Thursday, May 19, 2005

A potentially pretentious pondering - perhaps propitious, perhaps palmary, possibly pertinent to peruse

Sorry about that - got all alliterative of a sudden.

Just an idea, loosely prompted by this meme from a few weeks back - anyone interested in participating in a blog-based book group? Could make a nice break from politics every now and again, plus help point us all in the direction of some genuinely good reads.

Basic idea would be I name a book (perhaps based on suggestions from participants) - probably broadly European, considering the focus of this blog - and set a date, probably a month or so later. Those who want to take part go off and read the thing then come back on the chosen date for a nice lengthy discussion in a comments section where we can all dissect the thing, suggest similar books, point out plot holes and the like.

Who's up for it? Anyone? If so, drop me a line in the comments. My initial suggestion is one I'm currently re-reading, and I'd forgotten just how good it was - Foucault's Pendulum by Umberto Eco:



To give you a basic idea without ruining the plot, it's basically The Da Vinci Code if it had been written by someone literate, intelligent, with a superb grasp of character and plot, and who had actually bothered to do some original research. It is also a fantastic read - perhaps Eco's best.

What do you reckon? Worth pursuing? Am I being a pretentious twat? Different book to kick off?

Let me know in the comments if you're interested - if enough people are, I'd suggest we reconvene on Monday 20th June for a hearty literary debate. Should be enough time.

12 Comments:

Blogger Nick said...

Well, it's one of those books I always intended to get round to reading, so I guess you can count me in.

5/19/2005 08:51:00 am  
Anonymous Sharon said...

I love that book. I've been meaning to buy a copy for a while to reread it - maybe this is a good incentive. (But does this mean I might have to read the Da Vinci Code for comparison? Eugh.) Although I'll probably need reminding about it before 20 June...

5/19/2005 09:45:00 am  
Anonymous kathyf said...

Possibly, perhaps pending pertinent posting prerequisites people presume to perpend.

But only if you promise no alliteration.

5/19/2005 10:57:00 am  
Blogger Nosemonkey said...

I wouldn't wish that Da Vinci Code bollocks on anyone. Easily the worst novel I've read in the last five years. But I was bored, it was reduced to less than the price of a amagazine, and I wanted to see what the fuss was all about. I still don't know. It's like a low-rent Clive Cussler.

5/19/2005 12:38:00 pm  
Blogger Andrew said...

I'm in.

The Da Vinci Code is an insult to novels. All copies of it should be staked through the spine, burnt, sprinkled with holy water, smeared liberally with garlic, and buried on consecrated ground under the blazing sun. In case you were tempted, Dan Brown's other 'novels' are actually worse, if you can believe that.

5/19/2005 04:20:00 pm  
Anonymous kathyf said...

I remember when we were looking for houses to let, I looked at one that had horrible decor and the owner's bedroom had a stack of Dan Brown novels next to the bed. Turned me off more than the Barbie wallpaper.

5/19/2005 08:37:00 pm  
Blogger Churl said...

I'm in!

5/19/2005 08:58:00 pm  
Anonymous Katie said...

OOH, OOH, can I play? I LOVE Eco. He's a big theoretical cheese in both my majors. Of his fiction I've read the name of the rose and not foucault's pendulum yet.
I'm so grateful none of you like the Da Vinci Code, it's an insult to the intelligence of the reader, like the national enquirer, or, as noted above, the sun. I have a copy hanging from a nail in my outhouse.

I think it will make a fun film though. In the name of the rose, sadly, did not, it was too complicated.

5/19/2005 09:15:00 pm  
Blogger CLP said...

Sounds like fun, and gives me an excuse to re-read the beast.

5/20/2005 09:41:00 am  
Blogger Lauren said...

I came here by way of Siris; I'd love to join in, as I am enjoyed some of Eco's other fun writing.

I recently read the Da Vinci Code (pity me) just to see what all the fuss was about. It firmly convinced me that the Inquisition needs to be revived.
(note: kidding)

6/13/2005 01:21:00 pm  
Anonymous TCO said...

I bought DA Vinci code and did not get much past first chapter. And I am not a high brow. I can enjoy an airport thriller just fine. CODE was both silly and pretentious.

TNOTR (just read today) was ok. I'd 3 star it. It was definitely readable. But I like the person on Amazon who said that reading a history of the herecies was both more educational AND more exciting. Despite being limited to fact, hehehe. So, Eco is ok. But I'm not really crazy about the secular humanist version of the world...and it is no aha to me to beat up on the midevil church. Sort of a handy villian.

7/03/2005 01:31:00 am  
Anonymous TCO said...

It's similarly silly to blame the bombings on the anti-migrant parties. Beleive me, they got reasons to bomb regardless. If they are going to kill people in the streets of Holland, what a good little dope-smoking, gay-marrying, liberal country, like that, they will do it anywhere. It's not the BNP that they fear, it's Western popular culture. And when they play on that fear it gives them power.

7/13/2005 05:05:00 am  

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