Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Savage Lands - Questions


Here are some questions on this months book which we'll be discussing on Thursday 31st March.

- Elisabeth carries her copies of Montaigne with her across the ocean – and names her baby Michel. Do his books turn out to be a useful thing to carry across, despite Elizabeth’s mothers frustration? Consider how the French re-learn how to live in the swamps of Louisiana.

- ‘Who knew what kind of a savage he himself might become among the savages?’ (page 298) – the fear of intermarriage, friendship and bastard children between the French and the natives is found throughout the novel. Is it exposure to the natives that ruins the settlement, or the Europeans inability to react to their new situation and surroundings?

- The misuse of power is demonstrated repeatedly throughout the novel – is anyone innocent of this type of manipulation? Consider the governor and soldiers’ misuse of power, the power of fear, the power of love and marriage and the power of omission.

See you all next week!

Questions are from Readers Place.

Monday, 7 March 2011

You Are Next

This months book came from Random House as part of their sponsorship for the first four months of 2011.

Our cake this month was produced by Gaynor and was enjoyed by everyone!

This novel was the second thriller we've read in a row and everyone agreed that this was something we should avoid for next time as it may have jaded our view. We all felt that we've had enough of thrillers for a little while!

This month we had a selection of questions to use which came in very handy for focusing our discussions. Question sets are an invaluable resource for bookclubs.

Many of the bookclub members do not as a rule read crime, whereas some of the bookclub are more hardened crime readers. This caused a bit of a divide in the group with some people really enjoying the novel and others finding it a bit too basic for them. We all agreed that this would be an excellent starting point for someone new to the crime genre. However, we all felt that thrillers in general are not built for the kind of scrutiny that our bookclub gives its books.

It was a fairly formulaic novel, as crime novels go, which aggravated some readers but others felt this was almost comforting in its certainty of what would be coming next. We felt that it was very linear in its movement from one scene to the next, this might make it a better film than it was a book. There are certain scenes, for example the party, that we really could see as a film.

We all felt very sorry for Karin and the things she had to go through both before and during this book. However, there was a little too much focus on her depression and suicidal tendencies for us not to feel a bit annoyed with her at times. The changes in the relationship between Karin and Mac was interesting to follow, although it was a little odd at times, eg. during the ComiCon scenes.

Overall this was a book that we mostly enjoyed, but not as a bookclub selection. We gave this book an average of 6 out of 10. Many of the bookclub copies have been lent to others, meaning this was a book people had enjoyed!

Book Club Questions - You Are Next

Hello everyone,

Here are some questions to get you thinking in time for this weeks meeting:

- How effective is the use of the dominoes in the story?
- How well do you think You Are Next could be transferred to the silver screen?
- The character of Christa is introduced to the novel quite late on. How well rounded is her character as a result? Is she as threatening/scary/intense as the reader requires? If not, why not?
- Do you like the character of Karin Schaeffer as a character? How rounded is she?
- Is it a satisfying ending?

See you all on Thursday!

Questions are from Readers Place.