January Book Discussion

Reading for the Christmas break is The Ghost Writer by Philip Roth and Blindness by José Saramago.
The Ghost Writer, Philip Roth: The Ghost Writer introduces Nathan Zuckerman in the 1950s; a budding writer infatuated with the Great Books, discovering the contradictory claims of literature and experience while an overnight guest in the secluded New England farmhouse of his literary idol, E. I. Lonoff. At Lonoff's, Zuckerman meets Amy Bellette, a haunting young woman of indeterminate foreign background who turns out to be a former student of Lonoff's and who may also have been his mistress. Zuckerman, with his active, youthful imagination, wonders if she could be the paradigmatic victim of Nazi persecution. If she were, it might change his life...The first volume of the trilogy and epilogue Zuckerman Bound, The Ghost Writer is about the tensions between literature and life, artistic truthfulness and conventional decency - and about those implacable practitioners who live with the consequences of sacrificing one for the other.
Blindness, José Saramago: The story starts with a man in his car at traffic lights who goes suddenly blind. He is helped home by a stranger, who a few hours later also goes blind. Within a few days the blindness has spread round half the city and also those afflicted are herded up by the government into a disused mental asylum and left alone. The wards quickly become overrun with filth and chaos ensues. In the middle of this, though, we get to know a handful of characters very well and it is really their story that we follow through the never-ending days, lack of food and riots. The whole story is told through long paragraphs of unbroken text. There are no quotation marks, hardly any punctuation and none of the characters are given names.

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  • A former member
    A former member

    Great to meet a group of enthusiastic people. Looking forward to the next one.

    January 27, 2014

  • Steve B.

    Read "The Ghost Writer" in one sitting (with breaks for lunch & one or 2 other things). A fascinating book, but haven't really had time to let it "digest" yet :) My first meeting, so I'll mostly be listening, acclimatising to the way these meetings run, and getting to know you all.

    I look forward to it.

    January 23, 2014

  • Lianne ten H.

    Unfortunately I can't come as I had to leave Welly last minute yesterday. And after reading both of the books... Hopefully I can meet you all at next months meeting :)

    January 23, 2014

  • James S.

    No need to have read the book to attend - the discussion might help you decide whether to read it! I have only read one of them this month.

    January 22, 2014

  • Viv

    Hello, I would quite like to attend but haven't read the books...these authors are both on my 'to read' list!

    January 21, 2014

  • Alex K.

    By the way, an English-language film adaptation of Blindness was directed by Fernando Meirelles. Filming began in July 2007 and stars Mark Ruffalo as the doctor and Julianne Moore as the doctor's wife. The film opened the 2008 Cannes Film Festival. We all love to read but movies are also fun, a slightly different artistic expression.

    December 25, 2013

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