Jump to content
  • Announcements

    • Hayley

      Downtime for Updates   01/26/2021

      The forum is going to be offline while our new hosts backup and update the site. We'll be back soon and you can check our twitter (@bookclubforum) or the patreon page ( bookclubforum.co.uk is creating a book community | Patreon ) for updates.   See you all soon!  

Hux

Member
  • Content count

    66
  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by Hux

  1. The Limerick Game

    Jock was a cocky from Oz His fave Dickens' character, Boz..... On reading the novel
  2. This site seems to be more book blogs than actual specific boards for discussing books so if you can't beat 'em, join 'em. I'm gonna just copy and paste all my reviews from BGO and put them here. Starting with my favourite book. Journey to the End of the Night (1932) Louis-Ferdinand Celine It begins in World War I with Bardamu (Celine's alter ego) and explores the trauma and futility of the war. Bardamu meets his doppelganger, Robinson, a character that comes and goes throughout this life (a character I have theories about). Bardemu goes to Africa which results in yet more suffering and confusion. Then he goes to New York and works at the Ford company and meets a prostitute called Molly. Then the book jumps ahead six years to when Bardamu has become a qualified doctor. He begins working in a working-class suburb of Paris and deals with horrific things such as botched abortions, miscarriages and the death of a local child. This is where Leon Robinson, becomes a regular character in his life. The book is often described as a celebration nihilism. Celine has very little respect for humanity. To him, it's suffering, crime, greed, and pain. He witnesses awful things but responds to them as though they're the utter embodiment of normalcy (the book is actually quite funny because of this). Even when Robinson plots to murder an old woman, Bardamu doesn't care, he simply thinks... 'it's nothing to do with me.' There's an underlying message about the trauma caused to both him and Robinson due to the war. They have both been numbed to the point that they are no longer human. The prose is some of the most exquisite I've ever come across. Which is interesting because it was made famous for its more authentic, real-life writing. There's a chapter where he's on the boat to Africa which is amazing. It encapsulates humanities distrust of other people and their tendency to hate. Bardamu doesn't speak much or get involved so everyone on the ship turns against him and you genuinely feel the sense of threat, that they might actually kill him for daring to be different. Celine, of course, was a noted antisemite in real life. That might be an issue for some. Personally speaking, the fact that Celine is a fairly awful person himself only makes the book resonate more. I have a tendency to separate the artist form the art. And thank God because this book is a masterpiece. 10/10
  3. Hux Book Blog

    The Heart is a Lonely Hunter (1940) Carson McCullers A superb exploration of loneliness and the roles we are forced to play.The book revolves around a deaf/mute named John Singer. After his friend (also a deaf/mute) is put into an institution, Singer moves into a new room where, slowly but surely, four characters come to view him as a kind of spiritual leader. They go to him to tell of their woes, their frustrations, their dreams. Because he can't speak, he is forced into the role of listener (whether her wants to be or not) and they quickly transform him into a blank canvas for their worldview. Unbeknownst to them, however, Singer also has a life. He too requires a figure in his life whom can give meaning to his loneliness (this being his deaf/mute friend). That Singer has his own life never occurs to them. He has been unpersoned by them in their desire for him to have the answers.The four of them begin to visit him on a regular basis. First, there is Biff the café owner who represents the middle-class view. Then Jake Blount, the working-class alcoholic. Then Dr. Copeland, the African American idealist. And finally, Mick, a young girl who dreams of being a musician but who is inevitably forced into conforming towards a more conventional role as a woman.Each of these people are oppressed by the role they must play in life. Blount and Copeland seek answers in a simplistic and utopian form of Marxism. Mick in romantic ideals and Biff, the most important character in my opinion, in hoping for a better tomorrow.The writing is wonderful, full of fluid and detached prose which works perfectly (despite often not being my cup of tea). McCullers has a great gift for telling a character's story whilst simultaneously placing you in another moment. She can switch between the two with ease. The narrative flows nicely and slowly builds a realistic world. At no point does she throw in an affair or a murder. The book essentially has no plot (my preferred type) and simply tells a self-contained story of lonely people looking to escape the chains that life has put them in.I interpreted the ending as ultimately pessimistic though. It ends with Mick showing signs of slowly conforming to her role as a socially acceptable female. She now wears earrings, has embraced the 9 to 5, and is moving away from her tomboy persona. Some may view this as a positive (that she is blossoming) but I saw it as Mick succumbing to the social norms, to the daily grind.Because, eventually, we all do.A fantastic debut novel. Highly recommended. 8/10
  4. The Heart is a Lonely Hunter

    A superb exploration of loneliness and the roles we are forced to play.The book revolves around a deaf/mute named John Singer. After his friend (also a deaf/mute) is put into an institution, Singer moves into a new room where, slowly but surely, four characters come to view him as a kind of spiritual leader. They go to him to tell of their woes, their frustrations, their dreams. Because he can't speak, he is forced into the role of listener (whether her wants to be or not) and they quickly transform him into a blank canvas for their worldview. Unbeknownst to them, however, Singer also has a life. He too requires a figure in his life whom can give meaning to his loneliness (this being his deaf/mute friend). That Singer has his own life never occurs to them. He has been unpersoned by them in their desire for him to have the answers.The four of them begin to visit him on a regular basis. First, there is Biff the café owner who represents the middle-class view. Then Jake Blount, the working-class alcoholic. Then Dr. Copeland, the African American idealist. And finally, Mick, a young girl who dreams of being a musician but who is inevitably forced into conforming towards a more conventional role as a woman.Each of these people are oppressed by the role they must play in life. Blount and Copeland seek answers in a simplistic and utopian form of Marxism. Mick in romantic ideals and Biff, the most important character in my opinion, in hoping for a better tomorrow.The writing is wonderful, full of fluid and detached prose which works perfectly (despite often not being my cup of tea). McCullers has a great gift for telling a character's story whilst simultaneously placing you in another moment. She can switch between the two with ease. The narrative flows nicely and slowly builds a realistic world. At no point does she throw in an affair or a murder. The book essentially has no plot (my preferred type) and simply tells a self-contained story of lonely people looking to escape the chains that life has put them in.I interpreted the ending as ultimately pessimistic though. It ends with Mick showing signs of slowly conforming to her role as a socially acceptable female. She now wears earrings, has embraced the 9 to 5, and is moving away from her tomboy persona. Some may view this as a positive (that she is blossoming) but I saw it as Mick succumbing to the social norms, to the daily grind.Because, eventually, we all do.A fantastic debut novel. Highly recommended. 8/10
  5. The Limerick Game

    Fe fi fo fum....... Said the father of a missing nun
  6. The Limerick Game

    I love spaghetti the best I dribble sauce down my vest Now I'll have a plateful... And be forever grateful
  7. Do You Mark Your Books?

    If there's something I like in a book I usually just take a note of the page number.
  8. The Limerick Game

    There was a young man from Glasgow ...... Who triggered a global fiasco
  9. The Best Film Soundtrack?

    Disturbing works as a description. It's all of those things.
  10. The Best Film Soundtrack?

    It's a beautiful film with a beautiful score. About a woman who discovers she has a strange connection with an identical doppelganger. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WqcgpRf31zU
  11. The Limerick Game

    Wilhelmina would just stand and stare At something they was barely there On closer inspection
  12. The Limerick Game

    A time when there was no war.. So peaceful it would make you snore The bombs were unused
  13. The Best Film Soundtrack?

    The Double Life of Veronique (1991) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aie5Z7HfHhA
  14. The Limerick Game

    A grumpy old soldier named Billy... Looked down in his trousers when chilly But what he saw there.... He just couldn't bear A peanut instead of a willy There once was a lad at the zoo
  15. The Limerick Game

    A grumpy old soldier named Billy... Looked down in his trousers when chilly
  16. The Limerick Game

    When Margaret discovered S&M She started to raise her hem A man called Steve
  17. Looks like I've won.
  18. The Limerick Game

    Young Fred had a thing about trains He was not, though, equipped with much brains.. He liked to choo choo Like a demented gnu Before having a nap in the drains When Margaret discovered S&M
  19. The lack of speech marks was probably the only thing I liked. 😂
  20. The Limerick Game

    Oh right. One morning on the Scarborough sands
  21. The Limerick Game

    With my appetite sated by chocs I can't even fit in my socks! A good diet is required But I'm far too tired And my urge for food never stops
  22. The Limerick Game

    Some people who think they are funny Should be given a run for their money With a competitive streak
  23. Hux Book Blog

    It's worth reading in so much as it's quite a unique narrative. And the writing is of a high standard. That still doesn't necessarily mean you'll like it though. I've certainly read a lot worse.
  24. This is a very original book where you, the reader, become one of the characters. You buy a book but it has typos so you take it back to the shop where you meet a woman, also wanting to read the book, and then you both speak to a university professor about the book, then another professor, then a publisher about a different book, then a writer about another book, then you begin a relationship with the woman, then you go to another country to find the completed manuscript... and so on, etc. Sadly, that didn't work very well for me because after the first couple of chapters where you're in the bookshop, having a coffee, thinking about the writer, you then go on an adventure with a woman called Ludmilla that instantly makes the idea of you as a character entirely redundant. It very quickly feels like you, the reader, is in fact not you at all, but rather some blank individual that doesn't matter in the slightest. The initial chapter really worked and grabbed me immediately but after that, I found myself tolerating the parts of the book where you, the reader, are doing this or that. Meanwhile, the fictional chapters (opening chapters from books that you, the reader, are trying to find complete versions of) were far more interesting to read. There's a really great one about a couple who kill a man and are trying to dispense of the body somewhere. And one where a man is traumatised by ringing telephones; and an excellent erotic story set in Japan. Plus the others are pretty great too. When these chapters ended, I genuinely wanted to know more, what happens next, which I guess is the point. Calvino even mentions how writing opening chapters alone is very easy because there's no expectation to fill in the blanks. I even wonder if he deliberately squeezed a lot of his own aborted ideas for novels into this book purely to do something with them. Overall, it's an interesting idea. But it doesn't entirely work. The first chapter is wonderful and really excites you but the rest of the book always feels like it's chasing that initial burst of inventiveness. It can never quite live up to it. Which is the problem with a lot of experimental novels. I read a quote by David Mitchell about the book which rather perfectly sums up my feelings. He essentially said he was magnetised when he first read it, but on rereading it, felt it had aged and was not as "breathtakingly inventive" as it first seemed. To be honest, I didn't need a second reading to reach that same conclusion. It tries to be something breathtakingly inventive but never actually achieves it. Definitely worth a read though.
×