From a reader's review of the Alexandria Quartet:
"Style: Durrell is a wonderful wordsmith. Some of his sentences will stay with you for a long time. And he paints vivid word pictures of Alexandria. But that is also a problem: he paints, and paints, and paints. (Emphasis added.) After a while, even readers who much prefer character-driven fiction to slam-bang potboilers will long fervently for something to happen."
The first time I read the four novels I didn't understand a thing; the last time I read them (about the 6th or 8th reading) I thought it was totally purple prose. With the current "Durrells in Corfu" or whatever the series is called on Masterpiece Theatre I thought I'd haul it out one more time. (Great visuals on TV.)
I'd say my re-readings of something are about 50-50 whether it's better or worse (for whatever reason) than the first time. I'm factoring out differences in perspective between something read as a teenager and something read as an adult.
What's the score for others? Or does anyone else re-read novels?