If you are ever browsing in a book shop and can’t quite decide whether to buy this one or that, try giving a book the Page99Test. This “test” was inspired by Ford Madox Ford’s observation, “Open the book to page ninety-nine and read, and the quality of the whole will be revealed to you.”

Hmmm – you can’t really see a pause of 20 minutes while I go and fish out some books to try this out on, but try it, it works.  I suppose it depends on what edition you have but it is far enough into the narrative to have the plot set and the characters introduced and not too far that the book is rattling down to some sort of conclusion.  There is a blog wholly dedicated to this premise and has invited academics commenting on page 99 of mainly American but some English classics , including Wuthering Heights.

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