Despite the beautifully descriptive narrative it took a while and some rare research before I could say that. And it made me realise that a little bit of background as well as an understanding of the state of mind of the author (James Joyce) at the time of writing really does grease the mind-wheels and get it all flowing in favour of the piece.
Sue, a member who’s new to our ‘terrestrial’ meetings (my god - terrestrial, we really have arrived in the future!) made me aware of this. She described how she was overtaken by a desire to read JK Rowling’s new book, A Casual Vacancy, but only after she’d watched the authors’ recent interview and discovered the real-life story behind the narrative.
So, now that I appreciate that this was Joyce’s final work before he left Ireland in disgust and for good I understand better the negativity, the melancholy, the cynical parody, the dead-pan description that asks you to agree with him that Ireland was right on track on its hell-bound trajectory.
Clearly Joyce was wrong, as thank God are most melancholic doom-mongers.
Creatives are emotional people, it stands to reason; they’re one and the same it seems to me, so let’s make allowances and just listen, at least for a while. Well, that’s what I reckon.
And once again this month serendipity had her way; hidden in our second book; Girl Interrupted, we found similarities to Dubliners in voice and structure, and we were able enjoy the discovery of these.
So despite the fact that some of us we weren’t singing and dancing praises for these two books, the evening flowed with lively conversation and laughter and the warmth that radiates when friendships grow.
This is what makes a book club; what makes it a joy to be a part of. The reading material may not suit our mood or our preferences but the people and the friendships that develop between those of similar interests make it very worthwhile.
Thanks to Sue (our newest attendee), Kylie, Gavin, Mandy, Janine, Erin and Joe for making it happen.
For those absent you missed a great evening but you’ve the opportunity to catch up on 1st November when we meet again at a NEW venue; The Burrow in West End (very close to our usual hangout in fact). Be there at 6.30 (but RSVP first).
Reading for October for the November meeting:
Where I’m Calling From Raymond Carver
The Secret History Donna Tartt
Remember you can access the complete reading listby clicking on the menu tabs at the top of the page.