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The Dublin Book Club Meetup Group Monthly Meetup

Hi there,

here are the books for the 19th November meetup. And remember, you don't have to read both books!
Enjoy, and see you on the 19th of November!

Note: If these books are difficult to find in bookshops, try online (e.g.:,, to name a few)
Also, you can check out the current book list online via the 'Files' section from 'More' on the menubar.

1. The Possibility of an Island - Michel Houllebecq 

2. Crime and Punishment - F. M. Dostoevsky










1. The Possibility of an Island - Michel Houllebecq (Anon, May'12)

There are three main characters, Daniel, and two of his clones.
Daniel is a successful comedian who can't seem to enjoy life despite his wealth. He gets bored with his hedonist lifestyle, but can't escape from it either. In the meanwhile he is disgruntled with the state of current society, and philosophizes about the nature of sex and love.
His two clones live an uneventful life as hermits, in a post-apocalyptic future. They live in a time where the human species is on its last legs (alternatively, on its first legs: hunter-gatherer tribes), destroyed by climate change and nuclear war. The two clones are confronted with the life of the first Daniel and have different views about their predecessor. Scattered around are the remnants of tourist resorts, cities and consumer items and some natural humans living in small tribes without any knowledge of the past, or of civilization.


2. Crime and Punishment - F. M. Dostoevsky (Aleona, June '13)

Crime and Punishment is one of the greatest and most readable novels ever written. From the beginning we are locked into the frenzied consciousness of Raskolnikov who, against his better instincts, is inexorably drawn to commit a brutal double murder.
From that moment on, we share his conflicting feelings of self-loathing and pride, of contempt for and need of others, and of terrible despair and hope of redemption: and, in a remarkable transformation of the detective novel, we follow his agonised efforts to probe and confront both his own motives for, and the consequences of, his crime.
The result is a tragic novel built out of a series of supremely dramatic scenes that illuminate the eternal conflicts at the heart of human existence: most especially our desire for self-expression and self-fulfilment, as against the constraints of morality and human laws; and our agonised awareness of the world's harsh injustices and of our own mortality, as against the mysteries of divine justice and immortality.


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  • Brendan

    Hi guys,

    I had to rush off so I don't think I said goodbye to everyone, sorry !

    It was great to meet you all and join in such a lively discussion, I think the books made a great backdrop to the evening :)

    Thanks Seamus for hosting the event, it was nice to have someone meeting and greeting the latecomers !

    Have a great xmas and a prosperous 2014.

    Thanks again,

    November 20, 2013

  • Amanda

    Working late, sorry another time

    November 19, 2013

  • Nuala S

    Really enjoyed October book club. Looking forward to next book club already and getting stuck into The Possibility of an Island. I read Crime & Punishment only a few weeks ago for a library book club so will have a few words to say on that. The review on Crime & Punishment above is spot on.

    October 17, 2013

  • Scott R.

    Have just joined and looking forward to attending this meet-up! As a graduate of Russian translation I guess this is one of those novels I should have read a long time ago! Here goes nothing! :) See you all soon! The wonders of e-readers!

    October 16, 2013

  • Seamus

    A few points about Crime and Punishment:
    It is not as long as other Dostoevsky novels so please don't be put off by the thought of reading it.
    I don't know which English translation to recommend, but if you choose a modern one you are likely to get more modern English, so it might be easier to read as a result. Free ebooks are likely to be older translations.
    From Wikipedia, some notes about English translations:

    English translations

    Frederick Whishaw (1885)
    Constance Garnett (1914)
    David Magarshack (1951)
    Princess Alexandra Kropotkin (1953)
    Jessie Coulson (1953)
    Michael Scammell (1963)
    Sidney Monas (1968)
    David McDuff (1991)
    Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky (1992)
    Julius Katzer

    The Garnett translation was the dominant translation for more than 80 years after its publication in 1914. Since the 1990s, McDuff and Pevear/Volokhonsky have become its major competitors.

    1 · October 16, 2013

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