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messageRe: Green and Blue Book Club
Posted by Red_Cat 17 October, 2011 23:21

Sorry about the last minute posting of next month's book choices on the theme of the Caribbean - couldn't make my mind up! However, here are the final choices, pm me your vote if you can't make the meeting tomorrow:

1. Cereus Blooms by Night by Shani Mootoo p.272
Mootoo leads us gently into the heart and mind of old Mala Ramchandin as, lying mad in a hospital bed tended by gay male nurse Tyler, she recounts her tragic history via a stream of demented ramblings.
As the story of her descent into madness unfolds and the bond between the crazy woman and the gay man develops and strengthens, so too does the desire of the reader to understand the sights, sounds, smells and emotions that fashioned the young Mala's destiny. Through the magic of Mootoo's prose and the richness of her dialogue we are transported to the small Caribbean town of Paradise at the moment a scandal that has been evolving for a lifetime is uncovered.

2. Crossing the Mangrove - Maryse Conde p. 207
In this beautifully crafted, Rashomon-like novel, Conde has written a gripping story imbued with all the nuances and traditions of Caribbean culture. Francis Sancher--a handsome outsider, loved by some and reviled by others--is found
dead, face down in the mud on a path outside Riviere au Sel, a small village in Guadeloupe.  None of the villagers are particularly surprised, since Sancher, a secretive and melancholy man, had often predicted an unnatural death for
himself.  As the villagers come to pay their respects they each--either in a speech to the mourners, or in an
internal monologue--reveal another piece of the mystery behind Sancher's life and death.  Like pieces of an elaborate
puzzle, their memories interlock to create a rich and intriguing portrait of a man and a community. In the lush and
vivid prose for which she has become famous, Conde has constructed a Guadeloupean wake for Francis Sancher.  Retaining
the full colour and vibrance of Conde's homeland, Crossing the Mangrove pays homage to Guadeloupe in both subject and

3. In The Time of Butterflies by Julia Alvarez p. 339
In the Time of Butterflies is Alvarez' fascinating story of the lives of the Mirabel sisters - real life revolutionaries who had the courage to fight against Rafael Trujillo during his repressive dictatorship of the Dominican Republic in the 60's. The novel is based on facts and the the real life history of the period although
Alvarez has embellished the story with her fictional projections of the characters personalities. The book spans
several decades chronicling the growth of the sisters from young girls into young women and eventually into,
sometimes reluctant, revolutionaries. From tales of hair ribbons and secret crushes to gun running and prison torture
the book describes perfectly the horrors of life under the Dominican dictator.

4. V.S. Naipaul - A House for Mr Biswas p. 564
A House for Mr Biswas is V.S. Naipaul’s unforgettable third novel and the early masterpiece of his brilliant career. Born the ‘wrong way’ and thrust into a world that greeted him with little more than a bad omen, Mohun Biswas has spent his forty-six years of life striving for independence. But his determined efforts have met only with calamity.
Shuttled from one residence to another after the drowning of his father, for which he is inadvertently responsible, Mr Biswas yearns for a place he can call home. He marries into the domineering Tulsi family, on whom he becomes indignantly dependent, but rebels and takes on a succession of occupations in an arduous struggle to weaken their
hold over him and purchase a house of his own.
Heartrending and darkly comic, A House for Mr Biswas has been hailed as one of the twentieth century’s finest novels
and this triumph of resilience, persistence and dignity masterfully evokes a man’s quest for autonomy against the
backdrop of post-colonial Trinidad.

5. Azucar's Sweet Hope: Her Story Continues - Alan Cambeira p. 190
In this second novel in the Azucar Trilogy, Cambeira once again works prosaic magic as a story teller with lush Caribbean locales and a a seductive story line.
Wealthy tourists - members of the influential Montalvo family - are horribly murdered, victims of a Creole ritual. Sociopolitical tensions result from these unsolved murders while a displaced work force of discontented sugar cane workers rebel against decadent consumerism. Will outside forces ruin Azucar's plans? And will she betray beneficial island spirits to achieve her goals? Azucar's Sweet Hope is a realistic picture of what happens when greedy, racist
businessmen and politicians combine forces to gain wealth and power. The result is the raping of a country's resources and ruination of the poor who serve as laborers. Cambeira writes honestly, with powerful, persuasive prose.
Through his words, inhumanity and hope, beauty and sadism, love and squallor come alive in the Dominican island paradise he loves.

7. Pauline Melville - The Ventriloquist's Tale p.368
"Where I come from, disguise is the only truth and desire the only true measure of time," the riddling, feisty narrator of The Ventriloquist's Tale asserts. Pauline Melville explores the effects of both of these in her dark--and
often deeply funny--narrative of forbidden love and the clash of cultures. Set in the Guyanese capital of Georgetown
and on its distant savannahs, Melville's first novel turns on the tragic absurdities of colonialism, capitalism, and
fanaticism, not to mention a pair of very illicit relationships. In the 1920s, two mixed-race siblings find it
surprisingly easy to be together.
In the present-day strand, Chofy McKinnon, Danny's nephew, has an intense and tragic affair with Rosa Mendelson, an English academic looking into Evelyn Waugh's journey to Guyana in the 1930s. Waugh, possessed of "a pushed-up face
and little pebble eyes," had stayed with the McKinnons, and forced Danny in particular to listen to hour after hour
of Dombey and Son--a brilliant spin on Waugh's reportage from the Amazonias, not to mention his novel A Handful of
Dust. Melville offers up an acute vision on Guyana's colonial past and present, and on the pull between nature and
culture, superstition versus rationalism, blindness and sight. She knows that there is no easy middle ground, perhaps
no middle ground at all.

8.Leonard Padura - Havana Fever p. 292
Havana, 2003, fourteen years since Mario Conde retired from the police force and much has changed in Cuba. He now
makes a living trading in antique books bought from families selling off their libraries in order to survive. In the
house of Alcides de Montes de Oca, a rich Cuban who fled after the fall of Batista, Conde discovers an extraordinary
book collection and, buried therein, a newspaper article about Violeta del Rio, a beautiful bolero singer of the
1950’s, who disappeared mysteriously. Conde’s intuition sets him off on an investigation that leads him into a darker
Cuba, now flooded with dollars, populated by pimps, prostitutes, drug dealers and other hunters of the night. But this
novel also allows Padura to evoke the Havana of Batista, the city of a hundred night clubs where Marlon Brando and
Josephine Baker listened to boleros, mambos and jazz. Havana Fever is many things: a suspenseful crime novel, a cruel
family saga and an ode to literature and Padua's beloved land.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit was 2011:10:17:23:45:47 by Red_Cat.

messageRe: Green and Blue Book Club
Posted by david m 18 October, 2011 11:50

It's amazingly quiet on the Green and Blue front.
I hope to be there tonight, albeit late as usual afer my run.

But if I see you there, will you actually be there?


messageRe: Green and Blue Book Club
Posted by susan_ 18 October, 2011 12:38

I'll be there! I really enjoyed the Daphne du Maurier and am looking forward to hearing what everyone else thinks.
See you later.

messageRe: Green and Blue Book Club
Posted by lisucia 18 October, 2011 12:45

I'll be there too! Keeping quiet about Daphne for now!

See you all later


messageRe: Green and Blue Book Club
Posted by Alec John Moore 18 October, 2011 12:47

Too busy reading to be posting on EDF. I've been cycling to work a lot recently so my reading time is curtailed somewhat. I didn't take that into account when I set about reading I, Claudius, thinking I'd be able to fit Daphne in too before tonight. Still looking forward to hearing what people made of it.


messageRe: Green and Blue Book Club
Posted by KatieTC 18 October, 2011 14:41

Hi all. Really enjoyed the last - my first - book club night but can't make tonight. hopefully next time though.
Katie/Cathy (depending on what mood I'm in...)

messageRe: Green and Blue Book Club
Posted by susan_ 18 October, 2011 23:22

Someone at bookclub left their purse behind. If it is yours please PM me and I'll bring it round to you (I'm at home in the day this week). Or ring the Green and Blue - they have my phone number. I'll take it back to G&B to put behind the bar on Wednesday afternoon if I don't hear from you.

messageRe: Green and Blue Book Club
Posted by susan_ 19 October, 2011 17:22

Hi everyone, I just saw that the Peckham Literary Festival is happening in November - Link to List of Events on Review Bookshop's Website

Is anyone interested in attending one/some of the events?


messageRe: Green and Blue Book Club
Posted by Red_Cat 21 October, 2011 23:11

Our chosen book for the next meeting (after a very close vote!) is The Ventriloquist's Tale by Pauline Melville. Meeting is on 15th November, usual time but different venue, due to refurbishment of the Green and Blue we will be meeting at the EDT instead for one month only.

Interim book is Havana Fever by Leonardo Padura meeting on 1st November at the Bishop

Susan - will take a look at what's on for the festival

Cat x

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit was 2011:10:21:23:13:14 by Red_Cat.

messageRe: Green and Blue Book Club
Posted by david m 08 November, 2011 12:00

Hi everyone,

Hope all are well. It is my birthday on Sunday so if you would like an excuse for a Sunday afternoon in the Dog in the village I shall be there from about 1pm....all very casual, I shall probably be there for most of the afternoon!

Enjoy the book and if I do not see you Sunday, will see you Tuesday, albeit a little late after running.


messageRe: Green and Blue Book Club
Posted by lisucia 14 November, 2011 18:51

Hi all

Here's the shortlist of shortlists! The Costa Awards shortlist for 2011 won't be announced until Wednesday and the winner in January 2012 so I've used last year's.

See you all tomorrow evening at EDT!!


Costa Novel Award 2010
Whatever You Love – Louise Doughty (320 pages)
Two police officers knock on Laura's door and her life changes forever. They tell her that her nine-year old daughter Betty has been hit by a car and killed. When justice is slow to arrive, Laura decides to take her own revenge and begins to track down the man responsible. Laura's grief also re-opens old wounds and she is thrown back to the story of her passionate love affair with Betty's father David, their marriage and his subsequent affair with another woman. Haunted by her past, and driven to breaking point by her desire for retribution, Laura discovers the lengths she is willing to go to for love. Whatever You Love is a heart-wrenching novel of revenge, compulsion and desire from acclaimed novelist Louise Doughty.

Costa Novel Award 2010
Skippy Dies – Paul Murray (672 pages)
'Skippy and Ruprecht are having a doughnut-eating race one evening when Skippy turns purple and falls off his chair . . .'
And so begins this epic, tragic, comic, brilliant novel set in and around Dublin's Seabrook College for Boys. Principally concerning the lives, loves, mistakes and triumphs of overweight maths-whiz Ruprecht Van Doren and his roommate Daniel 'Skippy' Juster, it features a frisbee-throwing siren called Lori, the joys (and horrors) of first love, the use and blatant misuse of prescription drugs, Carl (the official school psychopath), various attempts to unravel string theory . . . while at the same time exploring the very deepest mysteries of the human heart.

Costa First Novel Award 2010
Not Quite White – Simon Thirsk (480 pages)
The young Jon Bull is sent by Westminster to Wales's last remaining Welsh-speaking town to see why all attempts to bring it into the twenty-first century have failed. Waiting for him is the beautiful but embittered Gwalia...Not Quite White explores the complex tensions that spit and seethe when English colonialism and Welsh nationalism go head to head. It is a passionate defence of cultural and political identity, and a considered plea for tolerance. It is also a sustained attack on the forces of small-town bigotry and corruption. But, above all, it is an acknowledgement of the subtleties and ambiguities that exist in even the most entrenched attitudes.

Man Booker Prize 2011
Jamrach's Menagerie – Carol Birch (348 pages)
Young Jaffy Brown never expects to escape the slums of Victorian London. Then, aged eight, a chance encounter with Mr Jamrach changes Jaffy's stars. And before he knows it, he finds himself at the docks waving goodbye to his beloved Ishbel and boarding a ship bound for the Indian Ocean. With his friend Tim at his side, Jaffy's journey will push faith, love and friendship to their utmost limits.

Man Booker Prize 2011
Pigeon English – Stephen Kelmen (288 pages)
Newly arrived from Ghana with his mother and older sister, eleven-year-old Harrison Opoku lives on the ninth floor of a block of flats on an inner-city housing estate. The second best runner in the whole of Year 7, Harri races through his new life in his personalised trainers - the Adidas stripes drawn on with marker pen - blissfully unaware of the very real threat all around him. With equal fascination for the local gang - the Dell Farm Crew - and the pigeon who visits his balcony, Harri absorbs the many strange elements of his new life in England: watching, listening, and learning the tricks of urban survival. But when a boy is knifed to death on the high street and a police appeal for witnesses draws only silence, Harri decides to start a murder investigation of his own. In doing so, he unwittingly endangers the fragile web his mother has spun around her family to try and keep them safe. A story of innocence and experience, hope and harsh reality, Pigeon English is a spellbinding portrayal of a boy balancing on the edge of manhood and of the forces around him that try to shape the way he falls.

Orange Prize for Fiction 2011
Room – Emma Donaghue (336 pages)
Jack is five. He lives with his Ma. They live in a single, locked room. They don’t have the key.
Jack and Ma are prisoners.

Orange Prize for Fiction 2011
Grace Williams Says It Loud – Emma Henderson (336 pages)
The doctors said no more could be done and advised Grace's parents to put her away. On her first day at the Briar Mental Institute, Grace, aged eleven, meets Daniel. Debonair Daniel, an epileptic who can type with his feet, sees a different Grace: someone to share secrets and canoodle with, someone to fight for. A deeply affecting, spirit-soaring story of love against the odds.

messageRe: Green and Blue Book Club
Posted by susan_ 15 November, 2011 17:55

Hi everyone, I'm not going to be able to make it tonight. I'll PM my vote to Lisa. Really sorry to miss it.

messageRe: Green and Blue Book Club
Posted by lisucia 15 November, 2011 20:21

IMPORTANT!! To anyone coming to tonight's meeting at EDT - we're not there!! The football has beaten us! We're at Black Cherry.

messageRe: Green and Blue Book Club
Posted by Alec John Moore 17 November, 2011 11:12

Another enjoyable meeting on Tuesday but I felt a bit as though it was an away game, not being at G&B. Interesting that people seemed to be in two minds about The Ventriloquist's Tale. Great list for December and I'mm already enjoying Jamrach's Menagerie. Looking forward to discussing it back in the revamped G&B on 13th December at 8.00.
On another note, we also agreed to place an entry in Reading Groups for Everyone, an initiative of The Reading Agency. If there are any tweeters or twitterers amongst us then follwing @readingagency is a good way of keeping up to date with publisher's offers for instance.


messageRe: Green and Blue Book Club
Posted by marlowe 29 November, 2011 10:26

Hi everyone,
I can't remember when and where the interim bookclub is meeting - is it tonight?

messageRe: Green and Blue Book Club
Posted by waddinac 29 November, 2011 12:36

I think we said Thursday, at the Black Cherry. See you then?

messageRe: Green and Blue Book Club
Posted by marlowe 29 November, 2011 13:25

Yes that's what I have in my diary - but I got it into me head it was tonight. I've now double booked myself for Thursday!

messageRe: Green and Blue Book Club
Posted by Alec John Moore 29 November, 2011 13:37

This could be fun, Alec

Dear all,

We wanted to alert you to a fantastic competition to win 8 ipads for your reading group which we are running on Reading Groups for Everyone.

About the competition

To celebrate all the great crime and thriller novels in this year's Galaxy National Book Awards, Reading Groups for Everyone are offering reading groups a terrific opportunity to win 8 ipads.

To enter, your group will need to make a video review of a crime or thriller novel from the shortlist for this year's Galaxy National Book Awards Crime & Thriller of the Year. It doesn't have to be long – up to 1 minute – but we would like it to entertain us. The deadline for entries is 16 January 2012.

How to enter
Your group will need to be a member of Reading Groups for Everyone to enter the competition – so join now if you aren't already a member. If you are, log in, click the banner and enter. Once your group has made your crime or thriller video review, upload it to a YouTube account, and then paste the embed code into the competition entry form.

For more information, visit [].

messageRe: Green and Blue Book Club
Posted by Red_Cat 01 December, 2011 18:47

Hi, to anyone going to interim tonight, sorry I am not going to be able to make it.

messageRe: Green and Blue Book Club
Posted by waddinac 01 December, 2011 20:20

Went along but was all on my lonesome so back home! Loved Pigeon English though!

messageRe: Green and Blue Book Club
Posted by Alec John Moore 07 December, 2011 13:48

Could our group be bookgivers next year on world book night, I wonder. Follow the link below to the Reading Groups for Everyone website and further information:


Next task is to compile a short list of historical novels for consideration at next week's meeting. Watch this space.


messageRe: Green and Blue Book Club
Posted by kennethw 07 December, 2011 21:52

Hi everyone, don't think I'll make it next Tuesday, got a friend visiting.

Have a great Christmas and see you all next year!


messageRe: Green and Blue Book Club
Posted by david m 08 December, 2011 18:27

Apologies for abuse of site to publicise singing events!

TONIGHT 8th DEC: casual carol singing outside Crown and Greyhound in Dulwich Village from 7.30pm, late opening shopping plus mulled wine etc. I assume pub should be quite lively afterwards.

MONDAY 12th December-MAGNOLIA pub- 8.30pm - the annual NOTE-ORIOUS Christmas concert. Free entry, should be fun. get there early if you want a seat!


messageRe: Green and Blue Book Club
Posted by lisucia 10 December, 2011 20:25

Hi all

I popped into Green and Blue this evening to see where would could sit next week and to book. In the new layout I didn't really think there was an obvious place that would work for us. There is an area just behind where the snug used to be that has a larger table than anywhere else but I think it'd probably be a bit small for all of us. I had a chat with them and said I'd post to see what we want to do and then phone to book. if that's what we decide.

Any thoughts?


messageRe: Green and Blue Book Club
Posted by susan_ 11 December, 2011 09:55

Hi all, I'm not going to be able to make our meeting next week so I won't comment on Lisa's question above. I'll check the forum for the January book choice and location.
I hope everyone has a very happy holiday and very best wishes for 2012!

messageRe: Green and Blue Book Club
Posted by marlowe 12 December, 2011 10:16

I don't really mind. If you think the table will be too small then maybe we should think of a different venue. The back part of The Bishop was nice and the Black Cherry was good.

messageRe: Green and Blue Book Club
Posted by Alec John Moore 12 December, 2011 11:47


I'd be happy with the Black Cherry. I can't recall what the back of the Bishop is like. There's always the Actress, following the theme. We would probably have to get the part where kids are allowed up until 8.00 or whenever. Keep me posted, Lisa's got my number if we take it to the wire.

I aim to post the short list for January later today.


messageRe: Green and Blue Book Club
Posted by Alec John Moore 12 December, 2011 13:23

Hi, I struggled a bit with the definition of “historical novel” when it came to it having suggested the theme in the first place. Literature is so diverse as well as so available to us that definitions for our bok group purposes should perhaps be seen as hooks to hang a list of intereting titles from. The interweb did reveal a working definition: "a novel which is set fifty or more years in the past, and one in which the author is writing from research rather than personal experience. Some readers go so far as to say that a novel should only be called “historical” if the plot reflects its historical period so well that the story could not have occurred at any other time in history." The following list pays some attention to that definition but I thought it more interesting to also see how writers have played with narratives in broadly histroical settings. Call me a post modernist if you like, I've had worse. The list is shortened from my initial trawl which you can see on this Amazon wish list:[]

I, Claudius, Robert Graves, first published 1934, 416 pages
Despised for his weakness and regarded by his family as little more than a stammering fool, the nobleman Claudius quietly survives the intrigues, bloody purges and mounting cruelty of the imperial Roman dynasties. In I, Claudius he watches from the sidelines to record the reigns of its emperors: from the wise Augustus and his villainous wife Livia to the sadistic Tiberius and the insane excesses of Caligula. Written in the form of Claudius' autobiography, this is the first part of Robert Graves's brilliant account of the madness and debauchery of ancient Rome, and stands as one of the most celebrated, gripping historical novels ever written.

First Sentence
I, Tiberius Claudius Drusus Nero Germanicus This-that-and-the-other (for I shall not trouble you yet with all my titles), who was once, and not so long ago either, known to my friends and relatives and associates as 'Claudius the Idiot', or 'That Claudius', or 'Claudius the Stammerer', a.d. 41 or 'Clau-Clau-Claudius', or at best as 'Poor Uncle Claudius', am now about to write this strange history of my life ; starting from my earliest childhood and continuing year by year until I reach the fateful point of change where, some eight years ago, at the age of fifty-one, I suddenly found myself caught in what I may call the 'golden predicament' from which I have never since become disentangled.

The Name of the Rose, Umberto Eco, first published 1983, 512 pages
The year is 1327. Franciscans in a wealthy Italian abbey are suspected of heresy, and Brother William of Baskerville arrives to investigate.When his delicate mission is suddenly overshadowed by seven bizarre deaths, Brother William turns detective. He collects evidence, deciphers secret symbols and coded manuscripts, and digs into the eerie labyrinth of the abbey where extraordinary things are happening under the over of night. A spectacular popular and critical success, The Name of the Rose is not only a narrative of a murder investigation but an astonishing chronicle of the Middle Ages.

`Few historical novels come close to acquiring the literary gravitas of Umberto Eco's superior thriller, perhaps because it is as much concerned with semiotics and the science of deductive reasoning as it is in conjuring up the fearful atmosphere of a 14th-century Italian monastery' --Metro

Jack Maggs, Peter Carey, first published 1997, 368 pages
The Booker Prize-winning author of Oscar and Lucinda returns to the nineteenth century in an utterly captivating mystery. The year is 1837 and a stranger is prowling London. He is Jack Maggs, an illegal returnee from the prison island of Australia. He has the demeanor of a savage and the skills of a hardened criminal, and he is risking his life on seeking vengeance and reconciliation.
Installing himself within the household of the genteel grocer Percy Buckle, Maggs soon attracts the attention of a cross section of London society. Saucy Mercy Larkin wants him for a mate. The writer Tobias Oates wants to possess his soul through hypnosis. But Maggs is obsessed with a plan of his own. And as all the various schemes converge, Maggs rises into the center, a dark looming figure, at once frightening, mysterious, and compelling. Not since Caleb Carr's The Alienist have the shadowy city streets of the nineteenth century lit up with such mystery and romance.

'rewriting a page-turner from the past offers some major perils, not the least of them being comparisons to the original. Carey, however, more than withstands the test of time, alluding to the formality of Victorian prose without ever bending over backward to duplicate it. In addition, his eye for physical detail--and the ways in which such details open small or large windows onto character--is on par with that of Dickens. Here, for example, he pins down both the body and soul of a household servant: "Miss Mott was lean and sinewy and there was nowhere much for such a violent shiver to hide itself. Consequently it went right up her spine and disappeared inside her little white cap and then, just when it seemed lost, it came out the other side and pulled up the ends of her thin mouth in a grimace." Throw in a wicked mastery of period slang, a subplot about Victorian mesmerism (of which Dickens was, in fact, a practitioner) and an amazing storytelling gift, and you have a novel which meets and exceeds almost any expectation one might bring to it.'

Austerlitz, W G Sebald, first published 2001, 304 pages
Austerlitz, the internationally acclaimed masterpiece by “one of the most gripping writers imaginable” (The New York Review of Books), is the story of a man’s search for the answer to his life’s central riddle. A small child when he comes to England on a Kindertransport in the summer of 1939, one Jacques Aus-terlitz is told nothing of his real family by the Welsh Methodist minister and his wife who raise him. When he is a much older man, fleeting memories return to him, and obeying an instinct he only dimly understands, he follows their trail back to the world he left behind a half century before. There, faced with the void at the heart of twentieth-century Europe, he struggles to rescue his heritage from oblivion.
'Sebald writes about a man (Austerlitz) who despite his lushly satisfying intellectual life of an architectural historian finds himself in search of his roots. That those roots were blurred by the atrocites of Hitler's Kindertransport program (Jewish children were sent to England by parents hoping for their safety as the wings of evil flapped menacingly in the air) only makes Austerlitz' journey to self discovery the more poignant. His revisiting the sites of his true parents in Prague and Marienbad and Terezinbad, Paris, and Belgium produce some of the most beautifully wrought elegies found in the written word. His walking among the horrors of the obsessive compulsive Hitlerian Final Solution Program is devasting in the way that only researching one's history from time-lapsed memories and visual stimuli can create.'

Regeneration, Pat Barker, first published 1991, 256 pages
Craiglockhart War Hospital, Scotland, 1917, where army psychiatrist William Rivers is treating shell-shocked soldiers. Under his care are the poets Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen, as well as mute Billy Prior, who is only able to communicate by means of pencil and paper. Rivers’s job is to make the men in his charge healthy enough to fight. Yet the closer he gets to mending his patients’ minds the harder becomes every decision to send them back to the horrors of the front …

'the Western Front is ever-present in the minds of the soldiers Rivers is treating, and that's what this novel is really about: the effect of war on the mind and the sometimes futile, sometimes valiant ways the men try and confront and overcome their experiences.

It's a tremendously moving novel, all the more so as Rivers comes to care for and about the men receiving treatment, and feels an immense conflict between his duty as army psychiatrist to get the men fit and back to duty and his own knowledge of the horrors that await them there.'

Day, A L Kennedy, first published 2007, 288 pages
The novel tells of a man who was a tail-gunner in a Lancaster bomber in World War II, and who subsequently becomes an extra in a film about prisoners of war.

'Meticulously researched, there's dark humour, understated tragedy and one of the most successful fictional attempts I can recall to get right inside the skin of another human being; and given that human being - Alfie, a young tail gunner in a Lancaster bomber - is so different from the author in so many ways, it's an incredible feat. I can't recommend this book highly enough, and will be passing it on to friends and family - and strangers in the street, probably!'

messageRe: Green and Blue Book Club
Posted by H 12 December, 2011 20:48

It's a shame that Green and Blues have got rid of the snug. The Bishop was ok when we went there for interim a while ago, don't know the set up in the Black Cherry.

messageRe: Green and Blue Book Club
Posted by Red_Cat 12 December, 2011 22:00

Agree the 'library' in the bishop was a good place and the food v. nice. Black cherry also good. Haven't seen the new green and blue. Mm, whose going to make a decision??

Alex, just saw your post, really sorry you ended up on your own last week, was feeling kind of ropey that night

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