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East Bay Book Club Message Board › Meeting Recap: September 2013 Classic Book Discussion (The Ambassadors by He

Meeting Recap: September 2013 Classic Book Discussion (The Ambassadors by Henry James)

Group Organizer
Union City, CA
Post #: 42
First off, I want to quickly summarize what attendees thought of the meeting location in Emeryville as a trial. Everyone was happy with it. It's quiet, spacious, and has plenty of street parking. It's looking as if we might be able to have this as our new regular location. Stay tuned as we do this again for the next September book meeting.

Anyway, the discussion of Henry James's The Ambassadors involved plenty of random comments. A sample:
- The book makes you read slowly.
- For some people, reading was so difficult that listening to an audio version was better.
- Strether returned to America simply because there's no gain from being in Europe, even if America is a place that is about business and money.
- The author's writing style is very different from that of his earlier works. Scanning this book is not possible.
- The book is like a very detailed painting, and reading it is like being forced to stare at details, but without being allowed to pull back and see the whole picture.
- Some people could relate to Strether when being clueless in social situations.
- Would anyone recommend this book? Well, nobody said yes. The silence sort of suggested that the answer is now.

Regardless of some negative comments about the book, four people liked the book, two people thought it was OK, and two people disliked the book. Basically, it's a good book for some people, but it's not for everyone.

Otherwise, I want to thank club member Evelyn for arranging the meeting location. The next meeting, also at the same location, will surely be just as fun.
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