Monday, February 15, 2010

Bar Book Club

I've just returned from our latest book club down at the bar. We were a small group tonight, but we enjoyed a good discussion.

Beer of choice: They still had the Bourbon-barrel Stout that I'd enjoyed so much last month, so I went with that once again.

Book: The Brief, Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz.

I enjoyed the book a lot. The others...not as much. It wouldn't be fair to say they all actively disliked it, but it wasn't as much to their tastes, I suppose. The book is full of Spanish slang, and you get the general gist without knowing the words, but a big part of my enjoyment was in the wordplay, that someone unfamiliar with Spanish wouldn't get. It's also full of references to SF & fantasy works, especially the kinds of works that would have inspired fanboy responses for someone growing up in the early 80s (late 70s maybe?). I had enough context to enjoy this a lot too, though in honesty much of it was unfamiliar to me--a lot of comic book stuff that I'm less familiar with, and I'm just enough younger than the protagonist that my frame of reference would have included very different works. Still, a very fun book--even in the most painful parts about the Trujillo atrocities, I always had a sense that the writer was having fun. Not at the expense of or disrespectful of those terrible events. In fact, it was an angry sort of fun at times, if that's possible, a dark humor. David James Duncan kind of fun (look down toward the end of that essay).

Our next book is undecided since the person who was going to bring books couldn't make it. We should know soon.

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