Book Club is tonight (June 5) at 8pm. We know this means you will miss Arrow on telly but you can always get the DVD out later.
Come along and talk about whatever you have been reading with a group of like-minded nerds. We are so open-minded that Gretchen even brought a Rolling Stones DVD to Book Club which I thought was hilarious.
With Smash Palace being closed on Monday and Tuesday over winter we have moved Book Club to Wednesday nights.
So finish up what you’re reading and come down and talk about it with like-minded nerds.
Smash Palace Book Club this Wednesday May 1at 8pm. See you all then.
Book Club is tonight at 8pm. For all those that haven’t been before, the format is you show up and talk about the books you’re reading with a bunch of like-minded nerds.
IÂ will be talking about Maurice Shadbolt’sÂ Among the Cinders (1965).
This book was loaned to me by a friend who felt I really should have read it. As such a massive NZ Lit. fan, I’m surprised I hadn’t already discovered it. The fact I hadn’t fills me with hope for all the great NZ books I have yet to read/discover.
The story is of a young boy who goes on a hunting trip with a friend. The trip goes wrong when his friend falls down a bank and dies. This makes the narrator a bit loopy and he ends up running away to stay with his grandmother and grandfather in Auckland. When his grandmother dies, old grandad refuses to accept the truth and takes the boy out into the bush to relive his own childhood of gum-digging, cooking on a billy and sleeping rough.
What is a pretty straightforward story, ends up addressing a whole lot of bigger issues that are as relevant today as they were when the book was published.
I was surprised by how fresh the New Zealand voice was in this book. As a huge fan of Frank Sargeson, I’m always looking for that authentic New Zealand voice that Sargeson created in his writing.
I can’t stress enough how much I loved this book. It was a riveting read, full of adventure, that kept surprising me throughout. Just when I thought I couldn’t love the book any more, the main character meets the author and they get into debates about the structure of the story and how it should be told – eat your heart out Kurt Vonnegut.
While published in 1965, if you’d published it yesterday it would still be relevant and edgy.
I loved this book and can’t recommend it highly enough. I have already loaned my copy out, so you will have to wait if you want to borrow it.
Don’t forget book club tonight. It is a pretty simple format. Show up, talk about the books you have read, and have a drink with other like-minded nerds.
I have found Book Club has been great in keeping me focused on finishing books. I tend to half-read five books at once, crawling to the end of one or other occasionally. Book Club has forced me to finish what I am reading so that I have something to report at the next meeting.
I’m really into repetition and re-reading at the moment. I think that’s something Christians got right in that they all get together once a week and read the same book over and over. It is only through saturating yourself in a book that you can really come to know it.
This month I re-read Trout Fishing in America by Ricard Brautigan. I was initially turned onto the book by old Tony d some years ago. Then I saw a copy for sale on TradeMe and thought “Yeah, I should read that again. That’s one I should own…”
First published in 1967, Trout Fishing in America is a lovely wee piece of Hippy Lit. Brautigan has done away with most of those bourgeois concepts that make a novel. So notions like narrative arc, linear plot and character development are thrown out the window. In breaking them down and compiling this little gem of a book, he showed how you could write an incredibly readable book using what I’m sure was a pretty exciting narrative style at the time. I can just imagine hippies sitting round, telling one another what a great book this was.
Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not really into avant-garde writing. I tend to enjoy a readable story that leads me along a path until some sort of conclusion is reached. I didn’t finish Naked Lunch because I couldn’t really understand what was going on. I got bored and read something else instead.
Having said that. I loved the breaking of the rules in Trout Fishing in America. I loved the story when it kept sneaking in among the rest of the book and I loved the poet’s sensibility to the writing. I felt like every sentence in the book was considered for how it worked, sounded and looked on the page.
I certainly wouldn’t recommend this book to many people, but to those that I thought might enjoy it, I would recommend it strongly.
Don’t forget our book club tomorrow (Tuesday) night at 8pm. We are operating a pretty loose format. Come down, talk books, drink beer, have a laugh… Pretty simple really. It has been really good for making me finish the books I said I was going to read last month.
I might add that Book Club has been much more successful than Chess Club which has had a pretty poor turn-out. Are there no chess rookies out there that fancy a pint and a Ruy Lopez?