So that's page one, which is actually page 3 of the Penguin Books edition I'm reading from, if you want to follow along. In fact it's kind of necessary to look at the text in order to pick up on all of the puns and portmanteaus (you should be able to see the first page here). If you're not familiar with FW, and you thought I was just saying gibberish, that's because FW is written in gibberish. An incredibly well crafted and clever multilingual gibberish. Probably the most meaningful gibberish anyone's ever written. And did I mention this book is 625 pages long? It's going to take me a long time to do this.
I was also tempted to look up commentary on every page and add annotations as I go along. But I think that would be a mistake, because one of my issues with this book has been the sense of being overwhelmed with secondary material. So I'm going to resist that temptation and just read the thing on its own terms. No commentary except my own observations.
But that doesn't mean I wouldn't welcome commentary from readers of my blog. If anyone wants to add annotations in the comments, based on their own reading or secondary sources or Wikipedia or whatever, that would be great.
The only thing I'll say about page one is that it's hard to read the 100 letter word near the beginning of the third paragraph. From what I remember (I did do a fair bit of research during the first few attempted readings) there are several of these long words in the novel, and they're supposed to represent a thunderbolt or something.
Also, I'm not sure what voice I'm going for. When I read Dr Seuss to my daughter I usually end up slipping into an Anthony Hopkins impression, unless it's The Cat in the Hat. Then I do Martin Short. For this first page I can hear a bit of Hopkins with maybe a week Irish accent here and there. I'm sure it will change along the way.