[Note: for anyone who hasn't read the book discussed here, spoilers follow.]
Talking of important novels, and indeed one of the greatest of them, I just reread Jane Eyre. I have a gripe to address to the publishers, Penguin. For I read the book in this edition - like most of those Penguin Classics, very smart and nice to handle. Since I was rereading, I knew where things were going, but in the notes to each chapter at the back of the book such little details of the story as these are given away ahead of time: that there's a mad woman called Bertha Rochester in an attic prison; that Jane will marry; that Mr Rochester will lose his sight; that Bertha's face is swollen and blackened, etc. The volume also has an introduction that gives away plot details, but new readers are advised of the fact. Why that precaution but no similar one for the notes?
Nick Hornby has a comment on this sort of thing:
Even the snootiest critic/publisher/whatever must presumably accept that we must all, at some point, read a book for the first time. I know that the only thing brainy people do with their lives is reread great works of fiction, but surely even James Wood and Harold Bloom read before they reread? (Maybe not. Maybe they've only ever reread, and that's what separates them from us. Hats off to them.)