The last Wednesday of the month is book club day peeps - for a literary lover such as myself it is a truly indulgent time to talk all things book wormy and I love it! There is no humanly possibly way that I can read every book ever made (despite an abortive attempt in the A fiction section of the Peterborough Library many years ago - Matilda I am not!), so it is with great pleasure that I can learn what's good and what's not by listening to other well read people. It doesnt hurt that we meet in a pub and it certainly doesn't hurt that there is normally food - I could very well be in heaven :)
This month's book was my choice and I was in agony. Books are like favourite anythings - no two people will agree and they are subjective, everyone has a differing opionion on what the author actually meant so I decided to go with either The End of Mr Y by Scarlett Thomas OR The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson. I chose The Gargoyle. I had read it about a year ago and remember being charmed by it then and thought a nice gentle read to ease my tastes into the book club melting pot - I had forgotten about the porn and hell and the madness of Marianne.
Still when I re-read it, I loved it again and despite personal circumstances, was still entranced by the love stories within. Book club response? Polite acceptance of what was clearly not 'normal' reading material. Ooops! That's not to say that it didn't get read just that it wasn't praised to high heaven and in some ways I think they are right. It's a confused book - there is so much information that you do feel slightly overwhelmed. There are 4 separate love stories, there is a relationship in the 14th century that carries through to today, there's a burn victim described in graphic detail, there's porn, Dante's inferno and then there are gargoyles. It did acheive what perhaps book club is meant to - the reading of a book you wouldn't normally go for and a healthy discussion on whether it has merits or not.
The fact that the conversation soon turned to which childhood classics should be read by everyone didn't upset me at all - in fact it made me appreciate the 40 boxes of books I have in storage which hold such cherished classics along with others that I have dragged with me through time and which I keep promising myself I will install in beautiful bookshelves one day. And I think that is the point - let us cherish the written word, our ability to read it and think of it what we choose.