I once used to frequent a bar which was also frequented by one of those winbags who don’t exhaust you by talking absolute rubbish, but by simply never allowing silence to last for more than a second. They can even be amusing for a while, they can even occasionally let you have your say, but in general they’ll just rant on and on until every listener has fled away. Rob, who was then a bartender there, cherishes a memory of one night: I, after sitting next to this guy for a few hours, all of a sudden turned to Rob as if just awoken from hypnosis, asked “What the fuck am I doing here?“, paid my bill and beat it.
The other day I had a similar sensation while reading Vanity Fair. So despite only being just beyond the middle of the book, I stopped reading it for good, totally uninterested in what happened next and how it all ended.