Monday, November 06, 2006

Book Club Update

If you haven't already done so, you can read my initial reaction to the book here.

So, I went to my book club meeting the other night not knowing what expect, but was anxious to hear what the other members had to say about One Hundred Years of Solitude. I was disappointed to see that sickness or busy schedules had done a number on our attendance and there were only three other ladies present. Drat! Oh well, at least I would get some input and hopefully the discussion would be lively. Hmmm? Would they rave about the emperor's new outfit or be like me and scratch their heads as they adjusted their glasses to try to see more clearly.

I was totally surprised to learn that they all liked the book. Yikes! They agreed with Lynn and said it had to be read like poetry and I had to listen for the music of it. They were totally confused with the names of the characters and couldn't follow time lines either, but said that didn't matter. They didn't try to figure it out or make sense of it, just read it quickly and let it sink in later. One girl said it was like waking from a dream when she put the book down. She knew it had meaning, but couldn't quite grasp what it was, like a dream just beyond her recollection.

So, I am going to try to read it again, with a different mindset this time and listen for the music of it. Who knew that I wouldn't need to adjust my glasses, only my hearing aids to read this book.

Wish me luck. I will let you know if I hear anything.


Lynn said...

Good luck, but if it is not your cup of tea, do not try to force it down. :)

There was a famous Italian writer, whose name I do not recall, who was lying on his death bed and was asked if he had anything to confess before he died. The writer replied, "Dante bores me."

The anecdote relieved me of a lot of anxiety I had about reading Dante.

Heather said...

Question is - did they REALLY like it or were they trying to act like literary snobs?

Anonymous said...

I have little patience with obscure literature. That particular book frustrated me. I like to understand an author clearly and know what he's saying. Sometimes things that supposedly "have meaning" really do not. :)

Lynn, are you referring to Umberto Eco? That's another one who flies right over my head. LOL


Thailand Gal

Maya's Granny said...

Well,I've had people tell me that I just don't know how to look at certain paintings as well, but if I don't like it, and I haven't acquired a taste after a few exposures, I stop wasting my time with it and go for something I do like.

Cathy said...

Well, Cuppa, I quickly 'googled' a review by a Ian Johnston that was pretty convoluted, but I kept skimming and came to one of his remarks: 'The town and the family are fated to die because they do not have what is required to continue. Their solitude, their commitment to withdrawal, fantasy, and subjective desires has doomed them.'
This is what is so danged difficult about book clubs. I don't want to have to commit to books that are confusing, distressing and ultimately downers. I've got to respect you for hanging in there, but maybe you should just read a few more reviews and move on :0)

methatiam said...

Maybe it wasn’t “sickness or busy schedules” that kept everyone away, maybe it was the thought of having to publicly admit that the book made no sense and reading it was to much like dancing in quicksand (never read it myself, just projecting).
I have a book club here at work (believe it or not) and instead of us all plowing through the same book that few of us would enjoy, we read whatever we wish and then, once a month, we talk about what we are reading. It’s a much more enjoyable time.

[Abstract art is] a product of the untalented, sold by the unprincipled to the utterly bewildered. - Al Capp

I can't criticize what I don't understand. If you want to call this art, you've got the benefit of all my doubts. - Charles Rosin

Lynn said...

thailand gal,

I was not thinking of Eco. I think he is still alive. I enjoyed his Name of the Rose. I have seen the movie made from it starring Sean Connery many times. I love murder mysteries set in an obscure 13th century monastaries that revolve around lost texts of Aristotle buried in an huge unknown libraries.

As for the rest of Eco, I have not found anything I really like, so I stopped reading him.