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messageRe: Wednesday night book club.
Posted by Chick 03 June, 2013 19:58

Hi every body,

Bad news, my wife asked me to go away with her on the weekend of the 22nd which I agreed to not thinking about our trip.

So I am going to suggest we go on the 6th July which again gives us more time. My apologies.

Could you please let me know if you can attend?

Cheers,


Chick

messageRe: Wednesday night book club.
Posted by Chick 14 June, 2013 16:47

Greetings book clubbers,

Just to remind you of our meeting next Wednesday at the Clockhouse at 8.00 pm upstairs.
Also sadly Ian Banks died last week and I have had a request to choose one of his books as the next book group reading. I am quiet happy to do so and would recommend either The Wasp Factory or The Bridge.

A brief synopsos:
The Bridge:
The three main characters represent different elements of the protagonist. Alex (full name hinted to be Alexander Lennox, but never explicitly named), John Orr and The Barbarian are one.
Alex is a real person, born in Glasgow, who studied geology and engineering at the University of Edinburgh, fell in love with Andrea Cramond while there, and has continued their (open) relationship ever since. He is embittered by his betrayal of his working class roots (he has become a manager and partner in his engineering firm), the Cold War, successive Thatcher governments, and the failure of his relationship under the pressure of Andrea's French lover's terminal illness. While returning from a sentimental reunion with an old friend in Fife, during which alcohol and cannabis are consumed, he becomes distracted by the power and beauty of the Forth Railway Bridge while driving on the neighbouring Forth Road Bridge and crashes his car. While in a coma in hospital, he relives his life up to the crash.
"He glanced back at the roadway of the bridge as it rose slowly to its gentle, suspended summit. The surface was a little damp, but nothing to worry about. No problems. He wasn’t going all that fast anyway, staying in the nearside lane, looking over at the rail bridge downstream. A light winked at the far end of the island under the rail bridge’s middle-section. One day, though, even you’ll be gone. Nothing lasts. Maybe that’s what I want to tell her. Maybe I want to say, No, of course I don’t mind; you must go. I can’t grudge the man that; you’d have done the same for me and I would for you. Just a pity, that’s all. Go; we’ll all survive. Maybe some good-
He was aware of the truck in front pulling out suddenly. He looked round to see a car in front of him. It was stopped, abandoned in the nearside lane. He sucked his breath in, stamped on the brakes, tried to swerve; but it was too late."
John Orr is an amnesiac living on the Bridge, a massive simulacrum of the rail bridge, but hundreds of miles long and packed with people. The crash which precipitated his arrival on the bridge was semi-deliberate; as such, he is reluctant to return to the real world. That part of himself who wishes to wake is represented by Dr Joyce, Orr's psychoanalyst. Given Orr/Alex's desire to remain within the world of the Bridge, a world where he is well treated and lives a fairly pampered life, his attempts to stonewall and block the doctor's attempts to cure him are understandable. Eventually, he stows away on a train and leaves the Bridge. He finds that, in stark contrast to the very orderly, indeed totalitarian, life on The Bridge, the countryside beyond exists in militaristic chaos and warfare.
The Barbarian is an id-ish warrior with a superego-esque familiar in tow (phallic symbolism is referenced by the familiar within a few pages of their first appearance) whose hack-and slash antics through various parodies of Greek legends and fairy tales are phonetically rendered in Scots dialect (seven years before Irvine Welsh used the technique in Trainspotting). The Barbarian (along with his loquacious familiar) are a deep expression of Alex's character; when Orr's dreams are not themed around threat and opposition he dreams he is the Barbarian.
The Barbarian appears to be an expression of Alex's deepest feelings. A woman is his enemy in their first appearance (Metaphormosis, Four), showing how Andrea Cramond has made her influence felt in Alex's very core, and how his love for her has been eroded and has transmuted into anger and contempt through the rift that has opened in their relationship.
In their second appearance (Metamorpheus, Four), a female character is mentioned in passing, with a certain level of affection.
The third appearance of the Barbarian and familiar (Metamorphosis, Pliocene) sees them old, decrepit, bed-bound and heading inevitably towards death. In each successive chapter the Barbarian's Scottish accent becomes less and less pronounced, another indication of how far Alex has gone from his Glaswegian roots. The Barbarian talks of his grief over his dead wife and his memories of their life together. While comparisons have been drawn between Sigmund Freud's structural theory of personality, this is the only point where the Barbarian, Familiar and another individual get together in a three-way arrangement. If the Barbarian's wife represents Andrea Cramond, it is another example of how deeply she has penetrated his being. In a move mirroring Alex's suicide drive and anticipating the end of the book, he is placed in a situation likely to kill him, but triumphs and emerges (literally) rejuvenated and reinvigorated. His Glasgow accent also returns.
The Bridge is an unconventional love story; the characters eschew fidelity and barely see each other for years at a time, but they keep returning to each other. There is no marriage, no ring, no happy ever after, just the knowledge that their lives are so deeply entwined it would be difficult or impossible for them to break away from each other.
“You don't belong to her and she doesn't belong to you, but you're both part of each other; if she got up and left now and walked away and you never saw each other again for the rest of your lives, and you lived an ordinary waking life for another fifty years, even so on your deathbed you would know she was part of you.
The Wasp Factory:

It is written from a first person perspective, told by sixteen-year-old Frank Cauldhame, describing his childhood and all that remains of it. Frank observes many shamanistic rituals of his own invention, and it is soon revealed that Frank was the perpetrator of three deaths of children within his family before he reached the age of ten himself. As the novel develops, his brother's escape from a mental hospital and impending return lead on to a violent ending and a twist that undermines all that Frank believed about himself.
The 'Wasp Factory' of the title is a huge clock face encased in a glass box and salvaged from the local dump. Behind each of the 12 numerals is a trap which leads to a different ritual death (for example burning, crushing, or drowning in Frank's urine) for the wasp that Frank puts into the hole at the center within tubes. Frank believes the death 'chosen' by the wasp predicts something about the future.
There are also Sacrifice Poles, upon which hang the bodies and heads of larger animals, such as seagulls, that Frank has killed and other sacred items. They define and 'protect' the borders of Frank's territory - the island upon which he lives with his father.
Frank occupies himself with his rituals and maintaining an array of weapons (from his catapult, to pipe bombs and a crude flame thrower) to control the island. Frank is haunted by an accident which resulted in the loss of his genitalia, and resents others for his impotence, particularly women. He goes for long walks and runs patrolling the island, and occasionally gets drunk with his dwarf friend Jamie in the local pub. Other than that, Frank has almost no contact with the outside world and admits that he is afraid of it due to what it did to his brother, Eric.
Frank's older brother Eric is in an insane asylum after being arrested for brutalizing the town's dogs. He escapes at the start of the novel and throughout the book rings Frank from phone boxes to inform Frank of his progress back to the island. Their conversations invariably end badly, with Eric exploding in fits of rage. Frank is confused as to whether or not he is looking forward to seeing Eric, but it is clear Frank loves his brother dearly.
Frank remembers his older brother as being extremely sensitive before "the incident" that drove him mad: a tragic case of neglect in a hospital where Eric was a volunteer. While attempting to feed a smiling brain-damaged child with acalvaria, Eric realizes that the patient is unresponsive and only smiling off into space. He checks the usually-alert patient's head dressings to find the child's exposed brain tissue infested with day-old maggots.

We also get a listing on The Clockhouse website:

[clockhousepub.com]



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit was 2013:06:14:17:03:40 by Chick.

messageRe: Wednesday night book club.
Posted by Chick 20 June, 2013 08:05

Greetings book clubbers,

Thanks to everyone who came along last night and a big welcome to Laura.
Our next book is The Wasp Factory by Ian Banks. The next meeting is on 24th July and the transport trip is on the 6th July. I’ll post more details soon.

Och Aye.

Chick

messageRe: Wednesday night book club.
Posted by Chick 26 June, 2013 16:38

Dear Bookclubbers,



Rye books have ordered three copies of the Wasp Factory for those who wanted them. Alasdair has had to order them from America as there was a bit of a run with Mr Banks dying and is unable to give us a discount this month. They should be in by Friday.



The public transport trip is set for Saturday 6th July. We will meet at Westminster underground at 2.00pm then travel to North Greenwich stopping at Canary Wharf on the way. Then we take the cable car across the Thames and lots of pictures. Then we can take DLR to Woolwich and over ground back to London Bridge. Or we can cut short depending on how people feel. Can you let me know if you intend to join us please. After maybe a beer we can take in a cheep meal in Lordship Lane, Indian or Chinese or what ever the group wants.



All welcome.



Cheers,







Chick

messageRe: Wednesday night book club.
Posted by Chick 29 June, 2013 11:25

Greetings book clubbers,

The Wasp Factory is in Rye books for those of you who ordered. The trip is going ahead next Saturday 6th July. We meet at Westminster tube station at 2.00pm, under ground to North Greenwich, cable car across the river, DLR to Woolwich which goes via the docks. Beer in Woolwich and possibly food then train back to London Bridge. Oyster cards can be used on the cable car. Can you let me know if you are coming? I think the max cost is £12.00. Good photo opportunity.

Chick

messageRe: Wednesday night book club.
Posted by numbers 03 July, 2013 11:05

hoots Chick,

Thought the book club may be interested to know. Local author, Evie Wyld, who came along to one of the bookclub meetings to discuss our book choice 'After the Fire', has received excellent reviews for her latest novel, 'All the Birds, Singing'.

Evie was interviewed on R4's Open Book this week: [www.bbc.co.uk]

One of the new book reviews: [www.guardian.co.uk]

I'll be picking up a copy of this book for def when am next in the area.

K xx



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit was 2013:07:03:11:09:09 by numbers.

messageRe: Wednesday night book club.
Posted by Chick 09 July, 2013 07:10

Greetings book clubbers,

A big thanks to everyone who came on the transport trip, a great day and the cable car was wonderful.
Our next meeting is in the Clockhouse on 24th July at 8.00pm. Some one got the booking for our room upstairs in before me so if it’s still booked we will be in the “snug” area downstairs.
Hope you are enjoying the weather and the Wasp Factory. I had forgotten how funny it is, Pathos being the fourth musketeer etc.

Och Aye


Chick

messageRe: Wednesday night book club.
Posted by Lilly Potes 09 July, 2013 16:34

Can I join the book club even if I have not read any book in the past. I would love to be part of the club for a bit of motivation.

messageRe: Wednesday night book club.
Posted by Chick 10 July, 2013 07:08

Lilly,

yes of course, just come along on the 24th. See ya.

messageRe: Wednesday night book club.
Posted by Chick 21 July, 2013 09:56

Greetings book clubbers,

Just to remind you the book group meets this Wednesday in the Clockhouse at 8.00pm this time in the snug mezzanine downstairs. Someone has booked the Blake room every Wednesday for the next five weeks so we have to choose another night for August. Hope you enjoyed the book and look forward to seeing you.

Cheers


Chick

messageRe: Wednesday night book club.
Posted by Chick 24 July, 2013 09:42

See you tonight.

messageRe: Wednesday night book club.
Posted by Chick 26 July, 2013 09:34

Greetings and a big thanks to everyone who came to another very good meeting. Thanks to Sarah for making it and a big welcome to Sissel. The next meeting is on Wednesday 21st August at 8.00pm again in the snug downstairs at the Clockhouse. The next book is Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole;

A Confederacy of Dunces is a picaresque novel by American novelist John Kennedy Toole which appeared in 1980, eleven years after Toole's suicide. Published through the efforts of writer Walker Percy (who also contributed a foreword) and Toole's mother, the book became first a cult classic, then a mainstream success; it earned Toole a posthumous Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1981, and is now considered a canonical work of modern literature of the Southern United States.[1]
The book's title refers to an epigraph from Jonathan Swift's essay, Thoughts on Various Subjects, Moral and Diverting: "When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him". Its central character, Ignatius J. Reilly, is an educated but slothful 30-year-old man living with his mother in the Uptown neighborhood of early-1960s New Orleans who, in his quest for employment, has various adventures with colorful French Quarter characters. Toole wrote the novel in 1963 during his last few months in Puerto Rico.

Alaistair in Rye books, hope you get well and can we order four copies for Chick, Sissel, Susan & Bianca please.
See you all in August!


Chick

messageRe: Wednesday night book club.
Posted by Chick 09 August, 2013 15:40

Greetings book clubbers.

I have registered an interest in this:

[readinggroups.org]

I am not sure if PG Wodehouse is my cup of tea and not sure I want the book group to be tied down to Wodehouse for any length of time but thought it might be interesting.

Please let me know what you think.

Also Alec from Tuesday Tipplers, another book group, has lent me a book which they have read with a view to us reading it at some time:

[www.theguardian.com]

If we read it the author will come and see us one night, sounds good to me.

Again let me know what you think by email pls.

Have a good weekend whilst I work away. I am going to harvest some honey at last, after four years.

Best wishes & hope for more sunshine,

Chick

messageRe: Wednesday night book club.
Posted by Chick 09 August, 2013 15:53

PS pls collect your book from Rye Books!

--------------------
Chick.

[www.facebook.com]

messageRe: Wednesday night book club.
Posted by Chick 14 August, 2013 13:56

Just to remind you we meet next week at the Clockhouse at 8.00pm in the snug downstairs. Look forward to seeing you all.

--------------------
Chick.

[www.facebook.com]

messageRe: Wednesday night book club.
Posted by HL_shaw 15 August, 2013 13:23

Hi,

I'm new to the area and looking to get involved with a book club. Is anyone free to join?

messageRe: Wednesday night book club.
Posted by Chick 15 August, 2013 13:44

You are very welcome. Just come along next Wednesday. PM me an email adress if you want to go on the list.

--------------------
Chick.

[www.facebook.com]



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit was 2013:08:31:15:58:02 by Chick.

messageRe: Wednesday night book club.
Posted by Chick 20 August, 2013 10:58

See you all tomorrow at 8.00pm in the Snug bar of the Clockhouse

messageRe: Wednesday night book club.
Posted by Chick 22 August, 2013 10:41

Greetings book clubbers,

Thanks again to everyone for a great meeting and to Sarah for the cakes. The next meeting is on September 18th again at the Clockhouse at 8.00pm. The next book is NW by Zadie Smith.

A review:

[www.lrb.co.uk]

messageRe: Wednesday night book club.
Posted by EmED 01 September, 2013 00:04

Hello! I'd love to come along too if that's ok? Can I just turn up having read the book?

Looking forward to it, I love The Clockhouse!

messageRe: Wednesday night book club.
Posted by Chick 01 September, 2013 08:05

EmED,

Just turn up on the night. Look forward to meeting you.

--------------------
Chick.

[www.facebook.com]



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit was 2013:09:01:08:06:20 by Chick.

messageRe: Wednesday night book club.
Posted by BeckiS 05 September, 2013 18:17

I'm new (ish) to ED and would love to come along too- I've just bought the book so hoping to see you there! Becki X

messageRe: Wednesday night book club.
Posted by Chick 06 September, 2013 11:14

Becki,

You are more than welcome. Just turn up, we will be in the Blake room upstairs.

messageRe: Wednesday night book club.
Posted by Chick 10 September, 2013 07:00

Just a reminder, we meet next week in the Blake room upstairs at the Cloclhouse at 8.00pm, 18th September.

messageRe: Wednesday night book club.
Posted by Chick 14 September, 2013 21:37

Just to remind you we are meeting next Wednesday 18th in the Clockhouse at 8.00pm in the upstairs Blake room.

I started off hating our current book but now 2/3 way through I am thoroughly enjoying it so be patient it's worth it.

We also need to discuss our December meal and are we going to read the book by the local author which I wrote to you about a while ago.

And we have been selected for the PG Woodhouse books so we also need to discuss.

Blimey.

From the local author:

Dear Charles,

When I heard about your reading group I was very eager to contact you. I hope you don’t mind. I am a secondary school teacher who has written a humorous novel based on my experiences and I am hoping you will add my book to your reading lists. I believe you would find the story entertaining. The book is very light hearted and would appeal to anyone with a keen sense of humour.

If your group were to include my book on your programme I would be pleased to provide background information prior to reading. I would also be quite happy to undertake an internet based question and answer session afterwards.

I hope you will give me the opportunity to enjoy some lively discussion with your members.

Best Wishes,
Edwin Matthews

--------------------
Chick.

[www.facebook.com]

messageRe: Wednesday night book club.
Posted by numbers 14 September, 2013 22:28

happy to read all the PG Wodehouse books for you! big grin

bit late but starting latest book on chick's recommendation. good if you are supporting local authors!

hope to see you all soon.

messageRe: Wednesday night book club.
Posted by Chick 19 September, 2013 06:11

Thanks to every body who came along last night, and to Sarah for a brilliant cake. And a big welcome to Emily & Chrisitiene. Our next book is A Cavalcade of Perfect Joy by PG Wodehouse. Our next meeting is again in the Clockhouse on 16th October at 8.00pm. Will post more next week.

Chick

messageRe: Wednesday night book club.
Posted by fionasmythmacandrew 26 September, 2013 12:55

Hello, I would love to come along to this if that is okay. I have just moved to East Dulwich and am a huge book fan.
Thanks!

messageRe: Wednesday night book club.
Posted by Chick 26 September, 2013 13:43

Yes just come along, you are more than welcome.

messageRe: Wednesday night book club.
Posted by numbers 30 September, 2013 08:57

Zadie Smith was on Desert Island Discs the other week btw. Was really interesting to hear her discuss her writing and inspiration. Dire music selection tho!

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