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Thread: Book Club

  1. #71
    Sexy evil genius Paulie's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Dorthy31
    How bout Jane Eyre....I have to read it for AP english.... you all can help me w/ my notes!
    I'm actually going to start reading this in a little while. I have to finish Tim Powers' The Anubis Gates first, but Jane Eyre's next on my list. I've never read it before.

    BTW, The Anubis Gates is an excellent read. It's a wild time travel adventure with some unforgettable characters and more than a few great plot twists. I'm a little more than halfway through, and I'm just loving it. That's for those of you who like sci-fi.
    When you're ten years old and a car drives by and splashes a puddle of water all over you, it's hard to decide if you should go to school like that or try to go home and change and probably be late. So while he was trying to decide, I drove by and splashed him again. - Jack Handey

    Read Paulie's Precaps for Survivor:Vanuatu: 1-2-3-4-5

  2. #72
    FORT Fogey
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    Personally, I would delete Sarah, simply because it is so short. Does anyone mind? Expecially you, hazy, because you suggested it?

  3. #73
    Why Not Us? greenie's Avatar
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    Yeah, anna, we should also decide how long we're going to allow to read these books. Length will be a factor when making that decision.
    Who shot who in the what now?

  4. #74
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    Russell Banks - "Rule of the Bone"
    1996, 4.5 stars, 400 pages

    Jonathan Coleman - "Exit the Rainmaker"
    1999, 4.5 stars, 288 pages

    John Irving - "A Prayer for Owen Meanie"
    1990, 4.5 stars, 640 pages

    Barbara Kingsolver "The Poisonwood Bible"
    1999, 4 stars, 560 pages

    Anna Quindlen - "Black and Blue"
    1999, 4 stars, 384 pages

    Jose Saramago - "Blindness"
    1999, 4 stars, 352 pages

    Alice Sebold - "Lovely Bones"
    2002, 4 stars, 288 pages

    I got it down to these seven. Anyone else want to delete a book or two?

  5. #75
    FORT Fogey
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    Well, I'm off to the doctor. I'll be back once I get home at about 5 or 6 Central Time, so hopefully we'll have figured something out by then...

  6. #76
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    Yea, actually, I would mind. I'd rather you take Banks off (although I love Rule of the Bone) then this one.

    Just because it's short, doesn't mean it isn't brilliant. It was written by a 17 year old kid. Here's a review I wrote on it a few years ago.

    ----------

    A story.

    I had bought myself a copy of a magazine called FACE (perhaps a review on that to come in the near future, a great mag) for reading on a long flight back to California from New York City. I read an article about a young male writer on what it feels like for a girl. It blows me out of the water. I must read more.

    When I get home, the second thing I did (I had to go to the bathroom, OK?) was run to the bookstore (OK, so really I drove, but run sounds much more literal) and buy a copy of this young writers novel, "Sarah."

    I finished it that night.

    Anything I could possibly write about J.T. Leroy or his novel would only do it injustice. It is truly one of the literary classics of our time. Stark, honest, comical, brutal, unwavering in its tone and nature. Jerry Stahl, renowned author of Permanent Midnight, says the following about Leroy: "JT Leroy writes like Flannery O'Connor tied to the bed and plied with angel dust." Others compare his stylistic renderings to Mark Twain, William S. Burroughs, Nathaniel West and his mentor Dennis Cooper.

    I disagree.

    While the comparisons are certainly praise worthy of our young muse, Leroy is in a class of his own, very much with a distinct, unique voice that distinguishes him as his own individual.

    The novel itself is a moving, twisted tale glimpse into the life of Cherry Vanilla, a twelve year old boy who dreams of becoming the best truck stop whore there ever was. His mother, Sarah, is his idol and rival. The relationship between mother and son is what drives the plot, even though Sarah is noticeably absent throughout most of the novel.

    Wanting the experience it takes to be the best, Cherry runs off and adopts his mothers name. The outrageous twists and turns of the novel take the reader on an emotional, sometimes hysterical roller coaster of a ride. Over the course of just under 200 pages, you will meet a gourmet chef at a truck stop whose culinary delights will make your mouth water while you read, a mysterious Jack-a-lope who brings good luck to all who touch it, backstabbing prostitutes, and most ironically religious sainthood for the lost youth.

    While the novel itself is often hilarious in nature, where it really gets you is that this book is somewhat autobiographical in nature. With this understanding, suddenly the book and its tone become biting, almost hard to take. The subject matter instantly becomes more difficult and impossible to comprehend. The words will spin around in your head, like a merry-go-round gone wayward, dizzying and confusing you to the point where you will often have to re-read a passage over and over again, until finally it hits you smack dab in the middle of your bulbous forehead like a freight train. Let there be no mistake, this is not an easy read. It hurts.

    Leroy has the capability of expressing himself through his words in a manner most writers cannot duplicate. Rather than telling a story, he lives it. He shows you the life of a West Virginian boy, confused and lost. Leroy never really stops and explains what he is writing about, he lets the story do that for him. It forces you into his world, placing you there almost involuntarily. It makes the reality of this implausible world seem possible. You smell the food wavering in, you hear the voices talking, you understand the pain and emotion, you comprehend the actuality of a twelve year old boy going through all of this. Or at least you want to.

    Leroy's imagery is vibrant and colorful. He doesn't just describe a color by saying "the pretty blue dress," rather he puts you in the damn dress and makes you feel how soft and warm it is, makes you see how the color accentuates the features. The characters are given such depth that you feel as if you know them, that you could pull up to a West Virginia truck stop and just start talking with them at any given time.

    Sarah is about survival. It's about one persons desire to transcend above it all. It's about the harsh reality of abuse as seen through the eyes of lost innocence. To Leroy's narrator, the abusers are his heroes and the abuse his narcotic. The conclusion, vague and unresolved, turns this novel from merely a really good novel to one of classic proportions.

    There aren't many books that blow me away. Even fewer writers that do. J.T. Leroy and his book, "Sarah," do both. Get it now. You won't be sorry.
    I know someday you'll have a beautiful life, I know you'll be a star in somebody else's eyes... but why... why... why can't it be me?

  7. #77
    daydream believer oneTVslave's Avatar
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    Gosh, Hazy...I've been keeping up with this thread to see what book was decided on before I decided to participate, but based on your glowing review, I think I will have to read "Sarah" no matter what is decided! It sounds really good...

    I'm going on vacation this weekend and may actually have to pick it up to read on the flight...

  8. #78
    FORT Fogey
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    I'm sure it's a great book hazy, but two things.

    First, I think we're trying to find a book that nobody has read before, but that people have been wanting to read.

    Second, while it's great that you can like a book enough that you can sit down and read it in a day, I think we're looking for something where we can each read a few chapters a week over a few weeks (I think that's what most people want). I'm not rejecting the book on merit, but simply on length.

    If it's as good as you think, then you should definitely recommend it for people, but to make this a more long-term book club, I just think the book should be longer. A book like Sapphire's "Push," while great, also wouldn't qualify, since it wouldn't take people a long enough time to read through it.

    If anyone disagrees, please give me a logical reason why.

    If you want to discuss the book, please delete any books from the list that you have read, so we can all go into the book with the same blank slate. This goes for everyone!

  9. #79
    Premium Member glennajo's Avatar
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    I'm away from this computer for one day, and you all already have a book club started! I want to be in on it. I'll read anything I can get my hands on.

  10. #80
    FORT Fogey
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    Okay, here's the deal.

    These are the potential books:

    Russell Banks - "Rule of the Bone"
    1996, 4.5 stars, 400 pages

    Jonathan Coleman - "Exit the Rainmaker"
    1999, 4.5 stars, 288 pages

    John Irving - "A Prayer for Owen Meanie"
    1990, 4.5 stars, 640 pages

    Barbara Kingsolver "The Poisonwood Bible"
    1999, 4 stars, 560 pages

    Anna Quindlen - "Black and Blue"
    1999, 4 stars, 384 pages

    Jose Saramago - "Blindness"
    1999, 4 stars, 352 pages

    Alice Sebold - "Lovely Bones"
    2002, 4 stars, 288 pages

    J. T. Leroy - "Sarah"
    2000, 4 stars, 150 pages


    Please vote for two books you really want to read (descriptions above). And if you are voting, you better be willing to read with us!

    Or could somebody ask John to post a poll for this if you don't want your votes public?

    Please vote by noon tomorrow, then we will tally the votes...

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