A Preview of Middlemarch: It’s B-A-N-A-N-A-S!

When I went to Goodreads to mark Middlemarch (number 20 on the BBC book list, which I am working my way through) as “read” and to give it five stars (yes, it’s that good), I noticed that most everybody else who had written reviews of the novel felt the same way I did.  Here’s a sampling of what I saw.

Siobhan said, “Best. G*?%*ed. Book. Ever.  Seriously, this sh*t’s bananas. B-A-N-A-N-A-S.”  Okay, Siobhan.  Calm down.  We get it.  You loved the book.

Alex wrote, “Middlemarch is a towering achievement. It’s tough to find words strong enough to describe it.”  I must concur.  There are no words.  Well, unless you go back to what Siobhan said.  There are some words for you!

Phil gave it five stars and confessed: “When I finished reading this book, I wrote in the front of it that ‘This is the most rewarding book you will ever read’ and left it on a bookshelf in Fiji.”  If it’s the best book, why on earth did you leave it behind?  I guess he was hoping that somebody in Fiji would read it, but he later states, “I doubt anyone’s picked it up since then; Fiji is a strange and frightening place.”

Anyway, you get the idea.  These people loved Middlemarch, and so do I!  Although I won’t use as strong of words as Siobhan, or leave it on a bookshelf in Fiji for somebody else to discover, I will tell you all about it.  I officially declare this week on my blog Middlemarch Week.  It’s a long book, a deep book, and one that deserves a whole week dedicated to it.  However, after I’m done writing this week, I still don’t think I will have articulated exactly why this is one of the best books I have ever read and probably one of the best ever written.


It’s not an easy read.  There were times that I became drowsy and put the book down for a nap.  There were times that I wondered why on earth I had to read about gambling or politics, when all I wanted to know was if and when Mr. Casaubon would die.  I struggled through it, but at the end, I felt a sense of accomplishment, triumph, and true love for this famous Victorian novel, published in 1874.

Have you read it?  Is it B-A-N-A-N-A-S?


33 thoughts on “A Preview of Middlemarch: It’s B-A-N-A-N-A-S!

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  1. Emily,

    Soooooo glad to hear you really appreciated Middlemarch. I can’t wait to read all of your posts this week. It is on my top 10 list of favorite books for all time (actually, George Eliot is one of my heroes and mentors — SHE is bananas! 😉 ) I read somewhere that Middlemarch could be like a bible of sorts, all about navigating relationships, vocations, duty, dreams, mystery, and the all the rest of life. George Eliot was such a great humanist and I think her theory of the interconnected web of human relationships is exquisitely illustrated in this book. You are right — it is long and deep, but so rich and full. It is like being immersed into a river, instead of merely skirting about the shallows. We’d all be better off, in my opinion, if we made the time to take on writers like Eliot, works like Middlemarch. They can help us to be better than we were before we met them.


  2. I do love Middlemarch and George Eliot. Bananas? Maybe not, but certainly beautiful and instructive. To be honest, my remembrance of the entire plot is a little rusty. Probably time to reread. I’m really excited to read your posts this week!

  3. Yes, I’ve read “Middlemarch.” It’s the best Nineteenth Century English novel, in my opinion. So insightful about human nature, and a wonderfully complex plot full of interesting characters. I love Eliot’s writing style, and I really enjoy her wit. It’s a great read.

  4. I have the book, but have yet to read it. I think tonight’s a good night to delve back into true literature (after my failed attempt to muddle through Fifty Shades Of Grey). Thanks for the recommendation.

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