I did, because I was a good little girl who read all (well, almost all) of her assignments. But I gotta tell ya'. It went right over my little 20-year-old head. I'd never read anything like it. It was a scorcher! Whoo-eee! Didn't know what to think of the anti-hero Sebastian Dangerfield or Donleavy's writing style or of the plot (?) line. In short, I completely missed the point. I was too young and too life-inexperienced to have the slightest clue about it.
So when I saw The Ginger Man amongst the other thrift sale books on Saturday, I grabbed it. To be honest, the book stuck with me all these years, even though I was clueless about it when I read it the first time. I'd often thought of giving it another go. What a golden opportunity - for a paltry 50 cents!
I started it last night, and the language completely drew me in. Yep, I'm old enough to read it now. This should be fun!
Any books you've revisited because you missed the point the first time round?