Anyone who has read Peter Hamilton’s The Reality Dysfunction (the first novel in his Night’s Dawn series) will know that it gets pretty technical before it really gets going and you run the danger of getting bogged down before enjoyment starts. You have to wade through a fair bit of futurist evolutionary biological and technical information (the author no doubt had a great time writing it) before the story really starts moving.
I tried to read this book several times before finally getting through its 1200+ pages (and that’s just the first volume!). But twice, on attempting to read it, it proved too dense and hit me with so much sometimes microscopic information of the futuristic ‘doesn’t yet exist’ kind that I gave up. Maybe the third time I succeeded because I’d already read the heavy opening bits twice so could skim them somewhat and not have such a headache when I finally past the early bits and the story started to invite me in rather than me having to force my way into it. When it did get going I found myself drawn in and enjoying it even with its huge character cast and multi-strand plot lines. I was glad I’d persevered.
Peter Hamilton is a science fiction writer who doesn’t hesitate to hit his readers with indepth technical futuristic ideas and thoughts. To be fair, if you are picking up one of his books you probably know that and for some that is part of the appeal of his books. Again, to be fair, reading his ideas, you do feel like a bit of a genius yourself. It’s like trying to read Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time and for a few seconds you think you ‘get it’ and feel like your IQ is approaching a million, then you lose whatever it was you thought you’d grasped and put the book down never to return to it again. You’d had your moment of huge IQ-ness!
Quantum leap of a connection here but it struck me as the same, at times, when you first meet a person. Some people can be hard to ‘get’, some people have personalities that you find hard work. But, just now and then, it’s worth persevering with them, trying to understand them a bit more (though that’s a two way street) and you may just finally break through and find a person and a friend, or maybe more, who enriches your life and provides friendship which, frankly, when you first met them, you wouldn’t have believed possible.
Of course there does have to be something in the person that attracts you in the first place or there would be no ‘there’s something there’ to want to persevere to find the rest of.
You may break through to the inner them and discover that, actually, you’d rather not know them, and that’s okay too (there are other books I persevered with and they never got any better). But, every now and then, a person comes along who you don’t hit it off with immediately and there are many bumps and bruises and character mismatches before things smooth out and there remains two souls who actually work together pretty well.
Not always, but sometimes.
Thanks for reading.