That is how I would describe my experience in reading Armadale by Wilkie Collins. It's not that it is poorly written - I think its brilliant. It's not that it is long - my favorite novel is Les Miserables, after all. I really don't know why it is taking me so long to finish. I only know it is like an everlasting lollipop. First published in serial form beginning in November 1864 the final chapter was posted in June 1866. At the rate I'm going, it may take me a year and a half as well. Perhaps this novel is more manageable in small bites. But there is such a tangle of intrigue, and background, and plot in Armadale, I am not at all certain that approach would work well either. Even reading it straight through, I find I have to go back and re-read portions just to get the history straight in my mind once more.
I fully expect Armadale to become one of my favorite Wilkie Collins books when I finally reach the words "The End" on page 678. As I am only on page 293, I am resigned to belly up to the table for a while longer. (Oh, here comes another tasty tidbit - could it be chocolate mousse?) "Oh, Garcon, warm up the gravy, please. I'm going in for seconds."