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Niccolo Rising by Dorothy Dunnett
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I've read as far as page 196 and this time I'm truly giving up. Friends who love this book had urged me to keep going, that it would pick up momentum as I got into it.

Well, by page 196 you learn who Niccolo is, and the plot is definitely getting up a head of steam, but the action is still obscure and the dialog impenetrable.

In the last chapter I just read, Niccolo is playing cards with some highly placed people. The talk around the table is on one level, with a meta-conversation going on at the same time. The importance of each person in the scheme of things is clearly important, yet the reader has no idea why. (You now know as much about it as I do).

The reader cannot figure out the nods and winks and implied threats and promises. Why is the doctor unwilling to be involved? Why is Klaes using another name? What on earth is going on?

I can hardly follow the action and the dialog, let alone grasp the implications of each reference. I like a mystery and the tangle of the unknown, but the prospect of another 300 pages of murk does not appeal.

I give up.

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