the book club, meeting three

Today was the third meeting of the book club at work. I was absent for the first meeting, and the second was a few weeks ago, for The Professor and the Madman. Today’s book was Murakami’s The Wild Sheep Chase. It was alright, but I didn’t feel like it was anything special. Murakami seems to be a very good writer, but a sort of uninteresting author. It’s an exaggeration, but not a huge one, to say that his books are like Lynch movies: well put together material that doesn’t really come together in the end. I think I was clearer at the meeting, actually: he connects a lot of the dots, but the particular set of dots that he chose to leave unconnected was really bizarre. He left unanswered the questions that seemed most unrelated, and which therefore seemed worth raising only to then give answers that would relate them to the book’s main themes.

I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again: I really think Aristotle’s demand for thematic unity is one of the best rubrics by which to measure dramatic and literary works.

John didn’t read the book, and was going to skip the meeting, but Louis said he was in the same boat, and was going to come. After John had stayed past the five o’clock bus, though, Louis headed home, leaving John behind, fist a-shakin’. That was OK: I think John probably had a good time, and he voted with me, meaning that the book that I wanted to read got onto the docket. For the Halloween meeting we’ll be reading Stross’s Singularity Sky.

While waiting for the bus, John and I played a quick game of Ms. Pac-Man at the Greyhound station. We both did (I think) pretty well, and I had a really good time. Ms. Pac-Man is such a great game! I don’t even mind (as well I shouldn’t) that it costs fifty cents to play. I have Pac-the-Man on my PowerBook, but it’s just not quite the same: there’s no joystick and no movies.

Our next book club meeting is in two weeks, and apparently the book is long (but light reading). It’s The Time-Traveller’s Wife, which I’ll have to try to pick up at the library this week. I don’t think I’m interesting in buying a copy, based on what I know. (You know, I feel a little bad that I’ve been a pretty vocal critic of the past two books. I’m looking forward to a book that I can praise, just so that it’s clear that sometimes I like things.)

Written on September 20, 2005