Friday, 13 January 2012

Kiss of the Spider Woman - Manuel Puig

It is safe to say that not many bookclub members enjoyed this book. It was something which stretched a lot of us beyond our book reading ability. This is not to say that it's a bad book, it's just very different to our usual reads. We found it to be too literary for our bookclub. It may also be more enjoyable had the reader seen the film, or the stage show.

We all found it very tricky to keep up with who was speaking as each line spoken just started with not indication of speaker. We also got the two prisoners confused a great deal of the time which didn't help with the flow of the book. We also found the footnotes to be very distracting and didn't add much to the actual story. Although they did offer an interesting insight into how people thought about certain things in the time period this book is from.

Overall we gave this book 2 out of 10, although because many people hadn't finished it not everyone voted.

During this meeting we also decided to change the way we choose books. We have decided that for the months March - June we will do the following. The librarian will create a list of 10(ish) books from other bookclub suggestions such as Richard and Judy etc. This will be sent out to the group who will each choose 4 books from the list. The 4 books with the most votes will be the next 4 months books.

Kiss of the Spider Woman - Questions


I hope you're all enjoying this months book! Here are some questions to think about:

- In "Kiss of the Spider Woman," in what ways do Molina and Valentin express that they each belong to two different cultures simultaneously?

- What might be the symbolic significance of eyes in Kiss of the Spider Woman?

- What is the relevance of the "Kiss of The Spider Woman" to the present society?

Questions from eNotes.

Little Bee / The Other Hand - Chris Cleave

Almost all the members of the bookclub finished this book. We all thought it was an interesting story, although we weren't sure that it lived up to the hype about it on amazon and on the back of the book.

We thought that it made us look more closely at the way we in the West live our lives. Little Bee had a great way of showing us how foolish certain aspects of our lives are, for example, why is it ok to have topless women in our newspapers but it's not ok for women to wander the streets topless. Surely if it's acceptable in one place, it should be accepted elsewhere. We also thought it interesting that obviously people native to Little Bee's country are constantly being persecuted and killed, however we in the West very rarely hear about it. We do hear often about white people or Westerners who have been taken hostage in these countries and how much we are willing to do and pay to get their freedom. This gave us something to think about.

We compared prisons with detention centres during our discussion because we felt that both remove liberty and can be used for the right or wrong reasons. They make humans into numbers rather than individuals. We weren't sure which side to take with regard to believing or disbelieving asylum seekers, there are always those we should believe and those we shoudln't. It's a very difficult issue to make a definite decision about.

It was very noticable that there didn't seem to be one good man in the entire book, this was interesting because the book is written by a man! However, his ability to get within the female psyche is not that great. The female reaction to sex expecially didn't ring true with the bookclub members.

Overall we gave this book 5 out of 10. We felt that this book was probably more of a starting point to reading more indepth discussion about the issues brought up in this book. This particular book hops around the issues too much without actually going into them in enough detail for the reader to get a proper handle on them.