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Saturday, 21 August 2010

Book Club the Seventh

I made this: Avid Reader at 6:22 pm
Book Club the Seventh  - BOOKN00B - 18-08-10
Agreed on: We by Yevgany Zenyatin (AvidReader)
Discussed:
- The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga
- The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry
- The Twins by Tesse De Loo
- House at River ton by Kate Morton
- Millennium Trilogy by Steig Larsson (this time with Phee (-:)

We had all approached the following book with some trepidation - after all, it's the first of our proper grown up award winning books (Man Booker winner) but found this month's choice easier to sink into than expected. 

BOOKN00B 
  • loved reading about India, and found this unfamiliar aspect fascinating. 
  • was less enamoured with the characters, unable to warm to any of them.
  • found the single person letter writing format to be a device, that became increasingly meaningless and annoying over time, interrupting the flow of the story. 
  • felt that the plot, while perfectly suited to this setting, would have seemed feeble in another setting. 
AVIDREADER
  • agreed that the plot would not translate into another setting without major revisions.
  • was also very impressed that it was a debut novel, finding the voice to be strong, and consistent. 
  • loved the setting and the 'un-Danny Boyle's vision of Slumdog Millionaire' India presented was far more real to me; more intricate and influenced by the lingering economic and political effects of colonialism.
  • would definitely read another of his books, but only of surrounded by fluffy books for afterwards!
BOOKELF 
  • didn't really enjoy the process of reading the book, but found that it really made her think. 
  • didn't feel like she knew enough of the history to know how accurate the set up was.
  • also found the protagonist to be difficult to like, but the world very well created, and easy to visualise in the minds eye.
  • the master-servant interrelationships were soooo interesting
  • would definitely recommend to some
  • felt that it was definitely a 'book club' read rather than a pleasure one. 
  • a woman at her workplace had read this book over her maternity leave, and found it to be amazing - a high commendation as she had a shared heritage and culture. 
  • would not be keen to re-read though.
Score
BOOKN00B               BOOKELF             AVIDREADER
6.5/7/10                         6.5/10                    8/10

We also discussed Kate Morton's House at Riverton - agreeing that it was a beautiful book, with a fantastic depiction of the Upstairs/Downstairs tensions, considered typical of that time period. 


We all of us loathed the sister in the book, though very much enjoyed the relationships between most of the primary and secondary characters. 


I was personally very disappointed at the author's follow up novel The Forgotten Garden, a blatant rip off of this books structure, style and plot.
 While on holiday, BOOKN00B had the chance to read all of The Millennium Trilogy books. 
  • found the first book to primarily serve to set the scene
  • while the following two provided a more satisfying series feel
  • felt that the first book relied too much on Dan Brown for inspiration
  • was a slow burner to the point of taking too long to get started.

She agreed with points that both of us had made during our earlier, occasionally heated discussion, and rated the books as follows:

                  BOOKN00B      BOOKELF           AVIDREADER
Book 1 -         6/10                                                  7/10
Book 2 -        8/10                 10/10                      9/10
Book 3 -        10/10               10/10                      10/10

We also discussed the following books - all of which we would recommend. We didn't go into as much details for these as at least one bookie wanted to read it - without knowing the whole storyline!


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