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New Meetup: April Main Meetup

From: Eleanor
Sent on: Wednesday, March 3, 2010 10:17 PM
Announcing a new Meetup for The Glasgow Book Club!

What: April Main Meetup

When: Tuesday, April 6,[masked]:30 PM

Waxy O'Connors
44 West George Street G2 1DH

And so the year moves on to April, hopefully the weather gets warmer and we may get the opportunity to do some of our reading outside. If not then I?m sure this month?s books will be a feast for our minds anyway! This month?s choices are:

Such a Long Journey by Rohinton Mistry (nominated by Sarita)

Sometimes compared to Dickens or Victor Hugo for the strength of his descriptions, Rohinton Mistry uses "ordinary" men and women as his protagonists and fills his novels with the sights, sounds, smells, and color of India. Depicting his characters as neither saints nor sinners, he involves the reader in their lives as they try to survive the complexities of their culture.

In this novel, Gustad Noble and his wife Dilnavaz, living in a congested apartment building in Bombay, try to lead good lives and inspire their children during Indira Gandhi's rule in the 1970s, with all its political, professional, and social upheaval. India is on the verge of war with the Muslims of Pakistan, and though Gustad, a Parsi, is aware of political chicanery, he is far more pre-occupied with having his son accepted at a school of technology, doing his job as a bank supervisor, and supporting his family. Constant blackouts and continually deteriorating conditions on the street add to the frustrations of Gustad's life.

Then Jimmy Bilimoria, an old friend, asks Gustad for help, claiming that he is training freedom fighters in Bangladesh to act on behalf of the Indian government against Pakistani "butchers." Gustad reluctantly agrees to use his position at the bank to deposit money to a secret account, but he soon finds himself enmeshed in a spiral from which he cannot break out, his life turned upside down.

Human Traces by Sebastian Faulks (nominated by Steve)

"Human Traces" explores the question of what kind of beings men and women really are. Jacques Rebiere and Thomas Midwinter, both sixteen when the story starts in 1876, come from different countries and contrasting families. They are united by an ambition to understand how the mind works and whether madness is the price we pay for being human. As psychiatrists, they travel on a quest from the squalor of the Victorian lunatic asylum to the crowded lecture halls of the renowned Professor Charcot in Paris; from the heights of the Sierra Madre in California to the plains of unexplored Africa. Their search is made urgent by the case of Jacques' brother Olivier, for whose severe illness no name has yet been found. Thomas' sister Sonia becomes the pivotal figure in the volatile relationship between the two men. It threatens to explode with the arrival in their Austrian sanatorium of an enigmatic patient, Fraulein Katharina von A, whose illness epitomises all that divides them. As the concerns of the old century fade and the First World War divides Europe, the novel rises to a climax in which the value of being alive is called into question. This is Sebastian Faulks' most ambitious novel yet, with scenes of emotional power recalling his most celebrated work, yet set here on an even larger scale.

The other books nominated were:
The Beach by Alex Garland (Sam)
Case Histories by Kate Atkinson (Sue)
Living Dolls: The Return of Sexism by Natasha Walter (Trish)
On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan (Paul)
Buddha?s Little Finger by Victor Pelevin (Vladimir)
One Week in December by Sebastian Faulks (Eleanor)
Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks (Mhairi)

Once again, two very different books and hopefully one or both will inspire you to read them. We look forward to seeing you in April for some more discussion and chat.

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