Yes, "Assbone" is certainly one of the world's worst surnames. Although on the other end, a former girlfriend married a man named Tom Special. I think "Special" is a truly terrible surname. "Can I help you, Mr. Special?" "I went to see Dr. Special today." "What was her name again? Miss Special?" Pretty bad.
Back on topic, I guess I don't find it exactly "gripping." It's light on plot and characterization. It's long on description, exoticism, and lushness. I've been reading it as I might read a 19th century poem, rather than a novel from which I demand a compelling plot, memorable characterizations, and, at least in the 19th century, a sense of verisimilitude. I've been reading slowly, submerging myself in the bizarrely unfamiliar world that Flaubert has painted, which is apparently pretty accurate for the strange hybrid culture of Carthage.
Hang in there, though, I'm told that the plot picks up in the last third or so. I don't know. I'm about as far as you are at this point.
: Six chapters in, I remain ungripped. This
: seems very self indulgent of Flaubert.
: A most unfortunate Kindle scanning error:
: the precious stones shining through the
: painted columns made patterns of light on
: the sleeping feces.
: a great din of trumpets, cymbals, assbone
: flutes, and tympani
: Assbone? Urban dictionary offwea some
: predictably unrelated definitions. Or
: perhaps it is only the examples that are
: unrelated. Assbone also appears to be among
: the world's worst surnames.
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