Regarding The Recognitions, I would paraphrase Tolstoy and say that "all easy novels are alike, but each challenging novel is difficult in its own way." What I found difficult about The Recognitions wasn't the language or the complexity of the story, but the way key events are related in indirect and subtle terms that are easy to overlook or misread. I struggled through the first half of the novel, then discovered the reader's guide at this website: http://www.williamgaddis.org/. It helped me relax and enjoy the rest of the novel, knowing that I wasn't missing anything important.
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