I agree with both of you that this book is difficult to discuss as you're reading it, but I was wondering if I'm totally out of line in thinking Dr. Manhattan is obnoxious. I thought he was pretty cool until I read Chapter IV. As I was reading that chapter I asked Paul about what he thought (he's a little bit ahead of me at the moment), and he agreed with me.
People who don't accept responsibility for their actions and always act the victim of their circumstances really bother me. Sure his dad didn't want him to be a watchmaker. Sure he didn't choose to become Dr. Manhattan, both in body and name. But it seems to me a childish and wimpy thing to do to blame everything that's ever happened to you on other people. The fact that he's the most powerful being alive due to accidental circumstances explains some of it. But Dr. Manhattan was like that before he ever became Dr. Manhattan. On page 5 of Chapter IV he says, "That happens to me a lot. Other people seem to make all my moves for me." Am I the only one that finds this sentiment repulsive? Claiming you have no control over your actions makes you seem more like an animal than a human being. Anyway, I'm interested to see where Dr. Manhattan's story goes. As of now, though, I don't like him very much as a person.
Aside from that, I thought Chapter IV was very cool from a literary standpoint. It was intriguing how the skewed timeline and juxtaposition of seemingly unrelated events told a different story altogether. I understand how this was such a groundbreaking novel. I'm really enjoying it. :)