Wednesday, March 31st, 2010
So, how do you talk about a book when you haven’t finished it? I think there’s a book for that right? Unfortunately it’s too late for me to get that book and figure out what I’m supposed to do. And, given that my book is for an online discussion group that means I can’t just hide behind lots of coffee sipping and head nodding.
Well, the Slaves of Golconda are going to have to forgive me again. This year my track record isn’t good with the Slaves. I tried to read more of Vertigo by W. G. Sebald for the discussion but I just couldn’t get past the 50 pages or so I read.
When I read some reviews of the book, “disorienting narrative” often accompanied the reviews and I can totally get on board with that assessment. The novel starts with a young man’s recollections of his military career. As you read along you wonder if everything true? What are the sequence of events? Who is this person? On and on.
I could easily say I wasn’t in the mood for this story but that would really be a cop out in this case so I’ll just tell you the truth. I just don’t really like this type of narrative. I can handle dream-like, fantastical and the like and I’ve enjoyed some books which sort of reminded me of the narrative style; such as The Street of Crocodiles and The Unconsoled, but this book was a struggle. And, I gave up.
So I’ll take a peek at the discussion board but I won’t be offering much. If this was for an in person book group I’d still go although I hate showing up without finishing the book. Now, if it’s my mystery group, I definitely wouldn’t go as no doubt the killer will be revealed and who wants to have a whodunit spoiled!
Anyway, what about you? Do you go to your book groups even if you haven’t finished the book?