Thursday, June 16, 2011

Book club

Last night we had our (roughly monthly) meeting at Coopersmiths to drink beer and talk books.

Beer of choice: I tried a sample of a Belgian Kriek Ale. It's a very sour beer, and wasn't worth paying extra to have a full glass of that. In the right mood, I probably would enjoy it, but last night I went with the Horsetooth Stout.

Book: Blindness by José Saramago. I enjoyed this book a lot. I'd read his The Cave some years ago and enjoyed it, but often heard people refer to Blindness as his masterpiece. The story felt...very European, though I struggled to pinpoint what it was that made it feel that way. First I wrote that the prose felt that way, and to a certain extent it did, but it was more the mindsets of the characters, the way they interacted. And it's not that the characters somehow fit some stereotype of how Europeans think, which would be ridiculous, but that the book itself felt very much like it fit into the broader context of other continental books in ways that US and UK books often don't.

We had a good discussion about the book, especially about the one seeing character's actions and if she could/should have done more or differently. The style of the book certainly stands out, and the reactions to that aspect of different people in the group varied, but in general we mostly found it very readable despite the unfamiliar style and a memorable book.

Our next book is At Play in the Fields of the Lord by Peter Matthiessen. The description sort of reminded me of the movie The Mission, which I've loved since I first saw it. Apparently this 1965 book was also made into a movie (in 1991), but I'd never heard of it before.

No comments: